Transfer Talk: Real Madrid prepare splurge for Serie A stars Alisson Sergej Milinkovic-Savic

The ESPN FC crew assess the timing of Real Madrid’s first press conference unveiling new coach Julen Lopetegui, after his sacking.

The transfer window is open, and Transfer Talk has the latest rumours making the rounds. Follow along with our daily blog throughout the summer.

TOP STORY: Madrid prepare double swoop on Rome clubs

Real Madrid have two fresh targets upon appointing Julen Lopetegui as their new manager.

Roma goalkeeper Alisson is almost certain to arrive as the replacement for Keylor Navas, despite Liverpool and Chelsea’s interest, with Corriere dello Sport reporting that the signing is “only a matter of days.”

Meanwhile, Los Blancos have firmed up their interest in Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who is valued at about €150 million.

A meeting between his agent Mateja Kezman and Florentino Perez will take place next week.

Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been linked with a move to Manchester United.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of two Rome-based Serie A stars Real Madrid are plotting moves for.

Man United place massive price tag on Martial

Anthony Martial wants to leave Manchester United, but the France international may find it difficult to find a club willing to match the Red Devils’ valuation.

The Mirror reports that a £75 million price tag has been slapped on Martial, which could dissuade Tottenham, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid from following up on their initial interest.

Jose Mourinho has struggled to extract the best from Martial on a regular basis, but United will still fight to keep the former Monaco starlet after their £58 million outlay three years ago.

But with two years left on his contract now, Martial’s sale value could be at its peak this summer.

Barca draw up five-man midfield shortlist

Barcelona have drafted up a five-man shortlist in their pursuit of a new midfielder.

Sport writes that the Spanish champions are in advanced talks to sign Ajax starlet Frenkie De Jong, and Bayern Munich’s Thiago Alcantara could yet return to the Camp Nou.

The report also claims there is the option to sign Juventus star Miralem Pjanic. Though Paris Saint-Germain’s Adrien Rabiot and Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen are admired, there is an acknowledgement that both would be difficult signings.

Inter reject United’s Skriniar offer

Manchester United have been rebuffed by Inter Milan for Slovakian centre-back Milan Skriniar, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

Milan Skriniar
Manchester United have reportedly had a bid rejected for Inter centre-back Milan Skriniar.

United reportedly tabled a €65 million offer for the 23-year-old after an outstanding season helped the Nerazzurri to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

With Phil Jones and Chris Smalling looking vulnerable as the starting pair at the back toward the end of the season and Jose Mourinho benching Eric Bailly, a new centre-back is seen as a priority.

Skriniar’s stock has risen sharply since joining from Sampdoria last summer for €20 million, and Luciano Spalletti will be desperate to keep his defensive lynchpin for another season at least.


– Fiorentina have made a move to sign West Ham midfielder Pedro Obiang, reports the Sun. Villarreal and Besiktas are also keen on the Spaniard, with the Hammers likely to demand around £15 million to sell.

– Tottenham may have to wait until January to sign Wilmar Barrios after Boca Juniors made a plea to the Colombian midfielder to stay beyond this summer. According to the Independent, Spurs have stepped up their interest, but Boca hope to persuade him to pen a new contract on increased wages in order to star in the upcoming Copa Libertadores. Convincing Barrios to stay remains a difficult task for Boca though, as Barrios has a £14.5 million release clause, which will be well within reach for many European clubs.

– Southampton are close to signing James Maddison from Norwich after having a £20 million bid accepted. The Sun reports that Saints are set to beat competition from Leicester, Everton, Tottenham, West Ham and Fulham for the 21-year-old.

– Newcastle still want to sign Kenedy on a permanent deal from Chelsea, according to the Chronicle. The Brazilian impressed on loan last term and Rafa Benitez is encouraging the board to meet the Blues’ asking price, which could be in excess of £20 million.

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