Man Utd transfer stances on Matthijs de Ligt, Timo Werner and Donny van de Beek explained

Manchester United transfer stances on Matthijs de Ligt, Timo Werner and Donny van de Beek have reportedly emerged. The trio have been tipped to leave Juventus, RB Leipzig and Ajax when the summer window reopens. And with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer eyeing a shot at Premier League title glory next season, they could be on the move to Old Trafford.

According to the Evening Standard, a defender isn’t the priority for United this summer.

Just last year they forked out £80million in order to sign Harry Maguire from Leicester, making the England international the most-expensive centre-back on the planet in the process.

United have seen Maguire impress, with Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly also improving in recent times.

But, despite that, the Red Devils maintain a long-standing interest in both De Ligt and Napoli powerhouse Kalidou Koulibaly.

De Ligt was linked with United last summer but, instead of moving to Old Trafford, he chose to join Juventus instead.

But he could be on the move already having struggled to adjust to life in Serie A since his departure from Ajax.

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United would like to sign the youngster as part of a swap deal that would see Paul Pogba head back to Juventus.

And Juventus could be tempted to cut ties with the Netherlands international if it means welcoming Pogba back to Italy.

Regarding Werner, he’s on United’s wishlist.

The RB Leipzig star has scored 21 times in the Bundesliga, flourishing ever since the arrival of Julian Nagelsmann as manager.

And he’s also found the net four times from eight Champions League appearances so far.

Werner and Lyon hotshot Moussa Dembele are both being eyed by United, who want a new striker.

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And they’re also likely to sign Odion Ighalo permanently, irrespective of their pursuits of other players in the Nigerian’s position.

Van De Beek is highly-rated at Old Trafford.

But it seems that United would only go after the Ajax star should Jack Grealish and James Maddison prove beyond their reach.

Grealish is their preferred option, despite the Aston Villa playmaker recently causing controversy by breaching quarantine rules.

And signing Maddison would be tricky given how Leicester are currently battling to secure the playmaker’s signature.

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Meanwhile, speaking in March, Solskjaer claimed his squad only needed two or three more signings to challenge for the title.

The Norwegian boss said: “For me it shows we are on the right track and improving and we are Manchester United and looking to catch the teams in front of us.

“We feel we are improving all the time.

“We know we lack one, two, three players to be considered a title contender and some experience and we know that.

“We are just going to start talking about going up the table, getting more points.”

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Liverpool transfer chief Michael Edwards plotting £88m double deal which affects Man Utd

Liverpool are reportedly lining up a double swoop on Borussia Monchengladbach for highly-rated duo Denis Zakaria and Marcus Thuram. The pair have both been shining lights in Marco Rose’s side which sits fourth in the Bundesliga, having led the table earlier in the season.

Their performances have attracted the interest of a number of big European clubs this season and it’s little wonder that the pair are both of interest to Liverpool.

Klopp has shown a willingness to return to his homeland in the transfer market since arriving at Anfield, signing the likes of Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan.

While under Brendan Rodgers Liverpool bought Roberto Firmino from Hoffenheim.

Now Michael Edwards looks set to raid the Bundesliga this summer with the likes of Jadon Sancho and Timo Werner also being targeted.

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German outlet Express claim that the Reds are eyeing a double deal for Zakaria and Thuram this summer.

Zakaria is a player who has attracted interest from both Manchester United and Arsenal in recent windows.

The Swiss international has established himself as one of the finest defensive midfielders in Germany this season.

The 6ft 2in powerhouse looks destined to move on in the near future and at the age of just 23 is already showing world-class credentials.

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It’s hard to see where Zakaria would fit into Liverpool’s midfield, given they already have a top class No 6 in Fabinho.

Yet one of the areas Klopp will be looking to strengthen is his squad depth.

The former Borussia Dortmund boss wants to build a second Liverpool team after this one and wants to ensure competition for places remains high.

Adam Lallana will be leaving at the end of the season on the expiry of his contract, meaning there will be one space in midfield.

Liverpool are looking to bring in another forward though, with Werner the club’s top target.

The Reds are set to lose Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah to the Africa Cup of Nations next January, meaning they will be short in attack for up to a month.

Thuram could be the man to come in and fill the void, with the Frenchman reportedly being eyed as part of a double swoop.

