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LIVE Transfer Talk: Manchester United contact Lyon over Moussa Dembele

Paul Mariner takes a whirl at the latest transfer rater and takes on the rumours surrounding Gareth Bale, Mesut Ozil and Edinson Cavani all set to leave this summer.

With the transfer window for Europe’s biggest clubs set to open soon — find out exactly when the Premier League transfer window opens — rest assured that Transfer Talk is scouring the world’s media and setting correspondents loose to see what is on the agenda. You can click here to review all the latest transfers

TOP STORY: Man United ‘contact Lyon’ over Dembele

Manchester United have contacted Lyon over striker Moussa Dembele, according to L’Equipe. 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is set for a major summer overhaul following a turbulent season at the club, with United set to miss out on a Champions League spot.

French striker Dembele, 22, is under consideration after enjoying a fine season in France, scoring 18 times for Lyon in all competitions. Dembele only moved to the Ligue 1 giants from Celtic last summer but United believe a bid of around £43 million could be enough to trigger a move.

Dembele left Celtic for £20m so Lyon could potentially double their money if they decide to cash in on a player who still has another four years on his contract at the club.

Solskjaer is set to make big changes at United in the summer with the future of Romelu Lukaku unclear, as well as doubts over David De Gea and Paul Pogba.

Moussa Dembele is a target for Manchester United, according to a report in France.


23.30 BST: That will do it for tonight’s Transfer Talk blog. We hope you enjoyed it and remind you to check back shortly for the latest transfer rumours and reports from around the football world. Goodnight!

23.20 BST: A new defender for Arsenal?

Spanish outlet Marca suggests Arsenal are keen on adding a defender with Getafe’s Djene Dakonam and his €35 million release clause well within their price range. Dakonam, 27, has been a breakout star this season for upstarts Getafe and the centre-back is being closely monitored by Valencia as well.

Unai Emery badly needs to strengthen his defence and the Togo international would seem a good fit considering Arsenal need to be somewhat frugal with their money this summer.

22.39 BST: What’s next for Everton’s Morgan Schneiderlin?

The Frenchman has played well in the absence of Andre Gomes, and just when it looked like his time at Goodison Park may be nearing an end, Schneiderlin has thrown himself a lifeline.

Now Everton face a dilemma regarding the 29-year-old: Do they resign the player or let him leave after an up-and-down spell at the club?

The answer to that question likely depends on what Gomes does next? The Portuguese is on loan from Barcelona and Everton would like to make his move permanent. If they do it could spell the end for Schneiderlin but if they can’t, keeping Schneiderlin could be a shrewd move.

22.04 BST: Real Madrid and Man United are two clubs that continue to be linked with doing business with one another.

While a potential Paul Pogba deal is the showpiece, the Telegraph is reporting that Man United will be handed a chance to sign goalkeeper Keylor Navas to replace David De Gea, if the Spaniard does leave Old Trafford.

De Gea, who has made a series of uncharacteristic errors of late and always seems to be in contract limbo, has been most often linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain. United have been linked with Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak and now the 32-year-old Navas’ name has surfaced in the papers.

With Thibaut Courtois ahead of Navas at the Bernabeu, expect Navas to be on the move whether it is to Man United or elsewhere.

21.22 BST: Loan star Dean Henderson has been one of the heroes of Sheffield United’s promotion campaign but don’t expect the young goalkeeper to be making a permanent move to Bramall Lane anytime soon. 

Henderson recently voiced his desire to follow the Blades up to the Premier League and is reportedly set to get his wish with another loan move from Man United.

“Listen, I want to be here,” the 22 year-old told BBC Radio Sheffield. “I want to play Premier League football at Bramall Lane. Eventually, I want to be Man Utd’s number one and England’s number one.

“I’ve told the gaffer, ‘don’t let me leave’. But obviously it comes down to the two clubs, money and stuff. I’ll be itching at the bit to come back here next season.”

Sheffield manager Chris Wilder is confident that Henderson will indeed be back with the Blades.

“He’s a Manchester United player and there’s not talk of a permanent. We believe it will be a loan.”

20.48 BS: Barcelona have already inked two new players for the 2019-20 season in Ajax starlet Frenkie de Jong and Atletico Mineiro defender Emerson (on loan at Real Betis) and could be set to add a third.

