The last time Roma sold their best player to a Premier League heavyweight it didn’t work out so well – he single-handedly orchestrated their Champions League demise 10 months later.
But unfortunately for the Italians they could have another Mo Salah situation on their hands this summer, with Radja Nainggolan reportedly wanted by a trio of English clubs.
The Sun says Arsenal have joined Chelsea and Manchester United in the race to sign the Belgian midfielder, who Roma may have to sell to “balance the books”.
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The 29-year-old would cost around £45m and the Gunners are reportedly “at the front of the queue” to sign him because he is “admired” by potential new manager Luis Enrique.
The likelihood of Nainggolan ‘doing a Salah’ and leading the Gunners to the Champions League final at Roma’s expense is low, mainly because the north Londoners probably won’t be in the competition next season.
But that could work in their favour weirdly, with Nainggolan previously stating that he likes a “challenge” and has no interest in joining a “winning team”. Arsenal sound perfect then! Although has he considered Sunderland? He’d love it there.
Liverpool fend off Real Madrid interest in Salah
Speaking of the last player Roma sold to a Premier League heavyweight, Salah is also in the headlines today as Real Madrid step up their attempts to sign him.
However, the Mail says Liverpool are set to “robustly” rebuff any advances from the Bernabeu, whatever that entails exactly. The Reds are insistent that Salah is not for sale “even for £200m” and are currently “reviewing” the terms of his £90,000-a week contract, which is about the same as Andy Carroll earns to put it into context.
The fact that Salah has no buyout clause in his current deal also “complicates” Real’s pursuit of the Egyptian, so they may turn their attentions to Manchester City’s superstars instead.
The Manchester Evening News says the European champions are targeting no fewer than four members of Pep Guardiola’s title-winning squad – Kevin de Bruyne, Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling and…. bet you can’t guess the last one… John Stones.
Real are apparently ready to pay £175m for De Bruyne and £70m for Sane, as well as launching bids for the two young Englishmen, as they “overhaul” their squad. Unsurprisingly, City will “firmly refuse” all offers. Well, for De Bruyne, Sane and Sterling anyway.
Meanwhile, Man Utd are allegedly seeking to sign two defenders at opposite ends of their careers. The Sun claims Jose Mourinho want to re-sign 30-year-old Jonny Evans from West Brom for a cut-price £3m, while the Times says the Red Devils are trying to persuade 17-year-old Ryan Sessegnon to move to Old Trafford if he leaves Fulham this summer.
Elsewhere, Barcelona are targeting Chelsea left-back Marcos Alonso as a replacement for Gerard Pique and believe they can convert him to a centre-back (Goal), West Ham will prioritise signing a defender this summer with Swansea’s Alfie Mawson and Brighton’s Lewis Dunk on their radar (Star) and Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has put three Portuguese internationals on his summer wish list – Sporting Lisbon’s Gelson Martins, Southampton’s Cedric Soares and Wolves’ Ruben Neves – as he aims to continue the tradition of great Portuguese players at White Hart Lane, started by Helder Postiga and Ricardo Rocha (Mirror).