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Athletic coy on Illarramendi

Transfers
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Werder looking to bring in Caldirola

Werder Bremen are close to signing central defender Luca Caldirola from Inter Milan, according to Kreiszeitung Syke.

Luca Caldirola has been capped for Italy's Under-21s
Caldirola has represented Italy Under-21s

Werder have already agreed personal terms with the player, who, over the last three seasons, has had spells at Vitesse Arnhem, Brescia Calcio and Cesena.

The Bundesliga club were keen for an initial loan deal, but Inter would prefer to sell the player for a transfer fee that is expected to be around €3 million.

Werder sporting director Thomas Eichin said: "I don’t want to comment on that, but I also do not want to deny it."

The transfer could be confirmed in the coming days, with Caldirola filling the gap left by Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who is joining Borussia Dortmund.

Meanwhile, Werder are also lining up a striker, with former Dortmund player Lucas Barrios being linked with a return to Germany.

The Paraguay international has forced his way out of his contract at Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande by appealing to FIFA that he was not paid at regular intervals.

Barrios' agent, Giacomo Petralito, told Ruhrnachrichten: "Lucas is longing for the Bundesliga. Especially his wife wants to return."

Eichin said: "I get offered 50 to 80 players a day. But if the name Barrios is among them you take a closer look. There are ongoing talks but that does not mean all that much at this stage."

Udinese's Matej Vydra, who spent last season on loan at Watford, and Heerenveen's Alfred Finnbogason have also been mooted as potential targets.

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