Gossip: Man Utd, Liverpool defender chase; Raphinha race

Date published: Sunday 14th February 2021 9:04 - Will Ford

A ‘CRUEL’ BLESSING
Manchester United have suffered a ‘cruel blow’. Having tracked Dayot Upamecano for 18 months they are set to miss out on the Frenchman – a signing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ‘personally requested to the board last summer’.

Upamecano is set to join Bayern Munich, with sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic confirming the club are close to activating his release clause in the summer.

But the Express claim this could turn out to be a blessing in disguise as United can now move for ‘complete player’ Jules Kounde.

The Sevilla defender – who was the subject of a £45million Manchester City bid in the summer – is now Solskjaer’s ‘top target’ this summer. Or at least that’s what ‘early signs suggest’ – which is wonderfully vague.

It is thought Sevilla now want around £55million for their star asset.

ESPN reported that the 22-year-old is indeed on United’s four-man centre-back shortlist along with Tyrone Mings, Raphael Varane and Braga’s David Carmo.

The Express wraps up the story by saying United will ‘finally have a defender capable of reaching the heights of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand at Old Trafford’ should they land Kounde. No pressure then.

 

ANOTHER LIVERPOOL BARGAIN
While United are preparing a big-money move for a new centre-back, Liverpool will reportedly stick their hands in the bargain bin again this summer.

After moves for Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies in January, the Mirror claims Jurgen Klopp will target a more ‘ready-made’ solution in the summer. Which seems like an odd way round to do things.

Anyway, Torino centre-back Bremer is said to be their top summer target as someone who will ‘compliment’ Virgil van Dijk when he returns from his knee injury.

Torino are aware of the growing interest in the 22-year-old and are expecting several offers for him in the summer.

The report states that Bremer ‘fits the profile for Liverpool given his age and the fact they wouldn’t have to break the bank for a player valued at less than £10million.’ Being good at defending should probably also be included in that profile.

But Bremer has impressed in Serie A this season and Liverpool are keen to get an offer in early to avoid a bidding war this summer.

 

RAPH RACE
United could also move for the Leeds star made for Liverpool.

The Manchester Evening News speculate (and it is pure speculation) that United could heed Bruno Fernandes’ advice by pursuing a deal for Raphinha, who Fernandes dovetailed with impressively during his time at Sporting Lisbon.

“Raphinha, I miss Raphinha,” Fernandes said in December 2019.

“He’s a player with whom I had a different chemistry from the others. He understood me at a glance.

“He knew, according to the movement of my body, where I was going to put the ball to him. I also miss him because he brought joy to the locker room. He’s also a responsible and hardworking person.”

Guys, just stop messing around and put Bruno in charge of transfers. Worth a go.

 

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