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TOP STORY: Bale the lynchpin in Pogba move to Madrid
The rumours that Paul Pogba would leave Manchester United for Real Madrid have been nearly as ubiquitous as the ones about Gareth Bale's imminent and inevitable departure from the Bernabeu. And now it seems the two moves are also inextricably linked.
AS is reporting that for primarily financial reasons Real could only afford to bring Pogba to Madrid if Los Blancos are able to offload Bale's hefty annual salary and cash in on his reported market value of €50-60 million, roughly half of the €100m Spurs collected when they sold the Welshman in 2013.
Meanwhile, Sky Sports cites sources that "Bale to be tempted away from Madrid, possibly an offer that would come close to making him the highest-paid player in the world." Following?
And just to add some extra spice to the saga, there's been no shortage of drama during Madrid's preseason tour of the U.S., with manager Zinedine Zidane saying Bale needs to leave the club and Bale's agent hitting back at the French manager by calling his comments a disgrace.
Buckle up folks, this should be quite a ride as the summer window rumbles on.
23.30 BST: That will do it for the latest edition of our LIVE Transfer Talk blog. We hoped you enjoyed following along with us and remind you to check back shortly for the latest transfer rumours, reports and completed deals. Goodnight!
23.09 BST: Good news for Spurs in their pursuit of Real Betis midfielder Giovani Lo Celso?
Don't get too excited just yet though Tottenham fans. Lo Celso's absence may not actually hint at an imminent transfer but could just be down to the fact that the midfielder recently competed in the Copa America with Argentina and could use additional rest.
Betis have said they would be willing to consider moving Lo Celso but are asking for £60 million minimum. Stay tuned.
22.30 BST: Celtic boss Neil Lennon is doing everything he can to keep hold of prized defender Kieran Tierney amidst interest from Arsenal, but he may not be the only Hoops defender Lennon will have to fight to keep this summer.
Lille manager Christophe Galtier has publicly revealed his admiration for fellow Celtic defender Jozo Simunovic, telling La Voix du Nordn in case of captain Adama Soumaoro's departure, the Croatian Jozo Simunovic (Celtic) could interest Lille. " He's a very good player with a knowledge of European football, " smiled Galtier.
Simunovic, 24, has been at Celtic since 2015 but has looked a revitalised player since Lennon took the reins back in February. Celtic will be back in action Wednesday in the Champions League's second qualifying round against Estonian outfit Nomme Kalju.
🇳🇱🆕🙋♂️| ¡Bienvenido al Club de Futbol Monterrey, @vincentjanssen! La Sultana del Norte te recibe para rayar tu historia en Azul y Blanco 🔵⚪— Rayados (@Rayados) July 23, 2019
¡A defender la camiseta, #EnLaVidaYEnLaCancha! #ArribaElMonterrey 🤠#NotaRayada ➡️ https://t.co/lUZKNqs8zi pic.twitter.com/QN1PL0ueuk
The 25-year-old frontman scored just two goals in 31 Premier League appearances over three years for Spurs, struggling to replicate his prolific Eredivisie goalscoring form from his days at AZ Alkmaar. Janssen, who spent the 2017-18 season on loan with Turkish giants Fenerbahce, will reportedly cost Monterrey somewhere in the neighborhood of €7 million.
Los Rayados have been one of Liga MX's most consistent clubs over the last five or six years and will be hoping the Dutch international rediscovers his 27-goal form of 2015-16, which not only led the Eredivisie but fascilitated his £17m transfer to Tottenham.
There has been no contact or negotiation with the club," Rummenigge told reporters.
"But I understand he has a clause in the contract."
Roca, 22, was a key member of Spain's recent Under-21 European Championship side and is thought to have a release clause of €40 million.
20.45 BST: Mason Holgate back to West Brom?
Sky Sports News understands that the Baggies want to take the 22-year-old back on loan next season from Everton. The defender spent the second half of last season on loan at the Hawthorns, playing 23 times as West Brom qualified for the play-offs.
20.19 BST: Bundesliga youngster hints at joining "dream club" Arsenal.
Austria international Xaver Schlager, 21, only just joined Wolfsburg this summer from Red Bull Salzburg but that hasn't deterred the youngster from dreaming about Arsenal.
