BRIDGE THE GAP
In revelations as inevitable as a Phil Jones mistake, Manchester United are plotting a £250m overhaul of their squad this summer. They finished 19 points off the pace of Manchester City, have won fewer trophies than Chelsea, and will watch Liverpool in the Champions League final on Saturday. The pride has been shredded.
With the ‘pressure’ on Mourinho to ‘deliver a major trophy next season’, money will be spent. The Daily Mirror say the Portuguese has made plans for the summer, and United are willing to grant him a whopping £250m to realise them.
Mourinho has reportedly told Ed Woodward he ‘needs at least FIVE new signings’ this summer to compete, with Toby Alderweireld, Fred, Jorginho and Jean Michael Seri all named. A move for Gareth Bale is also possible, while left-back Alex Sandro will surely join soon.
Headed the other way will be Daley Blind, Matteo Darmian, Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial, Marouane Fellaini and new coach Michael Carrick. Replacements will be needed.
The Mirror’s story adds that ‘there is huge pressure’ on Mourinho to win the title, and his job will be ‘under serious threat’ if United ‘find themselves trailing in the title race again next season’. Apparently, ‘the Old Trafford hierarchy will not tolerate another season without silverware’.
As 16 FA Cup final Conclusions asked, is the lack of investment really the problem?
You might have noticed the name of Fellaini in United’s expected outgoings this summer. The club have offered the Belgian a new deal and are eager to keep him, but The Times suggest he is definitely off.
Paul Hirst says that AC Milan provide a potential escape route. The Serie A side have ‘offered the midfielder a three-year contract’ on more ‘lucrative’ terms than United are willing to provide.
Fellaini’s ‘preference is to stay at Old Trafford’, but United would only be open to extending his current deal by a year, while the midfielder ‘is demanding wages in excess of £100,000 per week’. Milan’s proposal of three years on better pay is likely to turn his head. The player wants his future sorted out before the World Cup.
Manchester City appear to have absolutely no respect for Antonio Rudiger. Because the Daily Star are reporting that the Premier League champions want to sign Eden Hazard. Who wouldn’t?
Jeremy Cross reports that City must break the British transfer record and offer a £300,000-a-week wage to broker any potential deal, with Hazard ‘aware of Guardiola’s strong interest in him’. The City boss ‘is desperate to exploit the uncertain situation’ surrounding the Belgian.
There will be no ‘wholesale changes’ to the City squad this summer, with Guardiola targeting only a couple of ‘world-class players’. Hazard is one, seen as ‘the long-term replacement for David Silva’. One is a central midfielder; the other is a winger. That does not compute.
AND THE REST
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is set to leave the club in the next 48 hours – with former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique being lined up to replace him… Conte says the Blues’ squad needs an overhaul whether he stays at Stamford Bridge or not… Napoli claim talks with their manager Maurizio Sarri have broken down amid interest from Chelsea… West Ham are confident of appointing Manuel Pellegrini as their new manager this week – which would bolster their chances of signing 35-year-old Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure, who has left Manchester City… Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner, who has been linked with Borussia Dortmund,Leicester City and Southampton, has agreed a deal to stay with the Terriers… England midfielder Jack Wilshere, 26, is ready to sign the three-year contract he has been offered to stay with Arsenal, despite big offers from Everton and Wolves… Schalke midfielder Max Meyer has been linked with Arsenal and Liverpoolbut the 22-year-old Germany international has agreed a move to join Hoffenheim.