‘United to make huge double swoop on Saints’ - The most interesting transfer story of the day came not from any of the papers, but from the wider media as Talksport reported that Manchester United are plotting a sensational £50m double move for Southampton duo Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw. It is understood that United have moved into pole position to sign 18-year-old Shaw despite Chelsea having been his preferred destination given their bold early movements. Lallana will now also be part of what would be an enormous double swoop on the South Coast club as United look to buy top young British talent to re-energise their squad. Moyes will look to conclude this big piece of business before the start of the World Cup, says the source.
Paper Round’s view: After a poor first season at the helm, United boss David Moyes must look to significantly reshape his squad this summer and the Saints pair are understood to be high on his shopping list. It has been reported time and again that Shaw would prefer to move to Chelsea – the club he supported as a boy – but with Jose Mourinho set to prioritise securing two strikers in the summer transfer window, the London club may have to give the transfer a miss, at least for now. Saints skipper Lallana, meanwhile, has impressed for club and country this season, scoring nine goals in the Premier League and making his England debut against Chile last November, and has emerged as a top target for a number of clubs.
‘City enter race to sign Falcao’ – Manchester City have now entered the lucrative race to sign Monaco striker Falcao, providing a rival for Chelsea, report the Manchester Evening News. Blues director of football Txiki Begiristain is reported to have met with the player, who cost Monaco £50m, and his agent in Madrid this week. Also present, according to accounts in Spain, were Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, Singaporean businessman Peter Lim and Monaco owner Dimitry Rybolovlev. City are now confident they can scupper Chelsea’s chances of landing one of their big summer targets.
Paper Round’s view: Mourinho is a known admirer of the 28-year-old and has gone on record to state his desire to bring him to Stamford Bridge. It would represent a significant blow to Chelsea if City were to swoop in and sign Falcao, but then again it could only serve to focus the London club’s resolve to aim for Diego Costa of Atletico Madrid instead. The reported meeting has sparked a media frenzy in Spain and it is certainly true that Real Madrid are keen to sign a big-name striker this summer to bolster their ranks. Perhaps they are the rivals Chelsea should actually be most wary of.
‘Liverpool renew interest in Ukraine winger’ - Liverpool have renewed their interest in Ukrainian winger Yevhen Konoplyanka, according to the Daily Mail. The Premier League outfit apparently tried to sign the 24-year-old in January, but they failed to thrash out a deal for the Dnipro star before the window slammed shut on deadline day. Konoplyanka's representative, James Lippett, has sparked rumours that the Reds are ready to make a fresh attempt to land the player this summer, so say the paper, and he could end up being a high-profile move for Brendan Rodgers over the summer.
Paper Round’s view: Spurs are also reportedly interested in signing Konoplyanka, according to Dnipro president Ihor Kolomoyskyi, and he would command a fee of around £16 million, but this has all the marks of a set of agents and representatives attempting to drum up interest in their man. Liverpool will look to cement their spot at the top of the table when they face West Ham on Sunday with destiny in their own hands in the title race, so Rodgers is hardly likely to be even remotely distracted by this kind of talk in a potential target at this stage of the season.
‘City closing in on £20m Porto star’ – In yet more City transfer talk, the club are closing in on a deal for £20 million-rated Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala, according to the Daily Mail. Sources in Portugal claim sporting director Txiki Begiristain was in Portugal with the remit of watching the highly-rated defender play against Sevilla in the Europa League. Mangala scored the winner for Luis Castro's side and Begiristain hopes to conclude a deal for the 23-year-old to join ahead of next season before returning to Manchester.
Paper Round’s view: The former Standard Liege man apparently came close to joining the Etihad Stadium club in January, but City's £38 million double swoop for the Frenchman and team-mate Fernando collapsed on transfer deadline day. City, however, clearly remain interested in both and if all goes according to plan for City, Mangala could arrive before the start of next season. This news may also come as a blow to Chelsea, who have also shown a keen interest in Mangala in recent months. There will be plenty more transfer stories supposedly pitting City and Chelsea together as the two clubs vie for dominance of the market in the UK.
- Sports & Recreation
- Adam Lallana
- Manchester United
- Manchester City
- Luke Shaw