Manchester United have been given an enormous lift in pursuit of two lesser-reported January targets, while Barcelona have come to a terminal decision on the future of Philippe Coutinho, according to Thursday’s European papers.
MILAN FIRE SALE PUSHES PIATEK TOWARDS MAN UTD
AC Milan’s annual losses of €146m will see a number of stars forced out the club in January – with at least two big-name players expected to be sold off.
That’s according to widespread reports in Italy, which claim the Serie A giants are having cash in on a number of big names in order to reduce their huge financial arrears in January.
According to il Gazzetta dello Sport, Milan are willing to listen to offer for Man Utd target Kryzsztof Piatek, Wolves fancy Franck Kessie, as well as star winger Suso and prized goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. It’s expected that at least two of that group will depart.
However, one of the quartet made up for grabs, it’s suggested that Man Utd Piatek is seen as most disposable; the Pole having something of a lean spell this season and apparently told he can move on for €40m.
Ironically, the same paper reports that Milan have agreed terms over a January deal for Mario Mandzukic; the Croatian strongly linked with a move to United.
It’s said Mandzukic will arrive as a cut-price replacement for Piatek, who is also wanted by Barcelona, but most likely set to sign for United – something which we reported on earlier this month – with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer keen to add more firepower in attack to his side.
United’s spending won’t stop there, either, with reports in Germany claim the Red Devils have made an enquiry to sign Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Denis Zakaria.
The Switzerland midfielder has been in brilliant form for Gladbach, with the likes of Bayern Munich, Inter Milan and Tottenham also being linked with his signature.
But Bild claims it is United who have ‘already registered their interest’, with the Bundesliga side said to have set a €50m fee on his head.
And the arrival of Zakaria at Old Trafford in January will heighten speculation that United are willing to allow disappointing Brazilian Fred to move on, possibly on loan, or, if they can find suitors, a permanent sale.
AND THE REST
Barcelona have decided that Philippe Coutinho – currently on loan at Bayern Munich – will NEVER play for the club again (AS)
Manchester City have reignited their interest in €60m-rated Real Sociedad forward Mikel Oyarzaba (Calciomercato)
Real Madrid are prepared to offer Chelsea €86m plus James Rodriguez to land midfielder N’Golo Kante (El Desmarque)
PSG midfielder Marco Verratti has revealed he rejected the chance to join Barcelona in summer 2016 (L’Equipe)
Inter Milan are considering offering Zlatan Ibrahimovic a short-term deal to cover for the injury absence of Alexis Sanchez (Gazzetta dello Sport)
Antonio Conte is also considering moves for Man Utd target Mandzukic and Inter’s former striker Keita Balde (Gazzetta dello Sport)
Juventus are ready to offer Gonzalo Higuain a new deal, with his current arrangement due to expire in summer 2021 (Calciomercato)
Former Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri could bring Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic and Germany midfielder Emre Can with him to Manchester United if he replaces Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as boss (Tuttosport)
Roma are reportedly hoping that a club from China will come in for Javier Pastore during the January transfer window (Calciomercato)
Turkish side Galatasaray are prepared to end their season-long loan deal for Southampton and Gabon midfielder Mario Lemina in January (Fotomac)
Watford’s Colombian defender Jorge Segura will return to the club in January as Mexican side Atlas do not want to make his loan deal permanent (Futbol Total)
Manchester United want to sign Germany midfielder Toni Kroos from Real Madrid, who could try negotiate France midfielder Paul Pogba moving the other way as part of any deal (Bild)