No release clause in de Gea’s deal, a long injury list and United move for Mertens

Afternoon Bulletin

CLAUSING THE DEAL

Latest reports indicate that Manchester United have not inserted a release-clause into goalkeeper David de Gea’s contract. It was previously believed that Real Madrid could buy him for a fee in the range of £52m. But now United will demand an astronomical fee for their star shot-stopper. Now a fee double of the £33m Juventus paid for Gianluigi Buffon is said to be the asking price for the world’s most in-demand keeper. With this latest development, Real could look for alternatives such as Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois or AC Milan’s Gianluigi Donnarumma.

MISSING OUT

Manager Jose Mourinho has revealed that Paul Pogba will miss Saturday’s fixture against West Brom as expected. He has failed to recover in time from the hamstring injury picked up against Rostov. Defenders Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are also set to miss out on playing on Saturday. They trio are joined by the suspended Ander Herrera and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. It is last game both players are suspended for. There is no new development on the type of injury that kept Fellaini out of Belgium’s friendly against Russia.

RAIDING THE YELLOW SUBMARINE, AGAIN

Manchester United will be looking to sign Villarreal’s Spanish winger Samu Castillejo after signing centre-back Eric Bailly last summer. United can sign the in-form player for a fee reported to be in the range of £35m. Clubs like Arsenal, Napoli and Atletico Madrid are also said to be keen on the 22-year-old. He has scored twice and dished out 4 assists in this season’s La Liga and looks to be settled after a move from Malaga in 2015.

STEPPING UP

Manchester United are set to ramp up their efforts to sign Monaco’s £40m rated midfielder Tiemoune Bakayoko. Mourinho is believed to have made him a major midfield target and Ed Woodward is trusted to make to move happen. Bakayoko has been one of Monaco’s standout players this term and scored the goal that knocked out Manchester City out of the Champions League earlier this month. Chelsea are thought to be the only other club in contention to sign the 22-year-old.

MERTENS TALK

Manchester United have reportedly offered Napoli £30m for the services of Belgian forward Dries Mertens. The United chiefs are willing to offer him a salary worth over £4m annually. The striker, 29, has been brilliant this season. He has scored 25 goals already. Mertens, whose contract runs out at the end of next season is believed to have a £30m release clause in his contract.