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LIVE Transfer Talk: Man United enter race to sign Pepe

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Top free agents in 2020 | What do Europe’s elite need

TOP STORY: Man United enter race to sign Pepe

With Romelu Lukaku on the verge of a move to Inter Milan (if the two clubs can ever agree a fee), Manchester United are on the lookout for a new forward.

The Times reports that Lille’s Nicolas Pepe is now on their list, with the French club valuing the 24-year-old at £70m.

Arsenal, Everton and Liverpool have been credited with an interest in the Ivory Coast international, while PSG and Bayern are among several clubs in Europe also reportedly keen.

United are actively targeting younger players with potential, having snapped up Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James for a combined £65m already, and are also looking to bring in a centre-back.

LIVE BLOG

13.37 BST: Andre Silva hasn’t had much success recently and Gianluca Di Marzio reports that he’s set to swap Milan for Monaco in a €30m deal.

Silva scored seven goals for Sevilla on-loan last season but only Southampton and Wolves had been showing any interest in him. The Portugal international now looks set to head to Ligue 1 to try and rebuild his career.

12.50 BST: The Daily Mirror claims that Arsenal edging closer to loan transfer of Spain midfielder Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid.

12.09 BST: Senegal forward Ismaila Sarr had been attracting the interest of Arsenal, but it seems his future lies elsewhere.

Sky Sports reports that the 21-year-old Rennes man is in talks with Watford over a £25m transfer.

Nice winger Allan Saint-Maximin is also of interest to the Hornets for the same price, but it’s unlikely they will sign both.

11.39 BST: Lys Mousset has completed a transfer from Bournemouth to Sheffield United.

11.17 BST: Bayern Munich want to sign either Leroy Sane or Ousmane Dembele and have offered defender David Alaba to Man City and Barcelona respectively as a makeweight in the deal, says Mundo Deportivo.

10.45 BST: Velez Sarsfield midfielder Thiago Almada, 18, looks set to become the latest Manchester City signing.

Of course because he’s Argentine and an attacking midfielder he’s the “new Lionel Messi” and worth £16m, say the Sun. They reckon he’ll be signed and loaned to Sporting Lisbon for a year.

10.12 BST: Zinedine Zidane is a “disgrace” for his comments about Gareth Bale‘s Real Madrid situation, the player’s agent has told ESPN FC.

Bale was left out of Saturday’s 3-1 International Champions Cup defeat to Bayern Munich and afterwards, coach Zidane said: “We hope he leaves soon. It would be best for everyone.”

The Wales international is under contract until 2022 and his agent Jonathan Barnett told ESPN FC: “Zidane is a disgrace to speak like that about someone who has done so much for Real. If and when Gareth goes it will be because it is in the best interest of Gareth and nothing to do with Zidane pushing.”

09.47 BST: Winger Alex Iwobi says he could quit Arsenal if the club sign Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace this summer.

“I am not one to chicken out. I have had it all over the years, being told I’m not good enough,” Iwobi told the Sun. “So whenever the chance comes I always try and prove I should be starting. But it’s going to be difficult if Zaha comes. He will add more stress.

“I am up for the fight but the only time I would consider leaving is if I am not playing as much as I would like to. Obviously, my joy is to play football and not just sit out. If it comes to that I would have no choice but to leave. But I would always put up a fight to play — that is what I have done all my life.

“We have big stars already, so by adding another one I’ll just have to prove I can do better than them.”

09.19 BST: David De Geas new Manchester United contract is set to keep him at Old Trafford for the next six years, sources have told ESPN FC.

The Spaniard is expected to pen his new deal, worth more than £110m, before the start of the season to bring an end to 18 months of talks.

Sources said the goalkeeper, rated as one of the best in the world, has been given assurances that United remain committed to challenging for the Premier League and Champions League after a sixth-place finish last season saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side forced to settle for a place in the Europe League.

09.00 BST: Gareth Bale‘s time at Real Madrid is almost certainly over after head coach Zinedine Zidane revealed the club is working on transferring the 30-year-old this summer.

The Wales international was left out of Saturday’s 3-1 International Champions Cup defeat to Bayern Munich in Houston and, when questioned on the reason after the game, Zidane confirmed that he felt that Bale was surplus to requirements at the club.

“Bale did not play because he is very close to leaving,” Zidane said. “We hope he leaves soon. It would be best for everyone. We are working on his transfer to a new team.

“I have nothing personal against him, but there comes a time where things are done because they must be done, I have to make decisions. We have to change.

“The exit is the coach’s decision, and also of the player, who knows the situation. The situation will change, I do not know if in 24 or 48 hours, but it will, and it’s a good thing for everyone.”

PAPER TALK (by Richard Edwards)

Spurs closing in on Sessegnon

Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon is set to snub offers from both Inter Milan and Borussia Dortmund and head to Spurs, according to the 

The paper claims that Mauricio Pochettino has seen off competition from the European giants to bring the left-back/left-winger to the club’s sparkling new home in London. It’s the latest piece of business for a club that has already spent £65 million on Tanguy Ndombele and Jack Clarke this summer.

Now, with Fulham preparing for a season in the Championship and Spurs looking to build on a first appearance in a Champions League final, it appears the 19-year-old isn’t just stalling on a new deal but is intent on earning another one at a different club.

The only stumbling block could be the fee that Spurs have to pay, with Fulham reported to be holding out for £45m for a player who has been at Craven Cottage since the age of eight.

United to face off with PSG for Bruno Fernandes

The chase for Sporting Lisbon prodigy Bruno Fernandes is well and truly on, but Manchester United are unlikely to have things their own way as they attempt to bring him to Old Trafford.

So says the Daily Mail, which reports that Paris Saint-Germain have joined the race for the 24-year-old who scored 23 goals last season. The only thing stalling this particular race so far is the monster £55m price tag that has so far put off any potential suitors.

PSG are set to offload some of their fringe players in a bid to free up space for targets such as Everton’s Idrissa Gueye, but with the transfer window set to slam shut in the next few weeks, Sporting Lisbon might well be tempted to drop their asking price — which could spark a fight for his services.

Pogba to Real back on?

Just when you thought Real Madrid’s interest in Paul Pogba was waning, up pops Los Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane with a quote to send fresh hares racing.

The French midfielder is likely to command a handsome fee — with some suggesting that United are holding out for as much as £180m for the player — but fear not, Madridistas, Zizou has it in hand, according to The Sun.

“We have a plan with the club and we’ll see what happens,” said the Madrid boss.

Tap-ins

– Friday night we reported that Carl Jenkinson was being lined up to replace Aaron Wan-Bissaka at Crystal Palace. Now it’s a man already very familiar to Selhurst Park who appears to be primed to return to the club. The Daily Mail claims that Palace have held further talks with Nathaniel Clyne, the Liverpool full-back, who began his professional career at Palace.

 Andy Carroll could be heading back to Newcastle after being released by West Ham. The Sun claims that new Newcastle boss Steve Bruce wants the 30-year-old striker.

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