He has five Bundesliga goals to his name so far this season in 25 outings.

The former Guingamp man is represented by super-agent Mino Raiola.

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Charlie Methven net worth: How much is the former Sunderland director worth?

Season 2 of Sunderland ‘Til I Die is available on Netflix now, giving fans insight into the club’s former executive director Charlie Methven. He left the role in December 2019 but still owns shares in Sunderland.

Methven was part of the consortium led by Steward Donald that bought the club in May 2018.

At the time of the takeover, Methven said: “This summer there needs to be a turnaround, as this is an organisation that is used to failure.

“The club has lost more games than any other club so there’s a real, proper job on our hands to get everyone facing in the same direction.”

During his time as Sunderland’s executive director, Methven helped improve the club’s finances and their marketing strategy.

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The ‘Big Seat Change Initiative’, where fans, staff and players replaced the Stadium of Light’s faded pink seats, won the Best Club Marketing Initiative at the 2018 Football Business Awards.

He also helped the Black Cats attract the largest average attendance for a third-tier club at more than 31,000 and the largest League One match attendance at 46,039 for their Boxing Day clash with Bradford, beating the previous record held by Leeds.

How much is Charlie Methven worth?

Methven’s exact net worth is not known, however, he does reportedly own six per cent of Sunderland.

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Reflecting on his time as a director at Sunderland, Methven said: “I’m really proud of what the whole club achieved, looking back now.

Back in March 2018, the assumption within football and with a lot of Sunderland fans was that Sunderland AFC was going to go into administration.

“When you’ve got a club that is losing £30 million per annum and is that much in debt, there’s really very little to keep it afloat once the billionaire stops writing the cheques.

“We came in trying to achieve the aim of turning it around without the pain and humiliation of bankruptcy and it was a very difficult task.

“We inherited a cost base where the club was costing over £50m a year to run, while the revenue base was predicted to be £15m.

“The previous management said there were parachute payments to fill some of that gap, but that ignored the fact that there was also a net transfer deficit of £20m (money owed to clubs on previous transfers).

“So it wasn’t just £30+m loss, there was also that £20m that the club needed to pay.

“So we had no option but to come in and slash and burn, while trying to get revenue rising simultaneously, which is easier said than done but the fans really helped us.”

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Man Utd chief Ed Woodward has chance to sign two fantasy transfer targets

Back in 2013, upon taking over at Manchester United, Ed Woodward compiled a list of four fantasy transfer targets. Neymar was on it, as well as Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller. But so too were Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale – and the Juventus and Real Madrid stars could be on the market when the transfer window reopens at the end of the season.

Woodward has always liked going after big names, eager for United to be competing for some of the planet’s finest players.

That was why he went after Juan Mata in January 2014, signing the Spain international just months after he’d been crowed Chelsea’s player of the year.

After Mata came Angel Di Maria, who Woodward signed for a British transfer record of £59million.

Radamel Falcao came in on loan and in the time since United have also signed the likes of Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez.

Back in 2013, though, Woodward compiled a list of ‘fantasy’ transfer targets. Players he would love to bring to the club throughout his reign.

Muller was on it, with the Bayern Munich star regarded as one of Europe’s best players at the time.

And so too was Neymar, who was shining at La Liga giants Barcelona.

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But also on the list were Ronaldo and Bale, who were both Real Madrid players around the time it was put together.

And, this summer, they could be available.

Bale is expected to leave Real Madrid, seven years after moving to the Bernabeu in a huge £86million deal.

Despite angering fans with his love for golf, the Wales international has been a big success during his time in Spain.

He was on target as Real ended their agonising wait for the Champions League trophy with a 4-1 victory over Atletico Madrid in 2014.

And he scored a stunning overhead kick as Los Blancos won the trophy again four years later, beating Liverpool 3-1 in the final.

Bale has helped Real win four Champions League titles throughout his time at the Bernabeu but, this summer, a parting of the ways looks likely.

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Zinedine Zidane is ready to cut him loose and United, despite distancing themselves from talk of Bale signing in recent times, could be tempted.

He’s a player who would generate big income for Woodward given his status as a Galactico.

And he’s also somebody who, if you can get him back to his best, sits up their with the very best players on the planet.

Real will look to get rid of Bale to raise funds as they eye Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe.

And Woodward now has a genuine shot at bringing the player, who has been wanted by Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho in the past, to Old Trafford.

