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TOP STORY: Man United eye Maguire alternative Demiral
Manchester United’s much-publicised pursuit of Leicester defender Harry Maguire looks set to fail and they’ll need to start looking at other options. Leicester want around £90 million for the 26-year-old and sources have told ESPN FC that the two clubs are still “miles away” from doing a deal.
So it makes sense that United are turning to other players and one that comes as a bit of a shock is Juventus defender Merih Demiral. Turkish-football reports that after Juve’s signing of Matthijs de Ligt, Demiral feels like his development will be stunted, just a few weeks after arriving from Sassuolo for €18m following a six-month loan spell.
The 21-year-old Turkey international doesn’t fancy battling with De Ligt, Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Daniele Rugani for a place in the XI and is already attracting interest from AC Milan and Atletico Madrid, so United need to move fast. Though the player has said his idol growing up was Nemanja Vidic, so that should help…
22.29 BST: We’ll close Friday’s live edition of Transfer Talk with some news coming out of West London. Sky Sports is reporting that Chelsea teenager Ethan Ampadu has undergone a medical with RB Leipzig ahead of a season-long loan in the Bundesliga.
21.16 BST: RB Leipzig have threated to send Timo Werner to the reserves for the final year of his contract if he doesn’t sign an extension, and as the Germany continues to stall, the Red Bull-backed club will soon push to sell him unless a new deal can be agreed. The Mirror writes that several of Werner’s preferred destinations, including Bayern Munich, have closed on him, leaving Paris Saint-Germain (should Neymar be sold) and Manchester United (should Romelu Lukaku get his desired departure) as potential landing spots this summer.
20.03 BST: Ajax have signed Mexico international Edson Alvarez from Liga MX side Club America, the Dutch club announced on Friday. Read the full story.
See you soon! 😍🇲🇽
— AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) July 19, 2019
19.10 BST: While we brought you news earlier in the day of Juventus’ intent to hold on to Blaise Matuidi amid interest from Paris Saint-Germain, Le Parisien reports that Sami Khedira, Emre Can and Rodrigo Bentancur could all be available as the Bianconeri‘s midfield becomes increasingly crowded following the arrivals of Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot.
18.17 BST: While Arsenal have deemed the £80m asking price for Wilfried Zaha is too steep and have subsequently moved on to closing in on a £36m deal for Gremio winger Everton, Everton the club have now entered the race for Zaha, according to the Mail.
17.24 BST: Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Nicolo Schira has reported that both Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain have made contact with Juventus over the potential sale of Paulo Dybala. He adds that the Bianconeri would need at least €80m to consider selling the 25-year-old, but that Dybala’s preference is to remain in Turin.
— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) July 19, 2019
16.31 BST: Catalan publication Sport reports that Liverpool want Augsburg left-back Philipp Max as competition for Andy Robertson.
As reported below (10.51 BST), Barcelona are also tracking the German. But Liverpool may beat them to the punch.
15.54 BST: Atletico Madrid have formally complained to La Liga over Barcelona’s signing of Antoine Griezmann, as they claim they are still owed a further €80m.
Sources at the Wanda Metropolitano have told ESPN FC that Atletico still firmly believe they are owed a further €80m, as they claim Barca and Griezmann agreed their deal before the player’s buyout clause dropped from €200m to €120m on July 1.
15.42 BST: Sources have told ESPN FC that Manchester United are keen on Newcastle United‘s 21-year-old star Sean Longstaff, with the midfielder finding all the speculation a bit odd.
“If somebody had said to be me a year ago I would be in this position, I would probably have laughed at them,” he told the Chronicle. “This time last year I was deciding whether to go to League One [Portsmouth] on loan. A year on, you are seeing your name linked with one of the biggest clubs in the world.
“For me, it is all a positive really. It gives you even more confidence. When I was in for a short amount of time people took notice of me. It is flattering but my job is at Newcastle.”
15.15 BST: Youness Mokhtar has signed for Columbus Crew from Norwegian side Stabaek.
“We would like to welcome Youness Mokhtar to Columbus Crew SC. Youness is a creative and dynamic player who can add variety to our attack,” said Crew SC President and General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “As a veteran, he brings years of proven European experience to our Club. We believe that his specific skill set will allow him to thrive in MLS.”
