Cristiano Ronaldo faces an uncertain Manchester United future, but he stands to pass a string of landmarks if he stays and plays for Erik ten Hag this season.

Tottenham's Harry Kane, set to captain England at the World Cup later in the year, is chasing a significant club landmark.

And guess who will join Mohamed Salah in bidding to set an opening-day career goals record.

Of course, it's......  Jamie Vardy.

As the new season gets under way on Friday, Stats Perform looks at the records and milestones coming into view.

KANE, RONALDO, HAALAND: TARGETS IN THE CROSSHAIRS OF THE BIG GUNS

What role Ronaldo has to play remains in the balance, given he appears keen to leave United for a second time.

But if the 37-year-old features for the Red Devils, he can begin to chase down landmarks. For starters, he is just four victories short of having had a hand in 150 United wins in the Premier League, having drawn 43 times and lost 37 while a member of the team across his two Old Trafford spells.

Ronaldo is a mere six goals away from becoming the first player to amass 500 goals in Europe's top five leagues. His record 494 goals to date have come from 616 league matches. On his heels, however, is perennial rival Lionel Messi, once of Barcelona and now at Paris Saint-Germain (480 goals in 546 league games).

Kane is 17 away from hitting the 200-goal mark in the Premier League, a total only ever achieved by Alan Shearer (260) and Wayne Rooney (208). Sergio Aguero (184) and Andy Cole (187), third and fourth on the Premier League era list, are poised to be knocked down a peg as Kane continues his assault on the league record.

Both Leicester City's Vardy and Liverpool's Salah will be looking to equal or break the Premier League matchday one goals record, which is currently held jointly by Shearer, Frank Lampard and Rooney (eight goals). Vardy and Salah have seven each, like the retired Teddy Sheringham and Aguero.

Manchester City new boy Erling Haaland has caused a sensation with his goalscoring wherever he has played, dazzling for Molde, Salzburg, Borussia Dortmund and Norway. He could become the seventh Norwegian to score on his Premier League debut, and the third to do so in the opening game of a season, after Tore Andre Flo for Chelsea in 1997-98 and Adama Diomande in 2016-17 with Hull City.

DESERVES A LONG SERVICE MEDAL

Liverpool's James Milner, fresh from signing a new one-year contract, is 12 short of reaching 600 Premier League games. Only three players have reached that mark to date: Gareth Barry (653), Ryan Giggs (632) and Lampard (609).

Milner made his Premier League debut for Leeds United as a 16-year-old in November 2002, so a 20-year anniversary is approaching for the former England midfielder.

David Moyes was already a Premier League manager by the time Milner made his first appearance. At Everton then, he has done the rounds since and is a mere two games away from completing 1,000 matches in all competitions as a manager in English football.

Now at West Ham, Moyes looks to be at the opposite end of his touchline career to Mikel Arteta, the Arsenal manager who is one away from bringing up his first 50 wins as a Premier League boss.

STICK AROUND LONG ENOUGH...

Only six teams have been constant members of the Premier League since its first year in 1992-93. Completing the first 30 seasons without suffering the indignity of relegation have been Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham, Everton and Arsenal. Sooner or later, all sorts of landmarks arrive for these league lynchpins.

Arsenal have lost 249 Premier League games and headed into Friday night's season opener against Crystal Palace under threat of becoming the 13th side to lose 250. They would have had the longest wait to lose 250, however, having already played four games more than Chelsea, who took the longest (1,148 games) of those to have reached the not-so-desirable milestone.

Tottenham, another of those stalwart sides, are just five away from becoming the fifth team to score 1,000 goals at home in the competition (Manchester United 1,214, Liverpool 1,156, Arsenal 1,154, Chelsea 1,121).

Chelsea are 27 shy of 2,000 goals, home or away, having plundered 1,973 in their 1,152 games to date.

Aston Villa and Newcastle United are both 12 short of losing 400 Premier League games. Only West Ham (408) and Everton (414) have lost more games than those sides, who will hope to avoid spilling over that barrier this season.

West Ham are four away from reaching 1,000 Premier League games, while promoted Nottingham Forest are two away from 200.

MAKING UP THE NUMBERS

Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson needs one assist to become only the second defender to register 50 Premier League assists, after Leighton Baines (Wigan, Everton). Robertson has 49, with Baines managing 53 across his career.

