The Premier League returns next week and both Manchester United and Chelsea look set to define the final weeks of the transfer window with their business yet to conclude. While Cristiano Ronaldo has returned to training at Manchester United’s training base, the 37-year-old did not take part in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Wrexham on Wednesday and instead watched on from the side-lines and the Mail claims he has demanded to be freed of his contract.
It comes as his agent Jorge Mendes leads showdown talks over his future, with Sir Alex Ferguson also reportedly involved in discussions with Erik ten Hag. Two players who did take part in the match were Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez, who has been unveiled as the club’s latest signing. United have meanwhile not changed their stance over Ronaldo, insisting he is not for sale, while the lack of interest since Ronaldo’s agent Mendes looked across Europe for interest could also see the marriage extended for a further season.
Elsewhere, Chelsea have been dealt a significant blow in their pursuit of Jules Kounde, with Barcelona now reaching an agreement with Sevilla for the highly rated defender after making a dramatic late intervention. Juventus are reportedly “very close” to agreeing a deal with Liverpool for Roberto Firmino, while they continue to montitor Chelsea’s Timo Werner and Man United’s Anthony Martial.
Follow all the latest transfer news with our live blog below:
Transfer news LIVE
Cristiano Ronaldo ‘demands to be freed of his contract’ at Man United
Barcelona scupper Chelsea hopes of signing Jules Kounde
Luis Suarez returns to Nacional after 17 years in Europe
Liverpool have ‘no appetite’ to sell Roberto Firmino this summer
Bayern Munch capture Barcelona teenage prospect Adam Aznou
Everton near £20m deal for Burnley winger Dwight McNeil
Man City want game time for McAtee if he leaves on loan
12:30 , Karl Matchett
Man City are only allowing James McAtee to head out on loan this season if he gets guaranteed game time, reports the Mail.
He’s a highly rated youngster and has a host of admirers, including Leeds, Bournemouth and potentially Brighton in the top flight.
The report suggests the latter might be favoured if he makes it easier to sign Marc Cucurella, with the Seagulls turning down a £30m bid last week for the left-back.
Meanwhile, HITC claim Phil Foden is close to signing a new £200k-a-week deal at City.
Late Leno twist possible if Arsenal move for Tielemans
12:15 , Karl Matchett
The Mirror claim that Bernd Leno’s proposed move to Fulham could fall through as “talks seem to have stalled” and it might be Leicester who prosper.
Arsenal have yet to make a move for Youri Tielemans, who has been widely linked with them and is available this summer, but a knock-on effect of Nice’s sudden interest in Kasper Schmeichel could be that the Gunners use Leno as a makeweight in a transfer for the Belgian midfielder.
That could see Leno move to the KP Stadium instead of Craven Cottage, leaving Fulham looking elsewhere.
Paqueta wants Spurs move over Arsenal transfer
12:00 , Karl Matchett
Lyon midfielder Lucas Paqueta was linked with Tottenham in January, but it’s Arsenal who have been most keen this summer.
However, the Brazilian would rather move to Antonio Conte’s side than Mikel Arteta’s, report L’Equipe, and he has no interest in a move to Newcastle either, who are also credited as wanting to reunite him with Bruno Guimaraes.
£34m wasn’t enough for Spurs to get him in January, they say, and there’s been no imminent news of a fresh bid now – and Tottenham have to offload midfielders first in any case.
Liverpool end interest in Athletic winger Nico Williams
11:45 , Karl Matchett
Liverpool were briefly linked earlier this week with Athletic Club winger Nico Williams – as opposed to the full-back just sold to Nottingham Forest, Neco Williams – but those rumours appear consigned to history already.
Spanish media outlets are reporting that the Reds were keen to pay up to around €40m but no higher for Williams, younger brother of club legend Inaki, but his release clause already stands at €50m and Athletic would want it paid in full.
It could be one for next summer, though, with AS pointing out he has only two years left on his current deal and last season seeing him push his name toward the front of exciting youngsters in La Liga.
Saul to be offered to Juventus following Chelsea loan
11:30 , Karl Matchett
Saul Niguez simply didn’t show anything like his true ability at Chelsea last season, with his loan spell not yielding a permanent move or a role back in the team at Atletico Madrid.
Now AS report that he’ll be offered to Juventus as a way to fill the void during Paul Pogba’s injury – see our earlier post – on another loan deal, with Atleti looking to trim the wage bill.
Saul currently has no route back into the lineup under Diego Simeone and needs a fresh start to recapture his undoubtedly excellent top form.
Wild rumour claims Cristiano Ronaldo offered to Napoli
11:15 , Karl Matchett
A Cristiano Ronaldo update, but very much an unverified one to take with a pinch of salt: Italian outlet Il Mattino reports the forward’s agent Jorge Mendes offering Napoli the chance to sign him.
Napoli are in the Champions League after finishing third last year, but their financial standing is not quite of the same level as Real Madrid, Juventus and Man United – in other words his salary would almost certainly be beyond them.
The report also cites Spanish outlet AS for the story, but there’s – as yet – no mention of it on their website. Perhaps one to watch, but it seems an unlikely destination for one of the game’s greatest goalscorers.
Tottenham struggling to offload Tanguy Ndombele and Harry Winks
11:06 , Karl Matchett
Spurs are into sell mode now after a busy summer of buying so far…or at least, they would be if they could.
The Athletic report there’s “nothing especially advanced” with Tanguy Ndombele right now and “no deal imminent” for Harry Winks either, two midfielders left off their pre-season tour of South Korea.
There’s slightly better news on Giovani Lo Celso, with Fiorentina among the sides hoping to sign him, and Spurs face taking a heavy loss on the player who cost around £30m.
The report also suggests Spurs may move for Eintracht centre-back Evan Ndicka if Japhet Tanganga completes a transfer to AC Milan or Bournemouth.
Newcastle target Watford attacking duo
10:53 , Karl Matchett
Newcastle United have yet to really add to their attack this summer despite the obvious spending power they possess, with Eddie Howe and his side keen to only recruit carefully and not spend for the sake of it so far.
Goalkeeper Nick Pope, centre-back Sven Botman and left-back Matt Targett – who was on loan last term – are the only senior additions so far.
But now they could do a double deal with relegated Watford, report 90min, with Emmanuel Dennis and Ismaila Sarr both potentially available for “knockdown fees” as the Hornets restructure.
The same report suggests the Magpies have been offered Memphis Depay, Timo Werner and Nicolas Pepe, with all three out of favour at their respective clubs.
Norwich pull out of talks over Kone deal
10:40 , Karl Matchett
Ismael Kone will not be swapping MLS for the Championship just yet.
The Canadian 20-year-old was on Norwich City’s wishlist for the summer after impressing with Montreal, but Stuart Webber has now moved on to other targets, report the Athletic, after being priced out of a move.
Isaac Hayden and Gabriel Sara are the Canaries’ additions this summer, both in midfield, but more arrivals are expected as they look to continue yo-yoing and bounce back up to the top flight next term.
Liverpool have ‘no appetite’ to sell Firmino this summer
10:26 , Karl Matchett
Roberto Firmino has been linked with Juventus this week – see below in our 8:28am post for the latest updates from Italian media – but closer to home it’s a firm no.
The Echo say that the Reds’ “position is unchanged” and there is “absolutely no appetite” to entertain any offers for the Brazilian forward.
He, arguably even more than Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane on account of being there longer, typifies the Jurgen Klopp regime over the past seven years, even if he’s now not a guaranteed starter at Anfield.
The arrival of Darwin Nunez gives further competition in attack, but it would still be a shock to see Firmino depart this year.
Bayern capture Barcelona prospect Adam Aznou
10:12 , Lawrence Ostlere
Bayern Munich have completed the signing of highly rated 16-year-old Adam Aznou from Barcelona on a free transfer.
The Spanish left-back has signed a contract until June 2025 and has been assured of a fast-track to first-team opportunities after turning down a promotion to Barca’s youth squad.
The reaction of a popular Barca youth account:
Gini Wijnaldum set for Roma loan switch
10:00 , Karl Matchett
Things haven’t gone well for Gini Wijnaldum since leaving Liverpool and moving to PSG on a free transfer a year ago, as he lost his place in midfield and has now been told he has no part in Christophe Galtier’s plans this season.
