Manchester United line up Hummels bid: It’s a rumour which has been doing the rounds for some time but now The Star on Sunday reports United will step up their interest in Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels having seen Thomas Vermaelen sign for Barcelona. A £30m bid is apparently in the offing, “and if that deal fails, United will make a £17million move for Ajax’s Daley Blind.” Hummels is the top target now, but the promising Blind “is 24 and can operate as a left-sided centre-back or at left-back, either in an orthodox role or as a wing-back.”
Paper Round’s view: Hummels is exactly the kind of player United need. A tremendous talent, who possesses excellent technique, he would surely excel as the ball-playing member of United’s back three. A lack of Champions League football may be a problem, but only a minor one as Louis van Gaal’s charisma could seal the deal. Dortmund won’t want to sell, but this could be a goer.
Chelsea and United battle over £30m defender: No, not Hummels, but Roma’s Mehdi Benatia who has also come under Louis van Gaal’s gaze thanks to his fantastic performances in Serie A last season. According to the paper: “Reports in Italy claim that Van Gaal is preparing a whopping £30m bid to secure Benatia's services, but the former Bayern Munich chief could yet miss out again after it emerged that Chelsea were keeping tabs on the Morocco international.”
Paper Round’s view: Reports citing reports are always a bit flimsy and this stinks of an agent trying to drive his client’s price up. Chelsea also have three excellent centre-backs in John Terry, Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic, so this doesn’t really stand up to scrutiny.
United given encouragement over Cuadrado: Another persistent link has Fiorentina’s Juan Cuadrado coming to Old Trafford to star as right wing-back extraordinaire, and the Sunday Times says United have now “been given until Friday to make a firm offer ... after the Italian club’s president admitted that they would not be able to refuse an offer meeting the Colombian’s £25 million asking price.”
Paper Round's view: Barcelona are also reported to be interested in the man who helped Colombia to the World Cup quarter-finals and if they do firm up their interest then he could well end up at Camp Nou, unless United outdo them with their financial package. Cuadrado is the perfect player to bomb down the right in Van Gaal’s 3-5-2 formation and would be another stellar acquisition.
Benatia Cuadrado Vidal
Southampton hoping for Hernandez deal: We all know by now that Chicharito is heading out of Old Trafford as one of the first victims of the Van Gaal cull and according to the Sunday Telegraph, Ronald Koeman is hopeful of taking him to St Mary’s, where they are crying out for players. “Koeman would still like to sign a centre-back and a striker. Hernández is also attracting the interest of Atletico Madrid – and is not understood to regard Southampton as his first preference – but the Dutchman still hopes he can be convinced,” writes Jeremy Wilson.
Meanwhile, the Sunday Express suggests Juventus is Hernandez’s most likely destination in a move which could finally pave the way for Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal to switch to Old Trafford for a fee of £45m. “Although not part of the planned Vidal deal, Hernandez's proposed switch to Juventus is seen to be a sign of good will between the Italians and United, and Van Gaal will be hoping that it helps his side take another step towards securing the midfield enforcer,” writes the paper.
Paper Round’s view: So many mixed messages over Chicharito, but the bottom line is surely that United will use him as leverage to sign Vidal if they possibly can. The Vidal deal is the lengthiest saga of the summer and we need to be put out of our misery one way or the other…
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