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Transfer Talk: Spurs halt Conte talks amid budget dispute

With most of the major European seasons now complete, the rumour mill has been sent into overdrive as clubs ponder their moves ahead of what will be a busy transfer window. Check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.

TOP STORY: Spurs, Conte deal off over transfer budget

Tottenham Hotspur have pulled out of talks with Antonio Conte to take over as their coach, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Earlier in the week it looked like Conte was ready to take the Spurs job, fresh from leading Inter Milan to the Serie A title last season.

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Reports in Italy have suggested that Conte was starting to have doubts over his transfer budget, with sources telling ESPN that Harry Kane‘s future was a key topic of discussion.

Conte won the Premier League with Chelsea in 2016-17 but was sacked a year later after winning the FA Cup and finishing fifth. Before that he won Serie A three times as Juventus coach and took Italy to the quarterfinals of Euro 2016.

Despite the apparent collapse of talks with Conte, Fabrizio Romano reports that former Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici will still join Tottenham as new director of football.

With Conte’s arrival an apparent no-go, Mauricio Pochettino could still leave Paris Saint-Germain with interest from former club Tottenham, according to Le10Sport. The Argentine manager has been at the heart of speculation and was reportedly keen on a return to North London, but the French outlet believe the manager’s entourage is in contact with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.

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14.40 BST: Calciomercato reports that there is a strong chance that Miralem Pjanic could return to Juventus from Barcelona.

Pjanic, 31, moved to the Camp Nou last summer as part of a swap agreement which took Arthur Melo to Turin. But the Bosnia and Herzegovina international struggled to adapt to life in La Liga, making 19 appearances in a forgettable campaign.

But the report states that the financial details of the original move mean Barca, in their own financial plight, would have to take a loss on the player to get him off their books. It could be that Pjanic initially returns to Serie A on loan, and he has spoken to new Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri.

13.58 BST: Gab Marcotti discusses the possibility of Kylian Mbappe making a move from Paris Saint-Germain to Real Madrid.

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Gab Marcotti discusses the possibility of Kylian Mbappe making a move from PSG to Real Madrid.

13.10 BST: There are serious doubts about the future of Kingsley Coman at Bayern Munich with Sport1 reporting the France international wants a huge wage rise to stay at the Bundesliga club.

Coman, who celebrates his 25th birthday next weekend, is now represented by super agent Pini Zahavi who is seeking to agree a new contract, with his current terms expiring in 2023.

Sport1 chief reporter Florian Plettenberg says Coman earns €12m-a-season, with Bayern prepared to increase that by €1m. But Zahavi is demanding Bayern come up with an offer of €20m-a-season.

Bayern will lose David Alaba on a free transfer to Real Madrid at the end of this month, and they will want to settle Coman’s future one way or another to avoid a repeat in two years’ time.

12.36 BST: Barcelona have set their sights on Valencia left-back Jose Luis Gaya to reinforce their defensive line, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Gaya, 26, is Valencia’s captain and fits the profile that Barca are looking for, due to his attacking style as well as his strong defensive performances. Gaya has a contract with Valencia until June 2023 but has halted talks over an extension, leading to speculation that the player could consider leaving to take a step forward in his career.

11.44 BST: Reports in Germany suggest Liverpool will sell Marko Grujic after he failed to show the necessary progress to become part of Jurgen Klopp’s first-team plans.

Grujic, 25, joined Liverpool from Red Star Belgrade five years ago but has spent much of his time out on loan, playing for Cardiff City, Hertha Berlin and most recently FC Porto.

The winger has made just eight Premier League appearances for the Reds, and a report in the Berliner Kurier claims he is available for as little as €14m and could head back to Hertha, where he played for two seasons from 2018-2020.

11.01 BST: Paris Saint-Germain are trying to hijack Barcelona‘s attempt to sign Georginio Wijnaldum on a free transfer, multiple sources have told ESPN.

Wijnaldum, 30, is set to leave Liverpool at the end of the month when his contract expires at Anfield.

10.17 BST: Manchester City agreed a deal to sign 17-year-old forward Kayky from Fluminense earlier this year, and now Goal reports that are set to return to the Brazilian club to sign teammate Metinho.

Metinho, who has only made one appearance as a substitute for the first team, is an 18-year-old midfielder who was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo but moved to Brazil aged one.

Fluminense’s coaching staff have likened him in style to Paul Pogba.

09.30 BST: FC Porto have announced that Sergio Conceicao will continue as coach for another three seasons. Conceicao, 46, has signed a new deal through June 2024 with his current contract expiring this month.

Porto finished runners-up to Sporting CP in the Primeira Liga last season and reached the quarterfinals of the Champions League before being eliminated by Chelsea. Coceicao was a reported target of Napoli. The former Inter Milan, Lazio and Parma player has managed Porto for four seasons.

PAPER GOSSIP

– Chelsea’s Tiemoue Bakayoko could be set to extend his stay in Italy with Fabrizio Romano claiming that there is interest from Fiorentina for a loan deal. The defensive midfielder spent last season on loan at Napoli and featured 32 times in Serie A, but the 26-year-old appears unable to find a way into Thomas Tuchel’s plans at Chelsea.

Aston Villa are facing competition for Burnley‘s Chris Wood with the striker now on the radar of two other Premier League clubs. Football Insider reports that Everton and West Ham United will join the race for the 29-year-old forward, who scored 12 goals while leading the line for Sean Dyche last season, though any deal would see Burnley demand a fee in the region of £30m.

Arsenal are monitoring Internacional‘s Yuri Alberto. According to Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte, the Gunners have been interested in the 20-year-old striker since his days at Santos. A fee in the region of €13m would reportedly be required to see the Brazilian move to north London, but Arsenal could face competition with Barcelona also rumoured to be interested.

Le10Sport are reporting that Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti could begin a squad clearout with Gareth Bale, Isco and Marcelo deemed surplus to requirements. The La Liga club are continuing their rebuild after missing out on the title last season, and despite reports that Bale could be given a chance back at the Bernabeu after his loan spell with Tottenham, it looks like the Wales forward remains out of favour in the Spanish capital.

Bayern Munich have confirmed Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has signed a two-year contract extension, cementing his status as the backup to Robert Lewandowski. Choupo-Moting joined Bayern in October on a free transfer for one season after his contract with PSG expired. The Cameroon forward scored three goals in 22 Bundesliga appearances but won plaudits for stepping up to replace Lewandowski when the Poland striker was injured for Champions League games against PSG.

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