LIVE Transfer Talk: Inter’s Lukaku turns down Chelsea move

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Euro 2020 and the Copa America are over and the summer transfer window is open, leaving Europe’s biggest clubs clear to make a splash in the market. Check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.

TOP STORY: Inter’s Lukaku not interested in Chelsea return

Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku has snubbed a move back to Chelsea, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

The Blues are reportedly in the market for a striker and asked about a €100m move for their former frontman after failing to make any more ground in their pursuit for Borussia Dortmund‘s Erling Haaland. But despite a €10 million-a-year salary offer (which is larger than his current deal of €7.5m), Lukaku turned down the chance to go back to Stamford Bridge, says the report.

The 28-year-old has stated his desire to stay in Milan previously and turning down a big move cements that. The report claims that the forward is much happier in the Serie A — having scored 65 goals in 95 games — and has no desire to return to the Premier League following his underwhelming spell for Manchester United.

Despite Inter’s need to raise funds amid a financial crisis at the club, the striker is seen as an indispensable part of the squad. The Nerazzurri have already moved some players on with the main one being full-back Achraf Hakimi to PSG for €70m.

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LIVE BLOG

16.45 BST: El Confidencial reports that Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has urged the club to offload Luka Jovic and Mariano Diaz in order to sign Everton’s Richarlison.

Richarlison, 24, played under Ancelotti at Everton last season but the club would want €90m to let the Brazil international go. That’s too high for Madrid, so they need to move on some squad players before they can bid.

Jovic cost €60m to sign from Eintracht Frankfurt in 2019, while Mariano Diaz arrived in a €8m deal from Lyon a year earlier. Neither have impressed but Madrid are left with only Karim Benzema up front, so Richarlison could operate as a second striker if needed.

16.03 BST: Arsenal have signed defender Ben White from Brighton & Hove Albion for around £50m, the club have announced.

White had signed a four-year deal with Brighton last summer after first joining the side in 2016. He went on several loans during his time with the club, including to Leeds United during the 2019-20 season when they achieved promotion to the Premier League.

The 23-year-old was a late call-up to England’s squad for Euro 2020 to replace the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold.

16.00 BST: The 2021-22 Premier League season is just two weeks away, with promoted Brentford hosting Arsenal in the first game of the campaign on Friday, Aug. 13, but despite the big kick-off being just around the corner, the leading clubs still have plenty of issues to address before the action gets underway on the pitch.

Manchester United have the early momentum over their rivals so far by completing the £72.9m signing of Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho and agreeing a £34m deal for Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane, while Liverpool made an early move to trigger Ibrahima Konate‘s £36m release clause at RB Leipzig.

But as the “Big Six” — United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham — prepare for the new season, they all have problems to solve, and some decisions to make on incomings and outgoings. Mark Ogden details what’s needed.

15.23 BST: The Athletic reports that Aston Villa have had a £25m bid for Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse rejected.

Ward-Prowse, 26, has just signed a new contract and Saints don’t want to let him go, but may be forced to listen to offers if the bid increases.

He scored eight goals in 38 Premier League appearances for the south coast side last season.

15.09 BST: Should clubs make a €175m move to land Dortmund striker Erling Haaland this summer?

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Craig Burley explains why clubs should pay whatever they have to in order to land Dortmund’s Erling Haaland.

14.33 BST: ESPN Brasil reports that Arsenal winger Willian has not received an offer to sign for Al-Ahli and is not interested in playing in Saudi Arabia at the moment.

However there’s still a chance he could leave Arsenal in this transfer window, with the club open to offers.

14.24 BST: Reports linking Barcelona striker Martin Braithwaite with a move to West Ham United are “fake news,” a source has told ESPN.

The Premier League side have been linked with a €15m move for Braithwaite, whose reputation was enhanced by his performances in Denmark’s run to the semifinal at Euro 2020. However, a source says there have so far been “no talks between Barca and West Ham.”

Barca will listen to offers for Braithwaite, 30, this summer as they look to reduce their wage bill and bring in money to be able to register their new signings and Lionel Messi‘s new contract.

Braithwaite, though, is in no rush to leave a club where he has a contract until 2024 and can be selective over what offers he chooses to listen to.

An €18m signing from Leganes at the beginning of 2020, Braithwaite, who previously played in England with Middlesbrough, has made 53 appearances for Barca, scoring eight goals.

13.57 BST: UPDATE: Manchester City’s offer to sign Jack Grealish from Aston Villa is for £90m plus highly rated winger Morgan Rogers as part of the deal, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.

City value Rogers, 19, at around £10m, bringing the overall outlay close to Villa’s £100m valuation of Grealish.

Aston Villa are keen to keep their captain but sources have told ESPN that the decision will be left to the player.

13.28 BST: Real Madrid believe Martin Odegaard has an important future at the club but would not rule out his departure if the player insists on leaving and a €50m offer comes along, several sources told ESPN.

The Spanish giants are still hopeful that Odegaard will change his mind and remain at Madrid to fight for a spot in the squad, sources have said, and the next two weeks could be crucial in deciding the player’s future.

