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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff
Aug 12, 2014

Liverpool strike Moreno deal; Arsenal nicking Nastasic

ESPN FC's Sid Lowe reveals why he believes AS Monaco's Radamel Falcao will make the move to Madrid before the end of the transfer window.

As the middle of August fast approaches, one of the transfer window's longest-running sagas has finally concluded, while another two rage on.

Top pick: Liverpool are considering a short-term move for Samuel Eto'o as manager Brendan Rodgers seeks a striker following the departure of Luis Suarez, while the club have agreed a deal in principle for Sevilla full-back Alberto Moreno.

- Mexico national team manager Miguel Herrera has urged Javier Hernandez to leave Manchester United this summer, with Juventus, Inter and Southampton all linked.

- Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is plotting a swoop for Manchester City defender Matija Nastasic as a replacement for Thomas Vermaelen.

- Leicester City are closing in on the signing of former Real Madrid and Inter midfielder Esteban Cambiasso.

23.08 BST Liverpool have confirmed on their official website that they have reached an agreement with Sevilla for full-back Alberto Moreno.

The Spain international played no part in Sevilla's 2-0 UEFA Super Cup defeat to Real Madrid in Cardiff on Tuesday evening, and Brendan Rodgers' side are set to finalise a deal for the 22-year-old over the coming days.

That's it for tonight folks...

22.35 BST Marouane Fellaini could well be on his way out of Manchester United, but the Belgium international is looking to exit in style -- he scored his first goal for the club with a last-gasp winner to beat Valencia 2-1 in Louis van Gaal's first match at Old Trafford as Red Devils boss. If that doesn't save Fellaini, then nothing will.

22.07 BST DONE DEAL - Leeds have announced on their official site that they have completed a season-long loan deal for defender Giuseppe Bellusci of Catania. The West Yorkshire club have also agreed a fee with Chesterfield for defender Liam Cooper.

21.31 BST Some fascinating transfer news coming in now, and reports that Southampton have had a bid accepted for Hull City striker Shane Long. But Hull only signed him in January? Well, Saints are said to be offering 12 million pounds, that's double what the Tigers paid seven months ago. The world's gone mad.

20.58 BST News coming in from Cardiff now, and after Alberto Moreno was unexpectedly left out of Sevilla's squad for the UEFA Super Cup against Real Madrid reports are reaching us that he is set to sign for Liverpool. Brendan Rodgers has reportedly agreed a 12 million-pound deal to make Moreno his eighth summer signing.

20.26 BST Our man in Manchester has been doing some digging on the Marcos Rojo story and he believes it may have legs. Richard Jolly reveals on ESPN FC that United are interested in signing the Argentina international amid talk of a 16 million-pound bid for the World Cup finalist.

20.06 BST DONE DEAL - The New England Revolution on Tuesday traded former leading goal-scorer Saer Sene and an international roster spot to the New York Red Bulls for forward Andre Akpan and allocation money. Full story.

19.52 BST Manchester United are deciding whether Wilfried Zaha has a part to play in their squad this season, according to Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish. The Eagles have hinted they might want to take Zaha to go back to Selhurst Park on loan if United are willing to let him go.

19.13 BST We told you earlier about Lucas Barrios' move to Montpellier, and now you can read the full story.

18.59 BST Ronny Deila has revealed the frustrations and problems behind arranging permanent deals after signing Belgian defender Jason Denayer from Man City and Aston Villa's Bulgarian international winger Aleksandar Tonev on season-long loans. "There is money available and when I feel it is right to use it, I will use it,'' said Deila, who revealed he had missed out on Nancy attacking midfielder Jeff Louis who opted to sign for Standard Liege even though a fee had been agreed between the two clubs. "I have money to spend and that is the most important thing."

18.41 BST Borussia Monchengladbach remain unhappy with Bayern Munich over the alleged poaching of 18-year-old wundekind Sinan Kurt, whose future remains up in the air as a proposed move stalls.

18.10 BST No confirmation from ESPN sources on Man United's alleged bid for Marcos Rojo or the player handing in a transfer request at Sporting Lisbon. We'll keep you posted.

17.30 BST With the Premier League kickoff only four days away, fantasy football managers face several selection headaches as they prepare to finalise their squads.

