.Manchester United are confident that Borussia Dortmund’s Ilkay Gundogan will join them this summer
.Man Utd and Manchester City are monitoring Sheffield United’s striker Diego De Girolamo
.Liverpool and Everton are also set to send scouts to watch Italy Under 18 star De Girolamo play
.Gaston Ramirez and Pablo Osvaldo look set for the Southampton exit door with Roma and Inter interested respectively
Manchester United are growing increasingly confident they can persuade Borussia Dortmund’s Ilkay Gundogan to join them in the summer.
The 23-year-old’s father Irfan has held talks with Dortmund, Real Madrid and Barcelona while Arsenal and Chelsea have also shown an interest. Gundogan, who has been out or five months with an injured vertebrae, is contracted to the German club until 2015 but has a release clause of around £23million.
United have also been pressing for a deal with his team-mate Marco Reus but Dortmund have been reluctant to sell yet another star following Mario Gotze’s departure to Bayern Munich last summer and Robert Lewandowski’s pending move to the same club.
Summer move? Man United are confident Borussia Dortmund’s Ilkay Gundogan will join them
Release: Gundogan’s Dortmund contract expires in 2015 and he has a £23million release clause
The Germans have not given up hope of keeping their squad intact but summer would allow everyone better time to rebuild.
Gundogan knows he would get regular first-team football at United, while at Real Madrid the central midfield area is fiercely contested.
At Barcelona, they are looking for a replacement for Xavi, 33, who has clocked up 700 games and is troubled by ongoing Achilles problems but still intends to play for at least another season.
Dortmund are in a training camp at La Manga in Spain and intend to add a defender and striker of their own, preferably in this window. Inter Milan’s Andrea Ranocchia, a former Manchester City target, is Jurgen Klopp’s preference at the back.
Multiple moves: Ji Dong-won has left Sunderland for Augsburg and will sign for Dortmund this summer
Sunderland striker Ji Dong-won signed for Augsburg yesterday in a £500,000 deal but the South Korea man is merely taking a detour to Dortmund, as revealed on MailOnline.
The 22-year-old played for Augsburg on loan in the first half of last year and helped them avoid relegation and has joined them until the end of the season.
He will then sign a four-year contract at Dortmund in the summer, and BVB sporting director Michael Zorc said: ‘We are delighted that we can sign this talented player on a free for next season.’ Sunderland rejected a £5m offer from the Champions League runners-up last summer.
Losing hope: The chances of Wayne Rooney renewing his contract at Man United decreases by the day
Man Utd are continuing to look for a striker, too, with Wayne Rooney’s contract situation looking bleak and Robin van Persie struggling for fitness. The Dutchman has been doing gym work at Carrington this week but is back in Holland today for a check-up with his trusted fitness coach Arno Philips at PSV Eindhoven.
Diego Costa, Edinson Cavani and Radamel Falcao remain in United’s thinking for the summer although they will face competition from Chelsea for all three.
Which soon-to-be-former Premier League player, who struggles with his weight, was caught out when his manager’s daughter bumped into him as he struggled with the door at his local KFC?
He was armed with a ‘Wicked Zinger’ and ‘Boneless Banquet’ just two days after being told that his body fat needed to come down.
Another Diego, De Girolamo could add an extra dimension to the Yorkshire derby between Sheffield United and Bradford City tomorrow.
The 18-year-old, born and bred in Chesterfield, is hoping to be in Nigel Clough’s first-team squad after 10 months out with a cruciate ligament injury.
The teenager, who was being closely monitored by Arsenal, Man Utd and City, caused a stir in 2012 when he opted to play for Italy U18s instead of England after receiving a personal call from the great AC Milan and Italy coach Arrigo Sacchi. Diego qualified for Italy through his father Cosimo who is from Naples.
He played six games for Italy U18s and scored three goals only to rupture his anterior cruciate in the last minute of a friendly against Austria.
Wanted man: Both Man United and Man City are tracking Sheffield United’s striker Diego De Girolamo
A 10-month recovery ensued but he returned to play an hour for Sheffield United’s U21s against Stoke earlier this month before a run out against Coventry U18s last week. He scored two goals in 13 minutes before over extending his knee and coming off as a precaution.
However, he has been training with Sheffield United’s first-team squad and is hoping for a place on the bench against Bradford with an eye on facing Fulham in the FA Cup also.
Liverpool and Everton, alerted by his return to fitness, are also due to send scouts to watch De Girolamo.
He is still eligible to play for England but Italy have not forgotten him and invited him to an U19 squad camp in Florence just before Christmas.
On his way out? Inter Milan are said to be showing an interest in signing Southampton’s Pablo Osvaldo
Target: Roma have shown an interest in signing Southampton’s Gaston Ramirez
The future of Luke Shaw seems to lie in a blue shirt as interest gathers in the Southampton defender, but his team-mates Gaston Ramirez and Pablo Osvaldo could be making a quicker exit out of St Mary’s.
Both players’ representatives were over this week and they are keen on a return to Italy. Roma are among the frontrunners for Uruguayan Ramirez, while Inter remain favourites for Osvaldo.
Southampton chairman Katharina Liebherr says no players will be leaving but both may push for Serie A returns in the coming days.
Source : Daily Mail