Ronaldo could also be available.

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Juventus players have agreed to go four months without being paid in order to help the club amid the coronavirus crisis.

But if things continue to worsen, they may have no choice but to cut Ronaldo loose after just two years in Turin.

United fans would love to see Ronaldo make a sensational return to the club he enjoyed such success with earlier in his career.

And that he played alongside Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during his spell at United could make a return a reality.

Woodward had Ronaldo on his list of four fantasy targets and he remains impressive on the pitch – and a financial goldmine off it.

United signing either player still appears difficult, especially given their interest in Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish.

But Woodward may get the chance to sign them nonetheless. And what he does, should that happen, remains to be seen. 

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Arsenal transfer news and rumours

The latest transfer news and gossip on the players linked with Arsenal – and those who could leave the club.

  • Transfer Centre
  • Paper Talk

The latest players linked with a move to Arsenal…

Jesse Lingard – Arsenal remain one of the more likely destinations for the forward if he is to leave Manchester United in the next transfer window (Daily Mail, April 5).

Layvin Kurzawa – Arsenal have submitted an offer to PSG star Kurzawa as Barcelona have decided to wait to sell a player before making their move. The left-back is out of contract at the end of this season and Arsenal and Napoli have already made “interesting offers” (Sport, April 5).

Jonathan David – Arsenal and Everton will face competition from Barcelona for the £22m-rated Gent forward (Daily Star, April 3).

Cesar Gelabert – Arsenal are monitoring young Real Madrid attacker Gelabert with a view to a potential summer transfer swoop (Daily Mirror, April 4).

Samuel Umtiti – Arsenal and Chelsea are both reportedly “very interested” in signing Umtiti this summer (Daily Mirror, April 1); Barcelona are expecting Arsenal and Chelsea both to make bids in excess of £26m for the defender (Daily Express, April 3).

Carlos Soler – Arsenal are keen on signing the Valencia midfielder (Sky Sports, March 27); Soler has emerged as a summer target for Arsenal with Mikel Arteta reportedly a huge fan of the midfielder. (The Sun, March 28).

Valencia want at least £36m if they are forced to sell Soler. (Daily Mail, March 29); Arsenal are not willing to pay the £36m transfer fee that Valencia want for Carlos Soler (Daily Express, April 2).

Marc Roca – Arsenal are understood to have already opened negotiations with Espanyol regarding a deal for midfielder Marc Roca during the next transfer window (Sport, April 2).

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Other players recently linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium…

  • Willian (The Sun, March 31)
  • Dejan Lovren (Daily Express, March 16; Teamtalk, March 31)
  • Luka Jovic (Daily Star, March 29)
  • Nabil Fekir (Daily Star, March 28)
  • Dayot Upamecano (Bild, March 26)
  • Chris Smalling (Daily Mirror, March 18; Metro, March 26)
  • Malick Thiaw (Daily Mail, March 25)
  • Evan Ndicka (Sky Sports, March 22)
  • Odsonne Edouard (Daily Mirror, March 22)
  • Chris Wood (Daily Star, March 22)
  • Issa Diop (Daily Mirror, March 15)
  • Orkun Kokcu (Daily Express, March 16; La Razon, March 19; Daily Express, March 19)
  • Emil Roback (Daily Mail, March 19)

Which defender should Arsenal sign this summer?

Have YOUR say here…

The latest players linked with an Arsenal exit…

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Arsenal have offered Real Madrid a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang transfer deal in a blow to Man Utd (Daily Express, March 24); Real Madrid hope a player-plus-cash deal will persuade Arsenal to part with their captain (Daily Star, March 26).

PSG, Barcelona and United are interested in signing Aubameyang (Daily Mail, March 23); Barca have cooled interest in the Arsenal captain as they prioritise a move for Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez this summer (Daily Mail, March 25).

Henrikh Mkhitaryan – Roma could turn to Chelsea’s Pedro after they had two bids for Mkhitaryan, the last one of around £10m, turned down by Arsenal (Daily Express, April 3).

