Paper Talk: United plan Blanc approach, Arsenal eye Ighalo

Date published: Saturday 9th January 2016 9:34

Odion Ighalo, Laurent Blanc & John Stones in the news

Manchester United are reported to have approached PSG about Laurent Blanc, Arsenal are plotting a summer swoop for Odion Ighalo, while Real Madrid want John Stones, according to Saturday’s newspapers.



Arsenal are considering a move for his Watford strike partner Odion Ighalo – but may have to wait until the summer to land their man.

Arsene Wenger has put the in-form Hornets frontman on his transfer hit-list, according to ‘exclusives’ both in the Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail.

The Gunners, who were previously linked with Ighalo’s strike partner Troy Deeney, won’t get any change out of Watford now – who have insisted neither player will be sold this month.

But Wenger will look to bring in a new forward at the end of this campaign and the Gunners are keeping close tabs on 26-year-old Ighalo, as well as Borussia Dortmund frontman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. But Dortmund’s £60million price-tag on the newly-crowned African Football of the Year’s head is likely to put the Gunners off doing business.

If they do move for Ighalo, they could face competition from Manchester United after the Nigerian striker admitted a move to Old Trafford would be hard to turn down.



Real Madrid have joined the race to sign John Stones after Rafa Benitez urged the club to snap up a player who he believes is one of the best young defenders in Europe.

Benitez, who was Real Madrid manager until last Monday when he was replaced by Zinedine Zidane, marked the club’s card over Stones last summer when he took over.

Madrid intend to carry the interest through although Benitez’s departure means it is unlikely to happen in January.

Barcelona also want the 21-year-old but they do not have the funds to meet Everton’s asking price. They have been trailing Stones since 2014 but with so much financial muscle being assigned to keep Lionel Messi and Neymar from the clutches of the Premier League they cannot pay the £40million asking price.

Madrid in contrast are willing spend big with the veteran Pepe turning 33 next month and likely to find a new home in the summer. As well as needing a new centre back Real are also without a defensive right back and Stones would fit both positions.

Everton fought off interest from Chelsea last summer when Jose Mourinho made him his priority in the transfer market. Everton rejected three rising bids the last of which was understood to be £30m.



Laurent Blanc: PSG manager linked with Manchester United

Manchester United have contacted Paris Saint-Germain over the availability of Laurent Blanc, according to reports in France.

Louis van Gaal’s job still appears to be hanging by a thread despite claiming victory last weekend, ending a run of seven games without a win.

But now it appears that Blanc, a former United defender, could be in line to take over control at Old Trafford.

According to Le 10 Sport, Blanc is on a shortlist of candidates to take over as manager of United either at the end of the season or earlier, should the Red Devils feel the need to call time on Van Gaal’s reign.

And it is believed that the task of managing United is ‘appealing’ to the Frenchman.

Former France national team boss Blanc has claimed back-to-back league titles with PSG in Ligue 1 since taking over control in 2013.

PSG do not want to lose their boss and club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has already made contact with Blanc’s representatives to convince him to sign a new deal.

It is claimed, however, that former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho still tops United’s wishlist, while Carlo Ancelotti – prior to his appointment at Bayern Munich – Diego Simeone and Pep Guardiola have also been linked to the job.



  • Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce is prepared to sell his first and second-choice goalkeepers, Costel Pantilimon and Vito Mannone (Daily Mail)
  • Walsall have rejected a bid in the region of £650,000 from an unnamed Championship club for striker Tom Bradshaw (Daily Mail)
  • Pep Guardiola has been accused of letting down Bayern Munich by focusing too much time on Manchester City (Daily Mirror)
  • Southampton face a battle to keep Manchester United target Sadio Mane, according to Alan Pardew (Daily Star)
  • Ryan Giggs has persuaded Louis van Gaal to put the fun back in Manchester United’s training sessions (The Sun)
  • Crystal Palace are prepared to meet a £22.5m buyout clause to sign Sporting Lisbon’s Algeria striker Islam Slimani (The Sun)
  • West Brom boss Tony Pulis is planning a shock move for Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor (The Sun)
  • Bayern Munich legend Lothar Matthaus believes Pep Guardiola is guilty of “double crossing” the Germans (The Sun)
  • Real Madrid could break the £100m barrier to snatch the Juventus star Paul Pogba from under the noses of Manchester City and Barcelona in the summer (The Sun)
  • Mauricio Pochettino has pledged to Ossie Ardiles and other club legends that he and chairman Daniel Levy will sing a duet at White Hart Lane if he wins the FA Cup with Tottenham this season (Daily Express)

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