Manchester United eyeing Wolves striker Raul Jimenez

The Mexico striker bagged 17 goals in the Premier League this season, matching the tally he notched last campaign at Molineux whilst on loan from Benfica.

Now reports claim that Jimenez, who signed a permanent contract at Wolves last summer for €30m, is now ‘on his way’ to Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is on the hunt for a striker, something which was embodied in the deadline day capture of Odion Ighalo on loan from a Chinese Super League side in January.

However, with the summer window now extended until October 5th due to the implications of Covid-19, that may allow Solskjaer to be more thorough in the capture of a proven top flight goalscorer.

29-year-old Jimenez is reported to be that man – that’s if you believe the Portuguese press, who are quite insistent that the Wolves man will pitch up at Old Trafford.

Newspaper A Bola and Portugal’s national broadcaster RTP have both suggested that there’s truth in a United swoop for Jimenez, with it being put down to the fact that Wolves have already lined up a replacement.

Nuno Espirito Santo is supposedly in line to bring in Braga striker Paulinho, who has plundered 25 goals and registered 9 assists in 48 games this season.

That is said to be a €30m switch, with Wolves triggering the 6’2” frontman’s release clause earlier this week.

Renowned football agent Jorge Mendes is thought to be the broker for the Paulinho deal.

Of course, this is all translated from Portuguese to English – but RTP are known to be a source who avoid typical speculation.

Porto striker Luis Diaz on Spurs transfer radar

The Colombian forward is said to be on Jose Mourinho’s list of transfer targets this summer.

Diaz has bagged 14 goals and 7 assists for Porto this season and is reportedly said to have been one of Mourinho’s personal requests to the Spurs board in terms of summer signings.

Any initial Tottenham offer is expected to be in the region of €12m, with Diaz’s former club Junior Barranquilla, based in South America, due a 20% sell on fee.

However, with the striker contracted at the Liga NOS club until 2024, it’s unlikely Spurs will get him for the predicted €12m price tag.

Investors pull out of Newcastle United takeover

The announcement comes after almost four months of waiting, with the drawn out nature of the deal putting off the potential new investors.

A statement from the Saudi Public Investment Fund, the Reuben Brothers and PCP Capital Partners – who make up the consortium involved in the takeover – read:

“With a deep appreciation for the Newcastle community and the significance of its football club, we have come to the decision to withdraw our interest in acquiring Newcastle United Football Club.

“We do so with regret, as we were excited and fully committed to invest in the great city of Newcastle and believe we could have returned the club to the position of its history, tradition and fans’ merit.

“Ultimately, during the unforeseeably prolonged process, the commercial agreement between the Investment Group and the club’s owners expired and our investment thesis could not be sustained, particularly with no clarity as to the circumstances under which the next season will start and the new norms that will arise for matches, training and other activities”

The news ends speculation over Steve Bruce’s future as Magpies manager, and will see Newcastle start next season with a similar budget to the one they had this campaign.

Newcastle fans around the globe are furious at the Premier League’s lack of communication throughout the owners and directors test, which was expected to be complete after a maximum of four weeks.

The test began in April.

Aston Villa hire new Sporting Director

40-year-old Lange had been the technical director at FC Copenhagen in his homeland of Denmark for the last six years, and in his new role at Villa Park he will report directly to the Aston Villa board.

Jesus Garcia Pitarch left the post on Monday having been appointed in 2018 – the same day that Dean Smith took up his role as head coach.

Last summer, Villa spent more than £120m on players – but Smith’s side only just stayed up, with a final day draw at West Ham securing 17th place.

Brighton sign Ajax defender Joel Veltman

The 28-year-old won three Eredvisie medals in Amsterdam and was also named in the league’s team of the year on three separate occasions.

Having come through the Ajax academy, he now moves to the Premier League with Brighton after agreeing terms on a three-year contract.

Capped 22 times by his country, Veltman was part of the 2014 World Cup squad and also played in Ajax’s Europa League final defeat to Manchester United in 2017.

He becomes the second arrival at the AMEX Stadium this week after England international Adam Lallana joined the Seagulls following his departure from Liverpool.

Ferran Torres: Everything You Need To Know

Manchester City’s summer spending seems to be underway, as Spanish winger Ferran Torres closes in on a move from La Liga side Valencia.

Pep Guardiola was in the market for a replacement for Leroy Sane, and seems to have moved quickly to secure the signing of 20-year-old Torres, who will come at a cost of just €27M with add-ons.

But who is the new man? Considering City have signed both David Silva and Nicolas Otamendi from Valencia, fans will be hoping his time in Manchester is more similar to the former than the latter.

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What’s His Playing Style?

He’s a typical right midfielder, with extremely quick feet, pace to burn, and superb close control making him a nightmare to play against. His dribbling style is similar to that of Raheem Sterling, as he scampers across the pitch and isn’t afraid of taking on multiple opponents to get his team up the field.

He’s more of a right midfielder than a right winger, as Valencia usually adopt a flat 4-4-2 formation, similar to the one Atletico Madrid usually play, with two centre forwards relying on crosses from the wide players. As a result, he doesn’t mind covering plenty of ground up and down the wing, helping out his right-back when his side don’t have possession.

You would assume he won’t have to worry about that too much at Man City, given their dominance in possession, but it’s not a bad trait to have. He does have experience as part of a front three though, with Spain’s underage groups utilising that system regularly.

His crossing is a major strength as well, as he likes to get his head up and pick out teammates in the box, rather than slam a low cross into the mix and see what happens.

Will He Go Straight Into The First Team?

Maybe not straight away, but you’d expect him to get plenty of minutes as City compete on four fronts once again in 2020/21.