"As a kid in Austria, everyone dreams of making it abroad, probably as early as the age of seven. The league just is not that attractive," the midfielder told Kicker .
"I have not reached a final goal, now comes the next goal.
"I've been a fan of Arsenal since I was a kid, that's my dream club and it's my dream to play there."
After a few rough seasons, Arsenal will be happy to know there are still players out there dreaming of moving to the Emirates, although the recently transferred Shlager will have to wait.
19.53 BST: West Ham have made four signings this summer while eight players have departed the club.
That second number could soon become nine, as manager Manuel Pellegrini has hinted defensive midfielder Pedro Obiang is set to leave the club for Serie A side Sassuolo.
"I told him that we need him in the squad and I cannot allow him to go to Italy but if things go well last season he will have the doors open as like every player. [If West Ham get a] good offer and the player wants to go -- not a problem, we will replace him."
The Equatorial Guinea international, 27, joined West Ham from Sampdoria in 2015 and is reportedly headed to Sassuolo for £7.2 million plus add-ons.
19.11 BST: Malcom to Arsenal?
Earlier this month GloboEsporte.com reported that Arsenal manager Unai Emery has pushed the club to move for Malcom and now Barcelona have reportedly listed their price.
Mundo Deportivo suggests that Barcelona will only sell the Brazilian if they receive a bid over €50 million which would likely not appeal to cash-strapped Arsenal, who likely would only be looking to take Malcom, at least initially, on loan.
Arsenal are reportedly nearing a loan move for another La Liga youngster, Dani Ceballos, who is set to join from Real Madrid.
18.26 BST: Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, Minnesota United have finalised a deal.
The Loons have announced they have signed veteran French full-back Wilfried Moimbe from Ligue 2 side Nancy. The 30-year-old moves to MLS after over a decade in France with clubs such as Bordeaux, Reims, Ajaccio, Tours, Brest, Nantes, Nacy and a brief loan spell at Oldham Athletic in England.
18.02 BST: And there it is...
Newcastle have reportedly paid £40m for the Brazilian, who arrives at St James' Park as Steve Bruce's first signing since taking over for Rafa Benitez. Joelinton, 22, scored 11 goals last season in 35 games for Hoffenheim, having previously spent two seasons on loan in Austria with Rapid Wien.
"The kid's got an exciting time ahead of him. He's a smashing young player and we're obviously delighted to get him. It's been going on for a little bit now, so to get him is great for everybody," said Bruce after his unveiling.
"He's got everything that a modern-day player wants. He's big, strong and athletic, and of course he's got age on his side too which is vitally important."
17.28 BST: After months of speculation he could leave for Bayern Munich, Chelsea youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi has signed a new improved contract to stay at Stamford Bridge,
The BBC understands that the 18-year-old, who is currently recovering from an Achilles injury, has signed five-year deal worth more than £100,000 a week. The talented youngster has mad 28 first-team appearances for the Blues, scoring five goals, and was the subject of a £35 million bid from Bayern in January.
16.42 BST: Arsenal are trying to sign a winger and have been linked with Everton ... no, not the Merseyside club -- the Brazilian.
Gremio want £36m for their star man, say reports out of Brazil, and the 23-year-old is reportedly so keen to move that he's already started learning English.
16.12 BST: AC Milan and Roma could make a Suso and Steven Nzonzi swap deal as both players seem to serve a better purpose for the other teams, says Gazzetta.
Both have been linked to Arsenal in the past but a Serie A swap seems more likely than the Gunners getting involved at this point.
15.40 BST: Ever wondered how agents do what they do? Let the Exploding Heads be your guide.
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"No, we haven't spoken to Arsenal since mid-June," Rennes president Olivier Letang told Footmercato. "For me, there's no point talking with the player if the door isn't open."
However, Bordeaux are still keen on the 33-year-old.
14.51 BST: Hoffenheim striker Joelinton is closing on a move to Newcastle. Sky Sports claims that the 22-year-old Brazilian will cost £40m... which seems a bit excessive after he scored 11 goals in 35 appearances last season.
14.47 BST: Highly rated midfielder Xavi Simons has announced he is leaving Barcelona after failing to reach an agreement with the club over a new contract.
Simons, 16, is now expected to sign for Paris Saint-Germain this week, sources have told ESPN FC. Barca will only receive €130,000 in development rights as the player's terms expired last month.