15.06 BST: Frank Lampard has made his decision on the future of Kurt Zouma, and it appears the defender is staying at Chelsea.
“In terms of Kurt Zouma, he’s a very good defender for us, very good player, very good person and professional,” Lampard told reporters in Japan. “I want him here, simple as that.
“We are competitive with the centre-backs we have in the team and he had a very good season at Everton and I can understand why they want him. He’s a Chelsea player and I want him. I want him to be happy and he’s working really hard. If he competes for a position and plays well, he plays.”
14.40 BST: Italy striker Patrick Cutrone could be set to join Wolves from AC Milan, as Sky Sports reports the two clubs are in talks over a £23m move.
14.16 BST: Corriere dello Sport reports that Roma have agreed a fee of €7m with Juventus to sign striker Gonzalo Higuain on loan for the season.
The deal reportedly also includes an option of €26m to sign him permanently.
13.57 BST: Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen has emerged as an alternative to James Rodriguez for Atletico Madrid, with the Spanish club still looking to make another big signing to complete their massive summer overhaul, according to Marca.
Eriksen is available on a free transfer next summer and has yet to agree a new contract at Spurs, but Atletico are more interested in James. However, the Colombian won’t be allowed to leave Madrid for less than €50m and Napoli are also interested in signing him, says Corriere Dello Sport.
Atletico have had their fair share of exits, and arrivals, this summer but the latest could come as AC Milan want to sign Angel Correa.
13.32 BST: Real Madrid have refused to rule out selling Isco and Marco Asensio if the money could be reinvested in signing Manchester United’s Paul Pogba or another marquee midfielder, sources have confirmed to ESPN FC.
Madrid have already spent over €300m shaking up a squad which failed in 2018-19, with Eden Hazard the headline addition to their forward line, and centre-forward Luka Jovic and winger Rodrygo also arriving.
That puts the futures of Isco, Asensio, Mariano and Gareth Bale in doubt as coach Zinedine Zidane remains keen to add a new central midfielder.
Sources said that they would be open to selling Isco if a “big offer” is received and that Borussia Dortmund had made an initial enquiry, but the 27-year-old himself decided the Bundesliga club were not “important enough.”
Madrid also want to keep hold of Asensio unless a “crazy offer” is received, with the 23-year-old being given one “last chance” to prove himself after his poor form last season.
12.49 BST: Former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes has returned to the club as the coach of the U19 team, the Spanish champions have confirmed.
Valdes, 37, spent last season working with Moratalaz’s youth teams and recently completed his UEFA Pro license alongside Xavi Hernandez, among others.
England youth international Louie Barry and USA U20 winger Konrad de la Fuente will both form part of Valdes’ side, who will compete in the UEFA Youth League.
12.28 BST: West Brom have announced the signing of striker Kenneth Zohore from Cardiff City on a four-year contract.
12.23 BST: Keylor Navas is “closer to remaining” at Real Madrid with the Spanish club having turned down an offer from Paris Saint-Germain, a source close to the player has told ESPN FC.
The Costa Rica goalkeeper, who has two years left on his contract with Madrid, has been informed by coach Zinedine Zidane he will have to settle for being Thibaut Courtois‘ backup for the 2019-20 campaign. And Madrid are willing to sell Navas, 32, for the right price but have not received an appealing offer.
However, the source said: “Real Madrid don’t want to badly sell Navas, a goalkeeper that has won three Champions League trophies. PSG made an offer for Navas but that it came from the previous PSG sporting director, before Leonardo took over the position. The PSG offer was not deemed good enough by Madrid. There is no big club left in Europe that has a need for a first-choice goalkeeper, especially of Navas’ pedigree.”
The departure of Zidane’s son, goalkeeper Luca Zidane, on loan to Racing Santander, and the imminent exit of Andriy Lunin following his return from a loan spell at Leganes, has assured Navas of the back-up spot.
“Luca Zidane has left and the next one to leave is going to be Lunin,” the source said. “Navas is closer to remaining at Real Madrid.”
The two clubs have held talks over the Belgian striker but a deal is yet to be agreed. Inter are willing to offer around £60m with £15m in add-ons but United value the 26-year-old at between £80m-£90m.
