MAN UTD AHEAD OF THE PACK
The transfer window has closed but Manchester United are preparing themselves for the summer window. And their marquee signing could yet again be another centre-back, according to Il Mattino. Kalidou Koulibaly is a name that has already been linked with Man Utd on numerous occasions. Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis claimed the Premier League club made a bid for Senegal international before Jose Mourinho left as boss.
The report from Italy adds that despite Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea being interested in the 28-year-old, Man Utd are in pole position to land Koulibaly. Napoli look set to miss out on Europe as they sit tenth in Serie A and Il Mattino say they could look to cover the cost of no European football by selling the centre-back.
Previous reports have suggested that Man Utd will have to pay £90m to land Koulibaly, while an Italian journalist Fabio Santini recently reckoned a deal was “done” for “around 70-75m euros”. That’s quite a difference…
ARSENAL FANCY CHAMP WINGER
Arsenal have joined the race to sign Brentford winger Said Benrahma after the Algerian continued his impressive displays this season in the Championship. The 24-year-old scored 10 league goals last season and has eight this campaign for the Bees as the London side battle for Premier League promotion.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Arsenal are keen on Benrahma with Leicester City and Newcastle United also thought to be interested. Nicolas Pepe’s huge move from Lille in the summer hasn’t quite worked out this season and Mikel Arteta could be looking to bringing in some attacking reinforcements.
It is understood that £15m could see the Gunners or another interested party land the former Nice winger.
SMALLING FEE INCREASE
Chris Smalling has impressed so much on loan for Roma this season that Manchester United have decided to increase their asking price. The Serie A outfit are keen to bring him to Italy on a permanent deal this summer with a previous report saying he would would cost ‘no less than €18m’.
However, Calciomercato now reports that his asking price has ‘increased to no less than €20m’ with the report claiming that the transfer ‘is in doubt’ if Roma miss out on a Champions League place.
AND THE REST
Chelsea reportedly want to sign 13 players in the summer transfer window…Barcelona and Manchester United both took a long look at Gabriel Martinelli but snubbed the Brazilian youngster…Chris Wilder has warned his Sheffield United players to stop dreaming about big-money moves and focus on the Blades…Manchester United’s Andreas Pereira saw a hypnotherapist as sleep problems threatened to wreck his season…Winston Reid’s proposed move to MLS side Nashville SC is off…Chelsea have reportedly entered the race to snare Manchester United target Lautaro Martinez away from Inter Milan…David Moyes admits Declan Rice would surely leave if West Ham go down as he targets four wins…Kepa Arrizabalaga could be handed an immediate Chelsea reprieve after Willy Caballero’s Leicester blundershow.