Transfer Talk: Real Madrid ready £200m move for Chelsea's Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois
The transfer window is open, and Transfer Talk has the latest rumours making the rounds. Follow along with our daily blog throughout the summer.
Real Madrid close in on Chelsea pair
Chelsea are set to suffer a double blow less than four weeks before the start of the new season as Real Madrid close in on two of the club's star players.
According to the Daily Star, the Spanish giants have made Eden Hazard their number one target to replace Cristiano Ronaldo after he sparkled for Belgium at the World Cup.
Hazard could command a world-record fee in excess of £200 million, but that apparently hasn't deterred Madrid, with Marca claiming the La Liga side are also in for the winger's teammate Thibaut Courtois.
With Courtois' contract expiring in a year's time and talks over an extension reaching gridlock, it looks as though Chelsea will be forced to cash in for around £35 million.
Meanwhile, in a move that would add insult to injury, the Star adds that Madrid intend to beat the Blues to Robert Lewandowski.
The striker has expressed his wish to leave Bayern Munich this summer, but so far, no offers have been forthcoming.
22.29 BST: That's going to bring Wednesday's live edition of Transfer Talk to a close. Thanks very much for joining us, and be sure to check back in a few short hours when we return with the latest gossip pulled from Thursday's back pages.
21.52 BST: After having a £5m bid rejected for James Chester, Stoke are planning on returning to Aston Villa with £8m in hand to sign the 29-year-old centre-back, according to the Mail.
21.15 BST: Fulham are reviving their interest in Southampton left-back Matt Targett, according to the Mirror. The 22-year-old enjoyed a successful season on loan at Craven Cottage last term, and after having a £5m bid rejected earlier this summer, the West London club will now return with an £8m offer.
20.48 BST: It's a DONE DEAL! Former United States international Mix Diskerud is joining K-League side Ulsan Hyundai on loan from Manchester City, the Korean club announced on Tuesday. Read the full story.
20.21 BST: Arsenal are preparing to announce a deal for Barcelona's 16-year-old left-back Joel Lopez, the Evening Standard reports, with the London club reportedly having agreed scholarship terms ahead of signing him to a professional contract when he turns 17 in March.
19.44 BST: It's a DONE DEAL! Udinese have signed Venezuela winger Darwin Machis from Spanish side Granada on a four-year contract after a successful trial.
19.17 BST: Chelsea are closing in on a deal for Juventus centre-back Daniele Rugani, according to Goal.com. The report states that the two sides met on Wednesday to discuss a deal for the 23-year-old, and while the London club have offered €40m and the Italian giants are holding out for €50m, the talks are said to have been positive.
18.50 BST: Genoa have resigned themselves to the fate of losing Diego Laxalt, talkSPORT cites Gazzetta dello Sport as reporting. After the 25-year-old's impressive World Cup with Uruguay, the Serie A outfit will now cash in to the tune of £18m, with West Ham leading Everton and Bournemouth in the chase for the left-back's signature.
18.23 BST: More news out of Milan comes courtesy of Gazzetta dello Sport, who reports that the agent of centre-back Leonardo Bonucci has met with Paris Saint-Germain officials in the French capital to discuss the Rossoneri captain's potential departure. The report states that the 31-year-old wants to see if Milan's exclusion from the Europa League is upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, as well as who will take over the Italian club's board, but a move to Ligue 1 could be a very real possibility for the former Juventus mainstay.
17.56 BST: Earlier in the day we brought you news of AC Milan's interest in Alvaro Morata, and now Corriere dello Sport is suggesting that the Rossoneri could not only sell Suso to raise funds for such a move, but also Gianluigi Donnarumma, who the report states could interest Chelsea as Real Madrid close in on Thibaut Courtois.
17.29 BST: The Express cites German outlet Bild as reporting that Manchester United are interested in signing 31-year-old midfielder Arturo Vidal, who has one year remaining on his Bayern Munich contract and has been deemed surplus to requirements by new manager Niko Kovac.
17.02 BST: Getafe are hoping to instigate a bidding war for centre-back Djene. AS cites L'Equipe as reporting that Leicester have offered €28m for the 26-year-old Togo international, but have been told they'll need to activate his €35m buyout clause to get the Togo international. Meanwhile, Sevilla -- who the report states would be the Djene's preferred destination -- have bid €15m, which Getafe have countered by demanding €25m plus €10m in add-ons.
16.25 BST: Roma will use the money made from the sale of Alisson to sign Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Alphonse Areola and Fiorentina winger Federico Chiesa, according to Corriere dello Sport.
The France international has reportedly already agreed personal terms with the club.
16.20 BST: Sky Sports News say that, despite travelling to the United States for Manchester City's preseason tour, Oleksandr Zinchenko is expected to leave the club this window.
16.00 BST: Contrary to reports in England and on the continent, the Liverpool Echo believe Everton are not interested in signing Malcom.
