On Friday, Massimiliano Allegri, the Juventus manager, admitted that ‘negotiations’ were taking place over the transfer of Paul Pogba to Manchester United.
Now, it seems the 48-year-old coach has learned to keep schtum.
Speaking ahead of the Serie A club’s pre-season friendly with Tottenham in Melbourne, Allegri told reporters: “I am not going to talk about the transfer market news we are just here to get ready.”
“’The club is going to talk about the transfer market and they are doing very well so I am happy in that regard.”
The Guardian, meanwhile, claim that Juventus will ask United to increase their €120m (£100m) to €130m (£108m) for good measure.
Adnan Januzaj was one of the few bright sparks of David Moyes’ disastrous reign at Manchester United.
The Belgium international’s star has fallen since but, according to the Daily Mail, Moyes wants to resurrect his career at Sunderand.
Januzaj was linked with a switch to the Stadium of Light this time last year, only to elect for an ultimately unsuccessful loan move to Borussia Dortmund.
Manchester United summer transfer targets
Paul Pogba, Juventus
Despite letting him go on Sir Alex Ferguson’s watch in 2012, United are desperate to land Juventus star Paul Pogba. It may yet take a world record fee of £100m to lure the 23-year-old away from Turin, however, but Jose Mourinho has made his intentions to sign world-class players known this summer. The Portuguese will hope Pogba can replicate the sort of form which has helped him scored 23 goals in 124 appearances in Serie A.
Blaise Matuidi, Paris Saint-Germain
There have been conflicting reports over United’s interest in Matuidi. Initially, it was thought he was a back-up option should United fail in their attempt to sign Pogba, though some have since suggested that Mourinho is keen on bringing both players to the club.
Hirving Lozano, Pachuca
Young Pachuca forward Hirving Lozano might not sell a mass of shirts immediately, if indeed he does sign, the 20-year-old is considered one of the most exciting talents in world football. Nicknamed ‘Chunky’, Lozano is capped seven times for Mexico despite his tender age, having scored 21 goals in 91 senior appearances for Pachuca.
Alvaro Morata, Real Madrid
Having signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic in June, United remain on the lookout for cover in attacking positions with a move for Alvaro Morata seeming likely. The Spaniard was in fine form for his country at Euro 2016 this summer before it was announced that Real Madrid had utilised a buy-back clause in his Juventus contract. That isn’t the end of matters, though, with the Spanish giants planning to sell Morata on immediately for profit.
James Rodriguez, Real Madrid
After seeing little game time under Zinedine Zidane at Madrid, another name to be thrown into the Old Traffor mix is that of James Rodriguez. The Columbian superstar was even relegated to the La Liga B side on occasions as he fell quite spectacularly down the pecking order in the Spanish capital. While Paris Saint-Germain remains his most likely destination, with reports suggesting a fee has been agreed, don’t rule out a late counter offer from United.
N’Golo Kante, Leicester City
It seems everyone has been linked with Leicester City’s midfield maestro N’Golo Kante this summer. The Frenchman made a name for himself during the Foxes’ remarkable march to the Premier League title in 2016 following a low-key £5.6m transfer from Caen the previous summer. Kante is both combative and industrious, refusing to let up until possession is won back. While the champions may be keen to keep their little midfield star, the presence of a release clause in his contract at the King Power Stadium means a move away remains entirely possible.
Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal
In a surprise rumour, Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey was linked with a switch to the North West. The 25-year-old has been in scintillating form for Wales at Euro 2016 this summer but it remains to be seen if the Gunners would be willing to entertain an approach from one of their main titles for the Premier League throne. Ramsey is reportedly frustrated at the levels of competition in the centre at the Emirates but it is unlikely United would be able to offer a firmer guarantee of first-team football.
Will Hughes, Derby County
Many thought Hughes may have missed his chance to make a big-money move away from the iPro Stadium when he rejected the chance to sign for Liverpool last summer. The young Englishman remains one of the most promising players outside the top flight despite being unable to inspire Derby to promotion from the Championship. The East Midlands outfit are likely to demand an inflated transfer fee for their midfield wizard too but United have shown in the past that money is usually no object.
It has been suggested that Raphael Varane would be an ideal defensive signing for Jose Mourinho, but the likelihood of any transfer looks slim at best.
The 23-year-old, who has matured into one of the continent’s finest centre-halves, has reaffirmed his commitment to Real Madrid.
“Yes, I want to stay here this year. I think everything is here for me to continue my progression,” he told reporters on Sunday.
“I feel loved by the club and by the fans who have always treated me almost like a youth product.
“The best players are here, everything is here for me to keep improving and I’m really enthusiastic about improving. The best is still ahead of me.”
And finally, not a transfer rumour as such but an amusing, if potentially specious aside.
The Daily Star report that, as if things could not have got any worse for Mourinho on the pre-season tour of China, his players are addicted to Pokémon Go.
A ‘club source’ said: “The only thing [Mourinho] has picked up on which he’s told the lads of is his concern about Pokémon.
“He says for 48 hours before a match he wants the guys to leave it alone and concentrate on the tactics he and his staff have been working on in the days before.”
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