Stunning Aston Villa twist in transfer saga as Man Utd prepare to offload crucial centre-back

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The latest Premier League transfer rumours including a big update on Michael Olise and news for fans of Manchester United, Fulham and Nottingham Forest.

Welcome to Thursday’s digest of the biggest and boldest Premier League rumours that have been doing the media rounds over the past day or so – and we begin with news of a potential twist in the tale that has Michael Olise leaving Crystal Palace this summer.

The Frenchman has been linked extensively with Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United but Football Transfers reckon he could be headed somewhere else entirely – they claim that Aston Villa reckon that are “confident they can outmanoeuvre” their rivals to make what would, let’s be fair, be a pretty stunning swoop.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

They reckon that he’s less keen on United due to the lack of Champions League football and doesn’t fancy competing with Bukayo Saka for a spot in Arsenal’s front three, all of which could open the door for a move to Birmingham instead.

The 3AM Verdict: Signing Olise would be a real statement from Villa, but we’d caution Villa fans about getting too excited just yet – there isn’t much substantiation in the report (or indeed any) which means this could just be hot air, and it’s worth noting that no major outlets seem to have reported genuine interest on Villa’s part. But they are in the market for a winger, and Olise is about as good as they could plausibly get, while the potential stumbling blocks over moves to Old Trafford or the Emirates seem substantial enough. There’s no mention of Liverpool, who seem unlikely to move for Olise unless Mohamed Salah moves on.

United star up for sale despite upswing in form

We’ll hang around Old Trafford for our next rumour – Football Insider claim that one of the players Manchester United are keen to get shot of this summer is England centre-half Harry Maguire, with the club set to look around for bidders despite a substantial upturn in the defender’s form since the turn of the year.

Apparently the fact that he will only have one year left on his contract after this summer is part of the reason they want to move on, and they are prepared to listen to offers in the region of £20m – a cool £60m less than they paid for him when he arrived from Leicester City. Nevertheless, Maguire may now be a part of the expected “exodus” in the coming transfer window.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The 3AM Verdict: £20m is probably a decent price for the defender at this point in his career, but his experience could be valuable and given how well he’s played in 2024, it’s slightly surprising that he could still be on the way out. The article doesn’t mention the names of any clubs who could be interested, although West Ham United were sniffing around last year.

Fulham & Forest battle for Benfica star

News now from the bottom half of the Premier League table – Sport Witness have picked up on reports from Portugal that both Fulham and Nottingham Forest could be in the market for Benfica defender Morato, who they both tried to sign for around €30m (£25.8m) last year.

The 22-year-old Brazilian, who is primarily a centre-back but who can also play on the left, has since lost his starting spot in the Benfica side, however, and apparently the club are now prepared to listen to offers, and even have a reduced price tag – it would now take a bid in the €20-25m range to prise him away.

The 3AM Verdict: It’s worth noting that the article doesn’t suggest it has any sources explicitly claiming that either club will be back to the table – this is a case of two clubs who wanted a player in the past and the idea that they will come back to the table is more presumption than solid fact. Morato, for what it’s worth, is powerful, good in the air and noted for his tight marking, but isn’t remarkably quick or technically adept. The price point sounds more or less right, if perhaps a little high.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.