Aston Villa veteran Ashley Young and Tottenham new arrival Richarlison are two shy of reaching 50 Premier League goals, while Newcastle's former Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope is four away from 50 clean sheets in the competition.

Brighton and Hove Albion are two away from 50 wins, with Aston Villa four short of 300 draws, a tally that only Everton (320) have reached.

Southampton need four victories to reach 100 away wins, and Aston Villa want four three-pointers on the road to reach their 150 wins. Leicester, on the other hand, are four away from 150 Premier League away defeats. Brendan Rodgers will hope to fend off that landmark until well into the new campaign.

Lucas Moura insists he is committed to Tottenham amid uncertainty over his future, as he expressed his desire to end a trophyless spell in north London next season.

The Brazil international revealed last month that the 2022-23 campaign could be his last with Spurs, though the forward's agent was quick to suggest his client remains an important part of Antonio Conte's plans.

Moura may have to settle for a rotational role, or play at wing-back as Conte previously hinted, due to the arrival of Richarlison in the off-season, with the former Everton man joining Harry Kane, Dejan Kulusevski and Son Heung-min in Spurs' attack.

With just a year left on his contract, on which Tottenham hold an option for a further 12 months, Moura said his planned return to Brazil can wait until he has experienced success under Conte.

"I will turn 30 in August. I'm getting old already, but I feel very good mentally and physically," he told football.london. "I'm very, very happy at Tottenham. I love the club. I love the fans.

"I love everyone who works in the club, but of course I have a plan to go back to Brazil one day. I have at least one year in my contract, maybe two.

"I don't know if the club will want me to sign another contract but I'm happy here. I just want to have the best season this season. 

"I just want to win a trophy because this has been my objective here since the first day I arrived in the club, and I believe this season I can achieve this, and then we'll see next season what is the desire of the club."

The former Paris Saint-Germain attacker appeared 34 times across the 2021-22 Premier League campaign, scoring two goals and assisting six, while creating 34 chances.

That represented Moura's worst goal return when playing a full season in the English top flight, but he hopes to prove his worth in a bid to feature at the Qatar World Cup for Brazil in November.

"I have other targets, which are to go back to the national team," he added. "Why not play in the World Cup at the end of the year? It's very difficult but anything is possible.

"I have this hope and I will work for this. These are the two most important targets for now."

Moura's compatriot Richarlison is another who will aim to feature in Qatar for Brazil following his big-money move from Everton.

The 25-year-old scored (10) and assisted (five) more Premier League goals than any other Everton player last term, and Moura believes Conte's new signing could be a great asset.

"I met him two years ago on the national team. Quality player, very good guy, he will help us a lot because he has some experience in the Premier League," he continued.

"He is strong. His mentality is very good. He's a great addition for us. He's a very simple guy, very humble, very funny. It's always good to have a guy like this in the squad and I'm happy because he's Brazilian, so I have one more Brazilian with me now!

"He's always ready to play because we see he loves to play football. It's good to have a player like this. 

"This season we can see another Tottenham and I hope we achieve our targets because we have a quality squad and a great manager. We have the quality to win trophies and this is our objective.

"We know how difficult it is because we play in the Premier League and there are a lot of teams that can win. Also, the Champions League we know is not easy, but we have a great squad.

"We have stars like Harry and Sonny. We have a manager who is one of the best. We have a structure, an amazing training ground, an unbelievable stadium, great fans.

"We have everything we need to achieve. Now it depends on us. We need to work hard and show on the pitch we deserve to win."

Harry Kane acknowledged Tottenham have failed to deliver trophies in recent years, but believes Antonio Conte and the new signings will help create "something special" in north London.

Spurs have not won a major trophy since their EFL Cup success back in 2008, though they pipped fierce rivals Arsenal to Champions League qualification in the 2021-22 season.

A run of five goals in the final five league games from Kane guided Tottenham into Europe, the England international finishing the top-flight campaign with 17 goals.

That marked Kane's joint-lowest tally in the Premier League in his eight seasons as a regular, alongside 2018-19, and was down on the 23 goals registered in 2020-21.

But after Conte bolstered his squad with five new signings – Fraser Forster, Yves Bissouma, Ivan Perisic, Richarlison and loanee Clement Lenglet – Kane insists Spurs are on the brink of success.

