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Transfer Talk: Memphis drops Liverpool hint

Craig Burley and Ross Dyer work through the latest potential summer transfers, including Memphis Depay making his way to Anfield.

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TOP STORY: Did Depay drop Liverpool hint?

Memphis Depay is on his way to Liverpool. This is according to a report by The Sun after the player shared footage of himself boarding a red private jet wearing a red suit on his social media channels.

The English tabloid has put two and two together from Depay’s cryptic post and deduced that he’ll be playing at Anfield next season — though, in their defence, Liverpool have been heavily linked with the former Manchester United player in recent weeks.

Depay also appeared to confirm his Lyon exit with the caption: “Merci Lyon,” and if correct, he leaves after a stunning season in which he scored nine goals and provided 13 assists.

Depay’s immediate destination later proved to be Rotterdam, as he joined up with Netherlands’ national team ahead of their Nations League semifinal against England. But Liverpool supporters will be hoping the red hints will mean he’s Merseyside-bound.

And with Depay meeting up with Netherlands, they’ll be hoping the Oranje’s skipper, Virgil van Dijk, might help seal the deal even though the defender remains on club duty ahead of the Champions League final with Spurs.

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22.17 BST: We’ll close Sunday’s live edition of Transfer Talk with some news coming out of Turin. Tuttosport reports that Juventus are considering selling Paulo Dybala, Miralem Pjanic, Douglas Costa and Joao Cancelo to fund their forays in the transfer window, and that the Portuguese full-back is drawing interest from both Manchester City and Manchester United.

20.40 BST: The Sun reports that after months of unsuccessful contract talks, Manchester City are preparing to open last-ditch negotiations with Leroy Sane as he enters the final two years of his deal at the Etihad. If they’re unable to convince the Germany international to commit his future to the Premier League champions, they’ll hope to raise £88m from Bayern Munich.

19.03 BST: Tottenham have reportedly tabled a €60m bid for Real Betis and former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Giovani Lo Celso, according to Marca, who adds that Manchester United are also interested and Real Madrid have made contact with the player’s representatives. The report states that Betis will hold out for as close to the 23-year-old’s €100m release clause.

17.26 BST: The Express reports that Manchester United are interested in Juventus pair Paulo Dybala and Alex Sandro, and that the Bianconeri are prepared to offer both in exchange for Paul Pogba, who left the Serie A champions for United three years ago.

15.49 BST: Manchester United target Jadon Sancho will not be leaving Borussia Dortmund this summer — that is the view of the Bundesliga club’s CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke

“It can be assumed that Jadon will not play more than 10 years at BVB,” Watzke told Bild. “But we have clear agreements about the present.

“Jadon is not on the market and plays next season guaranteed at Borussia Dortmund.”

15.21 BST: Manchester United and Barcelona target Matthijs de Ligt has said he will make a decision on his future after the Netherlands’ upcoming UEFA Nations League campaign, but added he does like the Premier League.

“Where do I see myself? Well, obviously the Premier League is a big competition, Spain also, but you have other competitions, it’s not [just] about those two,” he told AP. “I still don’t know anything about where my future is, so I see how it goes.

14.53 BST: Napoli’s Dries Mertens has suggested he will carry on at San Paolo beyond the summer.

Speaking after Carlo Ancelotti’s men lost the final match of the season 3-2 at Bologna, the Belgium international told Naples’ Radio Kiss Kiss: “I don’t think that was my last game with Napoli.

“I still have a year left on my contract with Napoli and I am happy here.”

14.19 BST: Manchester United will turn to Benfica’s Ruben Dias after missing out on Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, according to The Mirror.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made a new central defender his top priority — but it is unlikely Ajax’s Matthijs de Ligt will be moving to Old Trafford this summer.

13.52 BST: Barcelona’s Copa del Rey final defeat led to an impromptu meeting on the coach to the airport between Gerard Pique, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez where they discussed the club’s issues, according to AS.

The report suggests the players discussed how it was possible to end the season on such a low. They remained on the coach to talk after the players had all left.

It adds that the players did not discuss the position of manager Ernesto Valverde, who remains under pressure.

13.21 BST: Sticking with The Sun, Aston Villa have reportedly ahead of Manchester City, Celtic and Rangers in the race to sign Charlton’s highly-rated midfielder Joe Aribo.

Aribo is out of out of contract in the summer, and is expected to leave regardless of whether Chartlon earn promotion to Championship when they face Sunderland in the League One play-offs.

12.57 BST: It is being reported in The Sun that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will put his Manchester United players through a rigorous preseason and is ready to get rid of anyone whose fitness levels are not at the required level.

Solskjaer is thought to have been horrified at the shoddy fitness levels he found when he arrived at Old Trafford in December.

12.29 BST: Marcos Rojo has said he hopes to stay at Manchester United this summer, despite the Old Trafford side’s interest in buying a new central defender.

Boca Juniors are reported to have been interested in the Argentina international and, asked about the rumours, he told El Dia: “Yes, it’s true.

“Nicolas Burdisso — who was my international teammate — did call me when he took over at Boca. At that moment, I wasn’t playing. I thanked him but told him my intention is to stay in Manchester. Boca are a big club, but at the moment I’d like to stay in Europe.”

12.06 BST: Juventus have received fresh hope that Paul Pogba could return to the club this summer, according to Tuttosport.