ESPN FC's Dale Johnson gives his verdict on which players to keep an eye out for and which newcomers are likely to make an early impression.

17.25 BST Liverpool defender Martin Kelly will complete a surprise 1.5 million pound switch to Crystal Palace on Tuesday, according to The Daily Mail.

The 24-year-old right-back has been told that he can leave Anfield this summer following the arrival of Javier Manquillo from Atletico Madrid and the England one-cap wonder reportedly held talks with Crystal Palace officials on Monday regarding a move to Selhurst Park.

Kelly made his debut in 2008 after emerging up through the club's youth ranks, however a series of injuries have since stalled his progress and he did not make a single start for Brendan Rodgers' side last season.

17.15 BST Rennes have been dealt a blow in their efforts to sign Monaco star Jeremy Toulalan.

The 30-year-old midfielder was left on the bench for Monaco's opening Ligue 1 defeat to Lorient at the weekend but reports in France claim that he is still an integral member of the squad and that Leonardo Jardim has no intention of letting any more first-team players go this summer.

Highly-rated forward Anthony Martial has been strongly linked with a move to Spain but the principality club have reiterated that he remains an important part of the club's future.

17.04 BST Barcelona have admitted that it is Cuadrado or bust as Luis Enrique looks to finalise his squad ahead of their La Liga kick-off on August 24. 

The Catalan club have been active this summer, bringing Thomas Vermaelen, Luis Suarez, Jeremy Mathieu, Ivan Rakitic, Claudio Bravo and Marc-Andre ter Stegen to the Camp Nou and they hope to add Fiorentina World Cup star Juan Cuadrado to that list.

The Viola are demanding over 40 million euros for the 26-year-old but Barcelona hope to negotiate a lower fee and want to announce Cuadrado as their final summer signing. 

16.52 BST Could Louis van Gaal finally be on the verge of signing a defender to play on the left side of a three-man defence?

Manchester United have failed in pursuits for Thomas Vermaelen and Mats Hummels already this summer but it appears there may finally be a ray of hope.

Sky Sports says that Argentina World Cup star Marcos Rojo has submitted a transfer request to Sporting Lisbon in the hope of forcing through a move.

Reports in Portugal earlier today (see 09.48 BST) claimed that Sporting had turned down offers from both Manchester United and Southampton and they are reportedly determined to hold out for 20 million euros for the 24-year-old. 

16.37 BST Liverpool have offered Sebastian Coates to Sampdoria in a desperate bid to offload the Uruguayan defender.

The Serie A outfit are in the market for a new centre-back and Brendan Rodgers is keen to reduce the club's wage bill after a number of high-profile signings this summer.

Coates spent part of last season on loan at his native club side Nacional and Gianlucadimarzio.com says that Sampdoria are contemplating a bid and could make a proposal to Liverpool in the next few days.

16.28 BST Shakhtar Donetsk coach Mircea Lucescu has launched a verbal attack on Bernard, increasing speculation that the Brazil playmaker could leave the Ukrainian outfit this summer.

Bernard has been granted extended leave following his World Cup exploits but Lucescu feels that the player is taking advantage of the situation.

"I've never met a player like Bernard; he doesn't talk to any of his teammates, neither the Brazilians nor Ukrainians -- with no-one," Lucescu is reported as saying in Globo Esporte.

"No phone-calls from Bernard, no congratulations from him on our Super Cup win and not even some kind words to his teammates. We allowed Bernard to go home earlier than everyone else. We haven't seen him for 3 months. All this time, he's getting paid, too.

"Bernard's behaviour is inexplicable and I've never come across a situation like this in my 40-year coaching career. I told Bernard to think hard before signing his contract. He didn't listen to me and signed -- probably just to get money."

Should Brazil need a spark in a match, Bernard is likely the man who gets that shot.
Bernard looks set to be heading for the Shakhtar Donetsk exit this summer.

16.14 BST Who will fill the central defensive gap? What will happen to Joel Campbell this season? Will the methods of Shad Forsythe finally bring an end to the injury curse?

ESPN blogger Andrew Mangan takes a look at the key questions that need answering ahead of Arsenal's Premier League campaign.

16.05 BST Chelsea are contemplating a shock bid for Queens Park Rangers forward Loic Remy as they sweat anxiously over news of Didier Drogba's injury.

