Gossip: Van Dijk, Keita, Verratti, Lemar, Sancho

Date published: Tuesday 25th July 2017 7:50

LIVERPOOL WILL WAIT ON SOUTHAMPTON FOR VAN DIJK…
Having been forced to retreat from St Mary’s with their tails between their legs, Liverpool know that they must be very careful in their continued pursuit of Virgil van Dijk. The Dutchman is training alone at Southampton, with Mauricio Pellegrino saying that his head isn’t right, but Liverpool cannot afford to go stomping around again.

According to the Daily Mail, Liverpool will not launch a bid for Van Dijk unless they get the green light from Liverpool, instead playing all nicey nicey in a bid to be best mates with Southampton again.

It all sounds a bit childish, really. Having cocked up, Liverpool really do risk missing out on Van Dijk. Silly boys.

 

…AND PREPARING FINAL KEITA OFFER. OR NOT.
The other Liverpool transfer target is Naby Keita, and there are conflicting reports here. In the Independent, chief football writer Miguel Delaney writes that ‘Liverpool are planning a third bid of £75m, with £40m to be paid up front, for RB Leipzig’s Naby Keita, in what is likely to be a final offer.’

However, the Daily Telegraph’s Merseyside man Chris Bascombe writes that Liverpool are ready to shelve their interest in Keita, and will instead go back next summer and pay his exit clause of £48m. ‘Liverpool do not intend to increase their last offer of £66 million,’ Bascombe writes.

So that’s clear, then.

 

MAN UNITED TO OFFER £70M FOR VERRATTI
A dose of Italian guff now, courtesy of the Daily Express. They relay reports from Calciomercato that Manchester United are ready to offer £70m for Marco Verratti, thus avoiding Anthony Martial being added to the deal.

Verratti has been linked with a move away from Paris all summer, but most reports say that he would prefer a move to Barcelona. Instead, United believe Verratti would be the ideal midfielder to allow Paul Pogba to roam in midfield.

One thing on United’s side: Verratti has signed up with Mino Raiola, who has his fingers in most Manchester United pies.

 

ARSENAL HAVE TO PAY £55M FOR LEMAR
Another Ligue Un midfielder looking for a move is Thomas Lemar, and Arsenal believe he would be the perfect right winger to complete their attack. Sorry, Theo Walcott.

The Daily Star reckon that Monaco are prepared to sell Lemar to Arsenal, but only if they come up with £55m in cold, hard cash. I’d take it to them in 2p coins just to spite them, but then I’m a bitter, twisted gossiper.

The Star say that Arsene Wenger initially thought he could get Lemar for £25m, which is pretty funny. We’re mostly stood pointing at Michael Keane and raising our eyebrows in Wenger’s direction.

 

AND THE REST
Tottenham are close to signing Germany U21 star Jeremy Toljan from Bundesliga side Hoffenheim… Middlesbrough have been told to make an improved bid for Ryan Shotton… Swansea have made a £3m bid for Barnsley’s Andy Yiadom… Borussia Dortmund have joined Arsenal and Tottenham in the hunt for Manchester City starlet Jadon Sancho… West Brom are set to bid £10m for Manchester United defender Chris Smalling… Real Madrid have dropped their pursuit of David de Gea… Leicester are closing in on Coventry City starlet George Thomas… Rangers will make a final bid of £600,000 for Hearts winger Jamie Walker.

 

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