Mata baits the trap as Man Utd eye Koke

Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke is in van Gaal's sights, but Mata could be heading in the opposite direction

Diego Costa and Koke celebrate Atletico's second goal
(Image credit: GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

Could Manchester United soon be doing the hokey-Koke by capturing the Madrid magician while jettisoning Juan Mata? And will Arsenal beat United to the hand of super starlet Des Walker? Just some of the burning issues in today's Transfer Talk.

• Spanish champions Atletico Madrid are lining up a bid to prise Juan Mata from Old Trafford. The midfielder has struggled to impress since his move to Manchester United from Chelsea 13 months ago in what was a club record signing of £37.1m. According to The Sun United boss Louis van Gaal has his eyes on Atletico midfielder Koke, and "Mata could be used in the deal" for the young Spanish magician. The 26-year-old Mata has not started a league game since being subbed at half-time at QPR last month and his days at Old Trafford seem numbered as he doesn't fit into van Gaal's new system.

The Sun also claims that Burnley frontman Danny Ings is being offered "a multi-million pound sweetener" to join David Moyes at Real Sociedad. Apparently the 22-year-old Ings, recently linked to both Tottenham and Liverpool, "jetted out" to Spain on Saturday to discuss a possible move with Sociedad manager Moyes. The Sun alleges that the Spanish club have offered to pay Ings "40 per cent of his next transfer fee if he joins them in the summer". On top of that, Ings would earn £60,000 a week — four times what he's earning at Turf Moor right now.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

• The Sunday People claims that Arsenal and Manchester United are among the clubs "monitoring" Nottingham Forest youngster Tyler Walker – the son of former England defender Des. The People says that the 18-year-old – naturally described as a "starlet" – has been scouted by Tottenham, Arsenal, Liverpool and United in recent weeks, and a big-money move for the teenager striker could be on its way at the end of the season. Though Forest see him as part of their future plans, the club would be prepared to accept an offer for the frontman if it meets their seven-figure evaluation.

• Could United be more interested in Porto winger Yacine Brahimi? Metro claims that they are planning a £29.5m bid for the 25-year-old, who has scored 10 goals in 25 matches this season for the Portuguese outfit. The paper says that Manchester City "have been scouting him" and that's prompted United to come up with what they hope will be an irresistible offer.

• If the Daily Express is to be believed Liverpool "are ready to splash almost £80m" on three new signings this summer. The paper claims Reds boss Brendan Rodgers flew to Italy last week and the reasons are as follows: 1) he has his eye on Roma's Bosnian midfielder Miralem Pjanic despite his £25m price tag; 2) he'll double up at Roma by bagging Radja Nainggolan; and 3) he'll make a swoop for Lazio's 19-year-old Keita Balde Diao. The Express says the news of Liverpool's interest in Nainggolan will worry Arsenal and Chelsea who have been monitoring the Belgian midfielder valued at £25.9m.

• Then again, according to the Daily Star Liverpool have eyes only for Alvaro Arbeloa, their former full-back, who left Anfield for Real Madrid in 2009. The Star says the Reds are "keen to re-sign him" with the 32-year-old relegated to the bench after the emergence at the Bernabeu of Dani Carvajal. But Chelsea are also interested and a tug of war is expected at the end of the season.

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.