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Transfer Rumours

Guardiola stands in United’s way in the transfer window

Italy-v-Spain-UEFA-European-U21-Championships-Final-1961670Wayne Rooney could be on his way to Arsenal, today’s papers report, after Alisher Usmanov, the Gunners’ second-biggest shareholder, has urged Arsene Wenger to break the bank for the United striker, despite being on the verge of securing a £22m deal for Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain.

The Mirror is just one of the papers to report Usmanov’s quotes: “[Rooney] is a great player and [joining Arsenal] would be great for Rooney, and Arsenal too.

“Arsene knows better than me what should be done. Of course, we as shareholders point to some drawbacks in the management of the club but he is a great coach and the club is progressing in the commercial sense.”

The Star and the Sun also report the story, while the Mail adds that: “Chelsea remain Rooney’s preferred destination should the unsettled England striker decide to leave United after nine years.

“He believes he is more likely to fulfill his ambitions with the Europa League winners, while Chelsea are also more capable of matching his £250,000-a-week wages.

“Rooney told United he wanted to go before the end of last season and is unlikely to change his mind despite the appointment of his old Everton manager David Moyes as Sir Alex Ferguson’s replacement.

“He is currently on holiday and has not yet had a proper discussion with Moyes about his future, although the two men are expected to meet on his return.”

Rooney’s camp has denied any contact with Premier League clubs but, then again, they also firmly denied that the United  striker had handed in a transfer request – a decision that didn’t propel their reliability to at an all-time high.

For a striker that could be leaving, there’s a midfielder that could not arrive at all, at least according to the Mirror. The tabloid believes that Bayern Munich are the latest club to enter the race for Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara, with former Barca boss Pep Guardiola keen to be reunited with the youngster.

“Guardiola’s decision to enter the race may prove decisive,” says the Mirror, who believes Thiago could be tempted by the chance to to join the defending European Champions as well as reuniting wih his former manager. The story, in truth, sounds a bit odd when one considers that Thiago wants to leave Barcelona due to a lack of games and would find it just as tough were he to join Bayern Munich.

The Mail has a completely different take on the story, claiming that: “Manchester United are on the verge of signing Barcelona midfield star Thiago Alcantara in a £17million deal.

“The Premier League champions have stolen a march on rivals Manchester City by agreeing personal terms of £5m-a-year with Thiago, 22, and his father Mazinho.

“They still have to finalise a deal with Barcelona and sources say that it is unlikely there will be any announcement on Friday, but discussions between the two clubs will continue over the weekend.”

So, who’s looking forward to Monday?