TOP STORY: Ronaldo wanted to quit Juve for PSG
The French outlet claims that Ronaldo, who recently won his second Serie A title in two years at Juve, had grown disillusioned with life in Turin and was seeking a way out.
France Football claims that Ronaldo began to seriously consider a transfer last October, less than two years after he joined Juve from Real Madrid, following an underwhelming 2-1 win over Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League.
Global events served to scupper Ronaldo’s reported hopes of a move this summer, but the Portugal captain’s long-term future at Juventus now looks open to question.
21.12 BST: Crystal Palace are ready to sell Wilfried Zaha but are resigned to only receiving half of their £70m valuation, according to the Sun. The winger has three years remaining on a £130,000-a-week contract and turns 28 in November, depressing a market for the Ivory Coast international whose suitors previously included Arsenal and Chelsea.
20.35 BST: Manchester City have completed the signing of Ferran Torres from Valencia, the club announced on Tuesday. Sources told ESPN last month that City were closing in on the signing of Torres, 20, who will move to the Etihad for a fee of €23m plus add-ons. Read the full story.
Here we go! We’re delighted to announce the signing of @FerranTorres20 from Valencia on a five-year deal ✍️
— Manchester City (@ManCity) August 4, 2020
19.58 BST: Portuguese outlet A Bola reports that free agent and former Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani is close to joining Benfica in a deal that would see him earn an €8m signing-on fee and annual wages of €2.5m.
19.21 BST: Tottenham are nearing a deal for Southampton’s Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, according to Sky Sports’ Fabrizio Romano.
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg to Tottenham is now one step away to become a done deal. Personal terms agreed and last details between clubs then it’ll be completed. €17M to Southampton.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 4, 2020
18.58 BST: Jadon Sancho is close to agreeing on a five-year deal with Manchester United, reports Sky Sports. Sancho registered 17 goals and 17 assists in 32 Bundesliga games for Borussia Dortmund last season and is said to top the list of United’s summer targets.
17.41 BST: England international Jodie Taylor is moving from NWSL side OL Reign to Lyon ahead of the UEFA Women’s Champions League restart, the clubs announced.
OL Reign, formerly the Seattle Reign, were acquired by Lyon in 2019. And Taylor said she was thrilled to join the club which has won each of the past four European titles.
“I am extremely excited to be joining OL for the remainder of 2020,” said Taylor. “It is a great opportunity to join one of the best women’s teams in the world.”
17:29 BST: Manchester City are looking to sign former Benfica wonderkid Joao Felix from Atletico Madrid as a replacement for the departed Leroy Sane, reports the Athletic.
16:16 BST: Cristiano Ronaldo has dreamed of joining fellow superstars Neymar and Kylian Mbappe at PSG, with France Football revealing a move was deemed “very probably” by those in the Juventus man’s inner circle.
With Juve not looking the part this season despite winning a ninth straight Serie A title, Ronaldo reportedly had his sights set on an exit from Turin, with PSG top of the list. But COVID-19 has squashed his plans of being in the bright lights of Paris, reports the outlet, and instead confined Ronaldo to the town “hidden behind the mountains” for at least another season.
15.35 BST: As the Premier League season is finally put to a rest, ESPN’s Ian Darke is already looking ahead to the new season and how the big six should spend in the transfer window.
The new campaign is set to start on Sept. 12. In other words, the break is only six weeks and even shorter for clubs still engaged in European club competitions.
However, the transfer window is open until early October leaving plenty of time to see if Pep Guardiola seeks a replacement for David Silva or whether Liverpool will choose to add to a pretty perfect starting XI.
15.02 BST: Manchester City are retaining their interest in Kalidou Koulibaly and Pau Torres despite agreeing a fee for Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.
City are set to sign Ake after reaching agreement over a £40 million deal following Bournemouth’s relegation to the Championship.
Napoli value Koulibaly at €90m, although Manchester United are also interested in the 29-year-old Senegal international.
Torres has also caught the eye of United but he wants assurances over playing time should he leave Villarreal this summer after playing regularly for the La Liga side last season.
14.41 BST: Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said the club will not be rushed over their summer transfer dealings despite Borussia Dortmund setting a deadline for top target Jadon Sancho to leave the club.
Sources have told ESPN that talks with Dortmund are ongoing over a deal that would see United pay around €70m up front for Sancho with another €50m due in installments and bonus payments.
Privately, Dortmund have set Aug. 10 as the deadline to get a deal done with the sticking point between the clubs reportedly over transfer fees.
“This transfer window is a long one and every transfer takes its course,” Solskjaer said at a news conference ahead of his side’s Europa League tie against LASK.
“It is what it is. We are always looking to improve the team and squad. At the moment I have no updates for you, If there’s any news we’ll update you.”
14.08 BST: Real Madrid will only make a move in the summer transfer market if they can sell Gareth Bale, sources have told ESPN’s Rodrigo Faez and Alex Kirkland.
President Florentino Perez had said that the club would not be making any major signings due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
But club sources have told ESPN that only the departure of Bale, 31, would persuade them to make a significant investment during this window.