The Blues are still waiting for official confirmation regarding the severity of the Ivorian's knock, with reports circulating that he could face up to four months on the sidelines.

Remy had looked set for a move to Liverpool earlier this summer but a failed medical has opened the door for Chelsea, with Goal.com claiming that Jose Mourinho's side could activate his eight million pound buy-out clause. 

15.55 BST Middlesbrough have reportedly reached an agreement with Hajduk Split to sign Bosnia international full-back Avdija Vrsajevic.

15.50 BST Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Bayern Munich's summer spending is over and says he is pleased with his squad depth ahead of the Bundesliga kickoff next weekend. 

The German champions have signed Poland striker Robert Lewandowski from rivals Borussia Dortmund and Valencia defender Juan Bernat while selling Toni Kroos to Real Madrid and Croatia forward Mario Mandzukic to Atletico Madrid.

"We don't need any new players," Guardiola said ahead of the German Supercup against Borussia Dortmund. "I'm very happy with the squad."

Guardiola also revealed that he had not spoken with the club's directors about signing Marco Reus, admitting that the club already had a plethora of midfield options.

"I haven't talked about Marco Reus with [Bayern sporting director] Karl Heinz Rummenigge. We already have eight midfielders. Eight! That's enough," he added.

15.35 BST Arsenal have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Sami Khedira as Carlo Ancelotti insists the midfielder will not be leaving the club this summer. 

The German World Cup winner has been heavily linked with a 24 million pound move to Arsene Wenger's side though a deal was scuppered by the player's wage demands.

Khedira has also been linked with a move to Chelsea to reunite with former Madrid manager Jose Mourinho, but Ancelotti has ruled out his departure altogether.

"He's not leaving," Madrid boss Ancelotti told reporters ahead of their UEFA Super Cup clash with Sevilla on Tuesday night. "He's a Real Madrid player. He has a contract until June 30, 2015 and that's all there is to say." 

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti says that Sami Khedira will not be leaving the club this summer.

15.22 BST Reports in France claim that Daniel Van Buyten will announce a decision this week on where he will playing his football this season.

The Belgium international centre-back left Bayern Munich earlier this summer and is available on a free transfer after spending eight years at the club.

Van Buyten has enjoyed an illustrious career, enjoying spells in England, France and Germany, and is expected to return to his native Belgium to sign for Anderlecht.

15.12 BST Arsenal are weighing up a bid for wantaway Liverpool centre-back Daniel Agger.

Arsene Wenger wants more cover for Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny following the departure of Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona and believes Agger would be a perfect addition as he already has eight years of experience in the Premier League.

Agger has dropped further down the pecking order at Anfield following the arrival of Dejan Lovren from Southampton and The Sun says Arsenal are preparing a 10 million pound offer for the Denmark international. 

15.00 BST DONE DEAL! Sampdoria have confirmed the signing of Italian goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano from newly promoted Serie A side Palermo.

The 28-year-old joined the Sicilian outfit in 2012 but fell out of favour and was consequently sent out on loan to Fiorentina and Arsenal.

A statement on the Sampdoria's official website read: "On the day of the 68th birthday of Sampdoria, President Massimo Ferrero gifts Sinisa Mihajlovic and all the Blucerchiati fans official confirmation of the signing of Emiliano Viviano."

14.51 BST Celtic are lining up a bid for Wigan Athletic goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi as a replacement for new Southampton recruit Fraser Forster.

Forster occupied the No.1 spot at Celtic Park for four years before signing for Ronald Koeman's side in a 10 million pound deal last week.

Celtic currently have Craig Gordon and Lukasz Zaluska vying for a starting spot in goal but Sky Sports says Buoys boss Ronny Deila is considering bringing in another keeper for added competition.

14.43 BST Juventus remain hopeful of bringing in a high-profile signing before the end of the transfer window, with Massimiliano Allegri eager to bolster the Bianconeri attack.

The Italian champions missed out on the capture of Juan Iturbe to Roma earlier this summer and they remain on the hunt for another attacker following the departures of Mirko Vucinic and Fabio Quagliarella.

