Rumour Has It: Sancho 'really close' to Man Utd switch, Madrid scouting Leipzig's Olmo

By Sports Desk June 26, 2021

Is one of football's biggest transfer sagas coming to an end?

Manchester United wanted Jadon Sancho at the start of 2020-21 but a deal with Borussia Dortmund did not materialise.

However, Premier League giants United appear to be closing in on the England international ahead of the 2021-22 campaign.

 

TOP STORY – SANCHO SET FOR OLD TRAFFORD

Jadon Sancho will join Manchester United from Borussia Dortmund, according to Fabrizio Romano.

United have long been interested in Sancho, who had previously attracted attention from Liverpool and Chelsea.

But Romano says an agreement is "really close", with "final details expected to be completed in the next few days".

 

ROUND-UP

- Sport Bild reports Real Madrid are scouting RB Leipzig and Spain star Dani Olmo during Euro 2020. Madrid continue to be linked with Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe, however, Cadena Ser claims Los Blancos have ruled out an off-season move due to their financial situation.

United are confident of signing Raphael Varane from Madrid but the France defender's salary expectations are a stumbling block, says The Independent. It comes as ESPN reports Anthony Martial and Donny van de Beek could be sold as part of a revamp of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's squad.

- According to Foot Mercato, former Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has made PSG his priority. The veteran has also been linked with United, Manchester City and Chelsea.

Tottenham are interested in Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde as they edge closer to appointing former Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo, says Romano and Gianluca Di Marzio. Kounde is one of the most sought-after defenders in Europe, linked with Chelsea, United and Madrid.

- Mundo Deportivo reports Barca are eyeing Valencia captain Jose Gaya and Chelsea's Marcos Alonso if Inter target Jordi Alba leaves and Junior Firpo joins Milan.

Lazio head coach Maurizio Sarri wants to reunite with Arthur in Rome and could send Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to Juventus, per Il Bianconero.

- Alfredo Pedulla claims PSG are leading the race to sign Lazio star Joaquin Correa. Arsenal and Tottenham are also eyeing the forward.

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    The 29-year-old defender has established himself as an important figure since Thomas Tuchel took charge of the Blues last year but will leave the club next month after the expiration of his contract – with Real Madrid widely seen as his likely destination.

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    Writing about his imminent departure for The Players' Tribune, Rudiger emphasised his emotional connection to the club, where he has become a fans' favourite since arriving in 2017.

    The Germany international recalled one instance where he was on the receiving end of abuse from a Chelsea fan, which turned into a moment of solidarity, saying he will always be grateful for the support shown to him in west London. 

    "This one guy in the crowd started shouting abuse at me," Rudiger said, looking back on a 6-0 loss to Manchester City in 2019. "He was maybe five metres away, looking me right in the eyes. 

    "Listen, I have heard abuse all my life, but this was different. It was really personal. I shouted to him, 'Hey, if you want to talk, then come down here, and we can have a conversation'.

    "Of course, he didn't even take one step. Immediately, he stopped shouting. And what was remarkable to me was that all the fans around him turned to him and said, 'Hey, what are you doing? What's wrong with you?' The fans – the real fans – started cheering for me even louder. 

    "It was so overwhelming that even the idiot started clapping, too. The other fans literally made him clap and apologise to me. 

    "I will never forget that. Never. There is hatred in the football world, for sure. That's a fact. I have experienced the worst of it. But there is also a lot of joy, too. At Chelsea, I experienced both extremes. 

    "Yes, I heard the abuse. But I also felt the love. At the end of the day, the light was stronger than the darkness. For that, I will always be Chelsea."

    Although he never lifted the Premier League trophy with Chelsea, Rudiger has played a key role in Europa League, FA Cup and Champions League triumphs during his time with the club.

    Having fallen out of favour under Frank Lampard, he rediscovered his form under Tuchel as Chelsea were crowned European champions last season, although his final campaign at Stamford Bridge has been plagued by off-pitch uncertainty.

    However, Rudiger reiterated the takeover saga that has surrounded the club for much of 2022 had little bearing on his decision to leave, noting talks over a new contract had already begun to stall last year.

    "Chelsea will always be in my heart," he wrote. "London will always be my home. I came here alone, and now I have a wife and two beautiful kids. I also have a new brother for life named Kova [Mateo Kovacic]. 

    "I have an FA Cup, a Europa League and a Champions League medal. And of course, I have hundreds of memories that will stay with me forever. 

    "Unfortunately, my contract negotiations had already started to get difficult last fall. Business is business, but when you don't hear any news from the club from August to January, the situation becomes complicated.

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    The 30-year-old has been a key figure as Napoli secured a third-place finish in Serie A this season, and they go into their final game of the campaign, against Spezia on Sunday, having conceded the joint-fewest goals in the league (31 – along with Milan) and kept the second-most clean sheets (15, Milan have kept 17).

    Koulibaly fuelled speculation over his future earlier this week when he told Onze Mondial: "We'll see what happens at the end of the season."

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