Manchester United transfer news: Nicolas Pepe update, Harry Maguire breakthrough and Juan Mata's plea

Transfer round-up: All the latest reports and rumours from Old Trafford on Monday 22 July

Alan O'Brien
Monday 22 July 2019 14:24
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Manchester United train in Australia on pre-season tour

Manchester United are making progress in their talks with Lille over a potential deal for Nicolas Pepe, according to reports.

The Times claims that United last week advanced a long-standing interest in the forward, who has been valued at £70m by his club.

Funds are expected to be freed up by the sale of Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan.

As for Paul Pogba – another player touted to leave this summer – Juan Mata has expressed his desire for the Frenchman to stay put.

“We all know Paul and he is a fantastic midfielder, and a very good guy, very positive, and a good influence for everyone,” Spanish midfielder Mata recently told Sky Sports.

“As a team mate and a friend I would like him to stay and be happy because he is a very good player for us.

“We know we have to do better than last season. This club has won more trophies than any other club in England. We want to win big trophies again.”

Meanwhile, United feel a breakthrough has been made in their pursuit of Leicester City’s Harry Maguire, and sources say the signing is now “imminent”.

The 2016 champions had been holding out for a deal worth £80m in total, and United are understood to have come up with acceptable terms, with around £10m wrapped up in conditional clauses.

Maguire last week told Leicester he wanted to leave, and the club agreed they would not stand in his way, so long as their requirements were met.

Club members feel that the 26-year-old English international will complement the developing Victor Lindelof at the heart of a new-look defence, that will form the foundation of a fast and hard-pressing team.

United have dropped their long-term interest in Gareth Bale, according to The Times.

The club has reportedly attempted to sign Bale on two separate occasions but, despite Zinedine Zidane’s recent announcement that the Welshman will leave “soon”, it seems Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is now considering other options.

Lastly, David De Gea has made his case to become United’s captain next season and is on the verge of signing a new contract.

The first-choice goalkeeper is said to have agreed a new five-year deal at Old Trafford, with the option of an additional 12 months, and wants to be the leader in the dressing room for Solskjaer’s new-look side.

De Gea, regarded by many as the best goalkeeper in the world, has agreed a new £375,00-a-week deal, which will be finalised and signed when the club return from their pre-season tour.

“It’s amazing so, of course, I’ll be really, really happy to captain,” he said. “It’s my ninth season and I feel like one of the most experienced players.

“I need to show that on the pitch and try to help the young guys know what Manchester United means and that’s important.”

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