BYE BYE MARTIAL
Bad news, Manchester United fans: Anthony Martial is off.
That’s (not quite) the word emanating from French outlet Le 10 Sport, who form the unholiest of alliances with the Daily Star to inform us that the 20-year-old striker is a wanted commodity on the continent. To be honest, it’d be a bit weird if other clubs weren’t interested.
The sides in question are Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus. Both are attributed with an interest in Martial, who has scored 12 goals this season and is a bit good. The perennial Ligue Un champions see him as a replacement for Edinson Cavani apparently. A striker playing predominantly on the wing to accommodate a less adaptable forward? Would Martial ever be able to adjust to such a role?
Juventus are mentioned in passing, but it’s all a load of nope anyway. United signed Martial for an initial £36.7million when he was 19. The fee could rise to £56.7million in add-ons. The striker was quite obviously a signing made with the future in mind, and so they simply won’t sell him after one year at the club.
UNITED WANT ALL THE MIDFIELDERS
Bernardo Silva, Andre Gomes and Renato Sanches. The three names the Daily Mirror link with Manchester United on Monday morning. The three players who will be in action for Portugal against Belgium on Tuesday. The three players who will reportedly be scouted during the international friendly.
Benfica midfielder Sanches will likely be the most recognisable name among the trio for the Old Trafford faithful. The 18-year-old is enjoying a stellar breakthrough season in Portugal, and United have already signed him about five times for fees breaching the £40million mark.
As for the other two, Silva has been linked with the Premier League before. The 21-year-old is an attacking midfielder for Monaco. Gomes completes the set of midfielders, and the 22-year-old plays for Gary Neville FC.
The three are young, promising players. It would be a surprise if United weren’t scouting them, and it will be a surprise if even more clubs are not keeping an eye on their progress.
£79m FOR COURTOIS?
Poor Keylor Navas. The Costa Rican played second fiddle to Iker Casillas in his first season at Real Madrid. The 29-year-old then became first choice upon Casillas’ departure, but the Spanish club rather openly courted Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea. Such a move broke down for fax (machine’s) sake, and so Navas continued in his role of unwanted and unsexy name as the starting keeper at the Bernabeu.
But Real being Real, they need a Galactico; a recognisable name with top class pedigree. Only three keepers have kept more clean sheets than Navas in La Liga this season, and while the 29-year-old has become a fan favourite in Spain, he is not who the hierarchy want. Thiabut Courtois might be, however.
According to The Sun, Real are willing to give up their chase of De Gea in order to make a ‘world-record bid’ for Chelsea keeper Courtois. The Belgian keeper has spoken with no assurance over his future at Stamford Bridge recently, and Real are looking to capitalise and bring him back to Madrid, where he starred for three excellent and successful years at Atletico.
Chelsea’s form, Courtois’ preference for Madrid over London and the Spaniardness of the 23-year-old’s girlfriend are all given as reasons for his possible departure. Real are considering a £79million bid. Crazy money.
AND THE REST
Liverpool are among a host of European clubs keen to sign Fulham forward Moussa Dembele…Arsenal hope to beat Manchester United and Tottenham to the signing of Portuguese midfielder Domingos Quina in the next 48 hours after the 16-year-old left Chelsea…Arsenal, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are tracking Partizan Belgrade striker Dusan Vlahovic, 16…Manchester United and Manchester City are among the clubs interested in 17-year-old AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma…Tottenham and West Ham are vying to sign AFC Wimbledon starlet Ryan Sweeney…Aston Villa have placed Sean Dyche alongside Nigel Pearson at the top of their list of candidates to replace Remi Garde.