Man United can have Harry Maguire for world-record fee as Bruno Fernandes bid is in the works

Press Association Sport 10:08 16/07/2019
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What the papers say

Leicester have promised Harry Maguire that he can leave if Manchester United or Manchester City fork out a world-record fee for a defender, the Daily Telegraph reports. The Foxes want between £80million and £90millon for the England centre-back, which would be higher than the £75million Liverpool paid Southampton for Virgil Van Dijk in January last year, the paper adds.

Manchester United’s David De Gea is set to sign a new long-term contract worth £375,000-a-week when the side return from their pre-season tour, according to the Daily Mail. The new deal would make the 28-year-old, who is in the final year of his current contract, the highest-paid goalkeeper in the world.

In other Red Devils news, the club are set to launch a concrete bid for Sporting Lisbon midfielder Bruno Fernandes over the next three weeks, the Independent claims. Approaches from Old Trafford have already been rebuffed by the Portuguese side, and United will likely have to bid well over £50million to land the 24-year-old, the paper adds. According to the Daily Mirror, Sporting want closer to £70million for their prized asset.

Leroy Sane is unlikely to leave Manchester City this summer as Bayern Munich have given up hope of completing a £100million deal for the winger, according to reports. The Daily Mail says reports in Germany suggest the Bundesliga champions have accepted the transfer will not happen this season.

Meanwhile, Inter Milan are said to be sceptical about landing Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku, the Daily Star says. United are said to be playing hardball and demanding £75million for the forward.

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Players to watch
Neymar: The Brazilian forward has reportedly reiterated his desire to leave Paris St Germain. ESPN says he reaffirmed his feelings in a short meeting with sporting director Leonardo.
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Sebastien Haller: West Ham are in talks to sign the forward from Eintracht Frankfurt, according to London’s Evening Standard. The Hammers are said to have targeted the £40million-rated striker after failing to land Maxi Gomez.

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Best transfer windows: Neymar and Kylian Mbappe bombshells make PSG picks of 2010s

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Real Madrid’s emphatic start to this summer’s transfer market has stolen football’s attention.

An extensive rebuild promised to returning head coach Zinedine Zidane has already seen – including deals previously agreed – more than €300 million spent on the likes of mesmerising Chelsea attacker Eden Hazard, promising Eintracht Frankfurt forward Luka Jovic and emerging Lyon left-back Ferland Mendy.

There is still the promise of even more to come, with links to €150m-rated Manchester United centre midfielder Paul Pogba refusing to go away.

This splurge is sure to transform Los Blancos’ expectations after they claimed just the Club World Cup in 2018/19. But how does it compare to previous ones?

We’ve looked back through the past five decades to select the most-consequential pre-season spending sprees. Here is the pick of the 2010s:

PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN (2017)

Key arrivals: Neymar, Kylian Mbappe (loan), Dani Alves

Honourable mentions: Borussia Dortmund (2010 – Shinji Kagawa, Robert Lewandowski, Lukasz Piszczek), Manchester City (2010 – David Silva, Yaya Toure, Mario Balotelli, Aleksandar Kolarov, James Milner, Jerome Boateng), Barcelona (2014 – Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Claudio Bravo), Manchester City (2017 – Benjamin Mendy, Kyle Walker, Bernardo Silva, Ederson)

An earthquake occurred in the European transfer market two summers ago – and its aftershocks continue to cause rampant disruption.

In either a fit of pique caused by Barcelona’s unwanted overtures for Italy midfielder Marco Verratti or barefaced show of ambition, PSG seismically reset all expectations about the cost of elite footballers. This decision to pay the €222 million release clause in Neymar’s contract, despite Gerard Pique’s infamous “se queda” (“he stays”) tweet, more than doubled the world transfer record set a year prior when Manchester United bought Paul Pogba back from Juventus.

To put the precipitous jump into context, the landmark figure last increased by a similar percentage in 1932.

But the Parisians were not content with that. Not even close.

