Transfer Talk: Barcelona line up €70m Thiago move amid Real Madrid interest
The transfer window is open, and Transfer Talk has the latest rumours making the rounds. Follow along with our daily blog throughout the summer.
Barcelona, Real Madrid battle for Thiago
Thiago Alcantara will be the focus of Barcelona and Real Madrid as the Spanish giants go head to head for the Bayern Munich star.
The Spain international is currently in Russia for the World Cup, but after five years in Germany, Sport says he set for a move back to La Liga. Bayern will sell for €70 million, having signed the 27-year-old for just €25m in 2013.
Sporting director Eric Abidal and Ernesto Valverde have agreed to sign a ball-playing midfielder and will move for Thiago to ensure he does not join their bitter rivals.
Should Madrid be unable to land Thiago, then N'Golo Kante could emerge as a priority. Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain are also interested, claims Le Parisien, with Kante likely to consider his Chelsea future after the club's failure to qualify for the Champions League and the likelihood of Antonio Conte leaving the club.
22:00 BST: That's all for Transfer Talk tonight but we'll be right back with a look at what's in the Monday papers. As always, thanks for stopping by!
21.42 BST: The Sun is reporting that Riyad Mahrez is responsible for holding up a move to Manchester City due to his desire to get a piece of the fee Pep Guardiola's side would lay out for him.
Mahrez has been a target of the Etihad club since January when a deal for the Leicester winger fell through at the last minute due to Leicester's exorbitant transfer fee demands. And now, this.
20.59 BST: DONE DEAL Bet you never thought you'd see two Hamilton stories on Transfer Talk, but here it is: The ultra-active Scottish side have announced the signing of 28-year-old midfielder Tom Taiwo, who played for Falkirk the past four seasons.
20.13 BST: Newcastle are in "no hurry" to sell Serbia striker Aleksandar Mitrovic after his strong performances at the World Cup this summer, and are "hopeful of extracting maximum value" should manager Rafa Benitez decide to part ways, according to the Newcastle Chronicle.
19.29 BST: We've got a DONE DEAL as Mason Bloomfield has been loaned to Hamilton Academical from Norwich City.
New recruit from Norwich, @MasonBloomfield , was born in Westminster, so is picking up the nickname 'The MP' 👍😊— Hamilton Accies FC (@acciesfc) June 24, 2018
18.41 BST: Mateo Kovacic is looking to leave Real Madrid to get more regular minutes, according to a story in Marca, with the 24-year-old Manchester City target telling the outlet the best thing for his career would be to change clubs.
17.56 BST: The Liverpool Echo reports that Everton fans are firmly on board with the Toffees' reported interest in signing towering England midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
17:21 BST: Aston Villa have put the brakes on any transfer activity until owner Tony Xia secures further investment in the club -- or at least seeks clarity over their cash flow issues.
The Birmingham News reported that Villa, who relied heavily upon free transfers and loaned players last season, are far enough away from a financial understanding that manager Steve Bruce, whose team is due to report for training by the end of the week, has not even drafted a list of potential transfer targets.
17:01 BST: Paris Saint-Germain could offload Alphonse Areola with former Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon set to arrive -- and Napoli could offer left-back Faouzi Ghoulam as a makeweight in any deal for Areola, Le Buteur reported.
Agent Jorge Mendes has reportedly floated his client to PSG sporting director Antero Henrique, though a deal is not close.
16:26 BST: Manchester United's Scott McTominay could go out on loan next season to play as much competitive football as possible and Celtic have emerged as a potential suitor, according to the Scotsman.
McTominay, who decided in February to represent Scotland at international level, made just seven Premier League appearances for United last season.
15:35 BST: The long-rumoured departure of Marek Hamsik from Napoli will not materialise after his move to an undisclosed Chinese Super League club fell through, Sky Sport Italia reported.
The Napoli captain had been eager to seek a new challenge -- and his father even said last month that it was virtually guaranteed Hamsik would go to China -- but president Aurelio De Laurentiis was holding out for €30-35m and only received an offer of €15m.
14:58 BST: Australia international Trent Sainsbury could be joining teammate Mile Jedinak at Aston Villa, the Sun reported.
Sainsbury, under contract with Jiangsu Suning, has been loaned to Inter Milan and Grasshoppers in the last two years and is interested in a move, but his agent said any discussions will wait until after the World Cup.
13:46 BST: Sevilla have made an approach for Newcastle United defender Florian Lejeune, who left Eibar to join the club last summer, El Desmarque reported.
Lejeune was purchased for €10m and Newcastle will not accept less than €15m to let him leave so quickly as manager Rafa Benitez considers Lejeune to be an important player and does not want to let him go.
12:59 BST: Juventus could be able to cash in on a bidding war for Stefano Sturaro, who has caught the eye of several Premier League clubs, according to Calciomercato.
The sale of Sturaro could help Juve, who have identified a number of high-profile targets this summer as they try to finally break through and win the Champions League.
12:17 BST: Roma will announce the signing of former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Javier Pastore on Monday, according to Sky Sport Italia.
Pastore's move will be for upwards of €25 million, according to reports, and will be another boost as PSG try to raise €40-60 million by Friday to satisfy their financial fair play obligations.
