Man Utd target midfield star – According to the Mirror on Saturday, Manchester United are preparing a £24m bid for Borussia Dortmund star Ilkay Gundogan, despite the fact the Germany international has not played since August due to injury. The paper writes: “It is understood that Gundogan’s representatives have held talks with United, who are desperate to bolster their midfield options.”
Paper Round’s view: Gundogan was sensational for Dortmund last season and the fact he has 18 months remaining on his contract explains the relatively low fee. United are crying out for midfield creativity and he could be the perfect answer, even if he isn’t entirely fit.
Fulham target two West Ham stars – The Express trumpets an exclusive today with the news that Fulham are preparing an ambitious £7.5m double deal for West Ham midfielders Ravel Morrison and Mohamed Diame. The Cottagers, apparently, can only go to £4m for England Under-21 star Morrison, while Diame has a buyout clause of only £3.5m.
Paper Round’s view: A buyout clause means Diame is a possibility – although surely he could attract a better club having been linked with Arsenal last season. As for Morrison, he has shown his deep potential this season and £4m seems laughably low. No chance.
Chelsea battle for French starlet – St Etienne’s Kurt Zouma is one of the most highly-rated young defenders in football and the Times reports that Chelsea and Inter both want the man touted as a future captain of the French national side, who has attracted offers of £9m from Inter and Monaco already in January.
Paper Round’s view: Chelsea don’t exactly lack defenders but they could do with a promising youngster to challenge David Luiz and John Terry. There’s been plenty of talk about Zouma and if Chelsea do want him, St Etienne are likely to struggle to keep him away from the clutches of the London club.
Turks want Arsenal star – The Daily Mail says Bacary Sagna, out of contract in the summer, is a target for Galatasaray, who have offered him £4.1m after tax to move to Turkey. Sagna is currently paid around £3.6m at Arsenal, who are keen to keep the right-back, though are unlikely to match the four-year contract on offer from Gala.
Paper Round’s view: Sagna is free to agree a pre-contract move with a foreign club and unless Arsenal act fast they appear to be in real danger of losing one of their most consistent players of the past 10 years. The Mail says Arsenal are unwilling to offer more than two years, and Gala’s offer could sway the balance.