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Manchester United demand £20 million for Chris Smalling; AS Roma desperate to sign defender

Manchester United are reportedly demanding £20 million for Chris Smalling this summer with AS Roma, the club he spent the 2019/20 season with on loan, allegedly desperate to sign the player permanently. However, that said, they did not want to pay the money required to sign the player ahead of the deadline to name the final squad for the UEFA Europa League which returned to action last week, which saw Roma eliminated by United’s semi-final opponents, Sevilla.

The 30-year-old saw his loan spell end last week and reports say the player has returned to Manchester, however, the player seems to be enjoying his time off this summer. Smalling became a fans favourite at Roma and at the start of his loan spell had stated that he would like to remain in the country. It is suggested that along with Roma, Inter Milan and Juventus have help some interest in the player although nothing solid has emerged just yet.

Some might feel that United’s valuation of the player is a bit high and because of the coronavirus pandemic, shouldn’t be reduced. However, the fact that player that United might be interested in will not be discounted, why should United apply discount? If a club wants to sign the player, they will need to pay the club’s valuation of him and if this report is correct, that stands at £20 million. United have Smalling contracted until the summer of 2022 after signing a contract renewal in December 2018.

The Sun has reported that Smalling is on £130,000 per week at United and Roma were having to pay a large proportion of his wages last season but that the player would be happy to take a pay cut to get a move away from United and remain in Italy. It is stated that Roma are only interested in paying £15 million for the player this summer, which is a fee that United should think about accepting, possibly applying an add-on to the contract which may allow them to make more money from the deal.

It is stated that United would also like to sell Marcos Rojo this summer and if that happened too, would put them in the market for a new defender coming to the club, which is something that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will need with Axel Tuanzebe’s injuries, Phil Jones’ inability to remain fit for a full season and Eric Bailly being rather fragile himself. It is a precarious position that United are currently in defensively although they have some good talent coming through from the academy.

Both Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire seem to be the first choice partnership at this moment in time with Solskjaer interested in signing a left-sided defender to his squad. Whether that happens though, remains to be seen this summer. It would seem that United will have a lot of business to do this summer, both incoming and outgoing transfers which is going to involve a lot of work. It might be that United end up keeping Smalling, who was not a bad defender to be fair and could play alongside Maguire, if needed to.

Written by John Walker

Inter Milan plot transfer for Chris Smalling with club addicted to Manchester United players

Inter Milan manager Antonio Conte is reportedly interested in signing Manchester United defender Chris Smalling this summer. The 30-year-old has been on loan with AS Roma this season, rediscovering his form which has seemingly seen Inter being linked to the player. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to allow the player to leave the club this summer despite the fact that Roma were not willing to sign the player for the fee they were quoted at the time the player secure his loan spell.

This resulted in the player returning to Manchester, although it would seem the player has gone on his holidays, rather than return to England. He will be expected back at the Aon Training Complex in Carrington at some stage this summer though, if a move has not materialised, seemingly with the player training with his teammates ahead of the 2020/21 season commencing. United are still playing in the UEFA Europa League after beating FC Copenhagen 1-0 on Monday evening.

Smalling would still be able to play in the competition had Roma agreed to purchase the player, which would result in him being available for the latter stages of the competition. However, the club chose not to name the player in their final Europa League squad. The reports come from Gazzetta in Italy which state Conte is interested in sanctioning a move for the 30-year-old after he looked good in Italy this season. During the course of the season, Smalling made a total of 37 appearances, scoring three goals and two assists for Roma.

Roma were keen to keep the player this summer but were put off by United’s £21 million asking price, offering £15.5 million which included a loan fee and a compulsory purchase offer to buy the player next summer. United would probably rather sell the player this summer if they can and Inter seem to be able to do that, especially with Financial Fair Play on hold for a year, according to reports. This could be good news for United who will need to offload some more players this summer in order to continue their rebuild under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Juventus have also been linked with Smalling this summer, although there does not seem to be any concrete interest from the club, especially now that they have sacked Maurizio Sarri and hired Andrea Pirlo as the clubs new manager. Inter seem to be infatuated with United players after signing Romelu Lukaku last summer, then signing Alexis Sanchez on loan, which they made permanent last week and in January ended up signing Ashley Young. Smalling could be the fourth former United player t end up at the club in the last year or so.

