Those thinking that Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s potentially career-ending injury will give Marcus Rashford a chance to lead the Manchester United line earlier than first planned could be sorely mistaken.
According to the Sunday People, United are ‘closing in on’ Torino striker Andrea Belotti. Steve Bates never actually discloses quite how United are ‘closing in on’ the Italian, but hey, that’s a minor point in a tasty Sunday transfer story.
Bates does tell us a potential transfer fee – but only because it’s Belotti’s release clause. It’ll take £84million to land a player who has ‘been on Jose Mourinho’s shortlist all season’.
The belief is that United want two forwards after Ibrahimovic’s injury, and that ‘muscular frontman’ Belotti will be one of them.
NATURAL BORN KYLIAN
Kylian Mbappe has been rumoured to be the other, but neighbours Manchester City have other ideas.
Neil Fissler of the Daily Express has a juicy exclusive, as he tends to on Sundays. We aren’t certain he works any other day of the work, or even that he exists, but there you go.
‘Kylian Mbappe EXCLUSIVE: Man City to break world record for Real Madrid target,’ reads the headline.
That is as certain as the story gets. It quickly moves from ‘Manchester City are ready’ to break the record, to ‘Guardiola knows that if he wants to sign the young French starlet, he must be prepared to pay more than the £89million splashed out on Paul Pogba last summer by Manchester United’. Those two are not necessarily the same thing, Neil.
Mbappe might join City this summer, but this exclusive is about as watertight as a paper bag.
Now to Tottenham, who are busy recovering from their FA Cup semi-final defeat to Chelsea on Saturday (from which you should read 16 Conclusions).
According to the Daily Mirror, things might be about to get even worse for Mauricio Pochettino and his side. Neil Moxley reports that Barcelona want Christian Eriksen.
Barca are on the hunt for ‘a playmaker capable of supplying’ their deadly strikers, and Wembley proved that few are better than Eriksen for that. Former Barcelona striker Michael Laudrup could be used to help the deal. Because he is Danish. And so is Eriksen. So yeah.
The news gets even worse, as the Daily Telegraph claim that Manchester United will not give up on their £40m pursuit of Eric Dier. Jose Mourinho has promised to use the 23-year-old as a midfielder, and Pochettino would even consider the deal if he can sign Michael Keane as a defensive replacement.
AND THE REST
Manchester City will give Pep Guardiola £250m to spend on new signings, with Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez, 28, Tottenham defender Kyle Walker, 26, and Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk, 25, his main targets…Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is considering a move for Paris St-Germain defender Marquinhos, 22…Manchester United and Barcelona are interested in 24-year-old PSG right-back Serge Aurier…Everton are set to offer Sunderland keeper Jordan Pickford £90,000-a-week in order to beat Arsenal and Manchester City to the 23-year-old’s signature.