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TOP STORY: Barcelona to open Lindelof talks with United
With Matthijs de Ligt almost certainly heading to Juventus, Barcelona’s search for a new centre-back has taken a surprising turn — to Manchester, of all places.
The Sweden international endured a difficult start to life at Old Trafford after his €35 million move from Benfica in 2017, but he is slowly beginning to find his feet in the Premier League.
Can Barcelona convince Ole Gunnar Solskjaer & Co. to cash in on Lindelof now to fund yet another rebuild of United’s squad? The Spanish outlet says Barca are hoping to open talks this week.
23.45 BST: That will do it for the latest edition of our LIVE Transfer Talk blog. We hoped you enjoyed following along with us and remind you to check back shortly for the latest transfer rumours, reports and completed deals. Goodnight!
23.15 BST: New favourite for Gonzalo Higuain?
Gianluca Di Marzio claims that West Ham have made a shock loan offer to Juventus for the Argentine striker. With Marko Arnautovic moving to China and West Ham set to miss out of Celta Vigo’s Maxi Gomez, the Hammers have turned their attention to the 31-year-old Higuain.
Juventus reportedly want €40 million for Higuain, while West Ham are looking to loan with financial options. Higuain spent the second half of last season in London with Chelsea, scoring five times in 18 games of a mostly underwhelming loan stint with the Blues.
22.32 BST: A trio of Premier League sides are set to do battle over AFCON star Trezeguet.
The 24-year-old was a bright light for hosts Egypt at AFCON 2019 with a goal and an assist and is drawing a long list of potential suitors. Currently playing in Turkey with Kasimpasa, Trezegeut has also been linked with Inter Milan, Galatasaray and Fenerbahce.
Villa manager Dean Smith was in Egypt to personally scout the £10 million-rated player during the AFCON tournament but faces stiff competition both at home and abroad.
21.50 BST: Arsenal centre-back Laurent Koscielny has been a terrific servant to the club and also has played some terrific football in 10 years at the club.
That said, at nearly 34 years of age and with only one year remaining on his Gunners contract, it might be time for the Frenchman to move on. Le 10 Sport has indicated that Bordeaux want to sign the veteran defender and are hoping Arsenal will release Koscielny so he is available on a free transfer. Arsenal reportedly want £10 million for Koscielny but Bordeaux are continuing to haggle with the London club.
Reports indicate that Bordeaux are offering a three-year contract, while fellow Ligue 1 sides Rennes and Lyon have also expressed interest in the payer. Sounds like quite the dilemma for both club and player.
21.02 BST: Everyone has had a say on the links between Paul Pogba and Real Madrid… apparently even tennis superstar Rafa Nadal.
On Wednesday, the diehard Madrid supporter weighed in on the transfer saga following his straight-set quarterfinal win over Sam Querrey at Wimbledon. When asked about Pogba by a reporter, Nadal didn’t shirk the question.
Reporter: Last time you said you never switch off from sport. Let me ask you about Madrid team. How confident are you that Real Madrid will win La Liga and Champions League? Would you like Pogba on your team?
Nadal: “My answer is I always have been confidence with my team. Sometimes things are not going that well, like last year.
With Pogba, Pogba is a great player. Sometimes the money is crazy, so I don’t want something that I believe is exaggerate in terms of money. That’s all.”
Sounds like Rafa would welcome the World Cup winner at the Bernabeu. The 18-time Grand Slam winner will face rival Roger Federer in the semifinals of Wimbledon on Friday.
20.34 BST: Roma have acquired a reputation as a “seller club” in recent years but if reports in Italy are to be believed, the Giallorossi are set to make quite a splash — this time as buyers.
Alderweireld, 30, would be a replacement for the recently sold Kostas Manolas (Napoli) and would come at a relative bargain of £25 million due to a clause in his contract.
19.59 BST: West Brom to move for Arsenal midfielder?
According to the Telegraph, the Baggies are reportedly one of a handful of English Championship clubs looking at young Arsenal midfielder Krystian Bielik. The 21-year-old Pole has made just two first-team appearances for the Gunners to date but was massively impressive last season while on loan at Charlton.
