Euro Paper Talk: Man Utd move for defender who ‘did a job on Saka’; €60m Arsenal signing made easy by Xabi Alonso

FC Porto left-back Wendell, Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka

Man Utd could move for a Brazilian defender who shut down Bukayo Saka, while Xabi Alonso rejecting Liverpool will help Arsenal with a €60m midfield signing and there are updates on the futures of Mason Greenwood and Raphinha – all in Monday’s Euro Paper Talk.

MAN UTD LEFT-BACK HUNT

The Red Devils could move for FC Porto left-back Wendell amid claims his stint in Portugal is coming to an end.

Many a position in Erik ten Hag’s squad will experience change this summer and according to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, left-back is among them.

“Man Utd will sign a left-back because they know Tyrell Malacia is struggling, also the injuries of Luke Shaw this season. [They] will go for a young, talented and good, important left-back,” declared Romano one week ago.

“This is the idea of the club and also agreed with the manager.”

But with additions in other, arguably more pressing positions requiring big transfer fees, Man Utd may ultimately sanction a cheap and cheerful move at left-back.

Indeed, Jarrad Branthwaite – valued in the £70m-£80m bracket by Everton – is United’s No 1 centre-back target.

Michael Olise is wanted for the right flank and will cost around £60m through his release clause. Reporter Ben Jacobs recently touted a club record £100m-plus move for Brighton striker Evan Ferguson.

As such, there may only be a small sum left over for the left-back addition and according to transfer insider Dean Jones, Porto and new Brazil international Wendell could fill the void.

Wendell and Luke Shaw stats

The 30-year-old recently made his senior debut for Brazil in their 1-0 friendly victory over England. Despite his advancing age, it appears Wendell is only now entering his prime years.

Evidence of that certainly came in Porto’s recent two-legged Champions League tie with Arsenal. The tricky left-back was tasked with keeping Bukayo Saka quiet and did exactly that. Arsenal – who were overwhelming favourites in the tie – only  managed to narrowly squeeze through on penalties.

Wendell’s current contract with Porto expires at the end of the 2024/25 campaign. According to Jones, Porto may seek to cash in this summer to avoid losing the defender for nothing a year later.

Jones also credited Arsenal as a side who could seek to sign Wendell. However, responding to those claims, Caught Offside rubbished that idea given the Gunners already have Oleksandr Zinchenko as well as Jakub Kiwior, Jurrien Timber and Takehiro Tomiyasu who can all deputise at left-back.

“Juventus have started looking at Wendell and if Porto start to show any openness to selling him then I wonder if he could come into view for the likes of Man Utd and maybe even Arsenal, who saw the job he did on Saka recently,” Jones told GiveMeSport.

“This is a player with really big experience, playing all over the world in huge competitions and at competitive teams.

“He would be pretty cheap and from conversations I have had around United and Arsenal the mindset and wisdom of new players is going to be key because both of those sides really want players that can help elevate their younger talent.

“Would you want him as a starter every single week? Maybe not, but his contract is up in 2025 and when you are looking for players in a squad he fits for me.”

While Jones did not list a figure, it was suggested a deal for Wendell could be done on the cheap thanks to his advancing age and contract situation.

XABI ALONSO DECISION HELPS ARSENAL

Arsenal have received a boost in their quest to sign Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi. The Spanish midfielder was being lined up by Bayern Munich if Xabi Alonso became their new manager, but with Alonso staying at Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern may no longer threaten Arsenal. Zubimendi can be signed via a €60m release clause. (Fabrizio Romano)

Sporting CP boss Ruben Amorim is the new number one choice to replace Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool manager. (Fabrizio Romano)

Amorim is willing to leave Sporting for Liverpool, though would ideally like to leave Lisbon after securing a league and cup double as his final act. (Correio da Manha)

Real Madrid bosses believe Xabi Alonso is the perfect candidate to succeed Carlo Ancelotti when his contract expires in 2026. (Football Espana)

Borussia Dortmund are close to wrapping up an agreement with Sven Mislintat who is expected to become their new sporting director. (Sky Germany)

MAN UTD V MAN CITY TRANSFER BATTLE

Man Utd and Man City are both circling over Bayer Leverkusen wing-back, Jeremie Frimpong. The Dutch international, 23, can be signed via a modest €40m/£34.1m release clause that becomes active this summer. (The Sun)

Bayern Munich director Max Eberl has denied reports former Man Utd manager, Ralf Rangnick, is the favourite to succeed Thomas Tuchel in Bavaria. (Max Eberl)

Juventus are in the mix for the signature of disgruntled Tottenham midfielder, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. The Dane, 28, has tumbled down the pecking order since Ange Postecoglou took charge and Spurs will cash in for a ‘reasonable fee’. (Tuttosport)

Liverpool have joined Man Utd and Chelsea in the hunt for Benfica and Portugal midfielder, Joao Neves. (O Jogo)

Inter Milan have set their sights on signing Atletico Madrid defender, Mario Hermoso. Inter chiefs have decided to make their move after Hermoso impressed in Atletico’s two-legged Round of 16 clash with Inter in the Champions League. (La Gazzetta dello Sport)

Turkish side Trabzonspor hope to sign Burnley striker Wout Weghorst this summer. The former Man Utd loanee is currently loaned to German side Hoffenheim. (Fanatic)

MASON GREENWOOD, RAPHINHA UPDATES

Barcelona are willing to listen to offers for Raphinha this summer. The ex-Leeds winger has been linked with Tottenham and Newcastle. (Sport & various)

Getafe hope to re-sign Man Utd loanee Mason Greenwood to a second loan spell next season, though the Red Devils would prefer an outright sale. (Various)

Arsenal are keen on signing Man City full-back Joao Cancelo in the event he’s not brought back to Barcelona for a second spell next season. Barcelona’s financial situation means they can only offer Man City another loan with an option to buy. (Sport)

AC Milan have emerged as a genuine threat to beat Man Utd to the signature of Boca Juniors wonderkid, Aaron Anselmino. The 20-year-old Argentine’s current contract contains a €20m release clause. (Calciomercato)

AC Milan could torment Man Utd a second time by beating the Red Devils in the race to sign Bologna’s Joshua Zirkzee. Milan have already set aside ‘€40-€50m’ for a summer bid. (Calciomercato)