We won’t pretend to be overly familiar with the work of Marc Mayo, apparent Reading fan and The Sun’s latest go-getter. The boy might only have 578 Twitter followers, but they all clearly work in high places at Manchester United.
That is the only explanation for his exclusive on the club wanting Jadon Sancho. That in itself is no big scoop – their summer interest was known – but Mayo can bottle this up no more. United have made the winger their ‘top transfer target’ for January.
The claim is that United have a ‘£100m war chest’ to spend in the winter to aid their Champions League push, all of which will seemingly be spent on persuading Dortmund to part with the England international. He is Ole Gunner Solskjaer’s ‘top priority’, after all.
It does explain where the Romelu Lukaku money went: Mayo says Solskjaer ‘is to get all the cash’ from that deal and the potential departure of Alexis Sanchez, even if the Chilean only leaves on loan.
And ‘there is only one place’ the manager ‘will look’. With United ‘desperate’ to avoid ‘the massive revenue plunge’ that comes with another season away from Europe’s top table, Sancho will be targeted.
So too will Kai Havertz. German outlet Sport1 claim that ‘the biggest Leverkusen gem of all time’ – no small praise, considering Michael Ballack, Dimitar Berbatov and Toni Kroos all passed through the club – will leave ‘for a record sum’ this summer.
Havertz is contracted to the Bundesliga side until 2022, but has made no secret of wanting to make ‘his next career step’. That means he will remain for ‘probably only this season’ before moving on, having failed to secure a transfer this window.
He will not come cheap. The money involved in deals for Joao Felix and Frenkie de Jong is referred to as ‘indicative’, with Leverkusen likely to ask for 100million euros (£91.4m).
Where is he off? United, for one. But Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal are all also named. Poor Tottenham.
Is this basically a fluff piece that reads like it was written by an agent? Just a tad. But hey, Juventus and PSG are both ruled out, and it is stated that the 20-year-old is a boyhood Barcelona fan. Still, offer him the most money and he’ll probably join.
What will Leverkusen do with such a windfall? It would be by far their biggest sale, and they might get so carried away as to spend some of it this summer.
Bild say Dejan Lovren ‘is a candidate’ to join Peter Bosz’s side. They want ‘a seasoned centre-half’ and could part with a 3m euro fee to get him in on loan.
Leverkusen only currently have three first-team central defenders at their disposal. Lovren is unlikely to swap being fourth-choice at the European champions for a similar status anywhere else, so he’ll want a few assurances first.
AND THE REST
Barcelona have had their first offer of a loan with a 150m euros (£137m) option to buy for Brazil forward Neymar, 27, rejected by Paris St-Germain,as the Ligue 1 champions want €250m (£229m)… Tottenham are in talks to sell Kenyan midfielder Victor Wanyama, 28, to Club Bruges for £11m… Belgium striker Michy Batshuayi, 25, wants to stay and fight for his place at Chelsea but will reassess the situation in January… Manchester City are monitoring the situation of Velez Sarsfield Argentine midfielder Thiago Almada, 18, who has yet to renew his contract with the club… Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp wants English midfielder Herbie Kane, 20, to feature in their Carabao Cup campaign, ending the hopes of Portsmouth, Sunderland and Coventry of signing the player on loan… Bayern Munich are open to selling former Germany defender Jerome Boateng, 30, for £22m.