Man Utd go after 'unsettled' Modric, Spurs join Zaha chase
Ferguson wants ex-Spurs man to replace Scholes as Tottenham fight Man U and Arsenal for Zaha
PREMIER LEAGUE leaders Manchester United are said to be lining up a £25m bid for former Spurs midfielder Luka Modric, according to Caughtoffside which says Alex Ferguson has identified the 27-year-old playmaker as a suitable acquisition and he'll soon be making an approach to Real Madrid.
Ferguson was known to have been interested in Modric last year, when he was angling for a move away from Tottenham, and though he lost out to Madrid, that hasn't dampened his enthusiasm for the Croatian midfielder.
Modric is allegedly unsettled at the Bernabeu having failed to nail down a regular starting sport, and he was recently voted the worst signing of La Liga in 2012 by Spanish newspaper Marca. Caughtoffside claims United are considering making an offer "in the region of £25m" for Modric as Ferguson prepares for life after Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs.
Modric's former club, Spurs, could turn out to be the dark horses of the January transfer window as they take on the likes of United and Arsenal over other transfer targets.
Last week the Lilywhites got one over on their London rivals by agreeing to sign German midfielder and Arsenal target Lewis Holtby at the end of the season once his feal with Schalke runs out. But according to the Evening Standard the youngster could be strutting his stuff at White Hart Lane before the summer.
The paper reports that the German club's managing director Horst Heldt has not ruled out the prospect of Holtby moving to London in January if the two clubs can agree terms.
Meanwhile, Spurs have emerged as surprise contenders in the race to sign Crystal Palace youngster Wilfried Zaha. The 20-year-old has been courted by both Arsenal and Manchester United but it is Andre Villas Boas who has made the first move, opening negotiations on a move that would see Zaha loaned back to the South London club for the remainder of the season before moving to Spurs in the summer.
The Daily Mail reports that Spurs are now leading the race for his signature, but says that Man United are expected to join the bidding soon. There is no news on when or if Arsenal will get round to making an offer, although there is still hope for the Emirates outfit.
"The deal is a long way from being completed," whispered a source. "This could turn out to be the hottest transfer battle of the season and it could boil down to a question of which club does Zaha want to join." Zaha is said to be a Gunners fan.
The Express reports that Real Madrid are loitering with intent around Manchester City's £50m-rated striker Sergio Aguero. Reports last week alleged that the striker's four-year marriage to Diego Maradona's youngest daughter Giannina is in trouble, and the Express said that's alerted Madrid.
If Aguero begins to feel "isolated" in England, the Spanish giants might look to lure him to the capital.
The Express claims Real tried to sign Aguero 18 months ago from rivals Atletico Madrid, but their neighbours refused to do business with them. Real "remain big admirers of the striker" and a deal could be on the cards if Aguero's personal situation becomes intolerable.
The Metro reports that Swansea boss Michael Laudrup has "categorically" said that Spanish striker Michu will not be offloaded in this month's transfer window. Michu, who came off the bench yesterday to score one of Swansea's goals in their dramatic 2-2 draw with Arsenal, has scored 13 goals since arriving at the Liberty Stadium from Rayo Vallecano in a £2m deal in the summer.
That's excited the interest of the Premier League big boys, not to mention rich Russian team Anzhi Makhachkhala, but Laudrup says that they can all go and whistle. "There is no way he will leave," the Danish coach blasted. "It is absolutely out of the question." Asked why that was so, Laudrup replied: "He is happy here and doesn't want to leave."