Paper Talk: Cheaper Varane alternative to face Man Utd in Europa semis

Date published: Thursday 29th April 2021 8:53 - Robert McCarthy

Manchester United could get a first-hand look at a cheaper centre-back alternative to Raphael Varane when the Red Devils take on Roma, while a Nigerian striker is dreaming of a move to Arsenal, according to Thursday’s transfer gossip.

MAN UTD EYE CHEAPER VARANE ALTERNATIVE

Manchester United could get a first-hand look at a cheaper alternative option to Raphael Varane when they take on Roma on Thursday night.

The Red Devils are set to face the Italian outfit at Old Trafford in the first leg of the Europa League semi-finals.

One player who could line up against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men is on-loan centre-back Marash Kumbulla.

The 21-year-old joined from Hellas Verona in September last year, signing a two-year loan deal which includes an obligation for Roma to buy the player in the summer of 2022.

The four-cap Albania international, who is valued at £24.3m by Transfermarkt, has made 23 appearances and scored twice for the Serie A outfit this term.

Kumbulla missed both legs of the quarter-final win over Ajax due to a torn meniscus. However, he was an unused substitute at the weekend against Cagliari and could return to the starting XI in the absence of the suspended Gianluca Mancini against the Red Devils.

If he does feature, a report in the Daily Express claims that it would give United a close look at a player they may look to try and land.

The talented Albanian was on United’s radar last summer and is deemed as a cheaper alternative to top centre-back target Varane.

The Real Madrid star wants to move on this summer but it would cost United around £60m to do a deal.

Kumbulla would cost significantly less and initially be viewed as a back-up option to the likes of Victor Lindeloff and Eric Bailly, who signed a new United deal this week.


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GENK ACE DREAMING OF ARSENAL MOVE

Paul Onuachu TEAMtalk

Genk striker Paul Onuachu revealed signing for Arsenal would be a ‘dream’. (The Sun)

Chelsea will step up plans to re-sign Romelu Lukaku in a £90million-plus deal. (The Sun)

Jorge Mendes wants to get Nuno Espirito Santo to Tottenham. (The Sun)

The chief executives of the six rebel European Super League clubs have all resigned their roles with the Premier League. (The Sun)

Chelsea will listen to offers in the region of £40million for Tammy Abraham. (Daily Telegraph)

Oliver Giroud and Thibault Courtois have been captured discussing Timo Werner’s miss in tunnel footage. (Daily Mirror)

ARTETA LINES UP ODEGAARD ALTERNATIVE

Julian Brandt, Dortmund delight

Arsenal are looking at alternatives to Martin Odegaard and are plotting a cheap move for Borussia Dortmund star Julian Brandt. (Daily Mail)

Brendan Rodgers has reiterated his happiness at Leicester after rebuffing fresh interest from Tottenham. (Daily Mail)

Norwich manager Daniel Farke is on the shortlist of German clubs Eintracht Frankfurt and Wolfsburg. (Daily Express)

A proposed move to bring Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard to Liverpool is off, reports suggest. (Daily Star)

Bruno Fernandes is loving life at Manchester United so much that he may want to extend his role into management after he hangs up his boots.  (Daily Star)

Watford are in talks with Chelsea about signing Ike Ugbo. The striker is on loan at Cercle Bruges and could cost £5m deal. (The Athletic)

MORE TRANSFER GOSSIP

Merih Demiral TEAMtalk

Everton are interested in Juventus and Turkey defender Merih Demiral (BBC Sport, via Calciomercato)

John Kennedy is in the frame to become Celtic’s sporting director and the Hoops want him to work closely with top target Eddie Howe, who remains on course to become Neil Lennon’s permanent successor this summer. (Scottish Sun)

Rangers are in the hunt for highly-rated Heerenveen midfielder Joey Veerman – but could lose Ianis Hagi. (Scottish Sun)

St Mirren could raid Scottish Cup rivals St Johnstone with a swoop for winger Michael O’Halloran. (Scottish Sun)

SPFL bosses are bracing themselves for a potentially explosive day of drama off the pitch on Thursday. They will attempt to defuse another hugely controversial Covid-19 crisis. (Daily Record)

 

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