Asked about his aims for the upcoming season, Kane told Sky Sports: "Just to have another good year, another consistent year to help the team as much as possible, try to score as many goals as I can.

"From a team point of view, [the aim] is always to win trophies. There's a good buzz around the club at the moment but you've got to go out there and perform and show what you can do when it's crunch time.

"We haven't quite done that over years – with this manager, with this squad, we can really push on and try and do something special."

Conte's side opened their pre-season campaign with a 6-3 victory over a select K League XI before sharing the spoils against Sevilla with a 1-1 draw in Japan.

New arrival Richarlison has featured in both those games and is expected to offer stern competition for attacking trio Dejan Kulusevski, Son Heung-min and Kane.

But Son sees the competition with the "quality" Richarlison, who scored (10) and assisted (five) more Premier League goals than any other Everton player in the 2021-22 season, as a positive.

"Competition is always good. You improve yourself and also your team-mates," he told reporters after the Sevilla friendly.

"We can rotate, or we can have a different style of football, or we can have different movements.

"Adding players like Richy is incredible. He's a quality player so I'm really enjoying that. I've been with him only four days but he's become like a really close friend."

Son will hope for another productive season in front of goal, having shared the Premier League Golden Boot award with Mohamed Salah last season (both scoring 23 goals each).

But the focus will be on how Kane starts the season, having failed to score in his first eight Premier League games of the last term amid uncertainty over whether he would join Manchester City.

"We talked about this last season – Harry didn't score at the start of the season but how many goals did he finish with?" Son added.

"Goals for Harry, I think there is no doubt. We don't have to worry about him scoring goals because he is, for me, the best partner, the best striker in the world still. He's working hard and he's an unselfish player."

Antonio Conte heaped praise on the versatility and quality of Tottenham signing Richarlison after his first appearance for the Premier League side.

Spurs are in South Korea to start their pre-season, where they defeated a select XI from the K-League 6-3 on Wednesday.

Conte has already made five new additions to his side for the upcoming campaign, though Richarlison was the only one of those to feature at the Seoul World Cup Stadium.

The Brazil international played 77 minutes before his removal, with attacking partners Harry Kane and home favourite Son Heung-min stealing the show with two goals each.

Richarlison, who scored (10) and assisted (five) more Premier League goals than any other Everton player in the 2021-22 season, operated across the front three in his first showing.

Dejan Kulusevski, Bryan Gil and Lucas Moura are all competing with Richarlison for the final spot in attack for Conte, who hailed numerous features of his new arrival's debut.

"Today I have seen a lot of positive things about Richy," Conte told reporters.

"In the first half he played as a number nine and in the second half he played on the right and in behind the striker. He can play in all three positions.

"I think he is strong physically and a good personality, good character, good quality. For Richy he is working and we are working on the tactical aspects with him because he has to go into our idea.

"At the same time we have to work on the physical aspects for him to be fit. But for sure he is a player that gives me important positions up front.

"He's a player that is a good player, strong and very good to protect the ball and attack the space. I'm very happy that we signed him."

Fellow arrivals Yves Bissouma and back-up goalkeeper Fraser Forster missed the pre-season opener due to COVID-19, while Clement Lenglet has not travelled and Ivan Perisic is yet to be fit enough.

Conte assures former Inter star Perisic will soon be available, though, and explained regular starters Kulusevski and Ben Davies were absent as they build-up their fitness.

"For Ben it was the second training session and he needed to recover and run and do the same training as the players did in the last two days. It was the same for Kulusevski," the Italian added.

"We had a problem with COVID, with Bissouma and Fraser because the test was positive. For this reason they weren't here with us. Yes, [they are isolating].

"Perisic is working very well. He's very close. I think tomorrow he could have a part of the training session with us.

"Honestly we are satisfied because his recovery is going very fast and we are happy about this and when we come back in London he will start to have some of the training session with us."

Tottenham face Sevilla at the Suwon World Cup Stadium on Saturday before clashing with Rangers and Roma ahead of their Premier League opener at home to Southampton on August 6.

Richarlison has revealed he is hoping to make history with Tottenham and relishing the opportunity to play Champions League football under Antonio Conte.

The Brazil international became Spurs' fourth signing of this transfer window earlier this week when he arrived from Everton in a deal reported to be worth around £60million.