The Sun has reported that Inter and United boast a good relationship which could see a deal done pretty quickly. Smalling stated that he was keen to stay in Italy, seemingly falling in love with the country. Roma may think that he would be happy to remain at the club but a move to Inter would be seen as a step up this summer with the club finishing as runners-up to champions Juventus this season. Strengthening the squad could be what Conte needs to actually take on Juventus for the title next season.

Written by John Walker

Alexis Sanchez close to Manchester United exit with free transfer; United saving millions

Alexis Sanchez has been at Inter Milan for the entire 2019/20 season on loan and despite having a long injury lay off, he has come back into the team and shown enough to suggest that the Inter manager, Antonio Conte wants to keep him as part of his playing staff, making his loan spell permanent. It might have looked a costly bit of business for United after signing the player on a massive wage structure in January 2018 exchanging the player with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who headed to Arsenal.

Sanchez made 45 appearances for United during the remainder of the 2017/18 and the 2018/19 season, scoring five goals and nine assists, playing 2,781 minutes of football. For such a world-class player at the time of his arrival, which was debatable at the time, more should have been expected. For this reason, Sanchez never made it at the club and failed under two managers; Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Chilean international did not do enough for the wage he was receiving.

In my personal view, I don’t think he is doing enough at Inter either but that will be a problem for them to deal with. It would seem that the piano-playing winger has played his last match for United which is a good thing for United as they look to be fully entering a new era of the club guided by Solskjaer, who seems to have more about him that any other manager post-Sir Alex Ferguson. Some will agree with that, others will disagree but the proof is in the pudding, or so they say.

At Inter this season, the Chilean, 31, made a total of 29 appearances, scoring four goals and nine assists as the Italian club finished as runners-up to Juventus, a point in it. Conte might be happy with that sort of input from some of his players but for United, especially when they could be paying the player £505,000 a week, which is the player’s full wage including bonuses, he would need to be the best player in the team. Sanchez’s arrival caused some problems at United with wages.

That was clear to see from the start and it was something that caused a rift at the club and to be perfectly honest, they have done well to get out of this not being massively out of pocket. Sanchez could have just sat there at the club for two more years earning massive amounts of money doing absolutely nothing. To sidestep that shows some ability to get business done, which is a good sign for the club. I won’t miss Sanchez to be perfectly honest but I will wish him the best for the future.

Whilst United will not get a transfer fee for the player, as reported by The Mirror, his wages will be offloaded, as soon as the move has been confirmed, which will be a big relief and a starting point to rebuild the club in a much better way. The fact that the club seem to be moving forwards in the pursuit of Jadon Sancho is a good thing and his arrival, effectively replacing Sanchez would be a massive step forwards for the club. United will have a lot to do this summer to assemble a side ready to take on the might of Liverpool and Manchester City, however, Rome was not built in a day.

Written by John Walker

Inter Milan want to sign Alexis Sanchez permanently – good news for Manchester United?

Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez could be sold to Inter Milan this summer if reports are correct. The Daily Mail have reported that the Italian club want the player permanently but his ‘eye-watering’ wages will be the major stumbling block in a prospective deal. A few days ago, it was reported that United have told Inter to agree terms with Sanchez, which is likely to reduce his wages. Then United would hold talks with the club to agree on a transfer fee for the player who has two more years remaining on his contract at the Old Trafford club.

Inter Milan chief Giuseppe Marotta has confirmed that he wants to sign the player permanently, which is good news for United. It is clear that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does not see the player as fitting into his plans at the club as he allowed him to leave last summer, signing for Inter for the 2019/20 season on loan, joining Romelu Lukaku who was sold to the club last summer and was then joined by Ashley Young, who was sold during the January transfer window.

The 31-year-old is due back in Manchester by the 7 August 2020 after his loan spell at the club ends. United extended the players spell at the club to cover the remainder of the Serie A season plus the UEFA Europa League round of 16 match that was postponed in March. The player, at this moment in time, will not play in the latter stages of the competition if Inter go through. The player earns £300,000 a week in basic wages at United plus £100,000 in image rights which, with bonuses, could see his weekly wage rise over £500,000 per week, which is obscene considering what he has offered to the club.

