Arsenal transfer news: Gunners ready to steal Ander Herrera from Manchester United for free

26 Mar

Arsenal are interested in signing Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera on a free transfer this summer, reports claim.

The Red Devils are yet to agree fresh terms with the Spanish midfielder with his existing contract expiring at the end of June.

Herrera is yet to put pen to paper on a new deal

Paris Saint-Germain have registered their interest in the 29-year-old, and according to the Daily Mail, the Gunners have joined the race for his signature.

Both clubs would be able to offer Herrera significantly improved wages – because there would be no transfer fee involved.

It is understood United remain confident they can persuade him to stay, but Herrera is looking for almost double his current £80,000-a-week deal.

“I do not concern myself with what will happen in four months, so I do not know if my time here is over,” said Herrera in response to speculation over his future.

“It’s logical when you’ve got three months left on your contact and there is an international break. I knew something would come out.

“I take it as normal. I focus on playing football in the month-and-a-half that remains (of the season). The rest is left to my agent, both the possible renewal with United and any talks with another club for my departure.

Herrera could leave Old Trafford this summer

“I enjoy playing for the biggest club in England. The fans love me, they have treated me phenomenally and my duty is to listen to them – although I honestly do not know what is going to happen.

“What I see myself is trying to win at Watford next week. If you deserve rewards and if you are an honest and hard-working person, they arrive.”

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There are six live commentaries across the talkSPORT network this week. Find out what they are and where to hear them, below...

  • Czech Republic vs Brazil (Tuesday) – talkSPORT 2
  • West Brom vs Birmingham (Friday) – talkSPORT 2
  • Brighton vs Southampton (Saturday) – talkSPORT 2
  • West Ham vs Everton (Saturday) – talkSPORT
  • Middlesbrough vs Norwich (Saturday) – talkSPORT 2
  • Portsmouth vs Sunderland (Sunday) – talkSPORT 2

Herrera has been a key part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad during Manchester United’s resurgence over the last three months.

The club are also trying desperately to agree new deals with star men David de Gea and Marcus Rashford.

Manchester United transfer news: five alternative signings to Willian as Chelsea block Old Trafford move

25 Jul

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is desperate to add depth on the Old Trafford flanks this summer, but time is rapidly running out to secure new signings.

After Chelsea blocked any potential move for Willian by declaring their intention not to sell to a Premier League rival, United find themselves with just over two weeks to add to a worrying lack of options on the wing.

Willian appears to have few options left after United were ruled out and other suitors Barcelona splashed £37m on Malcom

Among the current crop of talent at the club, Anthony Martial looks set to depart for either Juventus, Tottenham or Chelsea.

Alexis Sanchez is approaching the wrong side of 30 and English pair Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford are far more comfortable in central roles.

Age – and a string of failed attempted replacements – has consigned former flyer Ashley Young to a permanent role at left-back, joining new club captain Antonio Valencia as a converted winger.

With Willian off the table and the window set to slam shut early this year, talkSPORT look at five alternatives to the Brazilian that Mourinho can now turn his focus to.

1. OUSMANE DEMBELE, Barcelona

Dembele has been cast out at Barcelona despite being just 12 months removed from the £135m deal that brought him to the Nou Camp

A year on from his £135million move from Borussia Dortmund, 21-year-old Frenchman Dembele could already be on his way out of the Nou Camp.

One of the most wanted players in Europe last summer, Dembele was cruelly struck by two long-term injuries in his debut Barca season.

Bizarrely, given his quality as one of the best one-on-one dribblers around and ability to play with both feet, the club seem to have given up on the World Cup winner already.

Barcelona splashed out £141m on Philippe Coutinho in January and then snatched Malcom from Roma in a £37m deal this week, likely signalling the end for Dembele.

Dembele won the World Cup with France this summer, making four appearances in Russia for Les Bleus

Still a fearsome talent regardless, Dembele could be available for a bargain fee this year as his club look to cut their losses on him.

His ability to run at players is something United crucially lack, and he would offer a genuine threat with both goals and assists.

The former Rennes man already has 16 international caps under his belt, keeping the likes of Thomas Lemar, Kingsley Coman and United’s own Anthony Martial out of the Les Bleus lineup.

And if Barca do decide to let him leave this summer, United will be joined by a long line of clubs queueing up to secure his signature.

2. LEON BAILEY, Bayer Leverkusen

Bailey, 20, signed for Leverkusen from Genk in January 2017 in an £18m deal

Another electric young winger who made his breakthrough in the Bundesliga, Bailey has drawn interest from multiple Premier League clubs.

Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham have all been linked to the 20-year-old, who was born in the Jamaican capital Kingston.

His frightening close control makes him a similar option to Dembele, but he would likely cost far less than the Frenchman.

He could still command a £40m fee however, with his price tag being driven up by the number of clubs in for him.

The Jamaican-born winger scored 12 goals for Leverkusen last season

While exuberant youngsters have not always faired well under Mourinho, who tends to place his trust in experience, Bailey could be the breath of fresh air required to challenge cross-town rivals City.

United particularly lack left-footed players and Bailey would fit that bill, able to play on either flank and whip crosses in for the waiting Romelu Lukaku.

The German FA are monitoring Bailey’s progress as he stalls over committing to the Jamaican national team, citing concerns over his homeland FA’s institutional structure.

With four years remaining on his Leverkusen contract, the German side are under no pressure to sell, but a substantial bid from United could very quickly alter their stance.

3. NABIL FEKIR, Lyon

Fekir was reportedly hours from completing a move to Liverpool but his club Lyon cancelled the deal following the Reds’ medical concerns

This deal, first and foremost, would be a hit with United fans purely due to the annoyance it would cause fierce rivals Liverpool.

Fekir was all set for a £53m switch to Merseyside this summer but the club hesitated over his medical past, which includes a long-term knee injury.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas pulled the plug on the deal rather than wait for Liverpool to make up their minds, leaving the player in limbo having reportedly already selected his shirt number at Anfield.

Aulas, renowned for operating somewhat beyond the pale in negotiations, could prove a stumbling block for United, but the prize would be worth the toil.

Fekir’s partnership with United flop Memphis Depay provided a combined 37 league goals

The 25-year-old offers perhaps the closest technical style to Willian on this list, albeit left-footed.

Able to dribble, score and create while cutting in from the right, Lyon captain Fekir would be the perfect upgrade on Juan Mata, able to cover in more central areas if needed.

He hit 18 goals in Ligue 1 last season, nearly doubling his career total, and if he can keep up this form he could solve another United issue – goals from midfield.

Forwards Lukaku, Martial, Lingard and Rashford contributed 64 goals last season but there was a distinct lack of support from elsewhere, something Fekir could change.

4. CHRISTIAN PULISIC, Borussia Dortmund

Pulisic scored 49 goals in 64 appearances for the United States’ youth teams before getting a first senior call-up in 2016

It would not be hyperbole to suggest that 19-year-old Pulisic is already one of the best players ever to come out of America, and will almost certainly become by far the best by the end of his career.

Dortmund’s youngest ever Champions League player when he appeared against Legia Warsaw as a sprightly 17-year-old, Pulisic has already made 97 appearances for the German club.

His already impressive experience includes 21 European appearances and the same number of games in a national team shirt, with nine goals for his country.

Bayern Munich, naturally, are circling as they look to lock up yet another Dortmund talent, and are rumoured to be considering a £60m bid.

Pulisic spent a brief period in Brackley Town’s youth team when he was seven

But the hordes of talent on Munich’s wings, including Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, Coman, Alphonso Davies and Serge Gnabry, mean United could offer first-team chances their Bundesliga counterparts cannot.
From a cynical marketing point of view, Pulisic would also give United a significant foothold in the US, where his influence and reputation should not be underestimated.
And the player – still so young he was denied the man of the match award against Liverpool in a recent friendly because it was sponsored by Budweiser – is worth the hype.

Former Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp has been glowing in his adulation of Pulisic, and with Real Madrid also interested, United would need to act fact to sign him.

5. ANTE REBIC, Eintracht Frankfurt

Rebic was a key figure as Croatia finished as runners-up in this year’s World Cup

Rebic, 24, was one of the more unsung stars of Croatia’s run to a first-ever World Cup final.

Tormenting defences with partner-in-crime Ivan Perisic, also a reported United target, Rebic started all but one of his country’s games in Russia, missing only the group stage dead rubber against Iceland.

His stunning – if fortuitous – volley against Argentina set Croatia on their way to an extraordinary 3-0 win, while he ran England’s full-backs ragged in the extra-time semi-final triump.

While some concerns were raised over the statistic ranking him at the top of the fouls committed charts at the World Cup, he did play the 12th-most minutes of any player at the tournament.

Rebic was man of the match as Eintracht Frankfurt beat Bayern Munich 3-1 to win last season’s German Cup

Rebic is now being linked with a £44m move to United from current club Eintracht Frankfurt, where he has also drawn the attention of Bayern.

