The winter window might have shut, but the rumour mill rolls on. As always, Transfer Talk has its finger on the pulse when it comes to the latest rumours and gossip. See the latest deals here.
TOP STORY: United make Auba contact
Marcus Rashford may be Manchester United’s star striker at the minute, but he could be competing with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a starting spot as soon as this summer.
If the Daily Mirror is to be believed, United have already held talks over a move for the Borussia Dortmund man.
Having made Aubameyang their No. 1 transfer target, the Old Trafford club have made contact with the player’s representatives over a summer move, and while Dortmund would be unlikely to let him go, the outlet claims United would offer in excess of £60 million.
With expected competition from Real Madrid, however, one would expect United to struggle in their attempts should they miss out on a place in the top four this season.
City confident Messi will one day be theirs
Lionel Messi is to leave Barcelona for Manchester City — or at least that is what Manchester City would have you believe.
According to reports, City are positive that when the Argentina captain does depart Barca, it will be for the Etihad Stadium.
The arrival of Pep Guardiola — Messi’s former coach at Barca — in the summer would count heavily in their favour, the club believe, as they bid to pull off a “dream” reunion.
The Premier League outfit have the former Blaugrana pair of chief-executive Ferran Soriano and director of football Txiki Begiristain already in place, which can’t hurt.
But before you get too excited, City fans, despite all of the above, the club’s hierarchy are said to be aware that the move would only realistically happen if Messi expresses a desire to leave or if Barca choose to cash in on him.
Not too much chance of either of those happening any time soon…
Ox on his way home?
Don’t go back, a wise man once said, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain might end up having to ignore such advice.
Oxlade-Chamberlain departed Southampton for Arsenal in 2011 — and he could be on his way back to the South Coast this summer, according to the Daily Mirror.
The newspaper claims that the Saints are ready to make an offer for their former youth-team product in the hope that his lack of first-team starts at Arsenal will convince him to return to St. Mary’s.
Southampton will likely offer a similar amount to the £15m they received from the Gunners for Oxlade-Chamberlain in 2011, but may have to rely on Arsene Wenger to undergo a major revamp of his squad in the summer if they are to prove successful.
Based on last summer’s transfer dealings at the Emirates Stadium, holding one’s breath is not advised.
Alvaro Morata’s busy summer
Speaking of Wenger’s summer transfer plans, AS believes the Frenchman has something up his sleeve.
Wenger, the newspaper reports, will sign Juventus’ Alvaro Morata for £40m — but only after Real Madrid have bought and sold him first.
Madrid have a buy-back option on their former player for around £24m and will look to trigger that in the summer — only to then ditch the Spaniard for the second time in his career.
After luring back Morata to the Bernabeu, the La Liga side will then sell him to Arsenal for £40m, giving them an instant profit of £16m.
Hats off to Madrid if they pull that one off.
– West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan has confirmed in the Daily Mirror that the club are interested in signing Christian Benteke, although he admits the Liverpool striker’s wages could be a problem.
– There’s been no confirmation from Major League Soccer, but according to Kaka, his former Sao Paulo and Brazil international teammate Julio Baptista will be joining Orlando City SC for the 2016 season.
– Arsenal have identified Inter Milan boss Roberto Mancini as a replacement for Arsene Wenger should he leave the club, according to Corriere dello Sport.
– Zenit St Petersburg midfielder Axel Witsel has put Europe’s top teams, including Juventus and Manchester United, on alert after saying he wants to play in a bigger league.
– Liverpool are weighing up a move for Roma midfielder Leandro Paredes, the Daily Express reports.