Paper Talk: Man Utd make plan to sign £40m midfielder Sir Alex approves of

Billy Gilmour looking at John McGinn

Manchester United are eyeing a £40m transfer for Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn, while Newcastle are making their next move to strengthen up front – all in Tuesday’s Paper Talk.

MCGINN BECOMES MAJOR MAN UTD TARGET

Midfield is the priority area for Manchester United to strengthen in the summer – and a top target has been identified with the approval of Sir Alex Ferguson.

Man Utd are already planning for the summer after a disappointing first half of the 2021-22 season. They know they will have a new manager in place after Ralf Rangnick’s interim spell to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. But beyond that, there could also be plenty of new arrivals.

United spent more than £100m on transfers in 2021. Among those to arrive were Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane. However, one area they overlooked was in midfield.

And with doubts over the futures of Paul Pogba and Donny van de Beek, for example, it could come into focus later this year.

Therefore, the Daily Telegraph have reported that United are aiming to sign a midfielder in the summer. And they claim one player under consideration is John McGinn.

The Scotland international has impressed for Aston Villa since joining from Hibernian in 2018. He helped them win promotion in his first season and has adapted well in the top flight ever since.

McGinn has already been of interest to United, and the Telegraph now reiterate he is on their agenda.

John McGinn back on Manchester United's radar?

Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick reportedly wants to bring in Aston Villa’s John McGinn to replace Paul Pogba at the club.

Fellow Scots Darren Fletcher and Sir Alex Ferguson have both given their backing to the pursuit of McGinn. Fletcher serves as United’s technical director, while legendary ex-manager Ferguson’s opinion will always hold weight.

They admire McGinn for his leadership abilities, which are lacking in the current United squad.

Villa set conditions for McGinn transfer

John McGinn during an Aston Villa match

To prise him away from Villa will not be easy, though. After selling Jack Grealish to Manchester City last summer, they do not want to lose a key player two years in a row.

McGinn is under contract until 2025 – and there could yet be extension talks – so they are not under any particular pressure. However, his market value is approaching its highest peak if they want to cash in.

The Telegraph claim Villa would be looking for a fee upwards of £40m to sell the 27-year-old.

That would make him cheaper than alternative targets like Jude Bellingham or Declan Rice, neither of whom would be easy to prise away from their current clubs at this stage.

Still, the report claims Man Utd may make more than one midfield signing to replenish the ranks.


How many points Newcastle may need to stay in the Premier League – 40 not the magic number


NEWCASTLE SUBMIT STRIKER OFFER

Duvan Zapata, Atalanta striker

Newcastle have made an offer worth more than €30m for Atalanta striker Duvan Zapata. (Daily Record)

The sporting director of Borussia Monchengladbach has admitted Man Utd and Arsenal target Denis Zakaria could leave this month. (The Sun)

Duncan Ferguson is set to take the reins as Everton caretaker manager again amid a delay over their pursuit of Roberto Martinez due to a £2m release clause in his Belgium contract. (Daily Mail)

Meanwhile, Tim Cahill could return to Everton in a senior executive role. (Daily Mail)

And the revolution could continue with owner Farhad Moshiri considering selling the club. (The Sun)

Aston Villa are close to making their latest signing with Robin Olsen due for a medical on Tuesday. (Daily Mail)

ARSENAL TO MISS OUT ON SURPRISE STRIKER DEAL

Diego Costa playing for Atletico Mineiro

Diego Costa is keen to reunite with former Chelsea teammate Willian at Corinthians, rather than joining Arsenal. (Evening Standard)

Newcastle want to sign Sevilla centre-back Diego Carlos for £30m this week. (Daily Mail)

But Eden Hazard does not want to join Newcastle despite them having a bid accepted by Real Madrid. (El Nacional)

Man Utd may have to pay a portion of Anthony Martial’s wages if he is to leave on loan this month for either Sevilla, Juventus or Barcelona. (The Guardian)

Wolves may pave the way for Adama Traore to leave in the next 24 hours amid links with Tottenham and Barcelona. (Daily Star)

It would take Man Utd €80m to sign Sergej Milinkovic-Savic from Lazio, despite being in pole position. (Il Messaggero)

AND THE REST FROM PAPER TALK

David Beckham’s Inter Miami have offloaded high earner Blaise Matuidi and are now targeting a big signing like Luis Suarez. (The Sun)

Derby County could be just two weeks away from liquidation. (Daily Mail)

Chelsea may not be able to field unvaccinated players for their Champions League clash with Lille due to new French government regulations. (The Times)

Alternatively, the away leg of the tie in France may be moved to a neutral venue. (The Sun)

Juventus have withdrawn their contract offer to forward Paulo Dybala. (Sky Sport Italia)

Ousmane Dembele has 48 hours in which to decide his Barcelona future. (Mundo Deportivo)