Football NewsWednesday 29th June 2016

Hot Football Transfer Gossip: Man Utd ‘increase Mkhitaryan bid’, Chelsea ‘seal Batshuayi deal’

Hot Football Transfer Gossip: Man Utd ‘increase Mkhitaryan bid’, Chelsea ‘seal Batshuayi deal’

After being ridiculed for Manchester United’s transfer window failures in the past, this summer Ed Woodward is determined to get his men - and he has come up with a ground-breaking negotiation tactic to completely outfox selling clubs across the world. Namely, start the bidding low and then incrementally increase your offer until it ends up higher than the original asking price. Genius!

The Mirror reports that United are edging closer to the signing of Borussia Dortmund’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan after they offered £35m for the Armenian playmaker - about £15m more than their initial bid.

The figure would have certainly taken the Germans by surprise, because their asking price all along has reportedly been £31m. So how can they possibly refuse now? Woodward is so clever.

The tabloid adds that United also “have the edge” in the race to sign French star Paul Pogba due to their “close relationship” with his agent Mino Raiola. So expect a £163m bid for the Frenchman any day now.

Sadio Mane’s £34m transfer to Liverpool has left with Southampton with the dangerous combination of lots of money and no manager, and the Sun reports that the Saints are ready to spend a big chunk of their cash on Saido Berahino.

The West Brom forward was thought to be on the verge of a £16m move to Stoke, but Southampton are reportedly set to “gazump” their red-and-white rivals and spark a “Premier League bidding war” for the 22-year-old.

There is also one of those going on for Marseille’s Michy Batshuayi, who has been linked with most top flight clubs in recent weeks but is now said to be on his way to one that hasn’t been mentioned before: Chelsea.

The Guardian reports that the Blues have acted with “ruthless efficiency” to secure the signing of the striker for £33.2m, therefore ending their interest in Everton’s Romelu Lukaku.

The Croydon Advertiser is left sweating over the fact that Batshuayi may not join Crystal Palace because he wants to play for a “Champions League club”, which Chelsea certainly are not.

So maybe the Mail’s insistence that the 22-year-old Belgian is actually going to sign for Tottenham may be proved right. 

Either way, it’s bad news for poor old West Ham, who made their own bid for Batshuayi more than a month ago and are still waiting to hear back.

The Hammers will also be perturbed by Inter Milan honorary president Massimo Moratti’s suggestion that the Serie A giants should splash out on Dimitri Payet. The Mirror reports that the Italians have been boosted by £200m of Chinese investment and Moratti as identified Payet as the player they should spent it on. Not all of it, obviously. Maybe about half.

Elsewhere, Everton want to sign Rennes’ 28-year-old Polish winger Kamil Grosicki (Liverpool Echo), Leicester are in “pole position” to sign Robbie Brady from Norwich for £12m (Sun) and Spanish striker Nolito is flying to Manchester on Wednesday, which the Telegraph says is for talks over a £13.8m move to Man City. Haven’t they considered that he might just be going on his summer holidays?