Transfer Talk: Barcelona players plead for Thiago homecoming
The transfer window is open, and Transfer Talk has the latest rumours making the rounds. Follow live with our daily blog throughout the summer.
TOP STORY: Barca players want Thiago return
After five years apart, many of Barcelona's senior players feel the time is right to be reunited with Thiago Alcantara, according to Catalan outlet Sport.
With Andres Iniesta having left the club, and the Blaugrana believing that Philippe Coutinho could be more dangerous as a forward than a midfielder, Thiago becomes an intriguing proposition for the Spanish champions.
The 27-year-old doesn't stand to feature in incoming Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac's plans, and the German champions reportedly will entertain offers this summer. The report states that they'll expect to receive €80 million for the midfielder Pep Guardiola recruited when he moved to Bavaria in 2013, though that fee could well be negotiated down to €50 million.
Having spent more than eight years with Barcelona, Thiago remains close with several of the club's biggest stars, including Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto. And it's said that several of the Blaugrana's key figures have spoken to club president Josep Maria Bartomeu about bringing Thiago back.
20.15 BST: Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino will make a decision on the futures of the 10 players loaned out by the club last season and consult academy head John McDermott about plans for the younger players who made temporary moves, Football London reports.
19.45 BST: Norwich midfielder James Maddison is a wanted man, and Sky Sports reports that Everton are "leading a group of Premier League clubs keen to sign Norwich's Player of the Year." Other interested parties include Leicester, Liverpool and Tottenham.
19.15 BST: Reports in Portugal suggest Sporting Lisbon winger Gelson Martins could soon emerge as a major target for Arsenal boss Unai Emery.
18.30 BST: Birmingham City might need to show a little patience -- the Birmingham Mail reports that although defender Kristian Pedersen, his club Union Berlin have said a move is "not ready" to be completed.
18.00 BST: An interesting one from the East End of London: West Ham are in discussions with PSG about a potential move for midfielder Javier Pastore, says the Guardian.
17.00 BST: Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill has tipped defender Jonny Evans to move back to the top flight in the summer after West Brom's relegation to the Championship. He told Sky Sports: "Jonny has all the attributes to play in a top-six side, there's no doubt about that. The price you can get him for is an absolute steal, given what people are buying players for nowadays."
16.45 BST: The Egyptian FA has given Stoke winger Ramadan Sobhi permission to undergo a medical at Huddersfield, the Stoke Sentinel reports.
16.30 BST: Watford have told their former boss Marco Silva, now in charge at Everton, "to forget about launching a bid for Richarlison" amid the continuing acrimony between the two clubs, according to the Mirror. Watford accused Everton of making an illegal approach for Silva last year.
16.15 BST: Inter Milan's Slovakia defender Milan Skriniar has said he remains fully focused on the club despite speculation that he could leave in the summer, according to reports.
15.45 BST: Nottingham Forest are in talks to sign Benfica duo Joao Carvalho and Diogo Goncalves, both of whom were linked with Wolves last summer, the Birmingham Mail reports.
15.15 BST: Atletico Madrid are interested in Monaco midfielder Thomas Lemar, with officials having travelled to the principality for talks, AS has reported.
14.30 BST: Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has said several players will be going in and out at the La Liga champions this summer but would not confirm whether Antoine Griezmann would be one of them.
Atletico Madrid forward Griezmann said after France's friendly win over Italy on Friday that he would announce his plans before the World Cup begins.
14.15 BST: Sporting Lisbon goalkeeper Rui Patricio, a reported transfer target for Wolves, has asked for his contract to be terminated, with club president Bruno de Carvalho accusing agent Jorge Mendes of "blackmail" over the situation.
14.00 BST: Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann has said he does not think Mohamed Salah will follow stars such as Luis Suarez or Philippe Coutinho in moving to La Liga from Anfield.
"I think that he has found a home, somewhere he is respected and appreciated, and he's also working with a manager who was brave enough to pay a lot of money for him," the Mirror quotes him as saying.
13.30 BST: Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has told Corriere dello Sport that he has "refused an offer from Man City worth €45 million plus €5m in bonuses" for midfielder Jorginho.
13.15 BST: And still the Emre Can saga goes on: Calciomercato reports that Liverpool's Germany international midfielder has agreed a four-year contract with Juventus and will wrap up a long-mooted free transfer move in the next few days.
12.45 BST: And staying in the North-East, the Chronicle also tells us that Newcastle have been linked with BSC Young Boys defender Kasim Nuhu, who is valued at around £8 million.
12.15 BST: Sunderland midfielder Paddy McNair has said he is keen to return to the Premier League after the club, relegated to League One, rejected two bids from Brighton. The former Manchester United player is also being linked with Championship sides Norwich, Derby and Stoke, the Chronicle reports.
12.00 BST: Perrennial transfer window star William Carvalho is linked with a Premier League transfer yet again, according to Sky Sports. They say that Sporting Lisbon are actively trying to offload the Portugal midfielder, who could become new manager Marco Silva's first signing at Goodison Park.
