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TOP STORY: Arsenal gunning for French prospect Saliba
Arsenal look set to sign French teenager William Saliba from Saint-Etienne — and the good news doesn’t end there.
According to the Evening Standard, the Gunners look set to snare the 18-year-old imminently before loaning him back to the French club for the 2018-19 season.
Unai Emery is understood to want the player far sooner but such is the player’s burgeoning reputation that they could agree to Saint-Etienne’s demands in order to seal the deal.
As a result they wouldn’t have to eat substantially into their comparatively paltry £40m transfer budget this summer, with both clubs likely to agree a small initial fee before the player heads to London next summer.
What’s not to love? Unless two Arsenal centre-backs pick up long-term injuries in the first match of the seaon.
12:42 BST: Juventus could sign highly-coveted Ajax defender Matthijs De Ligt by Saturday, according to Tuttosport.
The Ajax captain has reportedly “agreed terms” with the Italian giants, however are yet to agree a fee.
European giants PSG pulled out of the race for his signature on Monday after sporting director Leonardo said that the Dutch international “will not sign” for the club.
12.00 BST: Napoli are closing in on the signature of outcast Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez, according to Spanish outlet Marca.
The Colombian international, spent the last two seasons on loan at Bayern Munich, will cost Napoli around €42m, but the Italian club want to take him on loan first with the option of a future fee later on.
Marca reported that Napoli sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli is in Madrid to finalise a deal for Rodriguez.
11.35: Barcelona unveiled the signing of new keeper Neto on Tuesday.
The Brazilian keeper signed from Valencia for €32m, in what was effectively a swap deal with Jasper Cillessen going the other way for the same amount.
– FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) July 9, 2019
11.08 BST: Man City Women’s have signed defender Aoife Mannion on a two-year deal.
Mannion joins Manchester City from Birmingham City where she made 136 appearances for the club, where she was named in the Women’s Super League Team of the Year alongside new teammates Steph Houghton and Demi Stokes.
“[The Manchester Derby] is going to be so exciting, it’s going to be so immense,” Mannion said in a press release on Tuesday. “I’m so excited, especially with it being in the Etihad Stadium.”
10.40 BST: Neymar Jr‘s father, Neymar Santos Sr, says his son will report for PSG pre-season duty on July 15 as the French club had been informed of his commercial and institutional commitments.
The father and agent of the Brazil star does not understand Paris Saint-Germain’s decision to take “appropriate action” against his son for not turning up on Monday for the first day of pre-season training.
Neymar Sr told Fox Sports Brazil: “We had commercial and institutional commitments set. Since five years ago [Neymar’s] institute takes part in those…PSG, with the presence of president Nasser, included, took part in those events. I don’t understand this arbitrariness. We are annoyed by this but PSG knew about this situation.”
PSG sporting director Leonardo has confirmed that Neymar can leave the club this summer if an offer that suits all parties arrives and that Barcelona have been in vague contact.
10.13 BST: Manchester United have set their sights on Chelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko, according to the Daily Mail.
The Belgian international, 24, seemingly impressed United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer whilst on loan at A.C. Milan from Chelsea last season, following a torrid first season in the Premier League.
Bakayoko, who moved to Chelsea from Monaco two years ago for £40m, has three years remaining on his contract at the club.
Arsenal and Ligue 1 champions PSG are also rumoured to be interested in Bakayoko.
09.35 BST: Liverpool are optimistic that Divock Origi will accept the club’s offer of a contract extension following his return to preseason training, sources have told ESPN FC.
The striker, who has a year remaining on his contract, reported to Melwood on Monday and signalled his desire to play a further part in helping the Reds win silverware.
Sources have told ESPN FC that talks over a new deal have been progressing well with the Belgium international, who recognises there will be greater opportunities to feature for Liverpool given the packed schedule for 2019-20 plus the involvement of Roberto Firmino at the Copa America as well as Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah at the Africa Cup of Nations.
09.10 BST: Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba was filmed in an apparent row with teammate Jesse Lingard on the club’s preseason tour of Australia.
Pogba, who has two more years remaining on his United contract, has been linked with a move to either Real Madrid or Juventus after his agent said he is ready to leave and a transfer is “in the process.”
United posted a 79-second video on its official Twitter page on Monday of players walking through Perth, and 11 seconds in there appears to be a spat between Pogba and Lingard.
Pogba is seen exchanging strong words with Lingard as they are walking, before Pogba makes a movement towards his teammate. Defender Victor Lindelof then grabs hold of Pogba from behind in an attempt to diffuse the situation.
