Gossip: Manchester United decide upon top defensive target

Date published: Thursday 2nd August 2018 7:03

It’s something that has bubbling for a couple of days now, but Thursday morning brings concrete claims: Manchester United have changed their central defensive target. With Leicester City refusing to sell Harry Maguire at anything below stupid money and Maguire not prepared to kick up a fuss and engineer his exit, a change was needed.

Duncan Castles and a couple of Thursday’s papers say that Jose Mourinho always preferred Yerry Mina anyway, and that United will be prepared to meet Barcelona’s asking price of £35m. By all accounts, the form Mina displayed in the World Cup was an awful lot better than anything he has shown in Spain. Barcelona are cashing in.

It is also acceptable to wonder whether Mina is any better than Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof and, if not, whether United are really best spaffing £35m on a defender who might be backup. Haven’t they already got a few of those?

That said, if they do somehow manage to get £30m for Marcos Rojo then Mina for £5m net on transfer fees isn’t a bad shout.


Aston Villa must be counting down the seconds to the end of the transfer window, as Jack Grealish continues to be linked with a Premier League move. The Sun’s Mike McGrath has an exclusive that Chelsea are looking to hijack Tottenham’s interest with a £20m bid.

I’m not going to apologise – and this is anonymous, ha! – for being a little sceptical of the whole Grealish thing. He’s clearly a good footballer, but has only flourished in the second tier and, turning 23 next month, is still to properly kick on.

Is Grealish really good enough for Chelsea to spend a proportion of their budget on? Is he really going to be the one to give their top-four mission a kick up the arse? Not for me.



Speaking of Tottenham, and we pointed only this week that their need for a central midfielder was surely greater than any other position in the squad. Finally, someone’s bloody reading.

It comes from Express Sport, which always makes us dubious given their record with things like this. Alex Crook appears to have an exclusive that Spurs will launch a £30m move for Cook, which does actually make some sense. He’s English, he’s young and he’s not stupidly overpriced, given the potential.

Whether there is much point Bournemouth selling so close to the season starting is another question. They haven’t signed a central midfielder, so Cook leaving would leave them short.

That said, Bournemouth’s own move for Jefferson Lerma seems to be gathering pace, and that would cost the club £27m. One in, one out?

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