8am Man Utd news LIVE: Red Devils ‘increasingly confident of signing £60m Dembele’, Jadon Sancho transfer LATEST – The Sun

MANCHESTER UNITED are set for a busy summer in the transfer market.

As Premier League clubs hope to restart the campaign when safe to do so, the Red Devils are reportedly eyeing up a move for Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

Follow all the latest updates and transfer news below…

  • GOOD MORNING RED DEVILS FANS

    Lyon striker Moussa Dembele is wanted by Chelsea – but prefers a move to United.

    According to the Daily Star, the ex-Celtic hitman has told the Red Devils he is keen on joining them.

    And United are growing increasingly confident of landing the 23-year-old in a £60m deal.

    United could have saved £51MILLION on Bruno Fernandes if they’d waited until the summer transfer window, according to Sporting Lisbon president Frederico Varandas

    He told SIC: “The crisis caused by Covid-19 harms the European football industry in general.

    “But, of all countries, Portugal is the most affected because 50 per cent of revenues come from the sale of players.

    “Fernandes was sold for £68m in January.

    “Today, what would he be worth? Maybe £17m? £27m? Nobody knows.”

    Premier League chiefs got the Government’s green light for a return to action next month.

    But the good news came with red flags as the 20 clubs were faced with a number of issues including scrapping neutral venues, a £760m broadcasting bill and doubts from players over returning.

  • COSTLY BRU-WOE

    United could have saved £51MILLION on the Bruno Fernandes if they’d waited until the summer transfer window.

    That’s according to Sporting Lisbon president Frederico Varandas, who claims the £68m United paid for Fernandes in January would not be feasible this summer amid the coronavirus crisis.

    Varandas believes United would be getting Fernandes for a snippet of the fee they did shell out had they waited until the end of the season.He told SIC: “The crisis caused by Covid-19 harms the European football industry in general.

    “But, of all countries, Portugal is the most affected because 50 per cent of revenues come from the sale of players.

    “Fernandes was sold for £68m in January.“Today, what would he be worth? Maybe £17m? £27m? Nobody knows.”

  • MAN U OR A MOUSSA

    Lyon striker Moussa Dembele could be close to a £60million switch to United, reports say.

    The uncapped Frenchman, 23, formerly of Fulham and Celtic, is thought to have been trailed by Old Trafford scouts over the past year.

    And the Daily Star suggest United are now confident of signing the former Under-21 international.

    Lyon missed out on European football next season as Ligue 1 was halted early due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    And their president Jean-Michel Aulas believes that could mean selling some players.

  • CASH FEARS UNITE PREM CLUBS

    Two months of nitpicking and name-calling has weakened the bonds holding together the Premier League’s 20 clubs.

    But if there is one thing that unites them, it is cold, hard cash.

    And while some of the strained relationships will perhaps never be the same again, the thought of watching millions of pounds disappear down the drain proved the catalyst for a new resolution.

    Even the biggest of the Prem giants will be hit by losing their share of more than £300million being demanded back by broadcasters for a disrupted, delayed and virus-distorted season.

    Waving goodbye to all £760m they have already banked between them for the final quarter of the season would be a hammer blow to every one of them.

    League chief executive Richard Masters, who has recognised the scale of his job in recent weeks, denied vitriol had been an issue but agreed that the bitterness had to end.

    He said: “When we’re dealing with some of the challenges and complications, it’s understandable there are differences of opinions between clubs.

    “We were able to paint a picture about what would happen in various scenarios, playing out the season and not playing out the season.

    “The way the clubs came together, I feel people can see some of the issues are now starting to be addressed and I can see momentum building.

    “What there was, was a view that we were better together and talking through one voice and better off acting at all times like a collective. That was the unanimous view.”

  • DON'T PUNCTURE MY HALO

    ODION IGHALO will plead with Shanghai Shenhua not to end his Manchester United dream when his Old Trafford loan runs out at the end of the month.

    The Chinese Super League club have upped their valuation of the Nigeria striker, 30, to around £22million if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to keep him on for when the season resumes in June.

    Ighalo is desperate to stay for the final nine league games — as well as helping United in the FA Cup and Europa League.

    Now he is ready to put his case to Shenhua.

    But with the Chinese season also starting in June, the club want Igahalo back unless United pay up.

    United had signed the former Watford front man in January for a loan fee of £3million until the end of the season.

    But with the seasonsuspended due to the coronavirus timeis fast running out. Ighalo had been valued at £15m when he first arrived, but FOUR goals in eight games made Shenhua’s hierarchy revise their valuation.

