RICE COMING TO THE BOIL
After Sunday’s claims of Manchester United’s £150m-plus pursuit of three transfer targets comes a report in the Irish Independent that United are ready to ‘break the bank’ for West Ham’s young Irish Englishman Declan Rice, whose ‘advisors are fully aware of United’s eagerness’.
They claim that West Ham will demand a fee of over £50m for Rice, whose arrival would put ‘Nemanja Matic’s future in doubt’. This is a new era for United…one that will prioritise the signing of young players (Rice is 20) over proven superstars.
AND THAT’S JUST THE START
According to the Evening Standard, ‘there is an acceptance’ that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to make ‘radical changes’ to the Manchester United squad this summer. How radical? Well, they are talking about ‘as many as five new signings’ and ‘well in excess of’ £200m being spent. In truth, they will need to spend over £400m to buy this little lot.
So who has been targeted? Jadon Sancho, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Rice and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are mentioned as young targets, but United also need ‘big voices’ and ‘know-how’ and that’s why Kalidou Koulibaly – who could cost £100m – is also mentioned, along with Raphael Varane. The names of Bruno Fernandes and Saul Niguez also make an appearance. By our reckoning. that’s eight players. Wow.
OVER TO POGBA (AND RAIOLA)
United might well need more than £200m, and that’s handy because Real Madrid are ready for a summer-long saga as they attempt to complete Operation Pogba, according to MARCA. They expect to sign Eden Hazard pretty easily but they are anticipating far more resistance in their pursuit of Pogba, who is officially not for sale.
So Madrid are said to be relying on Pogba (and his agent Mino Raiola) to put pressure on United to sell, though the key point seems to be that they are unwilling to pay through the nose for the Frenchman, with a fee of little over £100m being mentioned. Should they keep or ditch?
AND THE REST
Liverpool will offer Divock Origi a new contract after Jurgen Klopp was ‘blown away’ by his performances in training…West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini wants a reunion with Edin Dzeko this summer…Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham is a £30m summer target for RB Leipzig…AC Milan could give Mauricio Pochettino £300m to spend this summer (for them, not Spurs, that would be weird)…Chelsea want to sign Athletico Paranaense’s Bruno Guimaraes…Chelsea also expect to keep Olivier Giroud next season.