Lyon keeper Hugh Lloris eyes Van der Sar’s jersey

Hugo Lloris

Transfer Talk: Lloris fancies move to Manchester Utd; Mario Balotelli hints at move back to Italy

BY Bill Mann LAST UPDATED AT 07:17 ON Thu 17 Feb 2011

Manchester United have moved one step closer to signing French shot-stopper Hugh Lloris after he came clean and revealed a move to Old Trafford would be a dream. The 24-year-old, currently languishing with lowly Lyon in the French first division, has been linked with United since last summer.

Now it seems Lloris is angling for a move in time for next season. Speaking to French radio station RMC, the international keeper simpered: "Manchester United is a great football club. They are one of the most successful clubs in the world, so, of course, Manchester is one of the clubs that make me dream."

Asked if he was hoping to replace Edwin Van der Sar when the Dutchman retires in June, Lloris demonstrated the diplomacy for which his country is famed. "It is unfortunate to lose a keeper like Van der Sar because even at 40 he is still able to do exceptional things," said Lloris, adding: "I also think he could keep playing."

One man who couldn’t brown-nose even if he tried is Manchester City rebel Mario Balotelli. The 20-year bad boy arrived at Eastlands in the summer from Inter Milan – who were only too glad to get shot of him – but ever since the Italian striker has been hinting that a move back to Italy isn’t out of the question.

AC Milan are said to be Balotelli's preferred destination, despite their abysmal display against Spurs on Tuesday, though the club’s main striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, allegedly said recently that Balotelli wasn’t wanted at the San Siro now that Antonio Cassano is playing well.

"Ibra said there is no place for me following Cassano's arrival [but] that's not what he said to me," Balotelli told Tuttomercatoweb.com.

Inter Milan, meanwhile, are reported to be interested in signing Spurs midfielder Sandro. The Brazilian had another good performance against AC Milan on Tuesday and Talksport says that Inter are now convinced he would slot easily into their style of play. Apparently they would offer Spurs £10m for Sandro.  

Talksport also report that Feyenoord midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum could be on his way to Liverpool in the summer after Anfield scouts recommended him to Kenny Dalglish.

The 20-year-old has been the lynchpin of the Holland Under-21 side in recent seasons and is tipped to become a regular in the senior squad in time for next year’s Euro Championships. Apparently Spanish and Italian clubs have been monitoring Wijnaldum this season, but Liverpool are said to be front-runners in the race to secure his signature.

Finally, IM Scouting claim that Manchester United are tracking Swedish star Niklas Barkroth with a view to signing the 19-year-old in the summer. The Gothenburg striker, who can also play up in midfield, was the youngest player to appear in the Swedish first division four years ago and has been eyed up by several European clubs this season. Juventus are reported to be interested, which is why United will allegedly make an offer in the summer. · 

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