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Friday, September 17, 2021

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LIVE Transfer Talk: Man United in ‘pole position’ to land Haaland

The summer transfer window is into its final week for the major European leagues, which means the biggest clubs are looking to make a splash in the market while they still can. Check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.

TOP STORY: Man United in ‘pole position’ to land Haaland in 2022There are plenty of strikers being linked with a move this summer, but Bild reports that Manchester United are in “pole position” to sign Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund in 2022.

Haaland, 21, is one of the world’s best players and has 62 goals in 63 games for Dortmund since arriving at the club in January 2020.

The Norway international was handed his professional debut at Molde by United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, so clearly the links are there, while Haaland will be available for a cut-price transfer fee of €75 million due to a release clause in his contract coming into effect.

Haaland has also been tracked by the other top European clubs, with Bayern Munich, Man City, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus all interested. However, United may hold the cards next summer if City opt to sign another striker this window now they can’t land Harry Kane (who has opted to stay at Tottenham) while Madrid may be out of the race if they complete a €200m move for Kylian Mbappe.

LIVE BLOG15.47 BST: Manchester City have not dismissed the possibility of signing Cristiano Ronaldo after Harry Kane committed his immediate future to Tottenham, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.

Kane posted on social media on Wednesday to confirm he will not leave Spurs this summer, bringing an end to City’s pursuit of the England captain in this window.

There is still room in Pep Guardiola’s squad for a striker following the departure of Sergio Aguero to Barcelona and while privately City are playing down the chances of signing Ronaldo, the idea has not yet been completely ruled out.

Sources have told ESPN a number of obstacles would have to be overcome, including Juventus’ demand for a transfer fee and Ronaldo’s high wages, which would not fit into the structure at the Etihad Stadium. The 36-year-old has a year left on his contract at Juventus.

15.42 BST: England U21 attacking midfielder Noni Madueke has signed a new four-year contract at PSV until 2025.

15.20 BST: Everton forward Richarlison is of interest to PSG, according to Eurosport.

Richarlison, 24, had been linked to Real Madrid but PSG may soon have a Kylian Mbappe-shaped hole to fill.

The Brazilian has impressed in recent seasons but Everton are looking for a pretty hefty fee of around €80m to let him go.

15.04 BST: Southampton have completed the signing of Brazilian defender Lyanco from Torino on a four-year contract.

Lyanco, 24, who also holds Serbian nationality, has featured for Brazil’s U20 and U23 teams.

“I’m very happy to be here. It’s a dream that I have had since I started playing football as a child to play in the Premier League and for a team like a Southampton. It’s a dream not only for me but for all my family too,” he said. “I grew up in Brazil and the football is different there, then when I went to Italy I learned that you have to be focused more on tactics. My dream was to play in the Premier League and play strong football, and for me English football is perfect.”

15.01 BST: AC Milan have signed Monaco striker Pietro Pellegri on loan.

Pellegri, 20, scored only one goal in 17 games last season but will transfer for a loan fee of up to €2m and reported clause of €7m to sign permanently next summer, including bonuses.

14.45 BST: Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo has said that Kylian Mbappe wants to leave the club and confirmed the French giants turned down an offer from Real Madrid for the France international.

Sources told ESPN on Tuesday that Madrid had seen an €160m offer for the 22-year rejected, but were hopeful of agreeing a deal before the transfer window closes on Aug. 31.

“Kylian Mbappe wants to leave, that seems clear,” Leonardo told French outlet RMC on Wednesday. “If he wants to leave, we are not going to keep him but it will be done under our conditions.

“We have spoken a lot with Kylian and he always tells us the same thing. Kylian has always promised us that he would never leave the club on a free transfer.”

Speaking with Spanish newspaper Marca, Leonardo added that Madrid’s bid “is not sufficient.”

“It’s a long way from what we think, and we won’t offload a player for less than we paid for him at 18 years old,” he said.

Sources have told ESPN it would take an offer of around €200m to make PSG consider accepting a deal.

14.24 BST: PSG aren’t playing ball with Real Madrid’s first offer of €160m for Kylian Mbappe.

play0:52

Julien Laurens shares his thoughts on PSG rejecting Real Madrid’s €160 million bid for Kylian Mbappe.

13.50 BST: Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets has agreed further reductions and deferrals to his salary to help the club reduce their wage bill to comply with LaLiga’s fair play rules, sources have told ESPN’s Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens.

Busquets becomes the third Barca player to take what sources have told ESPN is a “substantial” pay cut after Jordi Alba and Gerard Pique accepted similar reductions.

The Spain international is also still owed money by Barca from previous deferrals, after he agreed to help the club cope with the financial fallout caused by the pandemic.

Busquets, 33, has been at the club since 2005 and his contract runs until 2023. He is the first-team captain following Lionel Messi’s departure to Paris Saint-Germain. However, Barca have failed to reach an agreement with Sergi Roberto over a similar deduction.

Roberto, 29, is willing to reduce his pay but is not happy with the terms proposed by the club. His contract expires next summer and sources have told ESPN that Barca are willing to extend his deal by an additional two years but with a 40% pay cut.

