Belfast Telegraph

Manchester United go for THREE world class players and face Pogba sweat as Liverpool linked with Bundesliga star: Premier League transfer rumours

Jerome Boateng
Jerome Boateng

There are just three days left until the English Premier League transfer window slams shut and Manchester United are going all out to sign a defender, according to the latest rumours.

The question seems to surround which one they will get. The strongest links today surround Bayern Munich centre-half Jerome Boateng. Sky in Germany report that the Old Trafford club have approached Bayern over a move for the 29-year-old German international and believe his current club will ask for £45m. United do face competition for the player, with PSG said to have been in talks last month.

That interest doesn't mean United's pursuit of Leicester City centre-back Harry Maguire is over. On the contrary, Sky also report that United are preparing a bid for the England World Cup star. They pinpoint the former Hull City man as United's number one target and say the club are aware they will have to shell out a world record fee for a defender, topping the £75m Liverpool paid Southampton for Virgil Van Dijk's services.

The third defender still in the mix for a move to Manchester is Tottenham's Toby Alderweireld. United tried to negotiate a £55m deal early in the summer but Spurs had a fee more in the region of £75m in mind. Alderweireld can leave White Hart Lane for just £25m next summer but United are still interested in coming to an agreement before Thursday's deadline, according to the Evening Standard. Whether or not that can be reached remains to be seen.

United had also been linked with a fourth centre-half but he seems to be heading elsewhere. Everton are reported to have pipped United in the pursuit of Barcelona centre-half Yerry Mina. The Toffees are said to have reached a £28.5million, five-year deal for the Colombia international, who is set to be the second Barca player to switch from the Nou Camp to Goodison Park this summer after Lucas Digne.

United boss Jose Mourinho could see outgoings before any defender arrives. Italian full-back Matteo Darmian could be on the way out, and talks with Portuguese side Benfica are said to be under way. Paul Pogba's agent Mino Raiola is reported to be lining up a move for the France midfielder, with Barcelona and Juventus among the destinations mentioned in dispatches.

Meanwhile, Liverpool have a 'concrete interest' in signing Bayer Leverkuson star Leon Bailey, according to the player himself., citing quotes made to German outlet Kicker, report that LFC, Chelsea and Roma are all interested in bringing in the 20-year-old Jamaican this summer. Bailey netted nine Bundesliga goals last season.

Willian has moved to clarify his Chelsea future, declaring "my head is here", but doubts linger over the future of Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard as the transfer deadline edges nearer.

The Brazil playmaker has been strongly linked with Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona. The 29-year-old says the latter made a formal bid for his services but appears happy to continue his five-year stay at Stamford Bridge.

"I'm a Chelsea player," Willian told ESPN Brasil. "I always made it clear that what I wanted was to stay in the club. The only club I knew that really made an official offer for me was Barcelona. But I have my head here and I intend to continue in the club unless the club wants to sell me. But my head is here in the club."

Similar clarification over goalkeeper Courtois and star man Hazard would be welcome ahead of Thursday's deadline. Real Madrid have been heavily linked with both men and, while Hazard's current deal lasts until 2020, Courtois is out of contract next summer. Courtois is reported to have informed new manager Maurizio Sarri of his wish to leave - a circumstance the Italian said would lead to him sanctioning a sale.

Bournemouth are still hoping to wrap up the signing of Colombian defensive midfielder Jefferson Lerma for a club-record fee.

The Cherries have agreed a fee understood to be £25million with Spanish club Levante for the 23-year-old.

All that remains is for confirmation that Lerma has agreed personal terms, passed a medical and obtained a work permit.

Leicester announced on Sunday evening that they have struck a deal to sign winger Rachid Ghezzal from Monaco on a four-year deal.

Ghezzal will link up with his new team-mates this week ahead of the Premier League season opener at Manchester United on Friday night.

Meanwhile, England Under-21 striker Adam Armstrong has left Newcastle for a permanent deal with Blackburn. Armstrong scored nine goals for the club on loan last season and has penned a four-year contract.

The decision to bring the deadline forward so that no new signings can be added before the Premier League season begins, plus the World Cup, means the final days of the window could be frantic.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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