14.30 BST: Lazio have named their price for Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, namely around €90m, but have yet to receive a bid for the midfielder.
"I have the focus fully here in Munich and on the preparation. I think we have a lot to do in the new season," he told BILD.
13.50 BST Sporting Lisbon's Bruno Fernandes is a bit fed up of talking about transfers, but it does seem he wants to play in England.
"I don't care about the market, I've talked about this many times," he told reporters ahead of travelling to New York. "The only thing I can do now is that I need to catch the plane so I don't miss it. Will this be the last match for Sporting? I don't know, it's the coach who decides
"I told [him] I'd like to play in England, but I don't care about it right now. If it could be this season? It could be when the club decides, I'm not in charge."
13.27 BST: Dani Ceballos has been given the green light to complete a season-long move from Real Madrid to Arsenal, with the finals terms of the agreement expected to be completed soon, sources confirmed to ESPN FC.
Sevilla, AC Milan and Tottenham Hotspur have tried to secure the services of the midfielder in recent weeks but sources said that Unai Emery has been decisive in the Spaniard accepting Arsenal's proposal, even though the Gunners will not participate in the Champions League.
Another of the key points in Ceballos' decision has been the flexibility of Arsenal to accept a loan deal without an option to buy as Ceballos' desire is still to succeed in Madrid in the long term, even though he is well aware that he is not in the plans of current manager Zinedine Zidane.
Ceballos has failed to establish himself in the starting line-up since his arrival from Real Betis but sources at Real Madrid said that this loan would help him to earn "regular time" and prove why Real Madrid "made a bid gamble" on him in the summer of 2017.
Several reports in Spain are claiming that that the 22-year-old could pass his medical on Wednesday before travelling to the United States to join Arsenal in their preseason tour.
13.05 BST: Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku's move to Inter Milan looks like it's getting further rather than nearer as they Italian club look to Roma's Edin Dzeko instead of the Belgian, according to Gazzetta.
12.53 BST: Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward will not join the summer tour as the club continues to work on transfers with just two weeks to go before the deadline, sources have told ESPN FC.
Woodward had left open the possibility of meeting up with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the squad in Shanghai but will now stay in the UK. It will be the first time Woodward, who has returned from a short holiday in Marbella, has not joined a tour since taking over from David Gill in 2013.
Solskjaer is still hopeful of making two more signings before the deadline on Aug. 8 with a deal for Leicester defender Harry Maguire a priority.
United are also keen to add a midfielder and there remains interest in Newcastle's Sean Longstaff and Sporting Lisbon's Bruno Fernandes.
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12.21 BST: Chivas starlet JJ Macias, currently on loan with Leon, tells ESPN that he is ready to leave Chivas and he would like to play in Europe.
11.58 BST: Nemanja Gudelj has arrived at Sevilla and is set to become the club's 10th summer signing.
The Serbian midfielder had six months left on his contract with Guangzhou Evergrande but agreed to terminate his working relationship with the Chinese outfit. Marca reports that the 27-year-old will sign a four-year deal with the La Liga side, subject to a medical.
Gudelj made 27 league appearances while on loan at Sporting Lisbon in the 2018-19 campaign.
11.30 BST: Barcelona are about to play Chelsea in a friendly (live on ESPN) so here's some gossip about Nemar's potential return.
Antoine Griezmann told Sky Sports: "We have to get it done first, because it is a difficult transfer. But he is a great player, he's had a couple of injuries but is at an incredible level. We also have [Ousmane] Dembele, [Philippe] Coutinho and Malcom who are also important players for us and let's hope we can achieve great things with them.
"I hope I will have an important role, I want to be an important player for the team and help in whatever way I can. As long as I enjoy playing with my teammates and give it all on the pitch, it doesn't matter." ?
Meanwhile, Ivan Rakitic has been linked with a move to PSG in exchange for Neymar and said: "I spoke with the club and the coach and we share the same point of view. My idea is to continue with Barca. I am open, but my idea is very clear -- it is my intention to continue here and to continue to enjoy it as I have a few years left on my contract. I do not mind speaking about my future, I know football generally works like this. In a way, other teams wanting me fills me with pride as it means that I am doing things the right way. I can only see myself here. Everything else must be taken in a calm manner."
But are Manchester United actually interested in any of these three? Throw in Pablo Dybala and perhaps you might have a deal...
