MAGUIRE TO MAN UTD ‘SHORTLY’
We bring you more contradictory whispers around Harry Maguire. It was reported over the weekend that United would walk away from negotiations if their latest offer – supposedly £74million so the England centre-back does not become the world’s most expensive defender – was rejected. Now we are being told that a deal to break Virgil van Dijk’s record is ‘imminent’.
That is the good word according to The Independent. Apparently, United have compromised over Leicester’s £80million valuation by making £10million conditional on performance-related add-ons.
An announcement is set to be made ‘shortly’, probably once United have come up with a suitably tacky way of rinsing their social media followers for likes and shares.
City remain interested in Maguire but The Mirror reckon Pep Guardiola would have to shift Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala first before they could counter any United offer.
CSL SIDE TO PUT UP BALE MONEY
Unless there’s something we don’t know about, like perhaps Gareth Bale has run over Zinedine Zidane’s dog, then the Real Madrid manager’s increasingly-hard line around the Welshman continues to seem rather odd. Zidane wants Bale gone and he was entirely willing to spell that out over the weekend.
Still, Bale seems determined to make the best of it. Initially, the winger was prepared to sit it out and play golf so long as Real continued to deposit around £600,000 a week into his bank account each week. But it seems an opportunity has presented itself to make Bale even more money, arguably for not much more work.
According to The Telegraph among others, Beijing Guoan want to make the 30-year-old the highest-paid player in China on a deal worth around £1million PER WEEK. There are other clubs interested in Bale, like Spurs, but none that can match his current terms, let alone significantly improve them.
At this point, it goes without saying that Guoan have a few quid behind them. They have previously paid Villarreal £35million for Cedric Bakambu while giving the striker around £300,000 a week. Bale’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, has ties to that deal. The window in China closes in 10 days so there’s little time to waste.
NEYMAR HOPING FOR REAL SWAP
Neymar might be watching Bale’s situation very closely. The Brazil star is desperate to quit PSG and Bale might just be able to help facilitate that.
The Independent are reporting that Neymar’s crew are pushing hard for a part-exchange deal involving the Real outcast and cash – loads of it, presumably. PSG are coming around to the idea of getting rid and having been blown out by Man Utd over a possible exchange with Paul Pogba, the Ligue 1 side feel there is more likelihood of Bale and Real offering a solution.
One source is quoted by The Independent as saying: “It’s hard to see who would say no.” Zidane for one, since he doesn’t much fancy Neymar’s bullsh*t, but the Real manager’s opinion is likely to count for little in the face of Florentino Perez’s ego.
AND THE REST
Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny has agreed to join Rennes… The Gunners will beat Tottenham to Dani Ceballos by signing the Real Madrid midfielder on a loan deal… Napoli are continuing their pursuit of James Rodriguez who is also wanted by Atletico… Liverpool are again being linked with Augsburg left-back Philipp Max… Bayern Munich could make an offer for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha after failing to sign Leroy Sane or Callum Hudson-Odoi… Bayern had offered David Alaba to City in part-exchange for Sane… Ademola Lookman is due to undergo a medical with RB Leipzig ahead of a £22.5m move from Everton… Chelsea have rejected a loan offer from Crystal Palace for Reece James… Real Madrid have snubbed six offers for Marco Asensio… Burnley had an £11m bid rejected by Barcelona for winger Marc Cucurella before he joined Getafe on loan… Sheffield United are exploring other goalkeeping options besides re-signing Dean Henderson on loan from Man Utd.