Talk is very much turning to who Man Utd will sign this summer, with a striker and midfielder the priority. There are names aplenty.
KUDUS TO YOU, MAN UTD
The word is that Manchester United need to sell before they can buy (we have helpfully provided a list of possible sales here) but once they have money in the bank, they will want a striker and a midfielder this summer, according to the Manchester Evening News.
The two main striking targets are of course Harry Kane and Victor Osimhen, but if they prove too tricky or expensive, the other two names mentioned are Ajax forward Mohammed Kudus (16 goals in all competitions this season) and Benfica and Portugal marksman Goncalo Ramos (19 goals).
As for the midfielder, the only two names mentioned in that report are Frenkie de Jong and Jude Bellingham, but Football Insider have thrown in the name of Inter and Italy man Nicolo Barella, who is also said to be a target for Liverpool and Manchester City.
Erik ten Hag is said to be a ‘huge fan’ of Barella, but he will cost around £70m. There does remain some interest in Declan Rice but this is the summer when four of the biggest clubs in England want a central midfielder and Rice is repeatedly linked with Arsenal.
It’s fair to say that in that scenario, Scott McTominay will be off this summer. Possibly to Newcastle?
LAPORTE OUT, GVARDIOL IN
‘Having become a luxury substitute at the Etihad Stadium, the Spanish international is ready to pack up. Especially since his club has already found his replacement,’ according to Foot Mercato. And Aymeric Laporte could find himself at Barcelona as a replacement for Gerard Pique, which would be a hell of a move for a player who has found himself way down the pecking order at City.
As for the ‘replacement’, that will be RB Leipzig defender Joško Gvardiol. He is also wanted by Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool – it says here – but City have already put in the groundwork as they pushed hard for the Croatian international in January.
In other news, City are one again being linked with Chelsea left-back Ben Chilwell as a long-term option as Joao Cancelo is very unlikely to return.
🚨#EXCL| Chelsea are planning a move for Aleksandar Mitrovic from Fulham this Summer as the 28-year-old Serbia striker would be a cheaper option than Napoli’s Nigeria striker Victor Osimhen.
— Ekrem KONUR (@Ekremkonur) February 28, 2023
Now that is fascinating.