MAN UNITED TO SIGN SECOND MOST EXPENSIVE EVER DEFENDER
Jose Mourinho might be getting increasingly frustrated with Manchester United’s lack of movement in the transfer market, but that doesn’t stop the rumours flowing. And this one is a belter.
The Mail on Sunday claim that Mourinho has instructed the club to make a £65m move for Harry Maguire. That would make Maguire the second most expensive defender in the history of the game, which isn’t a sentence you’d have expected to read 12 months ago.
The story says that Manchester United’s hierarchy will only make the move if Mourinho sells one of Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo or Eric Bailly, which is absolutely fair enough. We can’t quite believe that’s where £65m of United’s transfer budget is going, given the other gaps in the squad.
MARTIAL TO BE LOCKED INTO UNITED FUTURE
One player who reportedly won’t be sold by United is Anthony Martial. That’s despite the player making it very clear to the club that he wants out over the concern over a lack of first-team football.
The Sunday Telegraph and Guardian say that Manchester United will trigger the extension to Martial’s contract, meaning that the potential transfer fee goes so high that interested suitor will be put off.
The Sunday Times report that those interested suitors are Chelsea and Bayern Munich, but that an asking price of £90m is way too high for a serious offer to be made.
If Martial isn’t actually going to start matches, it seems an odd move from United to price a player out of a move who your manager has never been completely convinced by.
CHELSEA TO BID FOR PICKFORD
Chelsea’s goalkeeping situation could be one of the stories of the next three weeks. Thibaut Courtois clearly fancies a move to Real Madrid, and with his contract expiring next summer, Chelsea would be foolish to keep him against his will.
The question then turns to who Courtois’ replacement will be. This week brought rumours of interest in Leicester City’s Kasper Schmeichel and Arsenal’s Petr Cech, but Sunday brings a new name: Jordan Pickford.
The Sun on Sunday say that Pickford will be on Chelsea’s hitlist should they decide to cash in on Courtois, but you have to say that it would be a damn difficult deal to get over the line. Everton have all the money they need, have no wish to sell and have no obvious option to replace Pickford, so it would take an outrageous fee for them to agree to a sale.
They also spent £30m on him themselves a year ago. We’re talking more than Alisson here.