Previous
CSKA Moscow
Manchester City
0
2
ESPN3 LIVE 41'
Game Details
AS Roma
Bayern Munich
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Apoel Nicosia
Paris Saint-Germain
ESPN3 6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Barcelona
Ajax Amsterdam
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Chelsea
NK Maribor
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Schalke 04
Sporting Lisbon
ESPN3 6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
BATE Borisov
Shakhtar Donetsk
ESPN3 6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Porto
Athletic Bilbao
ESPN3 6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Next
Aug 25, 2014

Super Mario signs for Liverpool

The ESPN FC crew debate whether the risk of bringing Mario Balotelli to Anfield is worth the potential reward.

We're in the home stretch of the summer transfer window and most teams, with one notable exception -- hint: they play at Old Trafford -- appear more or less ready for the season. This might be the brief breather; the calm before the storm. While we wait for Angel Di Maria to have his photo shoot and medical, here's what the papers are whispering about today.

TOP PICK - Mario Balotelli has now signed for Liverpool in a 16 million pound move from AC Milan. He is back in the Premier League. Officially.

- Everton are hoping to sign either Danny Welbeck or Samuel Eto'o before deadline day in an attempt to bolster their frontline. Read the full story here.

- Southampton are set to make a triple swoop to sign Jordy Clasie from Feyenoord, Toby Alderweireld from Atletico Madrid and Spurs winger Andros Townsend in a mad trolley-dash before deadline day.

- Arsenal look set to miss out on Kostas Manolas after Greek radio station Sport FM announce the defender is set for a 14 million euro move to Roma.

23.00 BST: That's it for tonight, but our run through Tuesday's papers is just around the corner.

22.49 BST: Nigel Pearson vowed Leicester will not be held to ransom as he plots a triple transfer raid.  Ahead of Tuesday's Capital One Cup visit of Shrewsbury, he said: "It's proven to be more difficult this window. There is a possibility of inflating prices because there is a need for it but my recommendation on it is 'don't do it'. We've had our fingers burnt in the past with doing deals late in the window. I recognise we need one or two extra players but I'm certainly not going to be held to ransom. My advice to the football club is if we can't get the people we want, I don't want to pad it out with players who are not the right fit or not good enough."

22.40 BST: Here's the full story on Man United agreeing to pay 59.7 million pounds for Angel Di Maria.

22.14 BST: Mark Ogden of the Daily Telegraph is a man in the know when it comes to Man United. He the journalist who broke Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement. This is what he has just had to say about Angel Di Maria:

22.01 BST: Torino winger Alessio Cerci could be heading for the Premier League after his move to AC Milan broke down.

21.48 BST: But wait! We love this picture tweeted by the Daily Mail which CLEARLY shows that Angel di Maria is in Manchester.

21.02 BST: Unsubstantiated pictures on Twitter showing Angel di Maria in Manchester to complete his move.

20.21 BST: The Daily Express are reporting that AC Milan could be about to plug the hole left by the exit of Mario Balotelli by signing Chelsea flop Fernando Torres on loan for the season.

19.41 BST: The BBC is reporting that Everton are on the brink of announcing the signing of free agent striker Samuel Eto'o.

19.14 BST: He's back at the Etihad! But not as a Man City player. Sky Sports asked Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers what he will bring to the team: "Trouble! ... this might be his last chance at a big club."

18.50 BST: Celtic have agreed a fee with Sporting Gijon for the transfer of Stefan Scepovic, and the Serbia international will now travel to Glasgow for talks.

18.19 BST: Milan have said they hope Mario Balotelli has all the success he craves after leaving for Liverpool. A statement read: "There have been lots of memorable moments. The goal-scoring debut versus Udinese, that late winner versus Torino at the San Siro in May last year, the decisive goal against Siena and the screamer against Bologna on Valentine's Day at the San Siro. Thank you for everything and for what you have done at the club. We wish you the very best of luck for your next sporting and professional adventure."

18.01 BST: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said that the deal for Mario Balotelli was "outstanding value'' for a "world-class talent''.

17.45 BST: Done Deal Derby have now completed the signing of Ryan Shotton on loan from Stoke for the season, with a view to a permanent deal.

