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TOP STORY: Could Ben Yedder be heading to United?
Manchester United are interested in signing Sevilla forward Wissam Ben Yedder, according to ABC Sevilla. The Frenchman has attracted the attention of top European clubs, including United, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona, after scoring 30 goals and setting up 11 more in 54 games in all competitions for Sevilla in the 2018-19 campaign.
According to the city’s newspaper. United consider Ben Yedder the ideal candidate to replace Romelu Lukaku, should the Belgian striker leave Old Trafford for Inter Milan this summer (more on that below).
Ben Yedder, 28, has two years left on his contract with Sevilla and has a €40 million release clause. He joined Sevilla from Toulouse in 2017 for a reported €10m and the France international has scored 70 goals in 138 appearances for the Andalusian club since.
Earlier this month, Ben Yedder expressed his wish to leave Sevilla as he searches for bigger challenges in his career and told L’Equipe: “It’s good timing (to leave). I really feel that. I can’t lack respect for the club…It will also be Sevilla to decide. Whatever the final choice is, I’ll be happy. I’m not worried about my future.
“I dream of playing at a high level, in the biggest clubs in the world and to be alongside players of international class. It’s a case of seeing where I can get to in terms of level.”
Sevilla sporting director Monchi indicated last month that Ben Yedder would only leave if his release clause is met.
“If in the end, someone pays Ben Yedder’s release clause we will have to go and find another replacement,” Monchi told Radio Marca.
23.30 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!
23.22 BST: Gianluigi Donnarumma to PSG?
Sky Sports Italia understands that the French club are talking to Milan about the 20-year-old goalkeeper and hope to get a deal done.
Milan value the Italy No. 1 at £45 million but the recent report indicates that PSG could send back £27 million-rated shot-stopper Alphonse Areola back in a deal for Donnarumma. Milan are under pressure to sell Donnarumma in order to comply with Financial Fair Play.
Gianluigi Buffon has already left Paris this summer.
23.00 BST: Reports are circulating that Benfica phenom Joao Felix’s proposed move to Atletico Madrid is a done deal.
Italian transfer reporter Fabrizio Romano has tweeted that the 19-year-old is now an Atletico player and that a deal between the sides has been completed.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 26, 2019
There also is a document being spread around the internet that looks like a Benfica release which claims the Portuguese club has received a €126 million offer from Atletico. Neither club has confirmed anything via their website our twitter accounts but all signs point to Felix heading to Madrid.
— GolesTV.com (@golestvcom) June 26, 2019
Felix bagged 20 goals and added 11 assists last season for Benfica and has been linked with a move to all the top clubs in Europe.
Again, NO DEAL HAS BEEN CONFIRMED just yet but we will be keeping an especially close eye on this one in the coming hours.
22.20 BST: How about some Celtic news about someone other than Kieran Tierney?
“He’s a player we’ve identified for a long time, even before my time here,” Lennon told Sky Sports News.
“Hopefully we can get that one over the line soon.”
The former France Under-20 international has played for Toulouse, Dijon, Freiburg and Auxerre, and would slide in for recent departure Dedryck Boyata (Hertha Berlin).
22.00 BST: Bristol City have confirmed the signing of 21-year-old left-back Jay Dasilva from Cheslea.
💥 BACK FOR GOOD! 💥
Jay Dasilva has signed a four-year deal in BS3! #BristolCity
— Bristol City FC (@BristolCity) June 26, 2019
The England Under-21 international featured 32 times from the Robins last season while on loan and joins Bristol on a four-year deal for an undisclosed amount.
One of Chelsea’s 41 players on loan last season, Dasilva leaves the Blues after three seasons and three separate loan spells.
21.38 BST: The BBC is reporting that tricky winger Wilfred Zaha is keen to leave Crystal Palace for Arsenal.
Palace value the Ivory Coast international at £80 million but don’t want to lose both Zaha and Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the same summer. With Arsenal missing out on the Champions League though, their summer budget is thought to be only around £45 million, meaning the London club will need to raise funds if they want to sign Zaha.
The BBC speculates that one option would be cashing in on striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The 30-year-old was outstanding last season with 31 goals but with just two years left on his contract, and a £300,000-a-week deal reportedly on the table from China, would Arsenal be tempted to sell the Gabon international and move forward with Zaha and Alexandre Lacazette up front?
