Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Transfer Gossip: Man Utd ready to bid for affordable Ronaldo replacement who may never play for current club again; Barcelona rival Chelsea for in-demand attacker

Kylian Mbappe and Marcus Thuram celebrating for France

An attacker who set up a goal in the World Cup final could join Manchester United in January for an affordable price, while Chelsea now face competition from Barcelona for a striker target of their own – all in Monday’s transfer gossip.

MAN UTD TARGETTING MARCUS THURAM IN JANUARY

Manchester United have identified France forward Marcus Thuram as an ideal candidate to replace Cristiano Ronaldo, according to reports.

Thuram came on as a substitute in the World Cup final on Sunday. He provided the assist for Kylian Mbappe’s second goal that took the game to extra time.

However, it was a disappointing evening in the end for France, who lost a penalty shootout to concede their World Cup title to Argentina.

Still, Thuram has been catching the eye throughout 2022. Although he was never a starter at the World Cup, he has added to the body of work he was putting together at club level beforehand.

Indeed, this season, the 25-year-old has scored 10 goals in 15 Bundesliga appearances for Borussia Monchengladbach.

His contract with the German side, though, is due to run out at the end of the season. Therefore, he could be available to sign a pre-contract agreement with someone like Man Utd from January onwards, in view of next season.

Alternatively, Borussia Monchengladbach could take their chance to cash in on Thuram while they can. According to Sport Bild, a January transfer is very much a possibility.

Claiming that Thuram may never wear the Borussia Monchengladbach shirt again, the report indicates that he is up for sale for €12million (around £10.5million).

In the event of his departure, Man Utd would be willing takers. As someone who can play as a centre-forward or winger, Thuram could replace the positional duties of Ronaldo, whose contract was recently terminated by mutual consent.

The Red Devils are in the market for a replacement for Ronaldo, despite the five-time Ballon d’Or winner not being used much by Erik ten Hag in the first part of the season.

There have been links with Thuram in recent weeks and it seems they could now intensify.

BARCELONA BATTLE CHELSEA FOR MOUKOKO

Chelsea attacking target Youssoufa Moukoko is now on the radar of Barcelona as well, it has been revealed.

Moukoko has been earning plenty of praise for his rise to prominence with Borussia Dortmund this season. The 18-year-old earned a place in Germany’s World Cup squad thanks to his form.

Out of contract at the end of the season, he has become of interest to a number of clubs across Europe.

Chelsea appear to be one of his strongest suitors. A recent report suggested they were pulling away from the likes of Liverpool and Man Utd in the race for his signature.

But now, a report from Football Transfers has added Barcelona into the mix.

The La Liga giants would only want to sign Moukoko when he becomes a free agent, rather than entering any kind of bidding war in January.

Recently, the striker made no secret of the fact that Barcelona were his dream club when he was younger.

Therefore, they are now hoping he sees out the season with Borussia Dortmund before snubbing the likes of Chelsea in order to join them on a free transfer.

SECOND BRAZILIAN SIDE JOIN RACE FOR COUTINHO

Philippe Coutinho could leave Aston Villa for a club in his native Brazil, per reports in the country.

Coutinho arrived at Aston Villa when his former Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard was in charge. However, the former Barcelona midfielder hasn’t been able to consistently recapture the form he used to show in the Premier League.

With Gerrard now gone and Unai Emery in charge at Villa Park, Coutinho has been facing an uncertain future.

Already tipped to head back to Brazil with Flamengo, he has now also been linked with Corinthians.

A report from Globo Esporte over the weekend indicated that the Brazilian club have asked for information about Coutinho. His agent, Kia Joorabchian, could end up placing the 30-year-old there.

The problem for Corinthians is the fact that Coutinho currently earns three times as much as their own best-paid player. Even on loan, it would be hard to accommodate him.

But Coutinho needs a change of scenery at this stage of his career. Therefore, Joorabchian will surely be exploring every possible scenario for his client.