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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Real Madrid ready to break transfer record to sign Mbappe

Mark Ogden explains Man United's pursuit of Romelu Lukaku, and the FC crew debate if he's a good fit for the club.

The football world is awash with gossip! Transfer Talk is monitoring the whispers ahead of all the summer moves. Check out the latest deals and potential deals here.

Top story: Real won't miss out on Mbappe

Such is Real Madrid's fear of missing out on Kylian Mbappe, Marca reports that they will move for the Monaco striker this summer and pay a world-record transfer fee, rather than wait a year until he enters the final year of his contract.

The Spanish publication writes that Madrid ended up in a similar situation with Gabriel Jesus, who joined Manchester City in January, and will bring in Mbappe to compete with Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema, with James Rodriguez and Alvaro Morata making way.

Similarly, Monaco, who value Mbappe at €130 million, favour selling this summer while they can still command a large fee, rather than in a year's time. Meanwhile, any doubts the France international had about a move to the European champions have been put to bed by the offer of a €6-7m annual salary and a six-year contract.

Kylian Mbappe
Real Madrid are prepared to break the transfer world record to land Kylian Mbappe this summer.

LIVE BLOG

22.11 BST: That's going to do it for Friday's live edition of Transfer Talk. Thanks very much for joining us, and be sure to check back in just a few short hours when we return with the best gossip plucked from Saturday's back pages.

21.52 BST: Atletico Madrid are refusing to meet Chelsea's £60m valuation of Diego Costa, according to Sky Sports' Kaveh Solhekol.

21.36 BST: DONE DEAL Valencia have confirmed the signing of goalkeeper Neto on a four-year contract from Juventus, and set the 27-year-old Brazilian's buyout clause at €80m.

21.20 BST: Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti has distanced himself from his agent's sensational recent comments about the club and affirmed his commitment to the French capital outfit amid rumours of intense Barcelona interest. Full story.

21.04 BST: We have an update on the Romelu Lukaku situation, and it comes from the Telegraph. The report states that Chelsea have matched Manchester United's offer for the 24-year-old, leaving the player with the decision of which club he will join. However, the West London outfit reportedly will not match the agent fees United have offered Mino Raiola.

20.48 BST: DONE DEAL Former Arsenal striker Yaya Sanogo has joined Toulouse after being released by the Gunners this summer. Full story.

20.16 BST: The Manchester Evening News reports that Wayne Rooney is set to return to Everton, 13 years after bolting for Old Trafford, writing that "the deal is now effectively done ahead of an official announcement."

19.59 BST: Arsenal are beginning to plan for life after Petr Cech, and with David Ospina potentially leaving the club, the Gunners will need to look outside the club for their next No. 1. French outlet Le 10 Sport reports that the North London club have identified 16-year-old Toulouse prodigy and France U20 international Adam Lafont.

19.43 BST: What's the latest with Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, Kylian Mbappe, Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal and Marco Verratti? Our Shaka Hislop discusses five of Friday's biggest transfer rumours.

Amid reports that Zinedine Zidane called Kylian Mbappe about joining Real Madrid, Julien Laurens weighs in on a potential move.

19.27 BST: DONE DEAL Real Betis have confirmed the signing of PSV Eindhoven midfielder Andres Guardado on a three-year contract.

19.11 BST: West Ham are willing to trigger Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez's £13m release clause at Bayer Leverkusen, but the Mexico international is demanding £140,000 a week, writes the Mirror, which would upend the Hammers' wage structure.

18.54 BST: DONE DEAL Swansea have confirmed that 25-year-old centre-back Jordi Amat has joined Real Betis on a yearlong loan.

18.38 BST: Dani Alves will wrap up his transfer to Manchester City next week, according to the Mirror, when he will undergo a medical and sign a two-year contract before joining up with his new teammates for preseason training.

18.22 BST: Arsenal have agreed personal terms with Thomas Lemar, according to the Sun. But while the North London club are ready to pay the 21-year-old midfielder £90,000 a week, their £40m bid is still well short of Monaco's £80m valuation.

18.06 BST: DONE DEAL Burnley have announced the signing of Jonathan Walters from Stoke City on a two-year deal for an undisclosed fee. Full story.

17.51 BST: The Mirror is citing Chilean outlet El Mercurio as reporting that Alexis Sanchez does not want to spend the upcoming season outside the Champions League, and has told Arsenal that he wants to leave the club for Manchester City. The report goes on to state that City have already submitted a £47m bid.

