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21st Jan 2015

Transfer talk: United in for centre back who’s not Hummels and Liverpool keen on Icardi

That's a whole lot of money for Marquinhos.

Darragh Murphy

In their search for a rock in the centre of defence, Manchester United have been linked with almost everyone except Steve Bruce with Mats Hummels, Diego Godin and Gerard Pique all linked with moves to Old Trafford.

But it has been revealed in today’s Sun that Louis van Gaal’s top transfer target is Paris St-Germain defender Marquinhos.

The United boss has struggled with defensive solidity at the back and believes that the 20-year-old Brazilian will bring some of that back to Old Trafford.

Marquinhos was signed by PSG for €34 from Roma in 2013 but has since fallen down the pecking order at the Ligue 1 champions with fellow Brazilians David Luiz and Thiago Silva ahead of him in the side.

But Laurent Blanc is refusing to let the future superstar go on the cheap and PSG have apparently quoted the Red Devils a world-record price of €165million. While this fee is likely just an attempt to scare off potential suitors, don’t expect him to move anywhere for less than €50m.

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Meanwhile Kevin Mirallas‘ penalty miss for Everton on Monday night seems to have done nothing to quell the interest from Spurs with The Mirror reporting that the North London club are prepared to offer Aaron Lennon plus cash for the Belgian.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has been a fan of the Toffees’ winger for some time and sees him as an upgrade from Aaron Lennon, who has struggled for a starting place under the Argentine.

Spurs will have to fight off competition from La Liga champions Atletico Madrid, though, who are also monitoring the player who has 18 months remaining on his current deal.

Everton v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League

Santi Cazorla‘s penalty, assist and silly dance on Sunday have drawn the admiration of Barcelona legend Xavi who has revealed that the Arsenal ace would slot in nicely at the Catalan club.

Metro report that the Barca legend has been quoted recently as saying: “There is some great Spanish football talent around. Who would I sign for Barcelona? [David] Silva and Cazorla.”

While Silva is unlikely to leave Manchester City, smiley Santi’s contract with the Gunners runs up next year which leaves him open to a bid from Barcelona next January, when their transfer ban is seen out.

Manchester City v Arsenal - Premier League

Chelsea have targeted Fiorentina and Colombia star Juan Cuadrado as their top target this January, according to The Mirror.

The 26-year-old winger is believed to be Jose Mourinho’s ideal man to play on the right side of an attacking three which features Eden Hazard on the left and Diego Costa at the point of the attack.

The versatile Cuadrado can also offer cover in defence, having played at full-back for club and country on occasion but it is understood that for the Blues to sign him, they would need to sell either Mohamed Salah or Andre Schurlle.

Salah is currently being courted by Roma and Besiktas while Schurlle has long been linked with a return to the Bundesliga.

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Another player who Chelsea have their eyes on is Inter Milan front man Mauro Icardi but they will face competition from Liverpool if reports in The Express are to be believed.

The Argentine is currently valued at €40m thanks to a stellar Serie A campaign thus far this year, scoring 14 goals in 24 appearances this season.

Roberto Mancini is keen on keeping the 21-year-old in Italy but contract talks have apparently broken down which opens the door for a move to either Stamford Bridge or Anfield.

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