Gossip: Man United miss out to Barca and Real

Sarah Winterburn

Whether they’re actually ‘missing out’ or whether very good players lazily linked with Manchester United are simply joining better clubs is the question, but ‘missing out’ is the way that such stories are sold.

First up, the Daily Mirror tell us that ‘Borussia Dortmund star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has snubbed a summer move to Manchester United’ because he has his sights set on Real Madrid, a club in the Champions League semi-finals who will challenge for trophies again next season. Apparently, United’s £200,000 a week and a promise ‘to make him a global superstar’ has not swayed him from his ambition. The Mirror tell is that Romelu Lukaku is another option but the £65m man is also being targeted by Bayern Munich, Paris Saint Germain and possibly Chelsea. We love the ‘possibly’.

Secondly, The Sun say that United ‘are looking to £34million-rated Atletico Madrid Saul Niguez (sic)’ but they could ‘lose out to Barcelona’ because of a first refusal clause, according to Guillem Balague. ‘The Red Devils are believed to be preparing a £31m summer bid as they look to replace out-of-contract veteran Michael Carrick, but Balague believes that Barcelona are in pole position for Saul’s highly-coveted signature,’ it says here.

Is this why Louis van Gaal says it’s harder to buy players for United than Leicester City?


Jurgen Klopp may have inexplicably given Simon Mignolet a massive new contract but it seems that Cologne goalkeeper Timo Horn is the man that he wants. He is just 22 but has 140 games under his gloves for the Bundesliga side, which is remarkable for a goalkeeper. The Sun claim that Horn is available for just £7m and ‘has dropped hints that he will move in the summer’ despite recently signing a new long-term contract.

‘Klopp has is (sic) plotting a raid for the young German and sent chief scout Dave Fallows to make a final check on him last night,’ it says here. They would have been impressed; he kept a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw with Augsburg.


‘Antonio Conte has given Chelsea the green light to sell Thibaut Courtois,’ it says in the Daily Mirror, who claim that the Belgian is unhappy in London. He reportedly has a poor relationship with goalkeepers’ coach Christophe Lollichon and has made his feelings known at the club; he could be a target for Real Madrid (if David De Gea stays at Manchester United) or PSG. His replacement at Chelsea? Fraser Forster is one name mentioned, but they might be well advised to remember that they already have the excellent Asmir Begovic.


Italian giants Juventus have made a move for Leicester midfielder N’Golo Kante…Stoke are confident they can rebuff any attempt by Everton to lure Mark Hughes away from the Britannia…Roberto Martinez claims Everton can cope with losing in-demand star men Romelu Lukaku and John Stones…Guus Hiddink has told Chelsea not to sell Willian to China…West Ham and Inter Milan are planning to bid for Bournemouth’s Max Gradel this summer…Swansea City will move to re-sign Joe Allen from Liverpool this summer, setting up a potential reunion with Brendan Rodgers…Swansea are in talks with Roberto Di Matteo as they grow anxious waiting on Brendan Rodgers…

…Chelsea are ready to part ways with £24m to sign Ajax star Riechedly Bazoer this summer…Manchester United and Tottenham are hot on the trail of Real Madrid’s teenage striker Pedro Ruiz…Manchester United targets James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos could both leave Real Madrid this summer…Alexandre Pato’s parent club Corinthians expect Chelsea to take up their option to buy the 26-year-old Brazilian forward at the end of the season…Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci, 28, has denied speculation that new Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has lined him up as a replacement for John Terry…West Brom’s on-loan midfielder Sandro, 27, would welcome a permanent move from QPR to the Hawthorns this summer…Manchester City are lining up a summer move for highly rated West Ham defender Reece Oxford.