Transfer Gossip: Man Utd to hijack £35m Liverpool deal as Ten Hag eyes perfect Van de Beek upgrade; Arsenal chiefs to ‘inject money’ to sign two stars

Marcos Llorente and Geoffrey Kondogbia during Champions League 2021/2022, Round of 16 1st leg. in Madrid Credit: Alamy
Marcos Llorente and Geoffrey Kondogbia during Champions League 2021/2022, Round of 16 1st leg. in Madrid Credit: Alamy

Manchester United are plotting to sign a 24-goal Atletico Madrid midfielder, Arsenal chiefs are ready to fund a double signing in January to aid their title push, while Monday’s Transfer Gossip claims Aston Villa and Newcastle are battling to sign a Real Madrid star.

MARCOS LLORENTE LINED WITH MAN UTD MOVE

Manchester United are reportedly looking to beat Liverpool to the signing of Marcos Llorente in January.

The 27-year-old midfielder has been put up for sale by Atletico Madrid following the club’s failure to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages.

Indeed, Madrid finished bottom of Group B with Porto, Club Brugges and Bayer Leverkusen all finishing above them. And with not even Europa League football to fall back on, it represents a massive blow for Diego Simeone’s side.

As such, reports in Spain claim Llorente has been made available ahead of the January window.

The midfielder has previously been linked with a move to Liverpool.

However, Mundo Deportivo reckons a move to Old Trafford looks the most likely outcome. And reports claim Erik ten Hag is a big admirer of the player, who last season enjoyed the best season of his career.

Indeed, playing in an advanced midfield role, Llorente bagged 12 goals and added 13 assists. And as a No 8, he offers a great range of passing and vision in the centre of the park.

To that end, Llorente would be an obvious upgrade for Donny van de Beek.

The Dutchman was handed a first Premier League start at Aston Villa on Sunday – his first for United in 701 days.

But Van de Beek struggled and was withdrawn on 65 minutes.

Linked with a move to Leicester, there would be few who would miss him at Old Trafford.

ARSENAL CHIEFS READY TO FUND DOUBLE JANUARY DEAL

Arsenal’s owners are ready to seriously invest in their squad in January in an effort to push the Gunners over the title line.

Mikel Arteta’s side returned to the top of the Premier League with perhaps their most impressive performance yet – a 1-0 win at Chelsea. After the game, Rio Ferdinand branded Arsenal the ‘real deal’ with a fellow pundit picking out their four most impressive performers.

You can also read 16 conclusions on the Stamford Bridge clash right here.

However, Arteta knows his squad will need further strengthening if they are keep pace with Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola’s side eked out a 2-1 win over Fulham despite being down to 10 men for long periods. And Arteta knows his side can not afford to take their foot off the gas if they are to win a first title since 2004.

Arteta invested around £125m over the summer in signing five new players. However, he was not able to land the central midfielder and winger he craved.

But with the January window opening in just 55 days, plans are already afoot to make two new signings.

January plans underway for Arsenal

And per ESPN Brasil reporter Joao Castelo-Branco, things are progressing nicely for the Gunners.

He tweeted: “Arsenal winning big games is in for the title in earnest. I have information that the club wants to take advantage of the moment, will inject money to reinforce the squad well in January to be able to compete until the end.”

The Gunners’ top target is thought to be Shakhtar winger Mykhaylo Mudryk. Rated at around £55m, the Ukrainian has lit up the Champions League this season.

Arsenal are also reportedly looking at Youri Tielemans, though our exclusive has explained why a summer deal is more likely.

However, a move for Vitoria Guimaraes midfielder Ibrahima Bamba looks to be on the cards.

VILLA, NEWCASTLE BATTLE FOR EDEN HAZARD

Newcastle and Aston Villa are ready to slug it out over a deal to sign Eden Hazard in January, claim reports.

The Belgium winger moved to Real Madrid in summer 2019 for a deal approaching £100m.

However, Hazard has failed to find any sort of consistency at the Bernabeu, scoring just seven goals for the club.

Now a cut-price return to the Premier League looks on with Los Blancos looking to sell for around £30m.

Per El Nacional, Hazard has confided in close friend Thibaut Courtois that he is ready to move back to England.

And Villa and Newcastle represent two enticing projects for him to join.

Villa are looking to become upwardly mobile under new boss Unai Emery. His new reign got off to a flyer after a 3-1 win over Manchester United.

However, the most interesting offer could come from Newcastle. Eddie Howe’s side are one of the country’s most in-form sides with six wins and a draw from their last seven games. They are currently third in the Premier League and are dark horses in the race for the Champions League places.

READ MORE: Transfer truths revealed as Arsenal are shot down over Newcastle attacker now tearing up the Premier League

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