As mentioned earlier, he’ll have to do some adapting to City’s style of play, like any player would, and get comfortable in a front three rather than a 4-4-2/4-2-3-1 system.

With Guardiola possibly moving Bernardo Silva into the midfield of his 4-3-3 formation next season to replace David Silva, it leaves Ferran Torres as one of the wing options alongside Sterling, Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden.

Where Has He Come From?

Ferran Torres has been at Valencia since the age of six, working his way through their youth teams before getting his chance in the first team.

After making his debut in 2017, 18 months after Gary Neville’s torrid spell in charge, Torres has been a squad regular ever since.

He was the first player born in 2000 to play in La Liga, and followed that record up by becoming the first player born in the new millennium to score in the Champions League when he netted against Lille this season.

He’s never been out on loan and played just 12 times for Valencia’s B team, as they fast-tracked him to the senior ranks just about as soon as they could.

Maybe this is something to keep an eye on, as once he leaves for Man City as a 20-year-old, it’ll be the first time he’s ever left his home city to play football. Homesickness could be an issue, but City’s large Spanish speaking contingent should help acclimatise him to England, even if the weather will be slightly different.

He’s only four years younger than Rodri, who played for Valencia’s arch-rivals Villarreal, and knows Eric Garcia from Spain’s under-19 and under-21 sides. Senior Spanish speaking pro’s like Sergio Aguero, Nicolas Otamendi and Claudio Bravo should provide a handy welcoming party.

Are Man City Getting A Bargain Or Overpaying?

If the fee of €27m is true, then certainly City are getting themselves a bargain. When you think about Leroy Sane leaving for around €50m, they’ve essentially bought Ferran Torres using half of that money, and have reportedly used the rest (plus a little more) to have a £41m bid for Nathan Ake accepted by Bournemouth.

You might be wondering why Valencia would let one of their best young talents leave the club, but the truth is relatively straightforward.

Since Neville left in 2016, they’ve had four head coaches, with varying levels of success. The best of the lot was Marcelino, who they won a Copa Del Rey under, but this season they sacked Albert Celades, and will go into the new season under former Watford manager Javi Gracia.

There is rumoured to be a clearout of first-team players from ‘Los Murcelagos’, with Dani Parejo, Carles Soler, Rodrigo and Jose Gaya all linked with moves away, but Torres looks likely to be the first one to be snatched, hence the cut price fee.

According to transfermarkt, his value should be around €45m, so City paying around half of that represents smart business from Txiki Begiristain and co.

If you want some video footage to whet your appetite even more, check out this ten-minute compilation:

Norwich City sign Everton midfielder Kieran Dowell

The 22-year-old has joined the Canaries on a three year deal for an undisclosed fee.

The Everton Academy graduate has had four loan spells, all in the Championship, including with Derby County and Wigan Athletic.

Last season he scored five goals for the Latics, including a hat trick in the 8-0 win against Hull City earlier this month.

Dowell made 5 senior appearances for Everton, with his first Premier League start coming against Norwich in 2016.

Released Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen on Wolves radar

That’s according to Italian publication Il Messaggero, who suggest the experienced Belgian defender is of interest to Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo.

33-year-old Vertonghen left Spurs this week after 8 years with the club, amassing 232 Premier League appearances in that time.

Spurs were locked in a race for the Europa League spots with Wolves this season, with Wanderers eventually securing seventh place.

A second consecutive Europa League campaign will no doubt take it’s toll on Wolves’ squad, and the addition of an experienced Vertonghen may not be the worst idea from Nuno Espirito Santo.

West Ham eyeing ex-Sunderland striker Josh Maja

The 21-year-old, who came through the ranks at the Stadium of Light before signing for Bordeaux in January 2019, has bagged 9 goals in 31 games for the French club this season.

It’s understood Hammers boss David Moyes is keen on Maja, with Moyes handing him his senior debut in 2016 when manager of Sunderland.

Reports claim Maja isn’t angling for a move away from Bordeaux, but the Ligue 1 side may consider selling him in order to boost their coronavirus-impacted finances.

West Ham have preferred to use long-time forward Michail Antonio up front recently as opposed to £45m summer signing Sebastien Haller, and with fellow summer flop Albian Ajeti not pulling up trees, this is a move that seemingly makes sense.

Former Watford manager keen on Hornets duo

That’s according to Spanish publication AS, who report the Watford duo are on the list of Gracia’s transfer targets at current club Valencia.

The La Liga outfit represent Gracia’s first managerial role since being releived of his Vicarage Road duties in September 2019.

The Spaniard led Watford to their first FA Cup final since 1984 – albeit ending in a crushing defeat to Manchester City – and the Hornets’ progression to the final was largely thanks to the endeavours of forward Gerard Deulofeu.

Deulofeu is currently recovering from surgery on a ligament injury in his home country and didn’t feature for Watford following the season’s resumption.

With the Hornets now preparing for life in the Championship, the vultures will be circling around their best players, with Kiko Femenia also in the crosshairs.

The 29-year-old right back is also reported to be a target for Valencia as Javi Gracia looks to improve on their 9th placed La Liga finish this season.

Spurs continue chase of Southampton’s Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg

Everton are also interested in the Denmark international, with the Toffees reported to have offered close to £20m for the midfielder’s services.

Tottenham have only offered £15m, but it’s understood the player prefers a move to Spurs.

A switch to North London may suit Southampton better as the selling club, particularly as defender Kyle Walker-Peters has been on loan at St Mary’s this season and Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl is keen to secure him on a permanent basis.

However, as is to be expected, there are negotiations over fees, and it isn’t out of the question that both Spurs and Southampton could agree a cash-plush-player deal.