VAN GAAL STILL WANTS BALE
Oh good. After The Sun finally said that Manchester United were ready to give up their pursuit of Cristiano Ronaldo (thus assuming they were ever seriously pursuing him), the Sunday Express picks up the baton and continues to sprint off into the distance.
John Richardson has an ‘exclusive’ that Manchester United haven’t given up their pursuit of Gareth Bale, which is weird as normally the Daily Mirror, The Sun, the Guardian and the Daily Mail all have their own sources at United, and none of them have the story.
‘United are prepared to smash the Bale world record fee to snatch a player they feel could help them win the Premier League,’ writes Richardson. Is the ‘Bale world record fee’ different to the actual world record fee?
Let’s just say we’ll be very, very surprised.
CITY WANT BERAHINO
Here is a move that has come out of leftfield. It had been thought that Tottenham or Newcastle were the favourites to sign Saido Berahino from West Brom, but the Daily Mirror now claim that Manchester City are looking to muscle in on proceedings.
City certainly do need both a striker and another homegrown player, so Berahino does make a degree of sense. Whether he’s good enough to play every week for City is another question, but he will back himself to be No. 2 in the striker queue ahead of Wilfried Bony, thus getting Champions League experience.
Neil Moxley writes that ‘after the debacle in Stuttgart, the arrival of the West Brom striker cannot come soon enough.’
1) It was a pre-season friendly.
2) They scored twice and conceded four. Not sure buying a striker helps to solve the obvious problems on show.
CARRICK REJECTS PSG
Very interesting line from ESPN now, who claims that sources have told them that Michael Carrick rejected overtures from Paris St Germain this summer.
Laurent Blanc is apparently a huge admirer of Carrick, and was intent on bringing him to Paris, taking advantage of the arrivals of Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger.
However, Carrick clearly feels that he remains an important part of Louis van Gaal’s first-team plans, and his happy with his life in Manchester.
AND THE REST
West Ham will step up attempts to sign £15m-rated QPR striker Charlie Austin, 26, following an injury to Enner Valencia… Sunderland have been offered the chance to sign Brazil striker Alexandre Pato from AC Milan for £5million… Hull City boss Steve Bruce is waiting to see if Manchester United will allow defender Paddy McNair to join them on loan… Meanwhile, United are reportedly on the brink of finally clinching a deal for Benfica attacker Nicolas Gaitan… West Ham are set to up their offer for Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez having already had a £9m bid rejected… Crystal Palace and Stoke City have surprisingly entered the battle to sign reported Manchester United target Fernando Llorente, who has an £8.5million price tag… Spurs will step up their interest in Stuttgart wonderkid Timo Werner, 19, this week… Steve McClaren wants Fabricio Coloccini to remain at Newcastle amid interest from Crystal Palace… Sunderland are in talks over a deal to sign Rubin Kazan midfielder Yann M’Vila.
Middlesbrough are lining up an improved £14million bid for Blackburn striker Jordan Rhodes after already having had an offer of £12m rejected… Leicester City have completed a £5.6m deal to sign Caen’s 24-year-old midfielder N’Golo Kante on a four-year deal… Winger Ashley Young, 30, has been offered a new three-year contract by Manchester United – with the option of a further year… French side Lyon are close to signing United full-back Rafael, 25, for £7m… West Ham boss Slaven Bilic expects to wrap up deal for Barcelona youngster Alen Halilovic this week… QPR are making a £1.6million move for 22-year-old Southend United goalkeeper Daniel Bentley… Southampton have made an £8m bid for Celtic centre-back Virgil van Dijk… Sunderland are also closing in on a season-long loan deal for 25-year-old QPR midfielder Leroy Fer… Newcastle face stiff competition from Everton to sign QPR striker Charlie Austin, although the Magpies remain in pole position to seal a £15m deal.