In Brief

Premier League transfer news: Coutinho, Maguire, Pepe, Tierney, Dias

Former Liverpool star linked with return amid interest from Manchester United

Coutinho Anfield return?

Philippe Coutinho is desperate to return to Liverpool, claims The Sun, which reports that the Brazilian playmaker will reject advances from Man Utd in order to reunite with the Reds. 

Coutinho walked out of Anfield two seasons ago in a £145m move to Barcelona, but his stay at the Camp Nou has become a bit of a nightmare. Now, says the newspaper, he “is set to be sold to free up cash for Barca’s £200m pursuit of former star Neymar”.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is said to be stalking the South American ace, but Coutinho is “desperate to work with boss Jurgen Klopp once again”, according to The Sun. However, the Champions League winners may only welcome him back if Barcelona’s asking price is modest.

Maguire United switch is on

England central defender Harry Maguire has told Leicester City that “he wants to leave”, says the Daily Mirror. The 26-year-old was close to signing for Man City last month, but the Sky Blues then pulled out of the race, leaving the way open for United.

The Old Trafford club are reportedly preparing an £80m transfer bid, and Maguire is “ready to quit the Foxes”. Leicester gaffer Brendan Rodgers has allegedly been informed of the player’s intentions, and the Mirror says that he will grant Maguire’s request provided United meet the asking price.

Meanwhile, The Sun claims that a deal is all but done and that the defender will undergo a medical at Old Trafford today. 

Pepe denial

Nicolas Pepe’s agent has rubbished reports that Arsenal have made a £70m bid for the Lille frontman, reports Metro. The rumours emerged at the end of last week, with insiders claiming that Pepe was next on the list after the Gunners failed in their bid to prise Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace.

But agent Samir Khiat has given short shrift to the gossip, tweeting “Oh, really?!” And in an interview on French television, Khiat hinted that PSG and Pepe might be the perfect match. “The aim is for him to sign in the right place,” he said. “PSG is a possibility. Today, all parties need to reach an agreement. There are exchanges and discussions.”

Arsenal up Tierney bid

According to the BBC, Arsenal have upped their offer for Celtic star Kieran Tierney, after their initial bid was rejected. The Beeb says that the Gunners’ second offer for the Scotland defender is “in the region of £25m”. That’s £10m more than the original offer, and if accepted, would make the 22-year-old the most expensive player in Scottish football history.

Tussle for Dias

Man Utd and Arsenal are both interesting in signing Benfica defender Ruben Dias, with the Gunners moving ahead of their Premier League rivals in the wake of the Laurent Koscielny mutiny, reports the Daily Star.

The Arsenal captain has refused to travel to the US with the rest of the squad as he looks to force through a move to Bordeaux, prompting Gunners’ boss Unai Emery to look to Dias as Koscielny’s replacement. But the Portugal international is also on United’s radar, and with Benfica unlikely to “accept anything less than his £54m release clause”, Arsenal could be priced out of the market, the newspaper adds.

Alves tells City his price

If Man City want to get their hands on Dani Alves, they will need to the veteran defender £120,000-a-week, reports the Daily Express. Pep Guardiola is said to have spoken to Alves - now a free agent following his release by Paris Saint-Germain at the end of last season - to persuade him to come to the Etihad. Alves is alleged to be keen but only if his wage demands are met.

Ozil blocks Fekir move

Arsenal are set to miss out on Lyon striker Nabil Fekir - because they cannot sell Mesut Ozil. The Frenchman is a target for the Gunners but they cannot afford to sign him while Ozil, who earns £350,000 a week, is still on the books. Arsenal would like to sell Ozil but have received no offers for the German.  (Daily Mirror)

United cool on Lukaku future

Manchester United “have not had any bids that we’re considering” for wantaway striker Romelu Lukaku, says manager Ole Hunnar Solskjaer. But he was hardly fulsome in his praise for the striker when asked if he will be at Old Trafford next season. “Let’s see,” said the manager. (Daily Mirror)

Bayern still after Hudson-Odoi

Bayern Munich are still interested in signing Chelsea youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi and are expected to table a new £45m bid this week. That offer is £10m more than they bid on transfer deadline day in January. (The Mail on Sunday)

Villa lead Dubravka chase

Aston Villa look set to beat Manchester United and Spurs in the race to sign Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka. The keeper is said to be unhappy over Rafa Benitez’s departure from St James’ Park. Monaco and Porto are also in the hunt for the £12m-rated Slovakian shot stopper. (Daily Mail)

Spurs offer Alderweirald for Zaniolo

 Spurs may offer Toby Alderweirald to Roma in a deal to sign midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo. Tottenham are prepared to pay €50m (£45m) to the Serie A club for the midfielder, with Alderweireld making up €23m (£21m) of the fee. (Football.London)

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