Mesut Ozil – The midfielder’s agent insists Ozil is happy at Arsenal and has no plans to leave this summer (The Sun, March 28)

The latest Arsenal contract talk…

Dani Ceballos – Arsenal could be edged out of a permanent deal for Ceballos as they are not thought to be the midfielder’s first choice destination (Daily Mirror, April 1); Arsenal have been given new hope of bringing Ceballos back to the Emirates next season (Daily Star, April 2)

Mesut Ozil – Arsenal are not going to give Ozil a new contract and are planning on running down his existing £350,000-a-week deal, with other players’ deals given higher priority. (Daily Express, March 30)

Bukayo Saka – Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta is confident the 18-year-old academy graduate will sign a new contract at the Emirates (The Sun, March 9)

David Luiz – Arsenal are ready to trigger the extension clause in the centre-back’s contract to keep him at the Emirates to 2021. (The Sun, March 19)

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Dillian Whyte reveals how excruciating injury prompted doctors to write off his career

Dillian Whyte was advised to never fight again as he laid in a hospital bed after his brittle body finally shattered following a brutal battle with Anthony Joshua.

With his shattered hand in a cast, Whyte had been determined to fight on earlier that year and tried to avoid a face-to-face meeting with promoter Eddie Hearn, who was eager to secure a September showdown against Joshua.

When the Matchroom Boxing boss eventually met Whyte in a Brixton pub, he cursed loudly at the sight of the south Londoner’s left fist, but negotiations for a big domestic clash would only be delayed by a matter of months.

“I’m quite tough, probably a bit stupid as well,” Whyte told Sky Sports. “It’s still my mindset now to be honest. As soon as the cast came off, I went back to training. I had some 20 ounce gloves, I just started using them and then I went straight back to training.”

The Brixton man had bludgeoned his way up the rankings, relying more on brute force and raw power, rather than refined skills, and placed further strain on his creaking joints in a high-profile warm-up fight for his inevitable showdown with Joshua.

Brian Minto posed few problems to Whyte, who had hoped for a more physically imposing foe, but his eagerness to impress, while sharing the same O2 bill as Joshua, would aggravate a serious underlying injury.

“I thought it was maybe a bit of stiffness and stuff in my shoulder. I’m not somebody to really complain. I just get on with it,” said Whyte, who quickly broke Minto’s resolve with clubbing punches in the third round.

“I wish I had got it sorted back then. It ended up setting me back a long time – and I ended up heading towards my first defeat as well.”

Whyte begrudgingly made his first ever visit to a physio, and after struggling to manoeuvre his left arm behind him, was swiftly referred to an orthopaedic consultant.

Trainer Chris Okoh had been absent from Whyte’s corner since April, having been left seriously hurt in a hit-and-run incident, and American Johnathon Banks would oversee his preparations.

Banks, the cornerman in the latter stages of Wladimir Klitschko’s career, would unknowingly worsen Whyte’s physical decline as he was urged to become overly reliant on his injured left arm, while training sessions had to be fitted around the Ukrainian world champion’s schedule.

In spite of his impaired punch power, Whyte ploughed ahead with the Joshua fight, a reunion of feuding Londoners who had met before in the unpaid ranks. Whyte had floored and defeated Joshua on points in his first-ever amateur bout, and the demeanour of the Olympic champion darkened whenever he shared the stage with his adversary.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=gXMJlLAk9NE%3Ffeature%3Doembed

Cortisone injections, an accepted medical procedure in boxing, were needed to numb the pain in Whyte’s shoulder in the days ahead of the fight, and news of his opponent’s injury reached the ears of Joshua’s camp.

“They knew about my shoulder. Even in the press conference, he kept on saying to me: ‘Make sure your shoulder is alright. If you need a good physio, I will get one for you’.”

An enraged Whyte demanded a ‘straightener’ with Joshua after their fight on December 12 and had long since dismissed any suggestion that he should not renew hostilities with his fellow Londoner.

This stubborn desire for battle was so nearly rewarded.

In the midst of a wild brawl, with incensed entourages even entering the ring, Whyte picked his moment in the second round, uncorking a left hook that sent shock waves through Joshua, but he was unable to deliver a fight-ending punch.

“I was like, ‘Listen, it’s my opportunity. All I’ve got to do is – get the left hook off and that will be enough’, because Joshua when he attacks, he leaves his right side open all the time. But obviously the shoulder was so bad.

“I actually did land the punch I wanted to land, but when I landed it, my whole AC joint shattered. The pain was intense. My adrenaline was pumping, so I was just trying to keep it in, but the pain was crazy man. Every time I was jabbing or hitting him, it felt like the bone rubbing on bone and there was no power, no snap in the joint anymore.”

