Euro Paper Talk: Ratcliffe unlocks €60m double Man Utd deal for Monaco pair with Betis winger next; France star is Liverpool ‘object of desire’

Monaco's Vanderson, Assane Diao of Real Betis and Youssouf Fofana, also of Monaco, are Man Utd targets

Vanderson, Assane Diao and Youssouf Fofana are Man Utd targets

Manchester United are planning a triple €90m raid to kick-off the Sir Jim Ratcliffe era in style, Liverpool are dreaming of signing a French midfielder, while Tottenham are in talks over a Romania star previously linked with Arsenal.


New Manchester United investor Sir Jim Ratcliffe has reportedly put the wheels in motion to make a pair of Monaco stars the first arrivals of his reign at Old Trafford.

The British billionaire has bought a £1.4bn stake in the Red Devils with an official announcement now expected next week after an unexpected delay.

But Ratcliffe is already getting to work at Manchester United – and will have a major say on the all transfer ins and outs at Old Trafford, and through the appointment of a newly-appointed sporting director.

Per widespread reports, current Monaco sporting director Paul Mitchell, who counts Tottenham and RB Leipzig among his former clubs, is the man set to take up the role once Ratcliffe’s 25% purchase is ratified.

And according to RMC Sport, the 42-year-old plans to bring two of Monaco’s best talents with him to Old Trafford.

First up, they are close to striking a deal for defensive midfielder Youssouf Fofana for a deal worth around €30m.

The report claims United made a move to sign the 24-year-old over the summer on loan with an option to buy. However, Monaco were not happy with the terms put forward, so rejected that proposal.

Now, however, with Mitchell trading clubs, the deal could go through after all with United now agreeing to foot the asking price up front.

PSG and Juventus are also reportedly tracking the 14-times capped France midfielder.

However, United are described as being in a strong position to ‘overcome’ them both – and could wrap up his signing as soon as the window opens for business.

Man Utd also keen on Real Betis winger Assane Diao

As well as signing Fofana, United are also reportedly set to make it a €60m (£52.4m) double deal by also finalising a swoop for Brazilian full-back Vanderson.

The former Gremio star has proved hugely successful since arriving two years ago and recently made his debut for the Brazil national side.

United have been strongly linked with him before, though have yet to make a concrete approach.

That, however, will now change with a double deal set to be put before the Ligue 1 title chasers.

Monaco, though, do not want to lose both players and, while Fofana’s move could be done immediately, the raid for Vanderson looks likely to be put on hold until the summer.

That won’t phase United, though, who arguably have some pressing issues to deal with – with a replacement for Jadon Sancho also being sought.

The England winger will be allowed to move on in January after falling out with Ten Hag. And while United will allow a loan deal, we understand that any deal will need to include a purchase obligation.

As for his replacement, reports in Spain claim they have joined Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle in the hunt for talented Real Betis winger Assane Diao.

The 18-year-old has seven goals in 15 appearances across their A and B teams this season and is rated in the €30m (£26m) bracket.

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Khephren Thuram remains ‘an object of desire for Liverpool’, though Inter Milan and Juventus now also plan to battle it out to sign the Nice midfielder in January. Thuram, rated at €35m, could link up with his brother Marcus if he moves to the San Siro. (Corriere dello Sport)

Bayern Munich are planning an approach to sign Arsenal defender Takehiro Tomiyasu in January, who we revealed on Monday will soon be offered a new deal to stay at Emirates Stadium. (Sky Deutschland)

Real Madrid have made contact with Roberto De Zerbi over succeeding Carlo Ancelotti next summer – and plan to entice him both with giant wages and the prospect of coaching Kylian Mbappe at the Bernabeu. (Sport)

Jorginho’s agent admits talks over a new deal at Arsenal are at a standstill and he admits that, while his client is “really happy” in north London, they are starting to consider a return to Serie A, with Juventus and Lazio both linked. (Tuttomercato)

Brentford are ready to trigger the €14m release clause in the deal of impressive Granada winger Bryan Zaragoza, with RB Leipzig also keen on signing the recent Spain debutant, 22. (AS)

Manchester United have not made an approach despite claims they are on the trail of Real Sociedad’s Spain defender Robin le Normand. (Fabrizio Romano)

Wolves are on the lookout for a new goalkeeper amid claims that No 1 Jose Sa will depart for Saudi Arabia in the January window. (various)

Tottenham are planning a January approach to Lille for striker Jonathan David after the Ligue 1 side slashed their price to just €40m (£35m). (Gazzetta dello Sport)


Roma are open to the sale of Chris Smalling in January  – and plan to replace him with Chelsea defender Malang Sarr. (Gazzetta dello Sport)

Benfica have no intentions of entering negotiations with Man Utd over Joao Neves, with the star having a huge €120m (£105m) exit clause in his deal. (Fabrizio Romano)

Fiorentina are planning to sign former West Ham man Felipe Anderson as a free agent after talks over a new deal with Lazio broke down. (Tuttomercato)

Sevilla are ready to sell former Wolves striker Rafa Mir to Bologna in a €16m deal in January. (Estadio Deportivo)

Barcelona are now open to the prospect of selling once-untouchable Alejandro Balde – who has a €1bn release clause in his deal – next summer, following a disappointing start to the season. (Sport)

Real Madrid defender David Alaba has slammed rumours suggesting he could return to Bayern Munich in 2024 and is unhappy with life in Spain. (Fabrizio Romano)

Man City and Man Utd have joined Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, Newcastle and PSG in the hunt for Napoli winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia after watching him in action for Georgia over the international break. (various)


Tottenham Hotspur have held talks with Radu Dragusin’s representative over a January move to N17 from Serie A side Genoa. The Romania defender has previously been linked with a move to Arsenal. (Gazzetta dello Sport)

Bayern Munich are considering a surprise approach for Raphael Varane after receiving word that the World Cup winner is unsettled at Manchester United. (Sky Deutschland)

Barcelona are considering recalling Pablo Torre from his loan spell with Girona amid fears Gavi has suffered a season-ending ACL injury while playing for Spain. (Sport)

Real Betis are starting to worry that Leeds United’s promotion to the Premier League will put the brakes on their chances of signing Marc Roca for an agreed €11m fee. The Spanish side can only take advantage of the clause if the Whites remain in the Championship in 2024/25. (AS)

Eden Hazard claims he turned down an enormous offer to move to Saudi Arabia this summer before announcing his decision to retire, saying “I have enough money already”. (Vibe with Five)

Real Madrid are working on two ‘mystery deals’ for more precocious Brazilian talent – and hope to wrap up their signings during the January window. (Sport)

Girona director Quique Carcel has opened up to the possibility of re-signing Spanish midfielder Oriol Romeu, 32, from Barcelona in January following his struggles to adapt to life at the Nou Camp. (Sport)

Liverpool are in no mood to sanction a reported swap deal that could see Luis Diaz move to Barcelona in exchange for former Leeds star Raphinha. (ESPN)