Transfer talk: Pedro for Chelsea, resistance for Man United in Sadio Mane pursuit

As Pedro readies for a Chelsea medical, Manchester United face the prospect of difficulty finding an alternative if Southampton prove able to maintain hold of Sadio Mane.

Barcelona forward Pedro shown during the Spanish Super Cup against Athletic Bilbao on Monday at the Camp Nou. Josep Lago / AFP / August 17, 2015
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Chelsea and Manchester United

Chelsea look set to complete the signing of former Manchester United target Pedro and Louis van Gaal has been told he faces disappointment in his pursuit of Southampton winger Sadio Mane.

Jose Mourinho has acted quickly and decisively in the transfer market after Chelsea took only one point from their first two matches, the club’s worst start to the league season in 17 years.

Shortly after their 3-0 defeat at Manchester City, Chelsea signed left-back Baba Rahman from Augsburg for £21 million (Dh121m), and on Wednesday it emerged they were close to signing Pedro.

The Barcelona forward had been in talks with United, but they are no longer in the running for the 28-year-old forward.

United sources said Van Gaal decided against signing the Spain forward after it became apparent he had reservations about moving to Old Trafford.

That may come as a surprise to United fans, who were hopeful of seeing the forward in Manchester soon after Ed Woodward, the club’s executive vice chairman, flew to Catalonia on Monday in an attempt to seal a deal for the player.

Read more: The National's Transfer Talk page

It now looks like Chelsea’s £22m move for Pedro could go through on Thursday, providing the player successfully passes his medical.

The club also hope to conclude the signing of Everton defender John Stones before the transfer window shuts on September 1.

United, meanwhile, have turned their attention to Mane.

Despite making five signings this summer, United manager Van Gaal believes his squad lack pace and creativity, and Mane can offer both.

Following his £10m move to Southampton from Red Bull Salzburg, Mane scored 10 goals in 32 appearances, including the fastest hat-trick in Premier League history in the 6-1 win over Aston Villa.

United sources claimed on Wednesday that the club made a bid to sign Mane last week.

Southampton deny any offer has been submitted for the Senegalese winger, and a spokesman for the club said Mane is “not for sale”.

* Agence France-Presse

Leicester City

Premier League side Leicester City announced on Wednesday they have signed Swiss midfielder Gokhan Inler from Napoli.

The player has signed a three-year deal to become the club’s sixth signing of the summer.

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri has been on the lookout for a top midfielder since Argentine international Esteban Cambiasso decided to leave the club.

The Italian, who took over as coach in the summer, previously signed N’Golo Kante from French club Caen to improve his midfield options.

Inler joins for an undisclosed fee ahead of Saturday’s Premier League visit of Tottenham Hotspur.

Leicester have won both of their opening games under Ranieri, beating Sunderland and West Ham, to sit joint top of the table.

Asked about transfers last week, Ranieri said: “One more. A midfielder. I think one is enough. Of course, if two arrive then I’m happy.”

Inler joined Napoli from Udinese in 2011 and played for Switzerland and Turkey at Under 21 level before he opted to represent the Swiss, for whom he has played 84 times.

*Agence France-Presse

Newcastle United

Marseille winger Florian Thauvin has signed a five-year deal with Newcastle United, the Premier League club announced on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old French Under 21 international passed a medical on Wednesday and committed to the club until 2020 on a deal which French media reported to be worth €17 million (Dh69.5m).

As part of the deal his compatriot Remy Cabella heads the other way on a season-long loan after an unsuccessful spell for the French international in England following his €10m move last year.

The 25-year-old Corsican believes his experience in the Premier league has allowed him “to grow up and progress”. He said: “I’m going to show what I have learned.”

Marseille have the option to buy him next summer; he arrives on a deal estimated at €9m.

“I am delighted to be a Newcastle United player,” Thauvin said on Newcastle’s website.

“I have come from France to a really big club and am very happy to be here.”

Thauvin was a disappointment last season, scoring five goals in 36 appearances for Marseille.

*Agence France-Presse

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Coach Kenny Jackett has confirmed Wolves have rejected a bid from Norwich City for striker Benik Afobe.

Norwich made their move before Wolves’ 3-2 loss to QPR on Wednesday but their offer has been quickly dismissed.

Afobe scored his third goal of the season as Wolves blew a 2-0 lead at Molineux as Matty Phillips’s second-half double capped QPR’s comeback on Wednesday.

Wolves issued a statement before the game to reiterate the striker will be staying at Molineux and Jackett confirmed Norwich’s bid had been turned down.

He confirmed a bid was made, saying, “and it has been turned down and not encouraged whatsoever”.

He added: “We’re not looking to sell our best players and within two weeks of the window closing we’re looking to build.

“We don’t encourage future bids. We’re not looking to sell our best players.

“At the moment we’re not interested, we don’t want to negotiate, it was turned down flat.

“Benik has been very good and was a threat. Any conversation we had before the game was about the football.”

*Press Association