An exhausted Whyte, who had never fought longer than four rounds, wilted by the ropes in the seventh, with the referee swiftly signalling a stoppage. The fight was over, and he was later advised that his boxing career had also concluded.

He had been advised that surgery was necessary, even before the fight, and the ensuing operation revealed a series of issues as bones were shaved down to reconstruct his shoulder joint, which had also been severely hampered by arthritis.

Sitting in a hospital ward, Whyte produced a defiant smile as he posed for a picture that was released on social media, a few days after the fight, but behind the grin, he feared for his future.

“I thought to myself my career was finished,” said Whyte, who was informed that he would not regain the strength in his shoulder for two years, if ever.

Looks like surgery has been successful. Big thank you to Dr Jon Houghton and surgeon Livio Di Mascio. Thanks to all for your support & wishes. I will be back stronger next year #TEAMBODYSNATCHER #HEADACHEMAKER #

A post shared by Dillian Whyte (@dillianwhyte) on

“I’m not going to lie to you. It took me about a year before I really started to get that confidence and self-belief back.

“I’d just suffered my first defeat as well, my shoulder was shattered. But I thought, at least I fought for the British title. I gave it a run, I had 16 fights, or whatever it was. At least I gave it a try.”

But the loss of his unbeaten record instilled fresh motivation as Whyte sought advice on rehabilitation and strength and conditioning to rebuild his broken physique. He also learned to restrain his all-out aggression under the tutelage of new trainer Mark Tibbs, having tweaked his troublesome shoulder in a comeback win over Ivica Bacurin.

Whyte preferred to use new-found ring craft in commanding victories over David Allen and Ian Lewison, although a hard-fought points win over Derek Chisora proved that he could withstand a punishing encounter for 12 rounds.

An explosive showdown with Lucas Browne would finally signal the end of his lengthy rehabilitation following stringent training sessions at Loughborough University.

Whyte stormed out for the sixth round and gave a reminder of his concussive power.

💥DILLIAN'S EQUALISER💥

Two years ago today @DillianWhyte landed THAT left hook on Lucas Browne 😱

Can you think of many better heavyweight KOs in recent years? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/mkKqL9o8rh

“Against Browne, I had the training camp, and we did loads of shoulder mobility. I wasn’t getting so much pain in it anymore.

“I just got so much more confidence. All I need to do is, set this guy up, get the timing right, and I’m going to put this guy to sleep.”

Browne toppled face first on the canvas. Whyte was back. Joseph Parker and Chisora were both blasted to the canvas by left hooks as Whyte continued his charge towards a world title.

Alexander Povetkin, a fearsome puncher himself, is next in line for Whyte at Manchester Arena on July 4, live on Sky Sports Box Office, as he works towards a WBC mandatory title fight on February 2021.

But what about that Joshua fight? A chance for a rejuvenated Whyte to gain revenge?

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Veloce Esports Not the GP ‘Versus’: Start time, live stream and drivers for virtual event

The coronavirus pandemic has caused the start of the F1 2020 season to be delayed. Esports has now taken centre stage as real-world drivers battle it out with the leading sim stars in a series of virtual races.

Veloce Esports will today be staging a ‘Versus’ event, which will see drivers go head-to-head in an elimination tournament.

McLaren star Lando Norris has signed up to take part, with the F1 star featuring heavily in virtual races over the last few weeks.

Norris has also participated in F1’s official Virtual Grand Prix series, but the 20-year-old enjoys the competitive aspect of the Veloce events.

“The F1 one is more celebrities, people like Liam Payne. The Veloce one I would say is a little bit more serious in some ways,” Norris said.

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https://www.youtube.com/embed/WWyHOU6SCf8

“We have some big YouTubers and content creators, but we have more simulator drivers, people who play on F1 2019, and more professional drivers.

“The F1 one is in a slight way more of a fun and entertainment, more of a relaxed race rather than focusing as much for myself anyway, because there are more celebrities rather than professionals taking it seriously race like the Veloce one.

“I probably like the Veloce ones at the moment a bit more, because you do have to take them a bit more seriously.

“The F1 ones are also fun because you’re still racing against some real drivers, but it’s not quite as serious.”

