The Insider: Rafael keen for Manchester United contract talks

The Brazilian full-back wants to discuss new terms with under two years remaining on his current deal, while Samir Nasri is closing in on a return to action
RAFAEL KEEN FOR MAN UTD CONTRACT TALKS

Rafael is keen to sit down with Manchester United officials to discuss the renewal of his contract, The Insider understands.

The Brazilian, who has emerged as the Red Devils' first-choice right-back with his performances over the last couple of years, is looking to open talks over a new deal with less than two years remaining on his current contract.

United and manager Louis van Gaal are in no rush to thrash out a new and improved set of terms for the 24-year-old although they will not allow the full-back to run down his contract.

Despite having made over 100 appearances since joining the club back in 2008, Van Gaal remains unconvinced by the former Fluminense star and is not sure he is the long-term solution at right-back.

And with rumours surfacing linking Barcelona defender Dani Alves with a summer move, it remains a crucial 2014-15 campaign for the Brazilian to prove his worth at Old Trafford and earn a new deal in the process.
 
- By Paul Clennam

NASRI CLOSING ON MAN CITY RETURN

Samir Nasri has stepped up his recovery from a groin injury and could even come into contention for the Manchester derby, The Insider can reveal.

The Manchester City midfielder underwent groin surgery at the end of September after complaining of discomfort during training.

Despite initial fears that Nasri could be out of action for over a month, the 27-year-old has been training for the last 12 days, with City insiders having told The Insider that the former Arsenal star has been "on fire".

With Nasri having missed his side's last eight matches, including Saturday's defeat to West Ham, there is now an outside chance he could be involved against Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium on November 2.
 
- By Paul Clennam

IN-FORM SAKHO A PREMIER LEAGUE LOW EARNER

Diafra Sakho, who has scored seven goals in eight games since joining West Ham, is earning just £15,000 a week.

The striker, who left Metz to link up with Sam Allardyce's side in the summer, has proven to be a revelation in the Premier League and again netted against Manchester City on Saturday, meaning he has scored in each of his last six consecutive appearances for the Hammers.

Upon signing for the club he saw his wages double from £7,500-a-week to the £15,000 he is currently earning - a relatively paltry sum by Premier League standards.

All the more remarkable - given his scoring record - is that Sakho was not Allardyce's first choice in the close-season, with the manager instead favouring a move for Sunderland striker Connor Wickham.

However, having pushed hard for a deal, the 60-year-old was eventually forced to admit defeat in his chase for the Black Cats forward, with Sunderland demanding £8m for the 21-year-old.

West Ham subsequently moved for Sakho and agreed to pay Metz an initial £3.5m, with the figure set to rise to £7m once the 24-year-old has made 140 appearances for the club.

Such deals are becoming less of a rarity in modern football and the arrangement is already paying dividends for West Ham, with the club set to retain Sakho's services for at least another three seasons at a knock-down price.
 
- By Harry Sherlock
 
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