17.33 BST: Angel Di Maria is expected to arrive with his agent at Manchester Airport at around 7 p.m. ... as if Man Utd would let Liverpool have all the headlines tonight.

17.30 BST: Crystal Palace and Leicester City are going to battle it out over the four million pound acquisition of Zdravko Kuzmanovic from Inter Milan according to TalkSport.

17.24 BST: Stoke City's Ryan Shotton is close to a move to Derby County according to the Stoke Sentinel after falling down the pecking order in Mark Hughes' squad.

17.18 BST: A Qatari fund has completed the purchase of highly-sought after Club Brugge attacker Maxime Lestienne and is now willing to loan him out to AC Milan in order to increase his value, according to Gianluca di Marzio.

17.11 BST: Sevilla sporting director Monchi has declared Spurs are going to sign Federico Fazio and there is not much his club can do when an English team comes calling. Speaking in AS, he said: "Regarding Fazio, there is an English club willing to pay the buyout clause. We have tried to renew his contract during the summer and improve the clause but we could not. When an English club is crossed, there is little we can do."

17.02 BST: DONE DEAL! IT IS OFFICIAL!!!!

17.00 BST: Barca bosses are headed out to Brazil this evening to discuss the deal for Douglas apparently.

16.56 BST: The Xherdan Shaqiri rumours had died down for a while. Appears they'll be back this week.

16.50 BST: The Times claim West Ham are ready to sell striker Carlton Cole to Bournemouth despite his goal against Crystal Palace at the weekend.

16.43 BST: Zenit St Petersburg boss Andre Villas Boas has confirmed his club are not in the hunt for another central midfielder amid rumours he wanted to sign 16 million euro Ecuadorian Fredy Guarin.

16.28 BST: Roma look to have signed Greece international Kostas Manolas from under the noses of Arsenal by agreeing a 14 million euro deal with Olympiacos according to Greek radio station Sport FM.

16.21 BST: Read the full story here on Fiorentina star Juan Cuadrado's future.

16.15 BST: South Korean international Ki Sung-Yueng wants to commit his future to Swansea City after finding himself back in the starting XI following a year of on loan at Sunderland, according to the South Wales Evening Post. The Black Cats had wanted to take Ki to the north-east permanently but new Swans boss Garry Monk saw the midfield maestro as a linchpin in his new-look squad.

16.10 BST: DONE DEAL! Panathinaikos continue their rebuild and sign Valmir Berisha from Roma!

16.01 BST: Possible heart-break for Arsenal fans. 

15.55 BST: Hull City boss Steve Bruce is very frustrated at Blackburn Rovers for what he sees as a U-turn in their negotiations over Jordan Rhodes. Hull has been willing to part with 12 million pounds but have now been told the Scottish marksman is not for sale. Bruce told the Hull Daily Mail: "It's difficult. We got an indication from Blackburn 2-3 days ago or a week ago that they were prepared to sell. But now we hear he's not for sale at any price. We'll have a conversation with Blackburn in the next 24-48 hours then if it's not to be, we'll go for the next one. Is he for sale or is he not for sale?"

15.49 BST: Mirko Vucinic, who recently left Juventus for the big bucks on offer in the United Arab Emirates with Al Jazira, has told Sky Sports he wants to finish his career with Lecce, his first club in Italian football. He said: "I hope to finish my career in Lecce but only if I will be fine physically and if my body will allow it, I don't want to go there to play two games and then miss twenty matches."

15.41 BST: Marseille winger Modou Sougou has been offered a contract by Greek giants Panathinaikos according to Get France Football. However they expect the Senegalese player to reject a move to Greece as he wants to remain in Ligue 1.

15.36 BST: The future of 15-year-old wonderkid Martin Odergaard from the point of view of ESPN FC's Rory Smith.

15.30 BST: Sheffield United want Leeds captain Jason Pearce but apparently there is no chance of a deal.

15.22 BST: Apart from official confirmation that is about as officially confirmed as it can get that Mario Balotelli is going to sign for Liverpool.

15.20 BST: TalkSport are running the story that AC Milan are prepared to offer big money to sign Jackson Martinez from Porto in an attempt to fill the Mario Balotelli shaped hole.

