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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Football transfer rumours: Wout Weghorst to join Manchester United?

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Odion Ighalo. Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Radamel Falcao. Cristiano Ronaldo. The arrivals door at Old Trafford has revolved with plenty of odd short-term striking solutions in recent years. Erik ten Hag may have ushered in a new era at Manchester United but it appears that old habits die hard. Wout Weghorst is the latest name to be linked with spearheading United’s attack, with the Dutchman hoping to taking the not-so-well-trodden path from Burnley, via Istanbul, back to the north-west.

Weghorst is currently at Besiktas, on loan from Burnley, and had the temerity to wave goodbye to the BJK fans on Saturday, apparently forgetting he has a contract to fulfil until the end of the season. Any deal with Manchester United would not be straightforward, with Besiktas sporting director, Ceyhun Kazanci, unimpressed with Weghorst’s wave.

“I don’t understand why he made such a move,” Kazanci said. “He can’t just go. There will have to be a reward for us to approve the separation. I’ll give an example. Burnley told us: ‘We made a deal with this team for Weghorst. We give you half of the transfer fee.’ This may be a different condition. Then we’ll sit down and talk.”

Marcus Thuram could be a more viable option in the summer, having reportedly told Borussia Mönchengladbach that he will not be renewing his contract. That would make the 25-year-old a free agent, and there is understandably plenty of interest from United, Chelsea, Internazionale and PSG. Bayern Munich, however, are thought to be leading the race for his summer signature, continuing the trend of hoovering up the best of the Bundesliga talent into their squad.

João Félix may have started Atlético Madrid’s game against Barcelona on Sunday, but the Spanish club have named their price for the forward, who has failed to convince since his bumper £113m move from Benfica in 2019. Atléti are now looking open to a loan deal for the Portuguese, that would include £9.5m fee and £70m to make the deal permanent. Manchester United and Arsenal are monitoring the situation.

João Félix in action against Barcelona
João Félix didn’t impress in Atlético Madrid’s defeat to Barcelona on Sunday. Photograph: AgenciaLOF/Action Plus/Shutterstock

Sporting have spoken out amid Tottenham interest in Pedro Porro and Marcus Edwards. The pair have been linked with a January swoop but Sporting manager Rúben Amorim was quick to shut down any deal, unless Spurs pay the release clauses, which stand at £39m for Porro and £52m for their former academy graduate Edwards. “They only leave for the clause,” insisted Amorim. “We are ready. We know the amount of attacks that go through Porro and Edwards, nobody is blind here. But the market is what it is.” Having sold Edwards to Sporting a year ago with a 50% sell-on clause, Spurs could nab the Englishman back for “just” £26m.

After a strong World Cup with Croatia, Josip Juranovic turned a few heads and Serie A newcomers Monza have tabled a bid for the Celtic full-back – a loan deal with an obligation to buy for £7m in the summer. Celtic are keen to add another World Cup star, South Korea’s Cho Gue-sung, to their ranks but are battling Mainz for the striker’s signature. The German club are favourites to strike a £2.5m deal.

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