What the papers say
Ander Herrera has no desire to join Barcelona this summer, writes the Daily Mail, with the midfielder eager to concentrate on his Manchester United career. Paris St Germain midfielder Marco Verratti remains top of the Catalan giants’ wishlist this summer but should they fail to land the Italy international, Herrera has been earmarked as a back-up option. The 27-year-old Herrera is fully focused on next season in the Premier League, however, and is unmoved by Barcelona’s interest in him.
Staying in Manchester and United have been given a setback in their efforts to sign Ivan Perisic for a reduced fee, claims the Daily Telegraph. Inter Milan, the Croatian forward’s club, allegedly need to break even for the financial year or face UEFA sanctions. But Inter are confident they will narrowly avoid punishment without having to sell Perisic, scuppering United’s hopes of taking advantage of Inter’s predicament.
Elsewhere, the Daily Mirror reports Kieran Gibbs has become a target for new Watford boss Marco Silva. The Arsenal left-back is out of contract in 12 months’ time so the Hornets are unwilling to meet the Gunners’ £15million valuation. Gibbs started just eight Premier League matches last season and may find his opportunities at the Emirates Stadium this season limited following the arrival of Sead Kolasinac from Schalke on a free transfer.
Meanwhile, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is frustrated the club have prioritised the signing of Romelu Lukaku over Andrea Belotti, says the Daily Star. Conte would prefer to bring Torino ace Belotti to Stamford Bridge but is unhappy owner Roman Abramovich and technical director Michael Emenalo would prefer to land Everton striker Lukaku.
Finally, Southampton have joined the race to sign Manchester City’s £25m-rated striker Kelechi Iheanacho, according to The Sun. Iheanacho is already on the radars of Saints’ Premier League rivals West Ham, Everton and Leicester, but the south coast club may hold the edge in the race to land the 20-year-old if they are willing to include Ryan Bertrand as part of any deal, with City boss Pep Guardiola a huge fan of the England left-back.
@TheSunFootball: Andreas Christensen hints at permanent Chelsea exit after returning from Borussia Monchengladbach.
@talkSPORT: Pepe Reina to Newcastle? Napoli president hopes goalkeeper will snub interest to stay in Italy.
@MARCAinENGLISH: Ceballos is heavily linked with @realmadriden. buff.ly/2u2c6Nb @RealBetis_en say there has been no contact.
Players to watch
Thomas Lemar: The Independent says Arsenal and Tottenham are set for disappointment in their pursuit of the highly-rated 21-year-old winger, with Monaco unwilling to sell one of their star assets. The Ligue 1 club were particularly disappointed by the Gunners’ £31m bid for Lemar earlier this week.Joe Gomez: The Liverpool defender is attracting the attention of Brighton boss Chris Hughton, who has registered his interest, according to the Brighton Argus. The 20-year-old Gomez was limited to three appearances in the FA Cup last season as he recovered from a long-term injury.Andy Robertson: The Hull left-back is on Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp’s radar should Alberto Moreno decide to leave Anfield in the coming weeks, writes the Liverpool Echo. Robertson was linked with a move away from Humberside in January and is rated at £8m by the Hull hierarchy.