There have been some big claims about Manchester United's transfer activity on Friday. Perhaps most sensational of all, the Sun alleges that United has agreed a fee with Tottenham for midfielder Luka Modric.
According to the report, the Croatian will arrive for a fee of £25 million, potentially rising to £30 million based on performance-related clauses.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has long maintained an interest in the playmaker, yet it was Cheslea that looked close to signing Modric last summer. After a series of bids, the Blues' interest finally ended after Spurs chairman Daniel Levy rejected a £40 million offer.
It is that fact which makes this latest story seem implausible. Modric is likely to demand a move once more after Tottenham's failure to qualify for the Champions League and he may well arrive at Old Trafford, but it is hard to envisage that being for £25 million.
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Levy is one of the shrewdest negotiators around and this saga is likely to run for at least a few more weeks yet.
Ahead of the opening game of Euro 2012, it has also been reported that Poland coach Franciszek Smuda has claimed that his striker Robert Lewandowski will be heading to Manchester United this summer. Smuda also apparently revealed that fellow-Borussia Dortmund Poles Jakub Blaszczykowski and Lukasz Piszczek will also soon be on the move.
"Lewy is going to Manchester United, Kuba also somewhere in England, Piszczek to Real," Smuda said, according to Sky Sports.
"They have a goal and they want to grow. I base the squad on them."
Although Lewandowski has been linked with a move to United, as well as Bayern Munich, it would be premature to read too much into Smuda's quotes. It is quite possible that, as Polish writer Michal Zachodny suggests, much has been lost in translation, with Poland's coach likely merely making a point that the fact his players were being linked to these clubs is a sign of their emergent status in the world game.
There may be more weight behind the assertion in both the Mail and Mirror that United has agreed a £3 million fee for Chilean striker Angelo Henriquez. United is known to have a first option on the 18-year-old, with reports in recent weeks suggesting that the club were close to exercising that with Universidad de Chile.
Henriquez has scored eight goals in 10 games so far this season in the Primera Division de Chile. But, having not represented Chile above Under-17 level, there will be serious doubts about his ability to attain a work permit.
Even it this story proves true, it would be no surprise if Henriquez remains in Chile, or is even loaned to Spain for a year or two before arriving at Old Trafford.
In other news, Fulham's Moussa Dembele has stated that he is in no hurry to leave Craven Cottage, despite reported interest from the likes of United and Chelsea.
"I'm very happy to stay at Fulham, especially because of the boss," he told the Fulham Chronicle. "I think it's very important to have the backing of the manager and he's a coach who gives me a lot of confidence--that's why I feel I owe it to the gaffer as well.
"I think every player needs that and I'm no different. I go to training every day and work with joy. It's a fantastic club and I'm not in a hurry to move anywhere."
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