Football

Man Utd, Arsenal lead chase for Benfica striker Darwin Nunez

Man Utd, Arsenal lead chase for Benfica striker Darwin Nunez
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The summer transfer window is approaching, and there’s plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings and goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Man Utd, Arsenal lead chase for Benfica striker Darwin Nunez

Benfica could part ways with striker Darwin Nunez in the summer if his reported release clause of €150 million is paid, according to The Sun.

Nunez, 22, has found himself on the radar of a number of Premier League clubs this season, with West Ham United having a club-record bid of €70m turned down during the January transfer window.

The Uruguay international has 31 goals in 36 appearances across all competitions for Benfica this season, including a hat trick in Saturday’s 3-1 league win over Belenenses, and Manchester United and Arsenal are believed to be leading the race for his signature.

Benfica are reportedly prepared to allow him to leave for a fee in the region of €126m, but that’s still an incredibly large fee given the current financial climate and The Athletic claims they could settle for €70m, with Chelsea and PSG also credited with interest .

Benfica coach Nelson Verissimo said: « As a Benfica fan, I hope that he [Darwin] will leave for a similar figure to that of [Atletico Madrid’s] Joao Felix [€126m]. But that is an issue that is not my department. But day by day, we realize that we have a player that makes a difference, and all the great players awake the interest of the great European clubs. Darwin is at this point. »

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17.00 BST: Francesco Acerbi is ready to leave Lazio, reports Nicolo Schira, who adds that the centre-back has been offered to Juventus as a Giorgio Chiellini replacement and Internazionale, where the Italian could build on his positive relationship with Simone Inzaghi. However, the 34-year-old is not currently seen as a priority signing by either club.

16.09 BST: Footmercato says Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is getting closer to an exit.

Pogba, 29, has a contract which expires in the summer and Paris Saint-Germain have made him their « priority target. »

PSG chief Leonardo has already met with the France international and because of his high wage demands, the competition is reportedly not that high to sign him on a free transfer.

15.00 BST: Leeds United made the right decision in hiring Jesse Marsch.

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Gab & Juls praise Jesse Marsch after Leeds took a big step towards Premier League safety with a 3-0 win vs. Watford.

14.19 BST: FC Salzburg striker Karim Adeyemi looks set for a transfer to Borussia Dortmund.

Adeyemi, 20, is one of the top young players in Europe and has 20 goals in 38 games this season. the Germany international has long been linked with a €40m move to Dortmund to replace Erling Haaland when he moves on.

FC Salzburg director Stephan Reiter told Sky Austria about a deal for Adeyemi: « It’s a certain process of getting closer and then moving away a little and getting closer again. The process is ongoing and we’re on the right track. »

13.38 BST: Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard could be available this summer, with Arsenal and Milan interested, but Borussia Dortmund are leading the race to sign him, according to Cadena Ser.

Hazard, 31, has fallen out of favor since his €100m move from Chelsea in 2019 and looks set to leave the Bernabeu, possibly on loan.

Dortmund can offer him the chance to link up with his brother Thorgan Hazard at Westfalenstadion, which may appeal.

12.57 BST: Tottenham’s Antonio Conte is showing Man United what changing coach mid-season can do if you get it right, writes Mark Ogden.

United sources told ESPN in January that they overlooked Conte — who was out of work at the time after his exit from Inter Milan — as Solskjaer’s replacement because he was too abrasive and demanding of his players. The view within the Old Trafford boardroom was that the United squad would not embrace Conte’s very particular approach of giving his players specific instructions, that he would « overload them with information, » and that the team needed a more cerebral coach — one who would treat them as the high-caliber players that they are deemed to be.

When you strip it back, that explanation of United’s decision not to hire Conte may actually mean that the former Juventus, Chelsea and Inter Milan coach was too abrasive and demanding of his bosses and that, in reality, was why United’s owners, the Glazer family , and the board thing to appoint the most personable Rangnick.

But as the season reaches its conclusion, it’s safe to say that United messed up and Spurs are now reaping the rewards of their decision to dismiss concerns over Conte’s challenging style by trusting him to make a squad of under-performing players achieve their potential.

12.05 BST: Juventus have an obligation to sign striker Moise Kean from Everton at the end of his two-year loan, but the club will attempt to move him on immediately, says Tuttomercatoweb.

Kean, 22, has five goals in 36 games this season and will join Juve permanently for €28m in summer 2023.

However, the report says that Juve wants to pay his fee this summer and then let him move on, with PSG reportedly interested in bringing him back to Paris.

11.23 BST: Arsenal are set to reignite their interest in Leicester midfielder James Maddisonbut will see Tottenham rival them for his signature, says The Sun.

