UNITED IN SEVEN-WAY RACE FOR BAYERN STAR
While Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer indicated that the January transfer window will be quiet, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is reportedly suggesting otherwise.
The Red Devils are said to be looking to strengthen their prospects in four positions under a long-term plan of Woodward’s to help the side find greater consistency.
One of the players in their sights is reportedly David Alaba.
German outlet Bild reports United have entered the race for the Bayern Munich star but they are not alone.
Manchester City, PSG, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Liverpool are all reported to be interested in his services.
Alaba has versatility on his side, capable of playing at centre-back, left-back and in the middle of the midfield.
Solskjaer was hoping to sign a centre-back in the last summer transfer window but was unable to, meaning that Alaba could be a strong option if he chooses to re-ignite that desire.
Bild reports Alaba is asking for £350,000-a-week ($A630,000) a week.
CHELSEA’S COMPETITION IN CHASE FOR RICE
Chelsea have long been linked to West Ham midfielder Declan Rice but they could have competition.
Manchester United are reportedly set to challenge the Blues for the 21-year old according to the Daily Express.
The report says that United’s Solskjaer is a fan of Rice’s and is keen on luring him to the Red Devils.
Rice was linked to Chelsea last summer but no deal was struck with Rice staying put at West Ham, where he has been pivotal to their success having played every minute of their PL campaign.
Rice was named West Ham’s player of the year last season.
Frank Lampard would be confident of landing Rice given the 21-year old started his career at Chelsea’s youth academy.
The Blues boss said he does not regret letting Rice go.
“He’s a fantastic player for West Ham and England so fair play, because his journey there after leaving Chelsea and going to West Ham is a good story to hear,” he said.
“There are lots of stories like that and it shows the player’s strength of character. In terms of from our end, I certainly wouldn’t use the word ‘regret’ – our academy is one of the best in the world and you look at our first team now with the players that we have produced who are in and around that squad.”
Given their recent spending spree, Chelsea could also claim to have a stronger squad than United.
Rice is currently signed until 2024 and West Ham want to extend him on a new deal that would likely make him the highest-paid player at the club.
He is in no rush to make any commitment though on either end.
ARSENAL’S OUTCAST SET TO STAY… FOR NOW
In other news, Mesut Ozil’s agent has confirmed when the outcast star is likely to leave the Gunners.
Ozil has been frozen out of the Arsenal line-up despite being on a hefty £350,000 ($A630,000) a week deal and last played in March.
Super League side Fenerbahce were linked to Ozil and the club’s congress Murat Zorlu told Sport Digitale he expected Ozil would sign next month.
But Ozil’s agent has shot down any chance of that happening, instead he said that Ozil will leave on June 30, 2021 – when his contract expires.
“I would like to clearly state our situation regarding Fenerbahçe. Yes, we had meetings with Fenerbahçe. We had a one-on-one conversation with the club’s most authorised people,” Erkut Sogut told Fanatik.
“However, we can never have contact before January for official transfer talks. We received transfer offers for Mesut from all over the world.
“Fenerbahce’s interest is also known.
“Nothing has changed for Mesut right now. Under these circumstances, it seems that Mesut will complete the season in Arsenal.”
WOLVES EYE LIVERPOOL STRIKER
Meanwhile, Wolves are looking at snaring Liverpool’s Divock Origi in the January transfer window.
It comes as they look to find a replacement for Raul Jiminez, who has been sidelined with a long-term injury.
Jiminez is set to miss the entire season with a fractured skull suffered against Arsenal and Wolves are scrambling for a fill-in.
Now the Reds striker is in their sights as he is being reduced to occasional substitute appearances.
He has played just two games from the bench this season for seven minutes of action while also making three Champions League starts.
Origi did sign an extension to keep him at Liverpool until 2024 though so Wolves are looking at taking him on loan as opposed to buying him on a permanent transfer.
Liverpool have suffered plenty of injuries this year so they would like maximum depth.
But at least Origi could benefit from increased game time at Wolves and would return to Anfield a better player for it.