The Norway international was sent on loan to Arsenal in the second half of last season due to a lack of playing time under then-coach Zinedine Zidane.

Madrid know that Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta is keen to sign Odegaard should he come available, although sources have said it is “highly unlikely” that the midfielder would leave on loan given Madrid’s financial difficulties during the pandemic.

Multiple sources have told ESPN there’s a debate at the Bernabeu around the best option for Odegaard. Some at the club are confident he can start regularly for Real Madrid, while others are concerned he is considering leaving instead of focusing on fighting for his place in the starting XI.

13.09 BST: The Daily Telegraph reports that Manchester City have made a £100m offer to sign Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish.

Grealish, 25, has been linked with City all summer after impressing for England at Euro 2020. He signed a long-term contract with Villa last year but City’s bid would break British football’s previous transfer record of £89.3m which Man United paid to land Paul Pogba from Juventus in 2016.

13.02 BST: Real Madrid spent €100m to sign Eden Hazard in 2019 but haven’t seen the best of him.

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Craig Burley and Steve Nicol explain just how important it is for Eden Hazard to stay in shape while playing for Real Madrid in the upcoming season.

12.34 BST: Arsenal are preparing to offer midfielder Granit Xhaka a new contract this summer if he doesn’t seal a move to Roma, says The Athletic.

Xhaka, 28, seemingly had his heart set on a move to join Jose Mourinho in Italy but the two clubs can’t agree a fee.

The report states: “Balancing up the amount of money necessary to replace him versus the qualities he brings both on and off the pitch, qualities which have been well regarded by every manager he has ever played for, Arsenal have come around to the idea that retaining him could be an efficient solution during what they hope will be a very busy window.”

12.17 BST: Marca says that Real Madrid will get striker Karim Benzema to sign a new contract until 2023 shortly.

The club have already signed up Luka Modric (until 2022), Nacho (until 2023), Lucas Vazquez (until 2024) and Dani Carvajal (until 2025) as they can’t spend big in the transfer market due to financial constraints.

12.04 BST: Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane has been at the training ground to say goodbye to his former teammates this morning.

Manchester United are set to pay an initial €41m for the defender with another €8.2m in add-ons. Madrid have agreed to cover a solidarity payment due to Varane’s previous club Lens.

11.50 BST: Juventus, Arsenal and another English club are in talks over the signing of Italy international midfielder Manuel Locatelli, Sassuolo CEO Giovanni Carnevali said on Thursday.

The 23-year-old impressed at Euro 2020 as the Azzurri claimed the European crown, scoring twice in a group stage win over Switzerland.

“We will speak to Juventus on Friday. We are also talking to Arsenal and another English club,” Carnevali told Sky Italia. “He wants to go to Juve. But if other clubs make an approach, he will have to evaluate the possibilities, because it is not certain that Juve’s offer will satisfy us. All three parties must be in agreement, otherwise he could stay at Sassuolo.”

Locatelli joined Sassuolo from AC Milan in 2018 and has since developed into one of Serie A’s top midfielders.

11.38 BST: Deportivo Alaves striker Joselu is on the verge of becoming Sevilla’s third summer signing, according to ABC.

Sevilla are looking to strengthen their attack and the experienced Joselu, whose contract with Alaves expires next summer, is the No. 1 choice. He scored 11 goals and set up three more in 37 league appearances to help Alaves avoid relegation from LaLiga last season.

“Sevilla is the best option,” Joselu’s agent Felipe Martinez said. “Joselu want to leave Deportivo Alaves this summer.”

Sevilla will pay Alaves a fee of around €10m to sign the former Stoke City and Newcastle striker, with Joselu expected to put pen to paper on a three-year contract.

The club have already added Marko Dimtrovic and Erik Lamela to their squad this summer.

11.14 BST: Man City want to sign Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish for £100m, but should they?

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Craig Burley says he wouldn’t be shocked if Jack Grealish didn’t play right away for Man City if he joined.

10.42 BST: Santos will accept offers in the region of €15m for teenage striker Kaio Jorge, according to the club’s transfer consultant Sergio Canozzi.

Kaio Jorge, 19, is a reported target of Juventus, AC Milan and Benfica. The Brazilian has made 10 league appearances for Santos this season.

Canozzi, who clarified that Kaio Jorge has a contract with Santos until 2023 and not until the end of this year as has been widely reported, told Sky Italia: “What is happening is the result of a wrong manoeuvre by the player’s agent. Kaio Jorge has a contract with Santos until 2023 , we are talking with several clubs and we are waiting for proposals. We know that in a normal situation he could be worth €25m, but at the moment, we could consider an offer of €15m.”

10.05 BST: PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino says Kylian Mbappe will be treated “like a player with five years remaining on his contract.”

A long-term target of Real Madrid, Mbappe has refused to sign a new contract with PSG, with his current deal ending next summer.

