ZIZOU BACK FOR MANE There isn’t a player in Europe Real Madrid haven’t been linked with since Zinedine Zidane returned to the club last week. But France Football reckons there is concrete interest from Real in Sadio Mane.
Their claim is that Zidane wanted the Liverpool attacker at the end of last season but his abrupt resignation ended Mane’s hopes of a move to the Bernabeu. But now Zidane is back, so is Real’s desire to land the Senegal star.
According to The Sun, Courtois could be used as part of a sensational swap deal that sees the Manchester United goalkeeper arrive in Madrid, while he returns to the Premier League.
Apparently, Real’s pursuit of Mane was ‘very advanced’ last year and his recent form will do nothing to dampen their interest.
He was also dropped for Zidanes first game back against Celta Vigo, although the boss said that was simply because he wanted to give Keylor Navas an opportunity to play.
So that’s Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham all with reason to worry about Real’s impending splurge. Presumably they can’t sign them all…
HAZARD OFFER REJECTED Real certainly can’t sign Eden Hazard for the figure with which they have opened the bidding with Chelsea.
Duncan Castles, writing in the Daily Record, reckons the Blues have rejected Real’s initial offer, which reports last week suggested could come in at around £70million. Chelsea, apparently, believe they can get closer to £100million for the Belgium star with only a yera remaining on his contract.
His first team selection put down a marker, letting everyone know that he would be making all the big decisions, as he brought Isco, Gareth Bale and Marcelo back into the starting XI. While Bale has been in and out of the side this season, Isco had been cast aside by Santi Solari and Marcelo had been dropped in favour of the 22-year-old Sergio Reguillon.
GUNNERS GO AGAIN FOR GELSON Arsenal are hoping for a busy summer despite facing the prospect of having to make £40million stretch further than it ever has before should they not qualify for the Champions League.
Liverpool will no doubt put up a fight to keep hold of Mané, as they look to establish themselves as one of the worlds elite, shedding the tag of being a selling club, but if the right offer comes in, and the player is tempted by the move, it may be difficult to fend off Madrids advances.
Their January signing Denis Suarez will be returned to Barcelona, says The Sun, because Unai Emery has sussed that the attacking midfielder isn’t very good.
But things could have been a lot different for Moyes had Bale not moved to the Bernabeu for a then world-record fee of £85million and the 55-year-old claimed United believed they had a chance of nabbing the ex-Tottenham star from Madrid’s grasp.
Arsenal also fancied Gelson Martins in January too but the Atletico Madrid forward chose to join Monaco on loan instead. A Bola says three goals and three assists in his first eight games in France have strengthened the Gunners’ interest further and they will go back for the 23-year-old in the summer.
Another forward Arsenal are chasing is Ituano striker Gabriel Martinelli – but so are 24 other clubs. Globo Esporte, though, reckons the Gunners are at the front of the queue for the 17-year-old.
AND THE REST Manchester United could sign Roma defender Kostas Manolas for £30.8m… Raphael Varane is considering his future at Real… Juventus could offer Alexis Sanchez a way out of Man Utd if the attacker is ready to accept a cut on his £500,000-a-week wages… Juve are also ready to rival Real Madrid for Christian Eriksen… Andreas Pereira could leave United on loan next season… Liverpool, Newcastle and Rennes are all keen on Middlesbrough winger Bilal Brahimi… Bournemouth are keen to sign Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount on loan for next season… Aston Villa want Brentford defender Yoann Barbet.
Things look even more bleak for the former Atletico keeper with the return of Zinedine Zidane as head coach, after the Frenchman dropped him for his first match on Saturday – a 2-0 victory against Celta Vigo.
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