15.50 BST: Sky Sport Italia, via Football Italia, report that Stoke have had a €15 million bid for Vlad Chiriches knocked back by Napoli.
15.40 BST: Arsenal have spent the entirety of their transfer budget and will have to sell players to finance any more signings, according to Football.London.
15.30 BST: Gianluca Di Marzio is reporting that Alisson to Liverpool is a done deal.
15.20 BST: Corriere dello Sport, via Calciomercato, report that AC Milan winger Suso has a new €40 million release clause, with the club reportedly open to selling him to fund a move for Alvaro Morata.
15.10 BST: Following up on The Independent reporting of Manchester United's interest in Robert Lewandowski and Thiago, they also believe the club are confident in finalising deals for Alex Sandro and Toby Alderweireld.
15.00 BST: Alvaro Odriozola has been unveiled as a Real Madrid player...
14.50 BST: Foot Mercato say Everton will only sign Malcom from Bordeaux if they are able to offload Ademola Lookman for €20 million first.
The former Charlton forward has been linked with a move to RB Leipzig, where he spent the second half of last season on loan.
14.40 BST: Is Maurizio Sarri about to dip his toes into the transfer market again?
Sarri hints at Rugani: "I spoke with the football club and said ideally I think that a pinch of quality is lacking in our centre-backs for a certain kind of play, otherwise they are at a very high level." #cfc— Liam Twomey (@liam_twomey) July 18, 2018
14.30 BST: After Fiorentina failed to reach an agreement with Juventus, Valencia have revived their interest in Marko Pjaca, Football Italia say.
14.20 BST: Manchester United are considering moves for Bayern Munich pair Robert Lewandowski and Thiago, according to The Independent.
14.10 BST: Super Deporte write that Valencia remain interested in Manchester United defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah.
14.00 BST: The Lancashire Telegraph report that Burnley have held talks with Swansea duo Alfie Mawson and Sam Clucas.
13.50 BST: Here is ESPN FC's Liverpool blogger David Usher on how signing Alisson would be huge for the club.
13.40 BST: Fanatik claim Fenerbache have agreed a deal with Everton to take Yannick Bolasie on loan for the season.
13.30 BST: Atletico Madrid are seeking permission from FIFA before they complete a deal to sign Gelson Martins, AS say.
The Portugal winger had his contract at Sporting Lisbon rescinded, but the club are still asking for a transfer fee in excess of €45 million for him.
13.20 BST: Sky Sports Italia and Guardian journalist Fabrizio Romano has an update on Everton's pursuit of Malcom...
13.10 BST: Jose Mourinho still has an "almost impossible dream" to sign Raphael Varane, according to Mundo Deportivo.
13.00 BST: Cengiz Under is the subject of interest from Manchester City, but they will not move for the Roma winger this summer, Calciomercato say.
12.50 BST: Everton have approached Adnan Januzaj over a possible transfer from Real Sociedad, Het Nieuwsblad say via the Mail.
12.30 BST: Gazzetta dello Sport, via the Mail, say that Wolves are interested in Inter Milan and Portugal midfielder Joao Mario.
The Serie A side are asking for £24 million for Mario, who spent the second half of last season on loan at West Ham.
12.20 BST: The Mirror write that Marco Silva is eyeing up moves for Danny Welbeck and Wilfried Zaha as he looks to overhaul the Everton squad.
12.10 BST: More here from ESPN FC's Glenn Price regarding Alisson and Liverpool.
12.05 BST: Sky Sports News are now reporting that Tottenham and Aston Villa are in talks over the transfer of Jack Grealish.
11.50 BST: Look, I am as tired of the Alisson updates without movement as much as you are, but there seems to be some headway made in Liverpool's pursuit, as reported by The Times' Paul Joyce...
Liverpool agree fee with AS Roma for Alisson in region of £66m. Nothing to stop other clubs doing likewise, but Liverpool the first. Permission granted to speak to player.— paul joyce (@_pauljoyce) July 18, 2018
11.45 BST: West Ham will rival Newcastle for Mainz and Japan forward Yoshinori Muto, BILD say.
11.35 BST: As Thibaut Courtois edges closer to a move to Real Madrid, the Evening Standard write that Chelsea will enter a bidding war with Liverpool for Alisson.
Just the 37th time an Alisson story has popped up today.
11.25 BST: Sport are quoting BILD in saying that Thiago has asked Bayern Munich to let him rejoin Barcelona this summer.
11.15 BST: Simon Johnson of the Evening Standard has an update regarding talk of Petr Cech returning to Chelsea...
11.05 BST: The Mirror are running a report from Premium Sport which states that Maurizio Sarri has called Alisson to convince him to join Chelsea over Liverpool.
10.40 BST: Mauro Icardi is set to sign a contract extension at Inter Milan, Calciomercato say.
10.30 BST: Burnley are closing in on their first signing of the summer, with Sam Clucas on the verge of joining from Swansea, according to the Burnley Express.
