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LIVE Transfer Talk: Manchester United will risk losing David De Gea on free transfer

With the race as close as ever, the FC guys debate who among Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea or Man United are best poised to claim a top-four spot.

The transfer window for Europe’s biggest clubs is closed, but click here for all the deals. Transfer Talk will continue to scour the world’s media and set correspondents loose to see what’s on the agenda for the summer.

Jump to: Walcott to leave Everton | Pogba to Real Madrid

TOP STORY: United risk losing De Gea for free

Manchester United are so hesitant to sell David De Gea at a discount this summer that they’ll risk watching him leave for free next year, says the Sun.

The United keeper is contracted at Old Trafford until the end of the 2019-20 season, but it has been reported that he is no closer to agreeing a new deal, amid speculation that Real Madrid would happily bring him to Spain.

Should he leave this summer, his contractual situation means he would likely do so for around £50million, whereas if he signed a new deal he could command in the neighbourhood of £100m. But the risk in United waiting, of course, is that De Gea could leave for nothing.

One of the reasons contract negotiations are proving difficult is that the Spaniard is asking for £400,000-a-week to stay at United, double what he is already on. Real would give him that, but who will blink first?

LIVE BLOG

11.37 BST: Croatia international Mario Mandzukic has some good news for Juventus fans.

11.26 BST: Atletico Madrid midfielder Bernard Mensah has impressed on loan at Kayserispor and now the Turkish club are keen to snap him up on a permanent deal, report AS.

Kayserispor president Erol Bedi said of the Ghana international: “For us there is only one possibility. We want to negotiate with Atletico about his permanent transfer.”

10.58 BST: Have you seen the speculation surrounding Jose Mourinho taking over at Lyon? Well, the French side’s president Jean Michel Aulas has quashed the rumours, claiming: “The Special One isn’t compatible with our budget.”

What he really means is that Lyon can’t afford to pay £19.6m in compensation when they sack him … like Manchester United did.

10.36 BST: Borussia Dortmund youngster Alexander Isak hasn’t hit the heights since being touted as the ‘new Zlatan Ibrahimovic’. But his performances on loan for Eredivisie club Willem II have caught the eye of Barcelona, say Mundo Deportivo.

10.16 BST: Real Madrid have agreement with PSG midfielder Adrien Rabiot, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Rabiot has been training with the reserves — held “hostage” apparently — and won’t play for the club again after refusing to sign a new contract. Liverpool, Barcelona and Tottenham were reported to be leading the queue but it seems Zinedine Zidane has seen something in the troubled youngster and is ready to take a gamble on him.

09.56 BST: Filipe Luis says his priority is to sign a new contract with Atletico Madrid.

The 33-year-old full-back has yet to put pen to paper on a contract extension, with his deal ending on June 31. Atletico offered him a one-year contract extension but the former Chelsea player wants a longer contract.

A reported target of Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund, Filipe Luis has also been linked with Brazilian outfit Flamengo, who are reportedly keen to sign him as a free agent.

“I have a contract with Atletico until June and my priority is to renew it here but I don’t close doors,” he told Globo Esporte. “I haven’t received an offer from Flamengo and I haven’t offered my services. But, obviously, I’m open to listening to offers.”

09.24 BST: Ajax’s Frenkie de Jong nearly joined PSG before he moved to Barcelona and has explained what was going through his mind at the time.

“One morning, reports emerged that I was joining PSG for €75m,” he told Four Four Two. “I woke up a little later that morning as we were training that afternoon and my girlfriend had already gone out. When she came back, she said to me: ‘I was in the car and I heard on the radio that you have signed for PSG — is that right?’ I knew deep down that was untrue, but part of me wondered if the two clubs had reached an agreement.

“PSG was a really good option. I would have had a chance to be a starter. It is one of the best teams in the world, with players like Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, as well as a very good coach in Thomas Tuchel. Paris is also not far from the Netherlands.”

08.50 BST: Maurizio Sarri backed Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Andreas Christensen to be the foundation of Chelsea for years to come after all three academy graduates performed brightly in Wednesday’s comfortable 3-0 win over Brighton at Stamford Bridge.

