Clubs are slowly turning their eyes toward the summer window, and Transfer Talk has the updates on all the latest rumours.
Mourinho sells Bale on United
Jose Mourinho has “convinced” Gareth Bale to join him at Old Trafford as the Welshman seeks an exit route from Real Madrid, reports Spanish outlet Sport.
With injuries restricting Bale’s involvement once again this season, Zinedine Zidane has repeatedly chosen to leave the winger out of his starting XI.
The 28-year-old featured for a total of just 36 minutes over two legs against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League round of 16 but has still contributed a healthy return, scoring nine goals in 19 La Liga appearances.
That impact has seen United maintain their interest after trying to persuade Bale to move back to England last year, with a transfer now seemingly on the cards for the summer.
Vidal wanted by the Special One, too
Bale isn’t the only long-term target United are pursuing, as Arturo Vidal features high on the club’s shortlist once again, according to the Sun.
Vidal was the subject of fevered speculation linking him with a move to Old Trafford in 2014, but a deal failed to materialise, and he eventually left Juventus to join Bayern Munich a year later.
However, the Sun’s report suggests that United have now lodged a £52.5 million bid for the 30-year-old, who has dropped several hints about leaving the Bundesliga at the end of the season.
The transfer could be aided by Vidal sharing an agent, Fernando Felicevich, with Chile international teammate Alexis Sanchez.
The midfielder’s arrival will signal a shake-up in midfield as Mourinho prepares to lose Ander Herrera and the out-of-contract Marouane Fellaini.
Arsenal eye new centre-back
Arsenal are set to move for Freiburg defender Caglar Soyuncu, claims the Daily Mail.
With Per Mertesacker retiring at the end of the season and doubts over Shkodran Mustafi’s future at Emirates Stadium, recruiting a new centre-back remains a top priority for the Gunners.
According to the Mail, Turkey international Soyuncu has been tracked by “both Manchester clubs, Liverpool, Chelsea and Roma over the past 12 months,” following his impressive displays in the Bundesliga.
The 21-year-old, who has been likened to Mats Hummels and is valued at £30 million, is already familiar to Arsenal’s head of recruitment, Sven Mislintat, who watched him during his spell at Borussia Dortmund.
— Claudio Marchisio could move to New York City FC in the summer if he decides to leave Juventus. Tuttomercatoweb claims that the midfielder’s future is up for discussion with the Serie A leaders in the coming weeks.
— Chelsea have won the race to sign Dutch wonderkid Jayden Braaf, reports the Daily Mail. The 15-year-old striker rejected offers from PSV Eindhoven, Ajax, Man City, Man United and Bayern Munich to join the Blues. West Ham also expressed interest, somewhat optimistically.
— According to the Birmingham Mail, John Terry is set to extend his stay at Aston Villa beyond the current season if the club wins promotion to the Premier League. It was previously thought that the defender would retire in the summer and return to Chelsea to take up a coaching role, but Villa’s director of football, Steve Round, said the 37-year-old could be tempted to squeeze in another campaign.
— Tottenham will have to dig deep to sign Sporting Lisbon midfielder Bruno Fernandes, claims A Bola. The 23-year-old has a €100 million release clause. Although it’s unlikely that Sporting would demand the full amount, they are still expected to drive a hard bargain.
Matthew Stanger covers European football for ESPN and is the editor of The Set Pieces. Twitter: @MatthewStanger