Conte confirmed Mauro Icardi and Radja Nainggolan will not be part of his “project” at the Serie A club and suggested that Inter will play without a striker against United in Singapore on Saturday while the pursuit of Lukaku continues.
“Lukaku is a United player,” Conte told a news conference at Singapore’s National Stadium on Friday. “This is the reality. You know very well I like this player. In the past when I was Chelsea coach I tried to bring him to Chelsea. But I repeat, today Lukaku is a player of Man United. This is the reality and this is the truth.
“I think that in this moment, we are talking about player of another club. For this reason it’s right don’t talk about Lukaku. I have great respect for United. As I said before for sure I consider this player. I like this player.
“I consider him an important player for us to improve. There is a market. We know our situation. We’ll see what happens. Now Lukaku is United’s player.”
11.28 BST: Manchester United legend Bryan Robson has told Paul Pogba he should not let super-agent Mino Raiola push him out of the door at Old Trafford — and teammate Andreas Pereira said he is prepared to steal the Frenchman’s phone to stop him talking to others clubs.
11.11 BST: AS Nancy are in desperate financial situation and may sell 18-year-old winger Bilel Hassaini, say Footmercato, with Liverpool leading the race.
Arsenal and Barcelona are also keen, while Hassaini has reportedly attracted attention from Ligue 1 clubs St Etienne and PSG.
10.51 BST: Barcelona have made Bayern Munich defender David Alaba their No. 1 target as they look to bring in competition for Jordi Alba this summer, various sources have told ESPN FC, but they are also weighing up other options.
Alaba, 27, offered himself to Barca through his agents several weeks back and is the club’s first choice due to his versatility and experience at the top level.
10.31 BST: Romelu Lukaku will not face Inter Milan in Singapore, according to Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The striker is keen on a move to the Serie A side and is yet to play for United during the tour of Australia and the Far East. Lukaku is still with the travelling squad but Solskjaer says he will not face Inter as he continues his recovery from injury.
Sources have told ESPN FC there are no meetings scheduled between the two clubs while they are in Singapore and Solskjaer said the situation has not moved forward. Inter are lining up a bid of around £60m with £15m in add-ons, while United value the 26-year-old at between £80m-£90m.
“I don’t have any update from last time I spoke to you,” Solskjaer said.
10.05 BST: Sources have told ESPN FC that Paris Saint-Germain are concentrating their efforts on reinforcing the midfield after signing Abdou Diallo earlier this week to bolster their defence.
Sporting director Leonardo has a number of targets in mind and has been in touch with Juventus regarding a move to bring Blaise Matuidi back to Parc des Princes, while Everton‘s Idrissa Gueye, Brescia’s Sandro Tonali and Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic are also on the list.
The French champions want to bring in two of those four names this summer and ESPN FC sources added that Leandro Paredes could be moved on if the circumstances are right.
Matuidi is likely to prove difficult to land, despite Juve signing Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey on free transfers this summer, but Leonardo is keen to restore the Frenchman’s experience and professionalism to the PSG dressing room — something that coach Thomas Tuchel agrees with.
Sources said that the Ligue 1 giants have been told that Tonali will cost upwards of €25m, while Everton would prefer to keep Gueye and Lazio ideally want to hold on to Milinkovic-Savic. However, none of those club have completely closed the door to negotiations with PSG at this time.
However, the goalkeeper reportedly failed his Benfica medical due to a shoulder problem and looks set to stay at Juve at least until December.
09.26 BST: Fenerbahce goalkeeper Berke Ozer is being tracked by Manchester City, Liverpool and FC Basel, according to Goal.
Ozer, 19, is highly-rated but has struggled to make an impact on the first XI and is reportedly available on loan this summer.
08.59 BST: The New York Red Bulls have rebuffed transfer offers from an unnamed Premier League side for U.S. international Aaron Long, and aren’t interested in selling the defender during the current transfer window, multiple sources have told ESPN FC.
08.33 BST: Celta Vigo winger Brais Mendez says he is flattered by reports linking him to Bayern Munich.
Bayern are reportedly willing to pay the Spain international’s release clause of €25m following a strong season with Celta, where he scored six goals and set up seven more in 31 league appearances.
When asked about Bayern’s reported interest, the 22-year-old said as reported in Marca: “I’m flattered but I know nothing. I’m happy at Celta.”
