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Football transfer rumours: Chelsea to sign Real’s Raphaël Varane and Jesé?

Today’s rumours are cleaning up their act

With his team yet to click smoothly into gear despite last summer’s trolley dash, Louis van Gaal looks set to embark on another one down the aisle marked Defenders and Midfield Enforcers. The Mirror reports that United bean-counters are prepared to sanction an outlay of £150m, which the Dutchman will use in an attempt to bring Southampton right-back Nathaniel Clyne, Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman and Borussia Dortmund centre-back Mats Hummels to Old Trafford.

A firm favourite of Van Gaal, who planned to build the Holland team that contested the World Cup around the midfielder until he was sidelined with a knee injury, Strootman has long been linked with a move to Old Trafford and Roma’s president, James Pallotta, has said he would be prepared to listen to “stupid” offers for the 24-year-old. Expect Manchester United to offer him a family bag of Skittles, a Stetson hat made from mature cheddar cheese and the bicycle made from antique tuba parts on which movie director Wes Anderson made his way to last weekend’s Golden Globe awards.

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