Transfer Talk: Juventus close to finalising move for De Ligt
The European transfer window is open. Click here to review all the latest transfers, and keep up to date with the latest gossip below.
TOP STORY: Juve close in on de Ligt deal
It may feel like this transfer saga has dragged on and on, but really, the window has been open only a week, and it now seems as though Matthijs de Ligt has chosen his next destination.
Many moons ago, the Ajax captain looked certain to follow Frenkie de Jong to Barcelona. Just a few weeks ago, sources told ESPN FC that Paris Saint-Germain had moved into pole position for the 19-year-old's signature. Now, Sky Italia's Fabrizio Romano is reporting that the Netherlands international "has agreed personal terms with [Juventus]."
Romano actually attributes quotes to de Ligt's agent, Mino Raiola, confirming the move to the eight-time defending Serie A champions: "Matthijs has agreed personal terms with Juve. We're waiting for them to complete the agreement with Ajax soon."
Now, there's just the matter of meeting Ajax's €75 million valuation, which could be complicated by this next bit of news ...
22.44 BST: We're going to close Monday's live edition of Transfer Talk with an interesting nugget coming out of France. Get French Football News cites RMC as reporting that Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United have made contact with the representatives of Tiemoue Bakayoko regarding the midfielder's interest in a summer move, and adds that the Red Devils have gone so far as to reach out to Chelsea directly to discuss a possible deal for the midfielder.
21.57 BST: With Divock Origi entering the final 12 months of his contract, Liverpool are determined to hold on to the forward for this season regardless of whether he commits his future to the club, writes the Telegraph.
21.10 BST: Alberto Moreno is set to complete a move to Villarreal following the end of his Liverpool contract, sources have told ESPN FC. The Spanish left-back, 27, will return to his homeland as a free agent after five years at Anfield.
Sources have told ESPN FC that Barcelona, Sevilla, Real Sociedad, Aston Villa, Zenit Saint Petersburg and Marseille also approached Moreno in recent months to enquire about his availability, but the Spaniard has finally decided to continue his career at Villarreal. Moreno is expected to complete his medical in the coming hours before signing a five-year deal with the La Liga side.
20.23 BST: Real Madrid are confident that Paul Pogba would prefer a move to the Spanish capital over a return to Juventus, according to the Mail, which adds that Los Blancos are waiting to jettison James Rodriguez to Napoli for €40m before submitting a £150m bid for the Manchester United midfielder.
19.36 BST: Corriere dello Sport reports that in the negotiations that could take Gonzalo Higuain to Roma, Juventus director Fabio Paratici would like to see 20-year-old midfield sensation Nicolo Zaniolo swapping the Italian capital for Turin.
18.49 BST: As you read this latest update on the Neymar situation, imagine this text being read to you by the baritone of a narrator of the most dramatic of soap operas, accompanied by the most theatrical theme music you can think of: On today's episode of As Neymar's World Turns ...
Catalan outlet Sport reports that the Brazilian has told Thomas Tuchel, former sporting director Antero Henrique and his successor Leonardo that he has no intention of playing for Paris Saint-Germain again. He has agreed to a drop in wages to facilitate his return to Barcelona, accepting the same money he was on in his final season at the Camp Nou, he's prepared to withdraw his lawsuit against the club over unpaid bonuses totaling €26m and has rejected the overtures of both Real Madrid and Manchester United while pressing PSG let him return to Catalonia.
Now, Neymar feels it's time that Barca accelerated their plans to sign him, thawing the icy relationship that exists between the two clubs. He's moved back to the Catalan capital, and he's ready to finalise his return to his former club.
18.02 BST: After an impressive six-month loan at the King Power Stadium, Youri Tielemans has made his move from Monaco to Leicester permanent, signing a four-year deal with the Premier League side.
Welcome back, Youri! 🦊— Leicester City (@LCFC) July 8, 2019
17.15 BST: Ajax forward Dusan Tadic has signed a long-term contract extension, the club announced on Monday.
The Serbian international, who was a vital component in the side that reached the Champions League semifinal last season, has signed a deal that will keep him at the club until 2023.
Tadic scored 28 goals in 34 league games last season on his way to a domestic double, winning the Eredivisie and Dutch Cup.
16.50 BST: Serbia under-21 international Ivan Saponjic says he is looking forward to the challenge as he joins Atletico Madrid from Benfica.
