In Brief

Man Utd eye £130m move for Leicester duo James Maddison and Ben Chilwell

Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly and Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic are also on the radar

Two Foxes tracked

Manchester United are ready to “step up their pursuit” of £130m-rated Leicester City duo James Maddison and Ben Chilwell.

The Sun says that United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is planning for the future, despite reports earlier in the week suggesting he will be sacked if the Red Devils lose to Norwich on 27 October.

According to the Sun the United board are reluctant to sack Solskjaer and assuming he does start to get the results the club craves, he will be “handed a hefty transfer budget in January”.

Top of his shopping list are the Leicester pair Maddison and Chilwell.

Apparently, the Norwegian has been “impressed” with what he’s seen of them this season and an Old Trafford source told the Sun: “We have already compiled a scouting report of both of them… they fit all the right requirements and criteria in terms of quality and keeping an English core which is important.

“Ole likes them but it would be difficult to get them both at the same time. We will have to wait and see what happens.”

Tussle for Chilwell

Metro, however, claims that Chelsea are the “frontrunners” to sign Chilwell with Frank Lampard said to be a big fan of the left-back. 

Currently banned by Fifa from dabbling in the transfer market, the Blues hope to win their appeal in the coming weeks and in the event that they do they will look to beat United to the hand of the England defender.

Chilwell is currently on England duty for the Euro 2020 qualifying matches against the Czech Republic on Friday and Bulgaria on Monday. Maddison withdrew from the Three Lions squad because of illness.

Kalidou Koulibaly transfer news Arsenal Chelsea Liverpool

Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

Koulibaly on the radar

The Daily Express reports that United “would rather sign Kalidou Koulibaly than Ruben Dias”, despite recent rumours linking the club to Benfica’s Dias. 

It’s suggested by the Express that Solskjaer believes that Napoli centre-back Koulibaly would make the better partner for Harry Maguire in the heart of the United defence.

Solskjaer has apparently little confidence in Victor Lindelof so he’s been scouting the market for alternatives. Dias was considered at one stage, but now the United boss has decided that Koulibaly is the “top centre-back target”. 

As for his likely fee, the Senegal international is “valued at around £90m-100m”. It’s an expensive fee but within United’s budget.

Meanwhile, the Express says that the 22-year-old Dias is now being tracked by Manchester City as Pep Guardiola looks to stiffen his defence in the wake of their recent defeats.

Fight for Rakitic

The Express also says that United “face a battle to land Ivan Rakitic” with Inter Milan now in pole position to sign the Barcelona midfielder. 

The 31-year-old Rakitic, who has two years left on his contract at the Camp Nou, has been frozen out since the summer arrival of Dutchman Frenkie de Jong, and he’s considering his future. 

United and Juventus are both monitoring his situation, but according to Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo Inter Milan are “in the driving seat to complete a January deal”.

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