Manchester United, Arsenal lead Prem heavyweight chase for Plea

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The coronavirus pandemic has made the summer transfer window uncertain, but here are the rumours floating around Europe’s big leagues and beyond.

TOP STORY: Spurs, Man United, Arsenal in hunt for Plea

A number of English clubs are said to be queueing up for the signature of Borussia Monchengladbach striker Alassane Plea, Bild reports.

The German paper suggests that Manchester United, Arsenal and Leicester City have been keeping an eye on the 27-year-old, but Spurs in particular are keen to add the striker to their squad this summer.

Plea scored in the first minute as ‘Gladbach got their Bundesliga return off to a winning start against Eintracht Frankfurt this weekend, with his performance indicative of his form this season as the English quartet keep tabs on him.

Plea has scored nine goals and added seven assists so far this season, and Bild believe that if he can finish the season in similar form, he will have done enough to prompt an English side to part with €35-40 million.

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City set to beat Newcastle to Pellistri

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is close to signing talented Uruguayan defender Facundo Pellistri ahead of Newcastle United, AS reports.

They’re reporting that City have been working with Pellistri’s existing club, Penarol, the past few weeks in an effort to come to an agreement on the transfer of the 18-year-old.

Pellistri has a release clause of $12m, though City are working hard to try to reduce that fee as a result of the current economic climate. City are instead proposing 50% of that release clause up front, followed by the rest when he reaches a certain number of appearances and other performance-related targets. City would also offer Penarol a percentage of any future profits.

The offer on the table is for five years, with a view to loaning him out in his first season, with the player and his agent able to choose the destination. Newcastle United are also interested, though their situation is hindered by the delay of their takeover.

Mertens hints at U-turn and Napoli stay

Following earlier reports that Inter Milan had given Belgium attacker Dries Mertens seven days to decide whether to move to the Italian capital, Calciomercato is reporting that he could stay at Napoli.

They’re suggesting that there could be a twist in the tale after it was expected that Mertens would agree to move to Inter in the summer. Now, after appeals from the Napoli supporters, it’s being suggested that Mertens has indicated that he will extend his stay until 2022, at a cost to Napoli of €4.5m per season plus bonuses, including a mega bonus of €2.5m for his agreeing to stay in the first place.

Napoli are clearly keen to keep one of their most important assets, and though Inter supremo Giuseppe Marotta believed his deal was good enough to lure Mertens to his club, Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis isn’t prepared to lose him without a fight.

Tap-ins

— A number of clubs, including Bordeaux, Nice, Hoffenheim and Lazio, are considering a move for Lille‘s rising star, Joel Ngoya, Footmercato reports. The 18-year-old left-sided midfielder played against Chelsea in European action in December and has since excelled in the French club’s youth side, including in a U19 match against Paris Saint-Germain.

— Swapping players appears to be the new way to conduct transfer business, and the supposed deal between Juventus and Barcelona that will take Miralem Pjanic to Camp Nou is far from finished. Le10Sport believes that Juventus are also considering trying to throw in Ivan Rakitic, despite Mundo Deportivo’s suggesting that Maurizio Sarri is far from excited about the prospect of Rakitic joining his squad.

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