Gossip: Funes Mori to Man United; Benteke, Vardy

Matt Stead

Manchester United’s current defence is a bit of a mess. Their right-back options include an actual right-back, a winger who has played as a striker, another winger, and a number of youngsters.

Their options at left-back include an injured left-back, a dodgy bloke who claims to be able to play at both left-back and centre-half, a right back, a central midfielder acting as a centre-half and a number of youngsters.

Their options at centre-half include a centre-half, a central midfielder who can play at left-back, a dodgy bloke who claims to be able to play at both left-back and centre-half, a central midfielder, a walking injury and a number of youngsters.

It is not pretty. The Daily Express bring us news of a defender that United will target this summer. It is not Aymeric Laporte, nor is it Raphael Varane. It is, of course, Ramiro Funes Mori.

This bolt from the blue comes from James Gray, who informs us that while Everton defender Funes Mori is wanted by Lazio, United are also interested. The Argentinean would be available for ‘as little as £11.5m’, it is reported. It seems very weird.


Sticking with the Daily Express, as the following headline certainly piqued interest: ‘Christian Benteke: I’m not the only Liverpool player seeking talks with Jurgen Klopp.’ Is the Belgian dishing the dirt on his teammates?

Nope. Instead, he plays the straightest of bats to a question over his future. The striker has been linked with West Ham after a difficult debut campaign at Liverpool, but he seems keen to stay and fight for his future under Klopp.

“I want to see the manager’s plan for next season. I am not the only one who is going to do that,” Benteke said. “I think a lot of players want to know what is going to happen. I signed for five years, I didn’t sign for one year. But now I have to speak with the manager and see his plan.

“I think it wasn’t my best season, but when I had my chance I scored important goals, I didn’t score goals in, like, 4-0s and 5-0s. It’s not that I am happy with that. I knew I could give more for the team but now the season is over I have to look forward and see what’s going to happen next season.”



We finish with Jamie Vardy, whose party could be relocated this summer, according to the Daily Mirror.

In truth, Vardy is lost among a list of strikers John Cross links with West Ham. Liverpool forward Benteke is linked with the Hammers, as well as Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette, Marseille’s Michy Batshuayi and Manchester City’s Wilfried Bony. The only one even vaguely similar to Vardy is Lacazette, and each are at least two years younger than him.

Plus, why would Vardy leave Premier League champions and Champions League-bound Leicester for West Ham, who could offer Europa League at best next season? Well, according to Cross: ‘Vardy’s age and getting into top-level football late means that clubs may feel they might be able to tempt him with an even bigger deal.’

He ain’t leaving.


Juventus are ‘open to the sale of Paul Pogba’ this summer, according to reports…Tottenham are interested in signing Franco Vazquez from Palermo as they look to strengthen their squad ahead of a Champions League return…Arsene Wenger is preparing to go British this summer with a string of squad reinforcements. He is eyeing Celtic’s teenage left-back Kieran Tierney and has already made a £3m offer for Bolton’s England U21 international defender Rob Holding…Paris Saint-Germain are the latest team to join the race for Santos ace Gabriel ‘Gabigol’ Barbosa…Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka is heading to London in order to finalise his Arsenal move, according to close friend and journalist Artan Muhaxhiri…Chelsea’s Tomas Kalas looks set to return to Middlesbrough on a permanent deal…Southampton have stepped up their attempt to land Anderlecht midfielder Dennis Praet, but face stiff competition from Leicester…Frank de Boer claims he has yet to decide his future, despite being linked with Everton…Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has reportedly requested an ambitious swap deal with Fiorentina for Josip Ilicic…Arsenal target Henrikh Mkhitaryan has reportedly rejected the chance to extend his contract with Borussia Dortmund…Southampton expect Victor Wanyama to leave the club this summer, according to reports.

Jurgen Klopp wants to sign six players in a £50m transfer spree following Liverpool’s Europa League heartbreak…Chelsea will battle Premier League rivals Arsenal and both Manchester clubs for Juventus striker Alvaro Morata this summer…Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew will sign a new four-year contract before the FA Cup final…West Brom boss Tony Pulis is considering an ambitious move for West Ham striker Enner Valencia…Jurgen Klopp will start rebuilding his Liverpool squad by signing Leicester’s teenage left-back Ben Chilwell, 19…The Liverpool boss is also close to completing the signing of £4.7m goalkeeper Loris Karius, 22, from former club Mainz…Arsenal are ready to give a contract extension to 24-year-old England midfielder Jack Wilshere, who has just returned from a 10-month injury lay-off…Liverpool defender Kolo Toure, 35, does not know whether he will be offered a new deal when his contract expires next month…Everton are considering signing 21-year-old Bologna goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini, who spent part of his teenage years at Manchester United, as a replacement for the departing Tim Howard…The Toffees, without a manager since Roberto Martinez was sacked, are also scouting 21-year-old Club Brugge defender Bjorn Engels…Retiring Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta, 34, is set to be offered a coaching role at Manchester City by incoming manager Pep Guardiola.