Transfer gossip: De Gea contract, Messi exit clause, Spurs in for Ake

Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 12:10pm

By James Gray @jamestingray

Transfer gossip is back to bring you all the Premier League rumours from Wednesday's papers, cataloging and analysing the biggest stories so that you don’t have to.

De Gea a priority at Man Utd

Manchester United will prioritise David de Gea’s new contract in the wake of the progress made on deals for Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial, the Evening Standard claim.

Martial had been expected to leave the club after falling out with Jose Mourinho during the summer because of his early departure from the pre-season tour - despite the fact he did so to be at the birth of his child.

However, the French winger has now decided to open contract talks with United while the much-maligned Shaw’s recent good form has also encouraged him to stay.

And the Standard say United will now put all their efforts into tying down De Gea to a new deal in an effort to stave off interest from his native Spain.

The four-time United player of the year has already twice come within hours of signing for Real Madrid, only for the deal to fall through at the last minute.

Love Sport verdict: Shaw and Martial’s eagerness to remain at United must speak to a belief that they will outlast Mourinho - certainly in the latter’s case. De Gea meanwhile seems to exist in a different plane from the manager and instead must decide if still where he wants to live. Perhaps family rather than football will sway him on that one.

Messi could quit Barcelona early

Lionel Messi could end his Barcelona contract early if he chooses to, according to Spanish tabloid Mundo Deportivo.

The 31-year-old joined the Spanish giants way back in 2001 and has since made nearly 650 appearances and scored a staggering 563 goals.

But Messi reportedly has a clause in his contract, which expires in 2021, that would allow him to leave in 2020 as long as he does not join an 'elite club'.

But Barca are said to be looking to extend the deal for another year or two that could keep him at the club until he is 36.

Love Sport verdict: Presumably, an 'elite' club means anyone who is competing in a top-level European competition and this clause exists in case Messi loses interest in La Liga. But I can't imagine, especially with Ronaldo still playing in Serie A, that Messi is ready to head to China or the US.

Spurs want Ake

Sky Sports are reporting that Tottenham are 'closely monitoring' Nathan Ake.

Ake has also been linked with Manchester United but Chelsea are said to have a 'gentleman's agreement' with Bournemouth that they could buy him back with £40million.

But Tottenham are facing the possibility of losing both Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen and reportedly believe Ake would be an ideal long-term replacement.

Having joined Chelsea aged 16, he would also help Spurs fulfill their homegrown requirement.

Love Sport verdict: Ake's stock is rising by the day and Spurs might be a good fit for him as an opportunity to establish himself at a Champions League club as a long-term permanent starter.Nathan Ake CROPPEd

Transfer targets in brief

Manchester United: David de Gea new contract, Luke Shaw new contract, Anthony Martial new contract (all Evening Standard)

Chelsea: Marcos Alonso new contract (AS)

Tottenham: Nathan Ake (Sky Sports), Joachim Andersen (Sport Mediaset)

Everton: Aaron Ramsey (Sun), Divock Origi (Turkish Football)

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