10.20 BST: Marco Silva is keen on bringing Richarlison to Everton, having previously signed him at Watford, The Times say.
10.10 BST: Sky Sports News report that Bournemouth are in talks with Levante over a £17 million for Colombia midfielder Jefferson Lerma.
09.45 BST: Today's cover of Corriere dello Sport says that Alvaro Morata and Gonzalo Higuain are both of interest to AC Milan...
Ecco la #primapagina di oggi:— Corriere dello Sport (@CorSport) July 18, 2018
- #Napoli, #DiMaria benedetto;
- #Calciomercato, #Higuain manda #Morata al #Milan;
- #Roma, e #Alisson se ne va;
Leggi l'#edizionedigitale ➡️ https://t.co/rD8dit9Zyh pic.twitter.com/uV46drGNwP
09.35 BST: Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio reports that Bayer Leverkusen are open to loaning Benjamin Henrichs to Inter Milan, but the Serie A side see Sime Vrsaljko and Matteo Darmian as their priorities in the full-back position.
09.25 BST: Former Newcastle defender Kevin Mbabu, now of Swiss champions Young Boys, is on the radar of Fulham, according to West London Sport.
09.15 BST: Napoli continue to be linked with Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria, while their fans dream of Edinson Cavani returning to the club, Tuttosport say.
09.05 BST: The Evening Standard report that Fulham are close to signing Newcastle's Aleksandar Mitrovic on a permanent deal for £20 million.
08.55 BST: Some good, wholesome content, featuring Liverpool's pursuit of Alisson...
When a comedian with the same name as Europe's most wanted goalkeeper trolls Liverpool fans 😂 pic.twitter.com/G6KYtkOUjI— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) July 18, 2018
08.50 BST: Croatia World Cup star Domagoj Vida has been linked with a move to the Premier League this summer.
Milliyet write that West Ham are currently in pole position to sign the Besiktas defender.
08.45 BST: Over in Turkey, Haberturk say that Manchester United have had a €13 million bid for Trabzonspor's 21-year-old midfielder Yusuf Yazici rejected by the club's president.
08.30 BST: A look at today's Marca front cover, which leads with Real Madrid stepping up their interest in Thibaut Courtois...
When the Spanish papers are following... pic.twitter.com/fe3q0vcRY5— Kristof Terreur 📰 (@HLNinEngeland) July 18, 2018
08.15 BST: Tottenham hope to complete the signing of Jack Grealish from Aston Villa before they fly out for their preseason tour of the United States on Sunday, according to the Mirror.
08.05 BST: The Telegraph report that Everton are in advanced talks to sign Bordeaux winger Malcom, who had previously been linked with Arsenal and Tottenham.
Chelsea to rival Liverpool for Alisson
With Courtois edging closer to the Stamford Bridge exit door, Chelsea are preparing to rival Liverpool's bid for Brazil goalkeeper Alisson.
According to Sky, new boss Maurizio Sarri has identified the Roma No. 1 as the ideal replacement for Courtois, despite his hefty price tag of €70 million.
It's thought that Liverpool's offer is slightly below Roma's valuation, which could allow Chelsea to sneak in if they agree to pay the full amount.
Should they fail to land Alisson, then Sky suggests that the Blues could bring back Petr Cech from Arsenal, while Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel is another potential target.
Chelsea have also agreed a fee with CSKA Moscow for Aleksandr Golovin, says The Sun, with the midfielder rejecting an offer from Monaco to head to Stamford Bridge.
Arsenal eye Sidibe
Just when it seemed Arsenal had finished their summer spending, Unai Emery has been linked with a move for Monaco full-back Djibril Sidibe.
According to Sport Witness, the Gunners boss is monitoring the 25-year-old's situation amid reported interest from Manchester United and Atletico Madrid.
With Stephan Lichtsteiner joining Arsenal in June, the club are already well-stocked at right-back, and so a move for Sidibe would hint at a possible departure for Hector Bellerin.
The 23-year-old struggled for form last season and has previously been the subject of an enquiry from Barcelona.
-- Gary Cahill is set to quit Chelsea if they sign Daniele Rugani from Juventus, claims the Evening Standard. Rugani is thought to be a £44.2 million target for the Blues after he helped Juventus pip Napoli to the Serie A title last season.
-- Bournemouth are planning to spend big on two South American World Cup stars, says The Sun. The Cherries want Colombian midfielder Jefferson Lerma, who plays in La Liga for Levante, and Uruguay wing-back Diego Laxalt, who is currently at Genoa.
-- Newcastle have had an offer to loan Salomon Rondon rejected by West Brom, reports The Telegraph. The Baggies will allow the striker to leave only if the Magpies meet his £16.5 million release clause.
Matthew Stanger covers European football for ESPN and is the editor of The Set Pieces. Twitter: @MatthewStanger