Tuttosport says that Juventus will step up their interest in Paris Saint-Germain duo Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore this week while they will also submit enquiries for Manchester United's Javier Hernandez and Manchester City's Stevan Jovetic

PSG forward Ezequiel Lavezzi is just one name on Juventus' list of potential transfer targets.

14.28 BST Arsene Wenger has drawn up a three-man shortlist of transfer targets as he seeks to turn Arsenal into genuine title contenders.

Following the departure of Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona, Wenger has hinted that he will sign at least one more defensive player as Arsenal strive to end their 10-year wait for the Premier League title. 

The Telegraph says that Wenger is eyeing up moves for Sporting Lisbon's William Carvalho and Wolfsburg's Luiz Gustavo while he could opt to bring another World Cup winner to the club, with Schalke's versatile defender Benedikt Howedes playing his way into contention after a series of impressive displays in Brazil. 

14.15 BST ESPN blogger Iain Macintosh gazes into his crystal ball and looks forward to the Premier League season ahead. Take a read of his predictions here.

14.05 BST Tottenham defender Kyle Walker has emerged as a shock transfer target for Barcelona.

The Catalan club have made it no secret that they are in the market for a new right-back this summer and they have been strongly linked with Fiorentina's World Cup star Juan Cuadrado.

However, with Fiorentina demanding over 40 million euros for Cuadrado, Barcelona could turn their attentions elsewhere and The Daily Star says that they are preparing a 13.5 million pound bid for Walker as a long-term replacement for the ageing Dani Alves. 

13.52 BST Marouane Fellaini is inching closer to a loan move to Napoli after Manchester United reportedly agreed to cover half of his wages.

New United coach Louis van Gaal has given the go ahead for the Belgium midfielder to leave the club this summer, though there have been no offers to take the 26-year-old on a permanent deal.

The Express says that the two clubs have reached an agreement on the player's wages but they remain deadlocked in negotiations for the price of the loan fee, with Napoli only willing to pay half of the four million pounds that Manchester United are demanding. 

13.38 BST Arsene Wenger has identified Greece international defender Kostas Manolas as the man to replace Thomas Vermaelen at Arsenal.

The 23-year-old centre-back has been strongly linked with a move to Italian title rivals Juventus and Roma after impressing at the World Cup and Olympiakos have resigned themselves to losing their star defender having already purchased a ready-made replacement in Alberto Botia.

The Mirror says that Manolas is valued at around five million pounds by Olympiakos though Arsenal face a challenge in convincing him to come to the Emirates as he is likely to stand behind Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker in the pecking order. 

13.25 BST Atletico Madrid have completed a deal for Mexico international forward Raul Jimenez, according to MARCA

The 23-year-old has been strongly linked with a move away from Mexican side Club America all summer and it appears that Diego Simeone's side have won the race, agreeing a fee of 10.5 million euros to bring him to the Vicente Calderon.

13.12 BST Crystal Palace are confident that former Eagle Wilfried Zaha will fly back home this month.

The 21-year-old forward has struggled to establish himself at Manchester United since signing from Palace last summer and new coach Louis van Gaal has given the club's representatives the green light for the transfer.

The Mirror says that an agreement has been reached for a loan move, with an initial fee of two million pounds and a clause to make the deal permanent if Palace stay in the Premier League, but the Selhurst Park outfit are keen to sign Zaha on a permanent deal this summer should United allow it.

Crystal Palace are keen to end Wilfried Zaha's Manchester United nightmare and hope to bring the 21-year-old back to Selhurst Park.

13.02 BST Swansea City and Fiorentina are both monitoring the situation of Montpellier midfielder Benjamin Stambouli.

Reports in France say the versatile 23-year-old, who has just one year remaining on his existing contract, is set to leave the 2011/12 Ligue 1 champions this summer.

12.55 BST The big question for Arsenal after the disruption of the past few years is whether Arsene Wenger's best is still good enough to deliver the major trophies or whether his weakness are still too costly in a changed game. ESPN correspondent Miguel Delaney gives his assessment here

12.48 BST Hmmm....not to sure about this one. The Daily Star says Paris Saint-Germain are planning a surprise swoop for Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney.

The Ligue 1 champions had hoped to bring Real Madrid's Angel Di Maria to the French capital but club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi ended their pursuit of the winger last week, branding him 'too expensive'.

