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Aug 1, 2014

Lampard to City, Vermaelen to United?

ESPN FC's Raphael Honigstein gives his take on Sami Khedira, and if he will make a move from Real Madrid.

Transfer Talk pushes on as we near the window's halfway point. As always, here are all the news and rumours from around the globe, updated throughout the day ...

TOP PICK: Manchester City are widely reported to be closing in on a loan deal for Frank Lampard.

- Arsenal were believed to be close to signing Juan Quintero from Porto but Arsene Wenger today rubbished rumours a deal was close. He also confirmed club captain Thomas Vermaelen is currently injured but could leave the club in the near future. He says he has not contacted Southampton about Morgan Schneiderlin and that rumours linking his side with Mario Balotelli were completely unfounded.

- Dani Alves' time at Barcelona looks to be up as boss Luis Enrique tells him to find a new club and make way for the arrival of Juan Cuadrado.

- Liverpool are close to spending 16 million pounds on Sevilla's Alberto Moreno and hope to tie up a loan deal for Atletico Madrid's Javi Manquillo in the next few days.

- Fernando Torres has been linked with a shock move to Wolfsburg by Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio. However German reports have branded the rumour first dubious and then unthinkable.

22.59 BST: That's all for today's edition of TT, but we'll be back before long with the latest gossip and transfer nonsense from around the football world.

22.57 BST: Frank Lampard's decision to join Manchester City on a short-term deal is a drama-free move for Chelsea supporters, Blues blogger Mark Worrall writes.

22.53 BST: Harry Redknapp looks to be eyeing Juve's versatile Chile international Mauricio Isla.

22.46 BST: Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal (and their army of right-backs) can compete with the big spenders these days.

"With the financial fair play added to the fact we have more financial power than five years ago, it gives us a better chance," he said. "The last two seasons it has changed because we had the financial power to do it; the seasons before we could not and I was sitting here saying 'Where do we go next?' but we managed to get into a better position."

22.11 BST: Apparently Arsene Wenger simply cannot get enough of agreeing deals for right-backs this summer, because Marca thinks Arsenal are in for Real Madrid's Alvaro Arbeloa.

21.38 BST: Darius Henderson has left Nottingham Forest by mutual consent and will be on the lookout for a new club.

21.14 BST: Crystal Palace have signed Brede Hangeland, and ESPN FC's Eagles blogger Jim Daly says it's a step up for Tony Pulis' side. Blog here.

21.09 BST: O Jogo is reporting that Samuel Eto'o is on the verge of joining Roma after leaving Chelsea.

20.27 BST: Read the full story here on the reports Chelsea legend Frank Lampard is on his way to Manchester City.

20.07 BST: Very interesting reports emerging that Frank Lampard is going to join Manchester City on loan. You'll recall that he's going to play for City-owned New York City FC when they start their MLS life in 2015.

19.49 BST: Newcastle have all but ended their interest in QPR striker Loic Remy. Story here.

19.06 BST: As mentioned earlier, Eintracht Frankfurt have signed Haris Seferovic from Real Sociedad, and you can read about that here.

18.51 BST: Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has made it clear Connor Wickham must sign a new deal soon or be sold. Story here.

18.17 BST: Stefan de Vrij says he is delighted to be joining Lazio and denied that Roma or Manchester United were ever in for him. Story here.

17.51 BST: Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is planning further signings, which is by no means a surprise.

17.40 BST: Torino president Urbano Cairo has dropped the biggest hint yet that his side will sell reported AC Milan target Alessio Cerci. Story here.

17.27 BST: It looks like Oscar Cardozo may be off to Turkey after Tuttomercatoweb claim the striker is close to joining Trabzonspor from Benfica.

17.22 BST: Brendan Rodgers had initially been thought to have been open to letting Kolo Toure leave Liverpool with Turkish club Trabzonspor supposedly keen. However the Liverpool manager has told reporters he expects the Ivorian to stay because he is 'a winner.'

