Ben Fisher on 14 March 2019
It may be too late to appease José Mourinho but Manchester United believe they can get their hands on one of his former transfer targets this summer. United rejected Mourinho’s wish to sign Toby Alderweireld but have since warmed to the idea of landing the Tottenham defender for a cut-price £25m, owing to a release clause triggered by Spurs in December. But Mauricio Pochettino will be powerless to retain the 30-year-old providing United stump up the required cash when the summer window reopens.
United are expected to ramp up their interest in Alderweireld but have cooled on the idea of landing Ivan Rakitic from Barcelona, now they know Paul Pogba is happy to stick around at Old Trafford under Ole Gunnar Solskjær. But United, who will flog Eric Bailly to free up funds to get their man, are not the only ones monitoring Alderweireld; Barcelona and Juventus also keen on the defender.
The Serie A club could have bigger fish to fry, though, as they weigh up a move for Mauro Icardi. Not so long ago the striker was the envy of Europe’s elite but, since being stripped of the Internazionale captaincy in February, the Argentinian has been pondering his next move. Juve and Real Madrid are set to fight it out to snaffle Icardi, while Zinedine Zidane has just made his first transfer move back at the Bernabéu, signing 21-year-old Porto defender Éder Militão.
Elsewhere, Milan have emerged as frontrunners in the race to sign 17-year-old Juan Sebastian
Veron Sforza, while it turns out that Leicester City paid Celtic £9m – equivalent to the sum they paid Rijeka for Andrej Kramaric four years ago – to seal the services of Brendan Rodgers and his backroom staff.
In the Championship, West Brom continue to draw up shortlists for their managerial vacancy, with Slavisa Jokanovic and Preston’s Alex Neil top of the pile, while Hull City’s Jarrod Bowen says he rejected a £12m January move to Cardiff.