Erik ten Hag will only be allowed to sign one player from his former club Ajax this summer, while Chelsea are stepping back from one winger pursuit in favour of another due to three reasons – all according to Wednesday’s transfer gossip.
TEN HAG TO CHOOSE BETWEEN LISANDRO MARTINEZ AND ANTONY
Manchester United will only be able to sign one player from Erik ten Hag’s former club Ajax this summer, according to a report.
Ten Hag is about to lead a new era at Old Trafford, but will have to oversee a rebuild of the squad. With that in mind, Manchester United are being linked with some of his former Ajax pupils.
Two of the players who could be targeted to follow him, according to the Daily Mirror, are Lisandro Martinez and Antony.
Martinez would help strengthen the Man Utd defence, whereas Antony would be an investment for their attack. Both are players with potential to reach a high ceiling.
However, the Mirror are warning that United will only be able to sign one of them this summer. They claim Ajax will not allow their former boss to pinch several of their players.
In truth, they expect one of Martinez and Antony to leave this summer. But they would not sanction the departures of both, especially when they are already losing Noussair Mazraoui, Ryan Gravenberch and Sebastien Haller to Bundesliga clubs.
Hence, their books are balanced enough not to deprive Ten Hag’s successor Alfred Schreuder of too much existing talent.
For any club to prise away Martinez, they would have to pay more than £30m. Antony, meanwhile, comes with a price tag in excess of £50m.
United will have to choose which one they would rather sign. In Martinez’s case, they are also facing competition from Arsenal.
Ten Hag wants to reinforce a shaky defence, so the Argentine would be a useful reinforcement. But United also need to evolve their attack, so winger Antony would also be of interest.
Their chances of landing both in the same window, though, are minimal. Hence, Ten Hag may have to broaden his horizons.
TRIPLE CONCERN PROMPTS CHELSEA TO CHANGE TOP WINGER TARGET
Chelsea are cooling their interest in Ousmane Dembele in favour of Raheem Sterling, claim reports in Spain.
Dembele is due to become a free agent at the end of the month when his Barcelona contract expires. According to Catalonia-based newspaper Diario Sport, he has not responded to his current club’s latest renewal offer.
In turn, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain are in the picture for his signing. A move to Stamford Bridge would reunite him with his former Borussia Dortmund coach, Thomas Tuchel.
However, Sport are suggesting Chelsea are taking a backseat in the battle for Dembele. There are concerns over his injury history, while he has surprised them with how much he is asking for as a salary.
In addition, Dembele has demanded a starting role at his next club, which did not sit well with Chelsea. Therefore, they are now focusing on targeting Sterling from their Premier League rivals, Manchester City.
Sterling has 12 months left to run on his contract with City, who may have to cash in to avoid losing him for free. Chelsea could give him his next platform from which to flourish in England.
What that means for Dembele remains to be seen. Paris Saint-Germain have also put things on hold for now. It seems Dembele could leave it until the last day of his Barcelona contract to make a decision on his future.
NEWCASTLE AWAITING GOALKEEPER OFFER
Newcastle United are firming up their plans for their goalkeeping department in 2022-23 and beyond.
They are optimistic of signing Nick Pope from Burnley, while Freddie Woodman has left on a permanent deal for Preston North End.
Should Pope arrive, Woodman may not be the only departure from his department. There will be questions regarding the future of Karl Darlow.
A couple of days ago, Darlow was named by The Athletic as a target for Championship side Middlesbrough. As the Newcastle Chronicle look at Newcastle’s evolution between the sticks, though, they claim the Magpies are yet to receive a proposal for the 31-year-old.
Despite being under contract until 2025, Darlow could consider leaving Newcastle for more regular gametime. Middlesbrough may make him their new number one.
However, if they really want him, they will have to take further steps in the transfer process.