Paper Round: Manchester United 'in advanced talks' for Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic
Manchester United want Harry Maguire and Ivan Perisic and could let Matteo Darmian join Inter Milan, and West Ham will sign Felipe Anderson imminently.
United in talks for Persisic
Manchester United are in advanced talks with Inter Milan over a transfer for Croatian forward Ivan Perisic. The player equalised for Croatia against England on Wednesday, and will take part in the World Cup final against France on Sunday. According to the report in The Sun, his agents Fali Ramadani and Pini Zahavi are due in England for talks over the transfer, which has been in the works for around a year.
Croatia's forward Ivan Perisic controls the ball during the Russia 2018 World Cup round of 16 football match between Croatia and Denmark at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod on July 1, 2018Getty Images
Paper Round’s view: It is no secret that Jose Mourinho wants a wide forward to strengthen his side, and he has been clear he wants Perisic since last summer. United have bought to strengthen the defence, midfield and a new goalkeeper already, so next in line is the attack. Perisic looks like a strong and ruthless player, the ideal Mourinho signing.
Darmian set to leave
One player who could be going the other way out of Old Trafford is Matteo Darmian. The defender has struggled to break into the first team plans of Jose Mourinho, and now Inter Milan have made a loan offer for the player. Darmian’s contract expires at the end of the season, but United have a unilateral option to take up another year on the contract to prevent the 28-year-old leaving for nothing.
Matteo Darmian of Manchester United and Charlie Daniels of AFC Bournemouth battle for possession during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Manchester United at Vitality Stadium on April 18, 2018 in Bournemouth, England.Getty Images
Paper Round’s view: Given the big clubs who wanted him before he joined United, and the fact both Inter Milan and Juventus are interested in him now, show that Darmian must have demonstrated qualities in Italy he never managed in England. At 28, he has plenty of years left in his career, and it would be better for all concerned if he was able to leave now, and get regular action.
Leicester to offer Maguire new deal
Leicester City are planning to offer England central defender Harry Maguire a new contract, to ward off interest from Manchester United. United are said to be preparing a £50m bid for the 25-year-old, but Leicester City may want closer to the £75m Southampton got from Liverpool for Virgil van Dijk. In turn, Jose Mourinho may need to sell one of his central defenders to make room for him in the squad.
England's Harry Maguire in action with Colombia's Radamel FalcaoReuters
Paper Round’s view: If Matteo Darmian leaves, and is joined by Daley Blind who is rumoured to be on his way back to Ajax, then that could free up space in the squad for Maguire. Asking for £75m seems over the top, as Maguire possesses little of the guile and elegance that Van Dijk has been displaying since his time at Celtic and then Southampton. While Maguire would be a step up from Phil Jones, he has hardly kept any worldbeaters at bay in Russia.
Anderson set for West Ham
Felipe Anderson of Lazio is on the cusp of an imminent transfer to West Ham. Anderson has had a medical at the club, and the 25-year-old Brazilian should complete a deal that could reach as high as £47m. That would take total spending at The London Stadium close to £90, in a busy summer that should also see Fabian Balbuena join for just £3m.
Felipe Anderson (Lazio) face à Crotone et Bruno Martellaof.Getty Images
Paper Round’s view: West Ham’s transfer business seems much improved from their usual scattergun and chaotic approach to buying and selling. Anderson is lightning quick, and with Andriy Yarmolenko in from Borussia Dortmund to play on the other flank, with Jack Wilshere playing through the middle, they could be a surprisingly dangerous proposition under new manager Manuel Pellegrini.