Hudson-Odoi marked his first Premier League start with an assist, Loftus-Cheek scored a spectacular goal and Christensen helped limit Brighton to just one shot on target as Chelsea built on Sunday’s fortuitous victory against Cardiff City with a far more convincing display.

Sarri’s continued resistance to bring Hudson-Odoi into the starting line-up this season has led to the England international considering leaving the club this summer, with Bayern Munich the most holding the strongest interest in the 18-year-old.

“They played very well,” Sarri said of Hudson-Odoi and Loftus-Cheek. “But I was sure about it. Callum is now ready to play in every match, also in the most difficult matches, because he improved a lot during the season.

“I was sure about his performance. He played very well. But I am really very happy with him because he defended really well. It’s important to have three offensive players able to defend, otherwise the balance of the team is a problem. So, tactically, now he is ready.

08.00 BST: Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas says he will continue to fight for his first-team place at the Bernabeu, while accepting that he will leave this summer if told he is no longer wanted.

Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane restored Navas, 32, to the starting XI on his return to the Bernabeu last month. However, Thibaut Courtois — who is currently out injured — is the long-term bet of club president Florentino Perez.

Costa Rica international Navas was at least partly at fault for Valencia’s opening goal as Madrid slipped to a 2-1 defeat at the Mestalla on Wednesday evening, and told reporters in the mixed zone afterwards that he was currently fighting for the No. 1 jersey but decisions would have to be made in the summer.

“I have a contract and I want to stay,” Navas said. “At the moment I must focus on finishing this season well, despite all the difficulties we have had. I’ve a contract here but we’ll see what happens [in the summer]. If the boss tells me to leave, then what can I do? But I will fight for this jersey as long as I am here.”

Navas had been due to join Manchester United in 2015 as part of the proposed transfer that would have taken David De Gea to the Bernabeu, but the deal fell apart as the relevant paperwork was not submitted before the deadline.

PAPER TALK (by Stephen Wright)

Walcott to fall victim of new Everton policy

Theo Walcott may see his time on Merseyside come to an end, as the 30-year-old can’t consider himself a part of the club’s ambitions to focus more on youth, according to the Mirror.

Since the Merseyside derby on March 3, Walcott has seen the field for just 16 minutes, with Bernard, Richarlison, and Ademola Lookman playing in similar positions ahead of him.

Everton’s director of football, Marcel Brands, has added fuel to the fire by saying the club aims to continue a policy of signing players under the age of 25 — a tactic that would require them to offload some ageing talent.

Walcott’s potential destination may be a return to where it all began, with Southampton hopeful of re-signing their academy alumni.

Inter optimistic for future with Icardi

Inter Milan CEO Beppe Marotta has insisted that the club is optimistic to put any ill feeling with Mauro Icardi behind them, after the striker was pulled from the starting XI and stripped of captaincy following a poor run of form, Calciomercato reports.

Commenting on the situation, Marotta said: “Icardi? From the point of view of professionalism, I saw it well, now we have to put everything that happened behind and look to the future with optimism.

“We must be a team and win, without alibis, this is the message we want to give. In society there are tasks, skills and professionalism in all the components, I support the sports area with my experience.”

Schurrle set to return to Dortmund

Andre Schurrle is expected to swap Fulham back for Dortmund thanks to a clause in his contract, the Sun reports.

The Cottagers were relegated from the Premier League following Tuesday night’s 4-1 defeat to Watford. When Schurrle signed from Borussia Dortmund on a two-year loan deal ahead of this season, Fulham insisted on a clause that would allow them to send the winger back to his parent club should they get relegated.

Cutting the contract short would allow the London club to save around £2.5 million in wages. His departure is expected to be the first of many on their way out of Craven Cottage, with highly-thought-of Ryan Sessegnon among them.

Tap-ins

– After Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane admitted he’s a big fan of Paul Pogba, reports from the Mirror claim the Manchester United midfielder has a pact with his agent, Mino Raiola, who told him that he would secure a move to Spain within three years of 2016.

– As Manchester United look to strengthen their back-line, both they and Paris Saint-Germain have made initial enquiries for Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane, the Independent understands.

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