United step up Vidal pursuit: Manchester United are ready to offer Juventus £45m in a bid to sign Chile star Arturo Vidal, according to the Daily Star. United have cooled talk that they are poised to sign the World Cup midfielder, but the newspaper understands opening negotiations have begun towards a deal that would see Vidal become United's most expensive signing. The paper claims the 27-year-old has told friends he is keen on joining Louis van Gaal's revolution at Old Trafford, while Juve will do business if United offer the right money. The player's fitness, namely his knee, remains a stumbling block though, with United determined not to make the same mistake they did with Owen Hargreaves when they signed him from Bayern Munich. Vidal will have to undergo a stringent medical at United before any personal terms are discussed.
Paper Round's view: On. Off. On. Off. This is turning out to be one of this summer's biggest transfer sagas. Is he worth all the trouble? Perhaps, although £45m might be a touch over what he's really worth. Whatver, this story, despite its quotes from a 'source' does little to take the story on. Basically, United will not waste their money on a crock, and want to be sure he is fully fit before taking matters further.
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Conflicting reports over Liverpool move for Cavani: The Daily Mail claims Liverpool have been told by Paris Saint Germain that Edinson Cavani is no longer available but the Daily Mirror reports there is still hope of the Uruguayan making a move to Anfield. The latter reports states that Cavani will be allowed to leave this summer for the right offer, but there is also interest from Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea, which will drive up his price.
Paper Round's view: "He is not interested in money and fame, he just wants to be happy playing football," Cavani's agent said. That might well be true, but what about his Senor 10 Per Cent, the man who is advising him? Will he settle for anything less than the astronomical sums being talked about? Most likely not, and that's probably why the Sun is reporting Cavani's price tag is £40m and his annual salary £9.3m. Which should prove too much for most, if not all, of the Premier League clubs linked with him.
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Vermaelen set for United: Thomas Vermaelen has won his battle with Arsenal and is set to get his dream move to Manchester United. The Daily Mirror reports that Arsene Wenger has admitted defeat over the Belgian centre-back and is resigned to seeing him leave the Emirates. Wenger would prefer to sell him to a foreign club, with Barcelona also reportedly interested.
Paper Round's view: Wenger didn't actually say he expects Vermaelen to leave for United, he just said would not stand in his way if he finds an interesting opportunity. What he did specify was that he'd prefer to sell him abroad, so it's not nailed on that he will go to United just yet. That said, if Vermaelen digs his heels in over a move to Old Trafford and he refuses to be sent to Barcelona, there is little Wenger will be able to do about United getting their man.
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United target Blind expected to leave Ajax: Daley Blind is set to leave Ajax with Manchester United in the frame for the Holland full-back. The Daily Mail reports that the 24-year-old World Cup star has been training alone since he returned from international duty in Brazil and Ajax youth coach Richard Witschge said: "I think Daley Blind will be leaving soon. I have a feeling. He has been training by himself. I think he has done that because there's something going on."
Paper Round's view: It does indeed appear Blind is on his way to pastures new this summer, but whether United will get him is entirely another story. Barcelona are interested too, and with the Catalan club driving up the price, it remains to be seen whether United will be willing to pay what may well turn out to be over the odds for the wing-back.
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Foxes close on Cambiasso: Leicester City are on the verge of signing Argentina and Inter Milan legend Esteban Cambiasso, according to the Daily Mirror. The Premier League new boys have offered the veteran midfielder a two-year deal worth £5 million, the report claims. Cambiasso, nearly 34, is a free agent after having left Inter at the end of last season and is due to finalise the deal with the Foxes. West Ham, Aston Villa and Valencia are also reportedly interested.
Paper Round's view: This is certainly an ambitious move by Leicester - Cambiasso's hugely impressive CV speaks for itself - but why shouldn't they be confident of landing him? If the report is true, and Cambiasso is indeed keen on a stint in the Premier League, a move to Leicester shouldn't be dismissed out of hand. Given his age the bigger clubs won't be tempted but if Leicester can give him what he wants in terms of money - and their Thai backers might well be able to - he may well bite. Let's be honest, Leicester may well be newly-promoted, but they can give West Ham or Villa a run for their money in the transfer market.
Inter Milan's Esteban Cambiasso (Reuters)
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Wenger hints at Sagna tap up: Bacary Sagna may have been tapped up by Manchester City, according to Arsene Wenger. The Arsenal manager believes the French right-back's £120,000-a-week deal may have been agreed before City were allowed to talk to him. The Sun reports Wenger as saying: “I made Sagna a proposal to stay for three years and he chose City. You should ask him why. Had he made that decision a long time ago? Maybe. It looks to me like he agreed it a long time before."
Paper Round's view: As Wenger says, maybe this was the case, but what's anyone going to do about it? Without a smoking gun - a photo of Sagna in a cafe with City's owners or such like - sanctions will not be imposed. As it is, it's just speculation on Wenger's behalf at the moment. Even so, tapping up doesn't seem to be the sin it once was - only the other day Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu publically admitted to having agreed a deal to take Luis Suarez from Liverpool before the World Cup.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Manchester United
- Arsene Wenger
- Arturo Vidal
- Thomas Vermaelen