ARSE OVER HEAD
To be described as ‘a potentially viable solution at this early stage of his development’ is hardly a ‘come-and-get-me plea’ from Kylian Mbappe to Arsenal, but the Gunners will take any transfer boost they can get right now. According to the Daily Telegraph, the most coveted player in world football is ‘open’ to a move.
Mbappe is being courted by Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and a number of Premier League clubs, all of whom can offer Champions League football. Arsenal will compete for Mbappe despite their drop into the Europa League, but the key could be Arsene Wenger. Mbappe is impressed by the manager’s ‘track-record for nurturing young players’.
The issue would come with the fee. Real have already have already had a €120m (£105m) bid rejected, so Arsenal would have to offer at least €140m (£122m) to even begin negotiations. ‘There is a serious doubt’ as to whether they will, considering it would mean almost tripling their current club-record fee.
Jeremy Wilson adds that Mbappe’s Monaco teammate Thomas Lemar and Lyon forward Alexandre Lacazette are ‘more likely targets’. Yup.
Jose Mourinho likes his transfer business how I like my sex life: Not drawn out, and including as many Swedes and Brazilians as possible. Victor Lindelof has already arrived at Old Trafford, and the next signing could soon follow.
Corriere dello Sport have the latest scoop, and they claim that United are ‘approaching’ Fabinho. In more direct terms, they are ‘getting closer’ to the Monaco midfielder.
The Italian website, reporting on an English club signing a Brazilian from a French club (that will never get old) even have news on the fee. He will cost £30.7m, with add-ons worth up to £4.3m. Jubbly lovely.
Let’s finish with Chelsea, shall we? There have been rumours of unrest from Antonio Conte with regards to transfer inaction at Stamford Bridge. That could all change soon.
The Guardian report that the manager has identified two top defensive targets for this summer. He wants Leonardo Bonucci or Virgil van Dijk.
Even Dominic Fifield admits that ‘securing the arrival of either player would be far from straightforward’. Juventus would want at least £50m for Bonucci, which would be a steep price to pay for an admittedly brilliant 30-year-old.
As for Van Dijk, that one is obvious. Liverpool’s fingers, hands and arms have already been burned by Southampton, who ‘are intent on resisting interest in Van Dijk’. A £50m offer, plus Nathan Ake potentially moving in the opposite direction, could appease Saints, but Chelsea are understandably doubtful.
AND THE REST
Paris St-Germain have offered Monaco a world record £119m for 18-year-old striker Kylian Mbappe…Manager Antonio Conte is prepared to sell midfielder Nemanja Matic, 28, to Manchester United in order to accelerate the £42m signing of 22-year-old Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko…Real Sociedad have agreed a £10m fee with Manchester United for 22-year-old Belgium winger Adnan Januzaj…Manchester United’s Italian full-back Matteo Darmian, 27, has phoned manager Jose Mourinho and asked him to push through his move to Juventus with a World Cup on the horizon…Stoke chairman Peter Coates insists the club have “no plans to sell” 25-year-old winger Xherdan Shaqiri this summer…But Stoke’s £12m bid for Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson is likely to be rejected as Boro demand upwards of £20m for the 25-year-old…Tottenham have contacted Fiorentina regarding a move for their 25-year-old midfielder Matias Vecino…Spurs are also ready to make a £17.5m move for Germany and Schalke under-21 winger Max Meyer.