His direct style and ability to run all day will suit Mourinho down to the ground, while his age makes him the more favourable option to Perisic, whose £48m price tag appears steep at 29 years old.

With the summer transfer window now just 16 days from closing, United must make their decision quickly.

Mourinho is growing worried about the number of key players missing from his squad for the opener against Leicester City on August 10, and a new signing may be the best remedy to improve the mood around the club.

Manchester United transfer news: Bayern Munich give Arturo Vidal green light for Old Trafford switch

25 Jul

Manchester United have received a huge boost in their attempts to sign Arturo Vidal after Bayern Munich announced they will let him leave the club this summer.

United have been chasing midfield reinforcements to partner Paul Pogba and new £52million man Fred, and Vidal could be set to join them in a formidable trio.

Vidal could be frozen out at the Allianz Arena this summer after the club prioritised Thiago Alcantara and Renato Sanches over him

The Chilean, 31, is entering the final year of his contract at Bayern, having made the switch from Juventus in 2015 in a £30m deal.

But with youngsters Thiago Alcantara and Renato Sanches able to step into Vidal’s shoes should he leave, the club are not rushing to extend his deal.

Instead, CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said of Vidal: “It is up to him to decide his own future.”

Vidal joins a long line of central midfield targets chased by United this summer, as they look to find a balance that gets the best out of World Cup winner Pogba.

Thiago, 27, is one of many options Bayern have to fill the hole left by a potential Vidal departure
Vidal won three league titles, a German cup and two super cups in his time with Bayern

Interest has cooled in a long-protracted move for Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic after the Italians held firm on their £88m valuation of the player.

And United have also been linked with Croatia and Real Madrid man Mateo Kovacic, who is determined to quit the Bernabeu this summer after failing to secure a regular first-team place.

According to Calcio Mercato, the Red Devils will face competition from Atletico Madrid and both the Milan clubs for Vidal’s signature.

But United are said to have a strong bond with the player’s agent Fernando Felicevich, who helped broker the deal that saw Alexis Sanchez move to Old Trafford in January.

Manchester United ‘are not a team’, says Jose Mourinho after drab 0-0 friendly draw with San Jose

23 Jul

Jose Mourinho has claimed his Manchester United side are ‘not a team’ after another disappointing draw on their pre-season US tour.

A disjointed team, missing several World Cup stars, stuttered to a 0-0 stalemate against MLS side San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday and Mourinho did not hold back in his assessment of the performance.

Mourinho watched on as United were uninspiring once again

It was the second straight disappointing result for United on tour, following Thursday’s 1-1 draw against Mexico’s Club America in Arizona.

The stands at the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara were empty, as they were against Club America, with the majority of United’s big names still on holiday following World Cup duty.

Key players such as Romelu Lukaku, Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard are all doubts for the Premier League opener against Leicester City on August 10 after they reached the final weekend of the tournament in Russia, thus requiring extra time off.

After the drab 0-0 against San Jose, Mourinho was quick to give his thoughts on why the team’s performances had been so poor in the States.

A sparse crowd turned out to watch the game, with some tickets costing as much as £170

He said: “We are not a team. We’re a group of players from different teams.

“Some are first-team, some under-23s, some coming from loan and going on loan, some are younger, under-18s. We don’t have a team to play much better than we did but it (the game) is one more training session.”

Alexis Sanchez provided a boost with his return to action after missing the first week of the tour as he was denied entry to the US due to visa issues, but United were rocked by an injury scare for new captain Antonio Valencia.

The right-back, who took over the armband after Michael Carrick’s retirement at the end of last season, hobbled off after just seven minutes of the friendly.

The return of Alexis Sanchez to the starting lineup was not enough to galvanise United against San Jose
New captain Antonio Valencia led his side out against San Jose but quickly returned down the tunnel after picking up an injury just seven minutes in

While the player claimed he would be fit in time to face AC Milan at Los Angeles’ StubHub Center on Thursday, Mourinho was less certain.

The Portuguese told reporters: “He’s injured. We need to get used to it. Last season he was already in this kind of situation and probably this season we’re going to have more than that.”

New signing Diogo Dalot will likely fill Valencia’s shoes should the Ecuadorean be sidelined for any of United’s remaining three matches in the States.

Matteo Darmian, who came on for the captain against San Jose, looks set for return to Italy with Inter Milan and Juventus both interested.

Chelsea consider Barcelona’s £65m Willian bid and are desperate not to sell to Manchester United

23 Jul

Chelsea will consider a £65million bid for Willian from Barcelona as they look to sell him abroad rather than risk him moving to rivals Manchester United, according to reports.