Inter have been paying £150,000 towards the players wages. As they want to sign the player, his wage demands will need to be reduced and United would need to lower their demands of a reported £18 million fee for the player. If United can get £14 million it would be a good deal considering the player’s age and the fact that he has done so badly at the club. Getting him off the clubs books this summer would be a good piece of business, also seeing United’s wage bill reduced, which would also be good news.

Another report, carried by The Metro suggests that Inter have offered United Ivan Perisic as a straight swap for Sanchez this summer, which is not something that I would personally be tempted by if I was the decision maker. United were, of course, interested in signing the Croatian winger a few years ago under the management of Jose Mourinho but there is nothing to suggest that the player, 31 would be on Solskjaer’s radar this summer. I would doubt it considering the player being linked to the club.

The Sun has also reported that Inter are close to securing Sanchez on loan next season, which seems to contradict the reported from other outlets suggesting that Inter want to sign the Chilean winger permanently. Things can change in football but I think if United can get the player off their books this summer, they will push for that. If Sanchez wants to continue his playing career, it would be crucial to leave United, instead of being loaned out each season until he is a free agent. United should do what it takes to get a deal done this summer, Getting rid of as many players not needed at the club is necessary for the rebuild to work.

Written by John Walker

Alexis Sanchez must reach agreement with Inter Milan before Manchester United talks

Inter Milan will hold talks with Manchester United winger Alexis Sanchez in the hope of agreeing a new wage structure with the Italian club before sealing a permanent switch away from the Theatre of Dreams. The Chilean is reported to be on around £500,000 per week at United ever since he signed from Arsenal, in a swap deal which also involved Henrikh Mkhitaryan, back in January 2018. The Sun reported that Inter are paying £4.5 million of the players £18.6 million yearly wage, which is absurd.

Sanchez has scored four goals and eight assists for Inter this season, which is not the greatest but if they are happy with what he brings to the team and want to keep him permanently, then who am I to argue? The main thing is that he has not worked at United and to get rid of his wage will be one of the best things that the club could do this summer. Sanchez would need to lower his wage demands to get an exit from United, which might involve United giving him a pay out, or an ultimatum that if he stayed, he probably will not play for the club again.

Inter would be willing to pay the Chilean forward £200,000 per week, which has been reported by The Sun recently. That would be a good wage for the player and could possibly take some pressure off him. I mean, money is not the only thing that makes people happy, is it? Surely being happy at the club and feeling valued by that club is a lot better than earning a lot of cash each week when not being happy or feeling valued, right? I guess that could be different for everyone. I would rather be happy and feel valued at the end of the day.

If Sanchez reaches an agreement with Inter, then United will open talks to agree a possible fee for the player this summer. United will be keen to offload the player, who arrived under the reign of Jose Mourinho and does not feature in the plans of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, getting the player’s wages off the books with two years remaining on his contract with the Old Trafford club. It has also been reported that United will not let the player spend another season out on loan, preferring to find a permanent solution for the player away from Old Trafford.

United have allowed the Chilean forward to remain at Inter until their UEFA Europa League round of 16 second leg match against Getafe on the 5 August 2020, after that, the player will need to return to United. He will not be eligible to play the remainder of the competition for either club, even if Inter decide to purchase the player. Inter manager Antonio Conte seems keen to keep the player at the club, which is a good sign, hopefully the club will agree a wage structure with the player and make things permanent. Conte, was reported by The Sun as saying:

“We knew very well that Sanchez had not been very good for two years at Manchester United, he was a little lost.

“He came here and got himself involved, he had bad luck as he injured his ankle but luckily there was Lautaro [Martinez] and [Romelu] Lukaku.

“He is now well, he is taking more and more control and I am starting to see the real Sanchez.

“He must continue like this, then we will see what the future holds. Today we must focus on the present and do our best.”

Written by John Walker

Manchester United could be stuck with Alexis Sanchez with player refusing to lower wage demands; it will cost them £50 million

Manchester United could end up being stuck with Alexis Sanchez at the club next season, possibly until the expiry of his contract, which will end in the summer of 2022, according to reports. It is suggested that the Chilean winger is refusing to take a pay cut. Sanchez has spent the season on loan with Inter Milan and due back at United from the 7 August 2020.

