Football Rumours: Manchester United target Celtic hero Victor Wanyama
SIR Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United are stepping up their interest in Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama following his goal heroics against Barcelona.
The commanding Kenyan was one of the heroes in the Scottish epic 2-1 defeat over Barcelona on Wednesday, scoring the first goal and negating the threat of Xavi and Andres Iniesta.
United chief European scout Martin Ferguson was at Celtic Park to watch the 21-year-old in action and no doubt would have been left impressed with his performance.
United have reportedly been interested in Wanyama since July, but the defensive midfielder – also being tracked by Arsenal – insists his focus remains solely on Celtic for the time being.
Meanwhile, Inter Milan are ready to take advantage of Bacary Sagna’s contract stand-off at Arsenal.
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The Frenchman has been out of action since fracturing his leg against Norwich in May, and has only just begun full training with the Gunners.
Italian reports claim Inter are ready to make a move for the defender at the end of the season, when the defender’s contract will have just 12 months remaining.
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Elsewhere at the Emirates, Arsenal have joined the clubs monitoring Burnley’s 20-goal striker Charlie Austin.
The 20-goal striker has been watched by an increasing number of Premier League scouts over the past five games as they assess his ability to make the step up.
Newcastle have a long-held interest while Liverpool, Everton, Reading and Aston Villa have also taken a look at Europe’s top scorer.
Liverpool have renewed their interest in Porto striker Jackson Martinez.
The 26-year-old was linked with the Reds over the summer, with the Portuguese club valuing the player at around �18.5m.
The Columbian forward has continued his impressive goalscoring run, notching up 10 goals in 11 games so far this term.
Manchester City are set to have Chelsea wonderkid Conor Hunte watched this weekend.
The Premier League champions have been tracking the progress of the highly-rated youngster, 16, and are understood to be keen to sign him.
Aston Villa are chasing Maribor’s Robert Beric, who scored in the Europa League at Tottenham last night.
The 21-year-old is being lined up as a �3million replacement for unsettled Darren Bent – but Napoli and Sampdoria are also interested.
Meanwhile, Tottenham and Newcastle have joined the race for Blackpool star Tom Ince, while Stoke boss Tony Pulis insists he would not stand in Ryan Shawcross’ way if a top club came calling.
Liverpool are on alert after Brian McDermott admitted there is no end in sight to Alex Pearce’s contract deadlock at Reading, and Chelsea are considering a move for Vitesse Arnhem’s Ivory Coast striker Wilfried Bony.
Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City have all reportedly made offers for PSV Eindhoven defender Riechedly Bazoer, 16 – while Brazilian full-back Wallace, 18, is on the brink of signing for Chelsea, according to current club Fluminense.
And finally, Lionel Messi’s son Thiago has already been made a member of Newell’s Old Boys’ supporters club, after an agreement was reached between the club and the infant’s grandfather, Jorge.