The Turin-based daily write that Real Madrid have been frustrated by Manchester United’s demands for the World Cup-winner and, as they are also tied in negotiations with Chelsea over a move for Eden Hazard, Los Blancos have their hands full — and that could see Juventus take the upper hand.

Pogba left United for Juve on a free transfer in 2012 before returning to Old Trafford in a then world record £89.3m fee four years later.

11.42 BST: World Cup-winner Daniele De Rossi will bid farewell to Roma today after 18 years with the club with the final match of the season against Parma his last — and his next destination as yet unknown.

Gazzetta dello Sport report his main options include either the United States or Boca Juniors, where former teammate Nicolas Burdisso works as a sporting director.

Boyhood Roma fan De Rossi was told his contract would not be extended and that led to furious protests by Giallorossi supporters.

11.19 BST: Ryan Babel was thought to be close to joining Turkish Super Lig side Galatasaray, but reports in the Netherlands suggest he is also a target for an unnamed Dutch club thought to be Ajax.

Babel started his career at Ajax before joining Liverpool in 2007 — could he follow in the footsteps of Klaas Jan-Huntelaar and make an emotional return late in his career?

10.51 BST: Manchester United expect top summer target Matthijs de Ligt to resist their advances and complete a move to Barcelona, with Old Trafford sources having told ESPN FC they believe the Spanish champions struck an agreement with the Ajax captain two months ago.

De Ligt, 19, has emerged as one of the most-sought after players in Europe this season after playing a key role in Ajax’s run to the Champions League semifinal. The defender also led the Amsterdam giants to their first Eredivisie title since 2014 earlier this month as well success in the Dutch Cup.

But with Ajax accepting to sell the centre-half this summer, United and Barcelona have been battling it out to secure the teenager’s signature for months.

10.21 BST: Stoke have told Saido Berahino they are cancelling his contract following a drink driving conviction, according to the Daily Mail.

Berahino was banned for 30 months and fined £75,000 — but the report adds he is challenging the decision.

09.58 BST: Mattia Perin was considered by many to be Gianluigi Buffon’s heir in the Italy national team — and that notion was enhanced when he joined Juventus from Genoa last summer.

However, having spent the past campaign as Wojciech Szczesny’s understudy and failing to impress when he was called up, it has been proven to be the wisest move.

And Gazzetta dello Sport are now reporting he has been told he can leave.

09.27 BST: Could Danny Welbeck be on his way to Italy? If reports in The Sun are to be believed, the England forward is a target for Lazio.

Welbeck has been told he can leave Arsenal for free this summer, and could look to resurrect his career with the recent Coppa Italia winners.

Should Welbeck make the move, he would follow in the footsteps of another former Manchester United academy striker, who played eight matches for the Biancocelesti.

09:00 BST: We start in Serie A this morning, and Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti has opened the door to a sensational return for the league’s top goal goal scorer Fabio Quagliarella at the age of 36.

Asked specifically about the Quagliarella rumours after Napoli’s final match of the season — a defeat at Bologna — the ex-AC Milan boss said: “In life, everything is possible. We have clear ideas [of who we want]. Most of the rumours are false.

Silva out, Tielemans in?

Manchester City could be swapping David Silva for Youri Tielemans, according to The Sun.

They’re reporting that Silva is to be tempted by a £12 million tax-free offer from a club in Qatar, with City looking to Monaco’s 22-year-old midfielder Tielemans to replace him.

This would be bad news for Leicester City and Brendan Rodgers, who had hoped to secure a permanent deal for their loan star.

However, The Sun is suggesting that representatives of both Man City and Tielemans have already been in touch.

Silva scored in City’s 6-0 FA Cup final win against Watford, and if the reports are true, he would leave City with four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and four League Cups. 

United see de Ligt

Manchester United are close to pulling off a transfer coup in the form of Ajax powerhouse defender Matthijs de Ligt, according to a report by The Express.

The Express is sharing news reported by Catalan radio outlet RAC1, who are suggesting that a deal between United and De Ligt is “very close,” stating further that the sum agreed between the two clubs is unlikely to be matched — reportedly £350,000 per week — with United looking to outspend their rivals.

United appear to be up against Barcelona for de Ligt’s services, though the La liga champions need to offload players before they can commence summer spending.

And while United are unable to offer de Ligt Champions League football, he is said to be interested in becoming their main man, with the view that he has time on his side to compete in Europe’s top competition once more.

United are likely to face big competition for their target, mainly from their nearest neighbours, Man City, but if they can get the deal over the line, it could make for an easier summer for boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as he looks to rebuild the side. 


– Staying in Manchester, the Daily Star is reporting that Manchester United have switched their attention to Benfica ace Ruben Dias after their pursuit for Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly has reached a dead end. United had looked to be making headway in an attempt to lure Koulibaly to Old Trafford, but Napoli’s reported £150 million price tag appears to have cooled their interest.

Adrien Rabiot will be one of the most familiar names on these transfer pages this summer, with a host of clubs linked to signing the midfielder. The 24-year-old has been frozen out of PSG, and Manchester United appear to be one of the favourites to land the freebie, though The Mirror is reporting that Arsenal are keen to hijack the deal. Rabiot played under Unai Emery at PSG, and it would appear that the two may want to work together once more. 

EltasZone Sportswriters, Sports Analysts, Opinion columnists, editorials and op-eds. Analysis from The Zone Team
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