  • RYAN ALMOST WENT WANDERING

    Ryan Giggs almost quit Manchester United in 2003 and could have signed for BOLTON WANDERERS.

    The Welshman ended up staying with Sir Alex Ferguson's side and went on to win ten more trophies with the Red Devils before his retirement in 2014, aged 40.

    Giggs told BeIN Sport: “Around 2003/04 I didn’t have a great start to the season.

    “It was the summer that David Beckham went, that was the probably the closest I got to going.

    “My form wasn’t great, and it was the transition period where I’d gone from flying winger to coming in a little bit more inside.

    “If I hadn’t ended the season strong, who knows. I was in and out of the team towards the end of my career but I was fine with that.

    “I was 35 to 40, I was fine, and I had got my head around that quite quickly, that I would be in and out of the team.”

    Inter Milan and Juventus were both linked with the United legend and even Sam Allardyce’s high-flying Bolton were keen.

  • PREM RETURN GETS GOV GREEN LIGHT
    Premier League chiefs were given the Government green light for a return to action next month.
    But the news came as the 20 clubs:

    • Were told they face a £375m repayment bill from broadcasters even if the season is played out, with demands for the full outstanding £760m if it is scrapped
    • Forced Prem bosses to go back with a plea to let the season be completed in home stadiums rather than neutral venues
    • Received a grilling as FA chairman Greg Clarkewarned Wembley would not sanction the season being voided or relegation scrapped
    • And were still seeking to agree medical protocols that the players will accept as a condition to return to training.The apparent U-turn on neutral grounds came amid a groundswell of opinion from clubs that league chiefs had kowtowed too swiftly to pressure from police.
    • Clubs asked why there had been no real pushback to police concerns over fans congregating outside grounds where matches were being played behind closed doors.

    ROSE: PREM RETURN IS 'F***ING JOKE'

    Danny Rose slammed plans to bring football back, fuming: “I don’t give a f*** about the nation’s morale – lives are at risk”.

    The Premier League is plotting a return in June, with the government keen to lift the country’s spirits.

    But the Newcastle defender, on loan from Tottenham, is aghast at plans to return while death rates remain high.

    On Instagram, Rose blasted: “It's a f****** joke, I'm not even going to lie.

    “The government is saying bring football back because it's going to boost the nation's morale, I don't give a f*** about the nation's morale. People's lives are at risk, you know what I mean?

    “Football shouldn't even be spoken about coming back until the numbers have dropped massively. It's b*******.

    “We'll see, I think I'm getting tested on Friday, so we'll just have to wait and see.

    “I listened to the announcement, no football until June 1st or something, I don't even pay attention to any of that.

    “I'm sad that people are getting sick and being affected. Football should be the last of things that need to be sorted.

    “I think everyone will get tested as soon as they get back and we'll see what happens.I just hope the numbers stay low so we can get back to normal as soon as possible.”

    UTD DUO ARE TWO KEEN

    United stars Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Timothy Fosu-Mensah got a little bit ahead of themselves on Monday — and weresent home for their troubles.

    The good pals, both 22, thought they would make the most of the Government’s lockdown easing by training outdoors together at the private Saint Ambrose College in Cheshire.

    However, the new guideline on being allowed outside with one person who is not from your household does not come into force until WEDNESDAY.

    And red-faced defenders Wan-Bissaka and Fosu-Mensah, were then told to HOP IT by college staff because they did not have permission to be there.

    The duo were snapped using a football and doing keepy-uppies in between shuttle runs.

    And they certainly practised social distancing rules by maintaining the required two-metre gap at all times.

    Premier League players are expected to return to training this month while adhering to new health and safety guidelines.

    LAY THE ODDS ON LEAVING

    PSG left-back Layvin Kurzawa has been offered to Arsenal, Manchester United and Newcastle, reports in Italy suggest.

    The 13-cap France star has been a regular for his country's top club this season but is not expected to be offered a new contract.

    Serie A giants Inter Milan and Juventus are also tracking the 27-year-old, according to FC Inter.

    But although he would available on a free transfer, his £100,000 weekly wages will deter all but the most keen suitors.

    £35M LOS AND GAIN

    United are lining up a £35million raid for Benfica goal machine Carlos Vinicius, according to reports.

    The Brazilian striker heads the Portuguese scoring charts with 15 goals in 19 Primeira Liga appearances – and 20 from 33 games in all competitions.

    Vinicius, 25, has already attracted interest from Liverpool. A £15million buy from Napoli last summer, he is under contract until 2024.

    Lisbon media now claim Old Trafford boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to sign the striker during the close season.

