Manchester United step up pursuit of Inter ace Guarin

The Red Devils are hoping to open talks with the Nerazzurri over a potential €17.8 million deal for the Colombian, who is eligible to play in the last 16 of the Champions League

By Duncan Castles

Manchester United boss David Moyes has stepped up his attempt to recruit Inter midfielder Fredy Guarin by sending representatives to Italy to discuss a potential January transfer to Old Trafford.

The Serie A side are open to selling the Colombia international, who would come with the advantage of being eligible for the last 16 of the Champions League.

Capable of playing as a holding, box-to-box or attacking midfielder, Guarin would offer Moyes tactical options in an area that has proved particularly problematic during a troubled initiation as United boss.

With his new team languishing 13 points and eight places behind Premier League leaders Arsenal, the Scot is pushing United’s board on a mid-season squad restructure.

Inter are floating a fee of around £15 million (€17.8m) for Guarin, who was part of Porto’s undefeated treble-winning side under Andre Villas-Boas before moving to Italy on loan in the 2012 winter window in what became an €11m permanent transfer the following summer.

This close-season, Tottenham looked at bringing the 27-year-old to White Hart Lane, with the north Londoners failed with a £15.3m (€18m) bid prior to reinforcing their midfield with Paulinho and Etienne Capoue instead.

United have a large reserve available for transfers, having worked unsuccessfully to sign either Cristiano Ronaldo or Gareth Bale during the summer.

Moyes, though, is under a degree of pressure to recruit well, having already pushed the club to overspend on Marouane Fellaini on his first deadline day at the club.

Guarin’s contract at Inter runs until 2016. His agent recently declined to comment publicly on United’s efforts to sign except to state that “David Moyes appreciates him”.

Sneijder on Manchester United links: You never know

The Old Trafford outfit are once more rumoured to have targeted the Dutchman to solve their midfield problems, though he insists he is happy with Galatasaray

Galatasaray playmaker Wesley Sneijder has made it clear he is happy in Istanbul, but admitted “you never know” when prompted on interest from Manchester United.

Sneijder has long been linked with a move to Old Trafford, and United’s midfield struggles this season have sparked fresh talk of the Dutchman joining the Premier League champions.

But speaking in the aftermath of Galatasaray’s dramatic 1-0 win over Juventus that saw them qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League, Sneijder was keen to play down reports in the media.

He told NOS: “I know just as much as you. I don’t even read the newspapers, but I’ve heard about the reports. At the moment it isn’t an issue, but every time the transfer window is open, I get linked with all kind of clubs.

“Sometimes it’s frustrating, because I have to clarify it with the fans. Here in Turkey, the supporters are very emotional. They have a lot of passion and I don’t want to explain things that I don’t know about.

“Again, I know just as much as you do. I feel very good at Gala, and I’m glad we’re through in the Champions League. You never know, but at this point I’m happy here.”

Several clubs want Di Maria, says agent

The attacker’s Argentine representative Eugenio Lopez has suggested there is bad blood with president Florentino Perez as the player continues to be linked with a move

Real Madrid attacker Angel Di Maria is a transfer target for several clubs, according to the player’s Argentine agent.

The 25-year-old has been the subject of intense speculation in recent weeks with reports suggesting he is unhappy at the club, although Carlo Ancelotti made it clear he has no plans to allow the winger to leave Santiago Bernabeu.

However, Eugenio Lopez – the player’s representative from his native Argentina – has now hinted at tension between Di Maria and president Florentio Perez, claiming there are several top sides waiting in the wings should he decide to quit the Spanish capital.

“Angel has a contract until 2018. Many clubs want him. There is a presidential matter, but I don’t want to talk about it,” he told radio program La Red.

Di Maria, who joined the club from Benfica in 2010, has four goals and seven assists in 19 appearances this season.

Monaco coach Claudio Ranieri has previously voiced his admiration for the player, who signed a new contract with Madrid just last year.

Bayern extend Boateng contract

The 25-year-old Roten defender has extended his deal with last season’s treble-winners, keeping him at Allianz Arena until 2018

Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng has agreed a three-year contract extension with the European champions, declaring it an “honour” to have committed his future to the club.

The 25-year-old’s new deal will keep him at Allianz Arena until 2018, and the Germany international says he couldn’t be happier to be prolonging his stay with last season’s treble winners.

“Bayern are one of the great clubs in world football,” he told the club’s official website.

“To play here is not only a job, it is an honour.

“I want to achieve a lot with our team in the years to come.”

Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge also revealed his delight at the news, citing Boateng as a key player for Pep Guardiola’s team.

“He is one of the major players at Bayern,” he said.

“For this reason it was a natural fit that we have endeavoured to ensure a contract extension.”

Boateng moved to the Bavarians in July 2011 after a short spell with Manchester City and played in his side’s 3-2 Champions League defeat to his former club on Tuesday.

He has made 106 appearances for die Roten, and has won 36 caps for Germany since his debut in 2009.

Chelsea prepare to hijack Arsenal move for Barcelona sensation Sanabria

The London rivals are set to be locked in a battle to capture the 17-year-old Barca B forward, who is expected to leave the Catalan giants after rejecting new terms

By Wayne Veysey | UK Correspondent

Chelsea are preparing to hijack Arsenal’s January move for Barcelona teenager Tonny Sanabria.

The Gunners moved into pole position ahead of Roma to capture the 17-year-old after he rejected an improved contract from the Catalan giants.

It is understood that Arsenal have made Sanabria an offer and the Paraguayan is attracted by Arsene Wenger’s trust in youth and the chance to follow in Cesc Fabregas’s footsteps.

But Chelsea have now expressed an interest in the Barca B player and could be ready to trump Arsenal’s attempt to land the forward.

Sanabria, who has already been capped by Paraguay at full international level, has asked for a move from Barcelona after growing frustrated by the collection of stars blocking his path to first-team football.

The teenager joined the Catalans’ celebrated academy in 2009, aged 13, and has become a regular for the club’s B team this season as well as scoring three goals in four matches for the Under-19s side in the Uefa Youth League.

Reports in Spain have said that Sanabria has a buyout clause of an initial £2.5 million in his Barcelona contract, which runs until June 2015.

It is expected that the youngster will switch clubs in the forthcoming window. Arsenal had led the race for the player after submitting an offer considered to be more attractive than that placed on the negotiating table by Serie A high-flyers Roma.

But Chelsea’s late interest is a concern for the Gunners, who could be forced to up their offer to beat off competition from their wealthy London rivals.

The Gunners have prised a number of youngster from Camp Nou in recent years, with Fran Merida, Jon Toral and Hector Bellerin all following Fabregas in making the switch to the Emirates Stadium.