Man United deal for Paul Pogba 'imminent' despite Real Madrid interest
With the summer transfer window upon us, rumours are picking up steam. Transfer Talk has its finger on the pulse when it comes to the latest gossip. Follow our live blog below, and see the latest deals here.
TOP STORY: United close to Pogba agreement
With Gonzalo Higuain's move to Juventus complete, it seems like the pieces are in place for Paul Pogba to finally clinch a world-record move to Manchester United this summer.
Although sources have told ESPN FC that Real Madrid have been in contact with Juve this week, United remain firm favourites for his signature and reports in England and Italy suggest an agreement is very, very close, with sources telling ESPN FC the clubs have agreed on a €120 million (£101.3m) fee.
The Sun says the deal is already done, while reports in Italy are slightly more cautious but make similar claims: Sky Sport Italia and Gazzetta dello Sport expect an agreement to be reached by the end of the week, while Tuttosport said on Thursday that "the sale is imminent and could be announced within a matter of hours."
The end of the saga appears to be in sight.
That will do it for Thursday's Transfer Talk! Keep your eyes open for Friday's edition to be published soon!
22:15 BST: Sky Germany is reporting that Arsenal have opened talks with Valencia over the transfer of Germany international centre-back Shkodran Mustafi.
Mustafi, 24, has a release clause of £42.1 million, but reports suggest that Arsenal may be able to sign him for £25.3m plus an additional £8.4m in add-ons.
21:55 BST: With the end of the Paul Pogba saga in sight and Manchester United looking likely to be his next destination, Real Madrid will be forced to continue their search for a top-class midfielder to add to Zinedine Zidane's squad. According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Newcastle United's Moussa Sissoko and Paris Saint-Germain's Marco Verratti could emerge as Pogba alternatives.
21:29 BST: Mainz midfielder Yunus Malli is once again on Tottenham's radar, reports the Mirror. His deal with the Bundesliga side includes a £7.5 million release clause set to expire on July 31.
Malli scored 11 goals across competitions during the 2015-16 season, enough to earn him a place in Turkey's Euro 2016 squad.
21:16 BST: 2015 Puskas Award winner Wendell Lira is calling it quits on his football career to become a professional gamer. You heard that right, FIFA 2017.
Speaking to Globoesporte.com, Lira said: "I had the dream of being a gamer, I always had this desire to live it ... It is not the end of a dream. In fact, God has given me the opportunity to have this job as a follow-up in my life, being happy and continuing with that smile."
According to reports, Lira once beat FIFA Interactive World Champion Abdulaziz Alshehri 6-1. Wow.
20:59 BST: Former Queens Park Rangers and Arsenal defender Armand Traore could be on the move, with Nottingham Forest reportedly close to signing the player, according to BBC Radio Nottingham.
20:50 BST: Chelsea's search for centre-backs continues, with Torino's £18 million-rated Nikola Maksimovic emerging as a potential cut-price alternative to Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly. The Mirror writes that West Ham are also interested in the Serbia international player.
20:32 BST: AC Milan are keen to bring Santos star Lucas Lima to the San Siro, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. Brazilian news outlet Uol Esporte suggests that the 26-year-old will be offered a five-year contract by the Serie A side.
20:12 BST: DONE DEAL Vitesse Arnhem have signed Norwich City's Ricky van Wolfswinkel for an undisclosed fee.
19:47 BST: DONE DEAL The Portland Timbers have announced the signing of goalkeeper Chris Konopka.
Konopka most recently played for 2015-16 Scottish League Cup winners Ross County FC in the Scottish Premiership. He also played for the New York Red Bulls (2011), Philadelphia Union (2012-13) and Toronto FC (2013-15) across six MLS seasons.
19:35 BST: Mario Balotelli has rejected a move away from Liverpool to Besiktas, according to Turkish news outlet Sabah via the Liverpool Echo.
19:20 BST: DONE DEAL Leicester City have announced a new long-term contract for defender Ben Chilwell.
Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri told the club's official website: "It's fantastic news for us. Ben is a player with a big future and I am very happy that future will be with Leicester City."
19:12 BST: Atletico Nacional forward Marlos Moreno confirmed his move to Manchester City to the Colombian branch of FOX Sports following his team's Copa Libertadores victory over Independiente del Valle.
The player's agent, speaking to Futbolred, also confirmed the move on Thursday: "I will travel with Marlos on Saturday to sign a contract with Manchester City. He will then go on loan to Deportivo La Coruña for a year ... The main architect of all this is Marlos, with his discipline and commitment. I just contributed a little bit."
18:56 BST: DONE DEAL Sheffield Wednesday have signed Watford duo Daniel Pudil and Almen Abdi on permanent deals.
18:40 BST: David Amoyal, writing for Gianluca Di Marzio's website, is also reporting that fees have been worked out between Juventus and Manchester United for the transfer of Paul Pogba.
"Pogba, who will move to the Premier League, will now [be] the player linked to the highest transfer fee of all time, about €110 million," writes Amoyal.
"The fee to Juventus will be slightly lower than the amount reported in the last few days, as Pogba's agent Raiola's fees had to be taken into account as well. Juventus' receipt should net slightly over €100m, representing a huge payday for the Italian club who landed Pogba from United four years ago for nothing. As for Raiola's commission, that will be paid by United."
18:36 BST: Paul Pogba to Manchester United? Alexandre Lacazette to Arsenal? Robin van Persie to Rangers? Arkadiusz Milik to Napoli? John Stones to Manchester City? ESPN FC's Paul Mariner rates the latest rumours.
18:24 BST: Arsenal fans, continue with caution. It doesn't look like the club's transfer policies are going to change anytime soon.
Speaking ahead of Arsenal's match against the MLS All-Stars in San Jose, CA, Arsenal chief executive Ivas Gazidis told NBC Sports: "We can't afford to outgun competitors that have far more money. We have to be very careful, very selective. We would not be successful if we simply went out into the transfer market and tried to outgun our competitors."
He added: "We're run in a self-sustaining way, and a way that we believe in, because we believe it gives us certainty for the future and enables us to plan our future with confidence. That means we can't afford to make huge mistakes in the transfer market."
18:10 BST: He's the man of the hour: Paul Pogba. Agent Mino Raiola is reportedly back in Turin to finalise the player's imminent transfer to Manchester United.
18:01 BST: One last bid for Alexandre Lacazette? Reports suggest that Arsenal are set to make a last-ditch effort to secure the Lyon man's services after a €35 million bid was rejected earlier this week.
Will another transfer target fall from Arsene Wenger's clutches? Only time will tell.
17:46 BST: Manchester United will revive their interest in Brazil international Joao Miranda if Marcos Rojo or Daley Blind leave the club, according to the Daily Mail. Miranda, who is currently on a two-year loan at Inter Milan from Atletico Madrid, is a top target for Jose Mourinho as he looks to bolster his defense.
17.29 BST: Joining Schweinsteiger in leaving United will be eight other players, reports the Daily Mail. Among the group set for exits, of which some will be loans, are Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Tim Fosu-Mensah, says the newspaper.
17.18 BST: Here's the full story on former Valencia midfielder Danilo Barbosa joining Benfica on a season's loan from Braga.
17.01 BST: Bastian Schweinsteiger's days at Old Trafford could be numbered...
16.48 BST: Rangers manager Mark Warburton has dismissed speculation that his side are close to signing Robin van Persie.
16.31 BST: It's getting closer... Manchester United have agreed to pay Juventus' €120 million (£101.3m) asking price for Paul Pogba, sources have told ESPN FC, and are now hoping to come to an agreement over the final fees in order to clinch the deal by this weekend.
16.16 BST: Barcelona's financial vice-president Susana Monje says the club's record revenues mean they do not have to sell extra players this summer despite going beyond their planned budget to sign Andre Gomes from Valencia this week.
