Deals not done: Man Utd and Liverpool scramble to bolster midfield options

August 21 – Paris Saint Germain and Italy star Marco Verratti has been strongly linked to Manchester United as the reds look to flesh out their midfield.

A move for the 30-year old has a market value of €40 million. Verratti (pictured) still has three years left on his current deal, where he earns £238,000 a week. The news breaks as Dutch international Donny Van De Beek and Scotsman Scott McTominay look to depart the 20-time English champions.

Manchester United and Liverpool continue to tussle over 21-year-old Bayern Munich starlet Ryan Gravenberch, as both sides look to complete their midfield restructurings. Despite links being reported between the player and the Premier League, FC Bayern remain in the driving seat and aren’t keen on letting go of the Dutch international.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is said to be keen on acquiring the young star who has been pictured in Liverpool kits in his youth. That said, the player is keen to rejoin former boss Erik Ten Hag, who aided his development at Ajax which earned him the move to FC Bayern last summer. No fee has been agreed for the player, who has a market value of €30 million according to Transfermarkt.

Manchester City full-back Joao Cancelo is on the cusp of a return to Spain following strong links with FC Barcelona. The Portuguese international spent the back-end of last season on loan with FC Bayern, who opted against paying the €60 million option in the deal to make the move permanent. The player’s relationship with Manchester City bizarrely crumbled during the 2022/23 season, after a successful stint at the club earned him a place in the World Team of the Year 2021 for the left back position.

The player has a market value of €50 million, but a move would likely cost less due to the player seeking a move and Manchester City’s willingness to let him leave.

Fellow Portuguese star Joao Felix has also spoken about his desire to play for FC Barcelona, after moving to rivals Atletico Madrid for €127 million in Summer 2019.

Bayern Munich defender Benjamin Pavard is on the brink of a transfer to Inter Milan in a deal that could rise to €30 million. The World Cup Winner joined FC Bayern for €35 million in 2019 and has a current market value of €40 million.

Manchester City are advancing in their pursuit of 21-year-old Belgium and Stade Rennais Winger Jeremy Doku in a deal worth up to €60 million, with the aim of replacing Riyadh Mahrez, who departed for Al-Ahli earlier in the window for €35 million. Doku scored six goals and notched two assists in 29 Ligue1 appearances last term, and has already opened his goal account for the 2023/24 season in his side’s 5-1 hammering of Metz in the opening game of the league season.

World-cup winner and Atletico Madrid star Rodrigo De Paul could be Saudi-bound as he becomes the primary target of PIF-funded Al-Ahli. Reports suggest that Atleti are extremely reluctant to sell the 29-year-old Argentina international, and would only accept a deal significantly above his €40 million.

Brazil and FC Porto winger Otavio is on the verge of a €60 million transfer to Al-Nassr that would see him join Cristiano Ronaldo and Sadio Mane in the Saudi Cup Champions’ new-look front line. The move would mark a record sale for FC Porto, overtaking Real Madrid’s acquisition of Brazil Defender Eder Militao for €50 million in the summer of 2019.

Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at moc.l1718470039labto1718470039ofdlr1718470039owedi1718470039sni@o1718470039fni1718470039