17.15 BST: And this one! 

17.12 BST: Our sincerest apologies for missing this one! Edson Braafheid signs for Lazio from FC Twente.

17.05 BST: PSV have announced the signing of Andrija Lukovic!

17.01 BST: A few links for you now. First up, the full story on Brondby's attempt to bring back Daniel Agger from Liverpool. We've also got the full story on Diego Lopez and his selection as the goalkeeper to LEAVE Real Madrid. And finally we have Brede Hangeland's new one year deal with Crystal Palace, right here.

16.55 BST: Burnley are set to make a difficult decision as to whether to sign a player from Non-League Tamworth. Kaiyne Woolery has spent the last few weeks on trial with the Premier League new boys and the Tamworth Herald claim Sean Dyche is set to make his decision as to whether to sign the youngster in the next few days.

16.46 BST: Rayo Vallecano add to their signing of Gael Kakuta yesterday.

16.42 BST: SPANISH PLAYER REJECTS LIVERPOOL! But it is neither of Javi Manquillo or Alberto Moreno. No, young Fran Villalba of Valencia has decided to stay at the Mestalla to continue his tutelage than join Brendan Rodgers at Anfield, according to Super Deporte.

16.35 BST: Sporting Lisbon have released a rather bitterly worded press release explaining the departure of Eric Dier to Tottenham. It even has a go at his father! Read the whole thing here on Sporting's English translation website.

16.30 BST: From the horse's mouth!

16.21 BST: Torino reportedly continue their stance on Matteo Darmian in apparently turning down a nine million euro offer from Atletico Madrid. The full-back has pulled in speculation over his future in Turin this summer following his performances towards the back end of last season and his inclusion in Italy's World Cup squad. Gazzetta dello Sport claim the bid has been turned down and any firther interest from Roma will be met with similar fortitude.

16.15 BST: OFFICIAL! Mexico's cult hero goalkeeper moves to Malaga on a free transfer.

16.12 BST: Napoli midfielder Blerim Dzemaili, who has been linked away from the club all summer long, fancies a move to Sevilla. Il Mattino claim the Swiss player is licking his lips at the prospect of playing against Real Madrid in the European Super Cup and wants his entourage to start speaking to Seville about a move as soon as possible.

16.06 BST: This translates along the lines of... Mathieu Valbuena has landed in Moscow and will sign for Dynamo.

16.00 BST: West Ham are being linked with a one million pound move to sign Stoke City forward Peter Crouch. It is thought Mark Hughes doesn't want to sell the lanky striker but the lure of returning to London could be too much for Crouch and a deal is possible, according to reports.

15.52 BST: Schalke have released midfielder Anthony Annan after three seasons with the club according to GhanaSoccernet. The midfielder is being linked with a move to Swedish side Malmo.

15.45 BST: West Ham have backed out of signing Samuel Eto'o because the Cameroon striker's wage demands are far too high, according to the Mirror. Apparently he wants 120,000 pounds per week which the Hammers simply cannot afford. Considering some of the wage packets he has had over the years, that's him coming relatively cheap!

15.38 BST: Arsenal just can't stay out of the news! Even in Japan...

15.30 BST: Takeover from Peter Lim and now closing in on a real talent of a signing.

15.26 BST: AC Milan's interest in Andre Ayew looks set to be firmed up with a bid to Marseille in the six million euro region, according to reports in France and Spain.

15.17 BST: Le 10 Sport are claiming an exclusive! They say Newcastle defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa is set for a sensational return to France with Marseille. The report suggests nothing concrete has been agreed yet but that the talks are serious and the club would like to tie up a deal quickly.

15.14 BST: The Fulham rebuild continues!

15.10 BST: Leeds may have missed out on a goalkeeper but they look to be attracting the interest of another very good Championship striker.

15.07 BST: We'll call this 'The Non-Rumour'. According to Italian journalist Alfredo Pedulla, Diego Simeone is so infatuated by Spurs' Erik Lamela, he has sanctioned a 27 million euro bid for the attacker. Considering Spurs have already said they're not going to sell and the fact the player wnats to prove himself in England, this appears to be a very attention-seeking attempt at a transfer rumour!

