‘Van Gaal’s first United signing confirmed’ - Stefan de Vrij is set to be Louis van Gaal’s first signing for Manchester United, that’s according to the Sunday Mirror. De Vrij, the Holland centre-back, is refusing to sign for Lazio because he believes he will soon be reunited with Van Gaal at the Old Trafford giants. The Feyenoord star, 22, has been assured that the Dutch boss is ready to sanction a £10 million bid. Lazio have launched a bid to take De Vrij to Italy, but Sunday Mirror Sport understands he is reluctant to talk to them because he is desperate to join United.
Paper Round’s view: De Vrij is clearly seen as the perfect alternative to United’s reported top target Mats Hummels, who has no intention of leaving Borussia Dortmund. And with just a year left on his Feyenoord contract he is available at what appears to be a bargain price. De Vrij is on holiday after helping Holland reach the World Cup semi-finals. He will be part of what is being reported to be a Dutch revolution at Old Trafford, with Van Gaal also apparently putting a deal in place to land Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman in January. He’s sticking to what he knows.
‘Arsenal leader to leave for United’ - Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is resigned to losing Thomas Vermaelen as he closes in on a move to Manchester United, that’s according to the Daily Star. The Belgian centre back has been at the centre of ongoing negotiations for a while but Vermaelen will now reportedly go to United. Quizzed after the Gunners friendly with Boreham Wood, Wenger said he would replace Vermaelen should his transfer go through, and this serves as complete confirmation that he expects it to go through.
Paper Round’s view: You can’t always trust every word that comes out of a manager’s mouth, but Wenger does seem to be accepting that his leader could be set to depart. What he said was: "I cannot guarantee he will stay, but should he go I would bring another centre-back in for sure." It is hardly as definitive as the Star are making out, but nonetheless it is rare for a manager to be so apparently laissez-faire about a top player leaving if there is nothing to the story.
Thomas Vermaelen has not been a first-team regular at Arsenal
‘Tottenham to snap up Swansea star’ - Swansea City full-back Ben Davies is set to undergo a medical ahead of completing a move to Tottenham Hotspur, with Gylfi Sigurdsson potentially moving in the opposite direction – that’s according to the Guardian. Davies has attracted interest from Spurs and Liverpool, with both clubs seeing the 21-year-old as a long-term solution to their problems at left-back. The Wales defender was expected to choose Champions League football at Anfield and a reunion with former the Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers, but Tottenham have moved quickly since having a bid accepted earlier this week.
Paper Round’s view: Both Swansea and Spurs are currently on pre-season tours in America, which has seemingly led to Tottenham’s advantage in conducting negotiations. Davies played 45 minutes in a 1-1 draw with Chivas Guadalajara on Wednesday and was due to play in Swansea’s final tour fixture, against Minnesota United, on Saturday before the squad flies home. It would be entirely understandable if the Swansea manager, Garry Monk, wants to use any deal with Tottenham to engineer a return for the midfielder Sigurdsson, who was a big hero at the club before his departure to London.
‘Southampton find replacement for Shaw’ - Southampton are looking at Serbian left-back Dusko Tosic from Turkish club Genclerbirligi as their replacement for Luke Shaw following his move to Manchester United, according to the Mail on Sunday. Tosic, 29, had brief spells for QPR and Portsmouth and was named in the Turkish League’s all-star team last season. Southampton are also looking to buy a goalkeeper and striker once their £12 million forward Dani Osvaldo’s loan move to Inter Milan is settled.
Paper Round’s view: Saints boss Ronald Koeman would not have taken the job if he did not think that he could replace the likes of Shaw and clearly the Dutchman is very well connected across Europe after holding top jobs in Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands. Tosic is hardly a like-for-like in the sense that he is an experienced campaigner rather than a young, exciting full-back like Shaw, but perhaps that is exactly what is required in a squad that is far from mature. Koeman will not be too unhappy about losing Osvaldo, meanwhile, given that the Italy international struggled to nail down a first-team spot at St Mary's, and spent the second half of last season on loan at Juventus.
Dusko Tosic Serbia
- Sports & Recreation
- Manchester United
- Van Gaal
- Stefan de Vrij
- Arsene Wenger
- Thomas Vermaelen