Sport

THE TRANSFER COLUMN

By Simon Jones

Friday, February 21, 2014    

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*Schalke look to fend off Liverpool's interest in wonderkid Donis Avdijaj with £41million release clause

*Valencia have revived their interest in United striker Javier Hernandez

*Inter Milan confirm Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic is set to sign for the Italians for next season

*Everton have joined Arsenal and Liverpool in the chase for Sevilla defender Federico Fazio

*Leeds have switched their attention from Tottenham goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes back to Stoke's Jack Butland

*Newcastle and Manchester City take a look at Arsenal and Liverpool target Richairo Zivkovic, of FC Groningen

*Chelsea and Tottenham send scouts to check out Marseille Florian Thauvin

Julian Draxler's anticipated departure from Schalke this summer has prompted the club to put a prohibitive asking price on their next rising star.

Donis Avdijaj is a 17-year-old forward who has scored 59 goals in 53 games for the Schalke U17 side and is being touted as the new Mezut Ozil with his potential considered greater than Draxler and his 18-year-old club mate Max Meyer.

Liverpool have long been credited with interest in Avdijaj but talks have been ongoing over a new contract and now reports in German daily Bild claim a release clause has been put in place for £41million which is £4million more than Draxler's.

Avdijaj is yet to play a first team game for Schalke but impressed at their winter camp.

Schalke sporting director Horst Heldt said: 'We do not comment on the contract contents of our players. But Donis is an attacking player with outstanding qualities.'

Heldt confirmed Arsenal did not offer enough for Draxler last month and reports persist that Bayern Munich have asked to be kept informed should anyone make an offer for him in the summer.

Arsenal are showing interest in young French goalkeeper Alphonse Areola as a potential replacement for Lukasz Fabianski in the summer. The 20-year-old is on loan from Paris St Germain at Ligue 2 Lens.

Valencia back in for Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez

Valencia have revived interest in Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez, and are keen on a summer deal for the unsettled Mexican.

United boss David Moyes is willing to sacrifice the 25-year-old as he looks to improve quality among his strikers.

Wayne Rooney is poised to formally sign his new contract and United are keen on Paris St Germain's Edinson Cavani and Mario Mandzukic of Bayern Munich among others.

Question marks remain also over Robin Van Persie's future but Hernandez is one United will consider offers for.

Moyes still wants around six new players with at least four poised to leave in the summer. Hernandez also has interest from other clubs in England, Italy and Germany.

Inter Milan president Erick Thohir has confirmed that Manchester United centre-back Nemanja Vidic is poised to sign for the Italian club for next season.

Vidic said in February that he would leave United once his contract had expired this summer and the 32-year-old Serbian, who spent eight years at Old Trafford, has a two-year contract in place with Inter with an option for a third year.

Everton targeting Sevilla defender Federico Fazio

Everton are among clubs considering Sevilla defender Federico Fazio.

The 26-year-old Argentine has been a long-term target for Arsene Wenger at Arsenal while Liverpool have also watched him in recent seasons.

So far, Fazio has resisted offers to move to England preferring to stay in Spain where he has also drawn admiring glances from Barcelona.

He has been out with an ankle injury this season but has returned and impressed with both his ability on the ball and uncompromising defence.

He was even caught on camera giving Chelsea and Manchester United target Diego Costa a dig in the stomach after the Atletico Madrid striker shoved him in the face.

Sevilla will look to sell for his release clause figure of £7.8million.

Leeds back in for Butland

Leeds have revived interest in Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland after negotiations over a deal for Heurelho Gomes grew complicated.

Tottenham are understood to have wanted various bonuses should Leeds be promoted and were looking at a potential £1million for a permanent summer deal.

Brian McDermott is keen to strengthen his side through the middle and hopes to agree a straight loan arrangement with Stoke today for England international Butland with Leeds picking up a proportion of his wages.

Newcastle and Man City take a look at Zivkovic

Newcastle United and Manchester City are among the latest clubs to watch FC Groningen's Richairo Zivkovic.

The 17-year-old has put in some eye-catching performances this season which have already attracted Arsenal, Ajax, Liverpool and Barcelona.

The Holland U19 international has scored five goals in 19 first team games and can play as a striker or right winger.

Chelsea and Tottenham monitor Thauvin

Chelsea and Tottenham sent scouts to check on Florian Thauvin during Marseille's 3-0 win over Bastia on February 8 at the Stade Velodrome.

The 21-year-old attacking midfielder has been watched by Newcastle and Arsenal in recent months but has also drawn criticism from the likes of former Chelsea defender Frank Lebouef for some of his displays.

West Brom watching Betis midfielder Igiebor

West Bromwich Albion are among Premier League sides keeping a watchful eye on Nosa Igiebor at Real Betis.

The Nigerian central midfielder has been one of the few highlights in a woeful season for Betis which looks likely to end in their relegation.

Nosa plays as a holding player but can also play box to box and impressed Manchester United manager David Moyes in pre-season when they played a behind-closed doors friendly at Carrington while on tour in England.

Nosa, who is 23, missed two months with a groin injury but has impressed scouts against the likes of Real Madrid where he showed glimpses of his potential and Betis will sell for £3million.

Purrington interesting Reading and Huddersfield

Reading and Huddersfield are watching Plymouth defender Ben Purrington.

The 17-year-old left-back has attracted scouts from Liverpool, Aston Villa, Southampton, Brighton and Bournemouth also. Purrington, who is the nephew of former England England rugby union back row forward Richard Hill, is tipped to follow in the footsteps of other good youth products from Argyle having been at the club since the age of nine.

—Daily Mail

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