If even a fraction of this summer’s transfer interest is real, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has taken every precaution against his biggest 2017 enemy: scheduled congestion.
Mourinho was a regular critic of United’s schedule last season in the run-up to its UEFA Europa League title win over Ajax, and is building his roster up for the UEFA Champions League.
[ MORE: Saief completes USMNT switch ]
The manager already had plenty of attacking options, and has added Victor Lindelof to his stable of defenders while reportedly flirting with PSG’s Marquinhos, too. Defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic is also a reported target (as are half of the world’s elite footballers).
And now, a wry smile from Monaco’s Fabinho hints that Mourinho may be making progress with another target.
‘‘It’s a tempting invitation. … I would first talk to my agent, Monaco too, to decide everything right. But it’s a great club, sure enough I would think well about it.”
Fabinho played mostly right back in 2014-15 before splitting time between that position and defensive midfielder the following year and seeing most of his time at CDM last season. Mourinho has lavished praise and given a contract extension to right back Antonio Valencia and has Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick, and Paul Pogba at CDM (though the latter can certainly operate higher up the field).
Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte says Manchester United has made the best offer to Paris Saint-Germain in a three-team giant battle for Marquinhos.
According to the report, the transfer fight is between United, Juventus, Barcelona, and Real Madrid, though only the first three sides have lodged bids.
[ MORE: Latest 2017 Confederations Cup news ]
Barca’s offer is said to be the lowest, around $50 million, while United is said to be willing to pay a staggering $78 million for the 23-year-old Brazilian.
Marquinhos has made 155 appearances for PSG since joining from Roma in 2013. He’s reliably made 40-plus appearances over the past three seasons, and has 17 caps for Brazil.
A terrific defender who excels in keeping possession, Marquinhos has also played some right back for PSG.
Tottenham Hotspur’s depth means it can wait out Everton as the Toffees demand plenty of money for young star Ross Barkley.
The 23-year-old England international won’t sign a new deal with Everton, and Ronald Koeman has been clear that he’s ready to cash in on the wantaway midfielder.
[ MORE: Latest on Ronaldo ]
Spurs are interested according to Sky Sports, but rolling their eyes at a requested fee of close to $64 million. So the North Londoners will wait, a move that makes sense given Barkley’s up-and-down form.
The Liverpool Echo says that Koeman is close to making it official with Sandro Ramirez, as the ex-Barcelona prospect will join Jordan Pickford and Davy Klaassen as new Toffees in a $7 million deal.
The BBC says Koeman will quickly move onto two more transfers, aiming to woo Gylfi Sigurdsson from Swansea City and center back Michael Keane from Burnley.
The Manchester Evening News says Manchester United is close to reuniting Jose Mourinho with defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic.
The tough-minded Serbian turns 29 in August, and would give Mourinho flexibility with Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera. United also has Michael Carrick as a deep-lying option.
Matic has 121 Premier League appearances and two titles since returning to Chelsea in January 2014.
Portugal looks to move to the top of Group A when it faces host Russia Wednesday at 11 a.m. in Moscow, live on Telemundo Deportes.
The match at Spartak Stadium pits Cristiano Ronaldo and Bernardo Silva against Igor Akinfeev and Aleksandr Golovin.
Russia scored in each half against New Zealand last time out but the Russians never truly looked in control of the game, while Portugal lost a chance to beat Mexico with a stoppage-time header that forced a 2-2 draw.
[ WATCH LIVE: Portugal vs. Russia on Telemundo Deportes ]
Portugal manager Fernando Santos has opted to rest some of his starters from the Mexico match including Nani and Ricardo Quaresma.
Enjoy the match.
Portugal: Patricio; Guerreiro, Pepe, Bruno Alves, Cedric; Adrien Silva, Carvalho, Gomes; Bernardo Silva, Andre Silva, Ronaldo
Russia: Akinfeev, Vasin, Shishkin, Dzhikya, Kombarov, Glushakov, Smolov, Kudriashov, Golovin, Zhirkov, Samedov
Manchester United can breathe a sigh of relief Wednesday morning after facing possible FIFA sanctions.
The world governing body cleared the English club Wednesday of any impropriety regarding Paul Pogba‘s world-record $116 million transfer. On the other hand, FIFA announced it is opening disciplinary proceedings against Pogba’s former club Juventus.
The transfer and Pogba’s contract have been in the news recently after a book published in Germany alleges that Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola will earn $55 million from the deal. Raiola reportedly earned nearly $29 million in the transfer and will be paid another $26 million over the next four years.
With Atletico Madrid currently serving a transfer ban and Barcelona having served one in the past, Manchester United couldn’t afford to miss out on a transfer window as the club looks to ascend back to the top of the Premier League table.
Here’s a look at more transfer news and rumors around the Premier League: