Web Stories Friday, March 1

Alonso could scupper Man Utd’s summer plans

Xabi Alonso could scupper Manchester United’s summer plans, according to a report in the Mirror.

The outlet claims that United are interested in Bayer Leverkusen duo Jeremie Frimpong and Edmond Tapsoba as summer transfer targets – “but their chances of doing a deal could be impacted by Liverpool’s interest in Xabi Alonso”.

Alonso is the bookmakers’ favourite to replace Jurgen Klopp at Anfield, with the German standing down at the end of the season.

The report reads: “Despite failing to make a single signing during the January transfer window, Erik ten Hag is expected to be backed in the summer and a defensive overhaul is on his agenda.

“Not only are there question marks over the long-term futures of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof – while Jonny Evans is set to leave when his contract expires – United are keeping tabs on Frimpong and Tapsoba with a view to firming up their interest at the end of the current campaign.

“As first reported by The Manchester Evening News the duo’s impressive form at Leverkusen, who are top of the Bundesliga after going unbeaten so far this term and having thrashed Bayern Munich at the weekend, has not gone unnoticed at Old Trafford.

“While it remains to be seen if acquiring both players would be financially viable – particularly as they look to also add in other areas – United’s chances of doing a deal for the defensive duo are also likely to be complicated by Liverpool’s interest in Alonso.

“And if Liverpool do decide that Alonso is the man to replace Klopp on Merseyside, then any potential transfer activity at Leverkusen would be delayed, with sporting director Simon Rolfes – who insists Alonso could stay put at the BayArena this summer – keen to let the club’s head coach have their say on who stays and who goes.”

Man Utd ‘set to reignite’ interest in De Ligt

Manchester United are “set to reignite their interest” in Matthijs de Ligt, who is said to be “unhappy” at Bayern Munich.

De Ligt has cut a frustrated figure at this season, making just 11 starts in all competitions.

The Sun reports that United, who are said to be in the market for a defender, could make a move for the Netherlands international.

The article reads: “Manchester United have received a boost in their pursuit of Matthijs de Ligt as he is reportedly unhappy at Bayern Munich.

“His future at the German giants is in doubt, having falling down the pecking order under Thomas Tuchel.

“De Ligt has made just 11 starts in all competitions this season as Dayot Upamecano and Kim Min-jae are the preferred defensive pairing.

“It has led to reports claiming he is unhappy with his lack of playing time.

“There have also been suggestions that his relationship with Tuchel has become strained and he could therefore push to leave this summer.

“De Ligt was an unused substitute as Bayern lost to title rivals Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 on Saturday.

“Eric Dier played ahead of him and after the defeat, the Dutchman appeared to make a dig at his boss as he replied “top fit” to claims he was injured.

“The centre-back has three-and-a-half years left on his deal at Bayern.

“He only joined the club 18 months ago from Juventus for around £68million.

“But Man Utd could reignite their interest should De Ligt want out.”

Real hit stumbling block with Mbappe deal

Real Madrid are “having problems” with Kylian Mbappe’s representatives as they strive to bring the Paris Saint-Germain star to the Spanish capital.

That’s according to a report in the Mirror, which claims player and club are “far apart” in their negotiations.

The article reads: “Real Madrid have hit a stumbling block in their pursuit of Kylian Mbappe.

“Los Blancos are the frontrunners to sign the 25-year-old, who is set to leave Paris Saint-Germain upon the expiry of his contract at the end of the season. Although an agreement has not yet been reached, there is growing confidence that a deal will be struck between Mbappe and Real.

“However, Marca have now reported that Real are having problems with Mbappe’s agent and mother Fayza Lamari, who is sticking to her guns during negotiations. She wants the best possible terms for her and Mbappe, who is willing to ‘give in’ as he contemplates an imminent decision on his future.

“Marca states that the two parties are ‘far apart’ on agreeing a deal for Mbappe, which could become a significant problem. It was reported last month that Mbappe is demanding an eye-watering £60million per year and a staggering signing-on bonus worth £107m in order to join Real.

“Mbappe has flirted with the idea of moving to Madrid for years, but in 2022 famously U-turned on a switch to stay at PSG, signing a new two-year deal in the process. There is an option for Mbappe to extend it by a further 12 months, but the French forward said last year he would not renew his contract.

“According to German outlet Bild, Real have offered Mbappe an annual salary of £30m per year and want “written guarantees” to avoid another last-minute change of heart. Meanwhile, PSG are still trying to convince their star man to sign a new contract, having offered him a wild £86m per season to stay put.”

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