Transfer Gossip: Man Utd to battle Newcastle for star with eye-catching valuation; Tottenham interest in Prem ace leaked; Chelsea deal confirmed
Man Utd and Newcastle are both mulling moves for a Belgian midfielder who boasts an eye-catching valuation, while Tottenham’s interest in a Premier League playmaker has been leaked and a confirmed Chelsea deal has crossed the line – all in Saturday’s Transfer Gossip.
MAN UTD, NEWCASTLE CHASING BELGIAN MIDFIELDER
The Red Devils and Magpies have both been namechecked as potential next destinations by a report that has shed light on Belgian football’s newest hope.
Man Utd and Newcastle may be going head-to-head in the EFL Cup final and the race for top four this season, though the battle could quickly transcend into the transfer market too.
That’s according to the Daily Mail who report both clubs are sizing up Royal Antwerp’s Arthur Vermeeren.
The 18-year-old central midfielder has broken into Antwerp’s first-team this season and that is projected to be just the tip of the iceberg.
Indeed, he’s been earning rave reviews under the tutelage former Dutch international Mark van Bommel and is being tipped to ‘revitalise’ the Belgian national side following a disappointing World Cup campaign in Qatar.
The Premier League vultures are also beginning to take note, with the Mail adding Man Utd are ‘monitoring’ the player.
Newcastle are also namechecked, while varying other unnamed Premier League sides are also believed to be in the frame. Clearly, Vermeeren is a man in demand and won’t remain at Antwerp for long.
On the subject of transfer fees, the Mail reveal Vermeeren is already valued at a hefty £20m. That is a sizeable sum given he’s only 18, has never played outside of the Belgian top flight and has just 16 senior appearances to his name.
However, it’s another indication of just how highly rated the teenage midfielder is.
TOTTENHAM INTEREST IN CREATIVE FORCE LEAKED
Spurs assistant manager, Cristian Stellini, has confirmed his side are huge admirers of a frequently-linked transfer target who would add a new dimension to their midfield.
A common criticism of Tottenham this season has been their midfield is one-paced.
Rodrigo Bentancur, Yves Bissouma and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg are all fantastic players in their own right. However, all favour the defensive side of the game and Tottenham’s star-studded forward line are often starved of quick and accurate service.
To remedy the issue, Leicester’s James Maddison has frequently been linked. The 26-year-old is a bona fide creative force having notched 20 goals and 12 assists in his last 50 Premier League outings.
Newcastle twice bid for Maddison in previous windows and per the Northern Echo, are expected to try their luck a third time at season’s end.
However, per Stellini, the Magpies may have a rival bidder in the form of Tottenham.
The Italian – who has stood in for Antonio Conte who recently underwent gallbladder surgery – appeared to let the cat out of the bag when speaking about Maddison during a press conference.
“We like Maddison,” admitted Stellini (via the Mirror). “He is an important player in this league, a player with an important type of skill, like his delivery, his crossing, his right foot is a very important foot so he shoots, he crosses, he takes the set-pieces.
“He is a player you have to take care of. When you play against him, you have to be careful. When you feel how important is this type of skill, for sure you like this type of player.
“He’s a player with talent. At the moment he’s playing for Leicester, a team we play against. We take care of him like an opponent.”
The Mirror note Spurs are indeed seeking a playmaker who can unpick a tight defence come the summer. Few would come better than Maddison who is only now entering the prime of his career.
The highest of Newcastle’s previous failed bids totalled £50m. However, a bid of that size may be sufficient at season’s end given Maddison will have just 12 months remaining on his deal at that time.
CHELSEA CONFIRM VITAL DEAL
The Blues have confirmed veteran centre-back, Thiago Silva, has signed a new contract that’ll see him pushing 40 in the Premier League.
The Brazilian is a class apart and has been nothing short of sensational since joining Chelsea as a free agent in 2020.
Silva has already struck up a fine understanding with January recruit Benoit Badiashile. The Blues are yet to concede a single goal in the three matches in which Graham Potter has selected the duo.
Fabrizio Romano revealed Silva had verballed agreed to add another year onto his existing deal on Friday,. Silva’s contract was due to expire in the summer, but Chelsea have now officially confirmed Silva isn’t going anywhere just yet.
Via their website, Chelsea confirmed Silva has penned a one-year extension that’ll keep him at the club until the summer of 2024.
Silva is currently 38 and will turn 39 in September. As such, he’ll be just three months away from turning 40 when next season concludes.
Given his flawless performances at Stamford Bridge, few would bet against Silva earning another 12-month extension at this stage next year.