Football transfer rumours: Niklas Sule to Manchester United for £50m?

John Ashdown

Ah, Bank Holiday Monday. A lie-in. The prospect of a breakfast a grade or two up from the usual. Perhaps the pub at lunchtime? Perhaps. A hint, just a hint, of peace and quiet.

NOT FOR THE MILL! Transfer tittle-tattle is very much like a surprising number of countries around the world in that it doesn’t really do public holidays. How can the Mill rest when yet another “New Messi” has just shimmied into view?

Related: The Dozen: the weekend’s best Premier League photos

Manchester City are the club hopeful of signing young Thiago Almada from Vélez Sarsfield in a £20m deal. He’s Argentinian and he’s talented so obviously he’s already been dubbed the “new Messi” despite a) not being the “new Messi” and b) that fact that the actual Lionel Messi is still doing a very good job of being the actual Lionel Messi, new or old. If City do seal the deal he’ll head off to Girona for work permit purposes because Modern Football.

Across the city Manchester United want Niklas Sule to be the cornerstone of their new defensive unit. Bayern Munich aren’t too keen on that prospect but an offer in the region of £50m might improve their disposition towards the idea.

In the umpteenth instalment of our regular Championship-Players-With-The-Surname-James-Being-Targeted-By-Premier-League-Clubs-Beginning-With-B section, Brighton want Reece, who has been impressing on loan from Chelsea at struggling Wigan, while Bournemouth are planning a swoop for Swansea youngster Dan – but it’ll take at least £12m to prize the winger out of south Wales.

Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United are engaged in a four-way tug of war over Ajax’s Moroccan sensation Hakim Ziyech. Arsenal and City have an arm each, Liverpool and United a leg apiece and now Bayern Munich are awkwardly trying to find somewhere to put their hands. Putting their hands on £25m would be a start.

Arsenal also want Brazilian youngster Gabriel Martinelli. Which is nice. And Hoffenheim’s Kerem Demirbay is being lined up as a replacement for Aaron Ramsey. Sure. Fine.

Internazionale, Paris St-Germain and Bayern Munich have formed an orderly queue outside Old Trafford and are waiting for Romelu Lukaku to be shown the exit door this summer.

And Liverpool are pondering moves for Lille striker Nicolas Pepe and Bayer Leverkusen’s Julian Brandt.