Blog - Transfer Talk, Blog Post, Clubs, Neymar, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Transfers


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TOP STORY: Madrid prepare fire sale to finance Neymar signing

Real Madrid could be set to offload €300 million worth of talent to make room for Neymar this summer, according to AS. The report comes the day after Barcelona were reported to be ready to offer either Philippe Coutinho or Ousmane Dembele to Paris Saint-Germain as part of a deal to bring the Brazil star back to Camp Nou.

Madrid reportedly have just €100m in their budget for this transfer window, unless they make more money from selling players, though Diario Sport insist that Neymar wants to return to Barcelona.

Zinedine Zidane’s side finished third in La Liga last season, and are expected to sell players in order to make room for Neymar’s €1.35m-a-week wages. Gareth Bale could make way to Manchester United or Tottenham Hotspur, while Marco Asensio could be heading to Chelsea.

Eden Hazard is also expected to move to the Bernabeu this summer for €100m, with the Chelsea forward admitting after last night’s Europa League final win over Arsenal“I think this it is a goodbye.”

LIVE BLOG

12.19 BST: Olivier Giroud belives “it’s normal” Eden Hazard wants to take a step up in leaving Chelsea for Real Madrid. 

Hazard suggested his seven-year spell at Chelsea is over after playing a central role in their Europa League final win over Arsenal on Wednesday. The Belgium international is expected to go to Madrid to play for his boyhood idol, Zinedine Zidane, and Giroud told RMC that Hazard’s ambition to join the 13-time European champions was totally understandable.

“We’re going to miss him a lot, but I’m happy for him, it’s what he wanted after seven years of good and faithful service to Chelsea if I can say that…he’s an extraordinary player,” he said. “It’s normal that he wants to go higher, to a club that wins the Champions League regularly. I hope for him he’ll win a lot more trophies and I wish him the best. He’s a great guy, he’s a super player, he deserves it.”

11.46 BST: Barcelona will meet with Malcom‘s representatives in the coming days as the club look to move the Brazilian on this summer, multiple sources have confirmed to ESPN FC.

The Spanish champions want to bring in over €250m in sales this summer to allow them to strengthen their squad in other areas and Malcom is one of the players they’re prepared to let leave. Ernesto Valverde has used him sparingly this season and with the coach set to stay on, as president Josep Maria Bartomeu confirmed, Malcom is keen to seek regular football elsewhere.

Barca are hopeful they can at least break even on the €41m they paid Bordeaux last year, while sources inside the club also pointed out his sale will free up a non-EU spot in the squad. Malcom’s agents have confirmed to ESPN FC that there is a meeting planned with the club to discuss all the options. They revealed there is firm interest from England and Italy but there is “nothing concrete” with any club as things stand.

11.13 BST: Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone is a big fan of Barcelona’s Nelson Semedo, according to Diario AS. The Rojiblancos are looking for a replacement for Juanfran and could test Barca’s resolve with a bid for the Portuguese right-back, who is yet to become a regular in Ernesto Valverde’s side.

10.42 BST: He may be being tracked by the biggest clubs in Europe, but Real Betis have reportedly made PSG midfielder Adrien Rabiot an offer that includes a €20m signing on fee, an annual net salary of €3m and a clause that would see him earn 50 percent of any sell-on profit.

El Desmarque report that Rabiot, who will leave PSG on a free transfer this summer, is the No. 1 target to replace Giovani Lo Celso, who looks set to move to Tottenham for €53m.

If you like cricket, head over to ESPNcricinfo for coverage of the 2019 World Cup

10.03 BST: Superdeporte report that Barcelona want to raid Valencia after losing to them in the Copa del Rey final last weekend. The Valencia-based newspaper claims the Catalans want to sign midfielder Dani Parejo and forward Rodrigo as they look to reshape their squad following a poor end to the campaign.

09.36 BST: Luciano Spalletti has been sacked by Inter, with ex-Chelsea boss Antonio Conte set to take over.

A statement read: “FC Internazionale Milano can confirm that Luciano Spalletti is no longer Head Coach of the First Team. The Club wishes to thank Spalletti for his work and the results achieved together.”

