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TOP STORY: Man United make Wan-Bissaka move?
The 21-year-old had a breakout season in 2018-19, making 39 appearances for the Eagles as they finished comfortably in mid-table in the Premier League, 15 points above relegation. He won more tackles, made more interceptions and completed more successful duels than any other defender in the league this season, so it was no surprise he won the club’s Player of the Year award.
Wan-Bissaka, whose contract at Selhurst Park runs until June 2022, told the Evening Standard earlier this month: “The situation just shows that my performances don’t go unnoticed. But I am with Crystal Palace at the moment. That is where my contract is and that is where I will be next season. I have got three years left on my contract. It says I am going to be there, so that is all I can focus on now.”
But if United were to make a big bid, could Palace refuse? The MEN say personal terms have already been agreed, now just the transfer fee remains.
19.09 BST: Tottenham to actually sign a player?
After two barren windows, Spurs are sure to welcome in some new faces this summer. The Daily Mail indicates one could be Leeds standout youngster Jack Clarke.
The paper writes that Spurs are set to launch a £10 million bid for the 18-year-old winger, who played 22 times and scored twice this season under Marcelo Bielsa. Clarke at 18 has the potential to continue to grow and would fit in line with Tottenham’s traditional transfer model of buying younger players on the cheap to develop before they hit their peak.
18.42 BST: Wolves to bring in another striker?
The Mirror reports that Nuno Espirito Santo wants Porto’s Moussa Marega and has him top priority this transfer window. The Mali international scored 21 goals over all competitions this season at Porto and has a £30 million release clause in his current contract.
Wolves’ ties in Portugal are well-publicised and the 28-year-old, who is also being pursued by Leicester and West Ham, would provide much-needed cover behind top scorer Raul Jimenez. The report claims Wolves are now favourites for Marega’s services having sent scouts to watch him play against Sporting Lisbon last weekend.
18.14 BST: How about this for a match made in heaven?
Burnley to bid £15 million for veteran West Brom centre-back Craig Dawson. The Sun claims that Sean Dyche and Co. are readying a club-record off for Dawson, which should come as a surprise to absolutely no one.
Dawson would seem well-suited for life under Dyche, as he has plenty of experience playing in ultra-defensive teams and for defensive-minded managers such as Tony Pulis. Dawson seems the prototypical “Dyche player” and we can see the smile on Dyche’s face already.
17.38 BST: U.S international Michael Bradley to Mexico? The Mexican media has linked the Toronto FC midfielder with a move to Monterrey in recent days but club sources tell ESPN FC that TFC is not aware of any such interest from the Mexican side.
Bradley, 31, has previously played in Holland, Germany, Italy and England and has been front and center in the USA-Mexico rivalry over the past decade.
This one seems speculative at best but we’ll be sure to keep an eye on it.
17.01 BST: Aston Villa are one game away from promotion to the Premier League and if they do go up, strengthening its roster will be imperative.
Football Insider suggests one player that the Villains could move for is highly-rated Luton Town defender James Justin. The 21-year-old full-back was one of the stars in Luton Town’s recent promotion campaign to the Championship and is also a former England Under-20 international.
FI claims Villa are set to table a £7.5 million bid for Justin, who has also been linked with Leicester City.
16.27 BST: After nearly 20 years at Roma, hometown hero Daniele De Rossi will be looking for a new home for the very first time this summer.
One place the 35-year-old will not be landing is Manchester City, as sources have told ESPN FC that De Rossi will not be joining Pep Guardiola’s coaching staff. In recent days various outlets had linked the Italian with a coaching gig at Man City but sources have told ESPN FC that that will not be happening.
De Rossi has also been recently linked with moves as a player to Boca Juniors and the United States and MLS. Stay tuned.
Dybala, 25, has been sidelined by the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo in Turin and his brother recently said he “needed a change.” But will United stump up the cash to get him, or just keep signing young players?
15.24 BST: Manchester United will pursue alternative targets to bolster their attacking options this summer after ruling out an £80m move for Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho, sources have told ESPN FC.
Former Manchester City youngster Sancho, 19, has been a long-term United target, with the club’s scouting department identifying him as a potential signing prior to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s arrival as replacement for the sacked Jose Mourinho last December.
But while Solskjaer and assistant manager Mike Phelan have since encouraged the club’s interest in the player, who made his England debut against Croatia last October, United have been unable to engage Dortmund in constructive discussions about a deal for the teenager.
