Transfer talk: Blanc says PSG near ‘finished’ on deal for Man United’s Di Maria; Spurs stay busy

'I'm rather positive about it' says Laurent Blanc of a move by Paris Saint-Germain for Manchester United's Angel Di Maria, while Tottenham look to recruit more attacking talent.
Manchester United begin their Premier League season - with or without Angel Di Maria - on August 8 against Tottenham. Paul Ellis / AFP
Manchester United begin their Premier League season - with or without Angel Di Maria - on August 8 against Tottenham. Paul Ellis / AFP

Manchester United

ESPNFC are reporting comments from Paris Saint-Germain manager Laurent Blanc that “the matter is close to being finished” with regards to Angel Di Maria making a move to the Ligue 1 champions.

“I’m rather positive about it but,” says the Frenchman, “in transfers, we have seen what can happen – so as long as it’s not official ...

“When I tell you that, it’s the truth. The most important thing is to see him in the PSG squad. But as you know, he belongs to a great club called Manchester United. Be patient.”

Argentine winger Di Maria has been left behind from Man United’s US tour, which has fuelled speculation he would be on the way out. But as recently as the weekend United manager Louis van Gaal was saying “I hope Di Maria shall stay” as he stressed the need for more pace in his side.

Di Maria came on hot for United last season following his record £59.7 million (Dh340.8m) move from Real Madrid, but cooled quickly and finished with just three goals in 27 Premier League appearances. Nevertheless, he did contribute 10 assists and was in fine form during the Copa America, leading to thoughts he would still come good for Van Gaal’s side.

Tottenham Hotspur

According to a Daily Mail report, Tottenham Hotspur are reigniting their search for an impact buy this summer, specifically ramping up their efforts to recruit West Bromwich Albion target man Saido Berahino.

Spurs, who finished fifth last season in the Premier League, have made more news for their sales this summer, including Paulinho’s £11m move to Chinese Super League club Guangzhou Evergrande, as well recent moves to offload Benjamin Stambouli, Younes Kaboul and Etienne Capoue.

Their highest-profile arrival has been Toby Alderweireld from Atletico Madrid, along with Kieran Trippier from Burnley and Kevin Wimmer from Cologne, all defenders.

In Berahino, Spurs would be investing in a 21-year-old who produced 14 goals in 38 league matches for West Brom last season, presumably to pair with Harry Kane. Neither Roberto Soldado nor Emmanuel Adebayor, the club’s other two first-team strikers, have offered the club much the past two seasons.

Read more: The National’s Transfer Talk page

The Mail report indicates, however, that Tottenham are yet to arrive at agreeing with West Brom’s £20m valuation of Berahino, and any bid that falls below that threshold is likely to be dismissed.

Meanwhile, Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino, various reports suggest, is active on many other fronts.

The Mail indicates there are talks to send Adebayor to Aston Villa, while Vlad Chiriches has been linked to Serie A in multiple outlets.

German outlet Kicker meanwhile has reported a rejected bid from Spurs for Schalke’s Leroy Sane, 19, at €12 million (Dh48.7m). Schalke sporting director Horst Heldt told the magazine, “Leroy is a player with tremendous prospects,” and added he could be worth well north of Tottenham’s valuation “if he so advanced”.

Arsenal

According to the Mirror, Southampton launched a bid to re-claim Calum Chambers from Arsenal, if only for a season, but Arsene Wenger shot down the idea.

Wenger pried Chambers away from Southampton just last summer for £16m, one of a mass exodus of talent from the south coast club last summer and again this transfer period.

But the Ronald Koeman-coached club appear to have tried to pull one back, at least temporarily, looking to bring the defender in on a season-long loan. Wenger, however, goes the report, is not entertaining loan offers for the 20-year-old after he impressed in spurts last season. He appeared in 23 Premier League contests, with another five in cup competitions.

Stoke City

Stoke City have signed Netherlands winger Ibrahim Afellay on a two-year contract, the Premier League club said on Monday.

The 29-year-old, who has played 50 times for his country, left Barcelona at the end of last season after four years.

“It’s no secret that Ibrahim was wanted by a number of clubs and we are understandably delighted that he has chosen to join us,” Stoke chief executive Tony Scholes told the club’s website.

“He’s clearly excited about the prospect of playing in the Premier League and the fact that he knows so many players who are already at the club will no doubt help him settle into his new surroundings.”

Afellay started his career with PSV Eindhoven and helped the Netherlands reach the 2010 World Cup final before joining Barca.

The Spanish giants won the Champions League in 2011 but Afellay’s career in Spain was stalled by injuries and he was sent out on loan to Schalke from 2012-13 and Olympiakos last season.

Afellay was Stoke’s eighth signing of the close season after Philipp Wollscheid, Jakob Haugaard, Joselu, Marco van Ginkel, Glen Johnson, Shay Given and Moha.

*Reuters

Aston Villa

Aston Villa have recruited striker Jordan Ayew from French side Lorient, the Premier League club said on Monday.

The 23-year-old Ghana international has signed a five-year contract at Villa Park.

“I am really pleased to bring Jordan to the football club,” manager Tim Sherwood told the Villa website.

“He is a fantastic young player who is perfectly suited to the Premier League.”

Villa have also agreed a deal to sign Cordoba fullback Jose Angel Crespo, the Spanish club said.

The 28-year-old has been in a contractual dispute with the Andalusian side following their relegation from La Liga last season and has been looking for a move away.

“Cordoba and Aston Villa have reached an agreement for the transfer of Jose Angel Crespo to the English club,” Cordoba said on Twitter.

“The defender ... will travel to England today for a medical ahead of the signing.”

Villa, who sold striker Christian Benteke to Liverpool this month, have also signed French defender Jordan Amavi and Senegal midfielder Idrissa Gueye from Ligue 1 clubs since the end of last season.

*Reuters

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Published: July 28, 2015 04:00 AM

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