The final day of their astonishing pre-season assault witnessed a loan move for Monaco and France teenager Kylian Mbappe. Contained within the agreement was a permanent option set at €145m plus €35m in add-ons.

The anointed successor to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, followed by football’s hottest property. In the same transfer window and at prices – both present and future – that would make them clearly the two grandest fees ever lavished.

PSG had even begun the window in emphatic fashion, blowing fellow big-spenders Manchester City out of the water for coveted free agent Dani Alves. Pep Guardiola had been convinced that a reunion with his esteemed Barca right-back was assured.

The impact of PSG’s sensational business has been keenly felt.

Rapid hyper-inflation saw Barca, alone, forced to splurge combined fees that could total almost €300m on replacements Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho. They are far from the only club affected by a startling rise in recruitment costs.

Domestically, Ligue 1 supremacy was assured after Monaco heaped embarrassment upon them in 2016/17.

They have, however, twice been knocked out in the Champions League’s round of 16. Gaping holes elsewhere in the squad could not be plugged because of strenuous – and self-induced – Financial Fair Play problems.

All that glitter has not turned, definitively, into gold.

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Best transfer windows: Dutch connection for AC Milan makes them pick of 1980s

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Real Madrid’s emphatic start to this summer’s transfer market has stolen football’s attention.

An extensive rebuild promised to returning head coach Zinedine Zidane has already seen – including deals previously agreed – more than €300 million spent on the likes of mesmerising Chelsea attacker Eden Hazard, promising Eintracht Frankfurt forward Luka Jovic and emerging Lyon left-back Ferland Mendy.

There is still the promise of even more to come, with links to €150m-rated Manchester United centre midfielder Paul Pogba refusing to go away.

This splurge is sure to transform Los Blancos’ expectations after they claimed just the Club World Cup in 2018/19. But how does it compare to previous ones?

We’ve looked back through the past five decades to select the most-consequential pre-season spending sprees. Here is the pick of the 1980s:

AC MILAN (1987)

Key arrivals: Carlo Ancelotti, Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten, Alessandro Costacurta (loan return)

Honourable mentions: Juventus (1982 – Michel Platini, Zbigniew Boniek), Napoli (1984 – Diego Maradona, Salvatore Bagni), ­Inter Milan (1988 Lothar Matthaus, Andreas Brehme, Nicola Berti), Barcelona (1989 – Michael Laudrup, Ronald Koeman)

Serie A’s lengthy stranglehold on the transfer market would begin during the era of excess that was the 1980s.

No one rode this wave better than billionaire businessman – and controversial future Italian prime minister – Silvio Berlusconi.

A fallen giant was saved from bankruptcy by the plutocrat in February 1986. In little more than a year, his enormous injection of cash would start turning into football gold.

The summer of 1987 witnessed real alchemy. Revolutionary head coach Arrigo Sacchi was poached from Parma and furnished with the players to match his grand vision.

A world-record 18 million guilders (£6m) landed dynamic Netherlands midfielder Ruud Gullit from PSV Eindhoven. Another raid on the Eredivisie would secure the signature of the world’s – then – most-promising striker: Ajax’s Marco van Basten.

It wasn’t just brazen spending, either. Cultured, but oft-injured, Italy midfielder Carlo Ancelotti was snared from Roma and versatile defender Alessandro Costacurta was welcomed back from a spell away on loan at Monza.

With the supreme talents of Frank Rijkaard, Paolo Maldini and Franco Baresi’s calibre already in place, a flood of trophies would follow.

Van Basten would net 125 times in 201 games before a chronic ankle injury effectively ended his career aged 28. Gullit would excel in virtually every position on the pitch, Ancelotti provided the brains of the side until 1992 and Costacurta would notch 693 appearances.

Together with Sacchi, they cast aside the constraints of ‘Catenaccio’. An innovative high-pressing style in a 4-4-2 formation would influence the likes of Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp.

Before Sacchi’s intense and meticulous methods provoked an inevitable implosion, he’d claim nine major trophies with the iconic squad that was shaped in summer 1987.

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