12:02 BST: Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan will travel to Milan on Sunday evening in advance of a Monday medical at Inter Milan, Sky Sport Italia reported.
The same is true for the two Inter players heading to Roma in exchange for Nainggolan -- Davide Santon and Nicolo Zaniolo.
11:46 BST: Serbia international Aleksandar Mitrovic has made it clear that he wants to move to Fulham permanently, according to journalist Dean Jones.
Mitrovic, who left Newcastle United on loan in January, was arguably the star of Fulham's promotion run-in as the forward scored 12 goals in 20 appearances.
11:17 BST: Tunisia international Wahbi Khazri, who has been under contract at Sunderland since 2016, is seeking a permanent move away from the club now that they have been relegated to League One, the Sunderland Echo reported.
Khazri, who went on loan to Rennes last season, has been linked to Besiktas, Marseilles and Monaco but said he is interested in resuming his career in England -- preferably in the Premier League.
11:01 BST: Former Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster could be making his return to Vicarage Road this summer, according to the Watford Observer.
Foster, who went on loan to Watford from 2005 through 2007, has been at West Bromwich Albion since 2012 and could be tempted to return to the Premier League in a deal worth £10m.
10:26 BST: Barcelona are open to moving Colombia international Yerry Mina this summer and Real Betis have expressed their interest in welcoming him, Sport reported.
Mina only joined Barca in January, but with the expected arrival of Clement Lenglet from Sevilla and Arthur from Gremio, Mina will have to fight for a place and a loan to Betis could be beneficial for all parties.
10:12 BST: Mainz defender Abdou Diallo, weighing a return to France or prolonging his career in Germany, has opted for the latter in agreeing to move to Borussia Dortmund, L'Equipe has reported.
Diallo moved from Monaco to Mainz last year for €5m and the German club will cash in, with Dortmund reportedly paying €30m to secure the services of the 22-year-old France youth international.
09:47 BST: Celtic midfielder Stuart Armstrong is close to making a £7m move to Southampton, according to the Mirror.
Armstrong joined Celtic in 2015 and made his Scotland debut in March 2017 in a World Cup qualifier against Slovenia.
09:28 BST: West Ham United have been following Felipe Anderson for some time, but they could be priced out of a move for the Lazio winger, according to Football London.
West Ham had reportedly agreed to a €30m deal for Anderson earlier this week, but Lazio now are asking for €34m plus add-ons -- and a 10 percent cut in any future transfer.
08:59 BST: There's one way for Paris Saint-Germain to immediately ease their financial fair play sanctions -- and that would be to sell Kylian Mbappe to either Manchester United or Manchester City, according to the Mirror.
Mbappe, who was technically on loan at PSG last season before becoming the property of the club this summer, moved in a deal worth €180 million plus bonuses. But with PSG needing to raise €40-60m before Friday, a sale of Mbappe would more than realise that goal.
08:30 BST: He may have been sent off for Germany last night but Jerome Boateng is of interest to both Manchester clubs, according to the Mirror. He's actually a former Manchester City player, so will he choose a reunion or go to the red half?
PAPER TALK (By Jack Rathborn)
Juve plot mega double swoop
Tuttosport reports that Juventus are lining up two major signings in the form of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and a new striker: either Chelsea's Alvaro Morata or Inter Milan's Mauro Icardi.
The Old Lady have been busy already this summer, finalising five new signings: Joao Cancelo from Valencia, Emre Can on a free after his Liverpool contract expired, Mattia Caldara and Leonardo Spinazzola.
Gonzalo Higuain's time could be coming to an end however, with Juve looking for a younger, more mobile forward to pair with Paulo Dybala.
Lazio will look to keep Milinkovic-Savic despite being unable to offer Champions League football, and Chelsea could be open to selling Morata after his struggles to adapt to the Premier League.
Meanwhile, Inter could be open to a deal for Icardi if they are able to receive Higuain in return, given the €110m release clause in their captain's contract.
United turn to Gaya
Manchester United have changed up their left-back target after failing to negotiate down a deal for Alex Sandro.
The Juventus star would cost £50m, and United feel they can get better value elsewhere in the form of Jose Luis Gaya.
The Valencia star, 23, will cost around £30m, claims the Mirror, as Jose Mourinho aims to solve a long-standing problem position.
- Napoli are closing in on signing two Udinese goalkeepers: Alex Meret and Orestis Karnezis.
Corriere dello Sport says a joint fee of €30m will said to be enough to convince the Zebrette to sell.
- Arthur will join Barcelona this summer after the Spanish champions paid an additional €3m to Gremio to bring forward the move that was initially planned for January 2019.
The total package is now almost €30m, according to Globo Esporte, with Financial Fair Play considerations meaning an announcement will not be made until July 15.
- Everton boss Marco Silva is plotting moves for Jack Wilshere and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
The Mirror reports the Toffees are at the front of queue for Loftus-Cheek, with Crystal Palace and Newcastle also vying for the World Cup star's signature.
Wilshere will be available on a free after announcing he will not extend his stay with Arsenal.
- The Mail says Chelsea could use Alvaro Morata as a makeweight in a deal for United States international Christian Pulisic.
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