Conte has already started thinking about his new players and wants to make Man United striker Romelu Lukaku his first signing, sources have told ESPN FC. He has also decided to sell captain Mauro Icardi, according to Gazzetta.

09.27 BST: Cadena Ser report that winger Marco Asensio has not listened to any offers he has received from other clubs as his intention is to continue at Real Madrid next season.

The Spain international has endured a tough season at the Bernabeu after his excellent 2017-18 campaign, having found the back of the net just once in La Liga. However, he is a favourite of Zinedine Zidane, who returned to the helm of Los Blancos in March, and is expected to be a regular next season. 

Tottenham, Liverpool and Bayern Munich are among the clubs reportedly interested in signing the 23-year-old, but he has a whopping €700m release clause and no desire to move.

09.05 BST: Arsenal are targeting the signing of RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano, a source close to the Premier League club has told ESPN FC.

While there has been no official bid for the 20-year-old Frenchman — a member of the Bundesliga’s meanest defence last season — the German side have been made aware of the Gunners’ interest.

However, things might be made complicated by the fact that Leipzig are in the Champions League and (after Wednesday’s loss to Chelsea) Arsenal are not.

08.35 BST: David Luiz backed Callum Hudson-Odoi to fill the void left by Eden Hazard at Chelsea if the Belgian completes his desired move to Real Madrid.

Hudson-Odoi is the player that many Chelsea fans hope will grow into their new talisman in the coming years despite the club as yet not offering the 18-year-old, a target for Bayern Munich, a new deal to replace the one that expires next year. Luiz is confident that the England internatiunal is on track to take up Hazard’s mantle despite facing a long spell on the sidelines with a ruptured Achilles.

Asked who can replace Hazard, Luiz laughed and replied: “That’s either [Lionel] Messi or [Cristiano] Ronaldo. I think if he goes I just wish him all the best. He is a fantastic player, friend and guy. I’ve known him ever since he was here at so young. I am so happy for him because the world knows who Eden Hazard is.

“It is part of life. Some cycles finish, some cycles start. I think we have many many talents within the club to replace him.

“We have many [who could replace him]. Callum is great. Callum has known this club since he was young and he has the talents to one day try to be like Eden. It is a new story for Callum. It didn’t start so well because of the injury but it is time for him to improve in other sides [of his game].”

08.00 BST: Tottenham forward Fernando Llorente says he doesn’t know where he will play next season. The Spaniard, who is preparing for Saturday’s Champions League final against Liverpool, becomes a free agent this summer. Spurs have the unilateral option to extend the Spaniard’s contract for one year but they have not done so.

Llorente, who has scored 10 goals in all competitions this season, including a crucial goal which saw Spurs eliminate Manchester City from the Champions League in the quarterfinals, told Cadena Ser: “For the time being I have nothing for next season. It’s not that I can change things. Depending on what happens, I will see what options I have. Right now the only thing I’m interested in is Saturday’s final. The rest I don’t care.”

PAPER TALK (by Stephen Wright)

Maddison to profit from Spurs’ European success

Leicester City midfielder James Maddison could be on his way to Tottenham Hotspur, who will have plenty of money to spend from reaching the Champions League final, according to the Mirror.

Liverpool earned £72m from reaching the final last year, and the figure is expected to be similar for Mauricio Pochettino’s side this season.

As for Maddison, he scored seven goals and added seven assists in the 2018-19 season, resulting in a call-up to the England team. Leicester signed him for £22.5m from Norwich City last summer, but would be expecting a hefty profit on that if they were to sell him 12 months later.

Villa set to break club-record fee

Premier League newcomers Aston Villa could be set to smash their club transfer record for Brentford striker Neal Maupay, according to the Sun.

Villa are prepared to spend £20m, a fee higher than they have spent on any player previously, for the forward. The current record is £18m for Darren Bent from Sunderland eight years ago.

The 22-year-old scored 25 goals in the Championship last season.

Tap-ins

– Real Madrid are set to sign Lyon left-back Ferland Mendy, who would act as competition to Brazi international Marcelo, according to AS. Marcelo recently turned 31, and Zidane reportedly desires a more youthful approach to his side, hence the links with 23-year-old Mendy.



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