Marcus Rashford held three meetings over the idea of joining Barcelona, while Chelsea are discussing a £71m attacker transfer and Arsenal have been termed ‘favourites’ to land a classy Spaniard – all in Wednesday’s Euro Paper Talk.
RASHFORD LINKS TO BARCELONA EMERGE
Man Utd’s forward line could’ve looked so very different after remarkable reports in Spain shed light on an aborted Marcus Rashford move to Barcelona.
The 25-year-old is in the form of his life at present and has already blown past the 20-goal barrier this season.
Rashford has unquestionably been the Premier League’s best player since the World Cup and his attacking feats have helped United open up a seven-point gap to fifth spot.
The Red Devils also remain an outside contender for the title, especially as Arsenal and Man City must still play each other twice.
However, per Mundo Deportivo, Rashford could very easily have become a Barcelona player in 2020 after three separate meetings came to light.
Via Football Espana, it’s claimed Rashford was ‘on the verge’ of a move to Barcelona back in 2019 at a time when his contract was running down.
The forward’s agents are understood to have held no fewer than three meetings with Barcelona’s General Director Pep Segura. The end result would’ve seen Rashford move to the Camp Nou as a free agent in 2020.
However, despite ‘almost everything’ being ‘agreed’, Rashford, it’s claimed, backed out of the move due to ‘vertigo’.
In other words, the attacker got cold feet over what would have been a life-altering switch and secretly harboured ‘doubts about his ability to adapt to a different culture, language, football and team.’
Barcelona were seeking to replace Luis Suarez at the time and ultimately wound up signing Antoine Griezmann.
Griezmann has since returned to former club Atletico Madrid with Barca incurring a huge loss over the two deals. Given how Rashford has developed since that time, Barcelona will be kicking themselves they couldn’t convince Rashford to take the leap of faith.
CHELSEA WANT JOAO FELIX OUTRIGHT
Chelsea are willing to sign Atletico Madrid loanee, Joao Felix, outright. An €80m sum is ‘the figure being discussed’, though Diego Simeone must first sign off on the move before Atletico cash in (Cadena SER)
Mason Greenwood could find a new home in Turkey with Fenerbahce prepared to absorb the baggage he’d come with in the belief he can transform their fortunes. (FotoSpor)
Tottenham centre-back target, Piero Hincapie, does not hold a release clause within his contract despite speculation to the contrary. Bayer Leverkusen are free to set their own price come the summer. (Fabrizio Romano)
Man City’s Joao Cancelo stressed claims he was shipped off to Bayern Munich on loan due to a fall out with Pep Guardiola is a “complete lie”. Cancelo added the decision was mutual on the back of his minutes being cut. (Joao Cancelo)
Leeds Utd have approached Al-Gharafa boss Pedro Martins as their search for a new permanent manager continues. (ZeroZero)
ARSENAL FAVOURITES FOR CHEAPER RICE, CAICEDO ALTERNATIVE
Arsenal are the ‘favourites’ to sign Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi. The Spaniard, 24, holds a €60m release clause and would constitute a cheaper alternative to Declan Rice or Moises Caicedo. (Sport).
Real Madrid are lining up a move ‘over the next couple of years’ for Newcastle and Liverpool target, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, The Napoli forward has 25 goal contributions in 23 matches this season. (Football Espana)
Arsenal-linked Ivan Fresneda has become a summer transfer target for Bundesliga trio Bayer Leverkusen, Eintracht Frankfurt and Wolfsburg. (Kicker)
Tottenham defender Cristian Romero was labelled the ‘worst’ player on the pitch in their 1-0 defeat to AC Milan on Tuesday night. The Argentine – who is arguably Spurs’ best centre-back – earned a woeful 4.5 player rating in the Italian media. (Gazzetta dello Sport)
NEWCASTLE TO STEP UP INTER MILAN MOVE
Newcastle interest in Inter Milan centre-half Stefan de Vrij ‘could become something more concrete’ in the coming days. The Dutch international, 31, is a free agent at season’s end and can sign a pre-contract agreement with overseas clubs right now. (FC Inter News)
Romelu Lukaku’s loan spell with Inter is going from bad to worse with the Chelsea hitman facing a fine following an explosive on-field altercation with teammate Nicolo Barella. (Corriere della Sera)
Inter Milan are keen to sign Barcelona flop Franck Kessie in the summer. The Ivorian previously played in the city of Milan for AC. (La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Aston Villa are braced for offers for World Cup winner Emiliano Martinez at season’s end. The Argentine is under contract until 2027, meaning it’ll take an offer too good to refuse before Unai Emery cashes in. (Daily Mail).