15.15 BST: What do you do with a 37-year-old goalkeeper when you’re under a transfer ban? Give him a new deal of course.
Well done, Willy Caballero.
15.05 BST: Dortmund are getting their business done early.
BRANDT ? pic.twitter.com/PDfpF9Nb28
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) May 22, 2019
15.02 BST: Liverpool are set to sign a goalkeeper this summer, say the Echo.
The club are set to part with £200,000 for 16-year-old Polish goalkeeper Jakub Ojrzynski, who plays for Legia Warsaw. Evidently Manchester United, Valencia and Juventus were interested but the Reds have taken the first swing.
14.40 BST: There’s actually a few jobs going now in the world of managers. We’ve just seen Joaquin Caparros step down as Sevilla boss — though he will stay at the club in another capacity — while Rudi Garcia is set to confirm his departure from Olympique Marseille, say Foot Mercato.
14.32 BST: Antonio Conte is on the verge of being appointed Inter Milan manager, according to Sky in Italy.
Conte has reportedly been paid £9m in compensation by his former club Chelsea, and has been linked with a return to Serie A with Juventus and Inter. But it seems like he has made up his mind and that doesn’t bode well for Inter’s current manager Luciano Spalletti.
13.47 BST: Malcom only joined Barcelona last summer in a £35m deal but he already wants out, having not been given much of a chance to play.
Dortmund and Arsenal have shown interest but Tottenham are the frontrunners for the Brazilian winger, according to Sport.
13.24 BST: Arsenal love a bargain, so it’s not surprise they have been linked (by Bild) to Dynamo Dresden goalkeeper Markus Schubert, who is available on a free transfer this summer.
Petr Cech is going to retire this summer, so a backup for Bernd Leno is needed. Valencia’s has also been tracked but a keeper from 2.Bundesliga is decidedly cheaper. Though we wonder if he can handle the step up to the Premier League.
12.59 BST: ICYMI – Manchester United are ready to make a formal offer for Newcastle midfielder Sean Longstaff, sources have told ESPN FC.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to sign at least one midfielder during the summer transfer window and has targeted the 21-year-old.
12.28 BST: Portugal striker Andre Silva has bid farewell to Sevilla as he returns to home club AC Milan.
Silva joined Sevilla on a season-long loan from Milan last summer, with a purchase option included in the deal in the region of €40m. Sevilla have decided not to exercise that option after the 23-year-old mustered just one goal in 2019.
Silva tweeted: “Another season is over, thank you Sevilla for the incredible reception. I loved the spirit of the club and the city. I hope the future will bring good things!”
The Portugal international is tied to Milan until June 2022.
11.56 BST: Aritz Aduriz has signed a new contract with Athletic Bilbao. That contract will take him past his 39th birthday. Wow.
✍ ????? ?????? has signed its contract extension with #AthleticClub!
— Athletic Club (@Athletic_en) May 22, 2019
It would be a pretty good deal given Rodri will cost City £70m and Rabiot is available on a free transfer, but how would the young Frenchman (who has proved a tough character to deal with) get on under the demanding Diego Simeone?
10.49 BST: Fluminense striker Pedro has recently come back from a long-term injury and is now straight into the top targets for Man United.
Globo Esporte report that the 21-year-old was meant to join Real Madrid before his injury but now there are a few more interested parties. Inter Milan, Atalanta and Bordeaux are among them, while a £20m bid could find success.
10.15 BST: A Hazard has moved. Not Eden though, it’s his brother Thorgan — who has joined Borussia Dortmund.
The Belgium international joins BVB from league rivals Borussia Monchengladbach for a reported transfer fee of €25.5m excluding add-ons.
— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) May 22, 2019
09.51 BST: Juventus will be forced to pay up if they want to make Maurizio Sarri their next coach with Chelsea not minded to sack the Italian regardless of whether or not he wins the Europa League final, sources have told ESPN FC.
Sarri’s future remains far from certain despite fulfilling his primary objective of securing Champions League qualification for Chelsea, and Roma have also been linked with a move to bring the former Napoli boss back to Serie A.
Sources have told ESPN FC that while Chelsea are prepared to negotiate a compensation package with any interested club if Sarri makes it clear that he wants to leave, they have no plans to dismiss him even if he fails to win a first piece of major silverware at Arsenal’s expense in Baku.
