Manchester City are desperate for another midfielder to add to their already glittering array of options in that area, with the Mirror saying they are “closing in on a £70m deal” for Atlético Madrid’s Saúl Ñíguez having identified him as Fernandinho’s long-term replacement. A source close to the player told them: “He cannot stay at Atlético any more, everything’s complicated for him there.”
Also complicated is the future of Barcelona’s André Gomes. The player is currently on loan at Everton, who are said to be keen on making the move permanent, but now Tottenham have blundered into the fray. Even though the player’s impressive performances at Goodison Park have helped him rediscover his midfield mojo – as he put it in an interview with Sky recently, “I feel more like a man now” – the offer of European football could tempt him south.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær has “laid down to Woodward his transfer shortlist for the summer”, says the Mirror – and also passed on the names of those he wants to leave Manchester United. This is bad news for Antonio Valencia, Marcos Rojo and Alexis Sánchez but good news for Jadon Sancho. The young wizard is No1 on the shopping list, with United “ready to stump up the biggest transfer fee ever paid by a Premier League club” to tempt the former City youngster back to Manchester. An unnamed source has meanwhile told the Evening Standard that United “are doing everything they can to sign him”, with a bid of £80m being readied. That might not be enough, with the Mirror again (in a separate story) saying Borussia Dortmund “will put a £100m price tag” on the player, while Dortmund sources tell the Mail that having sold Christian Pulisic to Chelsea for £58m “no amount of money would see them part with another star player”. Instead, Dortmund are apparently determined – according to the Telegraph – to battle Bayern Munich and perhaps RB Leipzig for Callum Hudson-Odoi. “Me and Callum are close friends. I have told him the Bundesliga is a nice league,” says Sancho.
What, though, of Paul Pogba? The midfielder has issued ye olde thinly-veiled come-and-get-me plea to Real Madrid, where he clearly fancies becoming one of a new generation of Galácticos. “Real Madrid is a dream for anyone, one of the biggest clubs in the world,” he drooled in an interview with Sky. “There is also Zinedine Zidane as a coach, and it’s a dream for anybody who likes football. For now I’m at Manchester. We don’t know what the future holds.”
The same is true of Olivier Giroud, who is desperate to leave Chelsea after starting just six league games all season. “The future could be hectic this summer,” he said. “I’m not scared of going down a level to have more playing time. It could be that I end my career in France.”
Mundo Deportivo dedicates its front page to the fight for Matthijs de Ligt, insisting that Real and Atlético Madrid are ready to battle Juventus, Paris St-Germain and Bayern Munich for the right to battle Barcelona for the Ajax centre-back. Barça’s attention has been temporarily diverted elsewhere, with the Guardian reporting an imminent £43m bid for Eintracht Frankfurt’s Luka Jovic.
And finally, in news that doesn’t really go anywhere else, certainly doesn’t go together but at this stage we’re running out of options, Lazio “are close to a pre-contract agreement with Alberto Moreno”, says the Independent, and Ipswich are after Tranmere’s goal-grabbing sensation James Norwood.
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