Gossip: Man United battle Arsenal for £20m CB, Fekir update

Matt Stead

“What happened with Liverpool is straight out of my head, I turned the page,” said Nabil Fekir in September, and it seemed that the feeling was mutual. By November, the Liverpool Echo reported that the Reds’ interest in the Frenchman was ‘dead in the water’.

“My future? We have not discussed an extension yet, we will see what happens,” Fekir said three months ago, and those negotiations appear to be imminent. Le Progres bring us an update from that mad Lyon bastard, Jean-Michel Aulas.

They say that Aulas told those at a shareholders’ meeting that Fekir’s future would be sorted “before the holidays”. The player’s contract expires in 2020, which considerably decreases his value if Lyon look to sell him. As Le Progres say, they rarely let players ‘leave so close to the end of their contract’.

A meeting with Fekir will thereby he held shortly to discover what his intentions are. If he decides to stay, Lyon will be pleased to keep a world champion who they could sell for vast amounts in the future. If he decides to leave, Lyon have 18 months to try and get the best deal possible. Bayern Munich and Chelsea have been linked, and surely even Liverpool couldn’t resist the temptation of a player they sought so desperately in the summer?



Huge palindrome fan Ozan Kabak is not a name that has come up on our radar at any point. At the age of 18, stowed away in the shadows of Turkey, that is perhaps understandable. But clubs are starting to take notice.

The centre-half has played 13 games this season, having made his first-team debut towards the end of last campaign. But he has already earned admiring glances from Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan and Manchester City, according to Tuttosport.

Daniel Cutts, our very favourite boy from The Sun, throws Manchester United in the mix in an exclusive transfer story, of which he has many. He says Jose Mourinho is ‘keeping tabs’ on the Turkish youth international, who ‘has been watched by United scouts’.

Cutts also mentions interest from Arsenal, as well as a fee of ‘around £20m’. But he throws in a curveball too: ‘there are rumours of a £7m buyout clause for clubs outside Turkey’. Gosh.

After starting a central defensive trio of Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo against Arsenal, Mourinho is definitely in the market for a new centre-half. Although they fared alright on Wednesday.


With news of Danny Welbeck’s departure when his contract expires next summer, it seems Arsenal have changed their mind about replacing him. They are writing up a shortlist as we speak.

Atop it may be Wesley Moraes, who is doing goals in Belgium’s Jupiler League. The Sun say the Club Brugge forward could be available for £15m in January, and ‘has been in stunning form’ this season.

Fiorentina and Valencia also want the 22-year-old, who has scored twice against Thierry Henry’s Monaco in the Champions League.


Real Madrid have agreed personal terms with Chelsea and Belgium playmaker Eden Hazard, and hope to sign the 27-year-old in the summer… Paris St-Germain and Brazil forward Neymar, 26, has hinted he would like to play in the Premier League… Wolves are keen to sign Japan winger Shoya Nakajima from Portuguese side Portimonense in January, with Leicester and Southampton also interested in the 24-year-old… Aston Villa are favourites to sign Burnley and England goalkeeper Tom Heaton, who is third choice at Turf Moor… Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa has ruled out moves for Burnley’s Heaton, 32, and Newcastle’s Freddie Woodman, 21, as he searches for a new goalkeeper.

Cardiff are planning a move to re-sign English midfielder Jordon Mutch. The out-of-favour Crystal Palace player, 27, has spent the past nine months on loan at Major League Soccer side Vancouver Whitecaps… Chelsea are in talks with Napoli to sign Albania right back Elseid Hysaj, 24… Inter Milan could try to sign 29-year-old Manchester United and Italy full-back Matteo Darmian next year, after failing with a loan bid last summer… Fulham are also reportedly interested in Darmian but he would prefer a return to Italy.