Manchester United have made progress with their plans on Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford. Newcastle continue their search for a striker.
WHEN IN ROM
It turns out that playing 380 of a possible 990 minutes since the start of March was not what Romelu Lukaku had planned when he returned to Chelsea. Roy Keane has had enough of the Belgian’s “attitude” and Thomas Tuchel seems to be very much over it.
The obvious problem is that Chelsea are left with a £97.5m wage drain sitting on the bench. A solution could be to move Lukaku on once again but that fee and those earnings complicate matters and restrict the pool of potential suitors.
Tuchel’s most recent snub of the striker, opting not to bring him on despite the forlorn search for a goal against Everton, was ‘surprising’ to Lukaku and his camp. But the London Evening Standard say AC Milan are off the table as a possible safe haven because of his relationship with fans of their bitter rivals and his former club, Inter Milan.
Newcastle have also been ruled out – ‘even though it is unclear if they have any interest’ – on a basis which is not made particularly clear. Probably doesn’t fancy being successfully repurposed into a box-to-box midfielder.
Eddie Howe will thus have to cast his eye further afield in his search for a striker. The Daily Mirror stress that one of Newcastle’s summer transfer priorities is to sign a ‘quick goal-scoring striker’, which presumably means a fast and prolific player rather than one which nets rapidly.
Darwin Nunez seems to be the main target, ‘having been scouted heavily’. But other options for the position include Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Patrik Schick.
Sporting defender Goncalo Inacio is also on the St James’ Park radar, as part of what promises to be a summer of upheaval.
🚨 Newcastle United will target Ivan Toney this summer after getting snubbed by Benfica's Darwin Núñez.
(Source: Telegraph) pic.twitter.com/i6B0cCvMfD
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Speaking of which, Manchester United have some busy months ahead. While the entire world debates precisely how many years and transfer windows it will take for Erik ten Hag to right the ship, the Dutchman is already quietly planning his revolution.
It is therefore pretty handy that the Daily Telegraph have managed to get a hold of the blueprint. It says that ‘at least three key signings’ are needed, some necessary changes will be ‘impossible’ so soon and ‘a core of roughly eight players’ who can be trusted and built around have been identified.
One of those is Harry Maguire. Ten Hag wants to understand why the current captain ‘appears to be far more comfortable playing for England’. A potential solution is to ‘target another left-sided centre-half and move Maguire across,’ which Raphael Varane must be delighted about.
As for Marcus Rashford, ‘there is a growing sense’ at Old Trafford that a sale could actually be in the best interests of both player and club. It’s hard to disagree.