Bale has fallen out of favour with Real Madrid manager Zinedane Zidane and made just one start and one substitute appearance after La Liga resumed in June.
However, sources close to Bale continue to insist that he is happy in Madrid and intending to see out his contract, which expires in 2022.
13.34 BST: Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has said he is “gutted” his loan spell at Roma has ended.
Smalling returns to Old Trafford following the end of the Serie A campaign and has not been included in Roma’s Europa League squad for the round-of-16 clash with Sevilla.
“I’m gutted that I can’t finish what we started this season,” Smalling wrote on Twitter. “To experience the love shown to me in such a short time was extra special and it will not be forgotten.
“I want to thank and wish all the players and staff the best of luck against Sevilla.”
The 29-year-old made 30 league appearances as Roma finished fifth and contributed three goals.
13.03 BST: Real Madrid left-back Sergio Reguilon is in talks to join Chelsea, with discussions already at an advanced stage, sources have told ESPN’s Rodrigo Faez and Alex Kirkland.
The defender, 23, has attracted interest from a number of top European clubs after impressing in La Liga this season on loan at Sevilla.
Chelsea’s No. 1 left-back target this year has been Leicester’s Ben Chilwell, but negotiations have proved difficult.
Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Inter Milan had all made inquiries about Reguilon this summer, but multiple sources have told ESPN that Chelsea are now favourites to land him.
Discussions are still ongoing over whether the left-back will join in a loan move or a permanent deal for around €25m.
12.36 BST: Manchester United missed out on Borussia Dortmund teenager Jude Bellingham after refusing to match the £56,000-a-week pay deal offered by the German club, sources have told ESPN’s Mark Ogden.
Bellingham, 17, left Birmingham City for Dortmund in July in a transfer that could eventually be worth £22.75 million to the EFL Championship side.
The England under-17 international came close to signing for United in January but the deal stalled when the club turned its attention to signing Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon.
Sources have told ESPN that while manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was keen on securing Bellingham, other officials at the club were reluctant about the idea of getting tied into another big money contract.
12.02 BST: Villarreal are leading the race to sign Japan midfielder Take Kubo on a season-long loan from Real Madrid, according to reports.
Kubo spent the 2019-20 campaign on loan at Mallorca, where he scored four goals and set up five more in 35 league appearances.
With Eder Militao, Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior occupying the three-non European spots at Madrid, Kubo, 19, will be loaned again.
A total of 30 clubs have reportedly shown an interest in acquiring the Japan international for the 2020-21 campaign but multiple outlets have reported that Villarreal is the front runner to take Kubo.
According to El Transistor, PSG wanted to sign Kubo on a permament transfer but Real Madrid have no intention to sell the player.
Madrid wants a club that pays Kubo’s €2m wages and that gives him the chance to play in Europe next season.
11.25 BST: Real Madrid forward Luka Jovic has been persuaded to join Monaco by new coach Niko Kovac, according to France Football.
The pair have a good relationship after working together at Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt in the 2017-18 season.
“Kovac has already convinced Luka Jovic to start again [in Monaco] after a complicated season at Real Madrid,” France Football reported on Monday.
Jovic signed for €60m last summer but the striker has failed to impress at the Bernabeu, scoring two goals and facing a series of controversies including allegedly breaking quarantine rules in Serbia and breaking his foot while in lockdown.
Spanish newspaper Diario AS reported that the 22-year-old’s entourage are denying a deal with Monaco is in place, insisting the player is focused on Madrid’s Champions League round-of-16 second leg clash with Manchester City on Friday.
10.53 BST: England and Houston Dash forward Rachel Daly has said she would be open to a loan move to the Women’s Super League (WSL).
Daly captained the Dash to the NWSL Challenge Cup title in July but with no football scheduled in the U.S. until April 2021, she told the BBC that she would be interested in a temporary move with the WSL season due to start in early September.
“I’d be open to going anywhere and having a new experience,” she said.
“If I don’t go on loan, the Dash will continue training and the league are looking at some friendly games — but it will be a long eight months.
“It’s always at the back of mind, and I’d never say never, but it has to feel right and I have to feel ready.
“My life has been in the US for the past eight years. I’ve spent all of my 20s here and I’ve matured and grown up here.”
10.17 BST: Everton are looking to fend off interest from Manchester United to complete a deal for Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes, sources have told ESPN’s Mark Ogden.
Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has made defensive reinforcements a priority this summer, with director of football Marcel Brands tasked with signing a centre-back and right-back ahead of the new season.
Gabriel, 22, has emerged as Everton’s No. 1 target at centre-back, with Lille ready to sell if they receive an offer in excess of £25m.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to add a centre-back to his squad this summer, but while sources have confirmed that Gabriel is a player of interest at Old Trafford, he is only one of a number of potential defensive recruits.
09.49 BST: Alexis Sanchez is negotiating with Manchester United a termination of his contract with a view to then sign for Inter Milan as a free agent, according to Sky Italia.
The Chile winger, who is tied to United until June 2022, arrived at the Milan club last summer on a season-long loan looking for a spark to his career.
