Manchester United expect to be victorious in their race with Arsenal over the signing of Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, according to reports.
Both United and Arsenal are in the market for a defensive midfielder, and both have identified Schneiderlin as their primary target.
However, the Guardian has reported that United are in the “driving seat” to sign the France international, who is eager to leave Southampton to play Uefa Champions League football.
United manager Louis van Gaal has made no secret of his desire to strengthen his midfield, and the club have reportedly been weighing up a move for Bayern Munich’s Bastian Schweinsteiger.
However, given his age and proven Premier League pedigree, Schneiderlin, 25, is said to be the preferred option at Old Trafford.
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Arsenal are also in contention, although the club are reportedly concerned that United will trump any bid – and salary package – they can offer.
Schneiderlin wanted to join Tottenham Hotspur last summer, but Southampton blocked any potential move.
However, the chances of Ronald Koeman and the club retaining the midfielder this time around appear less likely.
Three days ago, the player told French radio that “negotiations are ongoing” over his departure from the club “and should be completed in the coming days. Hopefully before the resumption of (Southampton’s pre-season) training next week.”
It is thought that Southampton would entertain offers in the region of £25 million (Dh144.6m).
Elsewhere, after wrapping up a deal for Petr Cech, Arsenal are set to return to Chelsea in a bid to prise away teenage midfielder Charly Musonda, according to reports.
The Czech Republic goalkeeper is expected to complete his move across London in the coming days, but he could soon to be joined by fellow Chelsea player Musonda.
According to the Daily Express, Arsenal are prepared to offer Chelsea £8m for the 18-year-old midfielder. Before Musonda’s move to Chelsea, Arsenal were also thought to be in the running when he was 14 years old at Belgian club Anderlecht.
He opted for a move to Stamford Bridge but is now considering his options over concerns about his long-term future.
It has been reported that Chelsea wanted to use Musonda as part of the deal to sign Colombian striker Radamel Falcao from Monaco, but the French club are not keen on the teenager.
Other clubs credited with an interest in Musonda include Ligue 1 side Marseille and his former club Anderlecht.
Elsewhere, Japan striker Shinji Okazaki signed for Leicester City and will become the seventh Japanese player to feature in the Premier League.
Okazaki, 29, joins from Mainz to end a stay of four-and-a-half years in German football, having also played for Stuttgart.
Leicester announced the signing late on Friday and said Okazaki has agreed to a four-year deal, with the move subject to gaining a work permit and international clearance.
The fee was not disclosed. Okazaki is Japan’s third-highest scorer with 43 goals in 93 games, scoring in the 2010 and 2014 World Cup finals.
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