Groningen midfielder Ludovit Reis is the latest young player being linked with a move to the Camp Nou, with the player’s agent Aleksandar Bursac confirming the move in Dutch paper Algemeen Dagblad.

“The clubs have made an agreement,” Bursac told Algemeen Dagblad. “I don’t say what the amount is, it’s not up to me. For Ludovit this is of course very beautiful. A top transfer. This weekend or on Monday we will hear when we can fly to Barcelona to complete the transfer.”

Reports suggest Reis, 18, will cost €8 million and start off with Barca B.

20.11 BST: Aston Villa ace Jack Grealish has hinted this may be his last season at Villa Park, if Villa fail to earn promotion.

The 23-year-old Grealish, who was heavily linked with Tottenham last summer, is probably the most sought after player in the English Championship and believes he is ready to return to the Premier League.

‘I’m 23 now and I’m not getting any younger. I want to challenge myself, I’m desperate to play in the Premier League and I want to play for England. So for me personally, I think this is the year we’ve got to get promoted really.”

Grealish, who was born in Birmingham, hinted his preference and dream is to return to the Premier League with Villa and not via transfer.

“All I’m thinking about is getting promoted with Villa. We have got the perfect manager and the perfect team. We have got more of a chance than we had last year. This year, I feel something different here. Every game we go in to, I feel like we’re going to win it. I feel like this is going to be our year.”

Villa will be back in the play-off this season, one year after losing the final at Wembley to Fulham. Judging from his comments, if Villa come up short again, expect to see Grealish make the move to a Premier League side.

19.33 BST: Kieran Trippier to Italy?

Speaking ahead of Napoli’s match with Cagliari, Partenopei manager Carlo Ancelotti confirmed he is interested in the Tottenham and England full-back.

“I don’t like talking about players from other teams. [Kieran] Trippier’s wife in Naples? I honestly don’t know, but Naples is a beautiful city, there are people who come on holiday,” he is reported as saying by CalcioMercato.

“But [PSV Eindhoven winger Hirving] Lozano and Trippier are players who we are evaluating, then later there is everything else that is much more complex.

Trippier, 28, is in his fourth season with Spurs, having previously played three with Burnley.

19.00 BST: With speculation increasing that Paul Pogba will trade Old Trafford for the Santiago Bernabeu this summer, more details have emerged regarding a potential deal.

Reports have linked Pogba with a £160 million move to Real Madrid but TeamTalk suggests that a Pogba transfer might not be as simple as a purely monetary transaction. The outlet reports that Man United could take a player or two back in any potential deal for the France World Cup winner.

While Madrid have reportedly offered United both Gareth Bale and Mateo Kovacic, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and United could look elsewhere within the Madrid team.

Raphael Varane and Toni Kroos are two players that United reportedly have interest in, with centre-back Varane top of the list. Man United’s defense has been the club’s biggest trouble area this season and Varane, 26, would be viewed as a pillar for Solskjaer to rebuild his defence around.

18.17 BST: It looks like the end for Mauro Icardi and Inter Milan as the Curva Nord — the club’s biggest Ultra group — have released another statement calling for him to leave.

“We’ve tried to explain it in every possible way,” the statement read. “Nobody is doubting his technical qualities as a player, but the problem is and always will be tied to his mentality and the attitude he has towards the rest of the squad that he cannot and will never change.

“He had so many chances to reconciliate with his teammates in the dressing room and with fans in the Curva, but never took them. That proves he is a player who, for the common good, cannot be part of Inter’s future. He is too superficial.”

17.23 BST: James Rodriguez does not want to stay at Bayern Munich beyond this summer when his two-year loan deal from Real Madrid expires, a source close to the player told ESPN FC.

The Colombia international joined Bayern in the summer of 2017 and the German side have a unilateral option to purchase his rights until June 15 for a reported €42 million, but have yet to finalise the deal.

16.29 BST: It looks like this former Liverpool midfielder will be staying at Lazio for a further three years.

15.36 BST: Napoli have completed the signing of PSV Eindhoven forward Hirving Lozano on a five-year deal, according to Il Corriere dello Sport.

The Mexico international has long been linked with a move to San Paolo, with Manchester United also thought to be interested.

