Papers: United eye £40m Bale

Papers: United eye £40m Bale
By Eurosport

13/02/2011 at 18:04Updated 14/02/2011 at 01:47

Manchester United are preparing themselves for a summer spending spree, with Gareth Bale the top target according to the Sunday papers.

The Sunday Mirror report that the left-footed 21-year-old is seen by Sir Alex Ferguson as the ideal replacement for United institution and Welsh counterpart Ryan Giggs.

With clubs across Europe keen to prise Bale away from White Hart Lane – and Spurs absolutely insistent that he will be going nowhere, a fee for the Welshman could even rise above the £40m which has been mooted.

And if money is a problem, United are apparently willing to use Michael Carrick as a makeweight in any deal.

Bale is not the only left-sided midfielder on Fergie’s wishlist, however – according to the same paper, Aston Villa’s Ashley Young was also the subject of a £15m bid in the January transfer window.

That offer was turned down by the Villans, but the Mirror understand that the Red Devils will have another go at luring the player to Old Trafford in the summer as Young stalls on a new contract.

And according to the Express, United’s £10m move for 17-year-old Southampton starlet Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is gathering pace and they are poised to edge out Arsenal in the race for his signature.

Another 17-year-old star linked with a step up to the Premier League is Connor Wickham.

Depending on what paper you read this morning, the Ipswich striker is either on his way north to replace Andy Carroll at Newcastle United (News of the World) or south to join Tottenham Hotspur (People).

In one of the more far-fetched transfer stories of the weekend, Spurs full-back Alan Hutton could be on his way to Serie A – Juventus are lining up a £5m bid for the Scotland international (People).

The Mail on Sunday say that Chelsea are eager to bring on board a key figure from the Emirates – chief scout Steve Rowley – in order to improve their record of finding the best young talent from around the world.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the same newspaper tells the story of how Chelsea let Denmark star-in-waiting Christian Eriksen slip through their fingers as a 15-year-old when the midfielder came to Stamford Bridge for a trial.

Now it is Arsenal who are leading the chase for the Ajax man (Daily Star Sunday).

In other speculation Galatasaray are ready to swoop for Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov – so says the People – Manchester City are distancing themselves from a bid for Brazilian wonderkid Neymar (NotW), while in the same paper Rio Ferdinand could be about to sign a contract at Manchester United that would effectively keep him at Old Trafford for the rest of his career – and even include a coaching role.

And finally, the News of the World says that Sam Allardyce's managerial odyssey could be about to take him to Qatar to take care of the national team.