Published: 12:40 BST, 22 May 2023 | Updated: 14:53 BST, 22 May 2023 My name is Simon Jones and, as well as writing regularly for the Daily Mail and MailOnline, I’m aiming to give you insight, news and the latest chat from across the globe on all the deals taking shape ahead of this summer’s transfer window. It promises to be busy once again in the Premier League as the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea look to splash further millions in a bid to close the gap on champions Manchester City while those at risk of relegation will be in fear of the proverbial vultures preparing to swoop for their best players. Man United are one of a number of top clubs that look set to be busy in the transfer window Senior Manchester United staff have checked on Napoli’s Victor Osimhen and Dusan Vlahovic of Juventus in recent weeks. It’s no secret that United’s priority is to sign a ready-made striker and, if their budget allows, they’d like to add another young one. We told you last month that their ideal plan was to sign Brighton’s Evan Ferguson and Tottenham’s Harry Kane. Ferguson, 18, will stay at Brighton while signing 29-year-old Kane this summer threatens to be a complicated and expensive business. Vlahovic, who has scored 20 goals this season, would be cheaper, around £80m, while Osimhen would cost £130m. Both are on Chelsea’s list too. Atalanta’s Rasmus Hojlund, again as Mail Sport told you last month, has also been discussed by United, the club he supported as a boy, and Chelsea. However, Atalanta want at least £60m for the 20-year-old Dane who cost them £15m from Sturm Graz last summer. United have long held interest in Vlahovic. They made a raft of detailed reports on the 23-year-old Serbian prior to him leaving Fiorentina, when Arsenal also made their play, but the 6ft 3ins striker wanted Juventus. Manchester United have put in the groundwork for Dusan Vlahovic (left) and Victor Osimhen (right) ahead of a potential move this summer as they look to bring in a ready-made striker They would like to sign Tottenham’s Harry Kane but it threatens to be a complicated move They will look at a new contract for the returning Amad Diallo, following his loan at Sunderland, and for Facundo Pellistri. They want to find a similar level loan for the young Uruguayan to gain competitive game time next season. United have yet to open talks with Lisandro Martinez over a new deal. The 25-year-old, currently recovering from a fractured metatarsal, has been back in Argentina after being given permission to return home for a week and is in the running to be voted the club’s player of the year. To get Transfer Confidential sent directly as a newsletter to your inbox every Monday go to mailplus.co.uk/transferconfidential After clutching thin air for Harry Kane’s free-kick, the 27-year-old recomposed himself to give a more than competent display at Tottenham on Saturday. Afterwards, Brentford boss Thomas Frank was, typically, frank, that the price on his goalkeeper’s head was £40million. ‘Absolutely, it’s realistic,’ said Frank. Yet, with one year left on contract, Tottenham consider £20m the more realistic price, cue some interesting negotiations. Raya, who is also admired by Chelsea, is understood to favour Tottenham with Hugo Lloris considering an offer from Al Hilal in Saudi Arabia. Brentford have lined up Dutch keeper Mark Flekken of Wolfsburg for around £11m, after considering Liverpool’s price for Caoimhin Kelleher, er, unrealistic and would also need to pay a sell-on percentage of Raya’s profit to his former club Blackburn Rovers. Liverpool are advancing in their efforts to sign Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton with the hope it can be wrapped up by next month. Sporting director-to-be Jorg Schmadtke is due in Liverpool this week to finalise terms on his initial short-term deal and he wants to deliver swiftly for Jurgen Klopp. Liverpool’s boss ideally wants new signings in early as he looks to correct this season’s failings. Klopp, who remains keen on adding Chelsea’s Mason Mount too to boost his homegrown quota, wants to start pre-season on July 8 with his squad scheduled to go out to a training camp at Donaueschingen in Germany’s Black Forest for July 17. Brighton, braced to lose Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo, hope to sign Liverpool’s James Milner and Mahmoud Dahoud as a free agent from Borussia Dortmund. They have also looked at Southampton’s Carlos Alcaraz and Christoph Baumgartner of Hoffenheim. Liverpool are closing in on a move for Brighton’s Alexis Mac Allister as they look to strengthen Arsenal’s desire to sign Declan Rice from West Ham is well documented but they have other options on their list. A structured £90m offer for Rice is expected soon though West Ham want considerably more and believe Manchester United will offer it. Arsenal hope Rice wants to stay in London but still retain their interest in Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi, Ruben Neves of Wolves and Moises Caicedo at Brighton. They also want creative support for Martin Odegaard, hence talks with the representatives of Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan and Chelsea’s Mason Mount. The departure of Granit Xhaka to Bayer Leverkusen will open up room and they will look to offload Albert Sambi Lokonga too. The