Manchester United are in talks with a serial winner to compete with Cristiano Ronaldo up front, in response to Paris Saint-Germain making a daring new move for Marcus Rashford, while Sunday’s Transfer Gossip reveals a fresh Chelsea approach to sign a big name from Barcelona.
MAN UTD PLOT ATLETICO MADRID RAID
Manchester United have begun negotiations with Atletico Madrid striker Alvaro Morata in a bid to bolster their attacking options, according to a reliable source.
The Red Devils are on the lookout for a new centre-forward this month due to uncertainty surrounding Anthony Martial, Ronaldo and Rashford.
Martial has picked up an injury which saw him miss the damaging 4-0 loss to Brentford on Saturday. Ronaldo apparently wants out, while Rashford has become a target for Ligue 1 champions PSG.
United chiefs know they need to supply Erik ten Hag with more attacking threat if the Dutchman is to get the club in the top four. With this in mind, they have made moves to bring in Morata from Atletico.
Morata first emerged on United’s radar on Tuesday, with ESPN claiming he had been offered to them.
And according to The Athletic, them signing the 29-year-old is now ‘a genuine possibility’. United have responded to Atletico’s offer by starting talks over bringing Morata back to England.
He didn’t have the most successful time at Chelsea, netting just 24 goals in 72 matches. But Morata has scored goals for Atletico, Juventus and Real Madrid in the past and clearly United feel he can do the same for them. Plus, the attacker has won plenty of trophies in his career, including two Champions Leagues, two Serie A titles and an FA Cup.
Diego Simeone’s side are willing to let him go following his return from a two-year loan spell at Juve. With the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Joao Felix and Angel Correa available up front, Simeone doesn’t really need Morata in his squad.
The Athletic go on to reveal how much the Spain international will cost. They state United will have to put up £29.6m (€35m) to agree a deal with Atletico.
This is well within United’s reach, considering they have spent upwards of £70m already this summer. And it’s not a bad fee given Morata has at least four years left at the top level.
Of course, some United fans will worry about Morata’s previous record in England. He didn’t exactly light up the Premier League with Chelsea.
But the Red Devils are running out of striker options after moves for Marko Arnautovic and Benjamin Sesko fell through. And their need for a new player in attack, such as Morata, could increase amid PSG’s hunt for Rashford.
PSG UNDETERRED IN MARCUS RASHFORD PURSUIT
PSG are still in the mix to sign Rashford from United and are planning to make a new move for him, according to a report.
On Thursday, it emerged the French giants had held positive talks with Rashford’s agent about a shock switch to Paris.
United soon downplayed the links and reiterated the fact he is not for sale. They are ‘relaxed’ about his future, as per Sky Sports, because they can extend his contract by 12 months if they need. His current deal expires in 2023.
And Ten Hag said on Friday that he ‘doesn’t want to lose’ Rashford as he is in United’s plans going forward.
Despite United’s firm stance on the situation, The Sunday Times claim PSG will soon send a contract offer to the England international.
They will put a long-term deal on the table, though the report doesn’t reveal exactly how long it will last or what it will be worth a week.
What is known is PSG’s plan for Rashford. New manager Christophe Galtier wants the player to form a two-man strike partnership with Kylian Mbappe.
Galtier already has Lionel Messi and Neymar in his squad. While they are not seen as long-term options, Rashford and Mbappe are.
Galtier supposedly thinks United are blunting Rashford’s threat by getting him to play in several different positions.
The PSG boss hopes to get the 24-year-old back to his best by simply using him as a striker.
Due to Rashford being a United fan and a graduate of the club’s academy, the Red Devils will not sell him on the cheap.
However, PSG have plenty of funds at their disposal thanks to their rich Qatari owners. This means they could give United some thinking to do with a big-money bid.
CHELSEA HOPES FOR AUBAMEYANG GROW
While United are looking at Morata as a potential replacement for Rashford, Chelsea have striker plans of their own.
They remain interested in Barcelona’s former Arsenal skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and have been tipped to make fresh contact for him this weekend.
According to Fabrizio Romano, the Blues will speak with Barca to discuss the conditions of a transfer. Once they find out Barca’s demands, Todd Boehly will decide whether to sanction an official offer.
A journalist recently claimed Barca would accept a bid worth £21.2m (€25m). But this is yet to be ratified by a reliable source such as Romano.
Rumours Chelsea could bring in Aubameyang were originally met with shock. After all, the forward spent four years with their London rivals Arsenal, scoring 92 goals.
However, sources continue to put Aubameyang in line for a Chelsea switch. Barca officials don’t think they need both him and Memphis Depay at the Nou Camp. As a result, one of these stars can go.
One of the main reasons Aubameyang may go to Stamford Bridge is Thomas Tuchel. At a press conference on Friday, the manager revealed just how good his relationship with the goalscorer is.