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What time does the Esports event start today?

Not the GP ‘Versus’ is scheduled to get underway at 6pm BST.

How can I watch the event?

Not the GP ‘Versus’ will be shown live on Veloce Esports’ YouTube and Twitch channels.

Who is racing today?

Lando Norris – F1 Driver

Jamie Chadwick – W Series Champion and Williams F1 Test Driver

Nicolas Latifi – F1 Driver

Stoffel Vandoorne – Ex-F1 and FE Driver

Esteban Gutierrez – Ex- F1 Driver

Ian Poulter – PGA Golfer

Thibaut Courtois – Real Madrid Goalkeeper

Chris Lake – DJ

David Schumacher – Racing Driver

Archie Hamilton – Car YouTuber

Aarava Amin – F1 YouTuber

Ben Daly – F1 YouTuber

Artem Markelov – F2 Driver

Sacha Fenestraz – Japanese F3 Champion

Jay Pietsmiet – YouTuber

Willne – YouTuber

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Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham have advantage over Man Utd for Philippe Coutinho transfer

Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham all have good contacts with Philippe Coutinho’s agent Kia Joorabchian, claims Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol. Barcelona want to sell Coutinho this summer after a difficult two-and-a-half years for the Brazilian. Coutinho joined Barca from Liverpool in January 2018 for £142million but has failed to live up to that price tag.

After a poor first full season at the Nou Camp, Coutinho went on loan to Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich this term.

But Solhekol says Bayern are unlikely to pursue a permanent deal this summer.

Express Sport understands both Manchester United and former club Liverpool have shown an interest in Coutinho.

But Solhekol says a move to London could be on the cards, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham all in the hunt for the player.

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However, he claims Barca would have to lower their asking price of £100m before any deal could take place.

“Philippe Coutinho’s agent has a big job on his hands,” Solhekol said.

“Barcelona want to sell him this summer. He is on loan at Bayern Munich but they are unlikely to make the move permanent.

“Barcelona want more than £100m for a player who will be 28 in the summer. That means there will be little resale value for any interested clubs.

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“Coutinho’s agent Kia Joorabchian has good contacts at Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs.

“A move to those clubs is possible, but Barcelona would have to drop their asking price dramatically or it would have to be a loan with an option to buy deal.

“Interested clubs know that Barcelona want to sell him this summer.

“They know that it was a big mistake for Barcelona to spend £142m on him.

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“I can’t see how this is going to end well for Barcelona.”

Meanwhile, United legend Rio Ferdinand believes Coutinho needs to return to the Premier League not with his former club.

“Listen, Coutinho, Philippe Coutinho at Liverpool was an amazing player,” Ferdinand said on Instagram Live.

“But since he’s left Liverpool, he hasn’t really done it yet.

“He struggled at Barca, struggled to fit in there, and then he hasn’t done amazingly well at Bayern. So I don’t know man.

“I think he’s a great player, huge talent, I think he needs saving to be honest with you.

“Coming to the Premier League, to the right team, is the saviour for him, I think he needs that.

“I would have said Man United, yes, before Bruno Fernandes turned up, but not now.

“Not Man United. And he played for Liverpool so it’s a difficult one, isn’t it?

“Can you come to Man United after playing for Liverpool? Rivalries are mad.”

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Man Utd transfer target Donny van de Beek denies Real Madrid agreement – ‘It’s all open’

Manchester United have not given up in trying to sign Ajax star Donny van de Beek in the summer transfer window and the Red Devils been handed a huge boost after the midfielder revealed he hasn’t agreed to a deal with anyone, despite being linked to Real Madrid.

Van de Beek is having another outstanding season for Ajax and the 22-year-old has once again showcased his all-round game.

So far this campaign he has scored 10 goals and has provided 11 assists in 37 appearances in all competitions.

It had previously been reported in Spain and the Netherland that Real were on the verge of signing the attacking midfielder when the transfer window opens after having agreed to pay a fee of £47million (€55m).

However, Van de Beek has now insisted that he has yet to decide where his future lies.

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“Playing in the sun is always nice, but no, I haven’t started taking Spanish classes,” he told Helden magazine.

“I still haven’t said ‘yes’ to anyone, it’s all open.

“I know what I have here, I’m loved by Ajax and I love Ajax.”

