Transfer news: Gasperini and Pacho to Liverpool, Branthwaite to Man United, and more

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Is Gasperini really a candidate for the Liverpool job?

Gian Piero Gasperini will have raised some eyebrows yesterday when he addressed rumours about him being in contention for the Liverpool job. He spoke at his press conference ahead of the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final with the Reds, saying: “Of course I am happy with links to Liverpool job to replace Klopp but my focus is on the game.”

For sure, Gasperini has done a fantastic job at Atalanta in recent times so I’m not too surprised that, after beating Liverpool in such a convincing way with that 3-0 win at Anfield last week, there is some media speculation about him possibly replacing Klopp, but there’s nothing more to it than that.

I can say that there’s nothing at all between Gasperini and Liverpool from what I know. I think these are links just generated by Atalanta’s super game vs Liverpool at Anfield, that’s it. As for other clubs, again there will always be links, but for now I see him staying at Atalanta.

Staying with Liverpool, I spoke yesterday about how they have been monitoring Eintracht Frankfurt, but it’s not really about specific players. It’s normal for top clubs like this to send their scouts to monitor entire teams, but it’s too early to report on anything more than that.

So, although there have also been stories about Liverpool enquiring about Eintracht’s talented Ecuador defender Willian Pacho, along with Arsenal, I have no concrete updates about specific clubs.

It’s true that Pacho has a price tag of around €50-60m and it looks like an open race for his signature this summer. I’m told nothing is at concrete or advanced stages with English clubs.

What action will Chelsea take against players involved in penalty row?

We saw an extraordinary incident in Chelsea’s game against Everton on Monday night when a few of their players were arguing over who should take the penalty in the second half. Cole Palmer ended up taking it as usual, and scoring, and Mauricio Pochettino made it clear after the game that Palmer is his penalty taker.

Pochettino was clearly angry and said these kind of things cannot happen, but I’ve been asked by fans since then about any further action and I thought I would offer my understanding of the situation.

I don’t think we’re going to see anything like Chelsea fining the players, it will just be about clarifying the issue internally face to face. This is what Pochettino wanted to do, discuss face to face and clarify between them. Chelsea don’t want to make it a bigger story than it really is.

Latest on Jarrad Branthwaite and Man United’s CB search, plus wonderkid being monitored

Jarrad Branthwaite is on Manchester United’s list of transfer targets

Jarrad Branthwaite is having a fine season with Everton and we’re again seeing media reports of Manchester United being interested in the talented young centre-back, though other outlets are also suggesting he might be too expensive for them.

The reality is that it’s still early days on this story – for sure Branthwaite is appreciated by Man United and is one of three or four names on their shortlist, but we’ll have to wait and see if this develops into anything more.

As for Everton’s price, my understanding is that clubs are still waiting to understand Everton’s decision on the asking price. We have to wait for that. But as previously reported, United have been scouting important centre-backs like Jean-Clair Todibo, Gleison Bremer, Antonio Silva, as well as Branthwaite, and they could make at least one signing in that position this summer, or perhaps two, depending on what will happen with Raphael Varane.

A reminder of what I reported earlier this week – Varane has not been offered a new contract by United. We had rumours back in March about a new contract based on appearances and game time, but I’m told this is not true. Let’s see if things change, but as of today Varane has not received any proposal from the club, so his future remains open and it could be that he’ll need replacing ahead of next season.

Finally on Man United, 17-year-old Port Vale wonderkid Baylee Dipepa has been followed and tracked by the United scouting team. Let’s see if they decide to proceed with negotiations, but it will depend on the new board they are building now, so we can just be patient on that one.

More Stories Baylee Dipepa Cole Palmer Fabrizio Romano Gian Piero Gasperini Jarrad Branthwaite Mauricio Pochettino Raphael Varane Willian Pacho