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Man United ‘have lower bid’ for third summer transfer signing accepted in new twist

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Manchester United will have a bid of £35million accepted for Real Madrid star Raphael Varane so long as they indicate they’re willing to pay more in add-ons further down the line, reports claim. 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is eager to win the race for the France international. And, if that happens, it would be quite a deal for the Red Devils.

Manchester United have signed Jadon Sancho and Tom Heaton already.

And they’re hopeful Varane will be the next player to waltz through the Old Trafford door, with the club aggressively pursuing his signing.

The centre-back has just one year left on his current Real Madrid contract, meaning the La Liga giants must sell him now or face losing him for nothing next year.

And, now, Spanish website Defensa Central claim Los Blancos are prepared to accept a fee of £35m up front for the World Cup winner.

That’s so long as they then bank another £8m in add-ons.

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These bonuses would include Varane playing a certain number of games for United, as well as being called up to the France national team.

They’re relatively attainable and would be their way of ensuring they get Varane off the books, while also banking the money they’re after.

United have made it clear they don’t want to pay over the odds for the 28-year-old due to his contractual situation with the club.

Real are still holding out some hope Varane will sign a new contract with them instead, despite giving Marcelo the club captaincy following Sergio Ramos’ departure.

But there’s also a surprising claim that the defender actually wants to stay for one more year before joining United.

It’s Real, instead, who are driving things as they look to get some money while they still can.

And all signs point to an agreement being struck sooner, rather than later.

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Should that happen, United will undoubtedly regard the signing of Varane as a major coup given he’s one of the best defenders on the entire planet.

They’re planning on deploying him alongside Harry Maguire next term, something that would give the Red Devils one of the best defences in world football.

A back four consisting of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw in the wide positions, and Maguire and Varane, could be the ticket to the club winning the Premier League title.

And Varane may not be the only player to touch down before the transfer window shuts.

United also want to make a significant third major signing, amid ongoing links to Kieran Trippier and Eduardo Camavinga.

And what ultimately happens remains to be seen.

Luke Chadwick has endorsed his old side’s pursuit of Varane, expressing a belief the World Cup winner would be the perfect signing for Solskjaer’s side.

“If you could pick any centre half in the world to go and partner Harry Maguire it would be Varane,” Chadwick told CaughtOffside.

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“He’s an absolute Rolls Royce of a player, you don’t win the amount of trophies he’s had without an incredible mentality.

“With Ramos leaving as well, Paris Saint-Germain seem to be showing an interest in both of those players, but in terms of what United need at this time, Varane would be a dream signing if they could get that over the line.

“PSG can offer more in terms of wages, but Varane’s another player who’s never played in the Premier League, so it depends if it’s the financial incentive or that playing opportunity that means more to him.”

The last player United signed from Real was Angel Di Maria back in 2014.

But the Argentina international lasted just a year before joining PSG, having struggled to adjust to life in England.

Chelsea

Tuchel hands 22-year-old his first Chelsea start – predicted starting XI against Leeds this weekend

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Chelsea will look to get back to winning ways in Sunday’s game against Leeds United at Elland Road.

The Blues dominated proceedings in the London derby against Spurs last week, however only came out of things with a point following Harry Kane’s late equaliser.

Thomas Tuchel operated a fluid and unique system at Stamford Bridge, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount especially thriving in the new look system.

However, the Blues could turn back to the recognised back three this weekend, with our predicted lineup for the game against Leeds.

GK and Defence

Edouard Mendy made a brilliant save just before Spurs’ late equaliser at the end, and his position in the squad is more than secure for this one.

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With there still being no breakthrough on the Wesley Fofana front, Cesar Azpilicueta will return to the starting lineup as captain at Elland Road.

Fixtures are yet to pick up in the early stages of the season, so Thiago Silva should still be fresh and okay to participate again.

The centre-backs will be completed by Kalidou Koulibaly, who showed his quality again in an emphatic display against Spurs.

Midfield

Reece James scored almost instantly after being moved back to wing-back on Sunday, and the Blues will look to get the attacking best out of him on Sunday.