16.00 BST: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed his interest in signing Leroy Sane from Schalke and John Stones from Everton.
15.49 BST: Everton are on the verge of signing Aston Villa midfielder Idrissa Gueye with the player undergoing a medical, sources close to the club have told ESPN FC.
15.32 BST: Portland Timbers are set to secure the signing of former Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor, sources close to the player have told ESPN FC.
15.17 BST: Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong is on trial at MLS club Sporting Kansas City as he tries to revive his career. Story here.
14.53 BST: Manchester United are prepared to sell Will Keane this summer, with five clubs making enquiries for the player, sources close to the player have told ESPN FC. Story here.
14.39 BST: Paul Pogba's former boss at Le Havre says it would be "beautiful" to see the Juventus midfielder return to Manchester United. Story here.
14.20 BST: Bordeaux president Jean-Louis Triaud is considering a move for AC Milan attacking midfielder Jeremy Menez. Story here.
14.00 BST: Manchester United are still hoping to clinch their top summer target, but an earlier signing has now joined up with the club.
13.56 BST: Wales international Hal Robson-Kanu left Reading when his contract expired this summer and, after an impressive Euro 2016, looked set for a move to the Premier League with Hull. The move was put on hold after Steve Bruce resigned as manager, and Sky Sports is reporting that the forward is now set to hold talks with ... Atletico Madrid and Sevilla.
13.34 BST: DONE DEAL Bristol Cty have re-signed Adam Matthews on a season-long loan from Sunderland.
13.28 BST: Algeria's Le Buteur says Leicester City star Riyad Mahrez's move to Arsenal could be completed within days, although its story appears to be based on the word of an unnamed English journalist who is described as "very close" to the Gunners.
13.11 BST: Chelsea striker Diego Costa has caused a bit of a stir with an Instagram post, which featured some of his Chelsea teammates and the words: "Thank you very much for all my friends!!!" Some -- including Marca -- are suggesting it might be a hint he's off. Atletico Madrid have been linked for a long time now but Antonio Conte did recently say he had no plans to sell the Spain international.
12.58 BST: More Paul Pogba: Marca says Real Madrid won't pay his €125 million asking price and Zinedine Zidane accepts Juventus' demands are extortionate. It appears Manchester United are going to get their man.
12.44 BST: Aston Villa keeper Brad Guzan is having his Middlesbrough medical today, according to Sky Sports News.
12.32 BST: Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has given little away on whether he contacted his former Juventus striker Carlos Tevez in an effort to persuade him to return to England from Boca Juniors.
"I appreciate Carlos a lot, as a player and also as a man, but now I know he's a player of Boca and he did a lot to go back to Argentina and I wish for him and his family the best," Conte said.
Tevez has said Conte did contact him and that he said no.
12.12 BST: West Ham United are ready to give up on their pursuit of AC Milan striker Carlos Bacca and move on to other targets, sources close to the London club have told ESPN FC. Story here.
11.54 BST: Another update from Italy on Paul Pogba -- Tuttosport says an agreement with Manchester United is imminent and could be announced in the next few hours.
11.29 BST: Per Mertesacker's injury has increased Arsenal's need for a new centre-back, but Francis Coquelin appears to be Arsene Wenger's stop-gap option. Story here.
11.16 BST: DONE DEAL Brazilian defensive midfielder Danilo has left Braga to join fellow Portuguese side Benfica. He spent some time at Valencia on loan last season.
11.05 BST: David Moyes' Sunderland are interested in €25 million-rated Benfica winger Eduardo Salvio, according to Record.
10.48 BST: The Daily Record suggests Fenerbahce striker Robin van Persie could be back in Britain with Rangers, who are finally back in the Scottish Premiership (or in the top flight for the first time, depending on your perspective). The story appears to be largely based on social media talk and bookmakers slashing odds for now, but we'll see.
10.39 BST: Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino says he expects to make more new signings this summer but insists he is happy with his options at centre-back. Story here.
