Paper Talk: Man Utd to make shock move for Watford defender

Date published: Monday 13th January 2020 8:30

Manchester United are planning a surprise raid on Watford for an in-form defender, while Chelsea have contacted Brighton over a possible January deal for a £50m-rated star, according to Monday’s newspapers.



Manchester United are plotting an under-the-radar swoop for Watford defender Christian Kabasele, according to reports.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is understood to be a huge admirer of the towering Belgium defender, according to Le 10 Sport via the Daily Express – and hopes to land him for a knockdown fee.

The 28-year-old has played a huge role in Watford’s revival under Nigel Pearson in recent weeks and it’s claimed his form has brought him to the attention of both United and Arsenal, who are both looking for reliable options to play in the centre of defence.

However, the Belgian has just 18 months left on his deal and, with the Hornets looking to extend his stay to 2024 on improved terms, both United and Arsenal are looking to pounce.

The player is valued at around £40m by the Hornets, having signed from Genk for £12.5million back in 2016 and since then the Belgium international has gone on to make 88 appearances for the Hornets while also scoring five goals.

However, reports claim Solskjaer wants to sign him now as the injuries pile up in defence at Old Trafford, with Harry Maguire currently struggling with a hip injury and Axel Tuanzebe, Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo all on the sidelines.


A swoop for Kabasele could see United let Rojo leave, amid speculation he has been offered to Sporting Lisbon as part of their attempts to lure Bruno Fernandes to Old Trafford.

Despite the Norwegian insisting he has the funds to spend this month, United are yet to add to their ranks during the January window.

And when asked if he is forthright enough with the club’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, Solskjaer said: “Of course I am.

“Ask him if I am. Of course we have got open discussions and of course we’re open and honest and we talk.

“We are building towards something and I’m almost getting bored myself talking about this, and the fans will definitely be bored listening to me talk about what we do have as a vision and a plan.”



Chelsea have made an enquiry about Brighton centre-back Lewis Dunk, with the Seagulls valuing the 28-year-old defender at £50m (The Times)

Arsenal are considering an appeal against the length of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s suspension, expected to be three games, but will wait on the referee’s report before deciding (The Times)

Barcelona have made Mauricio Pochettino their top managerial target – despite the ex-Spurs boss vowing never to work for them (The Sun)

Sheffield United striker Oli McBurnie could be in hot water with the FA after appearing to make an obscene gesture while supporting Swansea against Cardiff on Sunday (The Sun)

Joe Hart has suffered yet more transfer heartbreak after being snubbed for a move by AC Milan choosing Asmir Begovic instead (The Sun)

Arsenal are ready to loan Konstantinos Mavropanos to Bundesliga 2 strugglers Nurnberg despite an injury crisis in defence (The Sun)

Wolves are in pole position to beat Arsenal and Chelsea to the shock signing of Thomas Lemar (The Sun)

Manchester United are continuing their pursuit of Moussa Dembele after they reportedly sent scouts to watch the Lyon striker in action against Bordeaux (The Sun)

Christian Eriksen looks set to leave Tottenham after agreeing a four-and-a-half-year deal with Inter Milan (The Sun)

Celtic winger Lewis Morgan has agreed personal terms to join Inter Miami (The Sun)

Frank Lampard has made his first signing as Chelsea manager after bringing in 16-year-old Norwegian wonderkid Bryan Fiabema (The Sun)


Derby County are making a bold bid to sign Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp on loan for the rest of the season (The Sun)

Manchester United are set to lodge a £65m bid for Sporting Lisbon’s Bruno Fernandes this week but rebuffed the club’s offer of Marcos Rojo, Joel Pereira or Angel Gomes as part of a player-plus-cash deal (Daily Mirror)

Inter Milan are trying to put Matias Vecino into a player-plus-cash deal for Christian Eriksen (Daily Mirror)

Cardiff City goalkeeper Neil Etheridge could soon be on his way to the Premier League, having missed out on a £12m move to Aston Villa in the summer (Daily Mirror)

A number of Premier League clubs are on the trail of £5m-rated Czech international right-back Vladimir Coufal, who plays for Slavia Prague (Daily Mirror)

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is plotting a transfer deal for Aston Villa star Jack Grealish (Daily Express)

Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi’s agent will hold talks with Galatasaray about the Germany international moving to the Turkish club (Daily Express)

Manchester United defender Ashley Young will only be allowed to leave the club if manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can get all the business he wants done over the line (Daily Express)

Watford are in talks with Udinese over a deal to sign winger Ignacio Pussetto and remain keen on Fulham’s Joe Bryan (Daily Mail)

Burnley are discussing a £7m move for Bristol City midfielder Josh Brownhill (Daily Mail)

Manchester City will begin their search for a new women’s team manager this week and are unclear whether interim boss Alan Mahon wants to take the step up full-time (Daily Mail)

Nottingham Forest want to push forward with their attempt to land Glenn Murray this week, as the striker enters the final six months of his Brighton contract (Daily Telegraph)


Barcelona have been left in limbo after their former midfielder Xavi Hernandez turned down an offer to take over as manager of the club (The Guardian)

Newcastle have won the race to land Queen’s Park starlet Reagan Thomson (The Scottish Sun)

Swansea, Wigan Athletic and Bristol City are all keeping tabs on Motherwell centre-back Declan Gallagher (Daily Record)


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