    Vinicius has an £88m release clause in his contract.However the inflated figure is seen as highly unrealistic with the transfer market hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

    And Portuguese media reports say United are ready to test Benfica's resolve by offering 40 million euros – £35m.

    The Red Devils have already made one highly successful signing from Portugal this year in Bruno Fernandes.

    'UNLESS RONALDO QUITS, POGBA CAN'T JOIN JUVE'

    Juventus could only afford to sign Paul Pogba this summer if Cristiano Ronaldo retires.

    That's the blunt verdict of European football expert Gabriele Marcotti – not least as the coronavirus pandemic adds to clubs'financial woes.

    Juve's Adrian Rabiot, 25,has been linked with a part-exchange deal involving Manchester United's fellow France midfielder Pogba, 27.

    But as Pogba still has two years left on his Old Trafford contract, Marcotti believes the possible £100milion transfer fee plus huge wages would be beyond the Serie A champions.

    He toldESPN FC: “What they're talking about is some complicated thing where Miralem Pjanic goes to Barcelona and then Pogba comes in.

    The fact of the matter is I think everything is on hold until they get a clear picture of finances and Pogba is happy at United.

    “He would be happier at a United team that was competing for the title.

    “But the way his wages are now, I don't see Juventus making this work, unless Cristiano retires or something, which obviously would be bad for other reasons.

    “I should clarify, the bit about Cristiano Ronaldo retiring, it's purely hypothetical, I have no suggestion he will anytime soon.”

    UNQUALIFIED SUCCESS OR FAILURE

    Uefa are reportedly considering ditching qualifiers for the 2020/21 Champions League and Europa League.

    Sides like Celtic and Ajax are set to rely on the play-off pathway for reaching European football's elite club competition when next season eventually kicks off.

    The highest placed teams from leagues such as the SPFL, Eredivisie and Swiss Super League are typically left to fight it out for the final six group stage spots but are potentially facing a major change of rules.

    A report in The Times outlines concerns that there will simply not be enough time to play out qualifiers for either competition.

    The 2019/20 tournaments are set to be completed in August due to the coronavirus pandemic, after the protracted domestic campaigns are allowed to finish this summer.

    A start date of October 20 has been set for the next campaign's group stage, leaving little time for play-offs to take place.

    Clubs across France, the Netherlands and other countries where football has been subject to a lengthy ban may not play again until September.

    It is reported that the four rounds of Champions League qualifiers could be shortened to either one-legged rounds or even a shootout between the 12 highest-ranked countries in Uefa's coefficient system who are not already represented.

    MOUR THAN TIC-KED OFF

    Former Chelsea academy starlet Jordan Houghton has revealed that Jose Mourinho threatened to sell Nemanja Matic at half-time in a friendly, just six months after buying him for £21million.

    Facing AFC Wimbledon, the Blues were without most of their big-name stars, who were still resting after 2014 World Cup exertions.

    But that didn't stop a furious Blues boss Mourinho – who later managed Matic at Manchester United – tearing into his stars when they came in at the break 2-0 down to their League Two opponents.

    Among the worst to get it was midfielder Matic, who was subsequently hooked.

    Houghton, who came on for Marco van Ginkel with 21 minutes remaining that day, has reminisced over his memories of the match, and of his time growing up at Chelsea in general.

    The 24-year-old, now of MK Dons, told Goal: “I got [John] Terry's signed shirt in the under-9s as he was my idol at the time but I was nervous because I thought I wasn't supposed to do it.

    “It was surreal that I trained and played with him. I see him as a friend now which is more surreal.

    “We played together against Wycombe and AFC Wimbledon and it was under Mourinho.

    “Against Wimbledon, I remember Mourinho absolutely hammering Matic and threatening to get rid of him, so that was an eye-opener! I then went on tour with the first team.”

    OD MAN OUT-SIDE

    MANCHESTER UNITED ace Odion Ighalo was pictured with a mystery female training partner as he exercised in a public park in Cheshire. 

    The striker's Old Trafford future is in the balance as Shanghai Shenhua want the Nigerian back when his loan deal expires at the end of May.

    On Monday the 30-year-old went through a fitness session with a sporty-looking woman ahead of the top flight's potential return on June 1.

    The United star looked sharp and was dressed head to toe in Old Trafford gear, including his No.25 shorts.

    Inbetween various gruelling training drills the loan ace chatted with the woman – who was also dressed in workout clothes.

    He took time out of his exercise session to sign an autograph for a fan who chucked a note pad and pen to the striker, while abiding by the strict social distancing rules.

