Newcastle and Aston Villa battle for star winger as Man Utd chase £34m defender

Brajan Gruda of Mainz
Brajan Gruda of Mainz controls the ball during the Bundesliga match between 1. FSV Mainz 05 and Borussia Mönchengladbach at MEWA Arena on March 02, 2024 in Mainz, Germany.

We begin Friday’s Premier League transfer rumour round-up with a report from Bild, claiming that Newcastle United, Aston Villa, and Liverpool are all ‘lining up’ to sign Mainz youngster Brajan Gruda. It is widely understood that the German outfit are willing to sanction the winger’s exit now that they have secured their Bundesliga status for next season.

All three Premier League clubs could be set to miss out on the Albanian teenager, however. Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund are both said to be keeping tabs on his progress, with the German champions supposedly willing to pay £17 million or so for his signature. That being said, they too could be thwarted in their pursuit. Gruda was recently pictured wearing a Bayern Munich shirt, with some believing that this is an indication of his preferred destination this summer.

Todibo race reignites

Elsewhere, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United are said to be keen on OGC Nice’s Jean-Clair Todibo, according to Nice-Matin. Both clubs were heavily linked with the Frenchman during the January transfer window, and it is understood that they are willing to do battle again for his signature this summer.

Todibo is still very much in the frame for a departure over the coming weeks, although it is worth emphasising that his contract does not expire until 2027, and that he could cost as much as £34 million. It’s not stated whether Spurs or United are willing to meet that particular valuation.

And finally, Real Madrid have reportedly earmarked Manchester City’s midfield general Rodri as a key transfer target this summer. As per AS, the Spanish giants are on the hunt for a replacement following Toni Kroos’ announcement retirement, and believe that the 27-year-old could be the ideal successor to the German.

AS go on to claim that Rodri, despite being a ‘dream’ target, is ‘untouchable’ at the Etihad, and will therefore be a difficult deal for Real to seal. Bayern Munich star Joshua Kimmich is another player reportedly on Carlo Ancelotti’s radar, and could represent a more realistic alternative.

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