While the Old Trafford faithful shout ‘Attack, attack, attack!’ from the stands, Manchester United are reportedly interested in signing two defenders from Spain.
Barcelona centre-back Marc Bartra and Atheltic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte are both said to be on Manchester United’s radar, as the club looks to make signings that may help turn the dismal results of the current season around.
Bartra is said to be discontent with his current situation at Barcelona, as he is not getting much game time under Luis Enrique’s reign. The 25-year-old, who was not named in the Barcelona squad that traveled to the Emirates for a Tuesday night Champions League clash against Arsenal, is set to be offloaded by his club in the summer transfer window.
Although he has a release clause in his contract, that sets his price at around £20 million, Barcelona are ready to let Bartra go at less than half that price (£9 million), according to TalkSport.
Meanwhile, a report in Spanish news outlet Fichajes says that the Red Devils are preparing to sign Athletic Bilbao’s sensational centre-back Laporte. The Frenchman has showcased his talent at some of the highest levels of football, and is also believed to be wanted by Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane.
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Gareth Bale going nowhere, says agent
The Welshman has clearly not been having the best of seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu, and it seems that the bosses in the board room are not too pleased with this. The main reason for them being unhappy is not Bale’s performance itself, which has been decent (13 goals and 8 assists in La Liga), but the Welshman’s issues with his injuries, according to Spanish outlet AS.
However, in spite of the Welsh star being sidelined with a calf injury at the moment, his agent completely refuted these claims, labeling the story as “completely rubbish”, according to the Daily Mirror.
Chelsea, Barcelona lock horns over Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez is hot property, not just in England, but in Europe as well. Defending champions Chelsea, (who look like they might be relinquishing their crown to Leicester City), are said to be after the signature of Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez. The 25-year-old, who cost around £400,00, could earn Leicester City quite the profit margin, as he has proved himself to be one of the league’s best attacking players, with 14 goals and 10 assists already, this season.
However, Chelsea are not alone, as Mahrez also seems to be attracting a lot of attention from the European continent. According to Fichajes, Spanish giants Barcelona are also said to be interested in the right winger, after their talks with Celta Vigo attacker Nolito broke down.
Chelsea resume interest in Manchester United target
Radja Nainggolan has been grabbing eyeballs at AS Roma, and is believed to have caught the attention of Jose Mourinho, who is rumoured to be in talks with Manchester United to take over from Louis van Gaal next season. Manchester United have been lacking in the midfield department, and the Red Devils could spend more dough to plug the gaps, in the summer transfer window.
However, wherever Mourinho treads, can Chelsea be far behind? The Blues are also said to be interested in signing the Belgian player, to shore up their own midfield. According to the Daily Telegraph, Conte, who has verbally agreed terms with the London club, has marked Nainggolan to be one of his first signings at the Stamfrod Bridge, if he joins Chelsea.
Arsenal looking for more firepower
Arsenal have not really been lacking goals this season, with Mesut Ozil serving them up on a platter, but they do need to address the fact that they have only one out and out striker in their squad — Olivier Giroud. Manager Arsene Wenger played winger Theo Walcott as his makeshift striker in the weekend clash against Hull City.
To address this problem, the Frenchman has set his eyes on Watford hitman Odion Ighalo, according to the Daily Mirror. While Watford are said to be willing to let their striker go for around £20 million, they could end up getting more than that for Ighalo. Manchester United are also said to be interested in Ighalo, who has scored 14 goals so far this season. This could end up in a tug of war between the interested parties, which may ultimately increase the striker’s price.