He’s set to relaunch his career in Italy, with AS Roma close to agreeing a loan with an option to buy, reports Gazzetta, with only a salary split left to work out between the clubs.
Wijnaldum earns around €180,000 a week in Paris and the Rome club want to pay only around half, it is suggested. Jose Mourinho’s side have already added Nemanja Matic to their ranks in midfield this summer.
Everton closing in on £20m Dwight McNeil
09:44 , Karl Matchett
Everton are looking to complete their third deal of the summer – and the first of any notable transfer fee – with the addition of Burnley winger Dwight McNeil.
The exodus from the Clarets after their relegation has already seen Pope, Mee, Tarkowski, Weghorst and others depart Turf Moor, with key wide man McNeil now set to follow.
He had been linked with Crystal Palace among other teams, but the Echo say Everton are close to a £20m deal and he could even be in their squad for a friendly against Dynamo Kyiv on Friday.
A loan deal for Ruben Vinagre and the free transfer arrival of the aforementioned Tarkowski are Everton’s only deals so far.
Chelsea ‘consider move’ for Leicester defender Wes Fofana
09:29 , Karl Matchett
Chelsea are moving on to other defensive targets as it looks like Jules Kounde will be going to Barcelona instead of the Bridge – and one alternative is already in the Premier League.
Football.london say the Blues will make contact with Wesley Fofana’s agents this week to sound out a move, with an expected price tag of above £60m not putting them off a potential transfer.
Fofana came back from a long injury lay-off last season but prior to that had shone after moving to the Foxes.
Milan Skriniar and Presnel Kimpembe are other possible targets.
‘CR7 not welcome’: Atletico Madrid fans protest against Cristiano Ronaldo transfer speculation
09:15 , Karl Matchett
Atletico Madrid fans have urged the club to rule out signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United, displaying a protest at a pre-season friendly and warning that he is the “antithesis of the club’s values of modesty and humility”.
Atletico have been one of the clubs linked to signing Ronaldo since it was reported that the 37-year-old wanted to leave Manchester United this summer and the Portuguese international’s agent, Jorge Mendes, has used the Spanish club to stoke up interest.
Ronaldo had a successful spell playing with Atletico’s city rivals Real Madrid and had a fractious relationship with their fans during his time in Spain. Ronaldo also has a history of scoring important goals against Atletico, including the winning penalty in the 2016 Champions League final.
While Atletico’s president Enrique Cerezo said a move for Ronaldo was “practically impossible” due to financial reasons on Wednesday, one of the club’s official supporters groups released a statement demanding that they distance themselves from the forward. A banner was also unfurled during Atletico’s friendly match against CD Numancia, stating: “CR7 not welcome”.
More details here:
Liverpool and City face new challenge to make old solutions work after striker deals
09:03 , Lawrence Ostlere
How will Manchester City and Liverpool adapt their play this season after signing high-profile old-fashioned No 9s? Richard Jolly takes a look ahead of the Community Shield:
All three promoted Premier League clubs closing in on new signings
08:54 , Karl Matchett
A quick round-up of where the three promoted teams are right now, with each set to name a new face (at least) in the coming days according to the latest reports:
Fulham have agreed terms with Arsenal over a transfer for goalkeeper Bernd Leno, claim Sky Sports. He fell behind Aaron Ramsdale last season and the German looks set for a move across London very soon
Bournemouth have agreed a £15m deal with Middlesbrough to sign midfielder Marcus Tavernier, reports 90min. Both the Cherries and Nottingham Forest were rumoured to be in for him but an improved offer, including £3m in add-ons, has now been agreed
Nottingham Forest themselves are keen on Betis midfielder William Carvalho, say the Mail, while left-back Alex Moreno from the same club is also thought to be close to a move to the Reds
Pogba in danger of missing World Cup
08:46 , Karl Matchett
Not a piece of transfer news, since he has just completed his move from Manchester United to Juventus, but worth knowing all the same: Paul Pogba faces missing out on the 2022 World Cup.
An injury sustained during training soon after joining up with the Italian club in America sees the midfielder needing surgery on his lateral meniscus, says Gazzetta dello Sport, and one variation of the operation could see him sidelined for up to five months – meaning he’d miss out on Qatar with France.