Bielik made 34 appearances in helping the Addicks to promotion to the Championship and is reportedly also drawing interest from Derby County, Middlesbrough and Brentford.
19.31 BST: Aston Villa have been busy this summer, as you’d expect from an ambitious newly-promoted side.
The Sun reports that Brentford and England Under-21 centre-back Ezri Konsa is having a medical ahead of a proposed move to Villa Park. Konsa, 21, made 47 appearances last campaign for the Bees (his first in the English Championship) and is reported to have a release clause of £12 million.
Based on their summer, Villa mean business.
The Belgian, who scored two goals in the Champions League semi-final second-leg comeback against Barcelona and the second goal in the final win over Spurs, will not being going anywhere. Origi, 24, has scored 28 goals in 98 appearances for the Reds — with a loan move to Wolfsburg mixed in — and will be remembered at Anfield forever for his surprising heroics in the club’s UCL triumph in 2018-19.
“When we had to make the decision I just wanted to speak with the club first and my entourage, but the feeling was always that I wanted to stay and extend my contract,” said Origi to the club’s website.
“It’s an amazing club, we have a good group, the staff are amazing. Even coming into Melwood, the people that work here and everything, you feel there is something special going on here.”
18.12 BST: Let’s shift to MLS for a moment where we have a major Designated Player signing.
Bruce Arena and the New England Revolution have announced they have acquired Argentine centre-forward Gustavo Bou from Liga MX side Tijuana.
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) July 10, 2019
The typically thrifty Revolution are reportedly spending between $6-7 million on the Argentine, according to Goal.com’s Ives Galarcep, a sign that things are changing at Gillette Stadium with the arrival of Arena as head coach and sporting director.
Bou, 29, scored 21 goals in 55 games with Xolos and previously scored 44 times in 102 games with Argentine giants Racing. Bou has also had spells with Argentine sides River Plate and Olimpo, as well as Liga de Quito of Ecuador.
17.42 BST: Rangers star Alfredo Morelos is no stranger to making headlines — both good and bad.
The Colombian is a bright but polarising talent, having scored 30 goals last season while also being sent off five times. Both statistics have led to transfer speculation over the last six months and Morelos, who has made no secret of his desire to move to a bigger league, has fuelled the fire further with his latest move on social media.
The 22-year-old liked — and has since deleted — the tweet below linking him with a move to Crystal Palace, which won’t go over well with Gers fan or boss Steven Gerrard.
Alfredo Morelos tem sido um dos nomes mais especulados até aqui na janela e poderá pintar na Premier League – o Crystal Palace é um dos interessados.
O atacante colombiano de 23 anos foi descoberto pelo Rangers no HJK, da Finlândia, e comprado por apenas € 1,20 milhão em 2017. pic.twitter.com/Q2nMy60q0D
— De Primeira (@blogdeprimeira_) July 9, 2019
Rangers are said to want at least £10 million for the player, who has reported interest from Palace, Leicester, clubs in Germany and even China.
17.06 BST: Brentford have completed a deal for a a Danish midfielder.
The Bees have announced they have signed Mathias Jensen from La Liga side Celta Vigo for an undisclosed fee. The 23-year-old made just seven appearances for Vigo last season after arriving from Danish side Nordsjælland.
16.27 BST: Steven Bergwijn will wait on Bayern Munich beyond this week, his Agent, Fulco van Kooperen, has told ESPN FC.
On Wednesday, German publication Sport Bild claimed that the Netherlands and Eindhoven winger’s representatives wanted Bayern to decide on a possible transfer this week.
But speaking to ESPN FC, Van Kooperen said that, “we have never never said we are losing patience.”
He added: “Bayern are a great and huge club and it’s great they like Steven. They can take all the time they need.”
The 21-year-old winger emerged as a possible transfer target for Bayern Munich after Callum Hudson-Odoi‘s move from Chelsea stalled while Leroy Sane has so far shown no signs he is leaving Manchester City for Bayern Munich.
But Van Kooperen warned Bayern to not delay their decision for too long.