Pepe has been linked to almost every top club in Europe, with Man United the latest to move for the €70m-rated forward.
"The work is done. We have a plan for the sales and signings -- we will get what we need," Lopez said. "With Nicolas, it was almost done and he could have gone earlier this summer. It is true that he has big offers and big clubs want him, so I think he will leave. That said, you never know in football."
10.30 BST: While we're talking about Gareth...
The Wales international's agent Jonathan Barnett maintains that Bale remains "happy" at Madrid despite being frozen out by coach Zinedine Zidane. Spanish media reports claimed Jiangsu Suning was his most likely destination, with an immediate loan to their 'sister club' Inter Milan a possibility, but Barnett played down any talk of a move.
"All this frenzy is unbelievable," he told ESPN FC on Tuesday. "Gareth is a Real player. End of story."
Barnett admitted that it was "unlikely" that Bale will play against Arsenal in Tuesday's ICC clash with Arsenal in Washington DC, but he replied "ask Zidane" when asked how long the situation can continue with the 30-year-old not being considered for selection.
10.01 BST: Martin Odegaard is eager to show that he will be good enough to play one day for Real Madrid, while on a season-long loan at Real Sociedad.
The Norway international joined Madrid in 2015 but has spent the past two-and-a-half season on loan in the Eredivisie, with Heerenveen and Vitesse, respectively. Odegaard's spell at Vitesse last season proved successful as the attacking midfielder scored 11 goals in 39 appearances in all competitions.
"Of course I have a contract with Madrid and my goal is to play there one day, that has been the goal since I went to Madrid," said the 20-year-old to Marca. "But at the moment for me, it's just about focusing on being here [Real Sociedad], improving, helping the team and we will see. I want to play there [at Madrid] but now my focus is here."
Ajax were among the clubs hoping to sign Odegaard on a permanent deal this sumner.
"I had some options, after last season there were a lot of teams interested [in me]," he said. "It's true that I spoke to some teams but I had a good feeling from the first meeting that I had here, the project they had for me and the club's plans. Madrid told me that I could choose so for me, I had a good feeling from the first moment."
A 2018 World Cup winner with France, Fekir has signed a four-year contract with the La Liga outfit and becomes the club's fourth summer signing.
Betis have reportedly paid €20m, plus €10m more in add-ons, for the 26-year-old midfielder, who has scored 69 goals and set up 46 more in 193 games for Lyon since being promoted to the first team in 2013.
The former Ghana international left Frankfurt for Sassuolo after winning the cup in 2018, saying he wanted to be nearer to his family, but could re-sign for the Bundesliga side in the coming weeks.
Having spent the second half of last season on loan at Barcelona, the 32-year-old could return to Germany for a fourth time following previous arrivals in 2009, 2013 and 2017.
Frankfurt are looking to reinforce their squad after losing attackers Luka Jovic to Real Madrid and Sebastien Haller to West Ham. They have also reportedly turned their attention to Dortmund duo Maximilian Philipp and Sebastian Rode, with the latter already loaned to Eintracht for the first half of 2019.
08.51 BST: Dani Ceballos could travel to London on Tuesday to undergo a medical before joining Arsenal on a season-long loan from Real Madrid, according to AS.
According to the Spanish sport daily, Arsenal coach Unai Emery has been pivotal in Ceballos' decision to join the Gunners. The Spanish coach has spoken to the player and his family in recent days to convince them that Arsenal is the best choice for the player. Emery wants to make Ceballos a key player in his midfield and has guaranteed the player at least playing 40 games at a big European club.
The Arsenal boss said on Tuesday at a news conference on the club's preseason tour: "We were speaking about the possibility to sign one player on loan and we have different names. The club was working on that. Ceballos is a very good player, I know him from Betis at the beginning and also at Real Madrid. He played very well with the under-21s, they won with his national team in this competition."
Ceballos, who was also linked with AC Milan, is tied to Madrid until June 2023. The 22-year-old has made 23 league appearances for Madrid, 13 as a starter in the 2018-19 campaign, and is keen to leave the Bernabeu on loan in a bid to have more playing time.
Ceballos, who helped Spain win the European Under-21 Championship this summer, has no intention to leave Madrid on a permanent basis.
