Transfer news and rumours: Manchester United and Chelsea to battle for Gareth Bale, Liverpool want Eduardo Salvio

The biggest transfer news and rumours on Wednesday 18 March

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Manchester United and Chelsea are both being linked with summer raids on Real Madrid with Gareth Bale and Raphael Varane believed to be interesting the Premier League sides.

The Daily Express claims that Jose Mourinho will look to address the Blues’ early Champions League exit with a whopping £150m move for both Bale and Varane, despite claims from the Spanish club that the man who they signed for £86m less than two years ago is not for sale. Mourinho is known to be a fan of Varane’s having been impressed with the young French defender during his time as manager at the Santiago Bernabeu.

However, the Daily Star claims that United will look to use goalkeeper David De Gea as bait to land Bale this summer, with Real interested in signing the 24-year-old Spaniard as a replacement for the long-serving Iker Casillas.


De Gea’s future at Old Trafford has come into question with talks over a new contract yet to materialise into anything formal, and with Real keen to bring the Spanish No 1 back to his homeland, they could look to sell Bale given his recent struggles in the side.

Despite the talk of Bale leaving, the Welshman did improve to score both goals in the weekend victory over Levante, and Real president Florentino Perez gave his backing to the 25-year-old just last week by saying: "Gareth Bale is one of the best players in the world. The only thing I can say is that we shouldn't forget what he was able to achieve in his first year at Real Madrid."

Elsewhere, United are said to be rivalling Liverpool in the hunt for Benfica winger Eduardo Salvio as his own contract talks continue to stall. According to the Daily Mirror, both clubs are interested in bringing the 24-year-old Argentinian to the Premier League, having witnessed him score eight goals in 23 Portuguese Liga games.

Salvio is a reported target for United and Liverpool

The same newspaper claims that Stoke are hoping to fend off interest from Tottenham and Inter Milan in goalkeeper Asmir Begovic by offering him a new contract before the end of the season. The 27-year-old Bosnia-Herzegovina international has his admirers across Europe after a number of impressive performances over the past few seasons, and Spurs could look to land him in the summer should they miss out on the top-four and Hugo Lloris elects to move to a Champions League club.

Finally, the Daily Star reports that Edin Dzeko could be on his way out of Manchester City in the summer with the club’s hierarchy finally losing patience with his inconsistent form since arriving from Wolfsburg in 2011.

Dzeko could pay the price for City's poor form

The Bosnia-Herzegovina striker has scored 50 league goals in 125 appearances for City, but has failed to convince whenever Manuel Pellegrini has chosen to play him in a two-pronged attack with Sergio Aguero, and he could pay the price following Wilfired Bony’s arrival in January.