MANCHESTER UNITED COULD SPOIL ANOTHER CHELSEA DEAL, ARSENAL PURSUES MONACO STAR WITH THIRD BID
Jose Mourinho left Chelsea red-faced last week when he pushed through a deal for Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United.
Lukaku, the Belgium striker, had looked to be on his way to join Antonio Conte’s Premier League winners but the intervention of his great friend Paul Pogba and United’s relationship with agent Mino Raiola mean a deal is expected to be confirmed on Monday.
Surely, though, Mourinho isn’t about to gazump Chelsea twice in the space of a week? The Daily Star reports that A.S. Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko is on his way to United for £35 million ($45 million). That would obviously lessen the likelihood of Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic also going to United, with whom he has been linked heavily in recent weeks.
Another player linked often with United and almost certainly not coming to Old Trafford is Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez. The Colombian, top scorer at the 2014 World Cup, is free to leave the Spanish capital according to Sport newspaper. But Real’s £75 million asking price has put off several of Europe’s top clubs, including United.
Arsenal, meanwhile, is apparently not prepared to stop its spending on France internationals at Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette. According to The Mirror, Arsene Wenger is set to make a third effort at signing Thomas Lemar from A.S. Monaco. Arsenal began at £30 million for Lemar but Monaco will probably end up wanting above £45 million in a summer when it could lose many of its best players.
Now that Everton has signed Wayne Rooney back to the club he played for as a teenager, its spending under Iranian billionaire owner Farhad Moshiri is no longer passing under the radar. The Daily Mail reports a deal for Swansea City midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson is close. That projected £32 million purchase would take Everton’s spending this summer over £100 million, even before it begins to spend the £75 million it will get for Lukaku.