The Brazil star, 29, appears headed for the exit door at Stamford Bridge as the Spanish giants launch a third offer and United continue to chase his signature.

Willian looks set to leave Chelsea after five years at the club

Chelsea are said to have rejected two bids from Barcelona already for Willian, but the Mail report that the latest proposal could be accepted by the club’s hierarchy as new boss Maurizio Sarri looks to finance moves for Juventus duo Gonzalo Higuain and Daniele Rugani.

Sarri, 59, managed Higuain at former club Napoli and would look to add him to ex-clubmate Jorginho, his first signing with Chelsea.

The new manager is not the only key figure demanding arrivals at the club, with Eden Hazard also said to be on his way out if they do not spend big this summer.

After a disastrous league campaign under Antonio Conte saw them finish fifth in 2017/18, big-name signings will be crucial to keeping Chelsea’s stars, but with no Champions League to offer this may prove difficult.

Sarri finally completed his switch to Chelsea after Antonio Conte’s sacking
Higuain could be reunited with Sarri at Stamford Bridge after the pair first worked together at Napoli

Higuain has been linked with a Stamford Bridge switch ever since Sarri was lined up for the head coach role at Chelsea, with Sarri hoping the Argentinian can solve the club’s striker woes.

Last summer’s £60m signing Alvaro Morata failed to impress after a club-record move, while January signing Olivier Giroud has been linked with Atletico Madrid.

Centre-back Rugani, 23, has reportedly agreed terms with Chelsea that would triple his current wages, but Juventus are said to be holding out for up to £40m for him.

Chelsea are also weighing up a bid for United’s Anthony Martial, although the Red Devils could demand Willian in exchange for the French forward.

Sarri is said to be chasing Juventus duo Higuain and Rugani, but will need to raise funds first to complete the deals

Arsenal transfer news: Gunners beat Manchester United to signing of Sunderland wonderkid Sam Greenwood

11 Jul

Arsenal have pipped Manchester United to the signing of Sunderland wonderkid Sam Greenwood.

The 16-year-old, regarded as the shining light of the Black Cats academy, announced the move on his Instagram page.

Instagram Photo

United were known admirers of the striker, who grabbed six goals and six assists for Sunderland’s Under-18s last season.

However, Greenwood has instead signed a scholarship contract with the Gunners and will agree professional terms when he turns 17 in January.

He said: “Today is the start of a new chapter in my life signing for Arsenal and I can’t wait to get started, I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead.

“Leaving Sunderland after 10 years, the club I love and support was a very hard decision.

“I have met some special people along the way, big thanks to Sunderland and all coaches past and present for everything they have done for me.

“I will never forget my roots.”

Arsenal confirmed the signing of Uruguay midfielder Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria yesterday and have already landed Stephan Lichtsteiner, Bernd Leno and Sokratis Papastathopoulos this summer.

Arsenal close in on Aaron Ramsey contract extension with Lucas Torreira deal on brink of completion

29 Jun

Arsenal are nearing a new long-term deal for Aaron Ramsey, with the signing of his incoming midfield partner Lucas Torreira set to be announced imminently.

Ramsey, 27, has just a year left to run on his current contract but is said to be keen to work with new Gunners boss Unai Emery, who sees the Welshman as the team’s key player.

Ramsey is set to end months of speculation by committing his future to Arsenal

With Jack Wilshere departing the club when his deal expires in June, Ramsey will be among the first names on the teamsheet, likely alongside £26million Sampdoria man Torreira.

The Uruguayan is set to become Arsenal‘s third signing of the summer after Stephan Lichtsteiner and Bernd Leno, with Borussia Dortmund centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos not far behind.

The deal for Ramsey is reportedly five years according to the Telegraph, following on from long-term contracts signed by fellow midfielders Granit Xhaka, Mohamed Elneny and Ainsley Maitland-Niles this summer.

Torreira could line up in a central midfield trio alongside Xhaka and Ramsey in a new-look Arsenal side, although that could mean one of Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan or Alexandre Lacazette missing out.

Lucas Torreira, 22, will join in a £26m deal from Sampdoria

One player certain of his spot in the team is club-record signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who signed in a £56m deal from Dortmund in January.

Aubameyang, is thought to be one of two players, Ramsey being the other, who Emery sees as indispensable.

Arsenal finished outside the Champions League places for a second consecutive season in 2017/18, leading to Arsene Wenger’s 22-year reign coming to an end.

