UNITED CLOSE IN ON DOUBLE STRIKER DEAL
Manchester United are going after not one but two of their centre-forward targets, with the Red Devils hopeful of wrapping up a deal for one of them next week.
Various reports claim Jose Mourinho is close to landing Alvaro Morata, with personal terms already agreed with the Real Madrid striker, who’s supposedly chosen the Premier League as his next destination, despite AC Milan’s desire to bring him back to Italy.
The Guardian reports Morata’s agent met with Real Madrid on Friday to thrash out his client’s future. United are said to have had a £52million offer rejected this week but they are prepared to go to £60million. Morata, who scored 20 goals in all competitions last term, goes on honeymoon next week and wants to disappear with his new Mrs with his future settled.
Despite Morata being his primary target, Mourinho also wants Andrea Belotti from Torino and is willing to pay £70million for the Italy striker, according to The Independent.
Torino are playing hardball, insisting they’ll only sanction a deal if United stump up the £84million required to trigger Belotti’s release clause. Of course, in that case, the Italians wouldn’t have a choice, but United believe they can negotiate a slightly lower fee.
Interest in Ivan Perisic persists, though progress appears to be slow, if not non-existent, in relation to the Inter Milan winger. The Independent also suggests United are closing in on Monaco’s defensive midfielder Fabinho, who can also do a job at right-back.
SPURS TARGET AURIER TO REPLACE £60M WALKER
Tottenham have told Man City they want £60million for Kyle Walker and, probably much to their surprise, City apparently didn’t tell them where to stick it.
So, if indeed City are daft enough to cough up that sum, Mauricio Pochettino is in the market for a replacement, and the Daily Mirror claims Serge Aurier is in the frame.
The PSG right-back is said to be open to offers from abroad, despite being offered a new deal in Paris. Aurier has had to share the right-back slot with Thomas Meunier, so PSG are hardly likely to see him as indispensable, but God only knows what price they’ll demand if Tottenham pull in anything like £60million for Walker.
CHELSEA PONDER JUVE DUO
Speaking of £50million-plus full-backs, Chelsea will have to pay through the nose for Juventus star Alex Sandro.
Antonio Conte is keen on the left wing-back as well as Leonardo Bonucci but understandably, Juve aren’t quite as enthusiastic to sell.
Sandro has three years remaining on his contract, while Bonucci has four. According to the Evening Standard, Juve are said to be demanding £52million for Sandro and if the going rate for Virgil van Dijk is £70million, then Bonucci at around £60million is a snip.
AND THE REST
AC Milan are reluctant to meet Diego Costa’s wages of £200,000-plus a week…West Ham are trying to sign Chelsea’s Burkina Faso forward Bertrand Traore for £17m…Huddersfield want to sign Leeds United forward Chris Wood, 25, for £15m…Newcastle are closing in on the £8.7m signing of French defender Florian Lejeune from Eibar…Leicester are close to signing defender Sam Hughes from National League side Chester for £125,000…Aston Villa have had a £500,000 bid for Stoke midfielder Glenn Whelan turned down but the Championship club remain confident a deal can be done…Brighton will listen to offers for Northern Ireland midfielder Oliver Norwood.
Norwich are interested in signing defender Sean Raggett who helped Lincoln City win promotion to the Football League and reach the FA Cup quarter-finals…Former Sunderland and England striker Kevin Phillips, 43, is the new favourite to take charge of the Black Cats…Bolton want to sign Newcastle winger Sammy Ameobi after the former England Under-21 international’s successful loan spell…Newcastle defender Grant Hanley and Middlesbrough centre-half Daniel Ayala are both wanted by Sheffield Wednesday…Reading hope manager Jaap Stam will sign a new two-year contract when he returns from holiday.