Paper Talk: Worrying striker dilemma sees Man Utd step up bid to sign £60m Arsenal target

Alexander Isak Sociedad

Manchester United have stepped up their efforts to sign Real Sociedad forward Alexander Isak, while Sunday’s Paper Talk claims a goalkeeper is chasing a move to West Ham and veteran playmaker Juan Mata could be set for a new role at Old Trafford.


Manchester United have reportedly stepped up their bid to sign pacy Real Sociedad forward Alexander Isak.

The Reds Devils look certain to miss out on top striker target Erling Haaland, who looks more and more likely to head to bitter rivals Manchester City. That has led them to explore a deal for Sweden star Isak instead.

The report in the Daily Star claims Old Trafford transfer chiefs believe the 22-year-old represents the next best value for money in the current market.

Sociedad value the forward, who has scored eight times this season, at around £60million.

Isak’s overall record is an impressive one. He has netted 30 goals in 90 LaLiga games since signing from Borussia Dortmund two years ago.

However, United know they will face stiff competition for the player’s signature.

Arsenal are known to be massive admirers of the Swede. Indeed, previous reports suggest they are willing to spend £75m to get their man.

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Liverpool have also been linked, although that was prior to their capture of Luis Diaz. However, doubts over Mo Salah and Sadio Mane’s long-term futures means they are likely to keep monitoring the player’s situation.

Top four spot pivotal in Isak chase

For United, much will depend whether they secure Champions League football next season.

The Red Devils are currently two points clear of Arsenal in fourth. But the Gunners have a whopping four games in hand to make up that difference.

The need for new forward players could be a big issue for United this summer, with Cristiano Ronaldo likely to leave if they don’t finish top four, Edinson Cavani on his way and continuing rumours the Red Devils could cut their losses on Marcus Rashford.

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KV Mechelen goalkeeper Gaetan Coucke reportedly wants to join West Ham in the summer transfer window.

A report from Het Nieuwsblad claims that the Hammers are eyeing up a bargain deal to sign the 23-year-old stopper.

Gaetan Coucke West Ham target

David Moyes is expected to bring in at least four or five new signings in the summer after a quiet January.

And one of the positions he is tipped to tinker with is goalkeeper, with Darren Randolph certain to be sold.

It remains to be seen whether the club will take up their option to buy Alphonse Areola from PSG after his loan move ends.

Lukasz Fabianski, meanwhile, has extended his stay for another season. However, it remains to be seen what his future will be beyond 2023.

Coucke is said to be available for around £750,000 this summer. But his record of conceding 47 goals in 27 games this season and keeping just five clean sheets is hardly an impressive one.

The report does add, however, that the player is very keen on the move and believes he can be a success in England.


Juan Mata could be offered a coaching role at Manchester United – if the Spain midfielder retires when his contract expires this summer.

The 33-year-old is in the final few months of his contract. So far, there have been no discussions as yet on getting another 12 months.

There has been interest from Spanish clubs and also in Italy. However, that would almost certainly mean taking a huge hit on his near £170,000-a-week wages.

And with United planning another behind-the-scenes shake-up in the summer, Mata’s knowledge and experience have put him in the frame to be part of it – as reported in The Sun.

Mata has already started taking his coaching badges and a management course. That has led to many being convinced he should be handed a more technical role instead.

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Juventus are reportedly targeting moves for two more Chelsea players. following reports on Saturday that they are after Antonio Rudiger.

The Germany defender will be available on a free at the end of the current season. And with the Blues currently unable to discuss new contracts with players, other top clubs are ready to swoop and take advantage of their situation.

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The Sun claimed on Saturday that Rudiger is in talks with Juve over a move to Turin. And now a report from Tuttosport claims that the Serie A giants also want midfielder Jorginho and left-back Emerson Palmieri.

While Jorginho has been a regular under Thomas Tuchel this season, Emerson has been out on loan at Lyon.

While the loss of the latter would not be a massive blow, Jorginho’s exit would be the complete opposite.

The Italy star is the club’s best defensive midfielder and is also their penalty-taker.

However, with things very much up in the air at Stamford Bridge, it remains to be seen what happens to the players and indeed the club in the coming months.