He said: “On the other side, it’s not a secret there are more clubs which like him.”
Lukaku has made his desire to move to Inter Milan known, with the Belgium international talking up the prospect of working under coach Antonio Conte at the Serie A club.
The Sun reports that Solskjaer made a last-ditch bid to keep Lukaku, “pleading with him to stay for one more season” but to no avail. Inter has reportedly been quoted a price of £75m for the 26-year-old.
Bale, who turns 30 next week, had been mentioned as the next big European star to transfer to the CSL, with some outlets claiming that a £1.2m-a-week salary was being offered by one unnamed club.
However, Marca reports that Bale would only countenance a move to another European giant if Madrid tell him to leave the Bernabeu.
14.50 BST: Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina, a reported target for Arsenal and Manchester United, has told France football that the time is right for him to leave St Mary’s to achieve his ambition of playing for one of “the very biggest clubs.”
Gabon international Lemina has made 46 Premier League appearances for the Saints since his £18m move from Juventus two years ago, and the Daily Mirror has linked the 25-year-old with interest from two of the England’s biggest clubs.
“I made a good impression in England, I received good feedback at a certain point, so I hope that clubs won’t have a short memory.
“I am not scared, I made a decision and I take full responsibility for it. I decided to tell the club representatives that I wanted to leave, there is no turning back.”
14.23 BST: Real Madrid’s presentation of new €50m defender Eder Militao was cut short when the 21 year old Brazilian complained of feeling dizzy and had to be helped away to recover.
The midday event at a sweltering Bernabeu was proceeding as expected with the former Porto player and Copa America 2019 winner having spoken of his joy at arriving at the “biggest club in the world” and promising to “give everything on the pitch” for his new team.
Then just as a reporter was beginning a question about the future of his international teammate Neymar, Militao began to loosen his tie and took a deep drink of water before saying: “I feel dizzy, I feel dizzy, it’s so emotional. I can’t do anything more.”
Madrid’s press officer immediately ended the news conference, and the player was quickly helped away from the room.
😣 El final de la rueda de prensa de EDER MILITAO ha llegado antes de lo previsto
⏸ El brasileño ha tenido que parar al sufrir un pequeño mareo
— Radio MARCA (@RadioMARCA) 10 July 2019
13.39 BST: Tottenham are in talks with Real Madrid over the signing of midfielder Dani Ceballos, Sky Sports reports.
Ceballos, 22, starred for Spain in their victorious European Under-21 Championship campaign, scoring two goals and setting up two more.
Sky reports that the 20-year-old would prefer a loan move to the Premier League before returning to continue his career in Spain.
Arsenal and Liverpool have also been linked with interest in Ceballos, who made 34 appearances for Los Blancos last season.
13.00 BST: Atletico Madrid winger Vitolo is happy at the club but not ruling out a move before the end of the transfer window, a source has told ESPN FC.
Vitolo, 29, has spent much of the two seasons since making the €36m move from Sevilla struggling with injury, and in recent days has been linked with Premier League side Arsenal, as Atletico continue to wheel and deal this summer.
The Spain international is now fully fit and intent on winning a regular place in Diego Simeone’s plans next season, the source close to the player told ESPN FC, although any offer which suited both the player and Atletico would be seriously considered.
12.18 BST: AC Milan sporting director Paolo Maldini insists the Rossoneri want to keep Gianluigi Donnarumma “for as long as possible” amid interest from Paris Saint-Germain.
Italy goalkeeper Donnarumma, 20, has been linked with the French champions following the departure of Italy veteran Gianluigi Buffon, who returned to Juventus after a season at the Parc des Princes.
However, Maldini told a news conference that the future of their No. 1 has been discussed and a transfer is not in their plans.
“We have talked a lot about the importance of Gianluigi to the team and to football in general,” the San Siro legend and Milan chief said. “The idea is to keep ‘Gigio’ with us for as long as possible. This is the first thing that we have in mind. This is our current position.”
11.45 BST: Turkish club Fenerbahce have moved to deny reports that they have a deal in place to sign Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil.
