Man Utd and Barcelona line up stunning swap deal as Chelsea eye £70m goalkeeper

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All the latest Premier League transfer rumours as Manchester United consider a blockbuster swap and Chelsea and West Ham prepare to open up their wallets.

Welcome to our daily round-up of the biggest transfer rumours doing the rounds, and let’s start with an absolute blockbuster that we, frankly, don’t believe for one split second. But let’s suspend our disbelief for a moment, because it does involve a bit of horse trading between Barcelona and Manchester United, and if in any two clubs can pull off a truly bizarre transfer…

According to Caught Offside, who have sourced this from the Spanish press, the Catalan club are keen to offload former Leeds United man Raphinha, who has never really nailed down a starting spot in Xavi’s side – and Manchester United are interested. So far, so reasonable. Where it all goes a bit mad is the suggestion that United are willing to look into a part-exchange deal including Marcus Rashford.

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Yes, Rashford has struggled a bit this season. Sure, maybe they might want to offload him for the right price. But for Raphinha and what? The money Barcelona don’t have? Still, who are we to argue with the Spanish media? It would certainly be one of the deals of the year…

The 3AM Verdict: Look, some rumours just don’t have the ring of truth about them. This one has the ring of absolute rubbish. Raphinha moving to Old Trafford we can buy, and it’s been about five minutes since Leeds fans had something to be upset about. But Rashford to Barcelona? In this economy? We’ve been wrong before, and feel free to keep the receipts, but we can’t see this one in a million years. Let’s move on to some plausible rumours, shall we?

Chelsea considering Maignan move

Any rumour which involves Chelsea spending an enormous amount of money is immediately believable, of course, so let’s give TeamTalk the benefit of the doubt when they claim that Mauricio Pochettino’s side haven’t been sufficiently impressed by the performances of former Brighton man Robert Sánchez and have begun casting about for a replacement. And their eyes seem to have fallen on one of the best stoppers in the game right now – AC Milan’s Mike Maignan.

Milan are apparently rushing to secure a new contract for the Frenchman with interest increasing from several corners, but if they can’t extend his stay then apparently they’ll settle for a deal worth around £70m, which Chelsea are up for spending alongside their expected attempt at a splash on Victor Osimhen. As the report wryly notes, however, “they do not want to be in a position where they are tied down by Financial Fair Play”. Good luck with that.

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The 3AM Verdict: Maignan is unquestionably a world class goalkeeper and while Sánchez isn’t exactly dreadful, it’s certainly an area that can be improved upon. The money will inevitably be the big stumbling block, at least as far as those pesky “rules” are concerned, but that hasn’t really stopped Todd Boehly so far, has it?

Hammers in Bergwijn bid

Finally, let’s look over a report from Sport Witness, who reckon that David Moyes’ West Ham United are weighing up the possibility of a move for former Tottenham Hotspur winger Steven Bergwijn, who is currently captain of ailing Dutch giants Ajax.

He’s one of the few players who’s come out of the mess in Amsterdam with much credit in the last couple of seasons, but he won’t come cheap – the report suggests that Ajax are happy to offload some players but also want a hefty €40m (£34.4m) for Bergwijn’s services. Apparently Steven Gerrard’s Saudi side Al-Ettifaq are also in the running for the 26-year-old winger.

The 3AM Verdict: Bergwijn was a consistently decent but seldom sparkling player for Spurs, and although he’s playing well enough the price point does seem rather steep. Presumably the enquiry follows rumours that Saïd Benrahma might be on his way out at the London Stadium, but £34.4m for a player who hasn’t really shone at the very highest level yet sounds more Saudi Pro League that David Moyes. Still, expect to hear more winger-to-West-Ham rumours in the coming weeks and months…

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