21.08 BST: Valencia have announced they reached an agreement for Barcelona goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen.
— Valencia CF English 🦇💯 (@valenciacf_en) June 26, 2019
Valencia will pay €35 million for the Netherlands No.1, who will sign a four-year contract with Los Ches. In three years, Cillessen played 32 games and won five titles at Barcelona, establishing himself arguably as the top backup goalkeeper in the world.
20.42 BST: We have discussed Bayern Munich’s move for Man City speedster Leroy Sane but are the Bavarians turning their attention to another dynamic young winger?
Kicker writes that Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele is being monitored by Bayern as a Plan B, if the club are unable to prise Sane from City. Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic reportedly met with the 22-year-old’s people in March and its is no secret that chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is a big fan of the player.
Dembele, who has found himself in the dog house at Barca on more than one occasion for disciplinary issues, could be the odd man out if Barcelona do make a move to bring back Neymar.
Dembele is also no stranger to the Bundesliga as the France international racked up 10 goals and 21 assists with Borussia Dortmund in 2016-17.
20.13 BST: Argentine giants set to move for MLS super star?
Spanish outlet Marca suggests that Independiente are negotiating a move for 34-year-old Montreal Impact attacking midfielder Ignacio Piatti. Piatti is a fan favourite in his native Argentina and previously enjoyed a year at Independiente in 2009-10.
The Argentine, who is currently rehabbing a ligament injury, is in his sixth season in MLS and has scored 64 goals in 127 league games for the Impact. Piatti is in his final year of his contract and is expected to return to Argentina to finish his career with either San Lorenzo or Independiente.
19.29 BST: Man City are closing in on their first signing of the summer in Atletico Madrid’s Rodri.
Sources tell ESPN FC that two-time defending Premier League champions hope to trigger the 23-year-old Spanish midfielder’s £63 million (€70m) release clause by next week.
The defensive midfielder was also being pursued hard by Bayern Munich but sources have confirmed to ESPN FC that Rodri, 23, has finally opted to accept the offer from City.
Rodri, who has been City’s top target since the start of the summer is viewed as the long-term successor to 34-year-old Fernandinho.
👋 Stephen Ward becomes our sixth summer signing in less that 24 hours.
— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) June 26, 2019
The former Republic of Ireland international, 33, joins Stoke on a one-year deal and will attempt to help Stoke earn promotion back to the Premier League. A veteran in the English game, Ward has bounced between the Premier League and English Championship since 2007 with Wolves, Brighton and Burnley.
Don’t expect the Red Devils to do any swap deals for the Belgian either, as the club have already dismissed proposals that have included Mauro Icardi or Radja Nainggolan plus cash for the Belgian. Man United are aiming to recoup as much of the £75 million they paid for Lukaku and are still holding out for £80m.
17.41 BST: Are Arsenal eyeing an African Cup of Nations star?
French outlet Le10sport claims that the Gunners are considering a move for 24-year-old Monaco winger Keita Balde. Balde, who is playing in the AFCON tournament with Senegal, spent last season on loan at Inter where he produced five goals and three assists in 24 Serie A games for the Nerazzurri.
Balde is valued at £30 million with his best season coming back in 2016-17 when he scored 16 goals for Napoli and was highly linked with a move to Juventus.
17.06 BST: Aston Villa will need to up their offer if they want to sign Bristol City centre-back Adam Webster.
According to Sky Sports, Villa have had a £12 million bid rejected by the Robins for the 24-year-old. Newly-promoted Villa are desperate for help at centre-back, as their top defender, Tyron Mings was only on loan last season from Bournemouth.
16.38 BST: Frank Lampard has agreed a three-year contract to become Chelsea’s new manager worth £16.5m, according to The Sun.
Derby announced on Tuesday they had given Chelsea permission to speak to Lampard, who is manager of the Championship side.
Roma’s Manolas is a public transfer target for the Neapolitans, while Koulibaly is a target for Manchester United, among others. However, De Laurentiis appears to be building for a future with both of them.
“All great teams start from a great defence. Manolas and Koulibaly could form a great partnership, like we’ve had in the past,” he told Sport Mediaset.
15.31 BST: Gianluigi Buffon‘s return to Juventus is not as advanced as has previously been reported, according sources have told ESPN FC that
Suggestions a deal is close is wide of mark and, at this stage, it simply remains an “idea” — but one which the former Italy international would be interested in.
