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LIVE Transfer Talk: Man United, City in £100m battle for Sancho

The Premier League transfer window has closed, but the rest of Europe remains open for business. Plus, it’s never too late to look forward to January! Click here to view the latest transfers and keep up to date with the latest gossip below.

TOP STORY: Dortmund to reload if Sancho heads home

Jadon Sancho will leave Borussia Dortmund next summer — and the German club are already hunting for his replacement.

That’s according to the Daily Mail, which this evening claims that the news is set to induce a scramble for his signature, with Manchester United and Manchester City likely to be leading the charge.

Sportsmail claim that Dortmund’s top brass have already started scouring Europe for Sancho’s replacement after accepting that the former City star’s future belongs away from the Bundesliga.

Mind you, he won’t come cheap. Any club wanting to sign him will probably have to part with the best part of £100 million.


13.20 BST: Some unusual transfer news around Mario Balotelli now — although that may make it usual by the Italian’s standards.

La Gazzetta dello Sport are reporting that the striker signed a deal with Brescia on Friday at 23:45 p.m., because club president Massimo Cellino wanted to avoid the date Aug. 17 featuring in the contract…

Cellino is famously superstitious about the number 17, allowing no number 17 jersey at the club and no number 17 seat in the team’s stadium.

12.45 BST: PSG coach Thomas Tuchel has hinted that wantaway superstar Neymar may in fact have a future at Parc des Princes…

With Barcelona set to loan Philippe Coutinho to Bayern Munich instead of using him as part of a potential deal to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou, their chances of meeting the French champions’ demands look slim.

Speaking during Saturday’s press conference ahead of Sunday’s Ligue 1 trip to Rennes, Tuchel discussed the Brazil international’s situation, saying: “I do not know if time will change things. The transfer window will soon close and that changes nothing for me as he is still my player.

“When I think of a strong PSG, it includes Neymar. However, it includes Neymar in a good mood — aggressive and full of dribbling.

“Today, nothing has changed in our relationship. It is between him and the club and he will stay if there is no solution. He has three more years of contract here and that has not changed. I know he knows it will not be easy to win everybody over, but I will always protect him and push him to be at his best possible level.”

Tuchel ruled Neymar out of the trip to Rennes after he could not finish a collective training session on Saturday, but has clearly not given up on selecting Neymar once more at some point.

11.55 BST: Atalanta are looking to make a defensive addition in the form of Senegal international Youssouf Sabaly, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The Italian publication have reported that the Serie A side would need to spend in the region of €10 million to acquire the Bordeaux right-back, who is contracted until June 2021.

The 26-year-old came up through the PSG academy before signing for Bordeaux permanently in 2017 for €4m.

11.35 BST: In other Los Blancos news, Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez have both been included in Real Madrid’s squad to face Celta Vigo today.

Zinedine Zidane’s team head to Balaidos for the La Liga fixture and some travelling fans will be surprised that Bale and James have also made the journey, given all the speculation around the players’ futures.

Both the Wales forward and the Colombia midfielder appear to no longer be part of Zidane’s plans at the Bernabeu, and the manager even admitted this summer: “We hope [Bale] leaves soon.”

James’ relationship with Zidane seems less strained, but the 2014 World Cup Golden Boot winner has been linked with a move to Napoli

11.10 BST: Real Madrid have reportedly joined the race for Ecuador youngster Leonardo Campana.

The 19-year-old forward, who plays for Barcelona de Guayaquil, is also said to be admired by a trio of Serie A clubs in Napoli, AC Milan and Juventus.

Campana was top scorer at this year’s South American Under-20 Championship, scoring six goals as Ecuador won the tournament, and former Real striker Raul is keen on adding the player to his Castilla youth side, according to AS in Spain.

10.50 BST: With Phillipe Coutinho set to arrive at Bayern Munich on loan, Renato Sanches‘ desire to leave the Bundesliga champions is only likely to increase, and Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has spoken on the matter

Sanches, 22, expressed a wish to leave Munich this summer, but claimed “they would not let me go.” Now Rummenigge has said: “It’s not right to immediately storm off after one or two games.

“He will still get his chances, we’re all convinced by him as a player.”

Rummenigge admitted that the club had received an “attractive” offer for the Portugal midfielder last month, but FC Hollywood do not want to sell.

10.30 BST: More Serie A news: Edin Dzeko decided to extend his contract at Roma instead of moving to Inter Milan, because he “couldn’t wait for Icardi,” the Bosnia international’s agent has said.

Talking to Italian radio station Tele Radio Stereo, Silvano Martina said: “He [could] not wait for Mauro Icardi’s decision.

“A player with Edin’s history cannot wait for someone else’s decision, for example Icardi.

“Feeling important at a big club like Roma, that makes it easy to sit down and reach an agreement for an extension,” Martina continued. 

With Inter having signed Romelu Lukaku, Icardi evidently does not feature in new manager Antonio Conte’s plans, but the striker’s unknown future was not going to hold up Dzeko.

10.15 BST: Juventus are hoping that Barcelona may still move for Daniele Rugani, according to Tuttosport.

The 25-year-old centre-back is unlikely to feature again for the Italian giants after the arrivals of Matthijs de Ligt and Merih Demiral.

The Serie A champions have set a €30 million asking price for Rugani, but would reportedly accept a €5m loan deal with the option to buy for another €25m.

Juventus director Fabio Paratici is travelling to Barcelona to negotiate, Tuttosport have reported.

