Transfer Talk: Van Gaal eyes Dutch connection
Rumours, gossip, transfer news and signings from all of the top European clubs. It's Transfer Talk time.
United plans continue apace
It looks set to be a busy summer at Manchester United as Louis van Gaal ponders how to spend a rumoured 200 million pound transfer budget. There are certainly worse headaches to have, just ask Yaya Toure.
It's hardly a surprise that the current Holland manager is being linked with several members of his World Cup squad as Stefan de Vrij joins Arjen Robben, Jordy Clasie, Bruno Martins Indi and the injured Kevin Strootman on Van Gaal's rumoured wish list.
According to the Daily Express, Feyenoord defender De Vrij is close to joining Lazio, but United could hijack the deal at the eleventh hour. Liverpool, Arsenal, Everton and Newcastle are also credited with an interest in the 22-year-old. United continue to be linked to talented Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos, who is entering the final year of his contract at the Allianz Arena. Meanwhile, The Mirror reports that Luke Shaw is house hunting in Manchester ahead of his proposed 27 million pound switch to Old Trafford. A source close to the left-back's family told the paper: "Luke is still only 18 and his family want everything to be right for him. Where he lives and how he adjusts to a new city is a big thing for them -- but now they are convinced about the move."
Liverpool duke it out with United
Another name who has cropped up in the Manchester United gossip is long-term Liverpool target Yevhen Konoplyanka. The Anfield outfit tried to agree a deadline-day deal for the Dnipro winger in February, but were foiled by the Ukrainian club's reluctance to sell.
However, it now appears they could go head-to-head with United for the 24-year-old, who has emerged as a target for new manager van Gaal. The Mirror says Konoplyanka is open to a move to England and would cost in the region of 12 million pounds.
Arsenal look to secure Adil for Rami
Following reports that Thomas Vermaelen is shuffling towards the Arsenal exit door, The Daily Express claims that Arsene Wenger is lining up a move for Adil Rami. The 28-year-old spent the second half of the season on loan at AC Milan from Valencia and impressed in his 18 Serie A appearances as the Rossoneri eventually secured a seventh-place finish.
Milan are apparently keen to push through a permanent deal for Rami, but are trying to haggle over the 5.5 million pound fee that was arranged prior to the defender's loan. That could allow Arsenal and Marseille to swoop in, with Valencia looking to offload the French international before his contract expires at the end of next season.
Never say never
That's the view of Paul Pogba's agent, Mino Raiola, who has been chatting to L'Equipe about the France star's future. According to Raiola, the "serene" Pogba is happy to stay at Juventus but could leave if the right offer arises this summer.
"As I say every year, I have to be ready to do anything," said Raiola. "If tomorrow there is an offer that would satisfy everyone and Paul believes it is something good for his career, why should we refuse it?
"But I repeat we are not in a situation where Paul absolutely needs to leave. Nowadays Paul is serene. He knows he can stay at Juve and be happy here. But in football you can never say never." Many happy returns?
By now you've all heard the strange tale of Yaya Toure not receiving birthday wishes from his Manchester City team management. So where will he go if he leaves? If Toure manages to force an exit from the Etihad, he could return to Barcelona, while The Daily Star says that Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea have been busy wrapping presents to try and entice the midfielder.
Odds and ends
Chelsea are chasing as many as five new signings and are determined to keep Eden Hazard from Paris St-Germain's clutches, according to The Daily Star. The latest names to be linked to the Blues are Sevilla pair Alberto Moreno and Ivan Rakitic, who helped the Spanish side win the Europa League last week.
Tom Ince could follow in his dad Paul's footsteps by moving to Inter Milan this week after the Italian side scheduled a medical for the winger. Ince's Blackpool contract is set to expire in June, but the Mirror says Inter will still have to pay around 300,000 pounds to secure his signature as the Seasiders are entitled to compensation due to the player's age.
While Liverpool hope to strengthen their left-back options with a deal for Ashley Cole, it seems the opposite flank could soon become a problem for Brendan Rodgers. According to The Daily Express the Reds have reached gridlock in contract talks with Glen Johnson after offering the 29-year-old a one-year extension to his current deal.
After scoring the goal that ensured Hamburg remain the only club never to have been relegated from the Bundesliga, Pierre-Michel Lasogga has encouraged speculation linking him with a move to England.
"Since I started to play football, my dream has been to play in Premier League," said the 22-year-old, who has caught the eye of Liverpool, Tottenham, Newcastle and Everton.