Transfer tales: Update on Thiago, Umtiti looking at 'alternatives'
With the action now resuming, the transfer activities have slowed down a bit. But with plenty of days still left in the window, clubs are actively pursuing their targets. That said, here are the top transfer stories of the day:
Liverpool and United 'bluffing'
Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has said that neither Liverpool nor Manchester United have approached the German champions for midfielder Thiago Alcantara, saying that they clubs are 'bluffing' in order to 'make a cheap offer' by the end of the transfer window.
Thiago's future has been in limbo since he decided not to sign an extension with Bayern. He was, in fact, keen on staying put but a sudden change in mind gave the European champions a bolt from the blue. Journalist Fabrizio Romano has said that United have been in contact with the midfielder's agents, while the Premier League champions are still hopeful of reaching a middle ground. For Bayern, however, they are holding on to their £28m evaluation of the Spain international, who only has a year left on his current deal.
“Both Liverpool and Manchester United did not come to us with an offer for Thiago,” Hoeness said. “They are bluffing and waiting until the last week of the window to make a cheap offer. Bayern must decide whether they want to play this game or stand their ground and keep him.”
Arsenal in talks with Runar Alex Runarsson
Following Emiliano Martinez's £20m move to Aston Villa, Arsenal have entered the market in search of a new stopper, and their pursuit has taken him to Dijon's Runar Alex Runarsson. Telegraphs says that Arsenal are looking to launch a £1.5m bid for the 25-year-old Iceland international. They have also shortlisted Brentford’s David Raya, but given the Championship club's demand of £10m for their player, Runarsson is expected to be a more affordable option.
Inaki Cana, Arsenal's current goalkeeping coach, has already worked with Runarsson at Danish side Nordsjaelland, which is exactly why the deal might come to fruition.
Meanwhile, manager Mikel Arteta has said that the club is working on bringing more players at the Emirates before the end of the transfer market.
"We are still active in the market, we are looking at different options," the Arsenal manager said earlier this week.
"I would say we are active in the market for players in and out, at the moment the squad balance is not the ideal we want to achieve so there is still some work to do.
"Some positions are overbooked, I said some others, in terms of specific qualities that we need, they are still not there. We have to bear in mind the complication with this transfer market and the complexity and the timing because you can see that clubs are behaving in many different ways and it is a little bit uncertain how this will work in the next few weeks."
Umtiti looking at 'alternatives'
Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti has somehow become surplus to requirement, and his brother Yannick, who is also his agent, has confirmed that although the Frenchman doesn't want to leave, the club wants him to move on.
The 26-year-old has struggled with injuries, and that coupled with a few poor performances is now pushing him towards an exit. In an interview with foot01.com, the central defender's brother spoke about the situation. "Samuel does not want to leave Barca this summer. However, bearing in mind the club's desire for changes, alternatives may need to be studied which suit the player's goals."
Given the state of the matter, his former club Lyon are tipped as a potential destination, but Yannick has clearly ruled out the possibility. "The Lyon rumour is good, but unfortunately, it's very unlikely to happen," a resigned Yannic Umtiti said. For Lyon, their manager, Rudi Garcia has already said he would love to have Umtiti at the club, sporting director Juninho mentioned the defender will have to take a pay cut in order to return.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Christof Stache