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LIVE Transfer Talk: Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford set to pen bumper deal to stay

The transfer window for Europe’s biggest clubs is closed, but click here for all the deals. Transfer Talk will continue to scour the world’s media and set correspondents loose to see what’s on the agenda for the summer.

TOP STORY: Rashford set to pen bumper United deal amid Real interest

Marcus Rashford looks set to disappoint Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane by signing a lucrative contract at Manchester United, according to the Mirror.

The England man has been in superb form since the arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as United’s manager, and with his current deal expiring in just over a year’s time, Madrid were on red alert.

But the 21-year-old is set to commit his future to the Red Devils by signing a five-year contract worth £78 million, which would see his £80,000-a-week wages more than triple to a whopping £300,000, matching the salary of former Old Trafford teammate Wayne Rooney.

The deal could make contract negotiations with his current colleagues slightly trickier, however, with David De Gea demanding in excess of £350,000 a week to extend his stay in Manchester.


09.14 BST:Eden Hazard has told ESPN that he will make a decision on his Chelsea future at the end of the season — and that it would be “hard” for the club to miss out on Champions League football for a second year running.

Hazard has been linked with a summer transfer to Real Madrid, with his Chelsea teammate Gonzalo Higuain telling ESPN that it would be hard to stop the Belgian from leaving Stamford Bridge if he has his mind set on a move to the Spanish giants.

Chelsea have reportedly set a price of £100m for the forward, although manager Maurizio Sarri said following Hazard’s sensational performance against West Ham United on Monday that £100m would be “too cheap” for the 28-year-old.

“I’m just focused on Chelsea,” Hazard told ESPN. “One month to play, top four, try to win the Europa League. For the fans I think the most important thing is when they see me on the pitch they just think that my head is with Chelsea. So we’ll see after.”

08.50 BST: With Harry Kane going off injured in Tottenham’s 1-0 win over Manchester City on Tuesday night, and boss Mauricio Pochettino admitting he fears the striker may be ruled out for the rest of the season, back-up forward Fernando Llorente is set for another run in the first team.

Llorente, whose contract expires in the summer, has yet to be told whether Spurs will trigger the clause in his deal to extend it for a further season.

The 34-year-old, who has scored seven goals in 26 appearances for Spurs this season, told Cadena Ser radio: “The club hasn’t said anything, no. It doesn’t worry me. I’m very focused on the end of the season. It’s an opportunity to make history, especially after Tuesday’s win against City. Whatever will be, will be. I’m always happy with the minutes I get and I try to make the most of the time I’m given.”

– Ogden: Spurs prove they can win without Kane

08.00 BST: Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata becomes a free agent this summer and is a reported target of Barcelona. According to Sport, United have offered Mata a one-year contract extension but the player wants at least a two-year deal.

When asked about the reports, Mata’s father, Juan Manuel Mata — who also serves as his agent — says his son twice nearly joined Barca earlier in his career.

Mata Sr., who represents 70 footballers, remained tight-lipped regarding the Spaniard’s future but told Onda Cero radio: “Yes his contract ends this summer. There has been a lot of talk [regarding Barcelona’s reported interest].

“We twice came close to arriving at Barcelona, the first time while he was on the books of Valencia as the club needed money but they eventually sold David Villa and David Silva and the president told me they couldn’t sell every player. The second time, Mata was at Chelsea. I tried three times but there was no way through as Chelsea closed the door completely.”

PAPER TALK (by James Capps)

Chelsea playing hard ball over Real deal for Hazard

Chelsea forward Eden Hazard has no interest in extending his contract at Stamford Bridge, the Telegraph claims, despite the club’s playing hard ball with Real Madrid over a deal for the Belgian.

Hazard was at his dazzling best in his side’s 2-0 victory over West Ham on Monday, and that performance threatened to drive his £100 million valuation even higher, but Hazard has told the club that he has no intention of re-entering negotiations for an extension. (The Telegraph’s report differs from what Hazard told ESPN: “I’m just focused on Chelsea. … We’ll see after [the season].”)

Real Madrid have made Hazard their top target and are keen to secure a deal as soon as possible, but they are looking to tie up a move for substantially less than the price put on him by the West Londoners.

Chelsea’s reluctance to do a cut-price deal means they not only risk losing their prize player for nothing in the summer of 2020 but also face the possibility of the 28-year-old moving to a Premier League rival, something they have insisted won’t happen.

European giants in left-back merry-go-round

Reports in A Bola claim that Paris Saint-Germain are in talks to sign Juventus left-back Alex Sandro. The Brazilian has been itching for a move for more than a year and could finally get his wish in a deal worth around €50 million.

The Old Lady’s top target to replace the outgoing Brazilian is compatriot Marcelo, who has had a difficult season at Real Madrid and could be tempted by the prospect of reuniting with former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, with whom he formed a harmonious playing relationship during their time at the Bernabeu.

Should a move for Marcelo fail to materialize, the Turin side’s backup option for the left-back position is Benfica’s Alejandro Grimaldo. The 23-year-old has earned rave reviews for the Portuguese giants since signing from the Barcelona academy in 2015.


— Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha has dealt several potential suitors a blow by confirming that he will remain at Selhurst Park this summer, according to Talksport. The Ivory Coast international had been linked with moves to Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham Hotspur.

The Sun claims Bournemouth are on the lookout for a new goalkeeper and have targeted England duo Jack Butland and Nick Pope. Stoke stopper Butland is eyeing a return to the Premier League, and the 26-year-old Pope finds himself well down the pecking order at Burnley.

The Metro reckons that Manchester United right-back Antonio Valencia could be on the move to Major League Soccer after he appeared to endorse a social media post linking him with a transfer to D.C. United. A switch to Washington would reunite him with former Red Devils teammate Wayne Rooney.

EltasZone Sportswriters, Sports Analysts, Opinion columnists, editorials and op-eds. Analysis from The Zone Team
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