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- James OrrMay 20, 20197:37 pm
EVERTON and Wolves head a five-strong Premier League pack chasing Benfica’s title-winning right-back Andre Almeida.
The 28-year-old Portuguese international produced a hugely impressive 12 assists and two goals to help the Lisbon giants pip Porto for this season’s Primeira Liga.
To put it in context, that’s one more goal and an identical number of assists as Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold managed during his stellar Premier season.
It’s also more assists than Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane managed during Manchester City’s treble-winning season.
However due to his relatively modest wages, Almeida could be snapped up for a bargain £10million this summer, a fraction of Alexander-Arnold’s current value.
Everton and Wolves’ Portuguese bosses Marco Silva and Nuno Espirito Santo lead the chase for the eight-times-capped Portugal defender, who has made it clear he wants to test himself in the Premier League.
Leicester City, Southampton and Brighton are also keen to sign Almeida, who has won four Primeira Ligas, two Portuguese Cups, four League Cups and two Super Cups with Benfica.
- James OrrMay 20, 20195:21 pm
MANCHESTER UNITED’S blockbuster £95million bid for Kalidou Koulibaly has been rejected.
The Napoli star is regarded as one of the best defenders in the world with United desperate to tighten up their defence ahead of next season.
Gazzetta Dello Sport journalist Nicolo Schira reports United’s potential world record bid for the 27-year-old central defender has been knocked back by the Italians.
The huge bid eclipsing the £75million Liverpool shelled out for Virgil van Dijk shows United mean business this summer as they look to bridge the huge gap between themselves and champions Manchester City.
Club president Aurelio De Laurentiis knows United chief Ed Woodward is under pressure to deliver summer signings in support of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
De Laurentiis does not want to sell his defensive stalwart who has a £130m buyout clause that comes into play next year.
Napoli finished second in Serie A behind Juventus with the Senegalese international named the best defender in the Italian top flight.
Koulibaly helped Carlo Ancelotti’s side keep 13 clean sheets, made 31 blocks and won 67 per cent of his tackles.
And his defensive prowess was on show at the Stadio San Paolo on Sunday with a stunning goal-line clearance while the game was poised at 2-0 during the 4-1 win against Inter Milan.
- James OrrMay 20, 20194:17 pm
By Alan Nixon
SOUTHAMPTON are lining up a bargain swoop for Swansea’s Jordan Ayew – after a year with Crystal Palace.
Saints are keen on adding the versatile attacker to their squad and could land him for a low fee as the Welsh club want him off the payroll.
Ayew, 27, had a quiet season at Palace but his experience of top-flight football makes him attractive to Southampton.
Palace may come back for Ayew later in the window if no deal is done at the price Swansea want.
The 52-cap Ghana international mustered just a single goal in 20 Premier League outings through the 2018-19 season – in the 2-0 win at Wolves.
Ayew had initially joined the club on a season-long loan on deadline day of last summer's window.
- Helen Rowe-WillcocksMay 20, 20192:25 pm
NICK POWELL has sparked a scramble by turning down a £1 million-a-year contract at Wigan.
Powell’s deal is up and he is now a free agent despite being offered a big rise and long-term stay.
Steve Bruce’s Sheffield Wednesday are keen, while Stoke may also step in for talks now that he is leaving.
Rangers and Celtic have tried for Powell, 25, too but he has a young family and is looking to stay in England.
- Helen Rowe-WillcocksMay 20, 201912:39 pm
OLIVIER GIROUD has extended his contract with Chelsea, according to reports in France.
The striker will stay at Stamford Bridge for “at least” one more season – while the Blues are still unsure whether they will be able to sign new players this summer.
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