Manchester United are ready to go all out to sign Jude Bellingham and may have been done a favour by Borussia Dortmund’s giant new asking price, Arsenal are in the running for three midfielder deals in January, while Thursday’s Transfer Gossip has details of a major blow for Aston Villa.
JUDE BELLINGHAM IS MAN UTD’S TOP TARGET
Erik ten Hag has identified Jude Bellingham as the signing who can help return to the very top.
Having spent over £200m this summer, there are early signs of progress at Old Trafford. Indeed, having started with two embarrassing defeats, the Red Devils have now got their act together, having won five of their last six in all competitions.
And four successive Premier League wins have shot United up the table and back nearer where they expect to be.
But in order to persistently challenge for silverware, Ten Hag is aware that more needs to be done.
As a result, The Athletic claims the Dutchman is planning to go all out for Bellingham in 2023.
And despite his side Borussia Dortmund now valuing the player at £131m (€150m), it is unlikely to put United off. Indeed, they report that Ten Hag sees the capture of Bellingham as an essential part of his rebuilding plan.
And at 19 years of age, the England star can be at the heart of their midfielder for the next decade at least.
And while Bellingham will comfortably cost a British record fee in 2023, the Glazer family are reportedly willing to back Ten Hag with the cash to meet his asking price.
Asking price could work in Erik ten Hag favour
Amid the sky-high asking price, United may find themselves loan pursuers of Bellingham.
Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid are also reportedly keen on his signature. Liverpool have already held preliminary discussions over a potential deal in 2023.
But the new asking price – up from the previous £105m (€120m) – is likely to count them out.
Dortmund’s sporting director, Sebastian Kehl, also recently told BT Sport that his side are looking to break the chain of selling their best stars.
“Jude is very happy at the club; he is very committed to us,” Kehl said.
“Hopefully, he can stay next season and for a long time.
“We try to keep our best players. Jude Bellingham is one of those, and we try to keep them for as long as possible. But in the end, money is another aspect, and England pays a lot more than Germany. We have to renew our philosophy every year.”
THREE MIDFIELDER DEALS IN ARSENAL SIGHTS FOR JANUARY
Arsenal are setting their sights on a new midfield arrival in January – with the club to select between three possible options.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta wanted to bring in a new central midfielder in during the summer, only to see a move elude him.
For a long time they pursued Leicester’s Youri Tielemans, only to ultimately go cold on the Belgian.
And on deadline day they saw a £20m-plus offer rejected for Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz.
The Brazilian remains on the agenda at Emirates Stadium, though, with the player reportedly telling friends he wants the move.
But competiton for Luiz is tough and Chelsea, Liverpool and Juventus are also likely to be contenders for his signature.
As such, the Gunners are wisely looking into two other potential signings for midfield.
The first of those is Jesper Lindstrom, with Bild reporting that the Gunners have made contact with Eintracht Frankfurt over a deal.
The Dane will likely cost in the region of £17m – a fee easily within reach.
However, there is also a third option for Arteta in the form of Manuel Locatelli.
The Italy star was the subject of strong interest from the Gunners in summer 2021, only for the then Udinese star to choose Juventus.
That move though has not worked out and Juventus are willing to move him on. He technically remains on loan from Udinese with Juve paying off his transfer in three £12.5m installments.
But they could renege on that deal if they can arrange for Arsenal to take it over, claim reports in Italy.
Lucas Digne blow for Aston Villa
Aston Villa face being without star left-back Lucas Digne for several weeks after he suffered a stress fracture of the ankle.
The France full-back had been called up to the France squad, but medics ruled him out once the problem came to light. And while France have the options to cope without Digne, it will come as a major blow to Villa.
Steven Gerrard’s side have started the season in disappointing fashion with just two wins from their seven games.
But there are mitigating circumstances with the club badly suffering with injuries already.
They have already lost big defensive summer signing Diego Carlos to a ruptured Achilles tendon. Matty Cash is also currently sidelined, while holding midfielder Boubacar Kamara also has a knee problem.
They fear the summer signing from Marseille may have damanged ligaments and is also facing a significant spell out.
Aston Villa return to action on Sunday October 2 with a trip to face Leeds at Elland Road.