It’s all about Arsenal and Manchester United today, as the two Premier League giants look to finalise their 2016/17 squads.
Alexandre Lacazette to Arsenal
The Gunners haven’t given up on Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette, with The Telegraph reporting that the London club will make one more offer for the France striker.
Arsenal’s initial bid of £29m was swiftly rejected, with Lyon getting so annoyed by the offer that they felt the need to make it public, given that it fell £3m short of what West Ham had offered over a month earlier.
Lyon reportedly want around £42m for the player, while the Gunners are thought to be preparing a second offer of around £35m.
Rumour rating: 5/10. Good news for Gunners fans is that Lacazette is said to be keen on leaving Lyon and joining Arsenal. It seems like a match made in heaven, as Arsene Wenger has made it clear they are in the hunt for another “experienced” striker, but Lyon aren’t about to part with the player if Arsenal don’t pay up. With reports suggesting Arsenal’s latest offer is still below what Lyon are asking for, that could prove to be a sticking point.
Fabinho to Manchester United
Reliable Brazilian daily, Globoesporte, is reporting that the Red Devils are closing in on signing Brazilian right-back Fabinho from Monaco.
Mourinho previously worked with the 22-year-old at Real Madrid, and the pair could be set to link up once again at Old Trafford.
Fabinho did not see any first team action under Mourinho at the Bernabeu, and the Portuguese boss’ replacement, Carlo Ancelotti, sent him on loan to Monaco for two seasons. Fabinho eventually joined the French side permanently, scoring eight times in all competitions last season.
Rumour rating: 7/10. A solid source claims the deal is in its final stages, with Mourinho having fully endorsed the move. It is understood that Monaco will not block the transfer, and will accept around £25m for the Brazil international. However, Napoli and Manchester City are also said to be interested in signing the defender.
Riyad Mahrez to Arsenal
The Gunners are still interested in luring Leicester City star Riyad Mahrez to the Emirates, but Claudio Ranieri is doing his best to convince the Algerian to stay.
“I speak often with him and say stay with us, it’s much better for your future, I think he is an intelligent man and he will stay,” Ranieri told Sky Sports News HQ.
“We support him very well, this is important, when you change teams maybe you don’t find team-mates who help you at the same level.
“He improves more if he stays with us for another year, maybe next year he can think about another solution. If he goes for a lot of money, everybody will be expecting something special. He can do something special, but with us.”
Leicester are said to be locked in talks with Mahrez, and are trying to ward off Arsenal’s £37m offer by upping his £40,000-a-week deal, which has two years to run, to £100,000.
Meanwhile, Gunners fans are making their feelings known. One supporter even managed to find Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger on a bicycle in Venice Beach and asked him to sign Mahrez. That sounds like a joke or a skit, but it actually happened:
Arsenal fan chasing down Arsene Wenger demanding he signs Mahrez ?? pic.twitter.com/g6c3387GZE
— Football Vines (@FootballVines) July 30, 2016
Rumour rating: 3/10. This one is starting to look unlikely. With a much sweeter deal on the table, and Ranieri and the team fully behind him, Mahrez could well be convinced to stay on at King Power Stadium. Sources close to the Algerian also suggest he is tempted by the prospect of Champions League football at Leicester.
Paul Pogba to Manchester United
Tired of this story yet? The Paul Pogba transfer saga wears on with seemingly no end in sight. Just when it seems like it might be a done deal, another spanner is thrown in the works.
Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola seems to be the current spanner in question, as he took to social media to accuse journalists of being “parrots” and deny that any deal had been made.
Journalist = parrots
No deal done between Clubs
Its a game between Italy press and UK press who announce it first and who is worse.
— Mino Raiola (@MinoRaiola) July 29, 2016
Meanwhile, Pogba seems to be doing the exact opposite on social media, constantly teasing the move:
And Pogba did sign this fan’s United shirt, which had ‘Pogba 6’ on the back.
Even Sir Alex Ferguson is weighing in, with the Daily Mail reporting that Fergie has backed the move after having dinner with the current United boss.
Mourinho reportedly wants to work closely with Ferguson, even going so far as to ask for his blessing to splash out for the Juventus star.
Rumour rating: 8/10. Forget Pogba’s agent, we’re choosing to believe all other reports that suggest the deal is imminent, with an announcement expected in time for Pogba to make his debut in the Charity Shield clash with Leicester next week Sunday.