There were talks of the defender moving to Arsenal or Tottenham this summer, but the Premier League transfer deadline arrived before any deals could be ironed out.

10.00 BST: Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has played coy on the future of midfielder Christian Eriksen, saying that his team selection is not determined by the length of a player’s contract or his personal relationship with them.

Pochettino has expressed uncertainty about whether or not the Dane will still be a Spurs player after the European transfer window shuts next month, but said that his decision to leave Eriksen out of the starting eleven against Aston Villa last weekend was due to matters of fitness, not a dispute over the player’s future at the club.

“For me, it is the same if a player has a year or five years,” Pochettino said. “I will take the decision based on the performance, not the contract or personal situations. My point is to help and support all the players until they decide to take a different way in their career, and show respect to all.”

“I am happy with all the players. My personal relationship is good with all the players. It was a football decision.”

Spurs were struggling against Villa and even trailed 1-0 before Eriksen’s second-half arrival helped the north London side to a 3-1 win. It is uncertain whether or not the 27-year-old will start against Manchester City today.

09.45 BST: Zidane is not the only La Liga manager to have been talking about Neymar… Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has discussed the “problems” that have arisen from his club attempting to make a player-swap deal for the PSG winger.

Speaking before Friday’s 1-0 loss to Athletic Bilbao in Barca’s La Liga opener, Valverde said: “Naturally, it’s awkward.

“Normally, you know which players you can call upon when a competition starts — at least, that’s how I think it should be.

“I’m focusing on my team and the players that I have. I’m staying away from all of the problems with Neymar. We’ll see what happens.”

09.30 BST: Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has played down expectations that the club could still sign Paul Pogba or Neymar this summer, saying he is “happy” with the players at his disposal ahead of Saturday’s La Liga opener at Celta Vigo.

With Madrid having spent over €300 million on new signings, the Bernabeu hierarchy were unable to meet Zidane’s request to bring Pogba from Manchester United, while a late move for Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar has stalled.

“Paul is a Manchester [United] player and we must respect that,” Zidane said. “Neymar is not a Real Madrid player.

“The important thing is the players who are here. I will settle with what I have. I have spoken with the person who has to do things. I have the best players here, no doubt — I always say that. I am happy with them.”

09.15 BST: Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho is set to join Bayern Munich on a one-year loan, Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has confirmed.

“I can confirm [Bayern sporting director] Hasan Salihamidzic and I were in Barcelona last Wednesday. And we reached an agreement with both the club and the player over a transfer,” Rummenigge told reporters after his club’s 2-2 Bundesliga draw with Hertha Berlin on Friday.

“The player is expected here in Munich in the next days, Sunday or Monday at the latest. He’ll do his medical and then sign his contract.

Rummenigge added that the defending Bundesliga champions will have an option to buy Coutinho after the loan period ends.

Sources told ESPN FC that Bayern will pay Coutinho’s salary in full.

PAPER TALK: Hodgson admits that Zaha could still exit the Palace

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has admitted that wantaway star Wilfried Zaha could still be off this summer, despite the domestic transfer window slamming shut last week.

The Eagles played hard-ball with Arsenal and Everton, who both wanted to tempt Zaha away from Palace. Not that the fans at Selhurst bore a grudge, giving Zaha a standing ovation after he came on as a substitute on the opening day of the season, ironically in a match against Everton.

Now The Sun reports that both Napoli and Borussia Dortmund have been linked with a swoop for Zaha before the transfer window closes in Europe on September 2. The player as keen as ever to play in the Champions League — a dream he’s unlikely to achieve with Palace.

Dembele could form part of Neymar deal

This time two years ago Ousmane Dembele signed for Barcelona in a jaw-dropping deal from Borussia Dortmund. Now he could leave mouths wide open again, only this time he’s leaving the club and heading to Paris Saint-Germain.

At least that’s what the French club would like to happen in the next few weeks, according to Spanish newspaper Sport. The outlet claim that PSG still want someone like Ivan Rakitic as a makeweight in any deal to take Neymar back to Barcelona. The economics of that deal don’t tally up at the moment, which could thrust Dembele into the limelight, whether he likes it or not.

Sport claim that Barcelona aren’t overly keen on that idea at the moment but money talks and if they’re desperate to bring Neymar home then they know they might have to make some uncomfortable decisions. And as the clock ticks down on the European transfer window anything can happen. And most probably will.


– More transfer speculation is swirling around the Nou Camp this evening, with Calciomercato citing a story in Spanish newspaper Sport that the club would be willing to let Arturo Vidal leave in exchange for their palms being laced with €20m. The Chilean star has been linked with a move to both PSG and Inter Milan in recent months, with Antonio Conte, the coach of the latter, apparently keen on being reunited with Vidal, who had signed a three-year deal with Barca last summer. The 32-year-old made 22 starts in La Liga last season.

– La Gazzetta dello Sport have reported that AC Milan have made a final offer for Atletico Madrid star Angel Correa. And they’re not going higher than €38m. Mind you, that’s miles off the Spanish side’s valuation of €55m. So if they stick to their guns, the chances are that Correa won’t be going anywhere. That said, Gazzetta claim that the Spanish side would still be prepared to do a deal if the club insert a sell-on clause offering Atletico 30 percent of any transfer fee if the Rossoneri cash in on him in the future.

EltasZone Sportswriters, Sports Analysts, Opinion columnists, editorials and op-eds. Analysis from The Zone Team
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