Belfast Telegraph

Manchester United target two world class players in January as well as double midfielder summer swoop: Premier League transfer rumours

Kalidou Koulibaly.
Kalidou Koulibaly.

Manchester United could bolster their Champions League chances by delving into the transfer market this month, according to the latest rumours.

The second half of the season is all about Europe for interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - both the current Champions League campaign and qualification for next season's competition.

In order to boost the chances of success, the club are willing to make signings in one position, according to the Independent. It was no secret that former manager Jose Mourinho wanted more options at centre-half last summer and Solskjaer is in agreement. However, the club may only move if one of their top targets is available. Those are Inter Milan's Milan Skriniar and Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly.

Slovakian international Skriniar has impressed since joining Inter from Sampdoria in 2017 and at 23, could take a key role in Manchester United's defence for years to come. Koulibaly is becoming increasingly recognised as one of the world's leading centre-halves. The 27-year-old could even be open to move, having admitted that he is considering his future after suffering racial abuse in Italy. It is thought that United will have to shell out up to £80m to land the player - £5m more than Liverpool paid for Virgil Van Dijk.

Meanwhile, United are also rumoured to be interested in two highly-rated midfielders.

The first is Leicester's Englishman James Maddison. The 22-year-old has hit the headlines since joining the Premier League last summer from Norwich City. He has already netted five goals in the top tier and Caught Offside claims that Mauricio Pochettino has asked United chief Ed Woodward to make the signing for his own arrival as manager at the end of the season.

The second is 21-year-old Nicolo Barella. The Italian is making waves in Serie A, having scored seven league goals for Cagliari. Arsenal are keen on bringing Barella in as a replacement for the outgoing Aaron Ramsey but the Daily Star claims United, along with Napoli and Inter, are also interested.

Christian Eriksen looks to be making Tottenham sweat over last month’s offer, the Evening Standard says, as time runs down on his current deal. The 26-year-old has just 18 months left before he is out of contract, and Real Madrid and Barcelona could be interested in the Denmark international.

Bayern Munich look determined to land Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi, the Sun reports. After an initial £20million offer, the German giants have reportedly tabled a £30million bid in their quest to sign the 18-year-old, who has 18 months remaining on his deal at Stamford Bridge.

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Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson is reportedly wanted by Chelsea (PA)

Chelsea are on the lookout for a striker in this month’s transfer window, the Mirror claims, with Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson said to be their top target. Also as part of the mid-season overhaul, the Blues will target a new defender as Gary Cahill looks set to depart the club, the paper says.

West Brom’s Matt Phillips is in high demand as both Cardiff and Burnley target the 27-year-old, according to the Mirror says. After five goals in the Championship, the winger has attracted interest from the top flight, but promotion-chasing Albion are reluctant to sell.

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Abdoulaye Doucoure: Watford look keen to keep the midfielder at Vicarage Road, the Evening Standard reports, despite interest from Paris St Germain. The paper says the club do not want to sell the 26-year-old as PSG target a replacement for Adrien Rabiot before the end of the season.

Daniel Sturridge: Liverpool, too, reportedly want to keep their striker this month and are hoping to convince Sturridge with a new deal, the Mail reports. The 29-year-old will be out on contract in the summer but the Reds are apparently lining up a new offer to keep clubs such as Sevilla, Valencia, Monaco and AC Milan at bay.

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