Manchester United feature heavily in Thursday morning’s gossip columns, with Barcelona superstar Neymar reported as a sensational £180 million target for manager Jose Mourinho.
Any move for the Brazilian would require United to smash their world-record £89m move for Paul Pogba in August, but according to reports the Old Trafford club is willing to do just that.
According to the Daily Record, United have asked to be kept informed of Neymar’s intentions at the Nou Camp, with the forward continuing to weigh up a move away from the Catalan club.
United will almost certainly be in the market for a striker come January. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is in his mid-30s and his fired in fits and starts this season, while Wayne Rooney is no longer a regular goal-scorer. Mourinho has also scouted Neymar in the past, while he was managing Real Madrid.
Neymar signed a five-year contract in October, committing him to the club until 2021, although well-placed sources in Spain claim that is merely a ‘sticking plaster’ masking ongoing tension between player and club over the manner in which Barcelona extracted him from a third-party ownership deal in Brazil. Those legal issues have influenced his view of his future at the club.
The contract included a minimal increase in the value of Neymar’s release clause – essentially leaving the maximum transfer-fee cost unchanged
Less optimistic for United is the report that forward Anthony Martial is a target for PSG. Martial joined United for £36m from Monaco in 2015 but has struggled in his second season at the club.
Mourinho dropped the France international in recent weeks, but he bounced back on Wednesday night with two goals against West Ham in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup at Old Trafford.
However, The Sun claims PSG want to offer him a route back to his homeland, while Mourinho has hinted Martial must fight for his place in the team.
Meanwhile, according to the Daily Mail, Daley Blind fears his United career could be over with Mourinho planning a defensive rebuild, while the same paper says defender Marcos Rojo is wanted by Bayer Leverkusen.
United’s rivals Liverpool are understood to be preparing a January move for Celtic forward Moussa Dembele in a deal that could be worth up to £20m. Dembele has scored 17 times for the Glasgow side since signing last summer, with Jurgen Klopp already having the forward scouted.
And according to Glasgow Live, Liverpool are willing to pay the 20-year-old around £60,000-a-week.
Elsewhere, the Guardian report West Ham are planning a £25m move for Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson after it was confirmed the Hammers’ Diafra Sakho will miss up to six weeks with a thigh injury sustained in the 1-1 draw against Manchester United on Sunday.
And at Chelsea, John Terry’s time could finally be up, with the Daily Mail reporting the centre-back is being phased out by manager Antonio Conte. The former England defender’s contract expires at the end of the season.Reuse content