Rumour ratings: The big guns are still in business

The 2016/17 Premier League season is underway, but Manchester United, Chelsea, and Manchester City are not finished in the transfer market.

United to move for Varane (AS)

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Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane is reportedly the next player to fall into Jose Mourinho’s crosshairs following the transfer of Paul Pogba.

Mourinho has already signed a defender this summer in the form of Eric Bailly from Villarreal, but the United boss is reportedly still not happy with his options in the centre of defence.

Varane is a player that Mourinho knows well having overseen the France international while at Real Madrid.

Rumour rating: 6/10. This rumour did the rounds earlier in the summer and then appeared to lose steam when Bailly arrived. If Mourinho has decided that he needs another defender than Varane is a logical choice, but it’s likely to cost a small fortune to pry him away from Madrid with the La Liga giants having reportedly turned down a bid of around £26m from an unknown club already this summer. Luckily for Mourinho, money doesn’t seem to be a problem.

Pep wants a new keeper (Sunday Mirror and The Sun)

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Pep Guardiola raised a few eyebrows when he selected Willy Caballero in goal for the opening match of City’s Premier League season on Saturday, with Joe Hart forced to watch on from the sidelines.

It appears that Guardiola is not a fan of Hart’s footwork and said after Saturday’s win over Sunderland that Caballero gives the City defence more confidence – not a good sign for Hart.

However, according to the Sunday Mirror, Caballero isn’t a long-term solution, with Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio believed to be Guardiola’s keeper of choice.

Meanwhile, The Sun have reported that Guardiola wants Barcelona keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to join him at the Etihad.

Rumour rating: 8/10. Leaving Hart out against Sunderland was a big statement, and it seems a new keeper will be arriving in Manchester, it’s just a matter of who that keeper is. Patricio will be easier to pry away from Sporting Lisbon, but the young German Ter Stegen looks a good fit for Guardiola.

Double deal for Chelsea? (Sunday Express)

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is reportedly set to end his transfer spending with a bang. According to the Sunday Express, Kalidou Koulibaly and Romelu Lukaku will both be at Stamford Bridge when the transfer window closes if Conte has his way.

The Blues have been linked with both players for some time, and appear to be realistic targets.

Koulibaly is believed to be open to swapping Napoli for London, but the Serie A outfit are not so keen on the idea, and have turned down a £42 million bid for the defender.

It appears to be a simple matter of money where Lukaku is concerned. If Chelsea are willing to match Everton’s £75m valuation of Lukaku then he will be Chelsea player once more.

Rumour rating: 7/10. A double deal may be hard to push through, but Lukaku has his heart set on a second stint at Chelsea and Everton will let money talk.

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