15.14 BST: Tottenham are eyeing up a deal for Basel defender Fabian Schar according to The Mirror. Spurs are apparently frustrated in their attempts to bring in Mateo Mussachio from Villarreal and Federico Fazio from Sevilla and so are considering the Swiss international as a possible target.

15.07 BST: Sunderland new boy Patrick Van Aanholt has admitted he is finding it difficult to settle into life in the north-east, according to reports.

15.01 BST: And Wigan's persistence has paid off as they finally have an offer for Brentford's Adam Forshaw accepted.

14.56 BST: DONE DEAL! Watford's promotion push gets a little stronger as they sign St Patrick's Athletic goalkeeper Rene Gilmartin. 

14.53 BST: He looks delighted doesn't he!

14.48 BST: And some more on that same saga. Could this have a domino effect on the market? Medhi Benatia off to Bayern Munich and Kostas Manolas to Arsenal!?

14.44 BST: Arsenal and Roma have been told to cough up 15 million euros or forget about signing Kostas Manolas according to reports in Greece.

14.35 BST: One would imagine the small matter of the final week of the transfer window might come up at this lunch meeting...

14.31 BST: The man very few believe is actually 18 years old (for clarity, he is), Joseph Minala of Lazio joins Bari on a season-long loan.

14.25 BST: Aurelio De Laurentiis' dream of having two lion-maned midfielders at Napoli has been scuppered. According to the Independent, the ankle injury picked up by Marouane Fellaini has meant the Partonepei supremo's dream duo of Gokhan Inler and the big Belgian will not happen as Rafa Benitez opts to sign players who are still fit - which is fair enough.

14.17 BST: Valencia are going to go back in yet again for Juventus striker Fernando Llorente. According to La Gazzetta Sportiva, new Los Che owner Peter Lim is determined to make a big-money marquee signing before the deadline shuts and has targeted bringing the Juve forward back home to Spain.

14.12 BST: Read the full story here on Borussia Dortmund's determination to keep Marco Reus.

14.06 BST: Leicester are still after Esteban Cambiasso.

14.02 BST: DONE DEAL! Real Valladolid sign Javi Varas from Sevilla!

13.55 BST: Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone is going to try and offload both Toby Alderweireld and Emiliano Insua in the next week. According to El Mundo Deportivo, the Belgian defender is close to joining Monaco but would rather a move to the Premier League amid interest from Southampton. The Argentine left back is wanted by Rayo Vallecano and it is thought a loan deal will be agreed. 

13.49 BST: Barcelona's long-running attempt to sign Juan Cuadrado is not over yet despite having just a week left of the transfer window. According to Marca, the Colombian has said: "There is still time for Barca," amid rumours the Catalan giants are ready to launch another raid for the Fiorentina winger.

13.39 BST: ​It's not just raining at Man Utd, it is pouring with a vengeance. New signing Marcos Rojo has had his work permit application rejected. United have obviously appealed.

13.35 BST: Lazio are ready to offload Brayan Perea in order to gain first-team football. Gianluca di Marzio is reporting the player wants to move to Perugia on loan and has asked Lazio sporting director Igli Tare for a transfer.

13.25 BST: Inter Milan remain busy in the transfer market as they plot a move for Napoli starlet Lorenzo Insigne according to Tuttosport, if Napoli fail to reach the Champions League group stages. Walter Mazzari is also after any one of Ezequiel Lavezzi, Firminho from Hoffenheim or Andre Ayew from Marseille, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

13.19 BST: There we go. Almost certainly confirmed Ruben Botta and Ezequiel Schelotto are headed on loan to Chievo Verona.

13.12 BST: Juventus have earmarked Radamel Falcao as the dream striker signing according to Gazzetta dello Sport. However, with his wages at some 12 million euros a year, 'a fee more agreeable for Premier league clubs,' Juve may target the cheaper option of Javier Hernandez.

13.07 BST: Still hard to believe this is real and actually happening.

13.05 BST: Is this Feyenoord replacing Jordy Clasie???

12.55 BST: Arsene Wenger may have to rethink his transfer plans according to The Telegraph. A report claims Olivier Giroud's ankle injury may force Wenger to dip into the market for a striker even though he is after a defender and central midfielder. It is thought Radamel Falcao is a target but will cost around 20 million just to loan for the season while Danny Welbeck and an altered stance on the Lukas Podolski situation are also possible solutions.

12.50 BST: Do you think he really means that? Or is it just a sound-bite to endear himself to the Parisian fans?

12.41 BST: Inter Milan are ready to loan three players to Chievo according to reports in Italy. Inter have allowed Ezequiel Schelotto and Ruben Botta permission to speak to Chievo while the Gialloblu have also signed Mirko Crusaders, 18, from Inter.

12.36 BST: Anyone else think that headline might be a bit much give the obvious want from Madrid to sell all summer long?

12.33 BST: AC Milan's search for a striker is going to become a theme on this blog for the remainder of this window. According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Pippo Inzaghi wants to sign Samuel Eto'o on a free transfer despite Everton leading the race for his signature. Apparently the Rossoneri also retain interest in Roberto Soldado of Tottenham if the North London club allow him to leave on loan.

12.28 BST: A bit harsh...

12.25 BST: Labelled 'the next Zlatan' and linked with Liverpool just days ago, former Brescia striker Aleksandr Mitrovic has been touted for a move to MLS side Orlando City according to Gazzetta dello Sport. He was lured over by the prospect of playing with Kaka apparently.

12.19 BST: And more from Napoli as they will attempt to sign Tottenham midfielder Sandro regardless of whether they qualify for the Champions League or not. According to Il Mattino, Napoli will enter with a 9.5 million euro offer and hope to bring down Spurs' 20 million euro asking price from earlier in the summer.

12.14 BST: Napoli are apparently going to go after Kostas Mitroglou of Fulham if Duvan Zapata finds a new club, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

12.10 BST: Roma want to sign both Kostas Manolas from Olympiakos and Marko Basa from Lille when Medhi Benatia completes his move to Bayern Munich according to Il Messaggero.

12.02 BST: DONE DEAL! Parma have signed Matija Sirok outright from Nova Gorica for an undisclosed fee!

11.57 BST: Tuttomercatoweb are reporting that Fiorentina youngster Rafal Wolfski will be on his way out of the club on loan for the season with Cesena, Atalanta, Bari and Sassuolo all interested.

11.50 BST: Angel Di Maria's presentation date has been set!

11.44 BST: Parma are reportedly going to make another offer to bring in Juventus outcast Simone Pepe according to the Gazzetta di Parma.

11.39 BST: Really now? He was reportedly having a medical at Liverpool last week! How things change.

11.35 BST: Real Madrid's grand adventure to bring Spanish youth together in one great team appears to have been abandoned just a year after it's founding. According to AS, Asier Illaramendi will be on his way out of the club now Sami Khedira is staying and could be loaned back to the Basque country - but not with former club Real Sociedad but arch-rivals Atheltic Bilbao.

11.32 BST: Right, so, get this... Gazzetta dello Sport claim AC Milan are shifting their attention from Alessio Cerci, a wide forward, to a more central striker. However, Tuttosport have today reported that Milan are ready to include Giampaolo Pazzini in a player-plus-cash deal to sign Cerci, who they have been tracking all summer long.

11.29 BST: Manchester United have been linked with yet another 40 million euro move for Fiorentina winger Juan Cuadrado according to Italian newspaper La Nazione.

11.24 BST: Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew has said if any new signings come in, then they won't be British. He told the Shields Gazette: "We keep talking about British players and English players being promoted, but every time you try to go and buy on in Britain, it is very difficult." 

And, true to this word, Wales Online have the Magpies as ready to bid for Cardiff City flop Andreas Cornelius. Apparently Pardew wanted the Dane before he signed for the Welsh club and is hoping to resurrect the 21-year-old's faltering career.

11.20 BST: Surely only a matter of time before he leaves. But to Porto or Southampton?! 

11.17 BST: Micah Richards' footballing future lies well away from Manchester City and the Sun are reporting that West Ham have now made an official enquiry about signing the former England international.

11.10 BST: According to Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini has been a busy boy. He boycotted a flight to Germany to discuss the Medhi Benatia deal knowing that Bayern Munich were only willing to play 24 million euros plus bonuses - this being too low for Roma to accept. So instead he went to Tuscany to speak to Adriano Galliani about Mattia Destro and has set his release fee at 25 million euros. It's all going on at Roma...

11.05 BST: Norwich City really looking to get back to the Premier League at the first attempt.

11.02 BST: It could be one wonderkid out and another in if Liverpool can convince 15-year-old Martin Ødegaard to join from Strømsgodset rather than join the mighty Real Madrid, according to reports.

11.00 BST: Derby County are hoping to add to their promotion hopes by completing loan deals for Liverpool youngster Jordan Ibe and Stoke City defender Ryan Shotton, according to the Burton Mail.

Liverpool whizzkid Jordan Ibe could be about to enjoy his first year of first-team football in a loan deal with Derby County.

10.54 BST: QPR are reacting to their 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Spurs yesterday with a three million pound move for Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy. As the Daily Star rightly points out, the young English stopper was a one-time target for Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea.

10.50 BST: According to reports in Holland FC Utrecht are looking to step up their attempts to bring in Liverpool winger Kristoffer Peterson because there looks like there could be players leaving the Dutch side. Not many 'Liverpool sales' stories out there...

10.46 BST: Should Southampton's ambitious move for Andros Townsend not come to fruition, The Sun are reporting that a new bid for Norwich City's Nathan Redmond could be made. Saints have already seen a 3.5 million pound bid rejected and will up their offer to closer to five million in the hope of signing him before deadline day.

10.42 BST: Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew has said he doesn't expect Cheick Tiote to leave the club amid interest from Lokomotiv Moscow and Arsenal. He is quoted as saying: "I don't think I'm going to lose a big player and I certainly hope - fingers crossed after Andy Carroll - that continues."

10.38 BST: Arsenal and Manchester United have both re-entered the race to sign Medhi Benatia from Roma after the Italian club have apparently pulled the plug on a 30 million euro deal with Bayern Munich, according to the Daily Star.

10.34 BST: Arsenal are reportedly deep in negotiations with Sporting Lisbon about signing William Carvalho, according to reports. However a hold up in the deal has arisen because the Portuguese want players in return.

10.30 BST: After seeing Andros Townsend left out of Spurs' squad against QPR yesterday, Southampton boss Ronald Koeman is ready to launch a 12 million pound bid for the tricky winger. According to Sky Sports, Saints are desperate to reinforce their depleted squad and see the Spurs winger as an ideal signing.

Could Andros Townsend have played his last game for Spurs? Southampton certainly hope so.

10.26 BST: Swansea City captain Ashley Williams has sent a defiant message to potential suitors for Wilfried Bony. Speaking in the Daily Star, the Welsh captain said: "You can see how important Bony is to our team. He is looking better than ever and he's genuinely hungry for goals. We are really glad to have him, especially after all the speculation during pre season."

10.23 BST: Arsenal's search for a defensive midfielder goes on and on and has seen them turn to Wolfsburg and Brazil midfield enforcer Luis Gustavo. According to The Mirror, Arsene Wenger has sent representatives to Germany to thrash out a deal which could see Lukas Podolski head in the other direction.

10.20 BST: Burnley boss Sean Dyche is not panicking over two defeats in two games back in the Premier League. Quoted in the Lancashire Telegraph, 'the ginger Mourinho' said he didn't want to break the bank to bring in new players. He said: "It's a tough challenge still. The club have made it clear there are certain guidelines I have to work within, and that's part of my role. We are aligned though, there's no point me saying 'why haven't I got £25m to spend?' because that would be counter-productive."

According to a report in the Guardian, Burnley's top player wage is caped at one million pounds a year, which is causing problems attracting the right quality of player.

10.10 BST: After seeing a move to Lyon break down, Clement Chantome is now wanted by three clubs. Sportmediaset claim the PSG midfielder is now likely to get a move to any one of  Sevilla, Everton or Olympiakos, should a five million euro bid be accepted.

