UNITED TO TALK BALE AND DE GEA
Ah, yet another ‘Real don’t to sell Gareth Bale but Man United still want him’ stories that pop up every three or four hours as we approach the final days of the transfer window.
This time it’s ESPN claiming that ‘Manchester United will make a last big attempt to sign Gareth Bale from Real Madrid in the final week of the transfer window and hope to resolve the David De Gea situation at the same time’.
Apparently United ‘remain determined’ to bring in a marquee signing, though they may have to wait until next summer if they want Thomas Muller.
Hidden at the bottom of Miguel Delaney’s piece is talk of ongoing interest in John Stones, with the suggestion that United could offer Phil Jones in part-exchange. Apparently the idea of Jonny Evans is doing nothing for Roberto Martinez.
PALACE UNDER PRESSURE TO SELL
Crystal Palace have a massive squad – with Brede Hangeland, Paddy McCarthy, Zeki Fryers, Martin Kelly, Adrian Mariappa, Joe Ledley, Barry Bannan, Adlene Guedioura, Fraizer Campbell and Marouane Chamakh all yet to feature this season.
Tottenham have apparently backed off from their interest in Yannick Bolasie (see below for their new target) so they are really, really hoping that Norwich are prepared to pay £10m for Dwight Gayle as they attempt to balance the books.
SOUTH KOREAN SON FOR SPURS
Hallelujah for this is genuinely new gossip from Germany, with reports suggesting that Heung-Min Son is only a medical away from completing a £22m move from Bayer Leverkusen to Tottenham.
The South Korean 23-year-old can play on either flank as well as behind a striker and has reached double figures for Bundesliga goals in his last three seasons.
KDB FOR PSG?
We are calling ‘unsinn’ on reports in Bild that Paris Saint-Germain would pay a tidy £59m for Kevin de Bruyne and then loan him back to Wolfsburg for this season. It literally makes no sense. Especially when Sport Bild say Bayern Munich have offered £37m for the Belgian.
His agent Patrick De Koster has told Sky in Germany: “There is nothing new to report. We’ll see in the next couple of days. It’s also difficult for the players.”
CHELSEA SURE ON POGBA AND STONES
Well, well. Sam Wallace of The Independent claims that Chelsea are ‘now convinced that there is a willingness on the part of Juventus and Everton to sell as long as the transfer fee is right’.
He claims that Roman Abramovich has sanctioned a £100m spending spree in the final week of the transfer window, with £70m earmarked for Paul Pogba. Chelsea have been given ‘sufficient encouragement…that they will pursue the deal this week’.
Whether Pogba himself would fancy the switch when he could probably join Barcelona next year is another matter entirely.
The John Stones deal will be easier to complete, with a fourth bid of £34-35m likely to be enough to persuade Everton to sell the England centre-half.
ILLARRAMENDI BACK TO SOCIEDAD…
In the end, it didn’t matter whether Southampton or Tottenham were interested because Real Madrid midfielder Asier Illarramendi arrived in San Sebastián early on Wednesday morning to complete a move back to his former club.
Right. Fine. Let’s move on…
LAMELA HEADING TO INTER…
“We’re talking with Inter, their interest is real,” father and agent Jose Lamela has told Gazzetta dello Sport. “We’re waiting for some news, we are willing to start a negotiation. We would come back in Serie A and we like Inter option.”
We bet they bloody do.
Lamela cost Tottenham an initial £26m two years ago and it looks very much like he will be leaving for an initial £4m with £10m to follow at the end of the season. Ouch.
SAINTS IN FOR ILLARRAMENDI
‘Southampton could make a late bid to enter the race to sign Real Madrid midfielder Asier Illarramendi,’ writes Spanish expert Pete Jenson on MailOnline. He acknowledges that Real Sociedad are the favourites to sign the defensive midfielder but they could struggle to raise the £11m asking price.
Southampton lost Morgan Schneiderlin to Manchester United this summer and replacement Jordy Clasie is suffering from an ankle injury.