09.32 BST: Radio Galega report that Barcelona have bid €25m for Celta Vigo’s Maxi Gomez. With the 22-year-old striker also linked to Tottenham, we’d be surprised if Vigo even considered this one given he has a release clause of £43m.
Barca reportedly turned down Benfica’s initial offer of €12m for the keeper. According to Record, Benfica executives will travel to Barcelona to have a meeting with their Barca counterparts to seal the deal that will be worth €20m. Benfica will pay €12m and include their 18-year-old right-back Joao Ferreira in the deal.
Cillessen, 30, is also a reported target of Porto and Valencia. The Netherlands international joined Barca from Ajax in 2016 as a replacement for Claudio Bravo but has primarily been used as a back-up to Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Cillessen has made two league appearances for Barca this season and is tied to the Catalan giants until June 2021.
08.25 BST: Tottenham is interested in signing Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos, according to AS. Spurs coach Mauricio Pochettino considers Ceballos as an ideal replacement for Christian Eriksen, who is reported to be a target for Real Madrid and is yet to sign a new contract with his current deal expiring in 2020.
Ceballos has made 34 appearances for Madrid this season, just 19 as a starter. He is tied to Madrid until June 2023. The Spain international is reportedly keen to leave Madrid this summer in search of more playing time.
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane recently suggested players that know they will not feature regularly next season would be better served leaving the club. Ceballos, who signed for Real Madrid in the summer of 2017 from Real Betis for €17m, is reportedly among the players told by Zidane that he is surplus to requirements.
According to AS, Madrid don’t want to sell Ceballos this summer and will only consider the player leaving on loan, but would be willing to include a purchase option in the deal.
PAPER TALK (by James Capps)
Man United ready Rakitic raid
The Croatian’s future in Spain has come under question following Barca’s signing of young Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong, and the Catalan club now needs to raise funds to balance the books and help finance further summer purchases.
World Cup finalist Rakitic has been identified by Camp Nou officials as an expendable asset, with the La Liga champions looking for around €55 million for the 31-year-old.
United, however, are keen to drastically lower that fee, but are willing to pay upward of €35m for the former Sevilla man. There are no concerns regarding the player’s fitness, despite hitting the wrong side of 30, with Rakitic missing only nine matches through injury or illness during his five-year spell with Ernesto Valverde’s side.
Juve picture Milinkovic-Savic in new-look midfield
The Serbian has had a modest season in Italy, notching five goals and a further four assists in Serie A, but Juventus reportedly are keen to reshape their midfield with more physicality and bite, with Milinkovic-Savic seemingly fitting the bill.
The 24-year-old has been linked with a string of elite European clubs for more than a year, with Juventus and Manchester United heading the potential suitors at the turn of 2018, but it now appears that the Serbia international could be part of a new-look trident in the Juve midfield, moving to Turin alongside free agent Aaron Ramsey.
News of Milinkovic-Savic’s potential move to the Bianconeri could also add further fuel to speculation linking Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi with the managerial vacancy at the Serie A champions.
Kroos contract puts Pogba deal in doubt
The new deal for Germany international Kroos includes a significant pay rise, and when added to Los Blancos‘ considerable transfer plans, it is believed that the Madrid hierarchy are targeting prudency over big-money signings this summer.
Zinedine Zidane’s other main targets are Eden Hazard and Christian Eriksen, and the precarious contract situations at the two players’ respective clubs places Real in a great negotiating position when it comes to thrashing out modest deals.
Pogba, meanwhile, has a contract until 2021, with United having the option of a further year, meaning that Real might need to bide their time before being able to make a move for the World Cup winner.
– Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez is plotting an ambitious move for outgoing Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata — assuming Benitez remains at St. James’ Park — according to the Sun. Thirty-one-year-old Mata’s deal is set to expire at Old Trafford, but Benitez has contractual issues of his own on Tyneside.
– Wolves and West Ham are set to do battle over the signing of Real Betis midfielder Victor Camarasa, reports the Mail. The 24-year-old enjoyed a successful loan spell at Cardiff City, and the English clubs are keen to extend the Spaniard’s spell in the Premier League following the Bluebirds’ relegation from the top flight.
– The Sun writes that Watford have seen a £7m bid rejected by Reims for French striker Remi Oudin. Newcastle are also interested in the player dubbed “the next Robin van Persie” following the 22-year-old’s goal-scoring exploits in Ligue 1 this season, with his 10 goals guiding Reims to ninth place.