Crystal Palace Name Sky-High Price for Aaron Wan-Bissaka as Man Utd Circle Breakout Star

​Crystal Palace have attempted to dissuade Manchester United from signing Aaron Wan-Bissaka by placing a £60m price tag on the breakout Eagles star.

Wan-Bissaka has been one of the standout stars of the Premier League season with some fine displays at right-back for Roy Hodgson’s side, featuring 35 times in the league for the south London outfit.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

With ​United one of a number of clubs keen on the 21-year-old, ​Palace are demanding a hefty sum if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are to prize the youngster away from Selhurst Park, according to the ​Daily Mail. Such a fee would overtake the current ​Premier League transfer record for a full-back, which stands at £52m – paid by Manchester City for Benjamin Mendy.

Hodgson’s side are in a commanding position, with Wan-Bissaka still having three years left on his current deal, and are unwilling to lose two of their key players this summer after ​Wilfried Zaha expressed his desire to leave the club in the current window.

The Mail’s report claims £60m is way beyond what United were willing to pay for the English star, leaving the Red Devils in a difficult position with the club’s executive vice-chairman unwilling to drastically overspend on new signings in the wake of the failed Alexis Sanchez deal.

United are looking to bring in five new faces through the doors at Old Trafford this summer, with an emphasis on youth, after a terrible season saw them finish sixth in the league and 32 points behind champions ​City.

The club are also on the lookout for midfield reinforcements with Ander Herrera already confirming his departure and Solskjaer keen to recruit a holding midfielder to play alongside Paul Pogba.

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Sean Longstaff to Receive Bumper New Contract to Ward Off Interest From Manchester United

​Newcastle United are set to offer Sean Longstaff a bumper new contract this summer amidst reports Manchester United are keen on signing the midfielder.

The 21-year-old has only featured 11 times for the Newcastle first team but made such an impression in his breakthrough season at St James’ Park that it has been claimed United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking to bring him to Old Trafford.

Sean Longstaff

Longstaff has been out of action since March with a knee ligament injury but, due to the level of his performances since coming into the starting XI and the desire from the club to retain his services, the Mirror (via hitc.com) are reporting that the Magpies are ready to hand him a new long-term deal.

Longstaff signed a four-year contract in November 2018, but Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez is so desperate to keep Englishman that the club are willing to extend that deal already and increase his salary, in an attempt to ward off potential suitors.

The player himself is said to be keen to stay on Tyneside, meaning an agreement is likely to be reached soon despite the rumoured interest from the Red Devils.

United are on the lookout for at least one new centre midfielder following the departure of Ander Herrera on a free transfer and with the future of France international Paul Pogba unclear.

Longstaff is still recovering from the knee injury which caused him to miss the end of the campaign but he is expected to be fit to return by the start of pre-season in July.

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Uli Hoeness Alludes to ‘Major Change’ at Bayern But Adds Club Won’t Exceed €80m on Further Transfers

​Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has said the club won’t exceed the €80m paid for Lucas Hernandez on a single transfer this summer. 

Bayern chiefs have previously been critical of other clubs’ spending, yet broke their transfer record to bring World Cup winner Hernandez in from Atletico Madrid following a mixed season. Niko Kovac’s side claimed a seventh straight Bundesliga title this campaign, but exited the Champions League in the round of 16 following a passive showing against Liverpool and failed to convince at times.

As reported by Goal, Hoeness told reporters after the final day victory over Eintracht Frankfurt: “We are not playing Monopoly here, but a football club.

“We have reached a limit of 80 million and I do not think it will be exceeded on further transfers.”

While ​Bayern may not exceed the outlay on a single player, the Bavarians will still look to bring in further recruits this summer. Legends Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery both played their last game for Bayern against Eintracht, meaning reinforcements are needed in the wide areas. The club are also not expected to make James Rodriguez’s loan move permanent.

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Hoeness added: “There will be a major change, which will be further promoted. We have already brought two or three players and will certainly not stop changing the team, and we will be back in action after the match.

“If Hasan [Salihamidzic] and Karl-Heinz [Rummenigge] have good suggestions, we will not oppose it in the supervisory board.”

The club have already brought in Hernandez’s France teammate Benjamin Pavard from Stuttgart after a €35m transfer was agreed in January. 

Benjamin Pavard

Bayern have also been linked with a number of targets further up the pitch as they seek to reinvigorate an ageing squad. Niko Kovac’s side are thought to be keen on Lille forward ​Nicolas Pepe, while links to Manchester City winger ​Leroy Sane have also emerged in recent weeks following the German’s struggle to get into Pep Guardiola’s starting XI.

The ​Bundesliga champions also hold a long-standing interest in RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner, who is entering the final year of his contract. However, agreeing on a fee with Leipzig has proven difficult and Bayern may wait to sign him on a free next summer. ​Liverpool are also reportedly interested in a move for the German international.

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Arsenal Ready to Capitalise on Roma’s Troubles & Meet Kostas Manolas’ £31.5m Release Clause

​Arsenal are set to take advantage of Roma’s transitional summer by ramping up their interest in Kostas Manolas – and the Gunners are willing to meet the defender’s £31.5m release clause.