The forward played a key role in steering the Toffees away from the threat of Premier League relegation last season, scoring six times in their final nine games under Frank Lampard.

Richarlison, who previously played for Watford in the English top flight, is excited to get down to work with his new club, who will play in the Champions League this season.

And he cannot wait to fulfil his dream of appearing in Europe's premier club competition.

"I remember when I was in Brazil and the offer came from Tottenham, I couldn't believe it. And after I signed the contract, even more so," he told the club's official website.

"When I arrived here, it gave me a chill in my stomach to see my new team-mates and a new home.

"Now, it's about working with the great coach I have, with great team-mates too. I hope to make history here in this shirt.

"I always said it was my dream to play in the Champions League, and now this dream will come true. And let's see what will happen.

"All the players dream of playing in this great competition, so I think when the time comes, I'll be quite emotional."

It is now 14 years since Tottenham's most recent silverware, with Juande Ramos guiding them to glory in the League Cup in 2008.

But Richarlison is confident that the squad boast the necessary credentials to finally end that wait this season.

"Antonio Conte is putting together a great team to be able to compete in all competitions," he added.

"The coach will prepare us very well for this because there are many competitions, and now we have to be focused as much as possible. 

"So, I think we have everything to make great competition, and in the end, we have everything to lift a trophy."

Manchester United have reportedly tabled a €60million bid for Ajax winger Antony.

Antony's agent has been trying to secure a move to United and the Premier League since the Eredivisie season ended, according to Goal.

The Brazilian is coming off a season where he tallied eight goals and four assists in 23 league games, as well as another two goals and four assists in seven Champions League fixtures, showing he has what it takes at the highest level.

 

TOP STORY – RED DEVILS MAKE BIG-MONEY MOVE FOR AJAX'S ANTONY

Goal's report says the back-to-back Eredivisie champions are determined to hold onto Antony for another season, and with three years still remaining on his contract, Ajax are in control of the negotiations.

United's offer has fallen well below Ajax's acceptable figure, which is said to be €80m, although the discussions are ongoing.

The Old Trafford club are also linked with Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans, according to The Sun, as well as Napoli striker and hot commodity Victor Osimhen, who ESPN claims is fetching a price north of €100m.

 

ROUND-UP

– Portuguese publication A Bola claims Chelsea are preparing a £38m for Sporting midfielder Matheus Nunes.

– According to The Mirror, Everton have no plans to sell Dominic Calvert-Lewin after cashing in on Richarlison.

Arsenal are looking to sell seven players, including Nicolas Pepe and Bernd Leno, to fund further moves in this transfer window, per The Sun.

– According to Foot Mercato, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Sevilla and Napoli are all competing for Nice's 22-year-old French centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo.

– Fabrizio Romano is reporting that Brentford have secured a €22m deal for Bologna's 20-year-old Scottish left-back Aaron Hickey.

Tottenham forward Richarlison has been banned for one game and fined by the Football Association (FA) for improper conduct, having thrown a smoke bomb during Everton's Premier League win against Chelsea in May.

The Brazil international recently joined Spurs from the Toffees in a deal reported to be worth an initial £50million, signing a five-year contract.

But he will miss out on his side's first game of the 2022-23 season after accepting a one-match suspension over his actions with his former club, having thrown a smoke bomb towards the stands after scoring at Goodison Park.

"An independent Regulatory Commission has suspended Richarlison de Andrade for one match and fined him £25,000 following a breach of FA Rule E3 that took place during a Premier League game on Sunday 1 May 2022," read an FA statement.

"The Tottenham Hotspur FC forward admitted that his conduct while playing for Everton FC during the 46th minute of this game against Chelsea FC was improper, and his sanction was imposed during a subsequent hearing."

The ban means Richarlison's competitive debut for Spurs will be delayed past their Premier League opener against Southampton on August 6, leaving him in line for an early reunion with Chelsea on August 13 instead.

The Selecao star will likely get his first taste of action during Tottenham's pre-season schedule, however, with Antonio Conte's side set to face a host of international opponents including Sevilla, Rangers and Roma.

Brazil star Neymar is reportedly interested in a move to the Premier League after being informed Paris Saint-Germain will not stand in his way if he wishes to depart.

