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Transfer Talk: England assistant Steve Holland eyed for Chelsea job

The transfer window for Europe's biggest clubs is closed, but click here for all the deals and keep track of who has joined the big boys. Transfer Talk will continue to scour the world's media and set correspondents loose to see what's on the agenda for the summer.

TOP STORY: Sarri to Italy, Holland to Stamford Bridge?

Chelsea's recent form has seen speculation growing about the future of their star players, particularly Eden Hazard, but Calcio Mercato suggests manager Maurizio Sarri is being lined up for a move. 

It says Serie A side Roma are preparing for life under Sarri, such is their confidence at landing him in the summer if not earlier. Roma officials believe their formation suits Sarri and he would be keen to return to Italy.

Sarri's future has been in doubt following five defeats in 11 matches, although Chelsea could win the first trophy of the season when they face Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final this weekend.

They're also through to the Europa League round of 16 following their win over Malmo on Thursday.

However, the the Daily Mail reports that Chelsea are eyeing England assistant manager Steve Holland, a one-time assistant at the club, should Sarri leave or be sacked. 

LIVE BLOG

22.59 GMT: That's going to bring today's 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 Sunday's back pages.

22.45 GMT: Dutch giants Ajax have blocked Arsenal's attempt to make former Gunners star Marc Overmars their new technical director, the Mirror reports

According to the outlet, the Emirates club want Overmars to immediately take over after parting ways with former recruitment chief Sven Mislintat. However, Ajax are set to make Overmars, who holds a similar position at the club, honour the final 18 months of his contract.

21.30 GMT: Manchester United are being sent "mixed messages" by Lille over coveted winger Nicolas Pepe, reports the Manchester Evening News, who cited quotes from L'Equipe of manager Christophe Galtier saying, "I see him as good with a team that plays all in red and likes to put wingers on the side of their weaker feet."

20.30 GMT: The Chicago Fire have acquired U.S. international striker C.J. Sapong from the Philadelphia Union for what could amount to $450,000 in combined allocation money. 

19.30 GMT: Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic is enjoying a laugh with his morning coffee these days, and here he is to explain why:

18.30 GMT: Liverpool managing director Billy Hogan has said "nothing will be a distraction" to Liverpool's plans to give manager Jurgen Klopp their full backing in the transfer market, the Liverpool Echo reports.

17.30 GMT: Reports in France suggest Bayern Munich are ready to move for Lille winger Nicolas Pepe, and that's bad news for Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal, who have also been linked with him.

15.30 GMT: Newcastle only broke their transfer record last month, but reports in Germany suggest they could do so again with a €60m move for Hoffenheim forward Joelinton.

14.45 GMT: Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim has said he is delighted by the impact made by the eight loan players who joined the club in January and helped lift them out of the relegation zone. Gelson Martins, Adrien Silva, Georges-Kevin Nkoudou and Carlos Vinicius are among the recent arrivals, and Jardim said: "The club has done a great job with the new recruits, who have brought more balance to our squad."

13.30 GMT: More developments in the Mauro Icardi saga -- the Mail, citing reports in Italy, says Inter Milan are ready to offer him four-year contract worth £5.6m a year to persuade him to stay. He has been linked with Serie A rivals Juventus.

12.30 GMT: Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte is looking forward to future success after signing a two-year contract extension on Friday. "This club offers me everything I need to improve my game," Laporte said. "I want to win silverware and I feel City is the best place to fulfil all my ambitions."

11.30 GMT: Adrien Rabiot's failed move to Barcelona may have caused a family rift, according to reports.

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Rabiot, who has been linked with Liverpool, is available on a free transfer in the summer when his contract expires. A mooted agreement to join Barcelona in January fell through, and that has led -- according to Sport -- to the 23-year-old seeking new representation.

All that sounds quite normal, except for the fact that his agent in those failed negotiations happened to be his mother.

10.40 GMT: Bayern Munich are interested in signing Ivan Rakitic if the midfielder grows impatient in his wait for a new Barcelona contract, according to Sport.

It says Rakitic, 30, will have to wait until the end of the season before Barca open talks over renewing his deal, which expires in June 2020.

That delay, plus the impending arrival of Frenkie de Jong and a big enough offer from Bayern, may convince Rakitic and Barca that his future lies in the Bundesliga.

09.45 GMT: Paris Saint-Germain full-back Thomas Meunier could be coming to the Premier League, with Everton linked. According to Le 10 Sport in France, the Belgium international could be sold by the French champions.

Meunier may be surplus to requirements at the Parc des Princes as sources have told ESPN FC that PSG have opened talks over a new contract for Dani Alves.

PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd): Skriniar contract extension talk a blow to United

Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar has told Sky Italia he is close to agreeing a new contract -- and that would be bad news for Manchester United.

The 24-year-old joined Inter in 2017 and has made 71 appearances, becoming one of the most reliable defenders in Serie A. United are among a host of clubs reportedly interested.

However, Inter are keen to keep Skriniar, who said: "On the renewal, we are close. I have a great relationship with the club."

Arsenal keeping tabs on Grimaldo ...

Arsenal representatives were at Benfica on Thursday, with Portuguese paper Record reporting that they were watching defender Alex Grimaldo. Again. 

The left-back is said to have a €60m release clause and has been in fine form this season. Arsenal have long been linked with the 23-year-old, with previous reports suggesting Nacho Monreal could move in the other direction.

However, they aren't alone in their admiration and face competition from Manchester City, Napoli and Atletico Madrid.

... and want to reunite Monchi and Emery

Arsenal are also looking to appoint Monchi as technical director, the Mirror reports.

The Spaniard, currently at Roma, has a long-standing relationship with Arsenal manager Unai Emery from their Sevilla days. 

The North London club have Ajax's Marc Overmars, a legend for them as a player, on the list with Monchi also being considered by Paris-Saint Germain and Manchester United. 

Tap-ins

- Tuttosport suggests a mass exodus from Juventus should they fail to overturn their 2-0 Champions League deficit against Atletico Madrid. It says that should Massimiliano Allegri's side fail to progress, not only could the manager be shown the exit door, but Paulo Dybala, Mario Mandzukic and Alex Sandro could also go.

- The Telegraph reports that Chelsea's two-window transfer ban pushes Eden Hazard closer to the Stamford Bridge exit door.

It says the Blues cannot afford to let Hazard leave for free in 2020, and so will sell this summer to reinvest. 

- Napoli are close to signing David Ospina on a permanent basis, with a deal all but agreed, says Calcio Mercato. The Colombian has been with the Serie A side on loan from Arsenal.

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