17.35 BST: Manchester United are "deep" in talks with Real Madrid over the sale of James Rodriguez, who Jose Mourinho seeks to replace Wayne Rooney in his midfield, according to the Independent. Los Blancos are said to want €70m for the Colombian international, though the English giants will aim to get their man for less.

17.05 BST: DONE DEAL Norwich have sold Jonny Howson to Middlesbrough.

Norwich sporting director Stuart Webber said: "Jonny, via his agent, made it very clear during my first week in the job he didn't want to be here and wanted to move back to the north.

"We spoke about a new contract but he was insistent. Jonny is a good guy who was great for this club but sometimes you have to accept it becomes about getting the best deal for the football club."

16.57 BST: Sky Sports reports that Middlesbrough have had a bid rejected for Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow.

The 25-year-old is also thought to be a target for Championship sides Aston Villa and Reading.

16.40 BST: DONE DEAL Paris Saint-Germain have signed left-back Yuri Berchiche from Real Sociedad.

Upon signing Berchiche told the club's official website: "I'm extremely happy and I can't wait to join Paris Saint-Germain. It will be an honour to wear the jersey of this club, which has become one of the best and most admired in Europe.

"I'm convinced that I will find here the perfect environment in which to reach my potential -- by making progress and winning titles.

"Everyone knows how ambitious Paris Saint-Germain is in Europe. In conjunction with the staff and players, I will do all I can to help fly the Paris Saint-Germain flag as high as possible." 

16.10 BST: Amid major transfer speculation, Marco Verratti has returned for preseason training at Paris Saint-Germain.

In case you missed the latest update in Barcelona's interest in Verratti, here is the full story. 

15.55 BST: DONE DEAL Young Chelsea goalkeeper Bradley Collins has joined League Two new boys Forest Green Rovers on loan.

15.41 BST: Bad news for Liverpool fans hoping to sign Naby Keita from RB Leipzig.

"I'm assuming that today, our transfer efforts are completed, Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick said, as reported by the Independent. "There are no pain limits, even in the three-digit range.

"We will not give a starter, and it does not matter if someone says he does not know where he is going next season, it's enough when we know. These players have come to us to be able to play Champions League at any given time."

15.25 BST: It's been rather quiet on the Cristiano Ronaldo front of late, but that is nothin to worry about according to his Real Madrid teammate Marcelo.

Speaking on Brazilian TV, Marcelo said: "Of course I speak with him. I am not worried. Many things said in the press are lies. There is no reason for me to be worried." Full story.

15.11 BST: DONE DEAL AC Milan have confirmed the signing of 23-year-old right-back Andrea Conti from Atalanta on a five-year deal.

The Italy under-21 international is the club's seventh signing of the summer.

15.00 BST: Toulouse are considering a move for Yaya Sanogo following his release by Arsenal according to reports in the French press, with the Ligue 1 side keen to bolster their attacking options ahead of the new campaign. Full story.

14.41 BST: Former Arsenal defender Johan Djourou, a free agent since leaving Hamburg, will sign for Montpellier next week, according to L'Equipe.

14.27 BST: Real Madrid have unveiled Jesus Vallejo. The young defender will take a spot in Zinedine Zidane's squad in place of Pepe who departed for Besiktas.

Speaking at the Bernabeu, Vallejo said: "Many thanks to the president and the club, who have shown a lot of confidence in me since I signed two years ago," he said. "Since then I have wanted to return this confidence. I still have a long way to go.

"With humility, hard work, effort and sacrifice I hope to be here for many years, as this is the best club in the world. I also thank the fans for their welcome. I am very happy to take on this responsibility. I will give everything for this badge and this shirt."

14.14 BST: Marc Cucurella has agreed a new two-year deal with Barcelona after starring in the B team's promotion back to the second tier of Spanish football last season, the club have confirmed.

There is also an option for the contract to be extended for an additional two years if the left-back's progression continues as hoped. Full story.

14.07 BST: DONE DEAL Barcelona defender Jeremy Mathieu has joined Sporting Lisbon on a two-year contract with a €60m release clause.

13.54 BST: Arsenal have seen bids of £30m and £40m rejected for Thomas Lemar, but they will make a third attempt to sign the Monaco man, the Mirror reports.

