Manchester United draw up three-striker shortlist with Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez top: Friday's transfer news and rumours


Manchester United are on the hunt for a forward this January to help relieve some of the pressure on Romelu Lukaku – and Alexis Sanchez is only one on a three-man shortlist.

The Independent revealed on Thursday that United would be willing to trump rivals Manchester City in both fees and wages for the Chilean, as well as offering Henrikh Mkhitaryan as a make-weight, should they get any indication Sanchez wants to move to Old Trafford.

However, it is a long shot given that Sanchez wants to leave Arsenal to work with Pep Guardiola again, having done so at Barcelona, and rejected Paris Saint-Germain in the summer as a result of this desire.

United are pragmatic and realise that the Sanchez deal is unlikely and, as a result, are looking at other options in the Premier League, in Jamie Vardy and former-United striker Javier Hernandez, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Vardy would cost around £35m having signed a new seal in the summer of 2016 amid Arsenal interest and would require owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha sanctioning the move – two stumbling blocks.

A move for Hernandez would be more straightforward given that he is unwanted by West Ham United manager David Moyes, who is prepared to listen to offers for the Mexican – a player Jose Mourinho said he never would have sold if he was United boss at the time.

More on United…

United are interested in signing Borussia Dortmund defensive midfielder Julian Weigl, The Independent has revealed.

Mourinho is keen to bolster his midfield as well as his forward line in the January transfer window and wants to sign a defensively-minded player to free up Paul Pogba.


The German midfielder is a target for United and City (Getty)

The 22-year-old has been in fine form for Dortmund this season after returning from a fractured ankle in September, and has drawn admiring glances from clubs across Europe, including Manchester City.

City have scouted the German midfielder on several occasions this season and Spanish daily AS have previously claimed that Pep Guardiola is a big fan.

Chelsea competition for Gremio starlet

Not heard of Arthur Melo yet? Well, this summer you might do as the 20-year-old Gremio playmaker is expected to make Brazil’s World Cup squad for this summer’s tournament in Russia.

Arthur was linked with a move to fc Barcelona, but their purchase of Philippe Coutinho has probably filled that position now for them, leaving Chelsea and United to battle it out, according to the Daily Mail.

Arthur has a £45m buyout clause but Gremio are keen to cash in and could accept a deal worth £30 – £35m instead, although Arsenal and Manchester City are both reportedly interested as well.

United challenge City for Fred

With Weigl the preferred option, Mourinho is drawing up a list of potential midfield targets to combat the loss of both Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick, who are both expected to leave the club at the end of the season, say the Daily Record.

Ander Herrera and Juan Mata could also leave although United do have the right to exercise a one-year extension on their deals.

“If – next summer – we are going to sign a midfield player, it’s to replace Michael Carrick,” said Mourinho recently. “He’s in the end of his career, so if next summer we buy a midfield player, it’s not to improve our squad, it’s to replace Michael Carrick. So to improve our squad in the midfield, we would need to buy two.”

Fred, though has been linked with Manchester City and has recently said he was “waiting” for a phone call from Guardiola.

“For sure, I would grow a lot with him. I have a lot of room to grow,” he told GloboEsporte. “I have not received (his call) yet, I’m just eagerly waiting. He’ll call me soon!”

News and rumours from around the web

Liverpool FC are looking to offload Daniel Sturridge – but want £30m for the striker, the Liverpool Echo reports. Sturridge, 28, is looking to leave Anfield during the transfer window for first-team football as he bids to be part of England’s World Cup squad.

Antonio Conte is to leave the Chelsea hot seat at the end of the season, the Daily Mail says. The paper reports that the new Stamford Bridge boss could be Massimiliano Allegri, who is currently at Juventus, or former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique. Former boss Carlo Ancelotti is not in the frame despite winning the double in 2010, it is reported.

Everton are prepared to pay £20m for Arsenal’s Theo Walcott, according to the Telegraph. Walcott, 28, could call time on his 12-year stay at the Emirates after being left on the bench when his side took on Chelsea.

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