PICK OF THE BUNCH
Jose Mourinho might believe that David de Gea “wants to stay” at Manchester United, but Thursday brings conflicting reports over the goalkeeper’s future.
First is a claim from the I newspaper’s website, whose exclusive claims that United ‘are beginning to concede that they will lose’ the Spaniard. As a result, they ‘have identified several targets’. That’s just good business sense, folks.
Jordan Pickford is one of the ‘options’ the club are ‘exploring’, but Everton would ‘expect a premium’ for a 24-year-old who only signed a new long-term deal in September. They ‘will want a significant increase’ on their initial £30m outlay, which seems fair.
Another De Gea alternative can be found at his former club in Jan Oblak. He would likely cost more, with Atletico Madrid trying to increase his current £87m release clause. But he’s bloody good, you know.
A third option is Keylor Navas, who was linked loosely to United all those years ago when a dodgy fax machine kept De Gea away from Real Madrid. Which would be pretty bloody underwhelming. But it seems pretty nailed on that the 28-year-old is leaving this time around, with PSG his most likely destination.
SIGN DE TING
As we said, the reports are conflicting. The Evening Standard say De Gea is actually happy to stay at Old Trafford, providing they offer him £300,000 a week. So Pickford and Oblak can sod off.
The Daily Mail go even further, saying De Gea ‘is open to staying’ if he is offered a five-year contract on £350,000 a week. Having rejected a £275,000 a week deal, he ‘is keeping his options open’.
Basically, he wants pay parity with current top earner Alexis Sanchez. Which is completely fair, seeing as Sanchez isn’t playing and De Gea is far more important.
He might not have to trek so far. Sky Sports say Huddersfield ‘are among the clubs’ that would take the forward on in January. Considering none of their strikers have scored a single Premier League goal this season, that’s fair.
Crystal Palace and West Ham are also linked. The former we can understand, as they have a similar problem to the Terriers. But West Ham?!
AND THE REST
Juventus and Inter Milan are being linked with signing Tottenham and Belgium midfielder Mousa Dembele, 31, whose contract will expire at the end of the season… Newcastle have stepped up their efforts to sign Atlanta United and Paraguay midfielder Miguel Almiron, 24… Bayern Munich are planning a January move for Chelsea’s England Under-17 World Cup winner Callum Hudson-Odoi, 18… Southampton have held talks with Paulo Sousa, the former QPR and Leicester manager, about replacing under-fire manager Mark Hughes… Huddersfield want to bring in Liverpool’s English striker Dominic Solanke, 21, on loan in January… Everton boss Marco Silva wants to sign Watford’s Abdoulaye Doucoure, the 25-year-old French midfielder he worked with at Vicarage Road.