The football world is awash with gossip. Transfer Talk is monitoring the whispers ahead of all the summer moves. Check out the latest deals and potential deals here.
TOP STORY: Barca ‘have Coutinho deal in the bag’
Barcelona, awash with cash following the world-record sale of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain, have been linked with Philippe Coutinho for weeks — and now they believe they have his signature “in the bag,” according to a report in the Sun.
It reports that Barca “are confident of landing the Liverpool playmaker in a £90 million deal this week” and believe they can do so despite the Anfield club having already rejected a bid of over £70 million.
The Liga giants “are preparing a fresh five-year deal” for Coutinho despite Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp having stressed he is not for sale, with the Sun saying Klopp “faces a battle” to keep his biggest star, who missed the weekend friendly win over Athletic Bilbao with a back problem.
Meanwhile, the Mirror reports that Liverpool are set to abandon their interest in Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk and “put their trust in the current centre-backs to provide the backbone in a title-challenging team.”
Van Dijk is reported to remain keen to move to Anfield, but the Merseysiders could opt not to pursue a transfer that would potentially cost as much as £60 million.
08.46 BST: Jurgen Klopp has said he is happy with Liverpool’s current defensive options and will not “force” it if they cannot land their priority targets. “We would never get a centre-back ‘just because…'” Klopp added. Full story.
08.33 BST: Today’s front page of Mundo Deportivo states that Barcelona are hoping to wrap up deals for Philippe Coutinho and Real Sociedad’s Inigo Martinez this week, while adding that Liverpool are interested in signing Barca’s Andre Gomes.
— footballespana (@footballespana_) August 7, 2017
08.19 BST: Barcelona could be set to lose another player due to a release clause being triggered… The Sun reports that Manchester United are set to pay Sergi Roberto‘s £36 million clause, though they face competition from Chelsea and Monaco for the Spaniard.
08.06 BST: So Philippe Coutinho could be on his way to Barcelona — and so could Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Julian Draxler. Bild is reporting that Barca could use some of the Neymar funds to bring in the Germany international, with his agent having been spotted in the Catalan city.
06.38 BST: Good morning transfer fans! We start today’s blog with a bang, with news that Barcelona have lodged an official bid for Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele, according to Gianluca Di Marzio.
That comes hot on the heels of BVB CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke’s comments on Saturday, where he said that no amount of money would persuade the Bundesliga side to do business — not even a mooted €100m transfer: “In every case, [the transfer fee is] not enough!”
Sanchez set to see out Arsenal contract
After a summer during which one of the most recurrent sagas has been that of whether or not Alexis Sanchez leaves Arsenal, the Mirror reports that a conclusion has finally been reached — and Sanchez will be staying.
It says the Chile international “is ready to accept Arsenal’s hard-line stance and see out the final year of his contract.”
The news comes after Gunners boss Arsene Wenger had stressed that Sanchez was not going to be leaving, with the club running the risk that he could leave on a free transfer when his transfer expires next year.
The attacker has been strongly linked with both Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich, but the Mirror says he is “dropping hints to teammates and friends that he is resigned to staying and leaving as a free agent — when he is likely to get an even more lucrative contract.”
PSG’s eyebrow-raising move for Neymar, the report says, “appears to have ended the French club’s realistic chance of getting Sanchez.”
Meanwhile, the Telegraph says we should expect more departures as Community Shield winners Arsenal trim their squad.
Striker Olivier Giroud continues to interest big-spending Everton, with England midfielder Jack Wilshere, on loan at Bournemouth last season, another who could leave North London before the start of the Premier League season.
— It’s only right and proper that Brighton continue to strengthen ahead of their return to the top tier of English football, and the Mail reports that they will do just that with a move for PSV Eindhoven midfielder Davy Propper.
Chris Hughton’s Seagulls are poised to make a £3.5 million move for Propper, and the Mail says talks “are at advanced stage, with Brighton confident of sealing the Netherlands international’s capture before the start of the season.”
— Premier League duo Everton and Crystal Palace are interested in Newcastle United goalkeeper Freddie Woodman, the Chronicle reports.
It adds that Woodman, also reported to be a target for both Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, is “attracting some serious interest,” with the England Under-20 international having signed only a four-year contract at St James’ Park last summer.