The 31-year-old has made a total of 23 appearances for the Italian club this season, scoring two goals and eight assists but also suffering from a tendon injury which kept him out for 14 matches from 13 October 2019 until 5 January 2020. It could well be that a season will not go by without Sanchez suffering some kind of injury.

The Daily Mail suggest that Sanchez is unwilling to lower his weekly wage which will be a major stumbling block if United find a club to move him onto this summer, meaning the club could be liable to pay his final two years up front, costing £50 million or more, which is not something United would be willing to do.

It is suggested that the 31-year-old would rather stay in Europe and therefore is not interested in playing in China or the Middle East, which are places he would earn high wages. However, if they looked at what the player brings to the pitch, they might think otherwise as the Chilean winger offers little to excite a club with high expectations.

United will learn a massive lesson from signing Sanchez with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward feeling that Sanchez was the missing piece of the jigsaw at the time he was signed, in January 2018, but his appointment at the club has been nothing short of an embarrassment. However, Henrikh Mkhitaryan moving in the other direction, to Arsenal, was not a glowing success either.

Inter Milan have been paying half of Sanchez’s £300,000 weekly wage which could rise to £505,000 per week with bonuses. Manager, Antonio Conte would like to keep the Chilean at the club moving forward but Inter are said to be reluctant to pay the player’s £18 million fee this summer. United should look into what Inter would pay for him and cut their losses.

Manchester United and Manchester City offer £58 million for Inter Milan central defender Milan Skriniar – reports

Manchester United and Manchester City have apparently both bid £58 million to sign Inter Milan central defender Milan Skriniar, according to reports. If true, it might seem that the Slovakian could be on his way to the Premier League this summer, if the bids are accepted with the player making a choice on his destination, unless he wants to stay in Italy.

United are known to be interested in signing defensive reinforcement with Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo both likely to leave the Old Trafford club this summer and Phil Jones wanted by West Ham United, if they remain in the Premier League. That would leave United with a weaker defence, needing reinforcement.

Pep Guardiola will also need some reinforcement, however, if City’s European ban is upheld on Monday, the player might have a decision to make with the club appealing their ban, which was due to last for two seasons. It could well be an interesting summer with many Premier League clubs seeking to better their squads.

Italian news source Tuttosport reported on Sunday that United had bid £58 million for Skriniar but City had matched that bid. It is also suggested that Bayern Munich and Real Madrid had made bids for the player, despite the Spanish club suggesting that they would not be signing any big name players this summer because of the coronavirus pandemic.

United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has an open channel with Inter Milan after selling Romelu Lukaku to the club last summer, loaning Alexis Sanchez and selling Ashley Young to the club during the January transfer window. It could well be that United offer Sanchez as part of the offer with Inter getting a deal done that way.

That said though, Skriniar will not be the only defender on the clubs radar as if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is seeking to sign a defensive reinforcement, he will have a number of options that have been scouted, or are being scouted, ready for United to move on should a higher placed target not be acquired.

Manchester United in talks to sell Alexis Sanchez to Inter Milan for £18 million – reports

Inter Milan are reportedly interested in making Alexis Sanchez’s loan spell at the club permanent, offering to pay £18 million to Manchester United for the Chilean forward. If this is true, it could be good for United to offload the player from the squad, also getting rid of his staggering wages, which were a mistake to agree back in January 2018.

Goal have suggested that Inter manager Antonio Conte has been impressed with the former Arsenal forward this season, despite him being sidelined with an injury for a large proportion of the season. United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems interested in offloading the player this summer, so this could work for both clubs.

Recently, it was confirmed that Sanchez would remain at the San Siro until the first week in August, play8ing the remainder of the Serie A season and the remaining match in the round of 16 stage in the UEFA Europa League. However, the player, like Chris Smalling, will not be staying at the club any longer this season.

The Chilean offered little to United in 18 months at the club before being loaned out and seemed to struggle with injury and form on more than one occasion. Jose Moutinho did not utilise the player much and Solskjaer seemed to use him less than hie predecessor, which suggests that the Norwegian did not want the player at the club.