10.06 BST: Kicker reports that SC Freiburg are set to sign 28-year-old Kaiserslautern captain Marc Torrejon. The defender already announced his departure from the second tier club.

10.02 BST: More on that Peter Lim buying Anthony Martial story from Superdeporte, as tweeted by ESPN FC's own Dermot Corrigan.

10.00 BST: Norwegian Per Skjelbred could return to Hertha Berlin on a permanent deal from Hamburg after spending the season on loan there last year. He is apparently surplus to requirements and Bild have reported a 750,000 euro offer will be accepted this week. Midfielder Milan Badelj is also not going to leave the club despite being linked to Sevilla.

09.55 BST: Former third choice left back at Schalke, Christian Fuchs, is now the first choice left back at the club. With injuries to Sead Kolasinac and Dennis Aogo, the Austrian is now a needed man despite having been in negotiation with Hull City about a move. Speaking to Kicker Schalke sporting executive Horst Heldt said: "I leave all options open." This has led to reports the German club have a back up ready should Fuchs decide to leave.

09.51 BST: Former Marseille centre forward Mamadou Niang could return to France for the first time since 2010 after his contract with Qatari club Al Sadd ran out this year. France Football say a move to Arles-Avignon is on the cards.

09.47 BST: So L'Equipe seem to think Lukas Podolski is very close to a move to Wolfsburg. Apparently Arsenal have accepted a 12 million euro offer and Arsene Wenger is set to OK the deal to go through this week.

09.43 BST: In what appears to be a strange move, Valencia midfielder Andres Guardado is expected in Eindhoven today to complete a medical with PSV, according to De Telegraaf. Despite a good showing at the World Cup, it appears new Los Che owner Peter Lim sees the Mexican as part of the 'old-regime' and wants to bring in his own new faces to the club. A one-year loan deal is thought to have been agreed.

Mexico forward Andres Guardado is about to make a surprise loan move from Valencia to PSV.

09.39 BST: Monaco defender Nicolas Isimat-Mirin is on his way out of the club according to L'Equipe with three clubs ready to take him. Sampdoria want to sign him on a permanent deal while St Etienne are interested in a loan. But today Bastia have emerged as favourites for the 22-year-old' signature in a one-year loan deal.

09.35 BST: Ousmane Cissokho is expected to sign for FC Metz in a 450,000 euro deal from Nimes, according to L'Equipe.

09.30 BST: Dutch newspaper AD is reporting Feyenoord are being very busy in the transfer market. They say that with interest in Jordy Clasie now coming in from both Porto and Southampton, the midfielder is expected to leave. They are also battling FC Twente to sign Heerenveen's Pele van Aanholt and have seen a bid for Aston Villa's Karim El Ahmadi rejected because it is 'too low.'

09.26 BST: Well that was a wasted trip.

09.23 BST: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is keeping his mouth shut for once over a transfer target! Bayern Munich were reported to have wrapped up a deal for Medhi Benatia from Roma but Bild are reporting negotiations have reached another dead end. Rummenigge said: "Please understand that I won't comment on this. Because every word might increase the price."

09.19 BST: After his Besiktas contract ran out this summer a move back to the MLS for Jermaine Jones was touted. And now it is true!

09.15 BST: Promising young forward Anthony Martial has told Monaco he wants to leave the club. Speaking to Canal+ the teenager said he had been disappointed being subbed on and off against Nantes on Sunday and would likely move to Spain where Valencia and Atletico Madrid are admirers.

09.12 BST: According to L'Equipe, Bordeuax boss Willy Sagnol has been considering selling striker Hadi Sacko after receiving an offer from Sporting Lisbon. Now the 20-year-old has told his boss he wants to leave and so will be sold to the Portuguese club in the next week. Stoke City had also been interested.

09.08 BST: Reports in France claim Parma are interested in Toulouse's Polish midfielder Dominik Furman, who has been little used since his arrival in France last January.

09.05 BST: The Benjamin Stambouli saga rolls on and on...

09.00 BST: A big one for Saints fans first thing this morning! 

Everton on the prowl

The Toffees have had a good window in sealing permanent deals for Romelu Lukaku and Gareth Barry, along with the cut-price move for promising Bosnian midfielder Muhamed Besic and a season-long loan of young winger Christian Atsu.

