Man Utd step up chase for £68m striker as Aston Villa table £17m midfielder bid

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All of the latest Premier League transfer speculation, including Aston Villa, Man Utd, and West Ham.

We begin Friday’s Premier League transfer rumour round-up with a report from Turkish outlet Fanatik, who claim that Aston Villa have made a proposal to sign Besiktas midfielder Ernest Muci. The Albanian star joined the Super Lig outfit in January, and is under contract in Istanbul until 2027.

Neither of those factors have deterred Villa, however, who are said to have already tabled an offer of around £17.1 million for the player. Indeed, Besiktas president Hasan Arat, without naming any specific club, has suggested that a bid has been received, stating: ‘A European club made an offer of €20m for Ernest Muci. However, I rejected the offer. Muci is a player with potential and we want him to stay with us next season’. It is Fanatik who claim that Villa are the mystery club in question.

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The 3AM Verdict: Muci hasn’t been in Turkey long, but he is already making a decent impact for Besiktas. By the sound of things, however, the Istanbul outfit have no intention to sell, and as such, Villa will either need to dig deep or look elsewhere. Unai Emery’s men might be best advised to move onto other targets.

United eye Zirkzee

Elsewhere, according to a report from Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport, Manchester United ‘have already made a move’ to sign Bologna striker Jonathan Zirkzee. It is understood that the Red Devils have contacted the Serie A side, while AC Milan are also said to be monitoring his situation.

In terms of a price tag, Bologna are expected to demand somewhere in the region of £68.6 million for the Dutchman. While United have not reached that valuation yet, it is claimed that if they returned ‘with a big cheque’, the Red Devils would have a ‘good chance of pleasing everyone’.

The 3AM Verdict: Zirkzee is set to be in demand this summer. Indeed, it wasn’t too long ago that we were sharing reports from the continent linking him with a potential move to Tottenham Hotspur. For their part, United do need attacking reinforcements, and if they can settle on a decent price with Bologna, then the promising Dutchman could be another astute signing in the vein of Rasmus Hojlund.

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West Ham keen on Fofana

And finally, CalcioMercato report that West Ham are eager to complete a deal for AS Monaco midfielder Youssouf Fofana this summer. The Hammers are likely to be in the market for talent in the centre of the park following Kalvin Phillips’ unsuccessful loan spell and amid claims of Lucas Paqueta’s prospective exit.

Manchester United and AC Milan are also understood to be keen on the 25-year-old, with a fee of around £25 million expected to be enough to prise him away from his current employers this summer. Nottingham Forest are said to be monitoring the Frenchman’s situation as well.

The 3AM Verdict: Fofana is undoubtedly a player of real pedigree, and if West Ham could somehow land him over the likes of Manchester United and AC Milan, it would represent a notable coup. At £25 million, he would be affordable enough, and now it just remains to be seen whether or not the Hammers can firm up their interest in the coming months.

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