Rumour Reel: Mourinho to make Matic trade with Darmian, Dzeko Edin for Sunderland?
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | June 19, 2016
Sunday’s tabloid papers suggest new Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho may be prepared to do a swap deal with former club Chelsea for Serbia international anchorman Nemanja Matic.
Antonio Conte is coming to take up the reins in the Stamford Bridge hotseat once Italy’s participation at Euro 2016 comes to a conclusion, and Azzurri full back Matteo Darmian, 26, is the player the Red Devils are proposing to trade for Matic, 27.
Bonucci battle between Premier League elite?
Given the Blues’ defensive issues last season, this could be one exchange that is worth their while. Conte has also been linked with former Juventus charge Leonardo Bonucci, 29, to shore up things at centre half.
It is now believed, however, that Mourinho and Man Utd are ready to rival Chelsea’s rumoured interest in Bonucci, who could cost £25m. This comes despite the reported £30m signing of Ivory Coast counterpart Eric Bailly at Old Trafford.
Local rivals Manchester City are also tracking Bonucci, having missed out on Athletic Bilbao star Aymeric Laporte, but it is understood Pep Guardiola’s top defensive target remains Everton and England ball-playing centre back John Stones.
Big Sam seeks Dzeko deal?
One former Man City player is interesting Sunderland, who are keen to shed perpetual relegation battles for something more, as Sam Allardyce looks to strengthen his striking options.
The frontman in question is Bosnia’s Edin Dzeko, now owned by Roma. Aged 30, he netted 50 Premier League goals in 130 outings for Man City, but was often in the shadow of Carlos Tevez, Mario Balotelli and Sergio Aguero during his days at the Etihad.
Black Cats boss Allardyce is after a target man to partner the diminutive Jermain Defoe up top, and Dzeko fits the bill.
Big Sam was previously linked to former West Ham United charge Diafra Sakho, but it seems the Hammers hierarchy are reluctant to sell until a big-name replacement for the Senegal striker arrives at the Olympic Stadium.
Dzeko could cost as little as £11m, though it is understood Roma are keen to recoup the £15m forked out to turn his loan spell permanent.
Villa and Baggies can call him Hal
And finally, Birmingham-based rivals Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion are set to battle for the signature of Wales winger and free agent Hal Robson-Kanu.
Euro 2016 is proving the perfect shop window for former Reading wide player Robson-Kanu, 27, as he scored the winning goal for his country in their Group B opener against Slovakia.
If history is any indicator, then Robson-Kanu may choose The Hawthorns over Villa Park as his next destination. Namesakes Bryan Robson and Nwanwko Kanu both played for the Baggies, with the latter even being managed by the former during the memorable great escape of 2004/05.