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Wednesday's big transfer rumours: Manchester United and City falling behind for Portuguese ace

Joao Felix Benfica

What the papers say

Manchester City and Manchester United have fallen behind in the battle to land Benfica’s Joao Felix, The Sun claims. Neither side have made any approach to the Portuguese club, despite having been scouting the 19-year-old for months, the paper says. In the meantime, Real Madrid and Juventus have reportedly become front-runners for his signature, with both having made contact with Benfica officials about a potential summer deal.

Barcelona forward Philippe Coutinho is reportedly attracting the attention of several clubs and will not be short of options should he decide to leave the Spanish giants in the summer. The Daily Mail says Chelsea, Paris St Germain and Manchester United are all keeping track of the 26-year-old. It is understood Barcelona would be willing to sell for the right price, the paper reports.

Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho has reportedly attracted several admirers (Simon Cooper/PA)

Manchester United have made Jadon Sancho their number one target for the summer, the Independent reports. The paper says the club are ready to pay more than £100 million for the 19-year-old, and while Real Madrid and PSG are also interested, a move to United is the likeliest outcome should he look to leave Borussia Dortmund.

Tottenham are preparing a bid for Lazio goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha as a long-term successor to Hugo Lloris, according to TheSun. Spurs scouts have watched the 24-year-old several times, the paper claims, with the Albania international likely to cost around £35 million.

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Chelsea are facing a battle to hold on to one of their key forwards this summer, according to the Daily Express. Pedro is said to have attracted interest from the likes of Inter Milan and Milan. The paper says Chelsea don't want to let the 31-year-old go, with the Londoners already facing the prospect of losing Eden Hazard at the end of the season.

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Players to watch

Nicolo Barella: Arsenal are reportedly stepping up their interest in the Italy and Cagliari star and sent scouts to watch him in action again. The Sun says the Gunners have been keeping tabs on the 22-year-old for several months, reporting that Unai Emery has earmarked him as a chief target ahead of the summer transfer window.

Uche Ikpeazu: Cardiff are preparing to battle Celtic and Rangers for the Hearts striker’s signature, the Daily Mail reports. Neil Warnock is said to be keen on the highly-rated 24-year-old, though it could depend on which league the Bluebirds are in next season.

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