Sir Jim Ratcliffe will need to empty his coffers to sign Manchester United’s top targets to replace Jadon Sancho and Casemiro, while Erik ten Hag blocks Raphael Varane’s exit.
MAN UTD ‘GREED AROUSED’
According to reports in Portugal, Benfica star Joao Neves has ‘aroused the greed of Manchester United’, but unless Sir Jim Ratcliffe can arouse £104m from somewhere, the defensive midfielder is going nowhere.
As reported in the gossip on Tuesday, United need to activate the 19-year-old’s release clause to get him to Old Trafford in January, as Erik ten Hag looks to bolster his leggy midfield.
Despite the insistence from Benfica president Rui Costa that there will be no negotiating over Neves until the summer, O Jojo claim United have ‘stepped up their game’ to sign him in the winter window.
AC Milan are also reportedly keen, but presumably have even less chance of stumping up the £104m required.
‘MONSTROUS’ KVARA BIDS
United, Chelsea, Newcastle and Manchester City apparently all want Khvicha Kvaratskhelia having sent scouts to watch Georgia play Spain on Sunday night.
Napoli are currently working on a new deal for the left winger, who played a huge role in the Serie A side’s Scudetto triumph last season, and was similarly impressive in the Champions League.
The 22-year-old’s been less productive this term, with three goals and five assists in 15 appearances, but the big boys continue to circle.
Napoli are well aware of the widespread interest in Kvaratskhelia according to Calciomercato, who claim president Aurelio De Laurentiis ‘will not listen’ to offer that are below €100m (£87m).
The report does though add that ‘monstrous figures’ could ‘make the president falter’ once the season comes to a close, with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and PSG also said to be keeping tabs.
Raphael Varane is having a tough old time at United having slipped down the pecking order below Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Jonny Evans.
Reports in recent weeks have claimed the World Cup winner sees his future elsewhere amid interest from Serie A clubs and Bayern Munich, while Saudi Arabian outfits remain keen.
It was thought his exit could pave the way for new centre-backs to arrive in January – Jean-Clair Todibo is among Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s top targets.
But The Sun claim that while Varane will leave, Ten Hag ‘won’t let the player leave until the end of the season as he plots an assault on the top four’.
A source said: “Leaving suits club and player, but he won’t be going anywhere in January.
“Ten Hag wants to keep the spine of his squad together to give United the best chance of making the top four. But in the summer, United will listen to offers.”
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