Further talks with club and country medical staff are expected.
Everton open talks over return for Idrissa Gana Gueye
08:40 , Karl Matchett
Everton are going back to the future to improve their midfield, with Idrissa Gana Gueye “one of the names” on their shortlist.
Fabrizio Romano says talks will continue with PSG over the coming days, with the French club wanting to sell, but it’s very early in discussions right now.
The Toffees managed to sign Ruben Vinagre on loan yesterday and further deals might be close too.
Juventus ‘very close’ to agreeing deal for Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino
08:28 , Lawrence Ostlere
Juventus are closing in on a surprise deal for Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino.
That’s according to Corriere dello Sport in Italy, which claims talks with Liverpool for the Brazilian striker over a potential £19m transfer are at an advanced stage. Firmino’s contract at Anfield runs out at the end of the season and the 30-year-old has been in prolonged talks with the club, just like Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah were over the recent months, with Mane eventually departing for Bayern Munich as Salah chose to sign a lucrative new deal.
The arrival of new striker Darwin Nunez has added competition for Firmino’s spot leading the line this season, but Jurgen Klopp has only ever spoken highly of Firmino and his role in the squad.
Milan set to sign Leeds target De Ketelaere
08:23 , Karl Matchett
Leeds United were hopeful of landing young Dutch attacker Charles De Ketelaere, but it seems he is now set for AC Milan.
HLN report that an agreement is not yet finalised between the Serie A champions and his current side Club Brugge, but they are not far apart and personal terms will be no barrier.
The highly rated forward already has eight senior caps at age 21 and scored 18 goals in all competitions last year.
Jesse Marsch had suggested he was unavailable this summer, meaning Leeds have started to look elsewhere.
City consider move for Benfica full-back Grimaldo
08:12 , Lawrence Ostlere
Manchester City are considering Spanish left-back Alex Grimaldo as a potential option.
With little progress yet in their pursuit of Brighton’s Marc Cucurella, City have turned their attention to Benfica’s full-back who has been priced at around €20m, according to Marca.
City have Joao Cancelo who can play in the position exceptionally well but is a right-back by trade. They sold left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko to Arsenal this summer in a £30m deal, while the only other left-back on the club’s books, Benjamin Mendy, is awaiting trial on sexual assault charges.
Luis Suarez returns to Nacional after 17 years in Europe
08:02 , Lawrence Ostlere
The 35-year-old striker announced the news on Twitter, a day after he told fans he had reached a pre-agreement with Nacional in Montevideo.
On Wednesday, Suarez said the deal was now official and he changed his social media profile to one of himself wearing the white, blue and red of Nacional.
“I am proud to wear my shirt again at @Nacional!” Suarez wrote on Twitter. “Thank you all for the support! SEE YOU SOON.”
Barcelona scupper Chelsea hopes of signing Jules Kounde
07:57 , Lawrence Ostlere
Barcelona are set to beat Chelsea to Jules Kounde, after agreeing a €50m fee with Sevilla for the 23-year-old defender. Barca’s incredible spending spree looks set to continue, with the club still keen to add Chelsea’s Spanish 30-somethings Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso to the wage bill.
It looks like Chelsea will be going back into the market for a defender over the coming weeks.
Cristiano Ronaldo ‘demands to be freed of his contract’ at Manchester United
07:54 , Lawrence Ostlere
Good morning. We start with the latest from the Cristiano Ronaldo situation. Ronaldo has returned to training at Manchester United’s training base, the 37-year-old did not take part in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Wrexham on Wednesday and instead watched on from the side-lines and the Daily Mail claims he has demanded to be freed of his contract.
It comes as his agent Jorge Mendes leads showdown talks over his future, with Sir Alex Ferguston also reportedly involved in discussions with Erik ten Hag. Two players who did take part in the match were Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez, who has been unveiled as the club’s latest signing. United have meanwhile not changed their stance over Ronaldo, insisting he is not for sale, while the lack of interest since Ronaldo’s agent Mendes looked across Europe for interest could also see the marriage extended for a further season.
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07:51 , Lawrence Ostlere
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