Antoine Griezmann has agreed a £280,000-a-week deal to play for Manchester United, according to one tabloid who says the Premier League side are ready to meet the £85m buy-out clause required to prise him away from Atlético Madrid. The French striker has been a long-time target of United, despite his well documented reservations about the inclement weather in the north-west of England. It is has also been suggested that his Basque wife, Erika, is not particularly keen on leaving Spain, but may change her mind upon being made aware of Manchester’s myriad tourist attractions, including the Museum of Science and Industry, Gorton Monastery and Chorlton Water Park.
Antonio Conte is planning on introducing a few new faces to the Chelsea dressing room, and one of them may bear a striking resemblance to the visage of West Ham’s Michail Antonio. Should the West Ham midfielder pitch up at Stamford Bridge, it may well signal the end of Willian’s time as a Chelsea player. Kurt Zouma is also expected to head for the exit door and go on loan somewhere to free up a dressing-room peg for Virgil van Dijk. The Southampton central defender has an ardent admirer in Conte, who may have to shell out £50m to secure the Dutchman’s services. Southampton may also have to plan for life without full-back Ryan Bertrand, who has itchy feet and is also wanted by Chelsea. And Liverpool.
Kelechi Iheanacho could be off to Hoffenheim, now that Manchester City have given the Bundesliga club permission to approach their young striker with a view to a loan move. Meanwhile in Scotland, the goalscoring exploits of Celtic striker Moussa Dembélé have been attracting admiring glances from around Europe. Italian side Juventus are the latest club to be linked with the Frenchman, whose 4,529 goals this season helped his side wrap up the Scottish Premiership in September. Chelsea are also interested in signing Dembélé, who is currently sidelined with injury, but had an offer rebuffed in January.
The Mirror says the agent of Alexis Sánchez has held talks with Bayern Munich with a view to breaking his client out of the Emirates, while Arsenal fans will be thrilled to hear that Arsène Wenger came this close to signing Kylian Mbappé, before the teenage striking sensation decided to stay with Monaco. More recently, Manchester United have had a £72m bid for Mbappé turned down by the Ligue 1 leaders, a state of affairs that has been covered elsewhere by the Guardian’s man on the Manchester beat.
West Ham have offered Napoli €30m for Dries Mertens and have been told he isn’t for sale, while Torino striker Andrea Belotti is likely to be the subject of a massive summer bid from Manchester United. Barcelona’s failure to adequately replace Dani Alves means that Chelsea’s César Azpilicueta, Bayer Leverkusen’s Benjamin Henrichs and Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin are all persons of interest in the Camp Nou HR department. Arsenal right-back Nacho Monreal is also a wanted man, with Roma believed to be offering him sanctuary in the Italian capital.