Manchester United are ready to abandon their move for Kim Min-jae after making the first move for a Chelsea target instead, Arsenal are being offered the chance to sign a Barcelona attacker, while Saturday’s Transfer Gossip claims Manchester City and Bayern Munich are to discuss a swap deal.
TEN HAG WANTS JULES KOUNDE OVER KIM MIN-JAE AT MAN UTD
Erik ten Hag is reportedly willing to end Manchester United interest in Kim Min-jae with Jules Kounde now their No 1 defensive target.
The Red Devils boss is gearing up for his second summer in charge and potentially the biggest summer of spending in the club’s history.
With a takeover saga edging closer, Ten Hag is planning for the next phase of his rebuilding programme. And the United boss has his sights set on four blockbuster signings.
Indeed, United’s interest in signing a new striker is well documented. In addition, the Manchester United boss also wants a new midfielder, a right-back and a centre-half.
And it seems a new central defender to replace Harry Maguire will be their first business of the summer. As a result, they have been strongly linked with a move for Kim Min-jae.
The Napoli defender has a tempting exit clause that becomes active for two weeks in early July. That grants interested clubs the chance to sign the South Korean for a lowly €50m.
United though are reportedly willing to pay a premium to get the deal done early.
However, per reports in Spain, United are now ready to priortise Jules Kounde instead.
The Barcelona star made his name as a centre-half, but has played the majority of his first season at Barcelona as a right-back.
That versatility makes him an extremely attractive option for United, who could kill two birds with one stone signing the Frenchman instead.
Kounde breaks silence on Barcelona future amid Man Utd and Chelsea links
And now, according to AS, United have already made their move for the €70m-rated star. Per the Spanish paper, United have been in contact with Barcelona to enquire about the 24-year-old’s services.
And with funds needed to be raised at Barcelona, there is a belief that Kounde could be sacrificed this summer.
Any United move would certainly anger Chelsea amid claims Kounde is Mauricio Pochettino’s top target at Chelsea.
However, without the promise of European football, let alone the Champions League, Pochettino is reportedly in danger of missing out on the signing to United.
The Argentine faces a tough task to revive Chelsea’s fortunes, but had seemingly locked on to Kounde as his possible first signing.
Now those chances are severely dented amid claims a move to the Red Devils is on the agenda.
Kounde, for his part, has broken his silence on claims he is pushing to quit Barcelona this summer.
Having played out of position, it was claimed he is seeking to move on in order to secure his place in the France squad for the 2024 European Championships.
However, Kounde has made it clear that he is not looking to rock the boat.
“To make it clear, at no time did I ask to leave, and I’m not going anywhere,” the defender said on Twitter.
That said, there is an acknowledgement at Barcelona that Kounde is not happy.
And having spoken to Kounde on his future, Xavi said: “I spoke to him, yes, we were happy, and everything was clear.
“I don’t see any problems. We both came out of the meeting happy.”
ARSENAL OFFERED CHANCE TO SIGN ANSU FATI
One Barcelona star who does seem certain to move on this summer, though, is Ansu Fati.
The winger has had to play second fiddle to Raphinha, Ousmane Dembele and Ferran Torres this season. And that has seen the player’s father make a public admission on the 20-year-old’s future.
With Barcelon also reportedly exploring ways to bring Lionel Messi back to the club, it seems likely Fati will be allowed to leave.
The winger boasts 26 goals and six assists for Barcelona from 107 appearances; a goal involvement every 3.3 appearances.
As a result, Barcelona moved to tie him to a new contract in October 2021, tying him down to summer 2027. And that deal saw his exit clause raised to €170m amid links at the time to Manchester United.
However, Barcelona are now willing to sell for a sigificantly-lesser fee. And it’s claimed Fati could leave for as little as €50m this summer.
That has alerted Wolves, with claims growing over a lucrative swap deal involving Ruben Neves.
And while Mikel Arteta’s side are open to bringing in a new winger this summer, they are yet to respond to the offer.
Indeed, that is because Arsenal are still waiting to see what Reiss Nelson will decide to do after falling out of contract.
The Gunners are looking to tie the academy product down to a new deal after a series of excellent displays.
Should he depart, however, with Aston Villa and Everton among those keen, then Arsenal could follow up on the Fati links.
Arsenal are likely to prioritise the signing of a new midfielder though first, with Declan Rice a top target.
MAN CITY AND BAYERN MUNICH TO DISCUSS SWAP DEAL
Manchester City are reportedly ready to offer Bayern Munich a fresh chance to sign Joao Cancelo this summer.
The Portuguese star surprisingly departed City in January, joining Bayern on loan for the remainder of the season. That deal offered Bayern an option to make the move permanent in the summer for a fee of around €60m.
Cancelo, though, has not quite had the impact expected at Bayern. And that has led to claims that the Bundesliga giants will send him back to the Etihad at the end of the season.
But with Pep Guardiola no longer wanting him at the Etihad, Cancelo is reportedly on Arsenal and Barcelona’s radars.
And the player Guardiola reportedly wants in exchange is Joshua Kimmich.
The Germany player appears destined to leave Bayern this summer after falling out with the club. And Barcelona are reportedly leading the chase to sign the versatile star this summer.
However, City are now willing to offer Cancelo as a makeweight in any deal for Kimmich.
Capable of playing at right-back or as a defensive midfielder, Guardiola knows the player well having coached him at Bayern.
Now a reunion will reportedly be on the cards amid talk of a swap.
Bayern are reportedly open to the move and with Cancelo also keen, it seems Kimmich’s decision will now be key.
However, it’s reported that the 28-year-old is open to a move abroad and a reunion with Guardiola.