Transfer gossip: Man Utd work on surprise defender deal, Liverpool low-ball Real over long-term target

Man Utd are closing in on not one but two centre-backs, while Liverpool’s latest offer for a France star was laughed off by Real Madrid, who aren’t keen on coughing up for Harry Kane…

Manchester United’s obvious priorities are a striker and a resolution to their goalkeeper problem. But they seem a lot closer to signing midfielders and defenders…

The Red Devils are working on a deal to sign Mason Mount from Chelsea, and they are being heavily linked with a couple of centre-backs. Their interest in Napoli’s Kim Min-jae is clear, and Nicolo Schira says an agreement is edging closer, even if The Sun reckons Newcastle are still keen to stick their beaks in.

Perhaps United are wary of that prospect since L’Equipe says they moving for Axel Disasi. Apparently, they have ‘no issue’ with Monaco’s asking price of around £35million for the 25-year-old France international. United could raise that by selling Harry Maguire, with Tottenham’s interest known while Aston Villa are also sniffing around the England centre-back, though the Mirror says the Villans have already made an offer for Villarreal’s Pau Torres.

United could sign all the midfielders and defenders, but if they don’t recruit a top-class centre-forward, then Erik ten Hag is wasting his time. So he might be chuffed to learn from AS that United have a free run at Harry Kane because Real Madrid aren’t willing to meet Spurs’ valuation.

Liverpool are already making progress with their refit of Jurgen Klopp’s engine room, with Alexis Mac Allister having undergone a medical at Melwood before his move from Brighton is confirmed prior to the weekend.

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Klopp isn’t ready to stop there, though the Reds’ latest move for Aurelien Tchouameni was doomed to fail. The France star turned down Liverpool last year when he moved to Real Madrid, who aren’t moved by the Anfield club’s continued interest in the midfielder. Defensa Central says a £51.6million offer was made for Tchouameni and swiftly rejected by Real.

Liverpool have been linked with a £30million move for Franck Kessie, which might suit Barcelona, but The Athletic says the ex-AC Milan midfielder is not a target for Klopp.

Barcelona need to sell players, even if Lionel Messi isn’t making a return to the Nou Camp. Instead, Messi is heading for Inter Miami, prompting a wonderfully-catty statement from the Catalans on Wednesday night.

Messi won’t be heading to Miami on his own, if the MLS club can help it. Fabrizio Romano says Angel Di Maria could join his Argentina team-mate in Florida, even if Benfica want to bring him back to Portugal. And Sergio Busquets also remains a target for Miami after he left Barcelona upon the expiry of his contract.

Al Ahli are said to have offered Messi 500million euros a season in a last-ditch attempt to bring him to Saudi Arabia. While they were wiping custard from their chops this week, Al Ahli immediately turned their focus to Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez, according to CBS.

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