Rumour Has It: Man Utd close on Varane, Atleti eye Lacazette

By Sports Desk July 26, 2021

All indications are Raphael Varane is set to move on from Real Madrid. 

The France international appears locked in on one destination. 

Manchester United are said to be close to a deal for the defender. 

 

TOP STORY – UNITED CLOSE TO VARANE MOVE

Manchester United have been linked to Raphael Varane in transfer rumours for months. 

Now it appears the move could come to fruition, as Marca reports United and Real Madrid are close to a €50million (£42m) agreement. 

Though the Mirror reports some at the Premier League club are worried the 28-year-old is merely using them to get a better deal out of Madrid, Fabrizio Romano says United are "confident" a deal is close and that no other clubs are involved. 

 

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– With his Arsenal contract set to expire next year, Alexandre Lacazette is in demand, and Calciomercato says Atletico Madrid are pondering a potential €15m offer. 

Erik Lamela is set to join Sevilla in a swap deal, with Tottenham getting Bryan Gil, Marca says, while Romano says Spurs will also get €25m in the deal and Gil will sign through 2026.  

Newcastle are eyeing Ross Barkley as a potential addition if they cannot pry Joe Willock away from Arsenal, says The Athletic, with a loan move for Leicester's Hamza Choudhury also a possibility.

West Ham could make a move for Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, says the Express. 

Ben White's £50m move from Brighton to Arsenal will be official next week, reports Romano. 

Paris Saint-Germain have had talks with Kalidou Koulibaly's agent about a move from Napoli, reports Corriere dello Sport. 

Roma have offered €15m for Barcelona's Clement Lenglet, says Sport. 

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    Is a Leeds United midfielder ready to reject a switch to Old Trafford?

    Typically, Manchester United are too big to turn down but Kalvin Phillips is believed to be willing to withstand their interest due to the rivalry between the two clubs.

    The beneficiaries of such a decision? Liverpool apparently.

     

    TOP STORY – PHILLIPS TO TURN DOWN MAN UTD

    Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips will snub a move to Manchester United in favour of Premier League rivals Liverpool, according to The Sun.

    Phillips has emerged as a target for Leeds' bitter rivals United, while Liverpool are also admirers of the England international.

    Wary of the backlash a move to Old Trafford would cause among Leeds fans, Phillips is ready to reject United and join Liverpool.

     

    ROUND-UP

    Arsenal are plotting a move for Everton star Richarlison, claims Fichajes. The Brazil international scored against Arsenal on Monday, while he has been linked with Paris Saint-Germain.

    - Fabrizio Romano reports Borussia Dortmund have made direct contact with Salzburg star Karim Adeyemi. The Germany international is Dortmund's main target as clubs queue up to sign Erling Haaland, who is wanted by Manchester United, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool, Chelsea, PSG, Juventus and Bayern Munich.

    - Tuttomercato says Franck Kessie could leave Milan on a free transfer. The soon-to-be free agent has been linked with Tottenham, Inter, PSG and United.

    Fiorentina are poised to sign Lille star Jonathan Ikone, per Gianluca Di Marzio. The deal is reportedly not related to the future of wantaway forward Dusan Vlahovic – the Serbia international has been linked with City, United, Bayern, Inter, Juve, Tottenham and Arsenal.

  • Man Utd boss Rangnick addresses Greenwood-Haaland comparisons Man Utd boss Rangnick addresses Greenwood-Haaland comparisons

    Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick outlined the differences between "massive talent" Mason Greenwood and Erling Haaland after the Red Devils star scored a stunning Champions League goal.

    Greenwood opened the scoring with a spectacular finish before Fabian Rieder equalised for Young Boys prior to half-time in Wednesday's 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.

    Already assured of a last-16 berth, Rangnick made 11 changes to the United team that started the 1-0 Premier League win over Crystal Palace, and Greenwood stood out in the final Group F fixture.

    Greenwood scored his eighth goal in major European competition (excluding qualifiers) for United – the most of any player for the club before their 21st birthday, overtaking team-mate Marcus Rashford.

    Rangnick praised the 20-year-old post-match, telling reporters: "I think, again, today, he also showed – not only because of that beautiful goal – but also the way he set up the opportunity for Juan Mata it was brilliant.

    "He is a massive talent. Left foot, right foot, good on the ball. Also, the way that he set up the goal for Fred on Sunday [against Crystal Palace]. But, still, it's about continuity. He still needs to develop physically. But technically, for his age, he's a great player.

    "My job is to develop him, to make an athlete out of him. If he manages to do that, he can become a regular player for this club."

    Rangnick was then asked about comparisons between Green and Borussia Dortmund sensation Haaland, who has been linked with a move to United.

    "I don't think that we should compare those two players," Rangnick, who worked with Haaland at Salzburg, said. "They are different kind of strikers and players.

    "Erling Haaland is extremely physical. He's, I don't know, 1.93 or 1.94cm. A different kind of striker. Erling, for me, is a target striker. He can play as a single striker, like a target-man, or with another striker in a 4--4-2. 

    "I think Mason is more of a nine-and-a-half. He can play as a striker, he can also come from the wing, he can play together with another striker. And he is very technical - left foot, right foot. As I said, sometimes he looks a little bit not on an athletic level. And, I think, we have to develop him there physically. But, technically, all the things that he can do with the ball are outstanding. So I am not so much worried about his technical level.

    "We need to develop him physically and mentally to become the strongest version of himself. If we manage to do that, he can become a regular player and a very valuable player for our club for the future."

  • Rennes claim 'unilateral' Spurs postponement not confirmed by UEFA Rennes claim 'unilateral' Spurs postponement not confirmed by UEFA

    Rennes have contested Tottenham's announcement of their Europa Conference League game being postponed, claiming it to be a "unilateral" decision that is yet to be ratified by UEFA.

    Spurs released a statement on Wednesday informing the public of an apparent agreement to postpone Thursday's visit of Rennes due to a coronavirus outbreak.

    Antonio Conte revealed earlier in the day that eight players and five members of staff had tested positive for the illness. As a result, Spurs have shut their first-team training facility.

    UEFA rules state teams must fulfil a fixture in the competition if they have 13 players, plus a goalkeeper, available for selection.

    But Conte claimed Spurs only have 11 players to choose from, with the club subsequently indicating the Group G showdown had been postponed.

    However, Rennes have cast doubt over the situation and accused Spurs of seemingly changing their minds about fulfilling the fixture after the Ligue 1 club had landed in London.

    A Rennes statement read: "Following the press release published by Tottenham at 21:00 this Wednesday, Stade Rennais FC would like to clarify the following facts.

    "In a video conference at 19:45 between representatives of UEFA, Tottenham and Rennes, the Spurs director of football announced their intention not to play the UEFA Europa Conference League game, [on] Thursday evening, [a] unilateral decision which has not been confirmed by UEFA in any way.

    "The Tottenham representative did not want to announce the number of players affected by COVID-19 when the rule states that a match must be played as long as the team has 13 outfielders and a keeper.

    "They argued for a decision by the English authorities without advancing any official document. As the match was not officially cancelled by UEFA, Rennes upheld their decision to play.

    "Faced with this 'London fog', Rennes reserves the right to approach UEFA. This lack of fair play is all the more glaring as Tottenham had confirmed by email that the match would be held at the start of the afternoon before warning Rennes of their intention not to play just after their landing in London."

    Rennes are already assured of top spot in Group G, while second-place Tottenham are level on seven points with Vitesse, who host bottom side Mura on Thursday in the final round of group fixtures.

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