Ozil has been the subject of plenty of speculation regarding his future with the Gunners. He is the club’s highest-paid player, but spent part of last season on the bench before coach Unai Emery brought him back into the side.
The 30-year-old, who is a World Cup-winning Germany international with Turkish heritage, has been linked with a move to Fenerbahce.
However, the Istanbul club released a statement on Wednesday insisting: “Fenerbahce does not have a proposal for Mesut Ozil. Under the current economic conditions, such a step is not possible for both parties.”
– Miller: Is mediocrity now accepted at Arsenal?
11.23 BST: Real Madrid have announced that Eder Militao has passed his medical. Which is handy, as the Brazil defender is set to be unveiled in front of fans at the Bernabeu within the next hour.
— Real Madrid C.F.⚽ (@realmadrid) 10 July 2019
The Gunners have had an initial £40m bid for Zaha rejected by Crystal Palace, who want close to double that amount for their prize asset.
Arsenal’s failure to seal Champions League football for next season has hit their transfer budget, and therefore they could make a move for Mariano. According to the Mirror, Arsenal have been offered the chance to sign the 25-year-old for as little as £18m.
The Madrid youth product returned to the Bernabeu last summer after a prolific season-long loan spell at Lyon where he scored 21 goals. However, last term he netted just four times for Real after taking the No. 7 shirt vacated by Cristiano Ronaldo‘s move to Juventus.
10.28 BST: Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo stopped short of promising that Real Madrid target Kylian Mbappe will sign a contract extension with the French champions but expressed his desire to rebuild the PSG project around the France international.
Speaking with Le Parisien in the second part of an interview where he also admitted that Neymar can leave the Ligue 1 giants if an offer that satisfies all parties is received, Leonardo refused to promise a new deal for the 20-year-old prodigy.
“Extending him or not is not a question,” said the Brazilian transfer guru. “I never make promises. For two reasons: firstly, I do not do everything at this club. Secondly, I do not want to pluck promises out of thin air without being certain that I can deliver on them.
“The only thing that interests me is the concrete — today.”
10.02 BST: Barcelona will only make a move to bring back Neymar if a swap deal is included in the deal, Mundo Deportivo reports.
PSG sporting director Leonardo announced that Neymar could leave the French giants this summer if the right offer came along. PSG reportedly want to recover the €222m world record fee they spent on the Brazil star in August 2017.
However, according to the Barcelona-based sports daily, his signing for Barca is a “very complicated operation” and would only be viable through an exchange of players between the clubs.
Cadena Cope meanwhile, reports that no one at PSG has offered Neymar to Real Madrid.
09.42 BST: Swansea City are not aware of any bid for Oli McBurnie that would see the striker follow ex-teammate Daniel James to the Premier League, a source has told ESPN FC.
Reports from The Sun suggested newly promoted Sheffield United had put in a bid of £10m for the Scotland international. McBurnie was Swansea’s top goal scorer last season, scoring 22 goals in 42 appearances for the Championship side last term.
The source also rubbished reports that Swansea chairman Trevor Birch had put a £20m price tag on the player.
Wales international James moved to Manchester United last month in a deal that could be worth up to £22m.
09.17 BST: Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Christian Eriksen is due to begin preseason training with his hopes of a move to Real Madrid appear to be waning.
Eriksen said in the days following last month’s Champions League final defeat to Liverpool that it is the right time for him to “try something new” after six years at Tottenham, and mentioned Real Madrid by name as a potential destination.
However, The Guardian reports that no offer has come in for the 27-year-old from Madrid or from the other club credited with serious interest in him, Juventus.
Eriksen is due to rejoin his Spurs teammates by the end of the week, having had a few extra days off after featuring in Denmark’s European Champions qualifiers last month.
The Rojiblancos reportedly rejected Barcelona’s request to pay Griezmann’s release clause in instalments and instead stated the France forward would only leave if the payment of the clause was paid in full.
Griezmann announced last month he was leaving Atletico after five years at the club. His release clause dropped from €200m to €120m on July 1.
Atletico ordered Griezmann to report for preseason training and accused the player of showing a lack of respect for negotiating a move to Barcelona since February.
