Manchester United ahead of City in race for Dortmund midfielder Julian Weigl: Thursday's transfer news and rumours

Sports Staff
The Independent
Manchester United ahead of City in race for Dortmund midfielder Julian Weigl: Thursday's transfer news and rumours
Manchester United ahead of City in race for Dortmund midfielder Julian Weigl: Thursday's transfer news and rumours

Manchester United are interested in signing Borussia Dortmund defensive midfielder Julian Weigl.

Jose Mourinho is keen to bolster his midfield in the January transfer window and wants to sign a defensively-minded player to free up Paul Pogba.

The 22-year-old has been in fine form for Dortmund this season after returning from a fractured ankle in September, and has drawn admiring glances from clubs across Europe, including Manchester City.

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City have scouted the German midfielder on several occasions this season and Spanish daily AS have previously claimed that Pep Guardiola is a big fan.

READ MORE: Tottenham confident Dele Alli will pen new mega-bucks deal

READ MORE: Manchester United weigh up competing with Liverpool for Pulisic

The fact that Henrikh Mkhitaryan wants to quit Old Trafford also strengthens United’s hand.

It is understood United would now be willing to let him go for the right deal, and Dortmund have so far shown the strongest interest.

That stance would be in line with the Bundesliga club's recruitment history as they have regularly shown a willingness to bring back former players who have struggled elsewhere, such as Mario Goetze, Nuri Sahin and former United player Shinji Kagawa.

While any kind of direct swap is unlikely, a move could facilitate negotiations.

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Manchester United are willing to strongly challenge Liverpool if the Anfield club go in for Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic in the summer, as the American talent has emerged as a big target for the Old Trafford hierarchy.

While the 19-year-old attacker is obviously seen as an excellent football signing in his own right and fill a hole for Jose Mourinho’s side, an extra angle is the view that talent could well make him the USA’s first megastar in the sport, with all of the commercial value that will bring.

United’s marketing side would see him as another Paul Pogba in that regard, as do many other suitors.

Liverpool are expected to make a move for Pulisic in the summer window, though, with Jurgen Klopp a huge admirer of his former club’s player.

Sessegnon to stay

Sessegnon is a target for both Manchester United and Tottenham (Getty)
Sessegnon is a target for both Manchester United and Tottenham (Getty)

Fulham will not sell teenager Ryan Sessegnon this month despite interest from Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, vice-chairman Tony Khan has insisted.

The 17-year-old was likely to be targeted by either of the Premier League clubs should either Luke Shaw or Danny Rose move in January in a move that was could eclipse the British transfer record for a teenager – currently held by Anthony Martial at £36m in 2015.

“As it’s been the subject of a great deal of speculation, I’d like to announce that Ryan Sessegnon is staying with Fulham football club and will not be departing during this January transfer window,” Khan told the Telegraph.

“Ryan is a very important part of the Fulham family, and we’re grateful that he’ll be with us as we fight to achieve promotion this season.”

No China move for Aubameyang

Chinese Super League champions Guangzhou Evergrande have denied they are ready to make a huge bid for Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubemayang and maintain that they are focusing on young, homegrown talent.

The Dortmund striker is always a transfer target (Bongarts)
The Dortmund striker is always a transfer target (Bongarts)

Chinese media had reported that Guangzhou and Beijing Guoan were both looking to sign the Gabon international in a £62m deal this month.

Chinese Super League champions Guangzhou Evergrande have denied they are ready to make a huge bid for Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubemayang and maintain that they are focusing on young, homegrown talent.

Chinese media had reported that Guangzhou and Beijing Guoan were both looking to sign the Gabon international in a £62m deal this month.

But Evergrande say they have no plans to spend significant sums on players from overseas.

“Since 2017, we have set out clear principals to sign foreign players who compliment Chinese football and we refuse to pay a premium for any player,” the club said.

“Neither will we join in bidding wars in the transfer market as we are now switching our focus to youth development.

“We will stick to the Evergrande model of building a fully linked youth system to realise our vision of fielding a fully Chinese squad by 2020 to ensure we can consistently contribute to a healthy, stable and sustainable environment for Chinese football.”

News and rumours from around the web

Everton will battle Southampton to sign Arsenal's Theo Walcott, according to the Daily Mail. The paper says the Gunners may consider letting the England forward leave this month, while Everton are confident they can beat the Saints to the 28-year-old's signature.

Theo Walcott starts for the Gunners (Getty)
Theo Walcott starts for the Gunners (Getty)

Tottenham have started new contract talks with Dele Alli amid interest from Europe, the Mirror reports. The paper says Spurs are confident the 21-year-old will sign a new deal, with informal discussions having already taken place, despite transfer links with Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

Arsene Wenger is eyeing up Bordeaux's 20-year-old Brazilian star Malcom as a potential replacement to Alexis Sanchez, with Arsenal having already started talks with the Ligue 1 club according to the Mirror.

Manchester City have reportedly held talks with West Brom about signing defender Jonny Evans. According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal are also interested in the 30-year-old, but know they would not be able to match any offer City make to Evans.

Could Evans move to City? (Getty)
Could Evans move to City? (Getty)

Martin O'Neill could be in the frame for the vacant Stoke job and was set to meet with club officials, according to the Irish Independent.

The paper says O'Neill is in pole position to succeed Mark Hughes, with the club keen to have a new man in place for Monday's meeting with Manchester United. The Daily Mail reports that their search could also include Espanyol boss Quique Sanchez Flores.

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