Sanchez, 31, endured a difficult start to the campaign due to injuries but ended the Serie A campaign in better form. He scored four goals and set up 10 more in 29 appearances in all competitions.
Inter are keen to make Sanchez’s stay permanent but had failed to reach an agreement with United to extend Sanchez’s stay to allow the former Barcelona and Arsenal player to compete with them in the Europa League.
The Nerazzurri are hopeful that Sanchez can cut ties with United and avoid paying a €60m transfer free for the Chile international.
According to Sky Italia, Sanchez has already agreed a three-year contract with Inter, earning €7m net per season.
09.25 BST: Manchester United have released their new home kit for the 2020-21 season, and appear to have confirmed the future of Paul Pogba in the process.
Earlier this season the France international was linked with summer moves to Real Madrid and Juventus, but his name appears on the back of a shirt in the launch campaign for United’s new kit.
Cast-iron proof that Pogba will be playing at Old Trafford next season.
08.57 BST: Valencia winger Ferran Torres is set to undergo a medical this morning in a Barcelona clinic before signing a five-year contract with Manchester City, according to Onda Cero.
Sources told ESPN’s Rob Dawson last week that Torres, 20, will join City for a reported €23m plus add-ons after City beat Juventus and Manchester United to land the Spain under-21 star.
City executives Ferran Soriano, Omar Berrada and Txiki Begiristain will accompany Torres in Barcelona. Torres, who has a year left on his contract with Valencia, refused to sign a contract extension.
08.32 BST: Borussia Dortmund chief Michael Zorc has hit back at former Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness, who had called the club’s transfer policy “not smart” in an interview with German broadsheet FAZ.
Hoeness had said that young players at Dortmund were regarded as nothing but an “object for sale” and couldn’t commit to the club. Dortmund have this year signed teenagers Erling Haaland and Jude Bellingham, while they are also in the middle of negotiations to sell 20-year-old winger Jadon Sancho to Manchester United.
“When Dortmund buys a highly talented player and he plays well, you can hear only a few months later, either from within the club or from the outside, that he will eventually be an object for sale.
“How can a player take in the club’s DNA 100% if he gets the impression that he is an object for sale?”
Zorc responded to the comments on Monday and said Bayern benefitted from having a larger budget.
“Those are pretty arrogant statements and some of them are also factually wrong,” he told reporters. “If you have €250m more in your pocket every year, it is just easy to brag.”
08.00 BST: Chelsea are running out of time to avoid Willian leaving on a free transfer as the winger continues to hold out for a three-year contract, sources have told ESPN’s James Olley.
Willian, 31, had been expected to announce whether he is leaving the club this week but sources have told ESPN he will now wait until after Saturday’s Champions League round-of-16 second leg at Bayern Munich before deciding his future.
Blues head coach Frank Lampard wants Willian to stay and has been pushing the club to find a breakthrough in negotiations which have been deadlocked for months.
Willian is happy in London and willing to sign a new deal but Chelsea have so far only offered him a two-year extension. Sources have told ESPN that the Brazilian is adamant he will not accept less and will depart in search of a new club if Chelsea are unwilling to match his demands.
PAPER TALK (by Harry Kettle): Man United to wait on Grealish move
In the wake of Villa avoiding relegation on the final day, attention has turned toward the future of the 24-year-old captain. United have been tracking his progress for quite some time, but the report states that he is still not viewed as the club’s main priority.
With Villa wanting offers in excess of £80 million, the Red Devils will take a back seat and allow the potential Jadon Sancho deal to play out before going in for Grealish.
Chelsea join race for Reguilon
The 23-year-old has been at the heart of great interest from across Europe, with the Blues’ fellow Premier League side Everton submitting a bid of around £18 million last week. The Madrid academy star hit the headlines during his loan tenure with Sevilla, when he was voted as the best left-back in La Liga, and now his future likely lies away from the Bernabeu.
Spurs want £23m for Aurier
AC Milan are keen to sign the Ivory Coast international, but they hoped to land him for a fee of around £12m. Spurs paid £23m to sign him from Paris Saint-Germain in 2017, and with two years remaining on his contract, it appears as if that’s the minimum the North Londoners are willing to accept.
Tottenham are said to be working on a limited budget, and this deal clearly factors into that.
– Arsenal are attempting to tie Emiliano Martinez to a long-term deal, the Sun reports. Despite his joining the club in 2011, it is only in the past few months that the popular goalkeeper has been able to make a real impact in North London. After being sent out on loans six times during his Gunners career, his Premier League and FA Cup heroics appear to have given him a new purpose under Mikel Arteta.
– Borussia Dortmund could be closing in on the signing of Manchester City prospect Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, according to the Daily Mail. At the age of 15, he is already being tipped to be the next Jadon Sancho, and though Paris Saint-Germain might also be interested in his talents, Dortmund are reportedly much further along with their offer.
– Brentford winger Said Benrahma isn’t thinking “at all” about his future ahead of the Championship playoff final, Sky Sports reports. The 24-year-old said his mind is focused on completing the season with the Bees on Tuesday, despite interest from a string of top European clubs.