Transfer Gossip: Man Utd learn giant bid can see Ten Hag finally land dream target in January; Leeds learn Raphael Guerreiro fate

Erik ten Hag, Man Utd training at the Aon Training Complex, Carrington

Manchester United can at long last land Erik ten Hag’s No 1 target, Leeds have discovered their chances of signing Raphael Guerreiro in January, while Monday’s Transfer Gossip claims Chelsea are to perform a U-turn on a costly flop.

BARCELONA STILL WILLING TO SELL FRENKIE DE JONG TO MAN UTD

Manchester United still have a great chance of signing Frenkie de Jong in January with Barcelona still open to his sale, claims a report.

The Red Devils chased the Dutch midfielder long and hard over the summer, only to see their efforts repeatedly pushed back by the player. That led to United ultimately moving for Casemiro and director of football John Murtough reaching a painful realisation.

De Jong has since come clean on United’s push to sign him, opening up on his criticism of Barcelona in the process. The Netherlands international claims leading figures at Barca delibertaely leaked key information over his contract in a bid to force him to leave.

Their financial difficulties are well known and De Jong was seen as their most disposable asset.

However, De Jong dug his heels in and held off against their wish to sell him. He’s since outlined his desire to stay at Barcelona for the next ‘eight to 10 years’.

But his criticism of the board has not gone down well with the club.

As a result, Sport claims the LaLiga giants remain open to his sale. Furthermore, they suggest an ‘astronomical’ bid from United will likely be accepted.

And the paper claims that even De Jong’s intentions of staying may now have been hint after his latest criticisms of their administration.

United face Chelsea competition for De Jong

The article claims the driving force behind any January approach is likely to come once again from Erik Ten Hag. The United boss is desperate to work with his former Ajax prodigy again and reckons he would be perfect for his new side.

However, the article claims any offer from United will likely be challenged by Chelsea. Graham Potter’s side are also preparing to spend big on a new midfielder amid doubts over Jorginho and N’Golo Kante.

And according to Sport, they will look to launch a massive offer of their own for De Jong in January. Furthermore, they reckon the promise of Champions League football could see them beat United to the punch.

Despite Sport’s claims, Manchester United would surely be better not pursuing De Jong again. It’s crystal clear the midfielder does not want to leave and even if they managed to talk him into a deal, questions would be asked about just how much he wants to be there.

Instead, they are far better off chasing players who actually want to play for the club. United are a massive world-wide institution and do not need to resort to such desperate measures. And once a player says no, they should not be trying again just a matter of months later.

Indeed, the Cristiano Ronaldo situation means United’s priorities surely lie elsewhere now anyway. And a new striker to replace the unhappy Portuguese superstar must surely be top of their January agenda.

LEEDS LEARN RAPHAEL GUERREIRO FATE

Leeds United have seen their hopes of landing Raphael Guerreiro in January suffer a blow.

TEAMtalk exclusively revealed at the start of this month that Leeds will looking to the Portuguese star for a January switch.

The left-back area has long been a problem position for Leeds with centre-half Pascal Struijk filling in there this season.

And having spent £12.9m to land Junior Firpo in summer 2021, it seems the club are already seeking an upgrade.

Experienced Dortmund star Guerreiro certainly looks the perfect fit. His deal at the Westfalenstadion is due to expire in summer 2023 and we revealed that Leeds were preparing a January approach.

Hoping they could sign him on the cheap, there is also competition from West Ham for the 57-times capped star.

However, Germany newspaper BILD claims BVB have no intention of allowing Guerreiro to leave in January. Branding the star ‘irreplaceable’, they would reportedly prefer to run the risk of letting Guerreiro run down his contract than selling him for a cut-price fee in January.

And while the two Premier League sides are able to offer him a pre-contract agreement, a move in the winter window has now been ruled out.

CHELSEA COME TO ROMELU LUKAKU DECISION

Chelsea are ready to perform a U-turn on Romelu Lukaku over his loan stay at Inter Milan.

The Blues allowed the Belgian to return to his former club on loan over the summer. That’s after his £97.5m return to Stamford Bridge quickly turned sour.

Inter do not have the financial means to re-sign Lukaku permanently. That, in turn, led Chelsea to consider the Italians extending that loan arrangement into a second season.

However, Calciomercato now reveals Chelsea have changed their mind after crunching the numbers. And instead of letting Lukaku sign on a second season’s loan, Chelsea will now look to sell Lukaku for whatever they can.

Romelu Lukaku, Inter Milan striker

Inter paid just £6.7m to bring him back for a season’s loan. However, the Blues now feel any sort of sale is now in their best interests.

The 29-year-old is not in Graham Potter’s plans so a straight cash sale now makes sense.

However, their hopes of finding a taker look bleak. Lukaku has been restricted to just five appearances back with the Nerazzurri. And an injury has ruled Lukaku out of at least Belgium’s first two games of the World Cup.

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