Manchester United have held a long-term interest in PSG forward Edinson Cavani and the French club hope to use the Uruguayan as bait in an attempt to seal the deal. 

12.38 BST Could Nicklas Bendtner be on the verge of signing for a new club? The enigmatic striker was in talks with German outfit Eintracht Frankfurt last month but contract negotiations broke down after he audaciously requested a weekly wage of 40,000 pounds in addition to 30,000 pounds for every point earned during the season.

The former Arsenal man has been training by himself as he looks to keep fit ahead of the forthcoming season and The Daily Mail says that Olympiakos are interested in signing the 26-year-old who is determined to get his career back on track.

12.28 BST Following Eliaquim Mangala's move to Manchester City, ESPN blogger Andy Brassell discusses the complicated issue of third-party ownership. Read his article here.

12.20 BST Colombia midfielder Carlos Sanchez is closing in on a 4.7 million pound move to Aston Villa.

Villa boss Paul Lambert has expressed his determination to bring in a defensive midfielder this summer and has identified the Elche man as the ideal candidate after growing frustrated in his attempts to bring Swansea's Ki Sung-yueng to the club.

The Daily Mail says that Sanchez will fly to England today to undergo a medical and he is expected to put pen to paper on a four-year deal.

12.10 BST Manchester City have announced that Spain international midfielder David Silva has agreed a new five-year contract at the club.

The 28-year-old has contributed 27 goals and 61 assists in 183 appearances since moving from Valencia in 2010, helping City to win two Premier League titles and the FA Cup.

Silva told mcfc.co.uk: "From the moment I joined the club four years ago it has felt like a second home to me.

"On and off the pitch, I feel incredibly content and fulfilled professionally and personally, so why wouldn't I want to stay and keep winning trophies with this fantastic team?"

12.00 BST Sevilla play Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup in Cardiff tonight, looking to add another European trophy to their Europa League title. However, it has not been all plain sailing for the Andalusian club over the past five years.

ESPN blogger Graham Hunter takes a look at the man behind Sevilla's resurgence, Ramon Rodriguez Verdejo, also known as "Monchi." Read his article here.

11.53 BST Is Samuel Eto'o the man to replace Luis Suarez at Liverpool? The Cameroon international striker's agent has held talks with the Merseyside club over a potential move though no deal is yet in place.  

11.45 BST Salomon Kalou is eyeing up a return to the Premier League after being told that he can leave Lille this summer.

The former Chelsea winger has made it no secret that he wants to depart the Ligue 1 side despite their place in the Champions League playoff. 

Kalou was omitted from the Lille squad for their opening 0-0 league draw with Metz at the weekend and The Mirror says that Everton and Tottenham have both expressed an interest in the 29-year-old.

11.35 BST Turkish club Trabzonspor are confident of completing a deal for Liverpool defender Kolo Toure.

The Ivory Coast international moved to Anfield on a free transfer last summer and head coach Brendan Rodgers revealed in July that the 33-year-old centre-back still had an important role to play at the club despite limited playing time towards the end of last season.

Trabzonspor have already completed deals for Oscar Cardozo, Carl Medjani and Kevin Constant this summer, and club president Ibrahim Haciosmanoglu claims that he is close to sealing Toure's signature.

"We have agreed terms with Kolo Toure and we will bring him to the club," he told Hurriyet.

Kolo Toure looks set for a move to Turkish side Trabzonspor.

11.25 BST Someone call the transfer police because we have reports of an attempted hijacking.

Reports in France claim that Monaco invited Angel Di Maria to meet them on either 7 or 8 August to discuss a potential transfer.

However, the Real Madrid star, whose proposed move to Paris Saint-Germain fell through due to the French champions' Financial Fair Play problems, reportedly rejected their advances as he has no intentions to play for the principality side.

11.15 BST Sevilla president Jose Castro has warned Liverpool to match their asking price for left-back Alberto Moreno or look elsewhere. Read the full article here.

Liverpool have been told by Sevilla they must pay the Liga club's full asking price for Alberto Moreno.

11.00 BST Milan are preparing a bid for unsettled Shakhtar Donetsk forward Douglas Costa after growing frustrated in their efforts to land Torino's Alessio Cerci.

