Manchester United hope it will be third time lucky in their efforts to land their No 1 summer target, while further details of a £61m Liverpool offer have been revealed, according to Wednesday’s newspapers.
SOLSKJAER WANTS VARANE BUT WILL SETTLE ON KOULIBALY
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is dreaming of bringing Raphael Varane to Manchester United – but will settle on Kalidou Koulibaly, according to reports on Wednesday.
The interim United boss is making clear his plans for the summer on the likelihood he will now be named the club’s permanent manager – and signing a new defender is now his No 1 summer target.
According to the Daily Express, United have seen two bids for the powerful defender rejected already – once back in December, as revealed by Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis, and again during the January transfer window.
But hopes are high at United that a third bid in the summer will prevail, though the Serie A giants are likely to hold out for a huge €100m (£89m) fee for the 27-year-old Senegal defender.
Reports in Italy further this claim and suggest the defender has already met with the club to make it clear his wish to move on this summer.
United’s dramatic upturn in form under Solskjaer relieved the pressure to make panic signings last month, with the Norwegian revealing he is working to a long-term transfer strategy at the club – starting in the summer, he hopes, with a move for Koulibaly.
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AND THE REST
Real Madrid are confident of signing Eden Hazard from Chelsea this summer and are willing to spend up to £100m (Daily Mirror)
Hazard’s departure from Chelsea could trigger a number of transfer deals, including Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic making his current loan move at Stamford Bridge permanent and the Blues’ England Under-19 winger Callum Hudson-Odoi being sold to Bayern Munich (The Sun)
Gareth Bale admits he hasn’t spoken to Zinedine Zidane since his stunning goal in the Champions League final (Daily Mirror)
Cristiano Ronaldo called Bayern’s James Rodriguez in order to convince him to reject Arsenal and sign for Juventus (Daily Mirror)
Eric Bailly has been given assurances by Manchester United over his future at the club following January interest from Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain (The Sun)
Arsenal’s head of youth scouting Steve Morrow is set for a promotion in a backroom reshuffle at the Emirates (The Sun)
Miguel Almiron is in line for his Newcastle debut against Wolves after receiving his work permit – he will train for the first time with the squad on Wednesday (Daily Express)
Arsenal manager Unai Emery wants to sign at least three new players in the summer transfer window, including a new left-back (Daily Mail)
Wilfried Zaha is contesting his FA charge for improper conduct in the wake of his red card against Southampton for sarcastically applauding referee Andre Marriner (Daily Mail)
The £30 price cap on away tickets in the Premier League, due to expire at the end of this season, could be extended for a further two years on Thursday (Daily Mail)
Shaun Goater is set to become the latest former Premier League star to join Sol Campbell’s coaching setup at Macclesfield (Daily Mail)
Polish side Wisla Plock want to sign Huddersfield midfielder Abdelhamid Sabiri (Daily Mail)
Andre Schurrle has rejected talk his two-year Fulham loan will come to an early end if they are relegated, saying quotes attributed to him were “bad translating” (Daily Star)
Aleksander Ceferin is expected to be elected unopposed as UEFA president on Thursday (Daily Star)
Liverpool remain cautious on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s return from injury and expect him to return to the first-team squad in April (Daily Telegraph)
Doctors have reacted with dismay to confirmation that concussion substitutes will not be introduced until 2020 (Daily Telegraph)
Jack Grealish has set the February 23 date with Stoke City as his Aston Villa comeback date (Daily Telegraph)
Marcelo Bielsa is set to find out what punishment he, and Leeds United, will face over the ‘Spygate’ affair on Thursday (Daily Telegraph)