GOTZE GOTZE GOTZE
‘SUPER MARIO SWOOP’ screams the headline on The Sun’s website. Yes, it is another Mario Gotze story. Strap yourselves in.
It appears as though the man linked with Liverpool throughout the summer will be heading to the Premier League soon. But it is Arsenal who lead this particular race. They are ‘lining up a sensational move’ for the German, worth around £27m.
‘Gotze has reportedly been identified as a key part in Wenger’s jigsaw,’ writes Alec Shilton, potentially son of Peter, ‘with the player under threat of being axed from Bayern’s Champions League squad for the upcoming season’.
Shilton and The Sun are presumably unaware that Bayern Munich have threatened legal action against those reporting the above. “This is complete fiction,” said chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on Wednesday, of the claims that Gotze will be left out of Carlo Ancelotti’s Champions League squad.
The rumour is very much full of holes, to say the least.
PEP TARGETS SPANIARDS
Sticking with The Sun, and Antony Kastrinakis informs us that Celta Vigo and Spain forward Nolito is wanted by Manchester City.
Nolito played under Pep Guardiola at Barcelona, and it is believed that the incoming City manager wants to bring the 29-year-old to the Etihad Stadium. His release clause is £14m.
Kastrinakis adds that another former Barcelona man, goalkeeper Victor Valdes, could stay in Manchester in a shock move.
The 34-year-old was named on Manchester United’s list of released players recently, with his contract at the club expiring in the summer, but Guardiola ‘has huge affection’ for the shot-stopper after their period of success at Camp Nou. He might just be Richard Wright’s replacement.
With Ronald Koeman in the bag, Everton seem to be moving quickly to keep hold of their star players. The Daily Mail report that the club will offer Romelu Lukaku an improved new contract.
Lukaku has been linked with a raft of Premier League clubs, with his agent Mino Raiola under the belief that his client is worth around £60m. Based on his European Championship showing against Italy, perhaps not.
But Everton remain keen to keep the striker, who scored 25 goals in 46 games in all competitions this past season. They will offer him a new deal worth ‘in excess of’ £100,000 a week.
Sami Mokbel adds that if such a contract offer fails to persuade Lukaku to remain at Goodison Park, then new owner Farhad Moshiri will make whatever the club recoup for the 23-year-old available for Koeman to spend this summer. That’s a lot of money.
AND THE REST
An investment group supported by the Chinese government is attempting to buy Liverpool for £700m…Robert Lewandowski is ready to consider leaving Bayern Munich for the Premier League…Everton are considering a £30m move for Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman, 26, with new manager Ronald Koeman given £100m to spend…Stoke have opened talks to sign 22-year-old West Brom striker Saido Berahino for £15m. Potters manager Mark Hughes has made signing a forward his priority this summer…Premier League champions Leicester are close to completing the £9.5m signing of Nancy midfielder Nampalys Mendy, 23…Chelsea may need to spend almost £50m if they want to sign Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci, 29…And the Blues have been told they must pay £42m for Valencia midfielder Andre Gomes, 22…Liverpool have accepted a £7m Fenerbahce bid for centre-half Martin Skrtel…Antonio Conte’s side are in talks to sign Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, 31, whose contract runs out next month…Chelsea forward Pedro, 28, has spoken to Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu about returning to the club…Borussia Dortmund have blocked 27-year-old midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s proposed move to Manchester United. The Armenian has one year remaining on his contract…Arsenal are the only side to have made an offer for Mkhitaryan, but he would prefer a move to Old Trafford.
Arsene Wenger says he considered signing Dimitri Payet many times in the past before deciding France’s Euro 2016 star was too inconsistent…Tottenham have been told to pay £12m if they want to sign Croatia midfielder Milan Badelj, 27, from Serie A side Fiorentina…Sunderland midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini, 31, would be happy to join Fiorentina, according to his agent…Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure, 33, will see out the remaining year of his £220,000-a-week contract after rejecting moves to Italy and China…West Brom want to sign French midfielder Moussa Sissoko, who wants to leave Newcastle after relegation to the Championship. The Magpies will want about £15m for the 26-year-old…Premier League newcomers Middlesbrough have agreed a deal to sign 25-year-old Uruguayan playmaker Gaston Ramirez, who spent time on loan at the club from Southampton last season…Wigan are in talks to re-sign midfielder Jordi Gomez, 31, two years after he left the club to join Sunderland…Swansea City have opened talks with left-back Stephen Kingsley, 21, about a new contract…Ugandan midfielder Khalid Aucho, 22, says he says he is on the brink of joining Scottish Premiership side Rangers from Kenyan club Gor Mahia.