Maddison, 25, has caught the eye with some impressive performances in the Premier League in recent seasons and now could make the step up.

Arsenal need to add depth to their midfield, alongside creative stars Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowewhile Spurs moved on Dele Alli, Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso in the January transfer window.

10.40 BST: Man United should be looking to make some big chances.

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Steve Nicol says Man United play like a side who don’t like each other and thinks they need to overhaul the squad.

10.09 BST: barcelona striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was asked about the future of winger Ousmane Dembele after the club’s 3-2 win away to Levante on Sunday night.

Dembele, 24, has set up three of Aubameyang’s last five goals, but his contract expires in the summer and the France international has not managed to agree new terms. Though his agent Moussa Sissoko was reportedly in Morocco for talks with Barcelona director Mateu Alemany last week.

« Ousmane knows me well so I’ve to be ready when he gets the ball on the right, » Aubameyang told Movistar. « He has to stay here. »

09.34 BST: Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz is the subject of interest from Arsenal after the London club failed to land him in January, says Football Insider.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is in the market for central midfield reinforcements, as well as a striker, in the summer and the 23-year-old Luiz has impressed at Villa.

The Brazil international has a contract until June 2023 so his transfer value is decreasing, with Villa keen to turn to West Ham’s Kalvin Phillips Brighton’s gold Yves Bissouma.

09.10 BST: Manchester United are exploring alternative options to hiring Robin van Persie as part of the club’s new coaching staff under Erik ten Hagthe favored candidate to become manager this summer, due to concerns that the 38-year-old will not be able to secure a UK work permit, sources have told ESPN’s Mark Ogden.

ESPN reported on Wednesday that Ajax Amsterdam coach Ten Hag is the number one choice to succeed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as permanent manager, replacing interim boss Ralf Rangnickfollowing a recruitment process that has seen the former Utrecht and Bayern Munich reserve team coach emerge ahead of Paris Saint-Germain’s Mauricio Pochettino.

And with United confident that a deal can be struck with Ajax and Ten Hag, efforts are already being made to hire a coach with knowledge and experience of the Premier League to work within Ten Hag’s backroom team.

08.30 BST: Erling Haaland has dismissed interest from Manchester United when considering his next move over fears they could not match his ambitions on the pitch, sources told ESPN’s Mark Ogden.

United are looking for a striker this summer and indicated to Haaland and his representatives earlier this season they would be willing to match any financial offer he received from another club. However, sources told ESPN that intermediaries reported back that the striker would base his decision only on a club’s « sporting project » and not where he could earn the most money.

Manchester City and Real Madrid lead the race to sign the Norwegian if he chooses to leave Borussia Dortmund in the summer. Both clubs are regulars in the latter rounds of the Champions League while United have reached the quarterfinals only twice since 2011. United are not guaranteed to qualify for the competition next season, sitting seventh in the Premier League table, three points adrift of the top four .

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Craig Burley sees so many problems at Manchester United and isn’t sure Erik ten Hag will be able to succeed there.

PAPER GOSSIP

– Bayern Munich chairman Herbert Hainer believes Thomas Muller will remain at the club for the rest of his career. Speaking to BR24 Sportshe said: « I am firmly convinced that Thomas Muller belongs to Bayern like the Frauenkirche [cathedral] belongs to Munich. I am convinced he will end his career at Bayern. » The 32-year-old attacking midfielder will enter the final year of his contract in the summer.

Ivan Perisic is set for more talks at Internazionale as a number of clubs continue to monitor his situation closely at the San Siro. The 33-year-old winger will meet with Inter representatives soon, according to Fabrizio Romano, with the Serie A club keen to keep him at the club. The Croatia international’s contract will expire at the end of the season.

– Juventus are in talks with the agent of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, reveals Calciomercato. The Lazio midfielder is reported to be valued at around €70m, but the Bianconeri will look to negotiate a lower fee as they continue their search for midfield reinforcements in the summer. The 27-year-old has made 31 Serie A appearances this season for Lazio.

– Valencia are willing to allow Jasper Cillessen to leave in the summer after reports that PSV were keen to land the Netherlands goalkeeper, writes Marca. The 32-year-old’s deal is set to expire in 2023, and it is reported that the LaLiga club are willing to do business as they look to enhance their economic situation. Cillessen has starred 15 times this season in La Liga for Los Che.

– RB Leipzig are making an attempt to swoop in for Erik ten Hag despite being linked to Manchester United, reveals the Mirror. It is reported that the Bundesliga club have made a lucrative offer to the 52-year-old Ajax Amsterdam boss, after talks recently took place. Sources have previously told ESPN that United is set to finalize a deal for Ten Hag to over as permanent manager at Old Trafford.

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