UNITED TO BID BIG FOR VERRATTI
Whopping great claims in the Italian media this morning, with Corriere dello Sport reporting that Jose Mourinho is ready to bid £79million for Marco Verratti. We reckon Paris St Germain might just rip their hand off for that money. Verratti is great, but the third-highest fee of all time?
Verratti is now 23, but suffered from a stop-start season in France. A number of niggling injuries have hampered what was some wonderful progress between the ages of 19 and 22.
With PSG wanting to hold on to the midfielder, the paper claim that only a bid of €100m (£79m) would tempt them to sell. Damn right it would.
LIVERPOOL NOW IN FOR KANTE?
We can’t quite shake the suspicion that N’Golo Kante is going to join Paris St Germain, and thus be lost from these shores after just one brilliant season. Maybe that’s the best way: walking off into the sunset with everyone cheering your name and championing your cause.
There are a few clubs who would quite like to stop that happening, although Leicester might just have lost hope by now. Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea have all been reported to be sniffing around Kante’s ankles, and now the Daily Star has thrown Liverpool’s name into the mix.
Now there’s nothing against Liverpool, but it would be a damn strange call from Kante to make that move. You can tell me all you want about Anfield’s ‘special atmosphere’, but nothing can replace Champions League football for a player who has never experienced it before. After winning the Premier League title, is Kante really ready to give that up for a club who have not even qualified for Europe?
ARSENAL MAKE CAVANI THEIR BACK-UP PLAN
‘Exclusive: Arsenal to offer Cavani £120k-a-week deal if Vardy transfer falls through,’ reads the headline in the Daily Express.
See, this is the problem. If you now go to Edinson Cavani’s agent and say you want to sign him, he’s going to turn straight back to you and point out that you see his client as a fall-back option behind Jamie Vardy. That isn’t a brilliant look for a 29-year-old international playing for Paris St Germain. Offering exactly the same money as you offered Vardy is hardly going to sweeten the deal.
This is all an exclusive from Neil Fissler, which isn’t a name we have heard before in relation to Arsenal rumours. That’s not necessarily a good thing.
GUARDIOLA WANTS ALL THE DEFENDERS
Manchester Evening News have reported that Pep Guardiola has planned a ‘drastic overhaul’ of his Manchester City back-line with the double signing of Athletic Bilbao’s Aymeric Laporte and Everton’s John Stones for a combined fee of £85m.
With Martin Demichelis recently released and captain Vincent Kompany’s ongoing injury problems, it leaves the Spaniard heading into the new season with Nicolas Otamendi, Jason Denayer and Eliaquim Mangala as his main centre-back options. The report also mentions that the latter could be sold to help fund moves for the two highly-rated defenders. Laporte was said to have been given a deadline to join Manchester City but with his release clause reportedly set at £39m, the Citizens are thought to be confident about landing one of their primary transfer targets.
Manchester City were supposedly given a boost in their pursuit of Stones after he recently rejected a move to join Guardiola’s former side Barcelona.
AND THE REST
Roy Hodgson has been urged to drop Harry Kane for Thursday’s Euro 2016 clash with Wales after senior members in the England squad reportedly expressed concern of the striker’s energy and form… Arsenal are weighing up a £15m swoop for Napoli right-back and Albania ace Elseid Hysaj… Liverpool have bid £9.5m for Piotr Zielinski, but face competition from Napoli for the Udinese midfielder… Southampton lead the race for Norwich star Nathan Redmond… Jurgen Klopp is considering Liverpool defensive reinforcements after an Argentina scouting mission involved watching River Plate defender Gabriel Mercado… Liverpool midfielder Joao Teixeira is on the verge of joining FC Porto.