Tuesday 24 April 2018

Transfer Watch

Moyes to test Toffees with £12m Baines bid

Manchester United are preparing to increase their offer for Everton's Leighton Baines to £12m.

United have already had a £10m bid for the England left-back rejected and their new offer will still fall some way short of Everton's £20m valuation.

Fully aware of United's interest, Baines may feel torn as to how to respond, given his loyalty to Everton, but an ambition to compete for the title and play in the Champions League could prove decisive.

He may also see a move to Old Trafford as assisting his England challenge to Ashley Cole in World Cup year, but it seems highly unlikely that he will request a move unless United's bid gets closer to a figure with which Everton are happy.

DONE DEALS

Atletico Madrid have won the battle to sign David Villa from Barcelona, despite the 31-year-old being linked with a host of clubs over the past few months, including Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool.

Atletico earned a reported £50m from the recent sale of Falcao to Monaco but will be investing only a fraction of that on Villa after agreeing a deal worth a maximum of just €5.1m with Barca for the forward, with the Catalan club receiving 50pc of any future transfer fee.

Everton have confirmed Arouna Kone's £5m arrival from Wigan Athletic. Kone has signed a three-year contract.

Grant Holt will bolster the Latics' attacking options, however, after Wigan agreed an estimated fee of £2m with Norwich City. The 32-year-old, who has signed a three-year deal, scored 68 goals in 154 league appearances for the Canaries, twice helping them win promotion.

Paul McShane has signed a new two-year contract with Premier League new boys Hull City after playing a key role in their promotion.

Mario Gomez will leave Bayern Munich and join Serie A's Fiorentina for next season, ending four years at the Bavarian club.

Eric Abidal (33) has signed for Monaco, the French club have confirmed. The former Barcelona defender joins the newly promoted Ligue 1 side on an initial one-year contract. The France international has been a free agent since June after Barca decided against offering him a new contract. His career has been heavily interrupted in recent years due to illness.

RUMOUR MILL

New Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has refused to sanction the sale of central defender Pepe to Manchester City. Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has dismissed speculation that Gonzalo Higuain is about to join Arsenal, saying the Premier League club have yet to make an offer for the Argentina striker. Higuain, who announced he was going to leave Madrid at the end of last season, was reported to be on the verge of a £23m move to the Gunners.

Manchester City are progressing moves to sign the Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo, but Pablo Osvaldo is not heading to City, despite suggestions they are closing in on the Roma player.

Sunderland's bid to land Argentinian full-back Gino Peruzzi appears to have hit a major snag over personal terms, despite the Black Cats agreeing a fee with Velez Sarsfield for the 21-year-old.

Irish Independent

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