15.00 BST: Reports suggest former West Brom loanee Morgan Amalfitano is set for a move back to the Premier League. The Daily Mail and L'Equipe say Crystal Palace, QPR and Sunderland are all keen on the Marseille winger who would cost in the region of three million pounds.

14.56 BST: It's almost like Jose Mourinho is still annoying Real Madrid officials even though he left twelve months ago!

14.47 BST: There is going to be a rumour a day until he eventually signs for someone. Ronaldinho has been linked with a move to New York Red Bulls by Brazilian news outlet UOL. The report claims a deal is close to being agreed but Ronny's brother (and agent) won't say anything just yet.

14.40 BST: Il Mattino are reporting that Napoli intend to re-open talks with Tottenham about midfielder Sandro once they know which European competition they will be playing in next season. Basically, Champions League and they'll make a bid. Europa League and they wont.

14.32 BST: Lazio are about to launch an ambitious move to sign Real Madrid's Jese Rodriguez on loan for the season according to Tuttomercatoweb. Apparently Lazio have been admirers from afar for quite some time and are now going to launch a bid after receiving encouragement that the player may be available on loan.

14.25 BST: You see!

14.22 BST: Leeds United have missed out on signing former Roma goalkeeper Federico Viviani as he has decided to join Latina instead according to reports.

14.11 BST: Looks like Arsenal don't want to stop signing people! But could also be set to lose their club captain. Basically, it is all going on at Arsenal.

14.06 BST: Jermaine Jones' possible return to the MLS, and home, could be with the Chicago Fire who have offered him a two million dollar a year contract.

13.59 BST: Finally completed! He did his medical with Antoine Griezmann remember! Read the full story here.

13.57 BST: Sums up transfer windows quite well. One report claims Robert Koren's agent is going Down Under. Another saying Bojan Jokic's is going another.

13.52 BST: Cordoba make their ELEVENTH signing of the summer in Aleksandar Pantic from Villareal on loan.

13.49 BST: There are nine clubs chasing Stoke's Geoff Cameron according to reports. Nine whole clubs. Swansea, Hull, Sunderland, West Brom and Southampton are keen as well as four unnamed clubs from the Bundesliga. He could be available for around five million pounds.

13.44 BST: El Mundo Deportivo are reporting Granada are close to signing Espanyol striker Jhon Cordoba and ti could be announced today.

13.40 BST: Aston Villa youngster Jed Steer's career isn't going quite as he would have anticipated. Was expected to challenge Brad Guzan for the No.1 shirt at Villa.

13.36 BST: Craig Dawson is edging closer and closer to an exit from West Brom as the Baggies are looking like they're going to accept a three million pound offer from Burnley, according to the Express and Star.

13.31 BST: Well I'm sure there would be a host of clubs looking to take advantage of this situation.

Miguel Veloso:"I'd like to leave Dinamo Kiev, I've expressed my desire to leave but it's not just up to me" via TMW

13.25 BST: Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu has touched down at the club's training camp at St George's Park in order to update Luis Enrique on the club's efforts to sign Juan Cuadrado and Marquinhos. El Mundo Deportivo claim they are confident over the Colombian from Fiorentina but may have to execute plan B with regard to Marquinhos and sign Thomas Vermaelen from Arsenal instead.

13.22 BST: Central defender Inigo Lopez is set to join Cordoba from PAOK in Greece according to reports. And now has...

13.18 BST: Reports suggested it was going to happen today. And it has.

13.16 BST: Real Sociedad lose Antoine Griezmann and Haris Seferovic in one summer!? Ouch.

13.13 BST: Hamburg's recruitment drive continues as Gianluca Di Marzio reports they had made a bid for Lazio defender Luis Pedro Cavanda but it fell well below the asking price of three million euros. The German side also tried to take the Sunderland target on loan but that too was rejected.

