2019-06-14 by W.M.
Friday’s transfer news: Man Utd bid for Premier League rival, plan B for Liverpool, Arsenal suffer setback
Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Barcelona remain the talk of the transfer rumour mill now that the international window has finally opened.
Yesterday Eden Hazard was finally unveiled as a Real Madrid player after completing a medical with the Spanish giants, following his move from Chelsea. And earlier in the week Daniel James completed his £18m move from Swansea to Manchester United.
The future of Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt meanwhile remains uncertain, with the 19-year-old defender currently linked to a host of clubs eager to land his signature. And Liverpool continue to press for the signature of Lille winger Nicolas Pepe – but have a new striker in their sights.
We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.
a day, more exclusives, analysis and extras.
Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of Friday’s transfer news, rumours and done deals.
We start with the news that Maurizio Sarri is poised to quit Chelsea for Juventus.
The Italian champions’ sporting director Fabio Paratici has been in London the last few days to negotiate, with the club having made Sarri their preferred choice to succeed Max Allegri.
Chelsea are insisting on compensation, since that’s what they had to pay to get Sarri out of his Napoli contract last summer.
United to open bidding
Manchester United are to open the bidding for Newcastle midfielder Sean Longstaff.
That’s according to the Evening Standard who claim that United are desperate to sign the 21-year-old midfielder as they overhaul their side.
They also claim that Newcastle may be open to a deal that provides them with the money to sign a new right-back and centre-back.
Liverpool’s plan B
The Mirror this morning report that, after deciding not to pursue a bid for Nabil Fekir, Liverpool have turned to their plan B.
Instead of signing a new striker they are going to give Rhian Brewster a chance to impress.
The 19-year-old is highly rated at Anfield and has been tipped to be a future star.
He should find himself with chances to play now that Daniel Sturridge has left as a free agent, with Divock Origi’s future still unclear.
Eden Hazard was unveiled as a Real Madrid player last night and revealed the secret chat that convinced him to sign for the club…
Juve and Roma eye sensational swap move
Juventus and Roma are working on a sensational deal that would see the clubs swap players: Kostas Manolas moving to Turin and Gonzalo Higuain, back from a disappointing loan spell at Chelsea, moving to the capital.
Roma are ready to sell Edin Dzeko and the Argentine is seen as a suitable replacement, add Gazzetta dello Sport.
The move would put Mauro Icardi in an awkward position, with new Inter boss Antonio Conte keen to get rid of the problematic striker.
Rabiot talking to Juventus
Adrien Rabiot admits he is talking to Juventus.
The PSG star, who will leave the French club on a free transfer this summer, has been targeted by many of Europe’s top clubs.
Barcelona had been seen as the favourites, with Manchester United also keen, but Rabiot has now conceded he is talking to the Turin giants and could be Maurizio Sarri’s first signing once his move from Chelsea is confirmed.
“I’m talking with Juventus,” Rabiot told Corriere dello Sport. ” it’s a great club where everyone would like to play.
“I like Italy so much, it’s wonderful here. A demanding season awaits me. At Juventus? Juve watched me and we talked about it, but I can’t say anything.
“Manchester United? It’s the same as last year, I have to decide. I’m on vacation for now. Soon you will know.”
Real to beat Barcelona to sign Japanese wonderkid
Real Madrid are on the verge of signing Takefusa Kubo from FC Tokyo.
Marca report the Spanish giants want the Japanese youngster, 18, and are ready to beat Barcelona to his signing.
PSG are also in the running, but Real look to continue their blitz on the summer transfer window.
Kubo has scored five and assisted four more in 2019 for FC Tokyo.
Meet the most misunderstood player in England…
… who could well be on the move this summer. Jack Pitt-Brooke sat down with Tottenham midfielder Marcus Edwards for this exclusive interview.
Griezmann eyes preferred role at Barcelona
Antoine Griezmann can play all across the front line, which will be part of the reason Barcelona will likely sign the France international from Atletico Madrid.
But Griezmann has eyed a specific role, claim Mundo Deportivo: the left side of the front three.
That means Barcelona are likely to persist with Luis Suarez down the middle, and Lionel Messi, of course, on the left, which could create an issue with Ousmane Dembele and a lack of game time for the French winger.
Middlesbrough turn to Woodgate
Jonathan Woodgate has been appointed Middlesbrough’s head coach on a three-year contract.
