Manchester United have two central defensive targets in mind as their January transfer plans take shape, while Arsenal have made an offer for Beppe Marotta, according to Thursday’s European papers.
UNITED TO LAUNCH SERIOUS MOVE FOR FIORENTINA DEFENDER
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is drawing up a list of his next transfer targets, despite growing doubts over whether he will stay in the Old Trafford hotseat or not.
With United missing out on several defensive targets over the summer, Mourinho is preparing a fresh list of targets for the club to work on signing – and reports on Thursday suggest he has two men in mind to strengthen his centre-half options.
According to reports in il Gazzetta dello Sport, Mourinho has made Fiorentina’s €40m-rated defender Nikola Milenkovic his No 1 target.
The defender stands at 6ft 5ins and despite being just 20-year-old, already has a wealth of matches in Serie A under his belt and a growing reputation to boot.
The Serbian was part of his nation’s squad at the 2018 World Cup and has also been linked with Manchester City and Juventus.
Both il Gazzetta claim Mourinho has sent scouts to make regular checks on him and is readying a January approach for a man who averages 2.4 tackles and 4.3 clearances per game.
Should Mourinho fail to land his man, reports in Sweden believe veteran defender Andreas Granqvist will be approached.
The 33-year-old, another World Cup representative, is seen as a calm influence on his defence and could be the man to draw the best out of expensive investment Victor Lindelof, who has largely failed to deliver since moving to Old Trafford.
The Helsingborg defender confirmed that a number of clubs are interested in his services, but revealed that he has not yet received an offer from United.
“I know that there is a lot of interest for me. United is incredibly flattering but I have not heard anything concrete yet,” Granqvist told FotbollDireckt.
The report adds that Mourinho could look to bring in Granqvist on a short-term deal if an approach for Milenkovic fails.
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AND THE REST
Arsenal have offered Beppe Marotta a move to North London after he left Juventus. The former Juve director general, also a target for Man Utd, have made Marotta a €3.5m a year package to replace Ivan Gazidis (Tuttosport)
Cesc Fabregas will push to leave Chelsea in January after fearing his career is in standstill under Maurizio Sarri. The Spaniard is wanted by AC Milan but could move to Italy earlier than expected (Sport)
Juventus are chasing summer deals for Man City youngster Phil Foden and his former teammate Jadon Sancho, now of Borussia Dortmund (Tuttosport)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and AC Milan are yet to open talks over a return to the San Siro for the Sweden veteran – but a deal could still be struck to bring him to the club in January as he remains on “very good terms” with several club directors (Calciomercato)
Manchester City are interested in Hoffenheim young talent Ilay Elmkies (Bild)
Tottenham sent scouts to watch Porto midfielder Hector Herrera against PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday evening ahead of a potential January swoop (Record)
Barcelona representatives were in attendance at the Parc des Princes for PSG’s Champions League clash with Red Star Belgrade to watch midfield target Adrien Rabiot (Mundo Deportivo)
Napoli star Arkadiusz Milik was robbed at gunpoint after playing in his side’s UCL win over Liverpool last night as he made his way home from Stadio San Paolo (Il Mattino)