Belgian has admirers at Burnley, indeed Vincent Kompany hailed him as ‘the next Yaya Toure’ while together at Anderlecht, but Confidential understands Sevilla are also weighing up an offer for the 23-year-old. Arsenal held talks about Zubimendi in January but he didn’t wish to leave with Sociedad doing so well despite Arsenal being prepared to pay his £53m release clause. The 24-year-old is also wanted by Xavi at Barcelona who described him as ‘an extraordinary pivot’. His mother will be pleased. Wolves captain Ruben Neves (left) and Real Sociedad star Martin Zubimendi (right) are among the alternative options they are looking at if they are unable to sign the West Ham skipper Wolves want £45m for Ruben Neves who is seeking Champions League football. The Molineux club would rather sell abroad. Gundogan, like Neves and Zubimendi, has Barcelona among his admirers but knows Pep Guardiola wants him to re-sign. City have offered another year with an option and further talks are expected this week. Chelsea watched Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia again last week. The 19-year-old is admired by director of recruitment Joe Shields, who signed Lavia for Southampton, but other staff have reservations. Don’t be surprised to see Brentford scouts donning Luton Town scarves for this Saturday’s Championship play-off final. You see Brentford have a serious interest in signing Coventry City striker Viktor Gyokeres but if the Sky Blues are victorious over Luton at Wembley, a deal will be more difficult to strike. Sweden international Gyokeres has scored 24 goals for club and country this season and is valued around £25million. Brentford see him as the ideal man to fill in for Ivan Toney, who will be banned for eight months for breaching FA betting rules, but if Coventry gain promotion, they will want to keep their player of the year. Confidential readers will be aware that Everton, West Ham and Leeds have been on the trail of the young Swede too but Brentford have shown the most conviction to get a deal agreed. Brentford also have eyes on the FIFA U20 World Cup with South Korea’s 18-year-old centre-back Kim Ji-Soo firmly in their sights as he faces France tonight. Chelsea will discuss Romelu Lukaku’s next move after Inter Milan’s involvement in the Champions League final. They still want another striker with Lukaku’s teammate Lautaro Martinez on their list along with Rasmus Hojlund, Victor Osimhen and Dusan Vlahovic. Romelu Lukaku will discuss his Chelsea future with the club after loan club Inter Milan contest the Champions League final Marc Guehi is building quite a fan club with his performances at Crystal Palace. Liverpool have joined his admirers though may not have the budget to bid for the £50m-rated England international as they prioritise midfield reinforcements. Manchester United are also keen on the 22-year-old while Confidential readers will be aware of interest from Tottenham and Arsenal. Palace are waiting to appoint a new manager before deciding on some players’ futures but are willing to make an offer to 28-year-old Jefferson Lerma who is out of contract at Bournemouth this summer. Goalkeeper Jack Butland is continuing discussions with Rangers after showing a willingness to fit in with their wage structure. Fenerbahce are understood to have made a pitch to Palace winger Wilfried Zaha in recent days but he has grander offers to consider. Manchester City are looking to beat Premier League rivals to the punch once again after opening talks over a £1m deal for Reading’s teenage striker Luca Fletcher. The 16-year-old has been earning rave reviews with over 20 goals for Reading’s youth sides and England U16s. He had a spell training with West Ham earlier this year and also had interest from Brighton. However, City are favoured to win the race for the youngster who is represented by Jay-Z’s agency RocNation. City are also working to finalise a new long-term contract for 18-year-old Rico Lewis following his stand-out season. Man City are set to give Rico Lewis (pictured) a new long-term deal, while they are expected to win the race for Reading’s teenage striker Luca Fletcher after opening talks over a £1m deal His initiation song choice was ‘Burn’ by Usher, a cheerful ditty about break-ups, so it may be no surprise that young Fulham goalkeeper George Wickens is mulling over his next career step. Nottingham Forest are among those keen on the 21-year-old who is in the last year of his contract. Forest intend to make a permanent bid for Manchester United’s Dean Henderson ahead of next season but want greater cover too. Wickens is homegrown and third choice for Marco Silva but is keen to play more and has admirers at Luton Town and Southampton too. Saints, meanwhile, are to appoint Sam Stanton as head of scouting following Tom Stockwell’s decision to join Forest. West Ham’s defence has caused them some concern this season so they are naturally looking to improve. Manchester United’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka is one David Moyes would like and Ecuador centre-back Piero Hincapie at Bayer Leverkusen is fancied but perhaps a more achievable target would be Wolves’ Max Kilman. Several defenders are of interest to West Ham, such as Wolves centre back Max Kilman (right)
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