Paper Talk: Verbal agreement struck, as Murtough nears first Man Utd signing

Date published: Saturday 15th May 2021 8:51 - Jonny Whitfield

Manchester United are closing in on a new signing from the Premier League, while Chelsea await a £20million bid for one star – both in all the latest Paper Talk.

MAN UTD NEAR HEATON SIGNING

Manchester United have reached a verbal agreement to sign Aston Villa goalkeeper Tom Heaton, according to a report.

United are looking at bolstering several areas of their squad ahead of a potential title charge next season. While a new attacking option such as a winger or striker could be on the cards, the Red Devils want new options further back. A fresh centre-back to partner Harry Maguire could be financed, but goalkeeping options are also on the agenda.

Dean Henderson has overtaken David de Gea to become the No. 1 stopper for Premier League matches.

Behind the pair, Lee Grant is the third choice but Football Insider reports that United, led by football director John Murtough have not yet offered the 38-year-old a new contract. Sergio Romero is also set to leave, having been frozen out for a while.

As such, ex-Red Devil Heaton emerged earlier this week as a target to fill that gap, with the Old Trafford club lining up a swoop.

Football Insider now adds that United have reached a verbal agreement to sign the former Burnley man. He is out of contract at Villa Park this summer and so will be a free signing.

As for his role back at United – where he left in 2010 – his ‘lucrative’ wage packet will see him take on a coaching role, as well as step into the team if and when required.

Indeed, such a deal is worth more than the offer he has received to stay at Villa and he has accepted the arrangement, despite there being less of a prospect of game time in the North West.

Heaton moved to Villa in the summer of 2019 but spent most of last season on the sidelines with a knee injury. This term, meanwhile, he has served as back-up to Emiliano Martinez.


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AND THE REST FROM PAPER TALK

Southampton are planning a £20million bid for Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek this summer. The Englishman is returning from a loan spell at Fulham, but he could be surplus to requirements. (Express)

Barcelona are preparing to make signing Erling Haaland a bigger priority than securing Lionel Messi’s future. (The Sun)

Meanwhile, Sergio Aguero is close to a move to Camp Nou. However, he will have to take a 40 per cent pay cut for the deal to go through. (The Sun)

Roy Hodgson is set to move to West Brom if Sam Allardyce quits the Baggies following their relegation. Hodgson is into the final months of his Crystal Palace deal, but is likely to leave. (The Sun)

PEP TARGETS BIG DEFENDER DEAL

Manchester City are plotting a big £52million move for Sporting defender Nuno Mendes this summer. (Daily Mail)

Everton fear that burglars are targeting the club after Abdoulaye Doucoure had his home raided. Indeed, he is the third Toffees star to suffer in recent times. (The Sun)

Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic has dismissed rumours that he could leave the club. (ESPN)

Blues owner Roman Abramovich has given manager Thomas Tuchel the choice between signing Erling Haaland or Romelu Lukaku this summer. (Express)

SPURS GIVEN TRANSFER BOOST

Fulham’s on-loan Lyon defender Joachim Andersen wants to stay in the Premier League next season, in a big boost to Tottenham. (Evening Standard)

Spurs have interest in the player, who is valued at around £20million. (Sky Sports)

Manchester United have suspended photographers from two agencies because of images of recent anti-Glazer protests. (Daily Telegraph)

Furthermore, the protests have forced Man Utd and Liverpool to scrap plans for pre-season friendly clashes. (The Times)

BARCA PLANNING SUMMER EXODUS

Samuel Umtiti TEAMtalk

Barcelona could move on up to 14 players this summer, including French defender Samuel Umtiti. (Mundo Deportivo)

Arsenal do not intend to negotiate a new deal – either loan or permanent – for Dani Ceballos with Real Madrid. (Independent)

The Gunners have also decided not to renew David Luiz’s contract, which runs out at the end of the season. (Daily Mail)

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