Man Utd and Liverpool to scrap for Inter stopper Handanovic?
Bitter northwest rivals Manchester United and Liverpool(14/1 with Coral to lift the Europa League) could find themselves competing for Inter Milan custodian and ex-Arsenal target Samir Handanovic in the summer, according to reports.
The current Nerazzurri number one’s agent Federico Pastorello has alerted top clubs to his availability, with the 30-year-old’s San Siro contract set to run out in 2016.
A supposed switch to Inter’s Serie A foes Roma failed to materialise during the winter window but, according to Pastorello, his highly-rated client is keen to stay in Italy.
“For now we are not talking about it, as he has a contract until June 2016.There were three very soft meetings with the Nerazzurri directors. What does Handanovic want to do? Well, he certainly loves Italy,” stated Pastorello.
However, United and Brendan Rodgers’ Reds could reportedly use their financial power to convince keeper Handanovic to trade life on the continent for the bright lights of the Premier League.
The Slovenia stopper has spent 11 seasons in Serie A, and is in his third term at the San Siro, having previously protected the posts for Lazio, Rimini, Treviso and Udinese.
Handanovic, capped 73 times for European minnows Slovenia, may also be a familiar face to England fans after conceding three against the Three Lions in a recent Euro 2016 qualifier.
The Inter keeper’s stock is still high in Serie A, with Handanovic regarded as one of the Milanese men’s best players, despite leaking four goals in his last two outings.
Former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini’s side have slipped to 13th place in the league, with tabloid rumours suggesting Handanovic is unsure of his future as long-term number one at the club, and hoping to jump ship to a Champions League side.
Title-chasing Roma are clearly in need of an upgrade in nets, but the Giallorossi would be unlikely to be able to compete with the monetary might of a Premier League giant.
Liverpool, who are 6/1 to win the FA Cup, would appear the most likely destination for much sought-after Handanovic, as question marks continue to hang over the future of Belgium back-up stopper Simon Mignolet.
The Anfield outfit have been linked with a host of promising young custodians, including Fiorentina’s Norberto Neto, but could choose to plump for the experience of Slovenia’s most capped goalkeeper instead.
Somewhat of a spot-kick specialist, having equalled Serie A’s record of six penalty saves in a season, Handanovic’s composure between the posts could certainly come in handy on Merseyside.
Any potential transfer to the red half of Manchester, meanwhile, would depend on the future of David De Gea and the performances of free signing Victor Valdes.
While De Gea Spain star is yet to pen a new deal at Old Trafford, super agent Jorge Mendes has hinted that the 23-year-old talent could extend his stay with the Red Devils, telling tabloids “I think that he will stay in Manchester. The player will decide, but he’s happy there, at the moment.”