However, these reports in Italy suggest Napoli have won the race.

14.29 BST: Everton captain Phil Jagielka said his future at Goodison Park should be determined in the next 10 days after making a cameo appearance in Friday’s Premier League victory over Burnley.

Jagielka has made seven appearances all season and his contract expires at the end of the campaign, potentially bringing down the curtain on his 12-year stay at the Merseyside club.

The 36-year-old centre back received a rousing ovation from the home supporters as he was sent on in stoppage-time to help Everton claim their eighth clean sheet in 10 league matches.

When asked if this was his farewell game at Goodison Park, Jagielka said: “The answer to that will probably come in the next 10 days. I hope not, but obviously there is a possibility it could be.

“Time will tell and if not I will plod on and go and find somewhere else to go and play football.

“I look back and there have been some great moments. Hopefully, there are some to continue but if there aren’t then I can’t complain. I’ll continue to play football for as long as I can.”

13.32 BST: Sticking with Barcelona, Marca are reporting the club have drawn up a list of potential replacements for No. 2 goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen should he leave this summer.

Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana heads that list, with Borussia Monchengladbach’s Yann Sommer and Real Betis’ Pau Lopez also under consideration.

12.37 BST: Barcelona will turn to Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette if they fail to sign Antoine Griezmann this summer, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Griezmann has become the Catalan side’s No. 1 attacking target for this summer.

However, Lacazette impressed in his performance against Valencia in the Europa League semifinal — prompting Griezmann to tweet his admiration.

11.58 BST: The Daily Mail claims that Manchester United and Chelsea are set to battle over James Rodriguez, who is set to become available in the summer when his loan to Bayern Munich from Real Madrid comes to an end.

11.19 BST: Eintracht Frankfurt sporting director Fredi Bobic has told ESPN FC there has been “no contact” with Real Madrid over the transfer of Luka Jovic.

10.37 BST: Marca reckons that Real Madrid are set to make a move for Donny van de Beek, the player who scored last week for Ajax in their Champions League victory at Tottenham. 

09.58 BST: Ryan Sessegnon was one of the hottest prospects in English football 12 months ago when Fulham were promoted to the Premier League, but he has faltered just like the Cottagers’ in their return to the big time. But the Daily Mail says he wants to stay in the top flight with Tottenham his preferred destination. 

09.30 BST: The football season is almost over – and that means the transfer window is about to swing open. Stick with us throughout the day for the latest rumours.

PAPER ROUND (by Steven Wright)

Will Willian be Barca’s next signing?

Barcelona are preparing a £30m bid for Chelsea winger Willian, the Sun reports.

Ernesto Valverde’s side have made attempts to sign the Brazilian twice already, with a £50m bid plus Malcom in January as well as an approach last summer, but Chelsea rejected on both occasions. The Blues might be inclined to reconsider this summer, as Willian’s contract expires at the end of next season, meaning he would then be able to leave the club on a free transfer.

The 30-year-old has scored eight goals this season for Maurizio Sarri’s side, but he has not been able to secure an extension to his contract at Stamford Bridge.

Insigne set to stay at Napoli

The long-running saga of Lorenzo Insigne and his complicated relationship with Napoli appears to be coming to a peaceful conclusion, as the Italian striker has his sights set on staying at the club, Calciomercato reports.

Much had been made of Insigne’s potential future away from Napoli in recent weeks, with moves to Paris Saint-Germain, Inter Milan, AC Milan or the Premier League all reportedly on the cards.

However, after Insigne’s agent Mino Raiola met with Carlo Ancelotti to discuss the player’s future, it became clear that all parties wanted him to sign an extension lasting until 2023.


– Manchester City are looking to bolster their attacking options even further with the acquisition of two attacking midfielders: Sporting Lisbon’s Bruno Fernandes and Benfica’s Joao Felix, according to the Manchester Evening News. Manchester United have also reportedly been interested in the Portuguese pair.

Matthijs de Ligt‘s impressive recent performances for Ajax have led to his price tag rising, making negotiations more complicated for Juventus and Barcelona, who are both interested in him, according to Spanish publication Sport. Barcelona have come closest to agreeing to a deal for the defender in recent weeks but will now be tested on how much they’re willing to spend.

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