The Rossoneri had hoped to tie up a deal for Cerci, 27, but Torino president Urbano Cairo is refusing to budge on the club's 20 million euro asking price.

Milan CEO Adriano Galliani has therefore turned his attentions to Costa, 23, who has cited his desire to leave Ukraine amid the hostile political situation in the country.

10.50 BST DONE DEAL! Montpellier have completed the signing of Paraguayan striker and ex-Dortmund star Lucas Barrios.

The 29-year-old joins the Ligue 1 side on a season-long loan from Spartak Moscow and will wear the No.10 shirt.

10.43 BST With the Premier League kickoff only four days away, fantasy football managers face several selection headaches as they prepare to finalise their squads.

ESPN FC's Dale Johnson gives his verdict on which players to keep an eye out for and which newcomers are likely to make an early impression.

10.33 BST Alex Song is the subject of a tug-of-war between fierce Italian rivals Milan and Inter. The former Arsenal midfielder has been told by Luis Enrique that he is surplus to requirements at Barcelona this season and is free to find a new club. 

10.25 BST Augsburg left back Matthias Ostrzolek is set to sign a three-year-deal at Hamburg today after the clubs agreed a fee of 2.75 million euros.

BILD says the 24-year-old will undergo a medical at the Bundesliga club today and he will become the second new signing at The Dinosaur in the last week following the 17 million euro investment by International transport tycoon Klaus-Michael Kuhne.

10.15 BST DONE DEAL! Celtic have announced the signing of Belgian defender Jason Denayer from Manchester City on a season-long loan.

The 19-year-old featured for Manuel Pellegrini's side in preseason and will be available for Celtic's Champions League qualifier against Slovenian side Maribor.

10.08 BST Jurgen Klopp has insisted that Mats Hummels is set to stay at Borussia Dortmund amid adventurous rumours linking the Germany international with a switch into Premier League.

Hummels, 25, was one of the key figures for Joachim Low's XI as Germany won the 2014 World Cup in Brazil earlier this summer and is under contract at the Westfalenstadion until 2017.

According to recent reports, Manchester United and Arsenal still hope to lure the centre-back away from the Bundesliga runners up. But, speaking at the side of Dortmund's 4-0 defeat at Anfield Road on Sunday, Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp insisted that Hummels is to stay put at Dortmund for at least one more season.

"He is going nowhere," Klopp said in quotes reported by The Guardian. "He is staying with us."

Hummels has recently been appointed as Dortmund's new captain, with fellow transfer target Marco Reus named as deputy alongside Roman Weidenfeller.

"That they keep getting linked to other clubs, and moreover with laughable transfer fees attached to their name, had nothing to do with it," Klopp insisted.

Jurgen Klopp has reiterated that Mats Hummels will not be leaving Borussia Dortmund this summer.

09.56 BST AC Milan are on the verge of completing deals for Udinese left-back Pablo Armero and Real Madrid goalkeeper Diego Lopez.

Armero, 27, impressed for Colombia at the World Cup and will join on a season-long loan while Lopez, 32, has been forced out of Real Madrid following the arrival of Costa Rica's Keylor Navas. Both players are currently undergoing medicals at the Serie A outfit.

09.48 BST Sporting Lisbon have rejected offers from Manchester United and Southampton for Argentina left-back Marcus Rojo as both clubs have failed to meet the Portuguese club's 20 million euro asking price.

09.40 BST DONE DEAL! Diego Contento has completed his move to Bordeaux from Bayern Munich, signing a four-year deal with the Ligue 1 club.

Contento, 24, passed a medical in south-west France on Monday before putting pen to paper with the 2008/09 L1 champions where he will be coached by former Bayern full-back Willy Sagnol.

He will replace Lucas Orban at Bordeaux with the Argentine having completed a move to Valencia on Monday.

09.30 BST Everton manager Roberto Martinez says he has renewed hope that a season-long loan deal for Christian Atsu will be completed quickly.

The Spanish tactician has identified the Chelsea winger as the man to fill the gap in his squad left by Gerard Deulofeu's return to Barcelona after a successful loan stint.

Martinez indicated last week that progress on the deal was slow -- with Chelsea reportedly wanting assurances that the Ghana international would get regular first-team football at Goodison Park -- but he now feels that Atsu will be a part of his squad in time for Saturday's opening Premier League fixture at newly-promoted Leicester.

