Arsenal up their chase for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Dortmund suggest Giroud swap deal

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WHAT THE PAPERS SAY

Arsenal are readying to pull out all the stops to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and club bosses have flown to Germany for talks with Borussia Dortmund, according to the Daily Mirror.

The Gunners are keen to replace Alexis Sanchez with a star recruit, so could be willing to pay more than the £52 million splurged on Alexandre Lacazette in 2017, the newspaper says.

Dortmund are said to have suggested a swap involving Olivier Giroud, however a straight cash deal is still being pursued.

Chelsea are preparing to grab Roma duo Edin Dzeko and Emerson Palmieri in a £44 million raid on the Serie A club, according to reports. The Guardian says Roma want an extra £13.2 million after a first round of talks last week. Negotiations are due to resume today, the paper says.

The Blues could also snap up Burnley striker Ashley Barnes to add more power to Antonio Conte’s attacking ability, according to The Sun. The clubs are yet to arrive at a figure, although super agent Pini Zahavi is said to be involved in securing a deal for the 28-year-old former Torquay and Brighton player.

Ashley Barnes.

Bristol City’s £7 million-rated left-back Joe Bryan is at the heart of a battle between Everton, Newcastle and Brighton, according to reports. The Daily Mirror says Magpies boss Rafa Benitez has been given the go-ahead to snatch the 24-year-old.

Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge could be moving away from the Premier League as part of a loan deal, the Daily Mail reports. After no time on the pitch since early December, the 28-year-old is eyeing a spell at Sevilla in order to improve his World Cup chances, the paper says. The La Liga side are said to be willing to pay the striker’s wages until the end of the season.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Boubakary Soumare: The 18-year-old who has been tipped as the “new Paul Pogba” is on the radar of Manchester City, the Daily Mail says. The club’s academy boss is said to have travelled to France to watch the youngster in action at Lille. Everton and Leicester are also reported to be interested in the star midfielder.

Carlton Cole: Birmingham City and Hull City are sizing up the former England, West Ham and Chelsea striker, 34, as a fillip for their bids to avoid relegation from the Championship, The Sun reports.

Former West Ham striker Carlton Cole.

Former West Ham striker Carlton Cole.

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Alexis Sanchez boards private jet as Manchester United move inches closer

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Alexis Sanchez‘s move to Manchester United is inching closer after the Chilean posted video on Instagram of him boarding a private jet.

The 29-year-old forward is widely expected to complete his move to the Red Devils on Monday, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan heading in the opposite direction.

And on Sunday Sanchez shared an Instagram Story with his followers on the social media platform, apparently of him walking across an air strip towards a jet.

Sanchez is set to become United’s best-paid player, with some reports putting his salary at £400,000 per week, and Steve McClaren has warned that salary could create dressing-room disharmony at United.

“That is the danger in the modern game and the problem I find in clubs,” said McClaren, the former England manager and Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant when United won then treble in 1999.

“Wage parity is very important to players. Yes, they find out – at all levels – and if someone is paid a lot higher than others that can cause a problem.

“In the short term I don’t see a problem, but in the long term for Manchester United they will have to solve that problem.

“If he (Sanchez) is on the wages that is being bandied about then other players will know that when their contracts come up or they are in demand from other clubs.

“The others will be looking at renegotiation next season or the season after and getting to that (wage) level if they think they are at that level.”

But McClaren believes United have struck a major blow by landing Sanchez, who has scored 80 goals in 166 appearances at Arsenal.

“Any manager worth his salt would love to have Sanchez in their team,” McClaren told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek programme.

“Sanchez coming in for the second half of the season at Manchester United is a huge boost to them.

“He has got that experience and toughness, he wins games and he is a leader.

“It will lift the level of the whole club.”

Press Association Sport understands that both Sanchez and Mkhitaryan are set to undergo medicals on Sunday, with the swap deal likely to be formally announced on Monday.

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Alexis Sanchez's wages could harm Man United's dressing-room harmony, says Steve McClaren

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Set to be high-earner at Old Trafford: Sanchez.

Steve McClaren has warned Alexis Sanchez‘s wages could create dressing-room disharmony at Manchester United.

Sanchez is expected to complete his move to Old Trafford from Arsenal on Monday, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan moving in the opposite direction.

The 29-year-old Chile forward is set to become United’s best-paid player, with some reports putting his salary at £400,000 per week.

“That is the danger in the modern game and the problem I find in clubs,” said McClaren, the former England manager and Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant when United won then treble in 1999.

“Wage parity is very important to players. Yes, they find out – at all levels – and if someone is paid a lot higher than others that can cause a problem.

“In the short term I don’t see a problem, but in the long term for Manchester United they will have to solve that problem.

“If he (Sanchez) is on the wages that is being bandied about then other players will know that when their contracts come up or they are in demand from other clubs.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan 2

“The others will be looking at renegotiation next season or the season after and getting to that (wage) level if they think they are at that level.”

But McClaren believes United have struck a major blow by landing Sanchez, who has scored 80 goals in 166 appearances at Arsenal.

“Any manager worth his salt would love to have Sanchez in their team,” McClaren told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek programme.

“Sanchez coming in for the second half of the season at Manchester United is a huge boost to them.

“He has got that experience and toughness, he wins games and he is a leader.

“It will lift the level of the whole club.”

Press Association Sport understands that both Sanchez and Mkhitaryan are set to undergo medicals on Sunday, with the swap deal likely to be formally announced on Monday.

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