15.03 BST: You my only have four years left to enjoy the passing majesty of Toni Kroos, according to the Germany international himself.
“The duration of my contract [extension] was a conscious choice,” he told Sport Bild. “At 33, it’s a good age to retire.
“However, now I have the option to decide whether I want to do something else afterwards.”
14.29 BST: Various reports in Italy suggest Roma midfielder Steven Nzonzi has failed to report back for preseason and is pushing to leave the club.
The World Cup winner arrived from Sevilla in the summer, fresh from helping his country triumph in Russia, but has struggled to live up to expectation in Serie A.
13.59 BST: Manchester United have dropped their interest in Paris Saint-Germain right-back Thomas Meunier after agreeing a £50 million deal with Crystal Palace for Aaron Wan-Bissaka and the Belgium international is less likely to leave this summer after Dani Alves‘ departure, sources have told ESPN FC.
The Premier League outfit could confirm the 21-year-old’s signature before the end of the week with a medical at Carrington in the process of being organised and ESPN FC sources have confirmed that events over the past week have now changed Meunier’s immediate situation.
The 27-year-old has seen United’s breakthrough for Wan-Bissaka follow Alves announcing his own PSG departure, which leaves the former Club Brugge man as the most senior right-back available to coach Thomas Tuchel ahead of Colin Dagba and versatile central defender Thilo Kehrer as preseason approaches.
Although ESPN FC sources revealed that Arsenal have also registered an interest in Meunier this summer, the Gunners were always less likely than United to meet the French champions’ €30 million asking price as he moves into the final 12 months of his current Parc des Princes deal.
13.27 BST: Manchester United are looking to hire talent spotters to find “world class” players in France and Spain.
The club are advertising vacancies for two first team scouts to scour La Liga and Ligue 1 as they press on with their rebuild both on and off the pitch.
The successful candidates, who will report to the head of scouting operations Steve Brown, will be tasked with “identifying world class and emerging talent for the club, ensuring a talent pipeline and a world class first team squad.”
12.49 BST: Arsenal are poised to make France under-19 defender William Saliba their first signing of the summer in a €25m deal, sources have told ESPN FC.
Arsenal and Saint-Etienne have almost reached an agreement for the promising 18-year-old, who is tall, quick, strong and excellent on the ball.
Saliba, who fits with Arsenal’s new recruitment strategy of young, promising players like Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi, will stay on loan at Saint-Etienne next season in an effort to continue his development and play regular first-team football.
Beaten Europa League finalists Arsenal have beaten a number of rivals to the signing of Saliba, including Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain.
Madrid expect to complete the sale of De Tomas to Benfica in a €20m transfer later this week. As part of the deal, Madrid want to have a preferential option to land Dias in the future.
Madrid are not on the lookout for a centre-back right now as they already have Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Nacho, Eder Militao and Jesus Vallejo on the books. But the club is keen to monitor Benfica’s promising young defender who has a €60m release clause and is a reported target of Atletico Madrid.
11.51 BST: Manchester United are closing in on Aaron Wan-Bissaka after making significant progress in talks with Crystal Palace on Tuesday, sources have told ESPN FC.
A £50m deal for the 21-year-old right-back is close to being finalised and negotiations are far enough along for United to organise a medical at Carrington this week. United will pay £45m up front with an extra £5m in add-on fees.
Wan-Bissaka, who has returned from the Under-21 European Championships after England’s early exit, will become the club’s second summer signing after Dan James and the fourth biggest in the their history after Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and Angel Di Maria.
11.19 BST: Tottenham have moved a step closer to signing Jack Clarke as the Leeds winger has arrived in London for his medical, according to Leeds-based reporter Phil Hay.
Clarke, 18, is set to join Spurs in a deal reportedly with £8.5m and potentially become the club’s first singing since they bought Lucas Moura in January 2018.
The Leeds academy graduate scored two goals in 25 appearance in his breakout season last term as Marcelo Bielsa’s side reached the Championship playoffs but lost their semifinal against Derby County.
10.46 BST: Barcelona will turn their attention to Manchester United centre-back Victor Lindelof if they fail to land Ajax’s Matthijs de Ligt, according to Mundo Deportivo. De Ligt is expected to make a decision on his future soon and sources have told ESPN FC that Paris Saint-Germain are set to beat Barca to the Ajax defender’s signature.