Unai Emery’s side have enjoyed steady progression this season, finishing seven points better off than last term in the Premier League, and have also gone a stage further in the Europa League by reaching this season’s final against Chelsea.

Defensive struggles have still proved problematic at the Emirates, though, with Arsenal having conceded 51 Premier League goals this season – 28 more than champions Manchester City and 12 more than fourth-placed Tottenham.

Shkodran Mustafi is among the struggling defenders who look to be on their way out of north London this summer and, according to ​II Messaggero, the Gunners could be set to meet Roma’s £31.5m demands to bring Kostas Manolas to the Premier League club.

Kostas Manolas

The Gunners have been linked with a move for the Greek international in previous years, whilst London rivals Chelsea are also interested in the 27-year-old, but it is suggested that the Blues’ transfer ban could work in Arsenal’s favour in the race to sign Manolas.

Maurizio Sarri’s side are unable to sign players in each of the next two transfer windows, whilst central defensive reinforcements are widely suggested to be among Unai Emery’s transfer priorities this summer.

Manolas could potentially form a formidable partnership with compatriot Sokratis Papastathopoulos at the Emirates, and the Gunners could be aided in their efforts to recruit the former Olympiacos star by the period of upheaval in the Italian capital in the coming months.

Kostas Manolas

It is suggested that Daniele De Rossi’s departure could be the first of a number of high-profile changes over the summer, with former Manchester City star Edin Dzeko also said to be edging towards the exit at the Stadio Olimpico.

Roma are apparently set to appoint Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini as their new manager, with Claudio Ranieri departing as interim boss at the end of the season, and the Serie A giants having seemingly failed to tempt former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte to take the reins.

The club are said to be seeking an overhaul of their coaching setup, with a number of star players also likely to head out of Rome, and those circumstances could benefit Arsenal’s cause in their bid to lure Manolas to north London.

However, the Gunners are apparently not alone in their willingness to meet the defender’s buyout clause, with Serie A champions Juventus also waiting in the wings and able to match the £31.5m figure, meaning that any deal for Arsenal remains far from a formality.

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Real Madrid 0-2 Real Betis: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Los Blancos Sign-Off With 12th League Loss

Real Madrid ended their poor season with a disappointing 2-0 loss against Real Betis at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.

Los Blancos rarely troubled the Betis back-line and when they did they lacked the quality to find the back of the net.

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Real Betis had been threatening before striker Loren found the net with a close range strike in the 62nd minute following good work from Andres Guardado. Former Los Blancos player Jese scored for Los Verdiblancos in the 76th minute, much to the ire of the Real Madrid fans, to condemn Real to a 12th league defeat of the season


Real Madrid

Key Talking Point

Real Madrid right-back Dani Carvajal was lucky to remain on the pitch in the second half having brought down Betis wing-back Junior Firpo as the Spanish youngster bore down on the Madrid goal.

Firpo was about 40 yards from the Madrid net, with nothing but open grass in front of him as Carvajal took his legs out from under him to stop the dangerous attack from developing any further.

The Betis players argued that the veteran full-back should have seen a red card rather than the yellow he received, and they would be justified in saying so. 

As a side-note: in the last game before Gareth Bale is expected to leave the club, Zidane didn’t bring him off the bench to say farewell to a stadium that he has played a major role in bringing three Champions League trophies and a Copa del Rey to. Harsh. 


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Navas (8*); Carvajal (5), Varane (5), Nacho (5), Marcelo (6); Modric (5), Llorente (4), Valverde (5); Diaz (5), Benzema (5), Vinicius (5).

Substitutions: Asensio (5), Isco (5), Vasquez (4).


Star Man

Zidane has made it clear in previous interviews his admiration of Costa Rican Keylor Navas, but this may be the last time he features in the club’s famous white shirt. Madrid spent £31.5m to bring Belgian international ​Thibaut Courtois to the Santiago Bernabeu last summer, and he remains the club’s preferred option. 

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In this match, Navas showed that he can still cut it at the very top, bailing his defence out a number of times. Zidane’s crew would have lost by much more if it wasn’t for the Costa Rican.

He had to be constantly aware as Betis weren’t afraid to shoot from distance, whilst also being aware and quick off his line when Quique Setien’s men found their way into his box. One save that stood out was the fingertip dive that denied Giovani Lo Celso in the 68th minute, a shot that would have seen Madrid go two goals down if it wasn’t saved. 

Wherever the 32-year-old is playing next season, he will certainly improve the team he is playing for. He has been a great servant to ​Real Madrid, and potentially for the last time in the famous shirt, showed his worth once more with a fantastic performance. 


Real Betis

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Lopez (6); Mandi (6), Bartra (7), Feddal (7); Guerrero (6), Kaptoum (7), Carvalho (9*), Guardado (8), Firpo (7); Lo Celso (7), Moron (8).

Substitutions: Jese (7), Tello (6), Sidnei (5).


Looking Ahead

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Zidane and Real have a busy summer ahead as the Frenchman looks to challenge for the title with Spanish giants and to once again reach the latter stages of the Champions League. 

Los Blancos’ last league title was in the 2016/17 season, whilst Zidane has won the Champions League in all of his previous Real Madrid campaigns. No pressure, Zizou.

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