DORTMUND WAIT ON UNITED’S SANCHO BID
It seems there is more at stake for Manchester United in the race for the top four than simply playing Champions League football. Apparently, their hopes of signing Jadon Sancho depend on it too.
Your daily Sancho update comes courtesy of Bild, which claims Borussia Dortmund are waiting for United to submit an offer for the England winger, and when it comes, it should be worth in the region of £109million. Given Dortmund are apparently demanding £115million for Sancho, then you would think that an agreement should not be hard to reach.
But United too are waiting to see if they will be playing in the Champions League next season. Given United’s financial might, it really should not matter.
NEW POGBA DEAL CLOSE
Regardless of where they finish the campaign, it seems United are cobbling together the cash to give Paul Pogba a fat new contract.
The Sun claims the Red Devils and Pogba are close to agreeing a new five-year deal which would take the France midfielder beyond his 32nd birthday. Apparently, United are confident of being able to announce such news at the end of the season.
Pogba has taken the piss out of United in the last couple of years and the prospect of a new agreement seemed highly unlikely pre-Covid. But the pandemic has spoiled his plans of a return to the continent so he and Mino Raiola appear to have decided to make the most of a bad situation. And with Bruno Fernandes doing the kind of things expected from Pogba himself, playing in United’s midfield is now a far more appealing proposition than it was while the former Juventus star did all he could to distance himself from his paymasters.
KOULIBALY PRICE FALLS AGAIN
In a week of good news for Manchester City, here’s some more: Kalidou Koulibaly’s price has come down even further.
That’s the claim of The Mirror, at least. Koulibaly was heavily linked with City before their Champions League reprieve but now they’ve escaped a European ban, Pep Guardiola is expected to go on a celebratory spending spree.
A central defender is said to be City’s priority – it should have been last year too – and of those attainable this summer, none are better than Koulibaly. The Napoli stopper was valued at close to £100million last year but City could knock that price down by a third.
It has been reported in recent weeks that Napoli would accept £72million but The Mirror’s story puts his valuation at closer to £65million, which is only slightly over the £62.8million they paid for Rodri last summer.
CITY IN FOR BARCA TARGET
A centre-back is just one of City’s objectives in the transfer market before October 5. A striker is also likely to be among the five players they could target since doubts persist over Sergio Aguero’s long-term future.
Sky Sports reckons City are looking at replacing the Argentina star with one of his international team-mates. Lautaro Martinez is one of the hottest properties in this summer market but few of the Inter Milan striker’s suitors are as well placed as City to do a deal.
Barcelona have been desperate to land Martinez but the Catalans are desperately struggling to raise the cash, especially if Inter insist upon his £98.5million release clause being met. Barca have offered Inter a range of part-exchange options but so far they have failed to come close to meeting the Italians’ demands.
A part-exchange deal could appeal to City. Inter are known to be keen on Aguero, who is a decade older than Martinez, and the Nerazzurri may be willing to discuss a player-plus-cash arrangement.
AND THE REST
City are also closing in on the signing of Ferran Torres from Valencia… Bayern Munich have dropped out of the race to sign Chelsea target Kai Havertz… Bayern, Everton, Newcastle and Atletico Madrid are expected to bid for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha… Southampton are keen on a £10million deal for Tottenham’s on-loan defender Kyle Walker-Peters… But Saints won’t discuss a swap deal involving Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg… Thomas Partey is set to sign a new contract with Atletico Madrid after they offered to double his salary and his buy-out clause… Adam Lallana is a target for Leicester, Burnley and Brighton… Middlesbrough right-back Djed Spence is a target for Tottenham, West Ham and Brighton.
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