Transfer gossip: Man Utd eye £30m defender, Chelsea Fekir boost, Martial contract

Thursday, November 8th, 2018 12:25pm

By Stuart Harlow @lovesportradio

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

United raid Italy for defensive boost

Manchester United are reportedly planning on heading to Serie A to find a defender in January.

Jose Mourinho was frustrated by the United board’s lack of backing in the summer as he tried to sign Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld.

Jerome Boateng was also a player Mourinho had targeted but Ed Woodward believed that neither player added value to the current squad.

However, the Portuguese manager is said to have been told he can still enter the transfer market in January - as long as he can identify a value-for-money purchase.

Italian newspaper La Repubblica claim that four United scouts were on hand to watch Sampdoria lose 4-1 to Torino at the weekend and the result did nothing to dissuade them of the abilities of 22-year-old centre-back Joachim Andersen.

But the Sampdoria board will supposedly listen to no bids under £25million for the Dane, leaving the Red Devils required to match the fees they paid for the likes of Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly.

Love Sport verdict: Always awkward when your scouts get together to watch the same defender and he ships four goals. Doesn’t look good when you report back. However, United do need a centre-back, given that Lindelof and Chris Smalling have ‘cemented’ their places despite little to convince anyone of their solidity.

Fekir tells Lyon he wants out

Chelsea target Nabil Fekir has told Lyon he wants to leave in the summer, according to French newspaper L’Equipe.

Fekir very nearly joined Liverpool over the summer before a problem during his medical blocked the move.

Interest from the Reds appears to have gone quiet in light of the issue, but Chelsea and Bayern Munich are both said to remain keen.

And the 25-year-old now seems ready to leave France after one more season at Lyon, the club where he made his professional debut for the B team back in 2011.

Love Sport verdict: Liverpool's misgivings were said to be concerning the knee injury during which he tore three ligaments in his right knee. Fekir himself has insisted he has put those events behind him but is yet to renew his contract at Lyon - suggesting this could be the season he gets his big move.

Martial set for £45m offer

The Sun claim Anthony Martial will be handed an enormous £45million contract in an effort to convince him to stay at Manchester United.

Martial fell out with manager Jose Mourinho over the summer after he took exception to the forward flying home from the United pre-season tour for the birth of his child.

But the Frenchman has hit upon a rich vein of form since returning to the starting line-up, scoring five goals in his last six appearances.

And now the club are preparing to offer him a new five-year contract worth £190,000-a-week, which if he accepts will stop him walking for free in the next 18 months.

Love Sport verdict: How on earth can Manchester United give up on a 22-year-old with such a prodigious talent in such great form? They might recoup what they spent but Martial has a chance to define this team for five years.

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