Manchester United are set to offer a cash-plus-player deal, involving Javier Hernandez, in an effort to secure the signing of Atletico Madrid’s Radamel Falcao, according to the Daily Mail.
A report in Spanish publication Marca earlier this week stated that United were now best placed to sign the Colombian striker, ahead of fellow suitors Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester City. The story also suggested that an initial payment had already been made on a deal that could exceed €50 million (£42.6m).
The Mail intimates that talk on a down payment may be premature. Instead, they report that United are planning to offer Atletico £27 million plus Mexican striker Hernandez, who the club values at £20 million. That, it is said, would match Falcao’s buyout clause, however it is widely reported elsewhere that Falcao’s release clause stands at €60 million (£51m).
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has also repeatedly insisted that he has no intention of allowing Hernandez to leave. Despite a lack of first-team action, the 24-year-old has never hinted that he would seek a move.
Currently, it appears that Wayne Rooney may be the likeliest of United’s forwards to make way this summer, with Paris Saint-Germain heavily linked with an approach.
In other news, Manchester United are said to be interested in Marseille’s Andre Ayew. ESPN reports that Marseille are willing to sell the attacking midfielder in order to ease their wage bill, with both United and Barcelona targeting the Ghana international.
Ayew has confirmed that he can leave, but will only do so to a top club.
"The club has been clear: if they get a good offer, they'll listen," Ayew told Sky Sports. "But I'm not going to leave just to please them. If I go, it'll be to a club capable of winning trophies."
"What's important is to work, to do what I can to help the team win the game," he added. "If I have to fight and battle through things to help the team move forward, I'll continue to do so right to the end. We're at a stage where it's not the individual that counts, it's the team. So, as long as the coach is happy, I'll continue."
A surprising story in the Daily Star claims that Manchester United are watching Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane with a view to an approach this summer.
United were in contention to sign the 19-year-old when he left Lens in 2011, but Madrid beat them to his prized signature. Varane has established himself as a regular in the Madrid side in the second half of this season and the prospect of him being lured away from the Bernabeu appears highly unlikely.
Still, the Daily Star claims that Madrid are concerned enough about United’s interest to offer the France international a new contract and up his release clause from its current £26 million.
Finally, there is more news about reported long-time Manchester United target Christian Eriksen. Recent comments coming out of the Dutch club suggest that the 21-year-old attacking midfielder will move on this summer. The Denmark international’s latest remarks also appear to back-up that theory.
“I read that my asking price was €20million,” he said, according to the Daily Express. “That's a lot, yes, but I will leave that to the clubs."
The Express, however, believes that Liverpool are in prime position to sign the player.