UNITED TO TARGET KARIM BENZEMA
The Independent claims Mourinho has identified Karim Benzema as a priority target for Manchester United – and plans to play him up top alongside either Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Marcus Rashford in a two-man attack.
And with Mourinho believing that United need to recruit two forwards to bolster his attacking options with captain Wayne Rooney now favouring a move into midfield, Real Madrid striker Benzema has emerged as his top target, ahead of Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Although the 28-year-old has previously accused Mourinho of being critical of his performances during their three years together at Real, Benzema has since admitted that Mourinho’s treatment made him a better player.
“Mourinho criticised me,” Benzema said. “But it was his way of making me react. At the start, it hurt me, but I am used to it now.”
Benzema, who rejected a move to United in the summer of 2009 in order to sign for Real, scored 79 goals in 150 appearances under Mourinho and was regarded as a key figure by the manager during his spell at the Bernabeu.
LIVERPOOL TO BID FOR CROATIAN STARLET
It’s time to head off to Croatia, so let’s Split.
Sportske Novosti claim that Liverpool are interested in the signing of Dinamo Zagreb midfielder Ante Coric for £11.5million. He’s supposed to be the bee’s knees.
The outlet claim that Coric is at the top of Liverpool’s wishlist, although at just 19 would obviously be one for the future. He is predominantly a No. 10 but capable of playing out wide if needs be. Philippe Coutinho, basically.
ARSENAL WANT SLIMANI, CLOSER TO KANTE
The name of Islam Slimani is on the lips of many a gossip merchant, and that’s mostly because he’s really bloody good.
Liverpool, Tottenham and Leicester have both been mentioned in the last couple of weeks, and now Arsenal have been added to the mix. The Daily Mirror use stories in Portuguese outlet SIC Noticias to bring us the information.
Our Portuguese friends say that any club who wants Slimani will have to pay €30million for his services. That’s his release fee, you see.
Meanwhile, Le Parisien report that Leicester midfielder N’Golo Kante has rejected an offer of a new deal at the club, in favour of a move to Arsenal. This one looks like it’s happening.
AND THE REST
Manchester United face a battle to sign Everton defender John Stones, with Manchester City and Barcelona the favourites to sign the 21-year-old England international…Liverpool midfielder Sergi Canos, 19, could leave the club for £4m after reaching a stalemate over a new contract…Ronald Koeman will confirm his Southampton future by signing a new contract – after changing agents…Newly promoted Middlesbrough are closing in on £3.8m transfer for 21-year-old Ajax winger Viktor Fischer…Relegated Newcastle have offered defender Kevin Mbabu, 21, a new two-year contract after impressive performances in the first team…Swansea manager Francesco Guidolin hopes striker Andre Ayew, 26, will stay at the club despite continued talk of a summer move away… Manchester United and Chelsea target Edinson Cavani is going to stay at Paris Saint-Germain, according to his agent…Crystal Palace have been linked with moves for defender Davide Santon, 25, midfielder Cheick Tiote, 29 and striker Demba Ba, 31, who all played under manager Alan Pardew at Newcastle…
Sunderland are weighing up a move for Lyon winger Rachid Ghezzal, 24, who has one year remaining on his contract with the French side… Goalkeepers Adam Bogdan (in a permanent deal) and Danny Ward (on loan) are expected to leave Liverpool this summer in the wake of Loris Karius’ arrival from Mainz for a fee of £4.7m…Sunderland have entered the race for Scotland midfielder James Morrison, who is out of contract at West Brom…Juan Mata is keen to resolve his differences with Jose Mourinho should the Portuguese take over as Manchester United manager, but David de Gea could still leave the club this summer…Michael Carrick is set to stay at Manchester United for another year, with a new deal matching his current £80,000 weekly wage…Crystal Palace are considering a £7m swoop for West Brom striker Saido Berahino… Chelsea are planning a summer swoop for Fenerbahce defender Simon Kjaer, a regular in Denmark’s international side… Roma could hijack Arsenal’s move for Dinamo Zagreb midfielder Marcelo Brozovic, who spent last season on loan in Italy with Inter Milan.