Emery is keen to bring them back to Europe’s top tier as soon as possible, with the raft of new deals and incomings already putting his mark on the club.

Unai Emery has already made a major impact at Arsenal in his short time in charge of the club

Speaking to fans on Wednesday night, Emery outlined his intentions to play an attacking style, saying: “I prefer to win 5-4 than 1-0 because football is about emotion and what is the best feeling in football? When you score.”

Chief executive Ivan Gazidis heralded a new era for the club with a first managerial appointment since 1996.

He said: “We really have a collective effort now, in terms of how we identify players and then how we take forward our interest, and of course Unai is a huge part of that.

“This is now a different way of doing things, one with a very, very accomplished team of professionals who we have spent time bedding into the club.”

Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon and Tom Cairney set to reject Premier League interest by signing new deals

27 Jun

Fulham have received a huge boost ahead of their first Premier League campaign in four years with stars Ryan Sessegnon and Tom Cairney set to sign new deals.

The pair, hugely influential in the club’s promotion push last season, have rejected interest from several Premier League clubs to stay at Craven Cottage.

Sessegnon was named Championship Player of the Season for 2017/18 after playing all 49 games including the play-offs and scoring 16 goals

The Times report that both Sessegnon and Cairney have extended their deals with Fulham, which were set to end in 2020 and 2022 respectively.

With so long remaining on each deal already, the new contracts will likely come with a huge pay rise for the duo, paid for with the funds gained from promotion, which was sealed by Cairney’s goal in a 1-0 win over Aston Villa at Wembley in the Championship play-off final.

Sessegnon, 18, rejected a January switch to Manchester United and drew interest from Tottenham and Liverpool this summer, but he plumped for regular first-team football instead as he looks to force his way into the England senior setup for the first time.

The left-back turned left-winger was in strong contention to make Gareth Southgate’s 2018 World Cup squad, but the England boss went for experience in the form of Ashley Young and Danny Rose instead.

Cairney led by example in the play-off final, scoring the goal that took Fulham back to the top flight

Fulham captain Cairney 27, was the subject of a £20million bid from West Ham last week but his club held firm, backing manager Slavisa Jokanovic to push for a top-half finish in their return to the top flight.

It is the latest setback of the summer for West Ham, whose pursuit of Javier Pastore finally ended yesterday when the PSG winger joined Roma for £21m, reportedly £7m more than the Hammers bid for the 29-year-old.

They have however been strongly linked with Felipe Anderson and Jordan Lukaku as they look to recover from the huge blow of losing key playmaker Manuel Lanzini for the entire 2018/19 season.

The club have reportedly agreed terms with both Anderson and Lukaku, with the former set to cost a club record £40m.

Juventus step up Golovin interest to beat Arsenal and Chelsea to Russia World Cup star

21 Jun

Juventus have stolen a march in the race for Aleksandr Golovin in an attempt to fight off Arsenal and Chelsea in the race for the CSKA man, according to reports.

The Italian champions have upped their bid for the Russian playmaker, who was instrumental in his country’s two wins to begin their home World Cup.

Golovin’s creativity has been key to Russia’s dominant start at the World Cup

According to Tuttosport, Juventus had an initial offer of £15.75million plus bonuses rejected, and will now up their offer to £17.5m, with the additional payments still attached.

CSKA however are holding out for £22m, and with the player’s stock rising each day at the World Cup they are unlikely to budge before Russia exit the tournament, hoping for more dominant performances.

Golovin scored one and created two more in the hosts’ opening night thrashing of Saudi Arabia, and then played another starring role in their 3-1 win over Egypt on Tuesday.

Arsenal have been chasing Golovin for several months, and saw their transfer target score a stunning free kick against them for CSKA in the Europa League in April.

 

Arsenal complete signing of goalkeeper Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen

19 Jun

Arsenal have signed goalkeeper Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen.

The German has agreed a long-term deal and becomes Unai Emery’s second signing after Stephan Lichtsteiner joined on a free from Juventus.

Leno has joined the Gunners

Leno, 26, has been Leverkusen’s number-one keeper for the last seven seasons.

He said: “I enjoyed the time in Leverkusen from the first to the last day.

“After a fantastic journey, I will now continue my journey in another very exciting league.”

Emery added: “Bernd is a goalkeeper of high quality and experience. He has been a top performer and regular number one goalkeeper with Leverkusen in the Bundesliga for the past seven years.

“We are all excited that Bernd has chosen Arsenal Football Club and look forward to start working with him in pre-season.”