The 39-year-old former Boro and England defender has been handed the reins following the departure of Tony Pulis at the end of the season.
A club statement said: “Middlesbrough Football Club are delighted to confirm that Jonathan Woodgate will head up a new-look senior coaching team.
“Jonathan has been appointed as the club’s new head coach and has agreed a three-year contract.
“Our former captain will be joined by his ex-Leeds and Tottenham team-mate, and current Republic of Ireland assistant manager Robbie Keane, Leo Percovich, who was previously on the coaching staff at the club from 2013-2017, and one-time Boro man Danny Coyne, as goalkeeping coach.”
Walker agrees new City contract
Kyle Walker is set to sign a new contract at Manchester City.
The new deal will tie him to the Etihad until 2024, with the impending arrival of Joao Cancelo from Juventus seemingly not casting doubt on his role under Pep Guardiola.
The making of Wan-Bissaka
Manchester United are desperate to sign him this summer, but how much do you really know about Aaron Wan-Bissaka?
We spoke to the coaches who know him best to find out just how he became a £50m player this summer.
Bakayoko heading back to Chelsea
Tiemoue Bakayoko is heading back to Chelsea this summer – and he doesn’t sound thrilled about it.
“I have three years left on my contract,” he told L’Equipe. “I do not have a choice.
“What will happen next, I’m not sure, but I have to go back to Chelsea, that’s the only thing we know.”
De Ligt weighs up contrasting offers
Matthijs De Ligt has a tough decision to make over his future.
The Ajax star has several high offers: Barcelona, Juventus and PSG.
Manchester United are also known to be keen, but Sport claim the Spaniards’ offer is €6m per year, half of PSG’s massive €12m offer, with Juventus going in at €10m.
West Ham and Everton in for Cillessen
Jasper Cillessen is deciding which Premier League club he will play for next season.
The Barcelona goalkeeper is set to move on, claim Sport, with Everton and West Ham negotiating for the former Ajax star.
Barcelona are also searching for a replacement to be the understudy to Marc-andre ter Stegen.
Villa join Bournemouth in race to sign Butland
Aston Villa have joined Bournemouth in the race to sign Jack Butland.
The England goalkeeper remained with Stoke last season after relegation, but he now appears ready to leave.
Butland would start ahead of Jed Steer under Dean Smith after achieving promotion back to the Premier League.
Juve fly in for Pogba talks
Juventus’ sporting director Fabio Paratici has arrived in London to meet at Manchester United’s offices in the capital for talks over a move for Paul Pogba.
The French midfielder appears open to a move this summer, with the Old Lady keen to bring him back to Turin, according to Sky Sports.
As a deal for Maurizio Sarri is close to completion, targets for the soon-to-be former Chelsea boss are being lined up, with Pogba seen as a priority.
Real Madrid complete signing of Kubo
Real Madrid have completed the signing Takefusa Kubo from FC Tokyo.
The former Barcelona starlet moves to the Bernabeu and will begin his time in the capital with the B team.
A statement from Real Madrid read: “The technically outstanding attacking midfielder is joining to strengthen the Castilla youth side next season.”
Madrid beat off competition from Barcelona and PSG for the Japan international with a fee reported to be in the region of £1.5m.
Aston Villa have appointed West Brom’s Mark Harrison as their new academy manager
Harrison held a similar position with the Baggies for over a decade but has been brought in to help bring through young talent with the club returning to the Premier League.
“Aston Villa is a football club steeped in a rich tradition of producing its own players,” said chief executive Christian Purslow.
“Mark’s appointment is another cornerstone of the process and journey that we set out upon last summer.
“As a football club, we want a clear pathway right through the academy to the first-team with outstanding recruitment and development.
“I have every confidence that Mark, working closely with Dean Smith and Jesus Garcia Pitarch, will build an excellent academy that will be able to nurture the next generation of stars to entertain the crowds at Villa Park.”
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Arsenal are meanwhile set to push on with their first signing of the summer with a bid for Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser set to be lodged. A new centre-back is high on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s priority list at United with Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly and Leicester’s Harry Maguire both options. Crystal Palace’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka is another on the Norwegian’s radar.
It won’t just be incomings at Old Trafford, however, with Paul Pogba a high-profile target for Real Madrid and Alexis Sanchez on his way out with Inter Milan and Juventus fighting it out for his signature – if he drops his wage demands. And Liverpool could be active too as they look to go one better after failing to win the Premier League title by just a single point.