Transfer gossip: Man Utd ready to triple £22m France hero’s wages; Spurs’ Barcelona swap

The new transfer dawn under Sir Jim Ratcliffe at Manchester United will begin by offering a £32-year-old £345,000 per week, while Tottenham give up on Ivan Toney in favour of Raphinha.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is unsurprisingly said to be ‘less than impressed’ with Manchester United’s recruitment, but we would suggest signing a 32-year-old and sticking him on £345,000 a week isn’t exactly bucking the trend.

That’s what United plan to do though according to the folks at Nacional, who report the Red Devils have ‘sent representatives to Madrid in order to strike a deal’ for Antoine Griezmann – they’re ‘pressing’ to get the deal done.

The France legend’s current contract expires in 2026 and it’s claimed United – like a magpie to something shiny – have been attracted by his £22m release clause.

Even at 32, £22m seems like a reasonable sum for a player of Griezmann’s quality, and there’s little doubt Erik ten Hag would covet a man of his experience to ease the goalscoring burden on Rasmus Hojlund, who’s yet to score in the Premier League. Griezmann has scored 12 goals in 16 appearances for Atletico this season.

But it’s claimed United are ready to triple the forward’s wages to a whopping €21m a year to lure him to Old Trafford, which surely isn’t the smart transfer business the fans will be hoping for in the Ratcliffe new dawn.

Michail Antonio has batted off competition from many a striker in his time at West Ham, and some big names too, including Sebastien Haller and Gianluca Scamacca.

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But with Mohammed Kudus, Lucas Paqueta and Jarrod Bowen as his supporting cast, we don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest he’s starting to look a little out of his depth, quality wise. He’s also 33, and his particular brand of forward play is more of a young man’s game.

FootballTransfers claim David Moyes is keen on adding a new striker to his ranks in January, with Bologna’s Joshua Zirkzee and Hugo Ekitike of Paris Saint-Germain said to be the club’s two top targets.

The Hammers, along with Newcastle, Everton and Nottingham Forest, were keen on Ekitike in the summer, and although the 21-year-old stayed put in Paris he will presumably be looking for a January exit, either on loan or in a permanent deal, having made just one substitute appearance for the Ligue 1 giants this season.

22-year-old Zirkzee meanwhile is a key part of the Bologna side, starting every Serie A game this term, scoring four goals.

Tottenham have reportedly dropped their interest in Ivan Toney – who is said to be ‘torn’ over leaving Brentford in any case – and are instead keen on luring Raphinha back to the Premier League.

The Brazilian has been linked with a return to the English top flight pretty much as soon as he left Leeds for Barcelona in the summer of 2022, and the Catalans have dropped their asking price from €100m to €70m, which has caught Spurs’ eye.

The Spanish giants are also said to be interested in a swap deal that would see Cristian Romero move in the opposite direction.

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