Transfer Gossip: Ten Hag in Man Utd signing U-turn as Prem ace wanted instead of Real Madrid man; player stuck at Tottenham after Conte blocks move
Erik ten Hag has changed his mind about a potential Manchester United midfield signing and now wants a Premier League player instead of a Real Madrid star, a forward is stuck at Tottenham after Antonio Conte blocked his exit, while Saturday’s Transfer Gossip claims Steve Cooper will be given a huge budget at Nottingham Forest this summer.
TEN HAG EYES DIFFERENT MIDFIELD CAPTURE
Despite recently targeting Real Madrid’s Eduardo Camavinga in a club-record move, Ten Hag is now hoping Man Utd can sign a midfielder from a lower Premier League team, according to reports.
Wednesday’s Euro Paper Talk detailed Man Utd’s interest in Camavinga. They had supposedly begun pursuing him after a request from current star Casemiro, who wanted to reunite with Camavinga and form a brilliant midfield partnership with him.
Camavinga and Casemiro played at Real together for one season before the latter moved to Old Trafford in a deal which could rise to £70million.
Casemiro’s request saw Man Utd begin to plan a colossal offer for Camavinga. They were apparently ready to pay an astonishing €130m (£115m) on him, which would break Paul Pogba’s £89m club transfer record.
However, it now looks like Ten Hag has changed his mind on Camavinga. According to Football Insider, the manager has landed on Southampton’s Romeo Lavia as a midfield target.
The 19-year-old is set to be in ‘huge demand’ this summer and Man Utd will be at the front of the queue to snare him. London clubs Arsenal and Chelsea are also expected to initiate contact with the Saints over him.
Lavia, who represents Belgium U21s at international level, has been very impressive since moving from Manchester City to Southampton in July last year. Southampton only paid around £14m for him but could now make a big profit if the likes of Man Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea get involved in a bidding war.
Clearly, there is a big gulf in class between Camavinga and Lavia right now. However, there are two reasons why Ten Hag may have changed his mind about his next midfield arrival.
Southampton man easier to sign than Camavinga
The first is the ease of completing a deal. Real rate Camavinga incredibly highly and therefore would have held out for as much money as possible for him.
Spending £115m, or potentially more, on the former Rennes man would have obliterated Ten Hag’s transfer budget.
Lavia, in contrast, should be relatively easy to sign if Southampton are relegated from the top flight. And that is looking increasingly likely, as they currently sit 19th in the table with only 21 points.
Another factor to consider is Lavia’s huge potential. Camavinga has developed far quicker than him, which explains why the former is at Real and the latter is at Southampton.
But Lavia is still just 19. This means he has lots of time to get even better and potentially emerge into one of the top Premier League midfielders. And he already has a season in the top flight under his belt, which can only help his development.
CONTE PREVENTS TOTTENHAM TRANSFER
Lucas Moura had been hoping to leave Tottenham for Turkish club Fenerbahce recently, only for Antonio Conte to block the move, according to a report.
Moura is struggling for game time this season. Of his 14 appearances in all competitions so far, only three have lasted more than 70 minutes. He is behind Dejan Kulusevski, Son Heung-min and Richarlison in the pecking order in terms of the positions supporting Harry Kane.
At 30, Moura wants to be playing regularly so he can make the most of his final few years as a professional footballer and also potentially prolong his career.
Following the end of the January transfer window, during which Moura failed to leave Spurs, Fenerbahce stepped up as a potential suitor. Turkey had been given an extended winter transfer window period following the recent earthquake disaster. It ran until March 5.
According to Turkish outlet Sporx, Moura ‘gave the green light’ to a Fenerbahce move. But the transfer did not go through as Conte wanted to keep the Brazilian for the remainder of the campaign. That is despite him using Moura sparingly in recent months.
Moura is now stuck in north London until his contract expires in June. Luckily for the player, Fenerbahce are maintaining their interest in him.
The report claims the Turkish Super Lig outfit have begun discussions with Moura’s agent over a free transfer in the summer.
Due to his contract running down, Conte will not be able to block his transfer this time. And the manager might not even be at the club anyway, with his contract also set to expire.
Unfortunately for Fenerbahce, they are no longer the only club interested in Moura. Sides from Spain, France and Italy have been tipped to begin talks with him, though the report fails to name these teams.
Fenerbahce’s plan to win the race for the Spurs attacker is to ‘mobilise’ all of their finances and throw as much money at him as possible.
NOTT’M FOREST GIVE COOPER TRANSFER WAR CHEST
After signing a plethora of new players last summer, Nottingham Forest are preparing to do the same later this year, according to a report.
Forest brought in an incredible 21 players as they prepared for life in the Premier League once again. Steve Cooper’s side also signed Danilo, Felipe, Gustavo Scarpa, Jonjo Shelvey, Chris Wood, Andre Ayew and Keylor Navas in January to help push them away from the relegation zone.
The stunning transfer policy seems to have worked. Forest sit in 14th spot at the time of writing, four points above the bottom three.
Cooper has managed to gel his rather bloated squad together and is now reaping the rewards.
Several players will likely leave the City Ground at the end of the season so they can pick up more game time elsewhere. But this will only make space on the wage bill for more new signings.
As per Pete O’Rourke of Football Insider, Cooper will be handed a further £100m to bolster his team in the summer.
Owner Evangelos Marinakis wants to see the club finish in the top 10 in the future and is therefore willing to dig deep financially once again.
However, Forest will target ‘quality over quantity’ as they look to bring in players who are Premier League-ready.
A new centre-back and a new striker are the two main areas that will be strengthened. Cooper is also hopeful of resolving the goalkeeper situation. Current options Dean Henderson and Navas are only at the club on loan.