With Rafael Benitez close to agreeing a deal to become the new Real Madrid manager, a teenage winger he signed while still in charge of Liverpool in 2010 could also be on his way to Spanish capital. Despite Liverpool holding firm over Raheem Sterling’s decision to not sign a new deal with the Anfield club, the Sun newspaper says that Real could offer up to $70 million to sign him this summer. The England international, still just 20 years old, previously claimed he “wasn’t a money-grabber” and that he wanted to win trophies in his career. If he ends up signing for Real, he can do both.
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Manchester United are turning their attention towards a player Louis van Gaal previously managed and got the best out of: Bastian Schweinsteiger. The Bayern Munich midfielder, 30, is out of contract next summer and according to the Daily Star United have made the Bavarian battle their top midfield transfer target this summer. Whether or not Bayern are willing to let an iconic player leave is another matter, but the captain of the German national team would be available for around $15 million if he did decide to move on from the only team he has ever played for. Schweinsteiger has won every major honor in Germany and has eight Bundesliga titles to his name after bursting onto the scene in 2003. Under van Gaal, Schweinsteiger excelled as Bayern lost out to Inter Milan in the 2010 UEFA Champions League final. His ability to break play up would suit the Premier League well and apart from 33-year-old Michael Carrick, United aren’t blessed with a plethora of defensive midfielders. Watch this space.
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According to the Daily Mirror, Leicester City are stepping up their chase to sign Japanese striker Shinji Okazaki from Mainz. The 29-year-old striker is estimated to be worth around $13 million and would add firepower to the Foxes’ attack as Nigel Pearson’s side aim to kick on in their second-straight season in the top-flight following their dramatic “great escape” during the 2014-15 season. Okazaki has scored 42 goals in 91 games for Japan and would add to Leicester’s attacking options of Leonardo Ulloa, Andrej Kramaric and Jamie Vardy, considerably.
Finally, Newcastle United’s French international midfielder Moussa Sissoko has spoken about Chelsea’s admiration for him. Sissoko, 25, told French radio station RMC that he is being monitored by Chelsea and spoke of his admiration for Jose Mourinho. The powerful attacking midfielder could arrive at Stamford Bridge this summer for a move in excess of $25 million. If Newcastle’s owner Mike Ashley sells their star player… Well, the reaction from Magpies fans doesn’t bear thinking about.