Transfer Gossip: Ten Hag pushing Man Utd to sign Roma attacker as ‘genuine’ interest revealed; Chelsea to usurp Liverpool in £100m race

Paulo Dybala and Tammy Abraham of Roma

Erik ten Hag is a big fan of a Roma goalscorer and ‘genuine interest’ from Manchester United could see the Red Devils beat a Premier League rival to his signature, Chelsea remain firmly in the hunt for a top Liverpool target despite their massive spending, while Wednesday’s Transfer Gossip claims Newcastle will soon swoop in for an Inter Milan ace.

MAN UTD GO AFTER ROMA FORWARD

Man Utd have begun looking at Roma striker Tammy Abraham to lead their forward line for next season and a trusted reporter has confirmed their interest in him is ‘genuine’.

The 25-year-old left Chelsea in August 2021 by signing for Roma in a £34million deal. He knew he was not going to get much game time due to the arrival of Romelu Lukaku.

However, while Lukaku struggled at Stamford Bridge and has since been loaned out to Inter Milan, Abraham has impressed under Jose Mourinho.

Last season he found the back of the net 27 times in 53 games, helping Roma win the inaugural Europa Conference League and finish sixth in Serie A.

Abraham did endure a dry spell this term, failing to score in any league matches between September 18 and November 6. However, he still boasts a decent record of seven goals and five assists from 29 appearances so far.

Man Utd’s hunt for a new striker has been well documented and in late December Abraham appeared on their shortlist. At the time, transfer insider Dean Jones claimed Ten Hag to be looking at the England international and Lille star Jonathan David, too.

On Friday, Goal cast doubt over whether Man Utd would actually move in for Abraham. They claimed Ten Hag has doubts over his goalscoring ability.

However, trusted journalist Ben Jacobs now reveals that the hunt for the ex-Chelsea man is well and truly on.

Ten Hag ‘likes’ Serie A player

During an interview with CaughtOffside, Jacobs explained how Ten Hag ‘likes the player’, with Man Utd’s interest ‘genuine’. And in a welcome boost for the Red Devils, they should not face competition from Chelsea for him.

“There’s nothing particularly concrete between Abraham and any Premier League club at this point,” Jacobs said. “But what is true is that there is a buy-back clause for Chelsea, which became valid in 2023.

“Chelsea do want a forward this summer, but there’s no suggestion Abraham is top of their list and that buy-back clause is set at €80m (£71m). Chelsea would prefer to try to make the Joao Felix loan deal permanent and then focus on outgoings in the final third to work out what else is feasible, both financially and in terms of squad size.

“If they do sign Felix I can still see them trying for another striker and there are several names on their list. Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic is one forward to keep an eye on with a real opportunity to get a done this summer.

“For Manchester United, the admiration for Abraham is very genuine. Ten Hag likes like the player. But like Chelsea there are others ahead of him in the queue. We know Manchester United love Napoli’s Victor Osimhen, as in fact do Chelsea.

“Manchester United won’t bill Abraham as a ‘back up’ to Osimhen, but it’s not a bad way of putting it.”

It seems Man Utd are more likely to pursue Osimhen at the start of the summer window than Abraham. But as Osimhen could cost way over £100m, financial constraints may force them to prioritise Abraham instead.

LIVERPOOL FACE SERIOUS CHELSEA THREAT

Chelsea’s huge spending in the last two transfer windows will not stop them from going big in the hunt for Jude Bellingham this summer, according to a report.

Chelsea have caused shockwaves around Europe by parting with over £600m to sign 18 new players since a Todd Boehly-led consortium took over in May 2022.

They have brought in top players such as Enzo Fernandez, Joao Felix, Benoit Badiashile, Kalidou Koulibaly and Mykhaylo Mudryk. The Fernandez deal was particularly huge, with Chelsea breaking the British transfer record by paying Benfica £107m for him.

Recent reports have suggested Chelsea will stop there and are unlikely to sanction any more big arrivals at the end of the season. The squad is large enough as it is, and Chelsea surely cannot be far off maxing out the Financial Fair Play limit.

But according to The Telegraph, the one player they will target this summer is Bellingham. Blues chiefs ‘have not been put off’ trying to capture Bellingham, despite all of their recent deals.

Chelsea know they are not at the front of the queue for him. Liverpool and Real Madrid are believed to be his main suitors, and it seems he would prefer a switch to Anfield out of those two options.

However, The Telegraph state Boehly will do all he can to get Chelsea involved in the conversation. The club will begin talks with both Bellingham’s agent and Dortmund later this year, just as Liverpool and Real will.

Bellingham’s prospective move back to the Prem could eclipse Fernandez’s transfer record. Dortmund rate the midfielder incredibly highly and will only sell him for well over £100m.

But Chelsea have shown they are willing to go above and beyond to get their top targets in. And they will do the same if a bidding war for Bellingham ensues.

One way Chelsea could help to fund their Bellingham offer is by getting rid of some players currently at Graham Potter’s disposal. The likes of Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic, Conor Gallagher and Ruben Loftus-Cheek could be sold this summer. Currently, there is simply too many players in Potter’s squad for him to make use of.

Liverpool may be in pole position for Bellingham, but it seems Chelsea will put up as much of a fight as possible for him.

NEWCASTLE TO STEP UP DEFENDER INTEREST

Newcastle could soon increase their pursuit of Inter Milan star Stefan de Vrij by making a ‘concrete’ approach for him, according to a report.

The centre-back is due to become a free agent at the end of June and he is not short of potential suitors. Tottenham, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla and Leicester are all thought to be on his trail.

But now, Italian outlet FC Inter News provide an update on the situation and reveal Newcastle are firmly in the mix. They have a long-standing interest in De Vrij and it could heat up in the next few weeks.

Eddie Howe’s side are predicted to make a ‘concrete’ approach to De Vrij and his agent. This will likely involve a contract offer ahead of a potential free transfer to St James’ Park later this year.

Inter remain keen on keeping the 31-year-old but they are struggling to meet his wage demands. Newcastle’s embarrassment of riches means they do not have this problem and can offer De Vrij a lucrative deal.

The Magpies know they will need more new arrivals in the summer if they qualify for next season’s Champions League. And club chiefs view De Vrij as an excellent addition, due to his extensive experience at the top level and the fact he is available for free.

However, Spurs will give Newcastle major competition for the Netherlands international. It recently emerged that Spurs have been blown out of the water by Paris Saint-Germain in their hopes of signing Milan Skriniar.

As such, according to Football Insider, Antonio Conte now wants the team to bring in Skriniar’s Inter team-mate De Vrij instead. This means both Spurs and Newcastle could send him contract proposals in the near future.

It will then be up to the Serie A star to decide where he wants to spend the next few years of his career.