Footballer Position Club Price Time Guide Javairo Dilrosun Midfielder Hertha BSC £1.10 10:00 – 12:00 Florent Mollet Midfielder Montpellier £0.70 10:00 – 12:00 Abel Ruiz Forward Barcelona £1.60 10:00 – 12:00 Andre Ramalho Defender FC Red Bull Salzburg £0.70 10:00 – 12:00 Danny da Costa Defender Eintracht Frankfurt £0.60 10:00 – 12:00 Jacob Bruun Larsen […]
Manchester United have been linked with a shock January move for Sweden international Andreas Granqvist.
Granqvist, the defender, is best known in England for his dreadful one-season stay at Wigan in 2007/08, when he played just 16 times for the Latics.
He has built a respectable career since then, playing for Groningen of the Netherlands, Italian side Genoa and Krasnodar, the Russian side, and it was Granqvist who replaced Zlatan Ibrahimovic as Sweden captain after the former Man United forward retired from international duty in 2016.
The 33-year-old skippered his country at this summer’s World Cup, scoring two goals as Sweden made it to the quarter-finals, where they lost to England.
Granqvist left Krasnodar for Helsingborg in July, but Fotboll Direkt say he could be on the move again in January with United keeping tabs on the centre-back.
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Manchester United Alexis Sanchez has been slated for his ‘disgraceful performances’ since joining the club in January, with talkSPORT told the player feels he should have joined Manchester City instead.
There were high hopes on the Chilean star when he left Premier League rivals Arsenal to arrive at Old Trafford ten months ago.
But it has just not worked out for him in the North West, having scored just three goals in 23 appearances in a Red Devils shirt.
And Neil Custis, Manchester correspondent for The Sun, has revealed the winger has been ‘moaning and whinging’ behind the scenes over Mourinho’s negative tactics, and says there are rumours that he wishes he linked up with Pep Guardiola at cross-town rivals City instead.
“I’ve seen all the legends since the late 90s play for Manchester United and have seen a lot of big-money names come in – but I’ve never seen more disgraceful performances from a single player who is paid so much money than Sanchez,” said Custis on Tuesday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.
“I think within weeks of arriving at Manchester United he felt he should have gone to Manchester City.
Paul Pogba has told team-mates he will leave Manchester United in January if Jose Mourinho is still manager. According to reports, the 25-year-old is fed up of arguing with the boss and has told people close to him that he is better off not playing in a Mourinho team. (The Sun)
Barcelona are confident they have the financial resources to sign the France World Cup winner in January, but the Catalan club’sboard of directors are divided on whether to bring the midfielder to the Nou Cam. (ESPN)
Meanwhile, United scouts fear players will not want to sign with the club in the current climate, which could leave Mourinho’s plans for a January shake-up dead in the water. (Daily Express)
Arsenal have been keeping a close eye on Lille winger Nicolas Pepe and are considering a January bid for the 23-year-old, who has impressed with five goals in eight matches this season. (Daily Mirror)
However, the Gunners could face competition both at home and abroad, with Everton already sending scouts to watch the £30million-rated Ivory Coast international, while Barcelona and Sevilla are also tracking him. (Daily Mirror)
Real Madrid have reportedly joined a group of clubs interested in Wales midfielder Ramsey, 27, who could leave the Gunners in January or hold off to leave on a free when his contract expires in June. (Teamtalk)
Danny Drinkwater is in no rush to leave Chelsea, despite not yet featuring under new manager Maurizio Sarri. It is understood Drinkwater is prepared to wait until the end of the season to find the right move if one does not come up in January, having not yet even appeared on the Blues’ bench. (Daily Telegraph)
Chelsea are said to be leading the race for 15-year-old Dutch star Sam Lautenschutz. The Volendam midfielder has also attracted interest from Manchester City, Tottenham, Leicester and Charlton, as well as Dutch giants Ajax. (The Sun)
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has ruled out ever managing Barcelona, because his links rivals Espanyol make a move “impossible”. (Evening Standard)
West Ham midfielder Declan Rice is planning to take a break from international football to prioritise his club future, after turning down a call-up to the Republic of Ireland squad. The 19-year-old is said to be keen to switch over to the England team, but will put those plans on hold to focus on the Hammers. (The Times)
Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez is keen to bring Italian defender Francesco Vicari to St James’ Park from Serie A side SPAL in January. The 24-year-old is being closely followed by the Premier League club after impressing at the start of this season. (Sportmediaset)
Man United target Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has extended his Lazio contract until 2023. The 23-year-old Serbia midfielder was linked with a move to Old Trafford in the summer. (Daily Mail)
Wolves are plotting a January bid for Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna, having sent scouts to look at the 21-year-old last weekend in the Dons’ 1-0 win over Motherwell. (Scottish Sun)
Manchester City are considering making a world record bid for Paris Saint-Germain ace Kylian Mbappe when the transfer window reopens in January, according to reports.
