UNITED AND CITY FOLLOW SAUL TALKS
That blasted COVID-19, threatening the lives of millions across the world and forcing all of us to change how we live our lives. Just when you think it couldn’t be more of a b*stard, now we learn the lurgy is hampering contract talks between Atletico Madrid and Saul Niguez.
They weren’t going very well anyway, apparently, but Mundo Deportivo says they have now ‘stalled even more’ amid the current health emergency. The story goes that, presumably from their virus bunkers in Manchester, United and City are both monitoring the situation.
It may seem early for Atletico and Saul to be having talks since the midfielder has six (S-I-X) years remaining on his current terms. But it has been three years since those terms were signed and things have change since then. Haven’t they just…
Saul is looking for a pay rise while Atletico want to increase the 150million euros buy-out clause in his contract, which this report suggests would be no deterrent to either Manchester club. The situation is not helped by the fact that the 25-year-old has new representation having signed with Gareth Bale’s agent, Jonathan Barnett.
CHELSEA TARGET BARCA FLOP
Reports in Spain also suggest Chelsea are sniffing around La Liga…
According to Sport, the Blues have been in touch with Barcelona and Philippe Coutinho to sound out both parties over a deal for the summer. Barca are keen to raise funds for their own shopping spree and finding a solution for Coutinho remains one of their priorities.
The Brazil playmaker has spent this season on loan at Bayern Munich and though the Bundesliga leaders are happy to keep him, they won’t do so if it costs them £100million, the figure both sides agreed upon last year as the option to buy.
So Chelsea are keen to step in. They have told Barca that they are willing to cover the cost of Coutinho’s wages in a try-before-you-buy deal which would include a hefty loan fee. Sport says Inter Milan are also keen and their trump card could come in the shape of Lautaro Martinez.
There is still some football taking place, with the Belarussian Premier League kicking off this week. Stick on a bet with Bet365 and you can actually watch it and get your fix. We fancy BATE Barisov.
DORTMUND LEAD BELLINGHAM CHASE
Manchester United must be sick of the sight of Borussia Dortmund. First they took Erling Haaland from under their noses and now it seems they are about to do the same with Jude Bellingham…
The Birmingham youngster met with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last week while United looked to get a deal wrapped up in time for the summer window. But Solskjaer apparently needs to brush up on his patter because, as was the case with Haaland, it doesn’t seem to have worked.
Bild reckons Dortmund are now ‘very far ahead’ in the race to land Bellingham, who could become the German club’s record signing should he put pen-to-paper on a deal which could net Blues £30million.
AND THE REST
Arsenal want £50million for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this summer… The Gunners have held talks with Hammarby over 16-year-old forward Emil Roback… Manchester City, Juventus and PSG are all chasing Lyon’s Houssem Aouar… West Ham are among the clubs eyeing Wolves defender Dion Sanderson… Paul Pogba’s price is now around the £100million mark.