Rumour reel: United want Aurier, but there’s one big problem
Serge to appeal conviction for assault
Neymar’s proposed move from Barcelona to PSG continued to dominate headlines yesterday, with the La Liga giants moving the goalposts in a last-ditch attempt to scare the French side off. Barca now say they want all the £198m proposed transfer fee up front. They’d ask for it in cash if they thought they’d get away with it.
That will, of course, be a world record fee for a player, but the Parisians refuse to be put off, holding their tongue and letting money do the talking. When Barcelona bosses wrote that £198m release clause into the Brazilian’s contract, they had no idea a side would be bold enough to trigger it. Here’s Thursday’s rumour reel…..
Aurier desperate to cut through red tape
Sticking with PSG and newspaper reports tell us Manchester United want to sign right-back Serge Aurier. The 24-year-old Ivory Coast international comes with his fair share of baggage however – United having to work their way around a transfer fee, wage demands and the fact he wouldn’t be allowed into the UK. The last one is a bit of a stumbling block, unless they plan on only playing him in away Champions League matches. Aurier was found guilty of assaulting a police officer outside a nightclub in September 2016 and that saw him banned from entering Britain to play in a Champions League tie vs Arsenal. The player has lodged an appeal, with a £27m deal between the clubs already agreed, as well as a £90k a-week deal. Costly mistake.
Leicester to agree £50m buy-back clause
The on-going deal to take Kelechi Iheanacho to Leicester finally appears to be complete, with the finer details being ironed out this week. There’s little over a week before the Premier League season kicks off, and we expected this one to be done and dusted long before now. With a transfer fee agreed between City and Leicester, the players wage demands met, the last hurdle was a buy-back clause The Citizens wanted inserted into the contract, allowing them to retrieve the Nigerian if he goes on to reach the level City believe he is capable of. Leicester didn’t want to play ball initially, preferring an all-or-nothing deal, but they appear to have met in the middle. Kelechi will now go to the King Power, and return for £50m, if City fancy having him back. That seems to work for both parties.
Sunderland line-up Ross McCormack
Ross McCormack looks likely to leave John Terry and Aston Villa behind to jump ship and join Championship rivals Sunderland in time for the weekend. Local publications say the wheels are in motion to get that one moving quickly, but it’ll come as a surprise to fans, who expected big things for their team this season, with McCormack playing a part in firing them towards promotion back to the Premier League. To make things all the more confusing, it looks like the Scottish scorer will be off to the Stadium of Light on a one-year loan, as The Black Cats aim to improve on what has been a torrid year. They were hammered 5-0 by Celtic last weekend in a friendly, and that set alarm bells ringing.