13.06 BST: Everton continue to make big strides in this transfer window.

13.02 BST: Stoke City have not given up on signing AIK winger Nabil Bahoui despite Everton fronting the queue to sign him. St Etienne, Southampton and Crystal Palace are also monitoring the situation according to the Stoke Sentinel but Mark Hughes retains hope he can convince the winger to join the Potters.

12.55 BST: Chelsea have one of the best goalkeepers in the world in Petr Cech. They have brought back one of the best goalkeepers in the world in Thibault Courtois from Atletico Madrid. And now they are looking to bring one of the top goalkeepers in the world in Diego Lopez. That is, according to a report in the Express which says Jose Mourinho wants to bring in the Spaniard, much like he did when he brought him to Real Madrid to displace Iker Casillas. Very odd indeed.

12.49 BST: AC Milan are hoping to catch glimpses of Joel Campbell at the Emirates Cup this weekend. The Daily Telegraph are reporting the Italian giants are keen to sign the Costa Rican but could face a battle as Campbell himself wants to fight for his place in the Arsenal squad.

12.45 BST: More reaction and insight from ESPN's Kristan Heneage on Newcastle's quest for strikers.

12.40 BST: Rafael van der Vaart has told Bild he is waiting on a phone call from Harry Redknapp to see if a move to QPR is possible. He spoke fondly of his time under the current QPR boss when at Spurs, scoring 24 goals in two seasons.

12.34 BST: Crystal Palace are taking a look at former QPR and Portsmouth youngster Sam Magri who has been on trial at the club. The Croydon Advertiser say he will have one last chance to impress the club in a pre-season friendly against Forest Green Rovers.

12.30 BST: The former Levante goalkeeper's deal may eventually be confirmed. Last week we heard it was going to be this week. Now it is Monday.

12.25 BST: Lyon star Clement Grenier has put to bed any rumours of his leaving the French club. The Daily Express report him as saying: ""I have no problem with the club and have never missed a training session intentionally. There is no controversy and my intention is to be back on the pitch and competing as soon as possible."

The French midfielder had been touted for a move after supposedly deliberately missing training sessions. But those rumours are now quashed and Newcastle, Arsenal and Southampton will have to look elsewhere.

12.17 BST: Exclusive from Tuttomercatoweb again as they claim Genoa have approached AC Milan over the signing of M'Baye Niang. The teenager has struggled to settle in Milan since his high-profile move two years ago and the report says if a deal can't be agreed then Atletico Madrid's Leo Baptistao will be approached.

12.12 BST: Will this stop Newcastle's pursuit of Loic Remy? Apparently not.

12.05 BST: Another gem from Gianluca Di Marzio as he claims Lazio are in for another defender and have identified Mexican legend Rafael Marquez and Uruguayan stalwart Diego Lugano as potential signings.

12.02 BST: Despite Jose Mourinho claiming yesterday Fernando Torres was not for sale, a report from Gianluca Di Marzio claims Wolfsburg are looking to sign him. The German club have made no secret of their desire to sign a forward this window and have apparently already sounded out Torres' agent about a move.

11.50 BST: Everton want to sign MK Dons youngster Brendan Galloway. The Mirror reports the teenager is in a contract wrangle with MK as he believes he is entitled to leave for compensation. Boss Karl Robinson is said to be fuming and is demanding one million pounds up front for Galloway. Everton are offering 400,000 pounds plus add-ons with a compromise seen as more likely than a tribunal.

11.45 BST: It had been in the pipeline for a while. And now it is done. Jose Basanta joins Fiorentina from Monterrey.

11.41 BST: Crystal Palace are hoping to sign Brede Hangeland on a free transfer after six-and-a-half years playing with Fulham. The Daily Mail claim a huge part of the move is the Norwegian's desire to stay in London amid rumours Hull City also wanted to sign him. A deal could be announced today.

11.35 BST: Bologna have made a last ditch attempt to sign Verona forward Daniele Cacia. Tuttosport say the forward had been set to stay at the relegated club but Bologna have made contact with the player's agent and hope to complete a deal soon.