Catalan daily Mundo Deportivo claims that if that is the case, Barca will make a bid for Lindelof. The report says the Spanish champions asked United about the Swedish international’s availability a month ago, but were told he was not for sale. However, they could be prepared to test the English club’s resolve should they miss out on De Ligt.
10.24 BST: Barcelona and Arsenal are locked in a battle to sign Nancy youngster Bilel Hassaini, according to Sport.
France youth international Hassaini is out of contract on June 30 and the winger is weighing up offers from various European clubs.
Paris Saint-Germain were the favourites to land the 18-year-old’s signature but are reported to have dropped out of the running. That leaves Barca and Arsenal leading the way. The Catalans want to sign him for their B team, who play in the third tier of Spanish football.
09.49 BST: Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele is edging closer to signing for Tottenham, sources have told ESPN FC. Talks between Spurs and Lyon progressed well this week and both clubs are optimistic that the deal will happen despite being yet to agree on a transfer fee for the 22-year-old.
Lyon want a package worth €80m, including bonuses, but Spurs, who made an initial offer of €45m, are willing to pay €60m plus an additional €15m — an offer which should be enough to secure the player.
France international Ndombele, who has been linked with several other top clubs sides including Manchester United, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain, has been keen to join Tottenham since speaking to manager Mauricio Pochettino and being won over by his project.
Pochettino was impressed by Ndombele’s performances last season in which he helped Lyon finish third in Ligue 1.
09.24 BST: Manchester City midfielder David Silva has said he will leave the Premier League champions at the end of the 2019-20 season.
Asked if he would stay beyond next season, the 33-year-old Spaniard was quoted as saying by the BBC: “No, this is the last one.
“Ten years for me is enough. It’s the perfect time for me.
“Initially, City were talking about two years, but I decided to sign [for] another one, so I finished at 10 years.
“It completes the cycle. It’s a nice round figure. I can never see myself playing against City for another team. So 10 years — that’s it.”
Silva, who joined City from Valencia in 2010, has won four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and the League Cup four times.
He told ESPN last year that he would like to end his career playing for Las Palmas, his hometown club on the island of Gran Canaria.
08.56 BST: Mario Hermoso has asked Espanyol to accept Atletico Madrid’s offer and allow him to leave this summer, Cadena Cope radio reports. The Spanish centre-back has reportedly reached personal terms with Atletico but is waiting for the two clubs to reach an agreement.
Espanyol will only let Hermoso leave this summer if his €40m release clause is met but Atletico are not prepared to pay that fee for the 23-year-old. Hermoso joined the Catalan club in 2017 from Real Madrid in a €400k deal and is contracted through June 2020.
According to reports, Atletico are prepared to wait a year and then sign Hermoso as a free agent if Espanyol are unwilling to lower the asking price.
Real Madrid possess a €15m buyback clause for Hermoso which they will not exercise but still own 50% of his rights.
Hermoso, who earned two caps for Spain, made 35 first-team appearances this season.
08.26 BST: Napoli playmaker Fabian Ruiz says he is only focused on helping Spain win the European Under-21 Championship amid reports Real Madrid are keen to sign him.
Ruiz, 23, joined Napoli last summer after the Italian outfit paid his €30m release clause from Real Betis. He made 27 Serie A appearances for the Partenopei in his first season in Italy.
Madrid have reportedly identified Ruiz as a potential candidate to strengthen their midfield line should the Spanish giants fail in their bid to acquire Manchester United’s Paul Pogba.
Ruiz, who is tied to Napoli until June 2023, told Onda Cero radio when asked about Real Madrid’s reported interest: “If I’m being honest, I’m not thinking about anything right now. I’m focused on the European Championship.”
However, Ruiz says he is very happy working under Carlo Ancelotti at Napoli. He said of the former Madrid boss: “He is a coach that gives you confidence, that makes you feel important and likes to be close to the player.”
08.00 BST: Manchester United are taking their new policy of signing young talent to the next level with their interest in 15-year-old Lyon prospect Mathis Rayan Cherki, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The paper reports that Rayan Cherki, who plays as either an attacking midfielder or a forward, is also attracting interest from Real Madrid, Juventus, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
Rayan Cherki, who became the UEFA Youth League’s youngest ever goal scorer when he netted for Lyon’s U19 side at the age of 15 years and 33 days last September, is eligible to join any club within the European Union when he turns 16 on Aug. 17.