It is unclear what happened next because the video cuts to a different section of the player group.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 8, 2019
08.49 BST: Dani Alves says he wants to continue playing for a big club in order to achieve his dream, which is to play at the 2022 World Cup.
The 36-year-old right-back captained Brazil to Copa America glory on Sunday. Alves is looking for a new club after his contract with Paris Saint-Germain, with whom he played for two seasons, expired last month.
Alves, a reported target of Atletico Madrid and former club Barcelona, told Sportv: “In order to achieve my dreams, which is to play in a World Cup, I have to be at a high level. I need to be in a competitive team, one that arrives at the end of the season fighting for big things.”
08.22 BST: West Ham will have to deposit Maxi Gomez‘s €50m release clause as a single payment if it is to land the Uruguay international this summer, according to Faro de Vigo.
Celta Vigo have turned down requests by West Ham to pay Gomez’s release clause in instalments. Should West Ham fail to do so, Celta would then complete the agreement they reached with Valencia to sell the player to Los Che.
Valencia would pay €14.5m plus €1.5m in add-ons to Celta and include Spanish forward Santi Mina in the deal, with defender Jorge Saenz also moving to Vigo on a season-long loan.
Gomez is tied to Celta until June 2022 and is reportedly keen to leave the Galician club this summer. The 22-year-old, who scored 13 goals and set up five more in 35 league appearances for Celta this past season, is also a reported target of Barcelona, Liverpool and Tottenham.
08.00 BST: Juventus have welcomed a young defender to their training ground for a medical this morning ahead of a proposed transfer… but it is not Matthijs de Ligt.
Genoa centre-back Cristian Romero has arrived to complete a move to Turin. The 21-year-old Argentina U20 international, who made 27 Serie A appearances for the Rossoblu, is set to seal a move worth around €15m-€20m.
Given that Juve also expect to sign De Ligt from Ajax this summer, it is likely that Romero will be loaned back to Genoa, or to another Serie A club, for next season.
PAPER TALK (by Rich Edwards): Solskjaer eyes a trio of signings
Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku look highly likely to be playing their football elsewhere by the time the season rolls around but The Sun report that Ole Gunnar Solksjaer is still intent on bolstering his squad by signing three more players before the big off.
United have just touched down in Australia for their pre-season tour but although their Norwegian boss is likely to be hopping mad at the ongoing speculation surrounding the most high profile members of his squad, it seems he has been busy hatching plans to replace them.
Alongside his intentions to improve his squad, the paper also claim that Solskjaer has developed a harder edge in the off-season and is a more aloof figure than he was when he first took the managerial reins following Jose Mourinho’s departure from Old Trafford. He might need that new found toughness in the coming weeks, particularly after a video emerged of Jesse Lingard and Pogba apparently being less than friendly on a walkabout after arriving in Australia.
Agent dashes Spurs’ hopes of Zaniolo capture
The future of Nicolo Zaniolo, meanwhile, remains as murky as a Peroni bottle filled with river water, after his agent claimed that there had been no negotiations with any club — including his current club Roma and Spurs. Calciomercato report quotes from his agent Claudio Vigorelli and it appears, for the moment at least, that the prodigious 20-year-old Spurs target ain’t going anywhere.
Spurs had been heavily linked with the player, who arrived at Roma from Inter Milan last year for a fee of just £4m. He’s now worth many multiples of that figure after shining in the Italian capital, with his form catching the eye, not only of Spurs and Liverpool but also Juventus. Vigorelli, though, has poured cold water on speculation linking him with a switch elsewhere.
“To date, as far as we are concerned, no negotiations are underway with any international or Italian [club],” he said unequivocally. So that’s those rumours nipped in the bud. For at least another 24 hours.
– Aston Villa are eyeing a loan move for Axel Tuanzebe, who impressed on loan at Villa Park during a loan spell from Manchester United last season. That’s according to the Daily Telegraph, who report that Villa gaffer Dean Smith is looking to make at least three signings before the club begin their battle for Premier League survival. Or launch a bid for a European place. Hey, it’s July! Anything is possible in high summer. In the meantime, they’re prepared to wait on the 21-year-old, who’s currently having a grand old time with Pogba on United’s tour Down Under.
– The Telegraph also report that West Ham will find out this week whether their attempts to bring Maxi Gomez to the capital from Celta Vigo have been successful. If he does leave Spain for London, then he will apparently find himself as the highest paid player at the club.