In case you're not fully clued up on Lemar, here are five things to know about the 21-year-old France international ...

13.40 BST: Everton might be in the market for Wayne Rooney and Olivier Giroud but Gylfi Sigurdsson is their preferred signing the Daily Mail claims.

Swansea say Sigurdsson is not for sale but Everton will make a £32m bid in an effort to land the Iceland international.

13.21 BST: DONE DEAL Nottingham Forest have completed the signing of 18-year-old defender Joe Coveney from Manchester City...

13.04 BST: Manchester United are still in talks with Tottenham over the possibility of signing Eric Dier, the Daily Telegraph reports. United have already had one bid knocked back, with Tottenham holding out for an offer in the region of £50 million.

12.50 BST: Real Betis are hoping to fend off attempts by both Real Madrid and Barcelona to sign midfielder Dani Ceballos. "We are working with the idea that the player will remain at Betis," president Angel Haro said. Story here.

12.38 BST: It's shaping up to be a busy Friday at Middlesbrough...

12.27 BST: DONE DEAL Fulham have confirmed the arrival of Ibrahima Cisse from Belgian outfit Standard Liege for an undisclosed fee...

12.20 BST: Stoke manager Mark Hughes has confirmed the club are working on a loan deal for Manchester City midfielder Fabian Delph. "We've asked for an idea in terms of the possibility of doing something," he said. "He's one of a number of players we're looking at." Story here.

12.09 BST: Bournemouth winger Max Gradel is being lined up for loan move to Championship side Sunderland, sources close to both clubs have told ESPN FC.

11.56 BST: Everton are holding out to strike a deal worth up to £90 million with Manchester United for the sale of Romelu Lukaku, Sky Sports claims. United have agreed an initial fee of £75m, but Everton want a number of add-ons inserted into the deal.

11.36 BST: Atletico Madrid defender Jose Gimenez has said that while he would love to play in the Premier League, he would sign a new contract if offered one by his current club. "I dream about playing in the Premier League because all the games are pretty even," he said. "But if Atletico make a contract for life, I am staying." Story here.

11.25 BST: Inter Milan are lining up a bid to bring Alexis Sanchez to the San Siro, Gazzetta dello Sport claims. Inter want the Arsenal man to form a strike partnership with Mauro Icardi, which they believe would be "of Scudetto proportions."

11.11 BST: DONE DEAL There's been an outgoing transfer at Newcastle, with winger Alex Gilliead moving to Bradford on loan for a second spell at the club...

11.06 BST: Everton are closing in on yet another summer signing, according to Sky Sports...

11.02 BST: According to El Mercurio in Chile, Bayern Munich are keen to extend Arturo Vidal's contract until 2021 and give him a 20 percent pay rise, which would make him one of the top earners at the club alongside Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski.

10.56 BST: Barcelona want to sign Marco Verratti and the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder wants to move to the Camp Nou, the Catalan club's president Josep Maria Bartomeu has said. "Verratti is a player we like," Bartomeu said. "And we know that the player wants to come to Barca." Story here.

10.44 BST: DONE DEAL Montpellier have signed Jonathan Ikone on loan for the season from Paris Saint-Germain, having had the 19-year-old at the club on a temporary basis for the second half of last term too... 

10.25 BST: DONE DEAL Inter Milan have secured the signing of Milan Skriniar, with the defender joining from Sampdoria on a five-year deal... Story here.

10.18 BST: With Romelu Lukaku seemingly on the verge of sealing a big-money move from Everton to Manchester United, the ESPN FC TV crew ask if the Belgium international is the right man for Jose Mourinho's team...

10.05 BST: Arsenal fans have Francis Coquelin to thank for helping to convince Alexandre Lacazette to sign for the club... "He has said only good things about Arsenal, which is not surprising because he wanted me to join the club," Lacazette said. Story here.

09.50 BST: Where will Joe Hart end up going this summer? Well, according to The Sun, it won't be West Ham, who have cooled their interest in the goalkeeper after learning that Manchester City want to sell him for £20 million, rather than sending him out on loan.

09.40 BST: Staying in Germany, RB Leipzig have indicated they could consider bids for Scotland international Oliver Burke. "I can't tell you what will happen if someone comes up with an unforeseeable offer," Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick said. Story here.

