UNITED HAD LATE KOULIBALY BID REBUFFED
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was a busy boy last week. In addition to signing Harry Maguire, whispers suggest he also tried to sign Kalidou Koulibaly and Christian Eriksen.
Corriere dello Sport are claiming Manchester United made a bid of £82million for Koulibaly before the transfer window closed. Of course, the bid was rejected, but the timing is very vague. Was it before United signed Maguire, who they pursued all summer – and who turned down £278,000-a-week from Man City, according to the Daily Star – or in addition to the England defender? Or, as is more likely, is it all a load of b*llocks?
Eriksen was also heavily linked with United in the final days of the window and the Manchester Evening News reports that Solskjaer personally spoke to Eriksen to gauge his interest in moving to Old Trafford. In what we imagine might have been the most polite conversation in the history of football, Eriksen told the United boss ‘thanks, but no thanks’ while he holds out for am move to Spain.
Paul Pogba has spent the summer in the same boat as Eriksen and he too still remains ‘desperate’ to move to Real Madrid. That’s the word according to Marca, at least. But Pogba acknowledges that it would be a ‘miracle’ if he was being paraded around the Bernabeu before the deadline.
United are rather more keen to shift Alexis Sanchez out of the door and there are more conflicting reports over his intentions. The Times says he will push to leave United – they are hardly likely to push back – with Juventus, Napoli, AC Milan and Inter Milan all interested. But the Mirror reckons his wages remain a sticking point. Of course they are. If United want the Chilean flop out of the door, they are going to have to pay at least half of his salary to darken someone else’s doorstep.
LITTLE INTEREST IN DYBALA
‘What’s going on with Paulo Dybala?’, we hear you ask. Well, nothing.
Juventus are still working to sell the Argentina star but since the Premier League window closed, interest has been rather thin on the ground, says The Independent. We presumed that PSG would be in for the playmaker but it seems they are focusing on Philippe Coutinho.
Dybala may now be regretting pushing his luck with Manchester United and Tottenham last week. Or not. He might be quite content to sit it out at Juve but the club – and Maurizio Sarri – would certainly prefer to shift the 25-year-old before September 2.
AND THE REST
Stoke keeper Jack Butland will seek a move abroad to force his way into England manager Gareth Southgate’s plans for Euro 2020… Flamengo pulled out of a move for Mario Balotelli because the striker’s £4m contract demands… Napoli will sign Hirving Lozano from PSV Eindhoven… Napoli and Celtic want Jordon Ibe… Manuel Pellegrini wanted Liverpool keeper Adrian to stay at West Ham… Zinedine Zidane wants James Rodriguez to stay at Real Madrid.