MOURINHO TO UNITED. AGAIN.
Salt and pepper. Bread and butter. Neil Custis and Jose Mourinho exclusive. Some things just go together hand in hand. And if you own shares in news stories on Manchester United’s next manager, you are very lucky indeed.
Custis has kindly taken time away from his strict diet and fitness regime to provide more news of the managerial scene at Old Trafford. Unfortunately for him, every single possible angle of Mourinho’s imminent arrival in Manchester has already been covered.
That does not faze him. ‘Manchester United have told Jose Mourinho the Old Trafford job is his next season after advanced talks,’ reads the headline to his exclusive in The Sun. ‘Jose Mourinho has been assured in the last 48 hours that he will be Manchester United’s new boss,’ the story continues.
Custis adds that negotiations have been ‘in an advanced stage’ this past week (was that not the case back in December?), and that a contract offer of £60million over three years is on the table. Mourinho and his intermediaries had been ‘worried’ that Paris Saint-Germain boss Laurent Blanc had been approached by United, but this will settle his nerves.
Louis van Gaal will be sacked in the summer as ‘there are few signs of things improving under the Dutchman’, Custis adds. Aside from an FA Cup final and being five points behind the top four with a game in hand, no.
SANCHES TO UNITED. AGAIN.
Now for another story that has, quite frankly, been done to death. Renato Sanches’ move to Manchester United seems set in stone. It has been this way since the turn of the year, with a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ reached, fees decided and terms thrashed out months ago. The midfielder remains in Benfica, but a move to United is a ‘step closer,’ according to the Daily Mail.
Sami Mokbel and Jack Gaughan team up to tell us that ‘Manchester United are set to seal a £46million deal for Benfica’s teenage midfield sensation Renato Sanches’. The president of the Portuguese club, Luis Filipe Vieira, was in London this week in an attempt to finalise the deal.
Sanches has a release clause of £60million, but Benfica are willing to settle for £31m, with a potential extra £15m in clauses. United will not stop at signing the 18-year-old; they want Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Borussia Dortmund for £70m, too. Crikey.
THEO TO LAND ON HIS FEET
Let’s end with news of Theo Walcott, shall we? James Olley of the Evening Standard brings us the following exclusive.
‘Manchester City have added Arsenal forward Theo Walcott to their list of potential summer signings.’ According to Olley, incoming City manager Pep Guardiola ‘is a keen admirer’ of the 27-year-old Arsenal striker, with Walcott’s situation being ‘closely monitored’.
Olley reports that Walcott would find it difficult to leave Arsenal, but the forward is finding Arsene Wenger’s decision-making ‘increasingly baffling’ at the Emirates, and his future remains ‘uncertain’.
Walcott is homegrown and his wages would not be an issue at the Etihad. While teammate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also a potential Pep target, the Spaniard’s interest in Walcott emanates from much further back. Guardiola ‘has been a fan’ of Walcott’s ever since the striker’s appearance as a substitute for Arsenal against Barcelona in the Champions League in 2010. Arsenal were 2-0 down upon his introduction, but the England international scored then won a decisive penalty.
AND THE REST
Borussia Dortmund have confirmed captain Mats Hummels has asked to leave the club and re-join Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich this summer…Antoine Griezmann is open to leaving Atletico Madrid this summer and will consider any offers that arrive…Manchester United plan to check on N’Golo Kante’s availability when Leicester come to Old Trafford this weekend…Liverpool have made a £7.5m ‘formal offer’ to Barcelona for Thomas Vermaelen…Lazio have made Southampton striker Graziano Pelle their No 1 summer target…Juventus will move for Leicester City midfielder N’Golo Kante, 25, if they lose Paul Pogba, 23, this summer…Inter Milan midfielder Ivan Perisic, 27, a target for Liverpool and Chelsea, has hinted he will talk to any interested clubs…Leicester are facing a big fight to sign the boy dubbed the ‘new Jamie Vardy’, a 16-year-old striker from non-League Lewes called Charlie Copploa…Chelsea winger Willian is a £50m target for Chinese Super League club Guangzhou Evergrande…Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is interested in rising Atletico Madrid star Borja Baston, a 23-year-old striker currently on loan at Eibar…Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri is monitoring Southampton’s Victor Wanyama as a possible replacement for N’Golo Kante…Newcastle will make a summer move for Arsenal left-back Kieran Gibbs, 26.