Man Utd £100m spree: Baines, Herrera, Mangala all targets
David Moyes given funds to rebuild United, but who will he try and sign with Glazer cash?
NEWS that Manchester United's owners are about to hand under-pressure manager David Moyes a cheque for £100m has delighted the transfer gossips, who often struggle for things to talk about at this time of the year.
But now that the United boss has almost unlimited funds at his disposal speculation about who he intends to buy is rife. The Daily Mail goes for the obvious, picking Leighton Baines of Everton (above) and Ander Herrera, the Athletic Bilbao central midfield player, both of who Moyes tried, and failed, to sign in the summer.
The Daily Express adds much-admired Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala to the list of likely targets, but notes that he could cost as much as £37.5m, while simultaneously downsizing Moyes's budget from £100m to £80m.
Website Caughtoffside is never shy in proposing a potential transfer, and it suggests that United could enter the race to sign Arsenal target Lars Bender. It says the Bayer Leverkusen midfielder would cost around £20m.
Two's company, three's a crowd, but try telling that to the agent of Martin Hinteregger, the Red Bull Salzburg defender who is being chased by Arsenal, Liverpool and, of course, Man United.
According to the Daily Star, the 21-year-old Austrian, capped four times at under-21 level for Austria, is also being eyed up by other European clubs thanks to his storming displays at the heart of the Salzburg defence.
"I confirm, there is interest in me from Manchester United and a top Italian club," Hinteregger is said to have told Italian website TuttoJuve.com. The Italian club is, unsurprisingly, believed to be Juventus and Hinteregger declared himself "honoured" by their interest.
Asked what his intentions were he said: "I will talk to my agent and consider whether a transfer might be beneficial." Presumably that rules out a move to Old Trafford, unless he fancies a stint in the Championship next season, but a move to Arsenal or Liverpool is still a possibility. The Star says Arsene Wenger has "a long-standing interest" in the Austrian while Reds' boss Brendan Rodgers is also a fan.
Elsewhere and bad boy Joey Barton has told Sky Sports that he hasn't ruled out a return to Marseille at some stage. The 31-year-old midfielder spent last season on loan on the Med but has since returned to QPR in a bid to help the hoops climb out of the Championship and into the Premier League.
Barton scored in Saturday's 2-0 win over Middlesbrough and told Sky he was enjoying his football at Loftus Road. But asked if he still harboured dreams of seeing out his career at Marseille, he replied: "Hopefully one day I will go back and play there because I loved everything about being there... I had a great affinity with the club. I had a great relationship and still do to this day."
According to website Caughtoffside the chances of Spurs tempting Corinthians sharpshooter Alexandre Pato to London are being aided by a "deepening feud" between the player his teammates. Not only that but it seems that Pato has alienated many of the Corinthians faithful if graffiti attacking the player on the windows of the club shop is anything to go by.
Pato, who left AC Milan for his native Brazil in January, is said to be increasingly unsettled and Caughtoffside says Tottenham may look to exploit the situation to their advantage in the New Year.
Still with the Lilywhites and the Epping Forest Guardian claims that Spurs have added Southampton left-back Luke Shaw to their January wishlist. The 18-year-old has been impressive in the Saints slick start to the season – they currently lie sixth in the Premier League and have the best defensive record in the division – and Tottenham gaffer Andre Villas-Boas is "ready to offer £15m" for a player also coveted by Arsenal and Manchester United.
To further increase his chances of landing Shaw, the Guardian says Villas-Boas will agree to let the defender remain at St Mary's until the end of the season.
Finally Metro carries comments from Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger confirming that talks with full-back Bacary Sagna over a new contract remain ongoing. The 30-year-old Frenchman is out of contract in the summer and when Wenger was asked if he expected Sagna to sign on for another term replied: "When the situation has developed, we will inform you." He then added that he and Sagna were "always talking" about the possibility of a new deal. ·