11.31 BST: Derby County are hopeful of signing Chelsea's Nathan Ake on loan for the season according to the Mirror. However, with Chelsea short of home-grown players, the young Dutchman may be left in the Chelsea squad in order to meet quotas.

11.28 BST: Fiorentina are supposedly putting pressure on Sassuolo to sell them midfielder Jasmin Kurtic, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

11.24 BST: Ronald Koeman has stood defiant and told reporters Morgan Schneiderlin is a Southampton player and will continue to be. Slightly harder to believe him when he says  the French midfielder hasn't asked for a move. The pair have apparently spoken about THAT tweet and the Dutchman told Schneiderlin that that kind of thing needs to be kept in-hosue. Read the full story here.

11.19 BST: Atletico Madrid have put the spoilers on a number of transfer rumours after declaring they are not interested in any of Fernando Torres, Javier Hernandez or Santi Cazorla. President Enrique Cerezo told Radio Marca, as quoted in the Daily Mail,: "Many names have been mentioned, but none of those players, neither Cazorla, Callejon, Torres nor Chicharito (Hernandez) are on our agenda."

11.11 BST: They're spoiling us over at Tuttomercatoweb today with their exclusives. According to their sources, Genoa have made a tentative approach to AC Milan over the signing of Colombian defender Cristian Zapata. The Rossoneri are said to be willing to listen to offers but will wait for Juventus to declare whether they are in or out of the bidding before negotiating with Genoa.

11.07 BST: According to reports in Leggo, Roma's move for Monaco forward Yannick Ferriera Carrasco could be in doubt after complications at the French club's end. If nothing materialises then Roma have identified Cagliari forward Mauricio Pinilla as a potential replacement. He's the one that cracked the bar for Chile at the World Cup in the dying moments against Brazil and then got a tattoo of the incident on his arm.

Mauricio Pinilla feels the anguish as he hits the bar against Brazil - but he might get a move to Roma as a silver lining.

11.03 BST: Leeds fans, get excited. The boss is back and looks ready to sign some new players!

11.00 BST: An exclusive from the folks over at tuttomercatoweb who claim Sunderland have been in contact with the agent of Palermo's Abel Hernandez about a possible transfer. Apparently the striker is keen on a move and would welcome a bid from the Black Cats but it has not been forthcoming yet.

10.54 BST: Tuttosport are reporting that one of the topics covered in the Juventus unveiling of Patrice Evra was long-time target Nani. However the Italian newspaper claims the Portuguese winger would be a luxury and that the club are more focused on bringing in Ezequiel Lavezzi.

10.50 BST: Artem Milevskiy was once regarded as the next Andriy Shevchenko. The former Gaziantepspor and Aktobe striker has now joined Hadjuk Split.

10.44 BST: And the club he is being linked with? Arsenal. Because they just want to sign everybody!

10.34 BST: Confirmed! Sampdoria sign Gonzalo Bergessio from Catania. 

10.30 BST: A relatively flimsy link this one. But The Independent claim Manchester United's hopes of signing 20 million pound man Mats Hummels from Borussia Dortmund lies in whether Liverpool will allow Tiago Ilori to go to Germany for cheaper than their eight million pound asking price.

10.27 BST: And another player playing for Spain's big two, Diego Lopez, is reportedly going to be forced out of Real Madrid to make way for Keylor Navas. AS report Carlo Ancelotti does not want three top class goalkeepers in his squad and has had to make a choice between Iker Casillas and Lopez. And it appears he has chosen to stick with Spain's number 1 because his pay-off is said to be considerably more than Lopez' at 12 million euros.

10.20 BST: Dani Alves' hopes of remaining at Barcelona look to have been dashed according to reports. Spanish newspaper Sport has claimed boss Luis Enrique has decided the Brazilian's time is up at Barca and will be sold this summer to make way for Juan Cuadrado to play at right back.

