Man Utd after Fabregas and Cavani, as Arsenal eye Welbeck
United may be without a manager, but they are not without ambition in the transfer market
MANCHESTER UNITED may be without a full time manager for the forseeable future, but the club is determined to plough on with its rebuilding programme ahead of the World Cup and the appointment of a new boss.
And when the winning candidate does arrive at Old Trafford he may, according to The Guardian, bump into Edinson Cavani on the training ground. The paper claims that United believe they can prise the Uruguayan striker away from French champions Paris Saint-Germain, although they may have to fork out £60m for the 27-year-old.
United would be willing to pay such a high fee for two reasons, explains the Guardian. Firstly it is accepted that the team needs an "injection of directness", and secondly chief executive Ed Woodward wants to bring a "superstar" to the club.
The same paper also suggests that, despite the embarassments of last summer when David Moyes was made to look foolish in the transfer market, United may reprise their pursuit of former Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas. The club apparently remains convinced that the Barcelona midfielder is open to the idea of a move, says the Guardian.
Talking of Arsenal and Manchester United, it is claimed, just a day after they were linked with Chris Smalling, that the Gunners are eyeing up another unsettled member of Manchester United's underachieving squad.
According to Caughtoffside Arsenal Wenger has been promised unlimited transfer funds in the summer and the Nutty Professor has already identified two players he believes would be a boost for the Gunners. First up is United striker Danny Welbeck, allegedly unhappy at Old Trafford and on the lookout for a fresh challenge.
Caughtoffside claims Arsenal are "ready to offer up to £13m" for the 23-year-old England frontman with Wenger viewing Welbeck as a complement to Oliver Giroud. Welbeck is reportedly "tempted" by the idea of a move to London and the chance of regular game time after a season spent playing second fiddle to both Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie.
Meanwhile the website also claims that Wenger is "keeping a close eye" on Everton winger Kevin Mirallas and will table a bid for the Belgian international if Arsenal side beat the Toffees to fourth place and a spot in next season's Champions League.
The 26-year-old, once famously dubbed "the Belgian Huckerby", is said to have attracted Arsenal's interest prior to his move from Olympiakos to Everton in 2012 and Wenger would be happy to hand over £15m, a figure that Caughtoffside say would prove tough for Everton chairman Bill Kenwright to knock back.
Still with the Gunners and the Daily Mail says Southampton defender Calum Chambers is in line to replace Bacary Sagna at the Emirates. With the Frenchman rumoured to be on his way back to France at the end of the season, Wenger has apparently identified the 19-year-old Chambers as his ideal successor. Having made 21 Premier League appearances for the Saints this season, the young defender "has impressed the Gunners' domestic scouting team" and an offer is said to be pending.
Across the way in north London, the Daily Mirror speculates that Italian club Roma are the latest to join the race to sign Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen. The 27-year-old Belgian centre-half has previously been linked with Barcelona and Russian outfit Zenit St Petersburg, and now the Mirror claims Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini "has made enquiries" about him. The Belgian international is desperate to taste Champions League football next season and Spurs will therefore do well to hang on to Vertonghen.
Finally, Goal.com reports that speculation is growing in Spain that Real Madrid are lining up an audacious move for Lionel Messi. The latest name to add credence to the rumour is Real legend Hugo Sanchez, who graced the Bernabeu between 1985 and 1992. In conversation with broadcaster BeIn Sports, Sanchez said of the Argentine ace: "Messi is not feeling valued highly enough by Barcelona with his contract and they must be careful."
Asked if he had any evidence for his astonishing declaration, Sanchez said he "suspects" Messi has got the hump over his current deal which includes buyout clause set at £164.7m. "If Barca are careless, I can see Real Madrid signing him," added Sanchez.