Arsenal chase Powell; Berbatov off to Turkey; Man Utd eye De Marcos
Galatasaray close to deal with United striker as Real Madrid target Liverpool’s Glen Johnson
MANCHESTER UNITED are chasing Spanish star Oscar de Marcos - the Athletic Bilbao midfielder who knocked Alex Ferguson’s side out of Europe earlier this season, according to the Daily Mirror. The speedy 23-year-old scored in both legs against United in the Europa League showdowns. United saw enough of De Marcos in those games to make him a big offer this summer.
Turkish website Fanatik reports that out-of-favour Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov is close to agreeing a deal with Galatasaray. The 31-year-old has barely figured in the United team this season and is out of contract in the summer. Alex Ferguson has said that he believes the striker will be off to pastures new.
Could England right-back Glen Johnson be heading off to Real Madrid this summer? According to a report in the Daily Mirror Jose Mourinho has identified Johnson and Tottenham’s Kyle Walker as candidates to fill what he sees as a problem position. A £16.5 million fund has been put aside for the deal.
It's not often one finds 'Crewe' and 'Sensation' in the same sentence, but that is what's happened at Goal.com with their claim that Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City will "fight it out for Crewe sensation Nick Powell".
Also described as a "wonderkid", the 18-year-old Powell's performances this season have been almost as amazing as the beauty of Samantha Brick. Now according to Goal.com, the trio of Premier League clubs are set to go head to head in the summer to prise the teenage striker (above) from the confines of League Two.
It's believed Crewe will want a minimum of £1.5m for Powell, though that figure could rise considerably if a bidding war breaks out. "All the big clubs are looking at Nick Powell," a source whispers. "There have been approaches from Arsenal and Chelsea, as well as Manchester City."
Powell has been nurtured by Crewe's director of football, Dario Gradi, a veteran of developing young talent at the north-west club. Among his previous protégées are David Platt, Neil Lennon and Robbie Savage.
Meanwhile Marseille boss Didier Deschamps appears eager to offload Yann M'Vila, declaring to all and sundry that the 21-year-old midfield magician has it within him to become the next Patrick Vieira. "I would just say that if I was the chairman of a Premier League club I would just close my eyes and put the figure on the cheque to get him," Desailly is quoted by the Daily Mail as saying.
In recent weeks the French international has been strongly linked with the Gunners and that's where Deschamps believes M'Vila should be headed in the summer. "You will see he is the best midfielder – better even than Patrick Vieira," said Deschamps. "Arsenal is probably a stable club where he can have a bit of time [to develop]."
In other news, Manchester United and Chelsea are circling Shinji Kagawa and according to Talksport Borussia Dortmund fear they'll loss the Japanese striker to one of the Premier League pair at the end of the season.
Apparently Dortmund have tried to persuade the 23-year-old Kagawa to extend his contract only for negotiations to disintegrate in much the same manner as Gavin Henson's career, and now the Germans are resigned to losing the Japanese ace. Talksport claims that Kagawa – who has scored 12 goals this season - has described the prospect of playing for United as a "dream", although he'll listen to what Chelsea have to offer come the summer.
Finally, The Sun reports that Dirk Kuyt and Maxi Rodriguez are heading towards the exit at Anfield as Liverpool prepare to overhaul their squad in the summer. "Vast changes" are in the pipeline, claims the paper, and the 31-year-old Kuyt is apparently no longer required after six years with the Reds.
The Dutch striker could be on his way to Italy, with Roma and Fiorentina both interested, while Turkish outfit Galatasaray are also said to be making enquiries. Rodriguez is surplus to requirements, too, and might return to his native Argentina while left-back Fabio Aurelio is another whose future at the club looks bleaker than the Easter weather.