ESPN is reporting that Neymar's agent has been in touch with Chelsea to gauge their interest in bringing in the 30-year-old, who scored 13 goals and added six assists in 22 Ligue 1 contests this past season.

While Neymar's talent is not in question, his health may be, having missed over two months of this campaign after suffering an ankle injury, and that is coming off a 2020-21 season where he only played 18 league games due to ankle and adductor injuries.


TOP STORY – NEYMAR WEIGHS UP CHELSEA MOVE AS PSG GIVE GREEN LIGHT

ESPN's report mentions that Neymar's agent, Pini Zahavi, believes there are only "two or three teams" that would be able to meet his wage demands, and it is thought that Chelsea are hoping to make a splash under the new ownership of Todd Boehly.

Spanish publication Sport claims Neymar activated a clause in his PSG contract as soon as he possibly could on July 1 to add one extra year to his deal – tying him to the French giants until 2027 – but that does not rule out a move happening.

Chelsea's Brazilian centre-back and Neymar's former PSG team-mate Thiago Silva has been vocal about his desire to recruit the superstar forward, but his salary of €43million could stand in the way if the Stamford Bridge club decide they would rather use this transfer period's resources in defence.


ROUND-UP

– The Star is reporting that Manchester United are closing in on a deal with Christian Eriksen as his contract with Brentford has expired and he is available on a free transfer.

– Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele is expected to leave on a free transfer, with Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich the three teams listed by Marca as his potential landing spots.

Everton are hoping to replace Richarlison with Watford striker Emmanuel Dennis after their Brazilian forward departed for Tottenham this week.

– According to The Sun, Fulham are finalising a £17million move for 26-year-old Sporting defensive midfielder Joao Palhinha.

– ESPN is reporting Fulham have offered £10m for Manchester United's Andreas Pereira as the 26-year-old returns from his loan stint with Flamengo.

Tottenham have completed the signing of Brazil international forward Richarlison from Everton.

The deal is rumoured to be worth an initial £50million, while add-ons could take the full figure to £60m.

Richarlison has signed a five-year contract at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and has become Spurs' fourth signing ahead of the new season after Fraser Forster, Ivan Perisic and Yves Bissouma.

If the deal does eventually reach the full £60m, it would make Richarlison the club's record signing.

The 25-year-old joined Everton from Watford in 2018 and had been a key figure at the club ever since that £50m move.

He played a vital role in helping Everton avoid relegation from the Premier League last season, scoring six of his 10 top-flight goals in the club's final nine games as Frank Lampard's side ended the campaign 16th.

Richarlison scored and assisted (five) more Premier League goals than any other Everton player in the 2021-22 season, and his 29 chances created was the fifth-highest in the squad.

Only four Everton players racked up more Premier League minutes than the former Fluminense attacker, and his 10 goals came from 10.1 expected goals (xG), suggesting he was reliable in front of goal in the context of the quality of chances provided by team-mates.

Chelsea had been mentioned as a potential destination for Richarlison, but Spurs have acted decisively in getting a deal over the line, with the Blues seemingly preoccupied with their pursuit of Leeds United's Raphinha.

Spurs are reported to also be targeting a move for Richarlison's now former Everton team-mate Anthony Gordon, while Barcelona centre-back Clement Lenglet is expected to be their next signing.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is eager to bring in two attacking players this off-season following their third-place Premier League finish last term.

The club's new owners are set to back Tuchel's plans, with the Blues linked to Raheem Sterling, Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele and Everton's Richarlison.

However, Chelsea could be set for their first splash of the window by signing a superstar from Elland Road.

TOP STORY – CHELSEA TO WIN RAPHINHA RACE

Chelsea are set to win the race to sign Leeds United's Brazilian forward Raphinha claims The Guardian.

Raphinha is being pursued by Arsenal and Barcelona along with the Blues, who are set to complete a £55million deal for the 25-year-old.

The winger is contracted with Leeds until 2024 and may follow Kalvin Phillips out of Elland Road with the England midfielder set to complete his move to Manchester City.

 

 

ROUND-UP

- The Mail reports Chelsea are also interested in a move for Inter defender Milan Skriniar who has been linked with Paris Saint-Germain. L'Equipe claims that PSG's initial offer for the Slovakian was worth €50m.

- Portugal midfielder Renato Sanches is eager to join PSG from Lille according to Le Parisien, with a €10m offer on the table. Sanches has one year remaining on his contract.

