Man Utd will meet with Ajax today and the Dutch club have softened their stance on Lisandro Martinez, while the surprising terms of Chelsea’s agreement to sign Kalidou Koulibaly have emerged – all in today’s Transfer Gossip.
CRUNCH TIME FOR LISANDRO MARTINEZ
Man Utd’s pursuit of Martinez is coming to a head with club officials due to meet their Ajax counterparts today.
United and Arsenal have both bid for the Argentine defender. United see Martinez as a left-sided centre-half despite being 5ft 9in tall. The Gunners, meanwhile, reportedly wish to turn him into a left-back if signed.
Ajax were believed to be willing to sell the defender if £43m were bid. United’s latest offer was in that region, though subsequent reports claimed the Dutch side were now holding out for closer to £50m – much to the player’s annoyance.
United have always looked the frontrunners in the race given the Erik ten Hag connection. What’s more, Martinez reportedly has his heart set on a move to the bright lights of the Premier League.
Now, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has shed new light on the saga, insisting the proposed move is now reaching its key stages.
He tweeted Manchester United will discuss the move with their Ajax counterparts today.
It’s reaffirmed their last bid was rejected, though thankfully for United fans, Ajax are deemed ‘finally open’ to selling the Argentine ‘at their conditions’.
Whether that is for the original £43m valuation or a new sum closer to £50m isn’t stated. However, what is clear is that United will learn at what price a deal can be made at and if they bid it, Ajax will play ball.
From the player’s end, it’s again stressed Martinez wants the move and is pushing to make it a reality ‘soon’.
SURPRISING KOULIBALY TERMS EMERGE
Chelsea have forged an agreement over personal terms to sign Kalidou Koulibaly, though the terms on offer might not be what you expected.
Replacing Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen was always going to be a top priority this summer.
Targets including Nathan Ake and Presnel Kimpembe for the left of Thomas Tuchel’s back three were linked, as well as Jules Kounde and Matthijs de Ligt for the right.
However, Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly quickly emerged as a world class option on the right once Bayern Munich muscled in on their De Ligt chase.
In fact, both Gianluca Di Marzio and the Athletic claimed a deal in the region of £34m was close on Tuesday. With the Senegalese’ contract expiring next summer, Napoli look content to finally cash in.
Now, Fabrizio Romano has taken the story further, revealing a full agreement on personal terms has been reached.
Five-year deal for a 31-year-old
The imposing centre-half will reportedly sign a whopping five-year deal despite already being 31.
Chelsea have found great success with the aging Thiago Silva, though at 37, he is bucking the trend.
Furthermore, Koulibaly will reportedly pocket around £163,000-a-week in net salary. That works out far higher than the final offer they put to Rudiger.
Romano added Koulibaly has ‘accepted’ Chelsea as his next move after eight impressive years in Naples. Contrary to the Athletic’s report, he noted the fee would be around £32m prior to add-ons.
The quick transfer pursuit could be officially confirmed in a matter of days once Napoli accept Chelsea’s offer.
NEWCASTLE EYEING LALIGA HOTSHOT
Newcastle have put Espanyol striker, Raul de Tomas, on their transfer shortlist and a deal could set a new club record.
That’s according to the Daily Express who claim the 27-year-old holds a release clause worth around £60m.
The Spaniard had been a target for Arsenal in January. Though their capture of Gabriel Jesus will now rule them out of the race.
De Tomas operated at one goal in two in LaLiga last term bagging 17 goals in 34 matches. His impressive form was rewarded with his first four caps for Spain during the previous campaign.
Given his importance to Espanyol, it’s claimed they’re likely to hold out for the full release clause.
As such, if Newcastle are to bring the marksman on board, Joelinton’s £40m transfer record will have to be smashed.