CAN YOU HEAR THE CLUBS, FERNANDES?
It seems that Tottenham have a few ideas of how best to tackle the daunting task of replacing Christian Eriksen. Giovani Lo Celso is their main target, but neither Mauricio Pochettino nor Daniel Levy are known for their lack of planning. Alternatives have been identified, too.
One of them is Bruno Fernandes, he of Sporting Lisbon and scoring loads of goals fame. Thirty-two in 53 games this season, to be exact. And 18 assists. The fella is a sodding attacking midfielder.
The 24-year-old has been linked with Manchester City and Manchester United previously, but Tottenham have now thrown their hat into the ring. A Bola report that their bid for Lo Celso has been rejected by Real Betis, and they are now looking elsewhere.
Fernandes is seen as ‘the best alternative’, with Tottenham able to offer the Champions League football that United cannot, and perhaps the first-team opportunities City cannot.
An offer of around €68m (£60.2m) should do it. If they can sell Eriksen for that much and sign Fernandes with the proceeds, that would be quite the power play.
THEY WERE CLOSER NOW, FERNANDES
But United won’t give up that easily on the Portugal international. A Bola also report that they want ‘to sit down to negotiate’ a deal as soon as possible to stave off other suitors.
United might not be in the Champions League, but they were ‘the first to express the effective intention’ to sign Fernandes. If that does not persuade him to join, the fact that they are willing to offer more than £70m could turn Sporting’s heads.
A Bola say that a meeting between the two clubs ‘may happen later this week,’ with a United representative sent to Portugal to ‘observe’ the Nations League. United are ‘clencing fists’ in an attempt to get the deal done soon.
The newspaper also carries quotes from a City source, who says they “are not and have never been interested in the player”. Liverpool are even given a passing mention, having ‘staged a first manifestation of interest recently’. But ‘the situation has not yet evolved’ with the European champions, so it looks like a straight shoot-out between United and Spurs.
AND THE REST
Paris St-Germain are set to make a bid for Manchester United’s Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea, 28, to replace Italian Gianluigi Buffon, 41… Borussia Dortmund hope German forward Mario Gotze, 27, will sign a new contract after being linked with a move to Arsenal… Sampdoria have told Belgian midfielder Dennis Praet that the Arsenaltarget, 25, can leave this summer… Departing Everton captain and defender Phil Jagielka, 36, is a target for Celtic… Schalke want to sign Burnley and Crystal Palace target Jonjoe Kenny, 22, with Everton’s English right-back arriving initially on loan… Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham are all interested in £13.2m-rated Stuttgart and Turkey defender Ozan Kabak… Liverpool have inquired about Cardiff City goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, 29… Fenerbahce have entered the race to sign West Bromwich Albion striker Salomon Rondon. The 29-year-old is also wanted by Wolves and Newcastle, where he spent last season on loan.
Southampton have agreed a £14m fee with Standard Liege for Mali forward Moussa Djenepo, 20… However, the Saints have has a bid of around £8m rejected by Birmingham City for striker Che Adams, 22… Midfielder Andre Gomes, 25, has indicated he wants to join Everton on a permanent basis from Barcelona, with the Merseyside club also hopeful that defender Leighton Baines, 34, will sign a new one-year contract… Chelsea’s Brazilian winger Willian, 30, is expected to follow England’s Callum Hudson-Odoi, 18, by signing a new contract… Premier League newcomers Norwich and Aston Villa are both tracking Antwerp and Ghana right-back Daniel Opare, 28, who may be available for just £500,000.