- Univision reports that LAFC are not pursuing Atletico Madrid forward Luis Suarez amid speculation linking the Uruguayan with the MLS club after they recently landed Gareth Bale and Giorgio Chiellini.

- Milan are looking into swooping to sign Juventus' Paulo Dybala who has been heavily linked with Inter, claims RadioRadio.

- Liverpool's Divock Origi is set to join Milan on a four-year deal pending a medical as widely reported by the Italian media.

- Argentinean outlet Relevo reports that Angel Di Maria is set to sign a deal with Juventus on Wednesday, having left PSG as a free agent.

Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro might make a seemingly eternal midfield composition, but Real Madrid still need to prepare for life after them.

Following the signings of Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni over the past two off-season transfer windows, Los Blancos will look for a third.

Reports suggest that what they are looking for is penalty area threat, and the intent is not necessarily to replace the attributes of the three veterans. All signs point to Germany, and Borussia Dortmund's England international Jude Bellingham.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID EYE BELLINGHAM AS FINAL PIECE OF MIDFIELD PUZZLE

Real Madrid will look to sign Bellingham in the 2023 off-season transfer window, according to Diario AS.

According to reports, Bellingham does not have a release clause in his deal at Dortmund and with his contract running to 2025, with the German club seeking a sale in excess of €100million.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid will not look to be the only suitors, with Chelsea and Liverpool also interested.

ROUND-UP

- Having already opened talks over Raheem Sterling, the Telegraph reports Chelsea are also looking to sign Manchester City's Nathan Ake.

- Meanwhile, Milan are considering a move for Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech, per Calciomercato.

Tottenham want to sign Everton duo Richarlison and Anthony Gordon, according to Sky Sports.

- Christophe Galtier is close to being named as PSG's new boss, with Mauricio Pochettino on the way out, ESPN reports.

Lucas Moura remains an important part of the plans at Tottenham next season amid talk of the Brazil international being involved in a swap deal for Everton star Richarlison.

That is the message from Moura's agent, Junior Pedroso, after the forward revealed earlier in the week the 2022-23 campaign could be his last with Spurs.

Moura had to settle for a limited role in Antonio Conte's side following the January arrival of Dejan Kulusevski, with Tottenham now reportedly interested in Raphinha and Richarlison to bolster their attack.

Conte has already brought in Yves Bissouma, Ivan Perisic and backup goalkeeper Fraser Forster in a bid to boost his squad depth ahead of competing in the Premier League and Champions League.

Moura previously expressed his excitement to compete in UEFA's premier club competition with Conte's side, and Pedroso insists his client remains "fundamental" to Spurs' plans.

"Tottenham don't give up Lucas for the season, they see him as a fundamental piece for the Champions League," he told Globo Esporte.

The former Paris Saint-Germain attacker appeared 34 times in the 2021-22 Premier League term, scoring two goals and assisting six, while creating 34 chances.

That marked Moura's worst return in terms of goals when playing a full campaign in the English top flight, but Conte may be keen to call on his experience in Europe next season.

Indeed, Moura was the hero as he scored a hat-trick in the 2018-19 Champions League semi-final as Tottenham snatched a dramatic 3-2 victory over Ajax before falling to Liverpool in the final.

Manchester United are reportedly preparing a second offer for 22-year-old Porto striker Evanilson after they had a bid of €65million rejected by the Portuguese champions.

The Brazilian was purchased by Porto in 2020 for €8.8m out of Fluminense, and after scoring four goals from 24 appearances in his first season in the Primeira Liga, he exploded in his second campaign with 21 goals in 46 outings.

He had 14 goals and four assists in 30 league games, and seven goals in seven Taca de Portugal fixtures on the way to winning Portugal's top domestic cup.

 

TOP STORY – RED DEVILS PLAN BIG-MONEY MOVE FOR LITTLE-KNOWN BRAZILIAN

The report out of Portuguese newspaper O Jogo claims Porto has already fought off interest from both Brighton and Hove Albion and Wolves by raising their asking price to €80m.

Porto are said to be desperate to retain the striker's services for one more season – even labelling him 'untouchable' – but could have their hand forced if the Old Trafford side is willing to go all-in.

It would be a shock for United to fork out such a large sum for a striker while also trying to push Barcelona's asking price for Frenkie de Jong down to a more palatable number.

