Man Utd transfer news: De Ligt, Fernandes, Felix, Pepe, Lukaku, Bailly, Young
Will Ajax star Matthijs de Ligt choose United, Barcelona or Real Madrid?
De Ligt decision?
The will-he-or-won’t-he speculation concerning the likely next destination of Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt continues.
Barcelona remain favourites to sign the 19-year-old and have the crucial advantage over Manchester United of being able to offer Champions League football next season.
But the Daily Mirror says De Ligt is concerned that he might not get regular game time if he moves to the Camp Nou.
In addition, it’s believed that United “have offered the centre-back a lot more money than Barcelona”, fuelling hopes at Old Trafford that the teenage sensation might sign for them, the newspaper adds.
It was noted last week that De Ligt had “liked” an Instagram post uploaded by United legend Rio Ferdinand of the Red Devils celebrating their 2008 Champions League win. And in a recent interview with ESPN, he refused to rule out a possible move to the Premier League, saying that like La Liga, it’s a great competition.
But might there be a new kid on the transfer block? Spanish media is claiming that Real Madrid have entered the race for De Ligt as they look to shake up their squad in the summer, reports the Daily Express.
Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane is believed to have lured Chelsea’s Eden Hazard to the Spanish capital and reportedly also wants De Ligt to be the heart of his back four.
Sporting Lisbon star Bruno Fernandes has increased speculation that he could be set for a move to Old Trafford, following a candid interview with Portuguese TV channel SIC, the Daily Mirror reports.
Asked about his future with Sporting, the attacking midfielder replied: “I honestly don’t know. I like to focus on things once the season is over, when I can think with calmness.”
Fernandes, who is also linked with Manchester City, admitted his decision will be influenced by money as well as career ambition. “The financial aspect always weighs a lot, we have a short career… [and] it’s a matter of having dreams left to realise,” he said. “It’s a difficult choice, we never know what’s going to happen. My connection to Sporting is very strong.”
Battle for Felix and Pepe
The Sun says that United have been joined by rivals Manchester City in the battle to sign Benfica star Joao Felix. Valued at £105m, the 19-year-old attacker is also linked with Real Madrid.
Another player who is in demand is Lille’s Nicolas Pepe. The Daily Star reports that Liverpool have been in contact with the 23-year-old’s agent, with United, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain also believed to be interested.
Bailly staying put
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does not want to sell Eric Bailly to Arsenal this summer, according to the Daily Express.
The Gunners have been linked with the centre-back in recent weeks, as have Tottenham, but the newspaper says that Solskjaer “wants to give the Ivorian a chance at Old Trafford”.
Kalidou Koulibaly, Toby Alderweireld and Harry Maguire have all been suggested as possible targets for United this summer, but it seems that financial constraints on Solskjaer may see him keeping hold of Bailly and trying to bring out the defender’s best next season.
Lukaku and Young to leave?
Two players who could depart Old Trafford this summer are striker Romelu Lukaku and full-back Ashley Young.
The Manchester Evening News reports that Lukaku has agreed a five-year deal with Inter Milan, while there are suggestions that Young could join ex-United star Wayne Rooney at Major League Soccer side DC United in the US.