10.16 BST: So it is not actually because he is going to get any first-team football? (HG means Home-Grown).

10.12 BST: Want another update on Angel di Maria? Of course you do... BeIN SPORTS claim PSG and Real Madrid have struck a deal for Di Maria to join the Ligue 1 title-holders. With PSG hampered by Financial Fair Play regulations, the Argentina international would initially move on loan for the coming season, for which PSG would pay ten million euros, before completing a permanent transfer next summer.

Feeling the love... from Paris anyway as Real Madrid look to depart with Angel di Maria.

10.08 BST: Wolfsburg's Europe-wide search for a new striker has found it's way to France. L'Equipe claim the German club are interested in Lorient forward Vincent Aboubakar, 22, and Monaco's teenage striker Anthony Martial.

10.04 BST: Liverpool have made contact with Ezequiel Lavezzi's entourage in an attempt to steal a march on Atletico Madrid and Juventus, according to football365.fr.

10.01 BST: Former West Ham midfielder Alou Diarra has said "it's possible" that he rejoin Bordeaux with whom he has been training in recent weeks, report RMC Sport.

09.57 BST: Fiorentina are set to play hardball over the signing of Modibo Diakite from Sunderland. The Sunderland Echo claim the only way a deal can be agreed is if The Black Cats resurrect a deal to sign La Viola left back Marcos Alonso.

09.53 BST: Sunderland are ready to offload Connor Wickham this summer if he doesn't sign a new deal. The Sunderland Echo are reporting Gus Poyet has given the player an ultimatum as he doesn't want the eight million pound man to go on a free transfer next summer when his contract expires. With interest from Southampton and Leicester, Poyet said: "For me, Connor's situation is clear. He needs to sign a new contract or we let him go - we sell him. There is nothing in between."

09.49 BST: I think we all share the sentiment.

09.48 BST: Swansea boss Garry Monk has finally admitted he is tracking Spurs full back Kyle Naughton. There had been weeks of speculation but nothing concrete but the Swans boss told the South Wales Evening Post: "We are looking at him, but we're looking at a number of players. We're talking about a player who's with another club, so I don't want to disrespect anyone."

09.44 BST: Manchester City CEO Ferran Soriano has told reporters Manchester City's spending will be over after the signing of Elaqium Mangala can be made official. He said in the Manchester Evening News: "We have a new right-back, we having a holding midfielder, we'll have a new central defender and that's it. We don't need to sign new players for the sake of it."

09.40 BST: Here is something I didn't expect to read... Brondby chairman Jan Bech Andersen claims the club will do "everything in our power" to sign former player Daniel Agger from Liverpool. He told 3point.dk on Thursday: "We will work really, really hard to secure Daniel but as he has also said, when he was here with Liverpool, the timing has to be right."

09.33 BST: Rumours from yesterday were very much true then! Genoa have announced the singing on their website too.

09.30 BST: French goalkeeper Steve Mandanda is wanted by AC Milan according to Le Parisien. New Marseille boss Marcelo Bielsa has told the goalie he can leave Stade Velodrome and apparently just a fee needs to be agreed.

09.26 BST: Bayer Leverkusen would like to take Schalke defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos on loan according to Bild. Another Schalke defender set for an exit could be Felipe Santana who is wanted by Hamburg. Surely they won't let both go?

09.20 BST: Hamburg are set to announce the 3.2 million euro deal to sign Valon Behrami from Napoli at some point today, according to Bild. 

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis told Radio Kiss Kiss: "We are trying to perfect the ideal system of play for Rafa Benitez, and Behrami, who had asked us if he could play in situations where he could perform to his best, is consequently leaving us to go to Hamburg. Since he could not find any room in Benitez's system, we decided to grant his wish [to leave]."

09.17 BST: Sky Sport Italia claim AC Milan made an offer for Paris Saint-Germain's 19-year-old midfield prodigy Adrien Rabiot, but it was rejected by the French champions, who hope to convince the teenager to extend his contract beyond next June.

