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Man United have three-man transfer wishlist as Harry Maguire centre-back partners identified

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Manchester United have identified three promising young centre-backs to target in the summer transfer window, according to reports.

United are in the market for a new defender this summer, with a partner for captain Harry Maguire one of their top priorities.

Maguire had been an ever-present for United in the Premier League this season before he was injured in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Aston Villa.

The England international, who is now on the sidelines with an ankle injury, joined from Leicester City in August 2019 for a world-record fee of £80million for a defender.

He has established himself as a fixture in defence for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but while Victor Lindelof usually partners him, no player has really nailed down the role.

Although he recently signed a new contract, Eric Bailly has struggled with injuries over the past two years, while Axel Tuanzebe remains inexperienced at the top level.

United are therefore looking for a new centre-back in the summer transfer window, alongside a top-class forward, with Borussia Dortmund pair Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho linked with moves.

The club have previously been strongly linked with Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane, who is about to enter the final year of his contract with Los Blancos.

However, according to Italian journalist Gianluca di Marzio, United have three other names on their shortlist.

The report states that their number one choice is Jules Kounde, but Sevilla are currently demanding an ‘excessive’ fee of £55million (€65m) for the Frenchman.

The 22-year-old has made 86 appearances for Sevilla following a 2019 move from Bordeaux and played a key role as the club won the Europa League last season.

He is widely regarded as one of the most promising young defenders in Europe and has been a fixture of the gossip columns recently.

United are keen, but with Kounde under contract with the Spanish side until June 2024, he could prove too expensive.

If that is the case then the club could move onto other targets, namely Leicester City’s Wesley Fofana or Atalanta’s Cristian Romero.

Fofana has enjoyed an impressive campaign with Leicester following his move from St Etienne in October for a fee which could reach £36.5m.

Still only 20 years old, the French defender has made 35 appearances for the Foxes this season and already looks at ease in the Premier League.

Having only signed a five-year contract in October, he would not come cheap for United.

Romero, meanwhile, is an interesting case. Although the 23-year-old is officially a Juventus player, he has never appeared for the Old Lady and has spent the 2020/21 season on loan with Serie A rivals Atalanta.

Sky Sports have reported that Atalanta are expected to pay up to £21.5m (€25m) in their obligation to buy him permanently from Juve this summer after a brilliant season for the team.

However, Atalanta are reportedly willing to sell him on again for a fee at least in the region of £34m (€40m).

Chelsea

Manchester United, Arsenal, and Chelsea set to battle it out for Atletico Madrid forward

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Manchester United, Arsenal, and Chelsea are all set to battle it out for Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix.

Felix has endured a difficult start to the season for Atletico and is yet to score in five starts in the league.

Last season wasn’t much better for Felix, only managing 24 league starts.
With competition up top including French international Antoine Griezmann, Felix is often used as a rotation option under Diego Simeone.

Now, according to Fichajes, a move to the Premier League could be on the cards, with Manchester United, Chelsea, and Arsenal all interested in signing the striker.

Both Manchester United and Chelsea will need to find a long-term replacement for their current first-choice strikers.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are both reaching the latter stage of their careers for their respective clubs, so bringing a player with a similar age profile to Felix would be a smart move.

A move to Arsenal may not benefit Felix’s development as much, with Gabriel Jesus performing exceptionally well for the North London club and still only 25 years old.

 

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Football

Manchester United transfer news RECAP plus fixture updates and Cody Gakpo latest

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Manchester United and fellow Premier League clubs are counting down the days until they can strike-up further business in the transfer market. Erik ten Hag welcomed six players to Old Trafford during his first window and they have all made their mark in the starting XI.

Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez have all quickly become mainstays, while Antony broke a record set by Zlatan Ibrahimovic when he scored on Sunday night. That 2-1 victory over Everton also saw former Real Madrid player Casemiro handed his first Premier League start for the club.

Martin Dubravka was the other recruit, signing on a season-long loan from Newcastle.

With one eye on January and future windows, meanwhile, United are understood to still have Frenkie de Jong on their radar, while elite clubs from across Europe will be queuing up for Jude Bellingham should he decided to leave Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund in the near transfer window.
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Chelsea

So good’: Reece James and Carney Chukwuemeka react to display from £135m star Chelsea reportedly want to sign

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Jude Bellingham shined yet again last night for Borussia Dortmund on the Champions League stage, which received some interesting reaction from a Chelsea perspective.

England star Bellingham, 19, scored in Dortmund’s 1-1 draw against Sevilla. It means the teenage midfielder has now scored in all four Champions League group stage matches so far this season

Afterwards, Bellingham posted on Instagram “more to do” following Dortmund’s midweek result in Europe.

There were some interesting replies in the comment section, especially from two current Chelsea stars.

“Another day at the office”, Reece James posted.

Carney Chukwuemeka added: “So, so good”.

Bellingham in Champions League

Another Bellingham masterclass in the Champions League highlights why Chelsea, along with other elite teams, are linked with his signature.

German publication Bild report that Chelsea are now favourites to sign Bellingham ahead of the likes of Liverpool and Real Madrid.

Another Bellingham masterclass in the Champions League highlights why Chelsea, along with other elite teams, are linked with his signature.

German publication Bild report that Chelsea are now favourites to sign Bellingham ahead of the likes of Liverpool and Real Madrid.

Bellingham plays alongside plenty of Chelsea stars on the international stage with England, so let’s hope they can put in a good word to try tempt him to the Bridge.

He’s an all – action central midfielder that offers so much both offensively and defensively.

 

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