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Van de Beek came through the Ajax academy and his performances in the Eredivisie and the Champions League have also earned him nine caps for the Netherlands.

As for his future, the playmaker suggested that he is not only looking to a club whose system he can fit into but that he also wants guaranteed minutes.

“My feeling should be positive at a club, not only that they want me but also that I fit in their system of play,” Van de Beek added.

“Of course, I also want to know the game time they will give me.”

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  • Man Utd hero offers Solskjaer insight into Alex Ferguson’s transfers

Despite the arrival of Bruno Fernandes at Old Trafford in January, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is still looking to add another midfielder to his squad in the summer.

However, Ajax boss Erik ten Hag recently admitted that he hopes Van de Beek stays at the Dutch club.

“I do not think so [that he will leave],” Ten Hag said before seeing his side lose to Getafe in the Europa League.

“He has had a great evolution and has attracted international attention. There are players who are in the spotlight and then things change.”

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PFA hit out at Matt Hancock over Premier League player wage cut demand in strong statement

The Professional Footballers’ Association have released a strongly-worded statement hitting back at Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s demand for Premier League footballers to “play their part” in the fight against the coronavirus.

A meeting between the PFA, the Premier League and the 20 captains of the top-flight clubs was held on Saturday to discuss wage cuts for players as the UK battles against the deadly virus, which has claimed the lives of nearly 4,500 in this country.

A 30 per cent league-wide cut has been proposed but no agreement has yet been found, with the PFA arguing that the substantial tax loss such a move would leave to suggests a better solution can be found.

They confirmed that all Premier League players “want to and will play their part in making significant financial contributions in these unprecedented times”.

The players are said to be fully appreciative of their “role and responsibilities in society during this current crisis” and “care deeply for those who are suffering with loss, health and hardship at the moment”.

But amid concerns a wage cut will not do enough, the PFA added that players are keen to ensure their clubs are financially supported, that non-playing staff are guaranteed to receive 100 per cent of their wages, that the players and staff at EFL and non-league clubs receive assistance and that money also goes to the “real heroes” in the NHS.

Elsewhere, the Premier League has confirmed it will donate £20m to charity but the PFA wants the English top division to do more and to help offer more support to the English Football League and National League.

A sum of £125m has been committed to the lower leagues, although much of it is advanced parachute payments which will only benefit clubs recently relegated from the Premier League.

And the PFA also called for an increased sum of money to be given to the NHS, with a £20m donation having been pledged by the league, asking for a “far bigger” contribution.

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A statement from the trade union on behalf of Premier League players read: “The players are mindful that as PAYE employees, the combined tax on their salaries is a significant contribution to funding essential public services – which are especially critical at this time.

“Taking a 30 per cent salary deduction will cost the Exchequer substantial sums. This would be detrimental to our NHS and other government-funded services.

“The proposed 30 per cent salary deduction over a 12-month period equates to over £500m in wage reductions and a loss in tax contributions of over £200m to the government.

“What effect does this loss of earning to the government mean for the NHS? Was this considered in the Premier League proposal and did the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock factor this in when asking players to take a salary cut?

“We welcomed the opportunity to discuss this with the Premier League today and we are happy to continue talks.

“It is our priority to finalise the precise details of our commitment as soon as possible.

“However, to achieve a collective position for all Premier League players – of which there are many different financial and contractual circumstances from club-to-club – will take a bit more time.

“The PFA Charity has also agreed to make a substantial contribution to a player-led initiative once the details are finalised.

“There should be no doubting the players and captains are committed to achieving this as soon as possible. They recognise their role in wider society and what they need to do, as a group, to help and support others.”

The PFA added: “The EFL money is an advance. Importantly, it will aid cashflow in the immediate, but football needs to find a way to increase funding to the EFL and non-league clubs in the long-term.

“Many clubs require an increase in funding just to survive. We believe in our football pyramid and again stress the need for solidarity between all clubs.”

The Premier League season was suspended indefinitely on Friday with it unlikely any top-flight football will be played before June.

If the 2019-20 campaign is to be concluded, it will almost certainly be played out behind closed doors with it uncertain as to when the spread of COVID-19 will begin to slow down.

The UK has been in lockdown for nearly two weeks, but the initial three-week period may well be extended with other countries in Europe having had to enforce stricter measures to ensure their populations comply with the laws.

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