09.14 BST: Galatasaray would be happy to shed a defender and sign an attacker according to Mercato 365 who say the Turkish club would sell Aurelien Chedjou to Rennes in order to fund amove for Saint-Etienne's Mevlut Erding.

09.10 BST: Australian supporters will get to see a very underrated star next season!

09.07 BST: La Provence claims Mathieu Valbuena will fly to Russia today to finalise his move to Dynamo Moscow. The 29-year-old France international is expected to sign a three-year deal worth three million euros per season.

09.05 BST: Saint-Etienne are hoping to sign Norwich City's Ricky van Wolfswinkel to bolster their front line following the departure of Brandao to Bastia, according to RMC Sport.

Quint while you're ahead?

Are Arsenal about to sign Colombian schemer Juan Quintero, the Porto star whose World Cup cameos -- including a nicely taken goal against Ivory Coast -- underlined the esteem in which he has been held for several years? Yes, said various media on Thursday afternoon. Not just now, says Quintero's agent, who, according to the Daily Express, has refuted claims that Porto are negotiating his client's departure.

"There are clubs interested, there is much interest in the player, the clubs in Spain and England," his agent said. "But to leave would be one willing to pay the termination clause of the club." Understandable, and it's apparently set at 32 million pounds, double what the Gunners are said to be offering -- but there's no indication in any of this that a deal is necessarily off.

Juan Quintero's agent has said that the Colombian won't leave Porto for less than his 32 million-pound release clause.

Spreading the love

Liverpool are keeping us all in business this summer, and they're about to spread the largesse further by giving the Spanish economy a bit of a helping hand. Their long-running pursuits of full-backs Alberto Moreno and Javier Manquillo, a left-back from Sevilla and a right-back from Atletico Madrid respectively, are at the endgame stage according to ESPN FC's Mike Whalley, who says Moreno, 21, will cost 16 million pounds while 20-year-old Manquillo will arrive on an initial year-long loan. Next for Brendan Rodgers? Yet another forward.

Lav break?

And who will that be? Not necessarily Ezequiel Lavezzi, says the Daily Star, which says that the Argentine attacker -- who could be set to leave PSG as the Parisians prepare for Angel di Maria's potential arrival -- would prefer a move to Juventus despite Brendan Rodgers' sweet nothings.

Whether the Serie A champions can match Liverpool financially is a moot point; there's no doubt, too, that after the mysterious collapse of their bid for Loic Remy, the Anfield side are ready to pull out the stops in order to get another top-class front man on board.

Prolonging Pogba's stay

Talking of Juve: it's only a bubbling story, but Tuttosport points out that Paul Pogba is back at their training facility in Vinovo after taking his post-World Cup break, and has thrust the France midfielder's contract situation into the spotlight. His current deal runs until 2016, and the Old Lady want to nail him down for another three years, while agent Mino Raiola is unsurprisingly quiet on the matter. Chelsea, of course, are among those standing by.

Playing hard to get

When James Milner's tugging at your heartstrings, something's clearly gone askew -- but the back page of Friday's Daily Mirror says the Manchester City midfielder is playing with Manuel Pellegrini's mind by openly stalling over a new deal, something his club are pretty keen for him to sign, with homegrown player quotas proving an issue for them.

James Milner won't be happy at Manchester City unless he's receiving regular first-team minutes.

"I want to be here -- as long as I'm playing," said Milner, who played 31 times in last year's top flight but lacks the stardust of many of his teammates. He was linked with Arsenal earlier in the summer; with just a year left on his current deal, perhaps the Gunners won't be the only ones tempted to have a go now.

Saints swap?

A final Anglo-Italian morsel for you now. Corriere dello Sport says Inter Milan are close to sealing the deal for Southampton's Dani Osvaldo, who didn't exactly cover himself in glory during his Premier League spell. Saints, whom you'd expect to be keeping us nicely busy over the next couple of weeks, wouldn't mind taking Algerian World Cup midfielder Saphir Taider home with them in return; this transaction has been suggested for the past couple of days now, and it appears to be getting closer.

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