DRAXLER EYED BY UNITED
Manchester United are monitoring
Arsenal Wolfsburg midfielder Julian Draxler, according to a report in Germany.
Draxler, who got closer than most to signing for Arsene Wenger after being linked with the Gunners seemingly since birth, only joined Wolfsburg last summer, but Bild carry a story claiming Jose Mourinho is considering a move for the Germany international.
The 22-year-old plays predominantly on the left but can also operate in the No.10 role. Mourinho is known to be on the hunt for midfielders, having been heavily linked with Borussia Dortmund’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan earlier this week.
Draxler cost Wolfsburg £25.5million only a season ago and has four years remaining on his contract, he may cost close to double what United reportedly offered for Mkhitaryan. But with the Wolves failing to qualify for European football of any kind next term, the former Schalke star is said to be open to packing his bags again.
Bild also claim Mourinho is desperate to land Breel Embolo, Basel’s Switzerland international, with the attacker set to be offered £76,000-a-week to move to Old Trafford.
PAYET WORRY FOR WEST HAM
Despite Slaven Bilic lauding it up on ITV over Dimitri Payet’s form, West Ham are said to be concerned that the France star is making himself irresistible to Europe’s biggest clubs with his form at Euro 2016.
Chelsea have this week been reported as potential suitors for Payet, but it is doubtful that the Blues’ interest is causing too much concern in east London. More worryingly, the Daily Mirror claim Real Madrid have picked up his scent and Florentino Perez has shown before that he is not afraid to spluff millions on a player based largely on one good tournament.
Of course, Payet’s body of work is stronger than that, and Zinedine Zidane is said to be a big fan too. West Ham put a price tag of £60million on the 29-year-old this week but if he carries on his current form to inspire the European Championship hosts to glory, then Davids Gold and Sullivan may regret not plucking a far more ridiculous figure from thin air.
West Ham want Payet to be their star attraction when they take up residence at the Olympic Stadium, but if Real make firm their interest then the Hammers have a got a problem. Payet is said to be happy but given his 20s are almost behind him, such opportunities are unlikely to present themselves again. And as his agent says: “Football is football, so you never know.”
REAL’S FAB INVITATION
Cesc Fabregas has apparently been “uncomfortable” at Chelsea since Mourinho was given the boot and the club are understood to be willing to listen to offers for the midfielder.
That is according to Mundo Deportivo, who rather more interestingly claim that the Barcelona born and bred star has been offered to Real Madrid.
Given Fabregas’s Catalan roots, this one seems like a non-starter and Real are said to have politely declined the invitation to make an offer.
So that’s that, then.
AND THE REST
Leicester are closing on £12m Nampalys Mendy as a replacement for in-demand N’Golo Kante…Manchester United’s summer plans depend on agent Mino Raoila, who represents Ibrahimovic, Pogba and Mkhitaryan…Chelsea target Radja Nainggolan has “promised” he’ll stay at Roma this summer…Ibrahimovic has dropped another big hint he is on his way to United by apparently changing his boot sponsors…Former Roma boss Rudi Garcia is favourite to take over from Ronald Koeman at Southampton…Man Utd are ready to make another enquiry for Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane…Mario Balotelli’s agent is waiting for a response from Besiktas…West Ham are set to pull out of the race for Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette, with the French club continuing to demand £40m.
Southampton have held discussions over a move for Stuttgart winger Filip Kostic and are also confident of landing Nathan Redmond from Norwich…Stoke believe they will win the battle for West Brom’s Saido Berahino…Middlesbrough want to re-sign their former midfielder Lee Cattermole from Sunderland…Blackburn are closing on a deal for former Celtic striker Anthony Stokes…Newcastle are confident Andros Townend will stay, while Papiss Cisse is a target for Chinese clubs…Millwall striker Lee Gregory is wanted by QPR, Sheffield Wednesday and Celtic…West Ham are preparing an improved £8m offer for Bournemouth winger Matt Ritchie.