It might not just be three points that Juventus took from Manchester United on Tuesday evening. As well as beating the Red Devils 1-0 in their Champions League clash, the Italians also used the evening to make eyes at goalkeeper David de Gea, The Times reports. The newspaper says Jose Mourinho is “worried” that he could lose the Spanish shotstopper on a free transfer to Juventus.
Masters at freebies
The Times describes Juventus as “masters in the art of snapping up top talent for nothing”, and the side are well aware that the 27-year-old’s contract expires at the end of this season. United do have the option of extending De Gea’s deal for another year, but negotiations are progressing as slowly as United’s Premier League campaign.
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De Gea is said to be aware of the interest from Turin, and to weighing up his options in light of United’s problems this season. Already way off the pace in the Premier League, knocked out of the league cup and struggling in the Champions League, United’s season is shaping up to be a disaster - and that might push De Gea to accept Juventus’s advances.
As for the Italian champions, the newspaper claims that they “are ready to play a waiting game - just as they did when they lured a 19-year-old Paul Pogba to Turin in 2012″. In the case of the French midfielder, Juve allowed his contract to run down before making their move, and then returned him to Old Trafford four years later in exchange for £89m. The Italian team have also done something similar in recent seasons, luring Emre Can from Liverpool, Andrea Pirlo from AC Milan, and Dani Alves from Barcelona.
De Gea tempted
The Times quotes a Manchester United source as saying: ”De Gea played against his future club on Tuesday. Juve are an expert in intelligent deals. If United don’t sell him in the summer, Juventus will wait until the end of his contract.“
United are therefore faced with a dilemma if they don’t tie down the Spaniard to a long-term deal: either sell him for a knock-down price in June or ”risk losing De Gea for nothing 12 months later“.
Sanchez set to quit
And it might not just be De Gea heading for the exit. The Daily Mirror claims that Alexis Sanchez wants out of Old Trafford, after his big money move from Arsenal in January went pear-shaped.
There are no prizes for guessing what has put the Chilean’s nose out of joint. The paper says Sanchez has ”become deeply disillusioned at Old Trafford over losing his place in the team and manager Jose Mourinho’s public criticism of his performances“.
Off to PSG
The Old Trafford bean counters are now willing to cut their losses on Sanchez, says the Mirror, although ”United would want a transfer fee, despite Sanchez being a financial disaster after arriving last January in a swap deal that took Henrikh Mkhitaryan to the Gunners“.
Paris Saint Germain have been identified as his most likely destination, not least because they can afford his wages.
Di Maria to return?
If Sanchez does head to Paris, could another big-money flop make a shock return? The Daily Express believes so, reporting: ”Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has been tipped to bring Angel Di Maria back to Old Trafford when the transfer window reopens in January.
“The Argentina international has been backed to leave PSG having tumbled down Thomas Tuchel’s pecking order.”
The paper notes that bookmakers believe he is the club’s likeliest January signing.
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