Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare will decide on joining either Manchester United or Chelsea before the end of the January transfer window, according to reports.
Soumare, who moved to his current employers from Paris Saint-Germain B in 2017, has established himself as an important box-to-box midfielder for Lille.
The 20-year-old has impressed in doing so, having featured in 23 games in all competitions this term, including 18 of his side’s 20 Ligue 1 games.
Previous reports have indicated that United and Tottenham are keen on bringing Soumare to the Premier League.
Indeed, one claim said that Spurs boss Jose Mourinho had been cleared to make a formal approach for the player.
According to Sky Sports News, however, Chelsea are now in contention having – along with United – held talks over a potential deal.
The source claims that Arsenal were also reportedly interested but are no longer in the hunt, with Real Madrid and Valencia also pulling the plug on their interest.
Soumare has two-and-a-half years left on his current deal with Lille, who are fifth in the Ligue 1 table having won nine, drawn four and lost seven of their games.
Elsewhere, United are said to have cleared the final hurdle of agreeing on financial terms with Sporting in their pursuit of midfielder Bruno Fernandes.
Fernandes has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford in recent days, with various reports indicating that a key sticking point in the deal was the fee to be agreed for the Portuguese.
What’s more, Sporting reportedly want Fernandes to play in Friday’s derby against bitter rivals Benfica.
Speaking on Reach PLC’s Transfer Window Podcast, however, journalist Duncan Castles said: “Well I think it just gives you an indication of how important derby matches are in Portuguese football that they will take this risk over it.
“Financial terms I’m told are agreed between Bruno Fernandes and the club and the player’s agent is saying that he fully expects that deal to go through and Bruno to be a Manchester United player.”
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