Manchester United are closing on a devastating £128m swoop for a player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer feels is the world’s best in his role, while Lazio will take advantage of red tape to raid Liverpool for a young star, according to Saturday’s European papers.
MAN UTD PREPARED TO MEET NAPOLI ASKING PRICE FOR STAR MAN
Kalidou Koulibaly is back on the menu for Manchester United – with reports in Italy claiming they are well down the line over a world-record summer swoop.
United have long been linked with the powerful Napoli defender, who was a target for Jose Mourinho last summer, though it’s claimed their interest has since cooled as talk of a move for Jadon Sancho gathers pace.
However, Calciomercato reports that claims of United’s receding interest are false and that talks to sign the Senegalese defender are still very much at the centre of their summer transfer plans.
The Italian outlet goes as far to say that interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has persuaded United’s hierarchy to lavish a world record fee for a defender of €150m (£128m) for Koulibaly this summer as the Norwegian considers him ‘the world’s best player in his position’.
Furthermore, il Gazzetta dello Sport claims Napoli have already indicated they are willing to do business at that price, while reports earlier in the week suggested they had earnmarked Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake as a replacement.
The Italian newspaper also suggests Chelsea are keen on Koulibaly and will also move for him this summer should they manage to get the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to throw out the transfer ban that was recently imposed on them.
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AND THE REST
Lazio are preparing to open talks with Liverpool over a summer deal for their 20-year-old striker Bobby Adekanye, who is still to be granted and a work permit (Corriere della Sport)
Chelsea will sign Philippe Coutinho as a €100m replacement for Eden Hazard if they manage to persuade the Court of Arbitration for Sport to freeze or even block their ban on signing players (Diario Gol)
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has reassured winger Marco Asensio he is a key part of his side and he won’t be sold this summer amid links to Bayern Munich, Liverpool and PSG (Marca)
Benfica president Luis Felipe Vieira warned suitors including Juventus, Liverpool and Manchester United that they aim to “soon increase Joao Felix’s release clause” beyond its current €120m agreement (Tuttosport)
Inter Milan are interested in signing Valencia striker Rodrigo Moreno this summer despite the €120m exit clause that exists in his contract. Barcelona and Tottenham have also been linked (Gazzetta dello Sport)
Espanyol defender Mario Hermoso remains coy on a talk he could re-join Real Madrid this summer following his cal- up to the Spain squad. The defender has a clause that allows Real to re-sign him for just €15m (Sport)
Inter Milan and Manchester City are both ready to activate the €50m exit clause in the contract of Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey (AS)
Juventus are reportedly weighing up a player-plus-cash swap deal which would send Paulo Dybala to Liverpool and bring Mohamed Salah in the opposite direction (Tuttomercatoweb)
Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois claims he is receiving unfair treatment in Spain for a difficult first season at the club (Het Nieuwsblad)
Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe has begun to consider his long-term future at the club (AS)
Napoli are closing in on the signing of PSV star Hirving Lozano, who has a €40m asking price on his head (Corriere della Sport)
Matthijs de Ligt has told agent Mino Raiola to secure him a move to Barcelona this summer (Mundo Deportivo)
Former Barcelona defender/midfielder Javier Mascherano could leave China after 15 months as he wants a return to Argentinean football (Sport)