11.30 BST: Liverpool have been linked with a bid for Ousmane Dembele over the last day or so, and the Barcelona starlets stunning goal in France's 3-1 win over Italy last night will have only whetted the appetites of Reds fans even more.
However, Mundo Deportivo reports that the 21-year-old is happy at the Camp Nou. There had been reports that Jurgen Klopp was to meet the player's mother personally to try and talk her into recommending a move. Perhaps she's the only person who can resist his charms?
11.00 BST: Paris Saint-Germain playmaker Javier Pastore is unaware of reported talks between the French champions and Premier League club West Ham United, a source close to the Argentina international told ESPN FC.
Pastore, 28, is at a crossroads in his PSG career after a disappointing seventh season at Parc des Princes, which garnered four goals and six assists from 25 Ligue 1 appearances. A loan move to Inter Milan collapsed in January, which contributed towards him failing to make his country's World Cup squad for this summer's event in Russia.
The source said Interest from West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini is news to the former Palermo man, who has not heard anything yet. But while Pastore is not yet in talks with the Hammers, nor any other Premier League clubs, that could change this summer.
10.30 BST: Nothing gets the transfer rumour mill grinding like a kit launch, and Riyad Mahrez's presence at the photoshoot for Leicester City's 2018-19 outfit has got Foxes fans hoping the Algerian will remain at the club.
The BBC reported on Thursday that Manchester City are close to paying out about £60 million for Mahrez and £42m for Napoli's Jorginho, with both deals possibly completed as soon as the end of next week.
But this footage of Mahrez happily juggling away in the blue of Leicester might suggest differently...
10.00 BST: Egypt's World Cup squad all about Mohamed Salah, you know. Another player looking to bounce back from late-season disappointment is winger Ramadan Sobhi, who was relegated from the Premier League with Stoke City. Sources have told ESPN FC that Huddersfield are in talks to bring him back to the top flight.
09.30 BST: A recap on a couple of Manchester United stories that ESPN FC brought you yesterday:
United are interested in signing Gareth Bale this summer but have been given no indication Real Madrid are willing to sell, sources have told ESPN FC. Sources close to United have insisted the club are always in the market to buy the best players in the world -- of which they consider Bale to be one. But they are keen to avoid a protracted transfer saga and will only seriously consider a move if they are given encouragement by Real Madrid or Bale's representatives.
United are in talks with Juventus over the sale of Matteo Darmian but the clubs are yet to agree a fee, sources have told ESPN FC. The Italian champions are keen to bring Darmian back to Serie A three years after he left Torino for Old Trafford. Jose Mourinho has said he wants to keep the 28-year-old in his squad. But after Darmian made just five Premier League starts last season, sources said the player is open to a move. United would like to recoup as much of the £12.7 million they paid Torino in 2015, and sources said Juventus have not yet met their valuation.
09.00 BST: If Tottenham fans didn't have enough to worry about with manager Mauricio Pochettino not exactly shutting down links with the Real Madrid job, it appears Christian Eriksen's agent is also talking up the possibility of a move elsewhere.
The playmaker has long been linked with Barcelona, but agent Martin Schoots says that there are others looking at the Denmark international.
"The only thing I can say is that concerning the interest of several clubs in Christian is that we prefer not to comment," Schoots said in the Evening Standard. "Christian wants to focus completely on the World Cup - just as he did before on qualifying for the Champions League with Spurs.
"But becoming a father for the first time very soon, there is even something bigger at the moment he is giving his attention to."
PAPER TALK: Villa set £40m asking price for Grealish
With Aston Villa set for another season in the Championship following their promotion playoff final defeat to Fulham, owner Tony Xia has sanctioned the sale of 22-year-old Jack Grealish, the Star reports. But he won't come cheap.
The report states that the England U21 international will cost interested clubs £40m. While that number may put some off, some of the Premier League's more affluent clubs could be willing to do business at that price, especially if the Villans can be persuaded to come down from that number, if only slightly.
The Star reports that Tottenham and West Ham are interested in bringing Grealish to London. And in recent days, Manchester United have also been credited with a desire to sign Villa's No. 10.
Terry to join Lampard at Derby
Just a day after Frank Lampard was introduced as the new Derby County manager, the Star is reporting that former Chelsea teammate John Terry will leave Aston Villa for Championship rivals Rams.
The report states that the 37-year-old former Chelsea and England captain has already agreed to a deal to play for his former vice-captain with the Blues. And it's expected he'll take a wage cut to move to Pride Park.
Derby are looking to trim their wage bill this summer, and with the club's highest earners making roughly half of the £60,000 a week Terry pulled down at Villa Park, he's sure to earn less in his second season in England's second division.
- Manchester United look to have wrapped up a deal for Fred, according to the Mail, who reports that the Red Devils have reached an agreement of £52.2m including add-ons, and that the Brazilian will undergo a medical next week.
- Sky Italia journalist Mario Giunta has tweeted that Juventus have wrapped up their deal to sign Emre Can on a free transfer, and that the former Liverpool midfielder will undergo a medical next week.
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