In an interview with Melbourne radio station SEN, Martinez said: "Where we are now in terms of the squad, we are very nearly there. I say nearly, because while the window is still open, you never look away from possibilities, and at players who can bring something different to the squad or add extra competition.

"It is going to be a demanding season, with European football, but we do feel with the signing of Christian Atsu on loan from Chelsea this week, that's going to put us in a very strong position in terms of numbers."

09.20 BST Olympiakos are prepared to rescue Kostas Mitroglou from his Fulham nightmare by offering to take the Greece international striker on loan just seven months since selling him to the west London outfit for 12 million pounds.

The 26-year-old moved to Craven Cottage for a club record fee but a series of fitness issues limited his playing time in the Premier League as Fulham were relegated.

The Daily Mail says that Fulham would prefer to recoup some of the money they paid for Mitroglou by selling him permanently, but it is more likely that he will return to Greece on loan, with Felix Magath's side paying part of his wages.

Kostas Mitroglou could make a shock return to Olympiakos after an underwhelming spell in England.

Eto'o intrigues Liverpool

While Samuel Eto'o has reportedly been in talks with Ajax over potentially moving to the famous Dutch club, ESPN FC sources confirm that Liverpool are considering the 33-year-old Cameroonian on a short-term contract.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is desperate for some proven strike cover for Daniel Sturridge after the loss of Luis Suarez. The Merseysiders were close to adding QPR's Loic Remy, only for the deal to fall through after the Frenchman underwent his medical. Could Eto'o be the short-term solution?

Nastasic pushed out

With Manchester City's capture of Eliaquim Mangala finally concluded, Manuel Pellegrini now has a glut of centre-backs. According to the Daily Express, Matija Nastasic will be the defender without a place at Eastlands when the music stops.

The 21-year-old Serbian is set to reverse the frequented route of North London to Manchester, and head to Arsenal. The Gunners are in the market for defense cover after shipping Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona in a 15 million-pound deal, and City are supposedly keen to offload Nastasic for 16 million pounds.

Precisely the sort of shrewd business for which Arsene Wenger is famous.

Mourinho waiting for Khedira

Another saga that continues to drag is Sami Khedira's protracted departure from Real Madrid and likely arrival in London. For months, substantiated or otherwise, rumours have suggested that Khedira would wind up in North London at Arsenal.

Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo are reporting that Khedira is most likely to see out his contract in Spain before moving to London next summer. However, the report says that it's Jose Mourinho's Chelsea that are willing to wait 12 months for the German international to arrive.

Sami Khedira may wear white for another season, but reports suggest he'll swap Madrid for London next year.

Khedira was one of Mourinho's chosen few while the Portuguese was in charge of Madrid, and the report suggests The Special One is eager to be reunited with the former Stuttgart man.

Cambiasso's English dream

Another one of Mourinho's disciples looks set for a journey to England, too -- not for any reunion, though. The Daily Mirror has Esteban Cambiasso on the verge of signing a two-year deal with newly promoted Leicester City.

The paper says that playing in the Premier League is a dream of the Argentine, and that the player has rebuffed offers to return to Spain as well as a late move from QPR.

Sunderland price wantaway Wickham

Conor Wickham has just a year remaining on his Sunderland contract, and manager Gus Poyet has told him to sign a new deal or risk being sold. After receiving a 4 million-pound bid from West Ham for the striker, the Wearside club have slapped an 8 million-pound price tag on the Englishman, according to the Daily Mirror.

Now Sunderland supporters may have to seriously worry about Newcastle submitting such an offer, and watching their second player leave them for their fierce rivals this summer after Jack Colback.

Chicharito 'needs to leave'

Rumoured to be one of the names of manager Louis van Gaal's to-sell list, Javier Hernandez "needs to leave," Mexico manager Miguel Herrera told ESPN FC. The Mexican striker has been heavily linked with moves to Southampton, Inter and Juventus in recent weeks.

"I think there are a lot of opportunities. They are not bad opportunities," Herrera said. "If he goes to Juventus that would be an extraordinary team. Without a doubt, it would be a nice change for him. Hopefully he'll see more minutes."

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