It has been suggested that there was a gentlemen’s agreement between United and Inter that the Italian club would purchase the player at the end of his loan spell for a fee in the region of £23 million. If this is true, United should ensure it happens. Of course, the player would need to agree to tear up his contract at the club.

If United do sell the player, he would be eligible to receive wages up until the end of his contract at the club, meaning that the fee United eventually received for the player might have to be used to supplement his wages. This is something that the clubs executive vice-chairman caused by agreeing to such a high wage for the player, which is obscene based on what he failed to achieve at the club.

Manchester United’s Alexis Sanchez conundrum; club won’t pay him off, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer won’t play him – reports

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been told to find room for Alexis Sanchez in his squad next season, which is unfortunate but shows that the player will form an indelible mark on Ed Woodward’s career at the Old Trafford club. In January 2018, when the club swapped the player for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, it seems like a good decision.

18 months later, it was clear that the move was a failure with the player offering little to the club, despite many wanting him to succeed. The player has two-years remaining on his contract at the club, meaning United are liable for his huge weekly wage which is a deterrent for clubs seeking to loan or buy him in the summer. Solskjaer once had this to say about Sanchez:

“Sometimes when you decorate your living room it might be a nice chair or nice sofa but it maybe doesn’t go with the rest of it.

“Of course there’s a place for good players and good people in this environment.

“Let’s see where we get to after the season, because we do feel this squad is exciting. We do feel we’re on the way to something.

“It’s up to all the players when they’re here to do well, because there’s always talk of people coming in and out, and it’s about gelling this group together.”

Sanchez was loaned to Inter Milan for the entirety of the 2019/20 season, which was hit with injury, like his time way at United and Arsenal before that (the latter part of his time there, obviously). Sanchez has made just 16 appearances, scoring one goal and three assists. It would seem that unless United can find a loan deal for him, he might still remain.

Sanchez has done some good things at United but there are very few of them to mention, This is the problem. He has experience but just does not fit into the team and I don’t believe that he ever has. It is just another one of those mistakes that Woodward has made and hopefully he could be the last with some major lessons learned for the executive vice-chairman.

It is expected that United would have to pay the player £24 million in order to release him from his contract at the club, which is money that could be spent better at this moment in time, like using it to help fund a move for a right-winger, which would give United a better attacking sense, fixing a problem that has been at the club for years.

So, with that option off the table, Sanchez will either be the frustrated figure at the club who is seldom picked to play first team matches, or the club seeks to find a deal whereby they can loan him for another year, with a proportion of his wages being paid by the loan club, saving United a little money but a lot of frustration. It is a shame it worked out like this.

Inter Milan confirm plan with Alexis Sanchez – let’s hope it works and he leaves the club permanently

Inter Milan sporting director Piero Ausilio has outlined the Italian clubs plan for Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez who is currently on loan with the club from Manchester United. Almost two and a half year ago, Sanchez signed for United, from Arsenal, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan heading in the other direction. Both players have failed to impress.

It was hoped that a move to the San Siro club would help Sanchez revive his career but a mix of poor form, fitness and injury has stopped him from succeeding in Italy. During the 2019/20 season, Sanchez has made just 15 appearances for the club, scoring one goal and assisting three more. He has now recovered from a serious ankle injury.

Inter have had a strong season under former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, sitting third in Serie A, nine points adrift of leaders Juventus. It is expected that the league will resume from Saturday 20 June 2020, becoming the fourth top league in Europe to resume after the Bunndesliga, La Liga and the Premier League.

It was expected that Sanchez will remain at Inter for the remainder of the season, as there seems to be nothing for him at United. It is, however, expected that the Chilean will return to the club in the summer, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer possibly not having a role for him. Ausilio, speaking to Sky Sports Italia about the Chilean and his role at Inter, said:

“He’ll stay with us until the end of the season, then we’ll decide about his future with Manchester United. He’ll have the opportunity to show his skills.”

If it all works out for him in Italy, perhaps he could become a permanent player for the club. Inter are currently subject to a lot of speculation with striker Lautaro Martinez, who is wanted by Barcelona but the club will not let him leave unless his £99.7 million release clause is met. If Sanchez performs with the club and shows his worth, United might get rid of him.

copyright: JW