Transfer Gossip: Ten Hag eyes shock signing of big Liverpool flop as Man Utd begin talks; Arsenal ‘register interest’ in exciting Swiss forward
Erik ten Hag wants Manchester United to surprisingly sign a player who flopped at Liverpool, Arsenal have begun targeting a Swiss attacker with 10 goals to his name this season, while Tuesday’s Transfer Gossip claims a Tottenham-linked midfielder is ‘likely’ to move this summer.
MAN UTD PLOT EX-LIVERPOOL RAID
Man Utd are reportedly interested in landing Porto midfielder Marko Grujic, despite the Serbian only managing 16 appearances for Liverpool in six years.
Grujic came through Red Star Belgrade’s academy and went on to play 41 times for the club before Liverpool came calling. They signed him for £5.1million when he was just 19 years old.
Grujic subsequently had loan spells at Cardiff, Hertha Berlin and Porto. In between those loan exits he played 16 times in a Liverpool shirt, though he failed to impress manager Jurgen Klopp and also only scored one goal.
The player spent two seasons on loan at Porto before his transfer to the Portuguese club became permanent in summer 2022.
He is enjoying regular game time in the Porto first team, having played in 30 matches so far this campaign.
Grujic is also becoming comfortable playing in the Champions League, having featured against Bayer Leverkusen, Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan before Porto’s last-16 exit.
It seems Grujic, who has won 19 cabs for Serbia, has done enough to appear on Man Utd’s radar. According to Sport Witness, who cite Serbian outlet Telegraf, Ten Hag has instructed Man Utd to ‘enquire’ about Grujic’s services.
The Red Devils have already entered initial discussions with Porto through intermediaries, too.
Marko Grujic represents cheap midfield option
Ten Hag clearly thinks Grujic can be a shrewd capture to improve Man Utd’s midfield. As he only recently became a Porto player, he would not cost anywhere near as much as other midfielders such as Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham or Frenkie de Jong.
transfermarkt put his value at just €9m (£7.8m). However, Man Utd would likely have to spend more than this to reach an agreement as Portuguese clubs are generally good at negotiating player exits.
Man Utd will have to act fast to make Grujic’s Premier League return a reality. That is because AC Milan have also been impressed by his performances this term and are plotting a move of their own.
The report claims Grujic must consider two factors before agreeing to a Man Utd switch. The first is whether he can overcome his allegiances to Liverpool. He grew up supporting the Anfield club, so it may be tough for him to play for one of their biggest rivals.
Secondly, Grujic would be disappointing the Liverpool faithful by signing for Man Utd. He would potentially receive a hostile welcome when returning to Anfield in a Man Utd shirt.
Despite these obvious problems, it would be silly for the player to turn down Man Utd. Opportunities like these do not come around often and Grujic could prove Liverpool wrong by doing well for Man Utd.
Plus, Grujic would play more for Man Utd than he did at Liverpool. After all, he is a lot more mature and boasts plenty more experience than when he first moved to England.
ARSENAL EYE RED BULL SALZBURG SWOOP
Arsenal are one of three Premier League teams to have told Red Bull Salzburg they want Noah Okafor, according to a report.
Okafor has been in good form this season. The centre-forward has registered 10 goals and five assists in 30 games. Three of those goals came in the Champions League group stage, including one against Chelsea, but Salzburg dropped down to the Europa League as they could not finish in the top two.
Despite Okafor being important to the way Salzburg play, it is likely he will depart the club this summer. His contract expires in June 2024 and he will not renew it amid interest from clubs across Europe.
Italian sides AC Milan and Inter Milan want him, although their lack of spending power could see Okafor go elsewhere.
As per the Daily Mail, the Switzerland international has become a prime target for Arsenal. The Gunners are planning to meet his £25m price tag after ‘registering their interest’ in him.
However, a bidding war could begin as London rivals Tottenham and West Ham are also eyeing Okafor.
Salzburg have shown in previous windows they are willing to sell their best players for the right price. Ultimately, they will be hoping a bidding war begins so they can get as much money for Okafor as possible.
Okafor would be a great signing for Arsenal. He is still only 22 but is already developing into a high-quality forward. This means he would be able to challenge for a starting spot immediately under Mikel Arteta, while also helping to future-proof the squad.
Okafor is versatile, too. While he prefers to play down the middle, he can also operate as a winger on either flank if needed. This means he can fill in for Gabriel Jesus, Bukayo Saka or Gabriel Martinelli, should one of them pick up an injury.
TOTTENHAM TARGET ‘LIKELY’ TO ACHIEVE TRANSFER
Tottenham have a great opportunity to revamp their midfield with the capture of Inter’s Marcelo Brozovic as he is ‘likely’ to move on this summer, according to a report.
A year ago, Inter confirmed that Brozovic had penned a new contract with them. It is supposed to keep him at the San Siro until June 2026.
However, this new deal has not stopped Tottenham from pursuing the midfield enforcer. They have regularly been linked with him in the past six months.
Liverpool have also been tipped to make an offer for Brozovic, though they are currently looking at alternative midfielders.
Italian source Gazzetta dello Sport claim Inter are ‘likely’ to sell the 30-year-old if a good offer arrives in the summer. They have been left disappointed with his performances and will cash in if their valuation is met. Unfortunately their price is not revealed by the report.
Brozovic’s disappointing form will not concern Spurs. They will believe they can get the best out of him by offering him an exciting new challenge.
The former Dinamo Zagreb man could form a top midfield partnership with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg or Rodrigo Bentancur, once the latter returns from injury.
Brozovic may be slightly worried about the managerial situation at Spurs. Antonio Conte looks set to be sacked after his recent outburst at the club.
In order to keep Brozovic happy, Spurs will need to act fast when replacing Conte. And it seems Mauricio Pochettino could return to the north London club as his replacement.
This should be enough to convince Brozovic that a transfer to Spurs is the right next move for him. After all, Pochettino is a great tactician who should get Spurs playing exciting football once again.