Pogba has declared his intention to seek a “new challenge” while agent Mino Raiola has backed up the claims by insisting he hopes to “find a solution” before the close of the transfer window.
“We’re Man United and we don’t need to sell our players,” Solskjaer told a news conference at the WACA cricket ground in Perth, Australia.
“We don’t have any bids for our players. Paul has never put himself out of the team, he’s always given his best and I can’t report anything but that.
“There is agent talk all the time and as I said we’ve not had any bids, that’s all I can say for this matter.”
Meanwhile, Spanish radio station Cadena Cope reports that Pogba moving to Real Madrid this summer is highly unlikely as they are put off by having to potentially pay a world-record fee for the midfielder.
Real Madrid consider Pogba’s arrival very difficult as United have no intention of selling the player. The fee to acquire the France international, who is under contract with United until June 2021, would be in the region of £180m, which Madrid are not prepared to pay and Madrid’s priority is not to bring in any more players this summer, but to sell.
According to the publication, Napoli sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli met with Madrid executives earlier this week and proposed to sign the Colombia winger on a loan move with a purchase option included in the deal. Madrid reportedly insisted they want to sell James this summer.
Atletico are also interested in signing James, whose two-year loan deal with Bayern Munich expired last month.
PAPER TALK (by Richard Edwards): United promise Pogba stay-then-go deal
Another day. Another story surrounding the future of Paul Pogba. No, really. This time, it’s The Sun claiming that he has been asked to stay at Old Trafford for one more year before calling it a day on his consistently underwhelming career in the North West.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is calling on the French star to remain at the club for next season as he rebuilds a squad capable of challenging for major honours before letting him head off next summer, with Juventus and Real Madrid those most likely to spend big for the France international.
Solskjaer, with the backing of the United board, are set to propose a deal that they believe would suit both the player and the club. The Red Devils could end up bolstering their coffers to the tune of £120 million in 2020, and Pogba would get his wish to move on without holding the club ransom in the current window.
😣 El final de la rueda de prensa de EDER MILITAO ha llegado antes de lo previsto
⏸ El brasileño ha tenido que parar al sufrir un pequeño mareo
— Radio MARCA (@RadioMARCA) 10 July 2019
Leonardo paints alternative picture for Mbappe
PSG’s new sporting director has come clean and admitted that he can’t promise that Kylian Mbappe will remain at the club for the long term. Leonardo returned to the club earlier this year and knows he has his work cut out to keep the French star in the French capital beyond his current contract, with Real Madrid — where else? — the most likely destination for him.
Mbappe recently admitted that his career had reached a “turning point” — possible code for get me on a plane to Madrid as soon as possible. Now Leonardo’s admission will send fresh hares running in both France and Spain, even as the club deals with a burgeoning transfer saga involving Neymar.
“I never make promises,” Leonardo told Le Parisien. “For two reasons: the first is that I am not the person who does everything at the club. The second, I do not want to pluck promises out of thin air without being certain I can keep to them.”
Refreshing honesty from the Brazilian.
Inter flying to Manchester in Lukaku pursuit
Inter Milan’s bigwigs are expected to be spotted in Manchester over the next few days as the Italian giants look to finalise a deal to bring Romelu Lukaku to the San Siro. So say Calciomercato, who reports that the saga over the Belgian forward’s future could soon be at an end — or at least a little nearer its conclusion.
Despite Lukaku’s apparent desire to quit Manchester United, there has been little firm news on his departure until now. With his agent, Federico Pastorello, pushing for a move and Lukaku apparently keen on playing under new Inter boss Antonio Conte, it looks as though the wheels are finally being put in motion for the Belgian to move to Italy.
— It’s shirt number dishing out time again, and it looks like Nikola Kalinic could be the man who misses out for Atletico Madrid this season. According to Marca, his No. 9 shirt has been handed to Alvaro Morata, with Kalinic instead being given the far-from-coveted 21 in a clear indication that his future might be away from the Spanish capital. That’s hardly surprising, given that Kalinic will be vying for a first-team place with the prodigious Joao Felix, Morata and Diego Costa this time around.