10.15 BST: Sticking with Napoli, Ajax's Poland striker Arkadiusz Milik is set to have a medical in Rome before joining the Serie A club, according to CalcioNapoli24.
Domattina Arkadiusz Milik sarà a Dimaro, prenotato il volo per Verona che partirà da Roma alle 9.40 https://t.co/Efof2PPDj2- Claudio Russo (@claudioruss) July 28, 2016
10.02 BST: Lyon midfielder Corentin Tolisso has decided to stay at the French club despite a €37.5 million offer from Napoli. Story here.
09.44 BST: Paris Saint-Germain boss Unai Emery isn't making any big plans for further arrivals this summer. "We have a great team, we have a deep squad," he said. "Maybe we will make some small adjustments but I think that at least 90 percent, maybe more, that this is the group." Story here.
09.25 BST: For those obsessively refreshing for more Paul Pogba news, here is what Sky Sport Italia said on the video below.
"Pogba's move to United has never been so close, with an agreement expected in the next 48 hours. It seems just to be a matter of details now with agent Raiola's own part of the deal ironed out, with United agreeing to pay that part -- and this is why they have now moved closer to a deal. Mourinho should sign a cheque of €110 million for the Frenchman, who could do the medical in the USA, where he met Raiola to discuss his future."
08.38 BST: AS continues the Paul Pogba-to-Real Madrid theme on its front cover, with Zinedine Zidane apparently pressuring club president Florentino Perez to pay out for the Juventus star. At the moment, it's not looking particularly likely that Perez will.
Today's cover: Zidane applies pressure on Pérez over Pogba - the Real boss' preferred option to strengthen the squad pic.twitter.com/85frAat6sW- AS English (@English_AS) July 28, 2016
08.27 BST: Nice want to sign Aston Villa striker Jordan Ayew. But L'Equipe says that Villa are not interested in letting the 24-year-old leave on loan, while Ayew would prefer to join a team playing Premier League football.
08.19 BST: Galatasaray forward Lukas Podolski has cooled suggestions he will look to leave the club as a result of the current political situation in Turkey. Asked if he will stay, he said: "Yes, I didn't claim anything else. The media can speculate if they want. I'm looking forward to my season and being back on the pitch."
07.55 BST: AS believes Real Madrid forward Jese Rodriguez is likely to be Premier League-bound as the forward is apparently receiving €1.7 million a year and his current side won't subsidise his wages to allow him to join a La Liga club on loan, with Betis, Las Palmas, Espanyol and Valencia reported to be keen. The Sun has said Arsenal and Liverpool could be interested. His agent Gines Carvajal is in the United States with the team at the moment and AS says he's met with Madrid's director general Jose Angel Sanchez.
07.33 BST: Newcastle attacker Florian Thauvin is set to be sent out on loan to Lazio, according to L'Equipe. The 23-year-old, who spent the second half of last season at his former club Marseille, could join the Italian club permanently for €11 million at the end of his loan spell.
Wolves to make stunning Talisca move
It would probably be one of the most shocking moves of the summer if Wolves can pull it off.
A £21 million deal for Benfica star Anderson Talisca is said to be in place, according to Portuguese newspaper A Bola.
It would send shockwaves through the Championship if they can pull it off and provide the club with huge clout to attract other stars as the Chinese consortium begin to flex their financial muscles.
John Stones on the verge of City move
Manchester City are ready to make John Stones the most expensive English footballer of all time with a £50 million move to prize him away from Everton.
Pep Guardiola has landed Nolito and the injured Ilkay Gundogan, but this will be a highly significant moment after previous huge moves for Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala failed to work.
The Mail says that City will offer striker Wilfried Bony-- who shares the same agent as Stones -- as a sweetener to get the deal done.
- Atletico Madrid are close to pulling off a big deal to bring Kevin Gameiro to the Spanish capital, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.
- Swansea have agreed a deal with Sevilla for Fernando Llorente according to reports in Spain. It would likely prove to be a super signing for the Swans if they can attract the former Juventus hit man to Wales.