As seen below, Tottenham have also been strongly linked with Illarramendi after starting the season with centre-half Eric Dier in central midfield.
UNITED IN FOR BERAHINO
West Brom on Monday announced they had rejected a written transfer request from Berahino before releasing another statement 24 hours later to reveal they had also turned down an improved offer from Tottenham for the striker.
“Our position remains unchanged,” Albion chairman Jeremy Peace said. “The sale of this player is not on our agenda.”
Spurs are expected to make a third bid this week but, with West Brom said to be holding out for £25million, The Times claims Manchester United are ‘monitoring developments’ in case Louis van Gaal goes back on his public insistence that he does not need a new striker.
Aim for Neymar, get Berahino. Woodward that.
ARSENAL CLOSE TO KOKORIN
Last week we were told that Manchester United wanted Aleksandr Kokorin, but now it’s Arsenal who are being linked to the Dynamo Moscow forward.
The 24-year-old has actually been touted to a number of clubs this summer, including Paris St Germain, Tottenham and Zenit. His agent is trying his best, but hasn’t earned his cut successfully yet.
The Daily Telegraph claim that Arsenal are closing in on a move for Kokorin, but their story does use the chilling words ‘according to the Metro’. That’s enough for us to assume that he won’t be arriving at the Emirates any time soon.
SPURS MAKE ILLARRAMENDI MOVE
That’s the claim from Dave Hytner in the Guardian, who very much knows his onions on all things Tottenham.
Hytner writes that Real Madrid midfielder Asier Illarramendi is seen as the perfect option in defensive midfield by Mauricio Pochettino, whilst the club also retain an interest in Victor Wanyama.
Illarramendi is surplus to requirements at the Bernabeu, but the spanner in the works is that Real Sociedad (and David Moyes) want him back. Madrid signed him from Sociedad in 2013 for £23m.
Illarramendi is valued at £15m. His weekly wage is £50,000.
CHELSEA TO GO TO £40M FOR STONES
Sticking with the Guardian now, because it really is nice not to have to touch on the Daily Star every once in a while.
Dominic Fifield writes that Chelsea will return to Everton with a final offer of £40m for John Stones. That seems high to us after their last offer was only for £30m. Now the player has made it clear he wishes to leave, surely a bid of £34m-£36m might tempt them to sell?
Stones is thought to have privately told Roberto Martinez that he wishes to leave the club, but then become disillusioned with his manager’s public refusal to budge from his position that the defender is not for sale. That has now led to the official transfer request.
AND THE REST
Nicolas Gaitan (yawn) has rejected a move to Al-Ahli in favour of a transfer to Manchester United. The Argentinian winger has been tipped to be the man to replace Angel Di Maria at Old Trafford…Arsenal and Liverpool are ready to pounce on a deal for Jakub Blaszczykowski after reports claimed he is ready to quit Borussia Dortmund…Besiktas are close to confirming a deal for Manchester United flop Victor Valdes…Everton have set their sights on Tottenham defender Federico Fazio, tabling a £5m bid for the Spurs centre-half…Lewis Grabban, a reported target for Bournemouth, went AWOL from Norwich’s team hotel after Canaries manager Alex Neil told him he was a substitute for their Capital One Cup tie with Rotherham.
Watford have opened talks with Rennes over a possible £8m move for Abdoulaye Doucoure…Enner Valencia has blasted West Ham, claiming they have forgotten he is injured…Tottenham are ready to loan out forgotten defender DeAndre Yedin…Aston Villa are set to swoop for Wolves centre-back Kortney Hause…Charlton could move for former Liverpool and Stoke winger Jermaine Pennant…West Brom are lining up QPR striker Charlie Austin to replace Saido Berahino…West Ham believe they can get a deal for Juventus’ Italy international Simone Zaza done before the weekend. Slaven Bilic wants Zaza, 24, on a season loan with a view to an £11.5m transfer…Aston Villa are in talks to sign Roma’s attacking midfielder Adem Ljajic.