Sources have told ESPN that Roberto has much bigger offers on the table from elsewhere. In January, he will be free to sign a pre-contract agreement with another club.

13.26 BST: More transfer business needs to be conducted across Twitter.

— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) August 25, 2021 12.53 BST: Some BIG news here! Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane has said he will be staying at the club “this summer” and that he is “100% focused” on making the team successful.

Kane had told Spurs in May that he wanted to leave the club and sources had told ESPN’s James Olley and Rob Dawson that Manchester City prepared a bid for the England captain that would total £100m.

However, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy was reluctant to let Kane leave the club.

“It was incredible to see the reception from the Spurs fans on Sunday and to read some of the messages of support I’ve had in the last few weeks,” Kane wrote on social media. “I will be staying at Tottenham this summer and will be 100% focused on helping the team achieve success.”

It was incredible to see the reception from the Spurs fans on Sunday and to read some of the messages of support I’ve had in the last few weeks. 👏⚽

I will be staying at Tottenham this summer and will be 100% focused on helping the team achieve success. #COYS pic.twitter.com/uTN78tHlk1

— Harry Kane (@HKane) August 25, 2021 12.07 BST: LaLiga champions Atletico Madrid have signed Brazil forward Matheus Cunha from Hertha Berlin.

The 22-year-old will provide competition for Luis Suarez in Atletico’s front line after signing a five-year contract. Sources have told ESPN’s Alex Kirkland that Atletico will pay €25m for Cunha with an additional €5m in variables.

The club described their new signing as “a versatile player who can play in various positions – as a striker, winger or even attacking midfielder.”

Cunha impressed for Brazil in their gold medal win at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer, scoring three times. He joined Hertha in January 2020 from RB Leipzig and scored seven goals in the Bundesliga last season.

— Atlético de Madrid (@Atleti) August 25, 2021 11.47 BST: Tuesday marked officially one week to go before the summer transfer window closes for 2021, meaning all the big clubs are racing to fill gaps in the squad, find new clubs for fringe players or figure out the financials to make the signing of the season.

Where do Man City and Tottenham stand in the saga around Harry Kane? Have Chelsea finished spending after bringing Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge? Can Barcelona balance their books in the wake of Lionel Messi’s exit? And will Manchester United, Liverpool or Real Madrid make any further moves before the 11 p.m. deadline on Aug. 31?

ESPN’s correspondents and writers take you through the notable moves and biggest questions for the top teams in Europe, as well as predicting what might happen over the seven days.

– Top clubs’ transfer needs with one week left until deadline day

11.19 BST: Cristiano Ronaldo has left Juventus’ training session early on Wednesday morning after sustaining a blow to the arm.

After reportedly asking not to start for last Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Udinese, could this mean he is ruled out for Saturday’s home match against Empoli?

Juventus are due to hold a news conference at 13:00 BST: today to unveil new signing Kaio Jorge, so we may get an update of Ronaldo later.

Colpo al braccio destro per #CR7, che chiude l’allenamento in anticipo 🇵🇹7️⃣ pic.twitter.com/LTUHstjH2x

— Romeo Agresti (@romeoagresti) August 25, 2021 10.51 BST: Manchester United will not be able to firm up their interest in either Eduardo Camavinga or Saul Niguez until they raise funds through letting some players move on, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.

Rennes are open to cashing in on Camavinga, who has a year left on his contract, in the final week of the transfer window. Atletico Madrid, meanwhile, have told Saul he can leave if they receive a suitable offer, with sources telling ESPN’s Alex Kirkland and Rodrigo Faez that Chelsea are in talks with the LaLiga champions over a season-long loan for the midfielder with an option to sign a permanent deal

Both remain of interest to United — who have prioritised midfield reinforcements over a right-back ahead of the Aug. 31 deadline — but any move is set to depend on players leaving Old Trafford, something club bosses believe is increasingly unlikely as the window draws to a close.

The loan exits of Axel Tuanzebe, Andreas Pereira and Brandon Williams have earned minimal fees and while there is interest in members of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first team squad including Jesse Lingard and Eric Bailly, there are no concrete proposals on the table.

An enquiry made by West Ham for Lingard was knocked back last week. If Atletico were willing to entertain loan offers for Saul, including a loan fee and an obligation to buy in the future, it would give United more flexibility to negotiate an agreement. Atletico also showed an interest in Lingard earlier in the summer.

10.20 BST: Willian wants to leave Arsenal and move to Brazilian club Corinthians, according to the player’s father.

Sources told ESPN’s James Olley on Monday that Corinthians are in talks to sign the 33-year-old, who has two years remaining on his contract at Emirates Stadium but is keen to leave after a disappointing first season having joined the Gunners from Chelsea on a free transfer last summer.

“There are things money can’t buy,” Severino Vieira da Silva told Arena SBT. “Playing for Corinthians is priceless. Today, it is possible to pay [Willian’s salary] — without doubt. Especially since Corinthians are lowering their wage bill. Two or three players there that are leaving would allow them to pay [it].

“Player for Corinthians is priceless, but he is professional. If it depended on him, he would go to Corinthians.”

