Man Utd close in on Carvalho and Kroos, but its a no from Pardo

Mar 11, 2014
Bill Mann

David Moyes could be gaining ground in bid to bolster his midfield as Reina says farewell to Liverpool

Joern Pollex/Bongarts/Getty Images

COULD the David Moyes revolution at Manchester United finally get underway this summer? United are in dire need of new blood and it seems the Old Trafford outfit are inching towards deals for two big-name players who could add bite to the midfield.

The Daily Mail claims that United have "opened talks" with Sporting Lisbon over the transfer of midfielder William Carvalho. Manager Moyes has been tailing the 21-year-old for months and the Mail claims that he is closing in on his target with a summer swoop in the offing. Apparently the Portuguese club have priced the Angola-born playmaker at £29m, some £4m more than United would like to pay, and negotiations are ongoing with the Premier League champions likely to meet Sporting's asking price.

Another player hotly-tipped to be on his way to Old Trafford is Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos, and he has given his clearest indication yet that he could be in United red next season, declaring: "It is no secret the Premier League is a possibility for me." The Daily Telegraph explains that Kroos's contract expires at the end of next season and the German midfielder will only stay if he is offered a deal that puts him on a par with the likes of Franck Ribery.

Asked if he would consider a move to a team that is not in the Champions League, Kroos fuelled the speculation by announcing: "I will consider everything... if I should leave."

However Spanish whizzkid Ruben Pardo looks unlikely to be heading to Old Trafford. The 21-year-old playmaker has hotly denied rumours linking him to Manchester United and Liverpool. The Real Sociedad sizzler has been in blinding form in La Liga this season and according to Sky Sports that's caused excitement in the north-west of England. Both the Reds and United are reported to have sent scouts to Spain to check out Pardo, while Real Madrid are also said to be taking more than just a passing interest in the midfielder. But with his contract not set to expire for two more years, Pardo used an interview with Spanish rag AS to deny he could be mulling over a move to these shores.

"I am happy," Pardo declared. "Sincerely, I am not preoccupied with the rumours about English clubs. If I think about the rumours it damages my game." Pressed on whether he might be tempted by a switch if the rumours turned out to be true, Pardo replied: "My deal ends in June 2016 but my desire is to stay many years with Real."

Talking of whizzkids, prepare to hear a lot more about Arsenal teenager Gedion Zelalem. The German-born midfielder is only 17 but has already forced his way onto the Arsenal bench several times this season, and made waves during the Gunners' pre-season tour with some eye-catching performances. Now Sky Sports reports that Zelalem, who is also eligible to play for the US, has signed a new deal at the Emirates, and should soon break into the first team.

In other news the Daily Star says that Southampton are "plotting a cut price £2m bid" for Juventus striker Fabio Quagliarella. The 31-year-old, who has won 25 caps for Italy, is wanted by the Saints as a replacement for compatriot Dani Osvaldo, currently on loan at Juve after head butting teammate Jose Fonte in training at Southampton. With Osvaldo unlikely to return to the South Coast, Southampton will look to cut a deal with Juventus whereby they keep him and in return sell them Quagliarella for £2m.

Elsewhere and Talksport report that West Ham have joined the race to Charlton's highly-rated Diego Poyet. Described as a "starlet" in some quarters, Poyet has only just returned to the fray after recovering from a burst appendix but it already making his mark with Athletic. The 18-year-old midfielder is the son of Sunderland manager Gus and has already attracted interest from Tottenham and Southampton. But, according to Talksport, Hammers boss Sam Allardyce is "interested in making a move" for the teenage sensation before a bidding war breaks out in the summer.

Finally, the Mirror confirms one of the worst kept secrets in English football – that Pepe Reina will activate a £4.5m release clause to bring down the curtain on his Liverpool career. The gloveman is currently on loan at Napoli and both they and Spanish outfit Atletico Madrid are after his signature in the summer. According to the Mirror Reds manager Brendan Rodgers has told the Spanish shotstopper he has no future at the club and Reina will thus leave Anfield for good at the end of the season.

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