KOVACIC IS NOW CARRICK REPLACEMENT
Quite why Manchester United are so keen to replace a player who never actually plays is unclear. But having been told by the Manchester Evening News that Napoli midfielder Jorginho is Jose Mourinho’s choice to replace Michael Carrick, we now turn to French website Le 10 Sport for a claim that Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic has been identified as their new passing metronome.
On closer inspection we discover that the French website is actually quoting the Mirror from earlier in the week, but we are deep in this now and there is no turning back. The Croatian is very much midfield back-up at Real Madrid and at 23, would represent a long-term investment.
STURRIDGE ‘STALLING’ OVER INTER MOVE
For whatever reason, Daniel Sturridge is really not keen on moving to Inter Milan, but they are currently the only club to have met Liverpool’s loan criteria of a £2m-plus loan fee and a pledge to pay the strikers wages in full until the end of the season. Sturridge favours a move to Sevilla but the Spanish side are ‘yet to follow up their initial interest with a serious offer’.
Should Sturridge decide not to join Inter Milan, he will stay at Liverpool for the remainder of the season; the Liverpool Echo claim he is ‘desperate’ to face West Brom in the FA Cup this weekend as injury and illness have kept him on the sidelines since early December.
LAPORTE MOVE ON
‘Manchester City are expected to complete a £57 million deal for Aymeric Laporte before the close of the transfer window next week,’ says the Daily Telegraph, who claim that City have received indications from the French defender that he is ready for the move, 18 months after he backed out of a transfer that would have cost less than £40m.
The report claims that City eventually decided that £57m was a worthwhile investment in the 23-year-old as the 30-year-old Jonny Evans would have cost over £20m. It now looks likely that the Northern Irishman will join Arsenal.
AND THE REST
Manchester City could agree a deal with Atletico Madrid to swap Argentina striker Sergio Aguero for France forward Antoine Griezman (this is from Daniel Cutts in The Sun, so we have buried it down here)…West Ham are expected to pull off a coup by signing Portuguese international Joao Mario from Inter Milan…Locomotiv Moscow have approached Liverpool for 23-year-old Lazar Markovic…Chelsea have had a £44m bid, plus add-ons, accepted by Roma for their Bosnia striker Edin Dzeko, 31, and 23-year-old Brazilian full-back Emerson Palmieri…Brighton have made a £6m bid for Bristol City defender Aden Flint…Monaco have agreed to sell Argentine striker Guido Carrillo to Southampton for £19.2m…Sevilla have agreed a deal to sign Swansea City’s Spanish midfielder Roque Mesa on loan for the remainder of the season…
…Sunderland midfielder Jack Rodwel, is on trial at Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem…Aston Villa are closing in on the loan signing of Manchester United’s 20-year-old centre-back Axel Tuanzebe…Nicolai Jorgensen is believed to be keen on joining Newcastle United after the Magpies submitted a £14m bid for the Denmark striker…Getafe’s Spanish goalkeeper Vicente Guaita has passed a medical at Crystal Palace.