09.43 BST: The A-League’s record goal scorer, Besart Berisha, is set to quit Australia and head back to Europe to find a new club.

Berisha left Western United in July after his two-year deal with the expansion outfit expired. The 36-year-old had been linked to a return to Melbourne Victory but with no deal forthcoming, Berisha said he has made the decision to leave Australia to continue his career.

“I am 36 but I feel I can still perform for another season … I was talking to clubs, a lot of back and forth, but in the end nothing has happened so I have to think of my future,” Berisha told The Age. “There is an opportunity overseas and if it can be done I really want to do it, to play my last season where it all started for me it would be special.”

Arriving in Australia in 2011, Berisha spent three seasons at Brisbane Roar, scoring in both the 2012 and 2014 grand final triumphs. He then moved to the Victory, finding the back of the net again in a grand final as his new club won the 2015 championship with a 3-0 win over Sydney FC.

09.17 BST: Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek wants to stay at the club this summer despite still failing to break into the first team, The Times reports.

Van de Beek signed for United from Ajax in a £35m transfer last September after being linked with several of Europe’s top clubs, , but has started just four Premier League games since arriving at Old Trafford.

The Times reports that the 24-year-old’s representatives have been approached by clubs during the summer transfer window, but Van de Beek is not willing to consider any offers as he remains committed to succeeding at United.

08.34 BST: Chelsea’s hopes of signing Sevilla defender Jules Kounde have been boosted as talks with West Ham over the transfer of Kurt Zouma are progressing, Sky reports.

Zouma, 26, has been West Ham’s top target to bolster the Hammers’ defence this summer. Personal terms are yet to be agreed, but there is a possibility of a £25m move for the centre-back with time to spare before next week’s deadline.

Should Zouma end his seven-year association with Chelsea, that would open a space in the Blues’ squad to sign Kounde. Sources told ESPN’s Rodrigo Faez and Adriana Garcia last month that Chelsea and Sevilla have entered talks over a deal for the France international that could be worth around €70m — €10m less than the 22-year-old’s buyout clause.

08.00 BST: Real Madrid have launched a €160m offer to sign Kylian Mbappe which has been immediately rejected by Paris Saint-Germain, multiple sources have told ESPN’s Julien Laurens and Rodrigo Faez.

Sources close to Real Madrid admit to ESPN that the negotiations will be difficult, but they still hope to convince PSG to agree a deal before the transfer window ends on Aug. 31. Meanwhile, other sources in France suggest to ESPN that Madrid would need to raise the offer to €200m to have a chance of completing the signing.

Mbappe’s contract at PSG expires next summer, and the 22-year-old has made it clear that, despite repeated approaches from the club, he does not intend to renew. PSG believed that the arrival of Lionel Messi could change Mbappe’s mind, but that has not transpired.

play1:33

Julien Laurens reacts to the news that Houssem Aouar is linked with Arsenal and Tottenham.

PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)– The future of Cristiano Ronaldo could be back in the Premier League, with reports that the Juventus striker is pushing for a move to Manchester City. L’Equipe says that the 36-year-old is keen to see a deal over the line this summer and sees the blue half of Manchester as the next stop in his career, despite having played for Manchester United.

The Portugal star reportedly asked to not be named in the starting XI for his side’s most recent Serie A clash against Udinese, intensifying speculation over whether he would remain in Turin for the season. And with City actively pursuing a front man, Pep Guardiola might have a decision to make with the signing of former United talisman Ronaldo now a possibility. L’Equipe adds that Ronaldo has already been asking his fellow Portugal internationals who play for City

— Bernardo Silva, Ruben Dias and Joao Cancelo — about life at the Etihad.- Tottenham Hotspur continue to be busy in the transfer market, with Sky Sports reporting that the club have held talks with the representatives of Lyon’s Houssem Aouar. The 23-year-old has been the subject of speculation throughout the summer, with just two years remaining on his contract, and despite the midfielder’s preference to join a club in the Champions League, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side are confident they can convince Aouar to swap Lyon for North London.

– Lyon have identified a replacement for Memphis Depay in the form of Zenit St. Petersburg striker Sardar Azmoun, according to Le10 Sport, which reports that the Ligue 1 club have made an offer of €11m to secure the signature of the 26-year-old. The Iran international has already scored five goals in six matches this season after hitting 19 in 21 last term.

– Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Rafinha is keen on a move back to Serie A, with AC Milan as his preference, Calciomercato writes. Technical director Paolo Maldini is still on the lookout for an attacking midfielder before the window closes, and a move for the 28-year-old could go ahead if the player continues to push for a relocation to the city where he last featured for Internazionale in 2018.

– England U21 star Noni Madueke is beginning to attract interest from a host of Premier League clubs, according to the Daily Mail. Manchester United, Liverpool and Spurs are all reportedly keen on the 19-year-old winger, for whom PSV Eindhoven are said to demand a transfer fee of around €40m. Madueke has scored six goals in nine appearances for the Dutch club so far this season, including two in Champions League clashes against Galatasaray and FC Midtjylland.

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