08.29 BST: Sporting Lisbon president Frederico Varandas has warned Manchester United and other potential suitors that Bruno Fernandes will not leave the club for €62m.
Manchester United are keen to sign the Sporting captain and have reportedly upped their bid to €62m to land the midfielder. Fernandes, 24, has a €100m release clause and is tied to Sporting until June 2023.
Varandas told Portuguese TV station RTP: "I don't know if there is one or many (clubs) interested. There is talk of €55m, €62m, but I can say with certainty, that for those figures, he will not leave. We are creating our group and we are going to be ready [for the upcoming season]. Unfortunately, we are subject to having players come and go until the last day [of the transfer window]."
Varandas added that in the event that Fernandes is sold this summer, the club would "bring in quality players."
Fernandes, who scored 29 goals in all competitions this season, including 20 in the league, is a reported target of Liverpool, Tottenham, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid. The Portugal international insists he would like to play in England but the club has the last say, telling reporters ahead of his team's trip to New York where they will take on Liverpool in Thursday's friendly at the Yankee Stadium.
"I care little about the market," he said. "The only thing I can say is that I need to leave in order not to miss my plane. I've already said that I would like to play in England, but it doesn't interest me right now. Could it be this coming season? It will be when the club decides because I'm not the one the one that makes the decisions.
Asked if he would sell himself for €62m, he said: "I don't know, I'm not the president, I don't have to take that decision."
08.00 BST: Manchester United will continue their search for a technical director despite handing Nicky Butt a promotion, sources have told ESPN FC.
Butt has moved from academy head to head of first team development, reporting directly to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and will sit on the technical board.
However, plans are still in place to also appoint a technical director after a search that has already lasted more than six months.
Rio Ferdinand has held talks with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward about the role and Darren Fletcher has been working as a consultant but a formal appointment is yet to be made.
The club were hopeful of having a technical director in place by the start of the season but sources have told ESPN FC there is now no set time frame to fill the job.
Darke: Man United should bite the bullet and sell Pogba
ESPN FC's Ian Darke weighs in on Paul Pogba's Man United future, calling on the club to sell their star midfielder and use the money to rebuild the squad.
PAPER TALK (by Steve Wright)
Tierney too pricey for Arsenal's tastes?
The left-back has been a target for Unai Emery's side for weeks, with the club having made two offers for him, the second one in the region of £25m. However, Celtic were reportedly unhappy that Arsenal couldn't pay more of the fee up front.
Now, it looks as though Arsenal may be turning their attention elsewhere. They have already signed Saint Etienne defender William Saliba, but he has been loaned back to the French club until next season, so it remains an area that needs strengthening this summer.
Lookman nears Leipzig signing
The German side are understood to be paying £22.5m to Everton, structured as an initial fee of £16m plus add-ons.
The move will be something of a fortuitous homecoming for Lookman who, since returning to Goodison Park following a season-long loan spell at Leipzig in 2017-18, has started Premier League matches on just three occasions for Marco Silva's side.
Leipzig have been busy, recently snapping up Chelsea's Ethan Ampadu on a season-long loan deal as well.
Spurs target two signings this week
Midfielder Le Celso, currently on the books at Real Betis, would set Spurs back between £54m and £60m, while Fulham's Sessegnon would cost £20m, taking the club's summer spending well beyond £100m, thanks to the £73m signing of Tanguy Ndombele.
Betis want no less than £68m for Lo Celso, who has a release clause of £88m, but his willingness to join Mauricio Pochettino's side could be a factor in lowering his valuation.
- Christian Eriksen, previously rumoured to be a target for Atletico Madrid, looks to be staying at Tottenham Hotspur for now, as the Spanish side explore alternative options, Marca reports. Madrid are now more interested in James Rodriguez, who would be much more affordable at around £35m, compared to Eriksen's value of £60m.
- Sporting Lisbon president Frederico Varandas isn't impressed with Manchester United's attempt to sign Bruno Fernandes for £49m, RTP reports. "What I know, a lot has been spoken of values, coming to the press, €55m, €62m... for that he doesn't leave, for sure," Varandas said.
- France international forward Nabil Fekir has completed a move to Real Betis from Lyon, the clubs announced on Monday. The contract runs through 2023, with the Lyon saying the deal is worth €19.75 million, plus €10m in incentives and includes a potential 20 percent sell-on bonus.