Transfer Gossip: Man Utd and Tottenham lock on to new goal-per-game striker who’ll cost ‘huge fee’; Arsenal transfer ‘very, very advanced’
Man Utd and Tottenham are sizing up a striker who’s notched 19 goals in 19 appearances this season, while an Arsenal transfer is “very, very advanced” and won’t be hijacked, and Newcastle are spying a double Leicester raid – all in Friday’s Transfer Gossip.
STRIKER BATTLE SET TO IGNITE
Tottenham and Man Utd are among four Premier League sides who’ve taken the first step towards signing a striker who scored a four-minute hattrick in Europe this season.
Gent’s Gift Orban is the player in question, with the Nigerian in the midst of a truly outstanding campaign for the Belgian side.
Indeed, 20-year-old right-footer has notched 19 goals in 19 matches for the club across all competitions this term. Five of those strikes came in the Europa Conference League including a four-minute hattrick against Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir on March 15.
Gent were ultimately ousted from the competition by West Ham at the quarter-final stage. However, Orban’s five goals in three play-off matches in the Jupiler Pro League has assured Gent of another crack at Europe next season.
But according to the Evening Standard, Man Utd, Tottenham, Chelsea and Fulham have all begun to scout the striker.
Interest in Orban is growing and the four clubs have sent officials to take a closer look at the player.
Orban is under contract with Gent until 2027 having only joined from Norwegian club Stabek in January. Gent thus believe they’re in a strong position to fend off any bids, though it’s acknowledged money could win out in the end.
Indeed, the Standard add a ‘huge’ bid could convince Gent to cash in early. No valuations are cited in the piece, so it’s open to debate what would constitute a ‘huge fee’ for a Belgian side.
The report also notes Orban is willing to remain in Belgium beyond the summer in the event sizeable bids do come in.
The idea there would be to guarantee the type of regular gametime that is crucial for young players to develop at a rapid rate.
As such, a move in a window beyond the upcoming summer one looks most likely. But in the meantime, Man Utd, Spurs, Chelsea and Fulham have laid the foundations for a future swoop.
ARSENAL TRANSFER CLOSE TO COMPLETION
Granit Xhaka’s surprise switch to Bayer Leverkusen is “very, very advanced”, and fears the move could be derailed at the last minute have been allayed by Fabrizio Romano.
Xhaka, 30, has been a revelation in more of a box-to-box role for the Gunners this season. He’s among Mikel Arteta’s most senior stars, though the Spanish manager is taking his side in a different direction.
Indeed, the Times reported a £170m double move for Moises Caicedo and Declan Rice has been greenlit. Rather than relegate Xhaka to a bench role, a move back to Germany is on the cards.
Xabi Alonso’s Leverkusen are closing in on a €15m (approx. £13m) deal and a four-year contract has been tabled. In his latest update, Romano termed the move “very, very advanced”.
Furthermore, fears Leverkusen’s move could be hijacked – most notably by fellow Bundesliga outfit, Borussia Dortmund – have been quashed.
Romano categorically stated: “No Borussia Dortmund or any other club in the race for Granit Xhaka at this stage. It’s only Bayer Leverkusen.”
NEWCASTLE SPY DOUBLE LEICESTER RAID
Newcastle could offer two Leicester players an immediate return to the Premier League if they’re relegated, per a report.
The Foxes are staring down the barrel of relegation and if they fail to beat the drop, an exodus of their finest stars is expected.
Two players who unquestionably fit that billing are James Maddison and Harvey Barnes. According to talkSPORT, Newcastle are sizing up both.
The Magpies’ interest in Maddison has spanned multiple windows and has not gone away. talkSPORT note technical director, Dan Ashworth, is also a keen admirer of Barnes.
Maddison (26) and Barnes (25) are in the primes of their careers and would make instant impacts at St. James’ Park.
With a first return to the Champions League since 2003 on the horizon, those types of readymade signings are now a necessity and not a luxury.
talkSPORT don’t cite how much either player would cost, though £50m valuations have been cited by other outlets.
Maddison would ordinarily be valued far higher, though will enter the final 12 months of his Leicester contract this summer.