    And a dog even decided to get involved and ran alongside the forward as he blasted out sprinting drills.

    EXPENSIVE HEN

    Arsenal remain eager to shift ex-United winger Henrikh Mkhitaryan but Roma are unwilling to pay their £15million asking price, reports say.

    The Gunners deemed the Armenia star, 31, surplus to requirements last summer.

    Roma took Mkhitaryan to Serie A on Italy's Deadline Day, paying around £2.6million to borrow him for the year.

    And boss Paulo Fonseca is keen on making the deal permanent.

    He previously told Russian TV show Great Football: “I want him to stay and he also wants to stay.

    “However, it should be clear that everything is now on hiatus, and we’ll have to talk to Arsenal.

    “I want to continue working with him because he’s a great player and a great man.”

    But Calcio Mercato suggest Fonseca's bosses at Roma are unwilling to match his £15m price tag.The coronavirus pandemic has thrown most clubs into financial uncertainty, with Roma no exception.

    G-RAB HIM

    United have been in contact with Adrien Rabiot’s representatives over a possible move from Juventus, according to reports in Italy.

    The Frenchman, who joined the club just last summer, has started 11 matches in Serie A and 16 in all competitions this campaign.

    Maurizio Sarri is overloaded in central midfield, favouring the likes of Miralem Pjanic, Rodrigo Bentancur and Blaise Matuidi over Rabiot.

    Calciomercato say United are ‘serious’ about signing Rabiot and the Frenchman’s agent is ‘at work’ trying to seal a move to the Premier League.

    SWITCH IT UP

    Man Utd have reportedly been offered Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot for Paul Pogba as Juventus try to slash the wantaway midfielder's £132m asking price.

    The coronavirus crisis is set to spell the end of football’s big-money transfers with the swap deal making a comeback this summer.

    According to AS, Juve are desperate land Pogba in the coming transfer window.

    So much so that they have offered Ramsey and Rabiot in a bid to cut the Frenchman's eye-watering fee, given the financial uncertainty amid the killer virus.

    Boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is thought to be a big fan of the Welshman – who joined Bianconeri for free last year but has struggled to find his feet in Turin, mustering just three top-flight goals.

    Rabiot is keen to do business with the Red Devils, and reportedly refused to return to Juve after lockdown.

    United have sent scouts to watch him “several times” this season as Solskjaer looks to inject even more creativity into his midfield alongside Portuguese maestro Bruno Fernandes.

    KICK THE CAN

    How about this for an incredible piece of football history?

    Liverpool had the chance to stop Eric Cantona signing for Man Utd – but Graeme Souness passed on the chance to sign him.

    Michel Platini, who was France boss at the time, told Souness he was looking to find Cantona a suitable stage on which to showcase his talent.

    Clubs in England were sounded out, with Leeds eventually signing him in January 1992 after he had previously had a trial spell at Sheffield Wednesday.

    Cantona spent less than 12 months at Elland Road before being taken to Old Trafford, where he became an icon.

    But speaking about missing out on the enigmatic Frenchman, Souness said: “I was manager of Liverpool and we played Auxerre in the Cup Winners' Cup and we lost 2-0 away, we came back and beat them 3-0.

    “After the game, Terry Littlewood, who used to look after the players' lounge and my lounge, security-wise, knocked on my door and said there's a pal outside, he's a good friend of yours and he wants to speak to you.

    “I said 'who is it?' and he said 'it's Michel Platini'. Not a close pal of mine, the only time I had come in contact with him was when I played against him when I was in Italy.

    “He came in and said 'I've got a player for you, he's a real problem in France but he's really talented and he'd be perfect for your club'. I said 'look, Michel, I'm fighting fires here at the moment, I'm trying to get some people out of the door that are resisting, I'm fighting a dressing room here. The last thing I need is another controversial figure'.

    “Eric of course then came over on trial with Sheffield Wednesday, then signed for Leeds and the rest is history. When he went to United, it was a young team and young players need someone like that on the pitch to look up to. I think Eric was certainly one of them.”

    WHAT A GIGGLE

    Ryan Giggs almost quit Manchester United in 2003 and could have signed for BOLTON.

    The Welshman ended up staying with Sir Alex Ferguson's side and went on to win ten more trophies with the Red Devils before his retirement in 2014, aged 40.

    Giggs told BeIN Sport: “Around 2003/04 I didn’t have a great start to the season.

    “It was the summer that David Beckham went, that was the probably the closest I got to going.

    “My form wasn’t great, and it was the transition period where I’d gone from flying winger to coming in a little bit more inside.