09.27 BST: Borussia Dortmund want Shinji Kagawa to sign a new contract with the club, according to sporting director Michael Zorc. "It's certainly our intention to prolong with Shinji," Zorc said. "He's got impressive stats, can always make the difference, and he has shown that he can perform under pressure." Story here.

09.12 BST: It's another DONE DEAL for Premier League new boys Huddersfield, who have just announced the signing of centre-back Mathias Jorgensen from Copenhagen on a three-year deal... Story here.

08.59 BST: Sticking with Arsenal, the North London club are also interested in signing Eintracht Frankfurt's Aymen Barkok, according to reports in Germany, and have submitted an offer for the midfielder.

08.49 BST: Arsenal have returned with an improved offer of around £40 million for Monaco's Thomas Lemar, according to L'Equipe, having previously seen a bid in the region of £30m knocked back by the Ligue 1 club this summer.

08.37 BST: Cologne striker Anthony Modeste's move to China had looked to have fallen through, though Bild is now reporting that he has signed a contract with Tianjin Quanjian after all and will join the club for around €35.7 million.

08.26 BST: DONE DEAL Remember ex-Chelsea and Barcelona striker Eidur Gudjohnsen? Course you do. Well, Swansea have just signed his half-brother Arnor Gudjohnsen from Iceland Premier League side Breidablik...

08.15 BST: Free agent Gael Clichy is expected to finalise a move to join Istanbul Basaksehir on Friday, with the former Manchester City and Arsenal player due to undergo a medical before signing a new contract with the Turkish club. Story here.

08.04 BST: Morning all and welcome back to Transfer Talk... It's off to Spain we head first, where Real Betis are closing in on the signing of PSV Eindhoven's Mexico international Andres Guardado. "He'll give us a lot," Betis sporting vice president Lorenzo Serra Ferrer said. "He is a great footballer with an impressive resume." Story here.

Pogba steered Lukaku to Man United

Unsurprisingly, much of the focus in Friday's newspapers is on Romelu Lukaku's proposed move to Manchester United, and the Mirror reckons Paul Pogba played a key role in convincing his close friend to join him at Old Trafford next season.

The report, which says Everton striker Lukaku will earn around £200,000 a week when he moves to United on a four-year contract, also claims Chelsea and Real Madrid will both miss out as a result of the deal. Chelsea because they were confident of re-signing Lukaku and Madrid because they believed they could sell Morata to the Red Devils for more than £75m.

The Telegraph writes that although Chelsea will continue to try to sign Lukaku ahead of United, doing so would require the player to pull out of a move to join up with Jose Mourinho's squad, which is a risk. The Premier League champions will now have to assess alternatives with Morata, Alexis Sanchez, Andrea Belotti and even Christian Benteke mooted as possible signings.

Barca to open negotiations for Bellerin

Sport claims Arsenal will reluctantly open negotiations with Barcelona over the transfer of Hector Bellerin after the player expressed a desire to leave, but there is major disparity in the respective clubs' valuation of the right-back.

Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin reportedly wants to return to Barcelona this summer.

Although they are reported to be on friendly terms, the Spain international's sale could be a drawn-out process with Barca planning to lodge a €30m bid and Arsenal hoping to receive closer to €50m.

Bellerin moved to Arsenal from his hometown club as a youth player and, after establishing himself as an important member of Arsene Wenger's side, signed a contract until 2022 late last year. However, his personal intervention to request a move will be key to his sale.

Tap-ins

- Not content with the arrival of John Terry, Aston Villa have made an ambitious bid to sign Joe Hart from Manchester City. The Birmingham Mail claims Villa are waiting to hear back from Hart, but unsurprisingly, they see the chances of them landing the England No. 1 as small ahead of the World Cup next summer.

- Marseille are now leading the pursuit of Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud, the Telegraph reports, and are hopeful of completing a deal worth €28m plus add-ons. Everton, West Ham and Lyon are also keen on the France international, should he move this summer, but they will have to move fast to beat Marseille.

- The London Evening Standard claims Manuel Lanzini will be the latest West Ham player to sign a new long-term contract as the club looks to keep hold of their star names. Pedro Obiang and Angelo Ogbonna have already committed to West Ham until 2022, and once Lanzini has agreed on a deal, a move for a new star striker will be stepped up with Michy Batshuayi and Andre Gray mentioned.

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