The Sketti Gossip

Angel di Maria to Old Trafford is on, Agger is off to somewhere in North London (but no bids), Zaha to the Toon...

Last Updated: 11/08/14 at 09:17 Post Comment

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DI MARIA TO UNITED IS ON

He may not be the ideal answer to what Louis van Gaal and Manchester United need but, if the Arturo Vidal deal is nothing more than smoke, mirrors and bulls**t, the arrival of Angel di Maria at Old Trafford would surely be hugely welcomed by most?

The news that Paris St Germain have officially pulled out of the race to sign Di Maria should come as a shot in the arm for United's hopes of bringing the midfielder to England, with club president Nasser Al Khelaifi admitting that PSG "discussed Angel di Maria with Real Madrid, he was very expensive and we have stopped discussions". So there.

In fairness, this is probably a classic case of Daily Star deliberately jumping to inaccurate conclusions, but we personally wouldn't be that shocked if a move did come off.

Only yesterday, Van Gaal was quoted admitting his admiration for the Argentinean. "It is a strategy of Manchester United to do that. At this moment, we have five No.9s and four No.10s - and we don't have wingers to give us attacking width."

"Or, I should say, we don't have wingers of the highest level, like Ronaldo or Di Maria or somebody like that. So, I have to play in another way - and you have seen that already. I only buy when I think we need to buy - in the position that is necessary."

Another saga, ladies and gentlemen?


AGGER OFF TO NORTH LONDON

The papers have been filled with reports of Daniel Agger's tears for several days, but he may now be crying at missing out on a move to Barcelona after they instead plumped for Thomas Vermaelen.

With the defender still seemingly determined to leave Liverpool, thoughts in Monday's papers focus on the alternatives for Agger, with the Daily Express reporting that Arsene Wenger's desire to sign another central defender will lead to a move for the Dane. That all seems to make some sense.

Another interesting line is from a local paper (the Herts and Essex Observer), who go big and ballsy with the claim that Tottenham are eyeing up a 'swoop' for Agger. With Michael Dawson and Vlad Chiriches possibly leaving White Hart Lane, Agger to Spurs is another rumour that makes you frown for a second before thinking "Actually, that does work", rather like eating Christmas cake with cheese.

The final line on Agger comes from Brendan Rodgers in the Liverpool Echo, who reiterated that the club had not actually received a single offer for the defender as yet. Way to make him feel special.

"I saw some stories on Agger, but we haven't had any enquiries," Rodgers said. "Daniel is still getting some work done on his knee. He's been unfortunate since the tour of America, but we haven't had anything, no offers."


NEWCASTLE LEADING ZAHA RACE

With Wilfried Zaha not amongst Louis van Gaal's reported list of players that can leave Old Trafford, you may have thought that any transfer rumours over his future would have died down, but not a bit of it.

The Daily Mirror go pretty heavy on the claim that Newcastle are in pole position to sign Zaha for a fee of £7million, which United should surely take and thank Mike Ashley warmly for, given how underwhelming he has been in the last year.

The paper also report interest from Zaha's former club Crystal Palace, who would surely be pushing it to spend £7m on one player. Slightly alternatively, Nottingham Forest are also mentioned as a possible destination, with the Championship club after a loan deal. Zaha played under Stuart Pearce for England Under-21s.


AND THE REST

Arsenal could offload Lukas Podolski and Joel Campbell as they are both wanted by Galatasaray...West Brom want £5m for midfielder Claudio Yacob...Tottenham are on the verge of signing MLS star DeAndre Yedlin...Sunderland have revived their interest in Brighton's Will Buckley and are offering £2.5m for the winger...Swansea City have expressed an interest in Nice left-back Timothee Kolodziejczak and will try and wrap-up a £7m deal for Napoli defender Federico Fernandez in the next 48 hours...Cardiff are willing to double the wages of West Ham midfielder Ravel Morrison to bring him to south Wales...Southampton want to make Steaua Bucharest centre-back Florin Gardos their sixth summer signing and are also interested in Sporting Lisbon left-back Marcos Rojo...West Brom are interested in West ham winger Matt Jarvis...Leeds have rejected a £4.5m bid from Southampton for right-back Sam Byram.

Di Maria is not needed - central midfielders and central defenders please!!
- colinhunt

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