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Jorginho may have been at fault for the first conceded goal last week, although his great performance will still see him start again against Leeds.

Injuries have ruled N’golo Kante and likely Mateo Kovacic out of the game, there is a big choice to be made to partner the Italy internatonal. While Ruben Loftus-Cheek starred against Spurs, Conor Gallagher will be chosen to partner in midfield, being handed his first start for the club.

Marc Cucurella will look to build on his impressive performance last week with another start against Leeds, with Ben Chilwell still not quite at match fitness.

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Attack

The Chelsea attack will have a familiar look to the last two weeks, with Mason Mount occupying the free-roaming role in the attack against an opponent he has had a lot of success against before.

Raheem Sterling will try again in his quest to open his Chelsea league account, with him missing a glorious chance last week.

Kai Havertz is another man who missed a great opportunity to win the game for the Blues at the weekend, although his work in the front three was enough to see him start again.

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Atletico Madrid do not want to pay €40 million for Barcelona attacker

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Atletico Madrid are in a precarious situation in regards to their ownership of Antoine Griezmann.

The Spanish giants had signed the Barcelona forward on a two-year loan deal last summer. The contract included a mandatory purchase option worth €40 million if the player features in 50% of the matches with a minimum of 45 minutes between the games across two seasons.

Last season, Griezmann featured in 82.5% of the matches, meaning Atletico Madrid may have to virtually leave him out on the bench throughout the 2022/23 campaign if they are to avoid paying the fee for the Frenchman in 2023.

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However, with Luis Suarez leaving the club, Atletico Madrid consider Griezmann a viable part of the club’s attacking unit and Los Colchoneros must get the best out of him, if they are to regain their lost status in the title race in this new season.

At the same time, the club are not too keen on meeting the mandatory €40 million purchase clause set on Griezmann’s contract. This has been reported by Mundo Deportivo which suggests the club are looking to reduce the overall valuation of the clause.

While Barcelona are yet to respond to Atletico’s overtures, there is a clear indication that the capital club have no intention to pay anywhere near the €40 million for the services of Griezmann, who was barely even a starter for Diego Simeone’s men last season

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The Frenchman was even left out on the bench in Atletico’s opening game against Getafe. However, coming on as a substitute in the final half an hour, the attacker was able to break his scoring duck by netting the third goal in a 3-0 victory.

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It will be interesting to see whether the little cameo compels Simeone to start him in future matches, although his performances should not deter Atletico Madrid from their attempts to lower the price tag of the star striker.

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Chelsea

Barcelona star’s move to Chelsea is now ‘heating up’ – report

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could be close to securing a move to Chelsea from FC Barcelona, with the move now heating up, reports Victor Navarro on COPE.

Aubameyang joined Barça only eight months ago, arriving as a free agent from Arsenal in January. He helped the Catalans finish second in La Liga last season and finished the campaign as the club’s joint top scorer in all competitions along with Memphis Depay

And, Barcelona could now lose both their top scorers this summer. Depay is closing in on a move to Juventus, having reportedly agreed a two-year contract with the Italian giants.

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And now Aubameyang could be on his way to Chelsea imminently, with the move ‘heating up’ recently. The Blues have made the 33-year-old Gabonese striker their top target after losing both Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel enjoyed a successful relationship with Aubameyang during their time at Borussia Dortmund and is now pushing for a reunion.

Reports earlier on Thursday indicated that Chelsea were planning to submit a formal offer for the former Arsenal captain imminently.

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Now, Victor Navarro is claiming that the two clubs are negotiating over the transfer of the 33-year-old, with all parties intent on getting the move over the line.

Barcelona need to get rid of players so that they can register Jules Kounde and make more additions, with a new right-back and left-back on the club’s agenda.

The departure of Depay alone will not be enough to register Kounde. And with Frenkie de Jong unwilling to leave and no offers arriving for Sergino Dest yet, Aubameyang’s exit seems the best option for Barça.

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The ex-Arsenal superstar has fallen down the pecking order at Camp Nou this season following the arrival of Robert Lewandowski. A move to Stamford Bridge could see him become the first-choice striker and enjoy regular game-time.

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