Transfer Gossip: Man Utd approach free agent over shock switch; £26m man pleads for Tottenham move; McKennie to Leeds twist
Manchester United are looking to sign a free-agent defender that could spell the end for Harry Maguire, a £26m-rated star is desperate to sign for Tottenham, while Saturday’s Transfer Gossip has the latest on the Leeds move for Weston McKennie.
STEFAN DE VRIJ ON MAN UTD TRANSFER RADAR
Manchester United are readying a surprise move to snare Stefan De Vrij to Old Trafford this summer, according to a report.
United manager Erik ten Hag appears unlikely to add any more players to his squad this month with the January window closing on Tuesday night. Having signed just Jack Butland and Wout Weghorst, it seems the Red Devils are gearing up instead for another massive summer spree.
Ten Hag will of course hope to have secured Champions League football by then and with it, an even-vaster transfer budget.
And among Ten Hag’s targets are a new big-name striker, a new goalkeeper and – if all goes to plan – a new right-back too.
But there will likely be departures too and one clever piece of business could see United offload the troubled Harry Maguire. The England defender has fallen way down the pecking order under Ten Hag. And amid a recent masterful Ten Hag move, Maguire has been told it is game over for him at Man Utd.
United can expect to make a massive loss on their £80m investment for Maguire. However, he will reportedly still command a fee of around £35m – which would be added to Ten Hag’s budget.
Ten Hag wants Dutch star De Vrij on a free
And a clever piece of business could see United sign his replacement in De Vrij on a free.
The Netherlands stalwart becomes a free agent this summer and is now eligible to sign a pre-contract agreement overseas.
And, according to Sport Italia, United are one of several sides to make proposals to sign him. Indeed, as well as United, the star has offers on the table from Newcastle, Tottenham, Villarreal and Feyenoord.
The 30-year-old could also yet sign an extension to remain at Inter Milan too.
Per the report, De Vrij will decide his future by mid-February, with Manchester United reportedly among the favourites to sign him.
Speaking to Italian broadcaster Rai Sport, De Vrij’s agent Federico Pastorello admits the player’s situation is intwined with another Inter star.
He said: “I don’t know if (Milan) Skriniar will go to PSG by the end of the transfer market in January. But what I can say is that the Inter managers have called me in these hours to speed up the contract renewal of De Vrij, who is my client.
“He wants to stay in Milan. However, there are also other clubs, especially the Spanish ones, who have been asking for him for some time.”
NICOLO ZANIOLO DESPERATE TO SIGN FOR TOTTENAM
Bournemouth have been rejected TWICE by Nicolo Zaniolo, with the Roma star making it clear he only wants to join Tottenham.
The ambitious Cherries on Friday sealed the signing of Antoine Semenyo from Bristol City to boost their attack.
However, plans to add Zaniolo to the mix look to have failed. And they have now seen two bids to lure him to the Vitality fall short.
With Roma keen to sell, attacking midfielder Zaniolo looks destined to move to the Premier League.
But it seems a move to Bournemouth is of no interest to the star. Gary O’Neil’s side first made made an approach to sign him in midweek, only to see their offer rejected.
As per Fabrizio Romano, a second and improved approach from the Cherries has also been rejected.
And it seems the star is making his next destination very clear too. Per Romano, if Zaniolo stays in Italy, it is Milan he wants. Should he come to England, then Tottenham are seen as the only club for him.
Confirming Roma are seeking £26m (€30m) for Zaniolo, Tottenham will now weigh up whether to pounce.
Antonio Conte’s side, though, have already signed Arnaut Danjuma to boost their attack.
And a deal for Pedro Porro is expected to go through early next week after Tottenham adhered to a Sporting Lisbon request.
LEEDS TO HOLD FRESH ROUND OF TALKS OVER WESTON MCKENNIE
Leeds United will hold more talks with Juventus to try and thrash out a deal for Weston McKennie.
The Whites are honing in on the USA star in a bid to strengthen their midfield options.
Leeds have already signed Maximilian Wober and Georginio Rutter this month. And they will hope to complete an excellent window by adding McKennie too.
The USA star has already agreed personal terms with Leeds, having spoken to Jesse Marsch and Tyler Adams about life in West Yorkshire.
But striking a deal with Juventus has proved more problematic for the Whites.
Juventus are reportedly holding out for as much as £30.6m (€35m) for the 24-year-old.
And while that price is a little steep for Leeds, they reportedly made a bid that comes in for less.
However, Fabrizio Romano now states the two clubs are in discussions over a loan deal. That would give Leeds an option to buy in the summer – but not entirely on their terms.
But if Leeds cannot match their price now, Juve feel a loan would be a better option for them. And should McKennie impress, Juventus will retain the right to sell him to the highest bidder come the summer.
The good news for Leeds is that, according to Romano, there is ‘optimism’ that the deal can be done.
He says talks will resume on Saturday in an effort to ‘get the deal sealed’.
And if all goes to plan, Leeds will be able to add McKennie to the mix. And the USA star could be in their squad for the crucial clash at Nottingham Forest on Sunday February 5.
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