Gossip: Manchester United 'target Andersen', Arsenal 'fight Bayern for Pepe'

Alex Netherton
Joachim Andersen and Nicolas Pepe could be on the way to the Premier League.
Joachim Andersen and Nicolas Pepe could be on the way to the Premier League.

Manchester United are likely still celebrating their win over Juventus last night, when two late goals gave them a healthy chance of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League.

United have turned a corner of late, with last-minute victories in Italy, against Bournemouth and Newcastle United giving fans and the club a shot in the arm. A draw at Chelsea and a win against Everton has seen United move into seventh, and they are now just four points off the top four.

The money to be made from European involvement could keep Jose Mourinho in a job, as Ed Woodward and the Glazer family are interested in the bottom line above all else. To that end, there could be reinforcements coming.

The Mirror believe that one player who could arrive is Sampdoria defender Joachim Andersen. United have sent scouts to watch the 22 year old, and report that Mourinho is keen on the player. Last night, the United manager made a point of praising Juventus’ Leonardo Bonucci for his part in Cristiano Ronaldo’s opener. With Chris Smalling still regularly featuring in the back four, Mourinho understandably wants a replacement, and would have to pay 30 million euros to get him.

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However, one player who will not be at Old Trafford is Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The same paper reports that the 37 year old has played down speculation over a possible loan move back to Europe. He has been linked with both United and another former club, AC Milan, but stated he was content at LA Galaxy, saying: “If I belong to the Galaxy, I’m a Galaxy player, I don’t go abroad. If I belong to one club, I stay with one club and focus on that club and give all my attention to that club.”

Llorente wants Spurs departure

Spurs failed to add a single player to their squad over the course of the summer. Added to struggles with their stadium, and suggestions that Mauricio Pochettino is on the shortlist for the Real Madrid job, is the suggestion that Fernando Llorente is looking to leave the club.

Llorente has struggled for game time since his move from Swansea, as Harry Kane cemented his place as the sole striker. He now has less than a year on his contract, and from January will be free to negotiate a move to at the end of the season for nothing, according to the Evening Standard. When quizzed about a return to Spain, he said: “I’ve been away from home for many years, I’d love to go back to La Liga.”

The Basque striker has been a reliable performer for Spurs, with few players willing to play understudy for so long and with such professionalism, and will not be easily replaced.

Pepe welcomes Arsenal interest

Across North London, Arsenal are rumoured to be looking at Lille winger Nicolas Pepe, who has welcomed the interest. The 23 year old has been in exceptional form in Ligue 1 this season, and has also been linked with German clubs Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich.

Pepe is flattered by the news, but does not appear desperate to force through a move any time soon, claiming: “A preference between Dortmund, Bayern or Arsenal? “They’re all big clubs, I was not aware of these rumours, although it’s nice. Leave Lille at the end of the season? We do not even know what I’ll be doing tomorrow!”