    “I’d lost that pace. I actually ended the season quite strong. If I hadn’t ended the season strong, who knows.

    “But other than that there wasn’t really a time when the manager would say I wasn’t doing well.

    “I was in and out of the team towards the end of my career but I was used to that. I was fine with that.

    “I was 35 to 40, I was fine, and I had got my head around that quite quickly, that I would be in and out of the team.”

    Inter Milan and Juventus were both linked with the United legend and even Sam Allardyce’s high-flying Bolton were keen.

    But Giggs, 46, proved his worth and went on to cement his place as one of United's all time greats.

    DON'T CROSS CRIS

    Cristiano Ronaldo was one of just four Manchester United stars who were immune from Sir Alex Ferguson's hairdryer treatment, says Ryan Giggs.

    Fergie is the most successful manager in Old Trafford history after winning 38 trophies, including 12 Prem League titles in his 26-year reign but had a reputation for verbally blasting his players.

    His notorious temper even left David Beckham needing stitches on his eye after the Scotsman accidentally struck him with a flying boot.

    But Giggs has revealed that Ronaldo was one of just four aces spared the dreaded hairdryer treatment.

    Speaking to the beIN Sports, United's all-time leading appearance maker said: “There were three or four players that he never had a go at.

    “Eric Cantona was one – Bryan Robson, Roy Keane and Cristiano Ronaldo. They were all in their own ways match winners.

    “They did the stuff on the pitch, so he never felt he had to.”

    CARL ME MAYBE

    Manchester United are lining up a £35million raid for Benfica goal machine Carlos Vinicius, according to reports.

    The Brazilian striker heads the Portuguese scoring charts with 15 goals in 19 Primeira Liga appearances – and 20 from 33 games in all competitions.

    Vinicius, 25, has already attracted interest from Liverpool.A £15million buy from Napoli last summer, he is under contract until 2024.

    Lisbon media now claim Old Trafford boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to sign the striker during the close season.

    Vinicius has an £88m release clause in his contract.However the inflated figure is seen as highly unrealistic with the transfer market hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

    And Portuguese media reports say United are ready to test Benfica's resolve by offering 40 million euros – £35m.

    LYON IN WAIT

    Former Man Utd man Memphis Depay could quit Lyon after the club missed out on European football when the Ligue 1 season was axed.

    The Dutch ace may part ways with the French side after they failed to qualify for Europe for the first time in 23-years.

    Seventh-placed Lyon were pushing for a spot in Europe before the campaign was axed and have now threatened legal action against the decision.

    In a statement on Thursday the club said the top flight should have been resolved on the pitch rather than in the boardroom although they acknowledged PSG as the rightful winners.

    And owner Jean-Michel Aulas fears the club could lose their most prized assets, including Depay if they cannot offer the prospect of starring on the European stage.

    He told Le Progres: “I'm going to do everything to keep the players, but players programmed to play European competitions may want to look elsewhere because we are deprived of the Champions League.

    “I have no news for now. Memphis tells me that he is ready to discuss [a new contract] when he returns. His agents say that he rather reflects on a leaving opportunity if we don't play in Europe.”

    'TOO MANY PROBLEMS'

    There are “too many problems” around Paul Pogba at Manchester United, says Frank Leboeuf.

    The former France star says his compatriot needs to rediscover a spark, with new arrival Bruno Fernandes showing proper leadership skills.

    Leboeuf told ESPN: “”There is a frustration and it’s understandable when you have seen his performances.

    “He started pretty well, he showed that he could be a leader but I think there is a lack of consistency in his game.

    “No doubt that he is a fantastic player, he’s shown it at Juventus and at the beginning when he joined Manchester United.

    “Since then there seems to be so many problems around him, around the club, or around his team-mates that in fact, we don’t see the Pogba we want to see with all the qualities that he has.

    “Maybe he’s a leader in the dressing room but he doesn’t show that he can be a technical leader like Bruno Fernandes immediately showed to the crowd when he signed for Manchester United.”

    AD ENOUGH

    Man Utd have been in contact with Adrien Rabiot’s representatives over a possible move from Juventus, according to reports in Italy.

    The Frenchman, who joined the club just last summer, has started 11 matches in Serie A and 16 in all competitions this campaign.

    Maurizio Sarri is overloaded in central midfield, favouring the likes of Miralem Pjanic, Rodrigo Bentancur and Blaise Matuidi over Rabiot.

    Calciomercato say United are ‘serious’ about signing Rabiot and the Frenchman’s agent is ‘at work’ trying to seal a move to the Premier League.

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