Mendez has two years left on his contract but Celta are expected to offer the player a contract extension with an improved deal and an increase his release clause.
08.00 BST: Flamengo executives are in England to discuss the potential sale of their 17-year-old starlet Reinier to Everton, Globo Esporte reports.
Reinier is a reported target of AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid and Manchester City. He has a €70m release clause but according to Globo Esporte, Everton are willing to pay up to €40m, including add-ons, to sign the attacking midfielder.
Flamengo own 100% of the player’s rights and he has been included on the club’s list for the Libertadores Cup but has yet to play for the first team. He is currently on international duty with Brazil’s under-17 side and will play a warm-up game against Paraguay ahead of the Under-17 World Cup in October.
Tied to the Rio de Janeiro-based club until Dec. 31, 2020, even if sold, Reinier will remain at Flamengo until Jan. 19, 2020, when he turns 18. If the deal is not completed, Flamengo intend to extend the player’s contract until 2024.
PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd)
Spurs’ Rose could Paris?
The England defender was left out of the club’s preseason tour to Singapore to allow him to “explore prospective opportunities with other clubs,” with Spurs seemingly willing to listen to offers for him.
Rose has two years left on his contract and Spurs appear keen to avoid letting any other players run down their contracts, with both Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld unwilling to sign new contracts in their last year.
Rose has been a major player for Spurs since signing from Leeds United 12 years ago. However, he has been linked with a move away from Spurs for some time and this summer would appear to be his last in London.
Should Rose move, that could pave the way for Tottenham’s much expected bid for Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon.
Fekir move to kickstart Lo Celso transfer to Spurs?
Nabil Fekir could sign with Spanish side Real Betis, a move that would end months of speculation linking him with a move to either Liverpool and Arsenal, among others.
That’s according to L’Equipe, which is reporting that Betis are the surprise side leading the race to land the 26-year-old.
Valencia and Sevilla have both also been linked with the Frenchman, but L’Equipe is reporting that Fekir’s move is close to being finalised, with Lyon boss Sylvinho confirming Fekir will move on this summer.
Fekir’s move to Betis could pave the way for Spurs to secure the signing of Argentine playmaker Giovani Lo Celso from PSG. Fekir would also prove to be a ready-made replacement for Lo Celso, who spent last season on loan at Betis from PSG, and Los Verde Blancos would be willing to let him go knowing they would have already reinforced their own ranks.
Have Barca bid to bring Neymar ‘home’?
Sky is suggesting that the Spanish champions have offered £90m plus two players from a list of six, including Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, Ivan Rakitic and Malcom, in an effort to reclaim their former Brazil striker.
Neymar has made it clear he wants to leave the French capital this summer and now it seems PSG are keen to recoup as much as the £198m world-record fee they paid for him in 2017, with a cash-plus-players offer seemingly the best option for all parties.
Barca are certainly reluctant to pay the full asking price and have asked that any payment be delayed until 2020, mainly because of the £108m they’ve already spent on forward Antoine Griezmann. Any further purchases risk Barca failing to comply with financial fair play regulations.
De Rossi inching closer to Boca move
Former Roma captain Daniele de Rossi is close to finalising a deal with Boca Juniors to play at Argentina’s giant, according to media reports in both Argentina and Italy.
The 35-year-old, who departed from his hometown club after 18 seasons, will reportedly fly to Buenos Aires this weekend to close the deal, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
De Rossi has been candid about his affinity for Boca Juniors and their fans in the past and has said it would be “a dream” to play at La Bombonera. The potential move has been negotiated by Boca sporting director Nicolas Burdisso, a former teammate of De Rossi in Roma.
– The Sun reports that Wilfried Zaha has told Crystal Palace bosses that he wants to leave the club on his return from the Africa Cup of Nations. Zaha, 26, has been a target for Arsenal this summer after impressing since his return to Selhurst Park in 2015. Boss Roy Hodgson wants to keep his star man, however, and reiterates that no one has yet lodged a bid that comes anywhere near Palace’s valuation.
– Manchester United are reportedly in “advanced negotiations” to sign Lyon’s in-demand starlet Florent da Silva, according to L’Equipe. The 16-year-old is one of the hottest prospects in France and is out of contract next summer, and while he has mainly played for the club’s reserves, he has also caught the eye in action in the UEFA Youth League.