Date published: Sunday 23rd June 2019 9:31
BABY, YOU’RE THE WAN, YOU STILL TURN ME ON
The manufactured panic over Manchester United’s failed transfer window began this week. Sure, their’s has hardly been a straightforward, stress-free summer, but there is bloody ages left for them to rectify that.
It seems that Dan James will soon be joined in the arrivals lounge. The Daily Mail says United are ‘on the verge of agreeing’ a fee with Crystal Palace over Aaron Wan-Bissaka after ‘extensive talks’ on Friday.
The initial fee will be £42.5m, presumably boosted by add-ons that will take it well above £50m. ‘The chances of the move going through have increased in recent days,’ even after Aidy Boothroyd hung him out to dry.
It is a boost for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, as Wan-Bissaka ‘will form a centrepiece’ of his squad ‘overhaul’. That is, at the very least, literally incorrect: he’s a right-back.
The manager’s next port of call will apparently be the ‘pursuit of a new centre back’, as well as a replacement for Paul Pogba if needed. Speaking of…
Christian Eriksen could probably rival Pogba for some ridiculously confusing stats at Tottenham. But Real Madrid seem to only have their eyes for one of them. Zinedine Zidane wants the Manchester United midfielder, leaving Eriksen a little stranded.
Tottenham should absolutely contemplate cashing in now, but few potential suitors could meet the reported £100m valuation. The Daily Mirror say Eriksen’s personal preferences have been narrowed down to Juventus and United themselves.
Having ‘packed up his north London house BEFORE the Champions League Final,’ Eriksen is in no frame of mind to stay. But he is now waiting on an offer from either Juventus or United that matches Daniel Levy’s ‘eye-watering’ demands.
FOLLOW DE LIGT
Everyone is getting understandably bored of Matthijs De Ligt now, as if a teenager who can’t make up his mind is something new. This weekend’s claims that he finally came to a decision and opted for Juve seem a little premature: there is still a decision to make.
But his potential destinations are whittling down by the minute. Marca say Barcelona ‘have been priced out of the deal’ by the centre-half’s wage demands, and ‘have made their last move’.
The Times shed a little more light, implying that Mino Raiola’s own insistence on taking a commission is proving something of an unsurprising stumbling block. Barca ‘had a deal in place’ for De Ligt, but were asked to improve their financial offering by a third when push came to shove.
So the Catalan side are out of the running, and United ‘have briefed that they will not be signing the player’. Manchester City ‘are sceptical’ about doing business with Raiola – again, shocker – so it’s down to Juve, who ‘have not yet made a formal offer’, and PSG.
AND THE REST
Leeds are among several clubs trying to sign legendary Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon after the 41-year-old left Paris St-Germain… Germany winger Leroy Sane, 23, will snub a move to Bayern Munich in favour of staying at Manchester City… Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez is set to leave when his contract runs out next weekend, barring a dramatic change in relations with the club’s owner… Derby are preparing to offer manager Frank Lampard a £10m contract to stop him taking over at Chelsea… Paris St-Germain are leading the race to sign Barcelona and Brazil midfielder Philippe Coutinho, 27… Real Madrid want to make Paris St-Germain and France forward Kylian Mbappe, 20, their big signing next summer… Paris St-Germain are considering a swap deal with Barcelona that would see Brazil forward Philippe Coutinho, 27, head to France with his national team-mate Neymar, also 27, moving the other way… Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton are interested in signing Mainz and Ivory Coast midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin, 23.