McGINN NOT FOR SALE
Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn has long been linked with Manchester United, and now the Birmingham Mail has spelled out the stance of Aston Villa on selling the Scot. No price is mentioned, though some basic maths on their suggestion that he would be worth 20 times his price on joining the club would take you to £55m. But here’s the line that tells you everything you need to know:
‘If United come knocking in January they will be turned away and that is probably the case for next summer too unless an offer of epic proportion is put on the table.’
McGinn is one of eight names mentioned by ESPN as United targets along with Red Bull Salzburg striker Erling Haaland, Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho, Leicester midfielder James Maddison, Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson, West Ham’s Declan Rice, Aston Villa teammate Jack Grealish and Lyon forward Moussa Dembele.
ARSENAL LINKED WITH TORRES
And that is Pau Torres, a 22-year-old centre-half who plays for Villarreal and earned his first cap (and scored his first goal) for Spain against Malta last week. He had a breakthrough season on loan at Malaga last season and has returned to Villarreal and claimed a starting place in their first team. His performances are also said to have alerted Manchester City.
According to The Sun online: ‘But getting the 22-year-old out of LaLiga will not be easy as Torres has a £43million release clause in his new contract. That has not put off Arsenal, who are exploring a deal similar to the one that brought in Nicolas Pepe in the summer.’
MAN CITY LIKE UPAMECANO
Talking of Manchester City and centre-halves, the folk at 90Min are suggesting that Pep Guardiola’s team are interested in RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano, who has previously been linked with both Arsenal and Tottenham. The Frenchman is a stalwart in the Leipzig defence even though he has barely turned 21.
Previous reports have suggested that Upamecano would be available for what has been described as a ‘cut-price’ fee of £53m as he has just 18 months remaining on his deal. City’s other option is said to be Benfica’s Rúben Dias.
AND THE REST
Barcelona have rejected an offer from a Premier League club for Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic of around £13m…Arsenal will offer Granit Xhaka as bait to land Borussia Monchengladbach’s midfield sensation Denis Zakaria…Crystal Palace will make a £20m bid for Celtic’s French striker Odsonne Edouard…Manchester United and Arsenal are tracking Hartlepool’s 17-year-old goalkeeper Brad Young…Chelsea are interested in Wigan’s 17-year-old English forward Joe Gelhardt,