Man Utd and Liverpool race to sign £50m defender as ex-Wolves man linked with surprise move

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The latest news from around the Premier League as Arsenal, Manchester United, Brentford and Liverpool make the headlines.

Brentford defender Aaron Hickey is said to be ‘attracting interest’ from Manchester United, Liverpool and German giants Bayern Munich.

Aaron Hickey broke through at Hearts (Image: Getty Images)Aaron Hickey broke through at Hearts (Image: Getty Images)
Aaron Hickey broke through at Hearts (Image: Getty Images) | Getty Images

The Scotland international has been in impressive form since joining the Bees in a reported £14m move from Serie A club Bologna last summer. Hickey made 26 appearances during his first season with Thomas Frank’s side and a serious injury suffered by Rico Henry means he could now be handed an extended run in the side over the coming months.

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But the Sunday Mirror have revealed a number of clubs are ready to try and tempt Brentford into selling the full-back - but any efforts will be countered with a demand of a fee in excess of £50m.

The 3AM Verdict: Hickey’s career path has taken a slightly unusual route after he secured an early move from Scottish club Hearts to Serie A side Bologna. After impressing in Italy, Hickey has taken that momentum into life in the Premier League and it would be no shock if he was to be handed a chance to move to a club challenging for major honours in the near future.

Marseille consider surprise move for former Premier League manager

Former Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Julen Lopetegui is reportedly under consideration to take charge at Ligue 1 giants Marseille.

Ex-Wolves manager Julen Lopetegui has been linked with a move to Ligue 1 Ex-Wolves manager Julen Lopetegui has been linked with a move to Ligue 1
Ex-Wolves manager Julen Lopetegui has been linked with a move to Ligue 1 | Getty Images

The Spanish boss has been out of work since he left Molineux last month but is said to be one name on Marseille’s shortlist as they look to replace Marcelino, who left his role at the club last week after an underwhelming start to the season.

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FootMercato have reported former Italy manager Roberto Donadoni has been ‘offered’ to Marseille - but Sportszone have suggested president Pablo Longoria are ready to try and tempt Lopetegui back into management.

The 3AM Verdict: Despite what could be considered to be an underwhelming spell at Wolves, Lopetegui’s stock is still high on the continent after his successful spell at Sevilla. It is no surprise he is under consideration by Marseille - but you wonder if he may wait for a more lucrative offer.

Former Arsenal star unsure on Arteta’s goalkeeper issue

Former Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno has been left with a familiar feeling after he watched current Gunners stopper Aaron Ramsdale dropped from Mikel Arteta’s starting eleven in recent weeks.

Mikel Arteta’s decision to rotate Ramsdale and Raya isn’t ridiculous - but it is riskyMikel Arteta’s decision to rotate Ramsdale and Raya isn’t ridiculous - but it is risky
Mikel Arteta’s decision to rotate Ramsdale and Raya isn’t ridiculous - but it is risky | Manchester United via Getty Imag

The England international started his side’s first four Premier League games but was replaced by summer signing David Raya for last week’s win at Everton. The Spaniard kept his place for the midweek Champions League win against PSV Eindhoven and Sunday’s north London derby clash with Tottenham Hotspur.

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Leno, who has established himself as Fulham’s number one since leaving Arsenal to join the Cottagers last summer, believes there are similarities between his time at the Emirates Stadium and the situation Ramsdale now finds himself in.

He told The Times: “We need to change players and have positive energy. There were a couple of excuses I didn’t understand and I have to say, unfortunately, it’s more or less the same with Ramsdale.

“It has happened (again) after the international break. I was thinking: ‘That’s more or less the same as with me!’ I was thinking about Aaron, he’s a very good guy. I know how he feels, there are some similarities. When I wanted to fight for my place, the goalkeeper coach said, ‘You have to leave the club.’ When he said it wasn’t about performance, I knew straight away I had to leave. I don’t know if they didn’t want two strong keepers. I had one year left on my contract. So it was the last time to make money off me.”

The 3AM Verdict: Ramsdale seems to have done little wrong in the early weeks of the season and Arteta’s decision to bring in Raya seemed a shock at the time. However, it now seems as if the on-loan Brentford stopper was brought in to replace the England stopper.

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