Man Utd have suffered a setback in their hopes of luring a £53m summer target, while Philippe Coutinho has reportedly told Lionel Messi that Liverpool are chasing a Real Madrid striker, according to Wednesday’s European papers.
MIXED MESSAGES OVER ALEX SANDRO FUTURE
Manchester United’s hopes of bringing Juventus wing-back Alex Sandro to the club appear to have stalled after the player hinted he wanted to honour his contract at the club.
United have watched the player on multiple occasions and were thought to be keen to strike a deal in the region of €60m (£53m) this summer.
The player has also been tracked by Chelsea, but assessing his future at Juve, Sandro told Gazzetta dello Sport: “I have always remained focused on my work and my only thought has always been Juventus, with whom I still have two years of contract.”
The former Porto man’s agent Federico Pastorello refused to close the door on a future transfer, however, and told RAI Sport: “The goal is to look around and he could still think about the Premier League. No doubt his non-renewal is a sign of his point of view.”
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POLITICAL INTERVENTION TO ENSURE LIVERPOOL, SPURS MISS STRIKER TARGET
Warning: this might be one of the most bizarre stories you will read this week….
North Korean striker Han Kwang-song is more likely to sign for Juventus this summer than fellow suitors Tottenham or Liverpool, according to reports in the Italian press.
The forward has come under the watchful eye of the trio in recent months and was subject of a failed bid from Juventus during the January transfer window.
However, it’s strongly suggested both Spurs and Liverpool have kept a watch on the player and are considering summer moves to bring the talented striker to the Premier League.
According to Il Corriere dello Sport, however, the player looks destined to move to Juventus, however – due to the intervention of North Korea dictator Kim Jong-Un!
According to the paper, the North Korean leader has a ‘strong relationship’ with Italian senator Antonio Razzi and it was the two of them who brokered the player’s move to Cagliari in the first place.
Quite how that happened is not explained, but Kim Jong-un is reported to be a huge fan of Italian football and is keen to ensure his countryman, Han, moves to Juventus ahead of the Premier League.
Explaining why Juventus lead the charge for Han, Razzi told the paper: “Kim is a huge football fan. When he was studying in Switzerland, he used to go to the San Siro to watch AC Milan and Inter.
“Han to Juventus would be something extraordinary. He would be a perfect testimonial for life in North Korea.
“Thanks to this guy, Cagliari and Sardegna are well known in North Korea now and if the player join Juve, the club will be even more followed in the country.”
It may all sound a little strange, but the news could be enough to put Liverpool and Spurs off a move for the striker….
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AND THE REST
Philippe Coutinho has reportedly told Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi that Liverpool want to sign Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema (Don Balon)
Dortmund are plotting a surprise summer swoop for Sporting Lisbon winger Gelson Martins, who has also been linked with Liverpool and Arsenal. The 22-year-old has 10 goals and 10 assists in 36 games so far this season (A Bola)
AC Milan are plotting a surprise summer swoop for former Manchester United wing flop Memphis Depay, who has recaptured his best form at Lyon (Calciomercato)
Inter Milan boss Luciano Spalletti has given a surprise reason why Mauro Icardi should snub Real Madrid and Manchester United – saying plain shirts don’t look good on him and the Nerazzurri’s stripes suit him better (Corriere dello Sport)
Manchester United will be given permission to sign Toni Kroos in a £80m deal this summer – if they are willing to sacrifice their prized asset, David De Gea (Don Balon)
Barcelona have reached an agreement to sign Gremio midfielder Arthur for €40m. However, the deal won’t go through until January 2019, according to multiple Spanish sources (Diario AS / Mundo Deportivo)
AC Milan are set to open talks with Roma striker Edin Dzeko. The Bosnian came close to joining Chelsea in January until the deal broke down over personal terms (Tuttosport)
Juventus and Chelsea have expressed an interest in signing Roma star Alessandro Florenzi whose contract with the Giallorossi expires in 2019 (Tuttosport)
Luka Modric will leave Real Madrid this summer. The Croatian has offers from Inter Milan and Napoli, but Manchester City are emerging as contenders to sign him, while Tottenham are also expected to make a bid to re-sign the midfielder (Don Balon)
Former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso has revealed that he would like to manage his old club Real Sociedad if he decides to go into management (AS)
Thibaut Courtois expects Real Madrid to contact his agent over a possible move to the Bernabeu this summer (Cadena COPE)
AC Milan have reportedly tied up the free transfer capture of Sampdoria left-back Ivan Strinic this summer (Gazzetta dello Sport)
Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele is also on AC Milan’s transfer radar this summer (Calciomercato)
Former Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri admits he would relish the chance to manage the Italian national team (Tuttomercatoweb)
Real Valladolid striker Jaime Mata has rejected the chance to join Chinese club Zhejiang Greentown (Marca)
Zinedine Zidane has vowed to continue fighting in his role as Real Madrid manager (AS)
Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio has declared he will not play for another Italian team, opening the door to a move to China or Major League Soccer (Gazzetta dello Sport)