United have already signed young Wales winger Daniel James from Swansea City this summer while talks over a deal for another 21-year-old, Crystal Palace right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, are continuing.
PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd): Lukaku in Inter idea of Milan move
Romelu Lukaku has told Manchester United he wants to leave for Inter Milan, and now the Mirror are reporting that the striker’s agent Federico Pastorello was making his rounds at the Italian club.
The Belgian international’s representative was spotted at Inter and is believed to be talking about a number of his clients, including Lukaku, and thinks a deal could happen, though won’t be easy.
Lukaku — a big Serie A fan — wants to join Antonio Conte at Inter Milan and so is keen to move to the Italian city, but the £75m asking price could be a potential sticking point. United want to recoup much of what they paid for the former Everton man and aren’t believed to be interested in any player-plus-cash offers, but Inter aren’t up for meeting the full asking price.
The Nerrazzurri are said to be happy to pay nearer £55m. There’s more negotiating to be done it seems but should the move materialise, Lukaku could be lining up alongside Edin Dzeko, who’s expected to join Inter from Roma this week.
Buffon boomerangs back to Juventus?
What goes around comes around, and in this case, it can be Gianluigi Buffon returning to Juventus. According to Gazzetta dello Sport and Sky Italia, Buffon may return to the Serie A champions as a back-up goalkeeper and then transition to a front office role.
Buffon, 41, originally left Juventus to sign a one-year deal with Paris Saint-Germain last summer. PSG reportedly offered the Italian legend an extension, but Buffon ultimately declined. He has since been linked with an eclectic range of clubs including Porto, Fluminense and Leeds United.
The new deal with Juventus would see Buffon serve behind first-choice keeper Wojciech Szczesny, with Mattia Perin out until October after undergoing surgery on his shoulder. Buffon could therefore provide valuable cover for the first few months of the season, with a view to him being promoted to a director’s role at the end of the campaign, when he will be 42.
Buffon took to Twitter to leave some rather sage advice, hinting at his next move and saying that that: “Travel only has one rule don’t come back the same as you left. Come back different.”
Fekir on fast track to AC Milan
Meanwhile, Inter’s stadium mates AC Milan are looking to add some punch to their attack by signing Olympique Lyonnais star Nabil Fekir.
According to France Football, the Rossoneri could net Fekir — whose contract at the Ligue 1 side runs out next year — for around €35-40m.
If so, it would be a big discount as OL president Jean-Michel Aulas had reportedly demanded €70m for the 25-year-old.
Liverpool have reportedly been tracking the France international for some time and had been linked with a move for him for the last 12 months, but that interest appears to have cooled.
– Tottenham Hotspur’s long-running pursuit of Tanguy Ndombele could be coming to a conclusion, with Sky Sport Italia suggesting that a move could be announced in the next few days. The Juventus target could be heading to north London for a fee believed to be €65m, a club record fee for Spurs. Juventus and Manchester United had both been heavily linked with the France international, but it is believed he has chosen Spurs, and the chance to work under Mauricio Pochettino.
– In a busy night of rumours involving the north London club, Spurs are also said to be closing in on Leeds United teenager Jack Clarke. The two clubs are said to be close to agreeing a £8.5m deal, with Pochettino — who wanted to sign the youngster in January — believing Clarke can have an immediate impact in the Spurs engine room. Clarke was a key player for Leeds under Marcelo Bielsa.
– Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers is set to make his first addition as Foxes boss with the £6m signing of James Justin from Luton Town. Justin is said to be having a medical on Wednesday morning after his employers agreed the fee with Leicester officials. Justin was a key part of the Hatters’ promotion to the Championship, and Rodgers is confident the 21-year-old — a target for Southampton, Celtic, Aston Villa and Stoke City — can make the step up.
– Arsenal are said to be returning with an improved offer of £19m for Celtic full-back Kieran Tierney, according to the Daily Mail. Unai Emery has made the left-back his top choice as he looks to reinforce his fragile back line, and he’s hoping the two clubs can reach a compromise that brings the Scotland international to the Emirates Stadium. Celtic have rejected a bid of £15 for the 22-year-old.