Manchester United have held talks over a deal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal are set to sign two top-class talents, while West Ham are hoping to lure Michael Carrick back to the East End, according to Wednesday’s newspapers.
UNITED HOLD TALKS OVER AUBAMEYANG SWOOP
Manchester United have held secret talks over the transfer of Borussia Dortmund hot-shot Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Daily Mirror suggests the African Player of the Year’s representatives have already been contacted about the possibility of an Old Trafford switch, despite heavy uncertainty over who will continue in the managerial hot-seat at the end of the season.
United would be prepared to force Dortmund’s hand with a bid worth around £60million, despite the Bundesliga club’s insistence that they will not sell their top scorer.
ARSENAL SET FOR £74MILLION DOUBLE SWOOP
Alvaro Morata will reportedly join Arsenal for £40million this summer – as part of a bizarre summer transfer saga.
Real Madrid want to buy back the Juventus striker for around £24million before making an instant profit, according to Spanish website AS.
The Serie A giants paid around £16m two years ago for Morata, 23, who has six caps. But under the terms of his transfer, Real Madrid retained a buy-back option for £24million.
He netted in the 2015 Champions League final loss against Barcelona and hit Juve’s classy winner in their Group D match at Manchester City last September.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has long been criticised for failing to find a prolific out-and-out frontman – and he would hope Morata would fill that gap.
But if Juventus do lose their Spain star – one of the top performers in the Champions League this season – then the Gunners’ Chilean hitman Alexis Sanchez is the Italians’ rumoured target as a replacement.
Wenger, though, would surely resist selling Sanchez, still Arsenal’s leading talent despite his patchy displays this season.
Arsenal, meanwhile, are also reportedly closing on a £33.7million deal for Switzerland star Granit Xhaka.
German newspaper Bild have reported that Wenger has had a meeting with Xhaka’s father and the player’s agent.
The 23-year-old Xhaka is under contract with Monchengladbach until 2019, but he has spoken about his desire to play in the Premier League in the past.
Speaking to Sky Sports in Germany last month, Xhaka fuelled speculation of a move to England’s top flight, saying it would be his “dream.”
“I think everybody has a dream,” he said.
“Everybody has a childhood dream and that’s my childhood dream. If my dream comes true, it remains to be seen.
“At the moment I cannot say how realistic it is.”
The report adds that the Switzerland international will set the Gunners back around 43million euros (£33.7m).
Xhaka has made 15 appearances in the Bundesliga this season for Monchengladbach, scoring three goals
UNITED STAR TIPPED TO RETURN TO FORMER CLUB
West Ham are weighing up a summer swoop for Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick
Carrick, 34, will be free to leave Old Trafford when his current deal expires in June if he’s doesn’t pen an extension.
And the Daily Star claims the east Londoners are monitoring the situation closely as they look to bring the player back to the club at which he made his name.
It was revealed earlier this week that the midfield maestro was offered a staggering £6m-per-season deal to join the Chinese Super League.
But the star snubbed the switch as he’s hoping to expend his current United contract by 12 months.
Carrick was snapped up by Sir Alex Ferguson from Tottenham in 2006.
But the England international began his career at the Hammers before Spurs came calling in 2004.
During his professional career, he has bagged five Premier League titles and made over 400 league appearances.
AND THE REST
Remi Garde is still heading for the exit door at Aston Villa despite taking training on Tuesday (Daily Star)
Jose Mourinho has reportedly been approached by Arsenal by a third party said to be working on behalf of the Gunners (Daily Star)
Steve Evans is set to become the sixth manager sacked at Leeds United by owner Massimo Cellino (Daily Mail and Daily Star)
Chelsea target Axel Witsel says he wants to leave Zenit St Petersburg this summer to “play in a bigger league” (Daily Star)
Matches at Euro 2016 could be played behind closed doors, according to the UEFA executive committe vice-president Giancarlo Abete (The Guardian)
Arsenal are tracking the Lorient left-back Raphael Guerreiro before a possible summer bid, as Arsene Wenger considers whether to listen to offers for Kieran Gibbs (The Guardian)
Manchester City are confident they are Lionel Messi’s first choice should he leave Barcelona, with the club’s senior executives having inquired about the Argentinian (The Guardian)
Raheem Sterling is facing a fight to be fit for Euro 2016 after a scan on his injured groin yesterday (The Sun)
West Ham fear being priced out of a move for Liverpool’s unsettled striker Christian Benteke by the player’s £120,000 a week wages (The Sun)
Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross, 28, claims striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic ended his England career before it had started. Ibrahimovic scored four goals for Sweden in Shawcross’s one international appearance (Daily Telegraph)
Mauricio Pochettino has a £10m buy-out clause in his Tottenham contract but Spurs are increasingly confident their title-chasing boss will agree a new deal this summer (The Sun)
Manchester United have dropped a huge hint there will be a managerial change in the summer by releasing a three-page document outlining their pre-season plans – but failed to mention Louis van Gaal at all (The Sun)
Rennes wonderkid Ousmane Dembele is being watched by Europe’s elite teams, including Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid, but has revealed he prefers Manchester United (The Sun)
Southampton will test Arsenal’s resolve to hang on to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with a major summer bid for the England winger (Daily Mirror)
Leicester have told Claudio Ranieri he will be rewarded with a £3m-per-year double-your-money deal at the end of the season (Daily Mirror)
Memphis Depay has suggested he fears Manchester United and Louis van Gaal have lost faith in him (Daily Mirror)
Liverpool legend John Barnes believes Raheem Sterling, 21, made a big mistake leaving Anfield last summer to join Manchester City (Liverpool Echo)
West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan has revealed he wants to sign Christian Benteke (Daily Mirror)
Gary Neville will remain in charge of Valencia until the end of the season – but will then leave the club (Daily Mirror)
Tottenham face competition from Inter Milan for Argentinian striker Jonathan Calleri (Daily Mirror)
After conceding 14 goals in his last ten Chelsea appearances, Thibaut Courtois has admitted he prefers playing in goal for Belgium (Daily Mail)
Real Madrid have shown a willingness to open contract talks with Gareth Bale, who has three years left on a £300,000-a-week deal (Daily Mail)
Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel, 28, will consider a move to the Chinese Super League in the summer (London Evening Standard)
Joe Ledley has responded to the impasse over Chris Coleman’s contract talks by expressing his wish that the Wales manager stays “for many years to come” (Daily Mail)
Chris Smalling believes Manchester United’s opponents should be scared of Marcus Rashford (Daily Express)
Liverpool have set their sights on Roma attacking midfielder Leandro Parades (Daily Express)
Nathan Ake wants to return to Chelsea at the end of his loan spell with Watford (Daily Express)
Roy Hodgson has not discounted picking the Crystal Palace pair Wilfried Zaha and Scott Dann for Euro 2016 despite leaving both out of his squad for the forthcoming friendlies against Germany and Holland (Daily Telegraph)
Per Mertesacker will not be offered a new contract by Arsenal desite entering the final 12 months of his deal (The Times)