Football rumours: Manchester United to move for Raphael Varane; Gareth Bale Spurs stay in doubt

Football rumours: Manchester United to move for Raphael Varane; Gareth Bale Spurs stay in doubt

Gareth Bale (left) and Raphael Varane figure in Wednesday’s football rumour mill ( Dylan Martinez/Nick Potts/PA)

What the papers say

Manchester United have moved closer to signing Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane, according to the Manchester Evening News. Real officials are said to be pessimistic about the chances of the 27-year-old accepting a new contract they have offered him and they would rather sell him for a gain than let him go as a free agent next year. United have made signing a centre-back to partner Harry Maguire a priority for the coming summer.

Gareth Bale‘s chances of staying with Tottenham on loan next season have been thrown into doubt over wage issues, the Daily Mirror reports. Bale’s £600,000-a-week contract is currently being split between his parent club Real Madrid and Spurs. Bale could insist on Real honouring the last year of his contract with the Spanish club next season, and may refuse to take a pay cut. Real would thus have to heavily subsidise his salary again if he is to stay in north London, or else look to offload him to another club willing to pay more of his wages.

AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma could be off to Chelsea (Adam Davy/PA)

Chelsea could be poised to make a move for Gianluigi Donnarumma should the goalkeeper not sign a new deal with AC Milan, Eurosport reports. The 22-year-old stopper is one of Milan’s most cherished players, yet there has been no progress on him signing a new deal when his current contract expires at the end of the season. Chelsea are expected to offload Kepa Arrizabalaga this summer and will have Donnarumma on their list of possible replacements.

Aston Villa are considering making Ross Barkley‘s loan stay permanent, but are baulking at Chelsea’s valuation, Football Insider reports. The Blues have put a £35million price tag on the 27-year-old midfielder, but Villa manager Dean Smith would like that to come down.

Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier is attracting interest from several clubs (Naomi Baker/PA)

Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier is attracting major interest from several bigger clubs, according to the Yorkshire Evening Post. The 21-year-old has impressed in the club’s rise back into the English top tier, having kept 15 clean sheets from his 35 league appearances in the Championship and then the Premier League. His agent says the Frenchman is happy at Leeds but adds there has been interest expressed in him from several other clubs.

Social media round-up

Players to watch

Yunas Musah: The 18-year-old has a choice of representing England or the United States internationally, but the Football Association is confident he will choose the former, according to the Daily Mail.

Sheffield United’s Sander Berge could be off to Aston Villa (Mike Egerton/PA)

Sander Berge: The 23-year-old Sheffield United midfielder has been linked to Aston Villa, the Birmingham Mail reports.

Jonas Hofmann: The 28-year-old Borussia Monchengladbach and Germany midfielder has hinted his former boss Thomas Tuchel is interested in luring him to Chelsea, says Ruhr Nachrichten.

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