BEIRUT: Manchester United are preparing to make an offer for Borussia Dortmund’s Polish striker Robert Lewandowski, in a move which could see Dimitar Berbatov transferred to the German side as part of the deal.
Lewandowski helped his side win the Bundesliga with a league record points haul of 81, scoring 30 goals in all competitions, and is set to play a major role for hosts Poland at this summer’s Euro 2012 championships.
Dortmund also won the German Cup this season, with Lewandowski netting a hat-trick as the champions demolished Champions League finalists Bayern Munich 5-2.
The Manchester Evening News reports that Sir Alex Ferguson is keen for a deal to be completed ahead of the European Championships, believing that strong performances for Poland will raise the transfer fee of the striker.
Berbatov was United’s record signing, costing 30.75 million pounds ($47 million) when he joined from Tottenham in 2008, but he has admitted his time at Old Trafford is over with the Bulgarian now considering his options.
“My time at Manchester United is running out,” Berbatov announced, before adding “I no longer feel like a valuable part of this team.” Prior to joining Tottenham in 2006, Berbatov was a huge success in the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen, with a number of other German clubs keen on signing the 31 year-old.
Reports in England suggest the Ferguson is also keen to sign Everton’s England International Leighton Baines, with United chief David Gill already having made contact with Everton chairman Bill Kenwright about a 12 million deal.
The Mirror newspaper reports that Kenwright is reluctant to lose one of Everton’s major assets, included in Roy Hodgson’s England squad for Euro 2012, with the Toffees prepared to hold out for in excess of 15 million pounds.
Chelsea have had an offer of 32.1 million pounds for Brazilian international Lucas rejected by his club Sao Paulo, with the bid set to ignite a bidding war with Real Madrid.
The Brazilian winger and his parents have been guests of Real president Florentino Perez at the Santiago Bernabeu this year, with reports in El Confidencial suggesting Perez is keen to make a move soon to hold off the interest of the Champions League and FA Cup winners.
“Chelsea are the closest team to Lucas," Sao Paulo’s Juvenal Juvencio declared. Regarding Real Madrid, Juvencio added: “there has been contact with the president Florentino Perez, who admires the player.” Inter Milan have also had a bid turned down by the club, with Juvencio stating that their offer of 20.2 million pounds was insufficient.
Ajax full-back Gregory van der Wiel is expected to leave the club this summer, with the Dutch international linked with a number of clubs across Europe.
The player’s agent Hakim Slimani has encouraged the advances of Real Madrid stating: "This is an absolutely top club, and Greg wants to go to a top club.”
Slimani refused to be drawn into further speculation about the other interested teams, but Arsenal and Manchester United are known admirers of the 24 year-old.
Former Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager Louis van Gaal looks set to be offered a key position at Liverpool by the club’s American owners Fenway Sports Group, but he will not be replacing former manager Kenny Dalglish.
Both the Guardian and the Times report that van Gaal will be approached to become Liverpool’s new director of football, a role in which he would work alongside the new manager.
The Dutchman has an excellent reputation in world football, having guided Ajax to victory in the 1995 Champions League. Alongside this triumph, in his career van Gaal has won four Dutch titles, two la Liga titles, the UEFA Cup and the Bundesliga.
He was named Manager of the Year in Germany as recently as 2010, and his capture would represent a major coup for the five time European Champions.
England international Matt Jarvis is a shock 5-million pound target for Italian side Udinese. The Wolves winger suffered relegation with his current club side, and looks set to leave the Midlands side.
A host of Premier League clubs are reportedly interested in the 25-year-old, among them Newcastle, Tottenham and Fulham, but it is the Italian side’s interest which is the most eye-catching.
The club finished third in Serie A last season to ensure qualification for the Champions League next season, and have been impressed with Jarvis’ performances.
Udinese have garnered a reputation for identifying talent, often signing relatively unknowns, and developing them into world class players, with the club providing the making of Barcelona’s Alexis Sanchez and Napoli’s Gokhan Inler.