Pochettino was asked about the French forward’s future and told Le Parisien: “If Mbappe told me that he will not renew? Those are private conversations. But in no case did he tell me that. Will he be free next season? I cannot live from my imagination. I don’t think about what may or may not happen. The only thing that is clear is that he has one year left on his contract and we will treat him like a player with five years remaining on his contract.”

09.47 BST: Sevilla are waiting to receive a formal offer from Chelsea for Jules Kounde, according to ABC.

Sources have told ESPN that the two clubs have held talks over a deal that will see the France defender arrive to Stamford Bridge this summer. The deal could be worth around €70m — €10m less than Kounde’s buyout clause. Chelsea are considering including Kurt Zouma in the deal, according to ESPN sources, to lower the transfer fee but the Premier League side are yet to set a value on the France defender.

While negotiations between the clubs are ongoing, Kounde is training with Sevilla. It remains to be seen whether the player will feature against Roma in Saturday’s warm-up friendly at the Algarve stadium having been benched in his team’s 2-2 friendly draw against PSG on Tuesday.

09.09 BST: Real Madrid believe Martin Odegaard has an important future at the club but would not rule out his departure if the player insists on leaving and a €50m offer comes along, several sources told ESPN’s Rodrigo Faez and Adriana Garcia .

The Spanish giants are still hopeful that Odegaard will change his mind and remain at Madrid to fight for a spot in the squad, sources have said, and the next two weeks could be crucial in deciding the player’s future. The Norway international was sent on loan to Arsenal in the second half of last season due to a lack of playing time under then-coach Zinedine Zidane.

Madrid know that Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta is keen to sign Odegaard should he come available, although sources have said it is “highly unlikely” that the midfielder would leave on loan given Madrid’s financial difficulties during the pandemic.

Multiple sources have told ESPN there’s a debate at the Bernabeu around the best option for Odegaard. Some at the club are confident he can start regularly for Real Madrid, while others are concerned he is considering leaving instead of focusing on fighting for his place in the starting XI.

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08.34 BST: Celtic are hoping to attract Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Joe Hart to Parkhead, the BBC reports.

The Scottish club have made several signings this summer since Ange Postecoglou took over as manager, but the Australian coach has hinted that he wants to conduct even more transfer business to strengthen his side following their loss to Midtjylland in the Champions League qualifiers.

Former England No. 1 Hart signed a two-year contract with Spurs last summer, with all 10 of his appearances for the club coming in the FA Cup and Europa League.

The 34-year-old is likely to be bumped down to third choice for the coming season, following the arrival of Pierluigi Gollini from Atalanta.

08.00 BST: West Ham United have signed goalkeeper Alphonse Areola on a season-long loan from Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday, with an option to permanently sign the Frenchman next summer.

The 28-year-old is likely to be second-choice behind Lukasz Fabianski as manager David Moyes looks to add depth to his squad ahead of a season where they will compete in the Europa League.

Areola, who was part of the France squad that won the 2018 World Cup, spent last season on loan at Fulham, where he won Player of the Year but was unable to prevent the London side from being relegated to the second-tier Championship.

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Craig Burley and Steve Nicol discuss possible moves Chelsea could make to have a better chance at winning the Premier League.

PAPER GOSSIP (by Luke Thrower)

– Chelsea are reportedly willing to reduce the demands over Tammy Abraham in an attempt to move him on this summer. The Sun reports that the 23-year-old’s contract was valued in the region of £40m, but with clubs unwilling to pay such a fee, the London club may be forced to reduce it by at least £5m.

– Borussia Dortmund and Atalanta are interested in a move for defender Merih Demiral, according to Tuttosport. The 23-year-old is reportedly out of favour at Juventus and with the club looking to raise funds, Demiral is one they could move on. The Turkey international could be available for €30m, a fee that could be matched by both Dortmund and Atalanta due to their outgoing transfer activity.

Real Madrid have a figure in mind for Isco as they look to move him on this summer, according to Calciomercato. The playmaker has been linked with a switch to AC Milan with Los Blancos reportedly wanting a fee for the attacking midfielder of €20m. He only has a year left on his contract and new boss Carlo Ancelotti is hoping to raise funds as well as cash in on the player rather than lose him on a free.

– Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher is set to join Crystal Palace on loan after turning down other Premier League offers, reports the Daily Mail. The 21-year-old spent last season on loan at West Bromwich Albion in his first taste of top flight football. The midfielder is one of a number of players who will head to Palace this summer as new boss Patrick Viera looks to rebuild the squad.

– In an unlikely twist to the transfer window, Liverpool have been offered the services of Paul Pogba by his agent Mino Raiola, says Le10 Sport. Jurgen Klopp is reportedly interested in a new addition to the midfield following the loss of Georginio Wijnaldum to Paris Saint-Germain, with Manchester United’s Pogba touted to the German manager. Pogba, 28, only has one-year left on his deal at Old Trafford and reports have linked him with a possible move away this summer as United attempt to avoid losing him on a free transfer. But a move to United’s rivals Liverpool is incredibly unlikely.





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