The Sun is also reporting Ajax winger Antony is a serious target for former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag, Goal claims that they are hoping to convince Christian Eriksen to sign on as well, and Corriere dello Sport believe they are investigating the possibility of landing Tammy Abraham.

 

ROUND-UP

Arsenal have reportedly become the favourites to land Leeds United winger Raphinha as Barcelona's interest in the Brazilian cools off, according to Goal.

– The Daily Mail is reporting Chelsea have joined the race for Everton striker Richarlison, with Tottenham also in the bidding for the £50m man.

– According to Sky Sports, West Ham are planning a £30m bid for 20-year-old striker Armando Broja, who scored nine goals for Southampton last season while on loan from Chelsea.

Nottingham Forest are trying to break their club-record transfer fee to sign 24-year-old Nigerian striker Taiyo Awoniyi for £17.5m from German side Union Berlin, per the Telegraph, although Football Insider claims Awoniyi will turn them down in favour of other offers.

– Calciomercato is reporting Kalidou Koulibaly will not join Juventus because he does not want to be considered a "traitor" like Gonzalo Higuain after his move to Turin – instead favouring a move to Barcelona.

Cristiano Ronaldo is reportedly assessing his options for next season as he does not feel he fits in the aggressive press-from-the-front system expected to be implemented by incoming manager Erik ten Hag.

The 37-year-old showed he is still more than capable of contributing at the highest level in 2021-22, scoring 18 goals in 30 Premier League appearances and six in seven in the Champions League.

With one year remaining on his contract, the Portugal icon would demand a fee, but there are reportedly some familiar faces interested in acquiring his services.

TOP STORY – RONALDO SHUNS TEN HAG, WANTS OUT OF OLD TRAFFORD

Jose Mourinho is said to be enquiring about the possibility of bringing Ronaldo to Roma, with the Italian club hoping the legendary coach can move the needle and convince him to return to Serie A, according to La Repubblica.

Mourinho will reportedly have to compete with the nostalgia factor as Sporting CP have also thrown their hat in the ring, with the thought Ronaldo may want to finish his career where it began at the Primeira Liga club he called home before he was first picked up by United in 2003.

If the five-time Ballon d'Or winner truly decides his time with United is up, as the report from the Italian outlet claims, there will undoubtedly be a bevy of suitors willing to bring in one of the game's most marketable superstars.

ROUND-UP

Arsenal are said to be "cautiously optimistic" of signing Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus, although Sky Sports is reporting the club are hoping to pay closer to £30million, rather than the £50m asking price.

– According to The Athletic, Arsenal are also targeting Leeds United winger Raphinha and Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez.

– ESPN is reporting Chelsea are investigating whether it is possible to replace Romelu Lukaku with Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski

United are expecting Barcelona to lower their asking price for Frenkie de Jong due to their financial problems, according to the Guardian.

– The Daily Mail is reporting Everton view Watford striker Emmanuel Dennis as a potential replacement for Richarlison if he leaves during this transfer window.

The midfield appears to be the primary business agenda for Manchester United this off-season amid Erik ten Hag's rebuild.

With Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata already leaving Old Trafford this off-season, incoming transfers in the centre of the park appear a certainty.

As such, Ten Hag reportedly has his eyes on midfielders who are known quantities to him.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD NOT VEERING FROM DE JONG PLANS

Frenkie de Jong appears to be Manchester United's primary transfer target, according to the Daily Mail.

While Donny van de Beek is set to return and others are linked to Old Trafford, it is understood talks are continuing between the Red Devils and Barcelona.

Though no formal bid has placed for the 25-year-old, he is rated at £70million (€80.4m) despite failing to provide a return on investment at the Camp Nou.

While De Jong appears intent to stay in Barcelona, he might have to be sacrificed to allow the cash-strapped club room to manoeuvre.

ROUND-UP

– Meanwhile, the Red Devils have made an offer to sign Christian Eriksen, according to the Athletic.

– Bayern Munich are preparing another offer for Sadio Mane after Liverpool rejected their previous two, Bild reports.

Richarlison has turned down an approach from Arsenal, with Tottenham and Chelsea his preferred destinations, per UOL Esporte.

Real Madrid are close to agreeing a new contract with Vinicius Junior, Goal is reporting.

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