We track all the latest transfer news, done deals and rumours as Manchester United consider whether or not to enter a battle with Tottenham to sign Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale.
Tottenham are exploring a loan deal but United are in a better position to meet Bale’s significant wage demands of £600,000 per week, which he currently receives from Real Madrid.
United have lost the race with Spurs for left-back Sergio Reguilon, and while they continue to hunt Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund, the reality is Sancho may be out of their price range.
That means Bale could became a possibility, although even United would need Real Madrid to contribute a significant portion of wages.
Follow all the latest news below:
UNITED NEVER MADE SERIOUS THIAGO BID
Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano reports that Alcantara was always destined to join Liverpool, and United’s attempts to sign the player were never serious.
The midfielder looks set to join the Premier League champions after reaching an agreement with Bayern Munich, believed to be in the region of £27m.
UNITED BOSS WANTS A CENTRE BACK
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer wants another centre back in his squad, but may have to wait until next summer, according to the Daily Mail.
Solsjkaer reportedly would like another centre back in the squad this season, and is a known admirer of RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano.
However, the Mail states that the United boss may have to wait another season before getting his wish, as the club have been hit hard economically with the COVID-19 pandemic.
United have reportedly lost in the region of £5m per match day since the pandemic started, and this has affected the club’s revenue.
This can also be seen in their stalemate with Borussia Dortmund over the signing of Jadon Sancho, with United reluctant to meet the German outfit’s evaluation of the 20-year-old.
SOLSJKAER ‘CONFIDENT’ OF LANDING SANCHO
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer is reportedly ‘confident’ of signing England international Jadon Sancho before the end of the transfer window.
The English side have been locked in negotiations for months with Borussia Dortmund over signing Sancho, but the German outfit have remained steadfast in their asking price for the 20-year-old.
United are hesitant to succumb to the Bundesliga side’s €120m valuation of Sancho, but Norwegian outlet Dagbladet state that United boss Solsjkaer is confident of getting the deal done before the end of the window.
The report claims that Solsjkaer has been in contact with the player, and that he believes the deal is ‘in the bag’.
UNITED SEEK ATALANTA WINGER
Manchester United are reportedly interested in Atalanta’s 18-year-old winger Amad Traore.
The Manchester Evening News reports that the Premier League side don’t view the youngster as an alternative to main target Jadon Sancho, but that they want to sneak in ahead of the competition by signing the Ivory Coast native.
Traore made his debut for the Bergamo outfit last season, and scored in the 7-1 demolition of Udinese, and in the process becoming the youngest player to score on their debut, at 17 years and 109 days.
The Manchester Evening News cites Italian sources that state Traore won’t come cheap, despite his lack of playing time.
INTER OFFER UNITED CHOICE OF THREE PLAYERS FOR SMALLING
Serie A giants Internazionale have offered Manchester United a choice of three players in exchange for defender Chris Smalling.
Smalling, who spent last season on loan at Inter’s rivals Roma, is hoping for a return to the Italian capital on a permanent basis.
However Roma and United have been locked in talks for months, with the English side deeming Roma’s offer to be unacceptable.
United are reportedly demanding in the region of £18.5m for the 30-year-old.
According to Talksport, Inter have now entered discussions over signing Smalling, and are prepared to offer three players in exchange.
Ivan Perisic, Joao Mario and Marcelo Brozovic have reportedly been offered to United. Perisic especially would be of interest to the Premier League side, as they tried to buy him several years ago, only to be rebuffed by Inter.
THURSDAY’S TRANSFER NEWS
Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s Manchester United transfer news live blog, where we’ll keep on top of all the latest comings and goings at Old Trafford right up until the 5 October deadline.
Gareth Bale looks to have decided on a return to Tottenham over a move to United, meaning the club are set to miss out on a transfer target they have toyed with so many times in recent years. The Welshman is set to return to Spurs on a season-long loan, with the deal as good as done on Thursday morning and an announcement expected imminently.
To make matters worse, United have also missed out on Real Madrid’s full-back Sergio Reguillon, who is also poised to join Tottenham from the Spanish club.
So who does that leave United with? Let’s take a look at the morning’s biggest headlines.
BALE UNITED MOVE WOULD HAVE BEEN ‘MORE ADVANTAGEOUS’ FOR REAL MADRID
Real Madrid would have received a better financial package had Gareth Bale opted to join Manchester United, according to AS.
The Spanish outlet claim it would have been ‘much more advantageous’ for the Spanish champions.
Spurs are expected to only be able to pay 50% of the Welshman’s salary in their proposed loan deal.
They will also not pay a loan fee, something United would have included in any potential offer.
The Red Devils were also reportedly able to pay a bigger portion of Bale’s wages.
But the player is believed to be set on a return to his former club.
GIGGS RESPONDS TO KEANE’S £2BN VALUATION
Former United winger Ryan Giggs joked that Roy Keane speaks “a lot of sense” after he claimed his former teammate would be worth £2bn in today’s market.
The ex-Ireland international also valued David Beckham at £1bn and, in typically self-deprecating fashion, put himself at a measly £3.75m.
"He's always spoke a lot of sense, Roy [laughs]," Giggs said.
"I don't know about £2bn, but I think Roy's point was that now you're seeing average players go for massive sums.
"You look back at some of the players that we played with. I mean, what would they be worth now?
"Ruud van Nistelrooy, just an unbelievable goalscorer. What would he be worth now? Where you're just guaranteed goals every season, so I think that's the point that Roy was trying to make and he's right because it's just ridiculous now.
"And it doesn't look like it's stopping -- it looks like it's going up."
The discussion seems especially pertinent now as the Jadon Sancho saga rumbles on, with Borussia Dortmund asking for £108m for the 20-year-old.
MOURINHO COMMENTS ON BALE REPORTS
Jose Mourinho has commented on reports of Gareth Bale’s imminent return to Tottenham.
The Real Madrid man is expected to move back to north London before the close of the transfer window.
United were also believed to be interested, but they have not pursued a deal and Bale reportedly favours a switch to Spurs.
“Gareth Bale is a Real Madrid player. I don't comment on players from other clubs,” former United boss Mourinho said.
"It's not my job to have contact with agents, I don't want to comment on that, especially on players at other clubs."
GREENWOOD TO RIVAL UNITED TARGET SANCHO FOR GOLDEN BOY AWARD
Mason Greenwood is in competition with United target Jadon Sancho for the 2020 Golden Boy award.
The 18-year-old academy graduate is amongst 40 players shortlisted for the award, including the likes of Erling Braut Haaland, Ansu Fati and Alphonso Davies.
There are several other Premier League players on the shortlist, too: Fabio Silva, Phil Foden, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Bukayo Sako, Ferran Torres and Neco Williams.
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