Wayne Rooney could leave Manchester United in the next 10 days, while Barcelona are plotting a shock transfer raid on Watford, according to Saturday’s newspapers.
ROONEY IN LINE FOR EARLY MAN UTD DEPARTURE
Manchester United could still sell Wayne Rooney before the close of the Chinese Super League transfer window this month, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Several Chinese clubs are tracking the England captain and the Telegraph believes there is still a chance a deal could be struck before the transfer window closes in China a week on Tuesday.
Jose Mourinho has always insisted that no decision on Rooney’s future would be made until the end of the season. But the player – who has not started a Premier League game since mid-December – is understood to be considering offers and it could result in a lucrative move to the Far East in the next 10 days.
United are thought to be willing to sanction his sale if the move suits Rooney. Chinese clubs are still reported to be willing to pay United a ‘substantial transfer fee’ for the skipper, who recently broke the club’s goalscoring record.
From a financial point of view, the chance to claim a significant fee for Rooney, and to get his £300,000 a week wages off their books 18 months before his deal expires, is thought to be of huge interest to United.
They won’t however push the player into a decision and will allow him to make his own mind up, given the record-breaking exploits he has enjoyed at the club.
Rooney is expected to earn £32m a year from moving to China and the player will now spend time deciding if the move is right for his family.
Rooney was questioned recently about the prospect of moving to China and said: “I’ve been at the club a long time and you know football is a strange game and anything can happen, things change very quickly, but I’m happy at Manchester United.
“Of course, as I’ve said before, I want to play more games, but I’m in a happy place at the moment.”
BARCELONA TO MAKE SHOCK SWOOP FOR WATFORD MAN
Barcelona are reportedly set to make a shock move for Watford defender Juanfran Moreno who has yet to make a single appearance at Vicarage Road.
The defender joined the Hornets in a £1.5m move from Real Betis in the summer of 2014 but has spent ther last three seasons on loan at Deportivo La Coruna.
Luis Enrique’s side are in the market for a new right-back after losing Aleix Vidal for the rest of the season with an ankle injury.
Transfer rules in Spain allow internal ’emergency transfers’ to take place after the window has shut and Barcelona have already seen a move for Ander Capa rejected by Eibar, who are looking for a fee of £8.5m.
However, The Sun, via AS, claims Barca are making enquiries to see if a move for Juanfran would be within the laws of the game. Although he’s officially on Watford’s books, the fact he’s spent the last three seasons on loan in Spain could present them with a loophole.
Malaga’s Venezuelan right-back Roberto Rosales is another potential target.
However, should a move to the Nou Camp come off for the Watford reject, it would mark a considerable turnaround in fortunes for the 28-year-old, who can also play in a more advanced role.
AND THE REST
Liverpool midfielder Emre Can is a shock target for Italian giants Juventus this summer (The Sun)
Arsenal could make a last-ditch bid to hijack Chelsea star Dominic Solanke’s move to Liverpool (The Sun)
Bayern Munich have joined Chelsea and Arsenal in the fight to sign Torino striker Andrea Belotti (The Sun)
The Premier League faces a refereeing crisis with Michael Oliver set to follow Mark Clattenburg out amid interest from the MLS (The Sun)
Vincent Janssen is running out of time to prove he can cut it at Tottenham and has been warned “he needs to show more” (Daily Mirror)
Chelsea captain John Terry is learning Portuguese as he looks to take his first steps into management – with a bit of help from his old Blues boss Jose Mourinho (Daily Mirror)
Nigeria are stepping up their attempts to prise Everton’s teenage striker Ademola Lookman away from England (Daily Mirror)
Aston Villa appear set to cast aside £7m striker Libor Kozak this summer and, after having ankle surgery, the Czech Republic player has probably played his final game for the club. He has managed only 82 minutes this season (Daily Mirror)
Chelsea have reportedly held talks with Borussia Monchengladbach over a potential move for Mahmoud Dahoud in the summer (Daily Express)
Chelsea face competition from Borussia Dortmund, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus for Dahoud (The Guardian)
Inter Milan want to offer star defender Jeison Murillo a new contract to ward off interest from the Premier League. Manchester City are among the clubs linked (Daily Express)
Jose Mourinho has blasted managerial rivals like Jurgen Klopp for showing the FA Cup a lack of respect (Daily Star)
Winger Achille Degan, who plays for Saint-Lo in the fifth tier of French football, has set up camp outside Arsenal’s training ground in a desperate bid to earn a trial with the Premier League club (Daily Star)
Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli has refused to be drawn on reports linking him to the Barcelona job but admitted ‘you never know’ what the future holds (Daily Mail)
Frank Lampard is set to turn down Chelsea’s offer to become a club ambassador so he can concentrate on securing his coaching badges (The Times)
Jeffrey Schlupp’s move to Crystal Palace saw his contract include a clause ensuring he would not see his wages cut if the club loses its Premier League status this summer (The Times)
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is optimistic that striker Diego Costa, 28, will stay at the club beyond the end of the season (Daily Mail)
Arsenal have begun actively working on the succession plan should Arsene Wenger leave the club this summer, but remain willing to give their longest-serving manager more time before a definitive decision is confirmed (Daily Telegraph)
Should Arsene Wenger depart Arsenal this summer, the position of his trusted transfer negotiator Dick Law would also come into question (Daily Telegraph)