PSG could be forced to sell the teenage World Cup winner just six months after he was permanently signed by the club due to a Financial Fair Play probe.
UEFA announced last month that they are reopening their investigation into Paris’ finances having previously, in June, cleared the club of any wrongdoing.
If the investigation proves PSG have broken FFP rules they could have to sell their star players, including Mbappe, and Man City are ready to take advantage.
The Sun say Pep Guardiola, the City coach, is ready to submit a bid worth £200million for the 19-year-old in January, a fee that would make Mbappe the most expensive player in world football, surpassing the £198million PSG paid for Neymar in 2017.
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To complete any deal, City would have to sell themselves to comply with FFP rules, and the report states Raheem Sterling is the favourite to be sacrificed.
Sterling, the England winger, has failed to agree a new contract with City with his existing deal expiring at the end of 2019/20.
Mbappe, who originally joined PSG on loan last summer before penning permanent terms earlier this year, has scored five goals in five games this season.
He’s netted 26 times in all for the Parc des Princes club, and has scored nine goals for France, including four at this summer’s World Cup.
Zidane left Real Madrid this summer after leading them to three Champions League triumphs and reports earlier this month claim he’s already preparing for the possibility to taking charge of the Premier League giants.
Last month, the Mirror claimed that the former France international has already been building a shortlist of transfer targets he would want to bring to Old Trafford.
Signing all four players would require a serious financial outlay on United’s part, but the club could agree to such a big spend to please a new manager.
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But how would Zidane combine these four signings into United’s current squad to field a starting XI able to challenge at the highest level?
At the Bernabeu, Zidane showed incredible flexibility when it came to tactical systems, utilising one, two and three forward formations at various times throughout his tenure.
However, he did have a favoured approach of four defenders, four midfielders and two forwards, either lining up in a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-1-2.
The former system often saw Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio selected in the wide positions, though they played more like inside-forwards than classic wingers, while the latter system had Isco in the number 10 role, taking on the majority of Real’s attacking duties.
If appointed United boss, it is expected Zidane would implement one of these two systems at Old Trafford. He would need a two-striker system to find space for both transfer target Cavani and United’s current forward Romelu Lukaku, while the midfield would have to include all of Kroos, Thiago and James Rodriguez – the trio on Zidane’s shortlist.
The 4-3-1-2 (above) seems to be the best fit for Zidane’s targets, as it would allow him to fit all three midfielders in, whilst also retaining Nemanja Matic in the holding role. For all the excellence of Real Madrid’s ball-playing midfielders, Brazil international Casemiro has been one of their most important players over the last few years in the role of destroyer. His incredible ability to break up play reduces the amount of defensive work his team-mates need to complete, thus allowing them to focus on the thing they should focus on – getting the ball forward.
As there is no real width in the midfield or attacking zones, there is a lot of pressure on the full-backs to stretch play in the final third, and Luke Shaw, the left-back, looks perfect for this role having started the season so well. Antonio Valencia is an adequate option on the right, though it would not be a surprise to see Zidane either using Diogo Dalot or targeting an upgrade on the Old Trafford veteran should he be appointed manager to replace Mourinho.
Alternatively, Zidane could utilise the 4-4-2 (below) – though this would be a much more risky approach.
The key benefit of this system is the inclusion of another attacking player (Alexis Sanchez) to take the pressure to create play off the shoulders of the number 10 in the 4-3-1-2. You still have the number 10 (James Rodriguez), but he plays a more withdrawn role and finally has support in the final third.
However, the huge negative is just how isolated the two-man midfield would find themselves, especially without a designated destroyer selected in the starting line-up. Matic is far too slow to play in a two-man midfield, but Zidane evidently does not think a new defensive midfielder is a priority given his shortlist of targets.
The above line-up, featuring Zidane’s targets, would have the manager putting a remarkable amount of faith in Kroos and Thiago to never cheaply concede possession. If they were to lose the ball in the midfield zone, United’s opponents would have acres of space to run into as they launched an attack on David de Gea’s goal.
The main absentee from both of Zidane’s potential line-ups is Paul Pogba, and his decision to target three midfielders suggests Zidane has no desire to keep Pogba around. It is believed either one or the other, Pogba or Mourinho, will leave Old Trafford soon enough, but if Zidane comes in it could be both forced out the club.
The 4-3-1-2 appears to be the more suitable formation for Zidane to implement if chosen to replace Mourinho at Old Trafford, but it looks as if United would still be far away from winning the Premier League title – even if the club sign the four players Zidane is targeting above all others.