But Roberto Martinez isn't done there, according to The Daily Telegraph, who have linked the canny manager to Samuel Eto'o and impending Old Trafford exile, Danny Welbeck.

Either striker would represent good business for a team that could use backup for the injury-prone Lukaku, though several prominent obstacles stand in Everton's way: Eto'o would command off-putting wages while Welbeck is coveted enough to spark the kind of bidding war that the Toffees would struggle to win.

Watch this space. One senses that a couple more sales -- or healthy players -- might swing things one way or the other by deadline day.

Khedira nowhere nearer

Arsenal's need of a commanding, world-class defensive midfielder is perhaps football's worst-kept secret but it looks like Arsene Wenger is set to be disappointed by a top target: Sami Khedira is ready and willing to fight for his place at Real Madrid instead of completing a move to the Premier League.

Man United's interest was also well-known but the 27-year-old World Cup winner would have been a combative, reliable asset at the Emirates.

Khedira is seemingly up for the challenge at the Bernabeu, according to the Express, but he's got Xabi Alonso, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos as immediate rivals for a central midfield spot. His willingness hints at a lot about this storyline. Either the interest from England was never that firm or he was never that intrigued by a move to begin with. Carlo Ancelotti said at one point that the German was free to leave ... only he didn't really want to.

As a result Wenger will seemingly turn his attention to PSG super-kid Adrien Rabiot, a 19-year-old Plan B. The youngster is highly rated but Laurent Blanc appears resigned to losing the French under-21 midfielder for a fee around 9.5 million pounds. Chelsea are also reportedly interested.

Salomon Kalou
Salomon Kalou could be looking to return to the Premier League with Sunderland.

Sunderland seek Salomon

A good weekend for the Mackems -- they really could and should have beaten Man United on Sunday -- might get a lot better with reports via the Express that they're close to sealing a move for Lille and Cote d'Ivoire forward Salomon Kalou.

The 29-year-old wasn't fancied at Chelsea but scored 16 goals and notched five assists in all competitions for his Ligue 1 side last season, prompting a wave of raised eyebrows at various top-flight English clubs.

A man of Kalou's directness and pace would be a big get for a side in need of some speed. After all, Gus Poyet has plenty of strikers but no-one to get them the ball.

Only the loan-ly for Borini?

Fabio Borini has seen some big changes at Liverpool this summer since returning from a productive loan at Sunderland in 2013-14. Despite the sale of Luis Suarez, competition for attacking spots leave the Italian forward as far from the starting lineup as he was a year ago -- Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho and now Mario Balotelli are all between Borini and consistent minutes in the Premier League.

And so Fabio is finally at peace with a move away from Anfield, happy to head back to the Stadium of Light for another Prem campaign -- as long as he's loaned and not sold. The Daily Mirror reports that Borini's happy to team up with Poyet again, albeit on a temporary basis.

The two clubs agreed a fee of 14 million pounds earlier in the summer but the striker was unwilling to complete a clean move. May this season be a good one for all those concerned.

The news in brief

• Roma striker Mattia Destro has reportedly had "interest from Milan and Chelsea" in recent days. This, of course, is coming from his agent, though a Milan move isn't too crazy given the Balotelli-shaped hole in the Rossoneri squad.

• Roma and Juventus appear set to battle for the signature of marginalized Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski, who is seemingly surplus to requirements at the Emirates. The Express believes Juve have the upper hand in the race for the 29-year-old German, who managed 12 goals in 27 games for Arsenal in 2013-14.

• Atletico Madrid have reportedly swung and missed on Inter trickster Ricky Alvarez, so says Mundo Deportivo. Having tried to snag the 26-year-old attacking midfielder on loan, the Nerazzurri pushed back with a price tag of 12 million euros, prompting the Spanish side to think twice. 

• And finally, Rotherham United will not be selling any more players this summer! Manager Steve Evans made the bold announcement after the weekend's 1-0 win at Millwall, telling The Daily Star: ""I am pretty safe at the minute in terms of outgoings."

You hear that, world? Hands off Ben Pringle, Lee Frecklington or Craig Morgan.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.