Wednesday 22 February 2017

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal to swoop for Christian Benteke by the weekend

Published 16/07/2015 | 08:18

Christian Benteke
Christian Benteke

Christian Benteke could be a Manchester United player by the weekend with Louis van Gaal set to activate his £32.5 million release clause.

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According to The Sun, the Belgium international striker 'dropped a huge hint that he is off to Old Trafford when he favourited a tweet about him being back-up to Wayne Rooney'.

Benteke quickly deleted the favourited tweet but, as The Sun points out, the incident is a copy of Memphis Depay's Twitter activity before his £25 million summer switch.

If United do sign the Belgian, it will take Van Gaal's spending this summer to an impressive £109.4 million.

Meanwhile, The Daily Star reports that Real Madrid have 'outwitted Man United' in the transfer saga surrounding David de Gea and Sergio Ramos.

United have told Real to accept a final bid of £35 million for Ramos - or forget about signing De Gea.

Apparently, if Real agree to the fee then United will accept a reduced bid of around £25 million for De Gea.

However, Real president Florentino Perez has supposedly come up with a plan to keep Ramos and land De Gea on the cheap in 12 months time.

Reports in Spain claim De Gea and Real have reached an agreement that would see the Spanish giants pay him a £3.5 million signing-on fee next summer.

In return, De Gea would not be able to negotiate a new, long-term contract with United and would join Real on a free transfer instead.

Real Madrid have joined United and Roma by enquiring after free agent goalkeeper Sergio Romero.

The Argentina international is looked after by super-agent Mino Raiola and, says The Daily Mail, has already held talks with United and Roma about a deal for the former Sampdoria keeper.

United are reported to have offered the 28-year-old higher wages - in the region of £1.4 million a year - than the Serie A club.

United, it seems, see Romero as someone who can step in for De Gea should he go, although they would prefer Jasper Cillessen of Ajax.

Van Gaal has told Victor Valdes he has no future at United after accusing the former Barcelona goalkeeper of refusing to play for the club's reserve team.

Valdes, who signed an 18-month contract at Old Trafford in January, has been omitted from the United squad for the club's four-game tour of the United States by Van Gaal, despite ongoing uncertainty over De Gea.

But speaking in Seattle ahead of Friday's friendly against Club America, Van Gaal insisted that Valdes would now be sold, with Valencia and Turkish club Antalyaspor both interested in the 33-year-old, as a result of his refusal to turn out for United's second team last season.

"He [Valdes] is not selected for the tour because he does not follow our philosophy," Van Gaal said. "When that is the case, there is not a place for a player and yes [he will be sold]. It is about match rhythm and last year, he refused to play in the second team."

Van Gaal has told told Angel di Maria that the Argentine remains a part of his plans, despite being linked with a £50 million move to PSG.

The Daily Star reveals that Van Gaal called Di Maria last week to convince him to stay but he could be fighting a losing battle, with the winger's wife unhappy in England.

If Di Maria does leave for PSG, we are told in could mean a player exchange with Edinson Cavani.

United have been holding late-night talks to sign defender Stefan Savic, according to The Metro.

The Fiorentina star, who used to play for Manchester City, has been linked with Arsenal and Liverpool in the past.

And the 24-year-old, who we are told is famed for his excellent positional sense and crunching tackles, would cost about £20 million.

And finally, Manchester United have moved to beat off interest from Aston Villa for Barnsley's highly-rated right back Mason Holgate.

Villa were lining up a £1 million bid for the 18-year-old who rejected the offer of a new contract at Barnsley on Monday. However, Utd have invited him to train with them as they look to make counter offer.

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