The 21-year-old was in the Spanish capital Monday morning for a medical and told AS that he had already spoken with new rojiblanco teammate Jan Oblak about the demands of working under head coach Diego Simeone.
"I'm happy to be joining one of the best clubs in the world," Saponjic said. "I'm coming to work with one of the best coaches in the world, that motivates you. It's a top team. I spoke a bit with Jan Oblak, who told me you have to work hard here, and I am ready for that."
While neither team has yet confirmed the transfer, AS say that Atletico will pay around €500,000 for 50% of Saponjic's sporting rights.
16:25 BST: Barcelona are set to bolster their B team with the signing of Japanese international Hiroki Abe from Kashima Antlers for €1.1m, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Abe, 20, featured for three times for Japan at the Copa America this summer alongside Takefusa Kubo, the former La Masia youngster who has just signed for Real Madrid.
The forward will play for Barca B in the Spanish Third Division, but could take part in preseason with the first team. It has been suggested he could even be part of the squad which tours Japan later this month.
16.00 BST: AC Milan have rejected Paris Saint-Germain's offer of €20 million plus Alphonse Areola for Gianluigi Donnarumma and are now looking for other suitors, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
The Rossoneri are desperate to get the Italy international -- by far the highest earner at the club -- off their wage bill and the report claims they are hoping for a bid from Manchester United.
However, various reports in the Italian media in recent days have suggested Donnarumma would be willing to take a pay cut in order to stay at San Siro.
15.38 BST: Everton are set to bid over €35m for Bordeaux midfielder Malcom, according to RMC Sport.
Toffees boss Marco Silva has made the Brazilian his top priority with Arsenal also rumoured to be interested.
#Everton va transmettre une offre dépassant les 35M€ pour #Malcom. Marco Silva a fait de l'ancien bordelais sa priorité. #Arsenal est à l'affût. Les Gunners discutent avec l'entourage du joueur mais n'ont toujours pas transmis d'offre. #RMCsport- Mohamed Bouhafsi (@mohamedbouhafsi) July 8, 2019
15.14 BST: Crystal Palace, Sheffield United and Norwich City are interested in Malaga winger Javier Ontiveros, sources have told ESPN FC.
The 21-year-old has attracted interest from La Liga clubs after helping Malaga reach the Segunda Liga playoffs last season.
But the former Spain under-19 international is keen to move to the Premier League, with last season's Championship winners Norwich leading the chase for the youngster.
14:50 BST: Ademola Lookman is back on RB Leipzig's radar, German outlet Kicker reports.
The 21-year-old impressed at Leipzig during a six-month loan in early 2018 and the Bundesliga club have now made him a transfer target once again.
His name is next on the list to Arsenal's Emile Smith Rowe, 18, who made two brief appearances for the Bundesliga side when on loan from January 2019 through to June.
14.20 BST: Bayern Munich are waiting on answer of Manchester City's Leroy Sane as to whether he wants to join the German powerhouse, club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said on Monday.
"I'd like to think he'll return from his holidays this week. That's where he wanted to consider his future," Rummenigge told reporters at the official presentation of newly-signed left-back Lucas Hernandez. "We'll have to wait and see if there's any movement."
Rummienigge said that the club are waiting for the first major European transfer in order to spring into action and boost their squad ahead of the new season.
"We are waiting, all the clubs are waiting for the first big transfer. Because that will then trigger more big transfers. We are well positioned and patient."
Rummenigge insisted that Bayern are ready to bring in a top player but must first wait for the anticipated big transfer "domino effect."
14.05 BST: Frenkie de Jong was finally presented as a Barcelona player last Friday but he doesn't yet have a shirt number.
Asked what number he wanted, he said the No.21 which he wore at Ajax has special connotations for him. However, Mundo Deportivo report that Barca want him to take No. 14 -- the number made famous by De Jong's compatriot Johan Cruyff's during his time at the Camp Nou.
13.22 BST: Atletico Madrid's new club record signing Joao Felix said he is not worried by comparisons to either Antoine Griezmann or Cristiano Ronaldo as the 19-year-old was presented at the Wanda Metropolitano on Monday.
The Portuguese starlet has been signed from Benfica for a huge fee of €126m, and given the No. 7 previously worn by Griezmann, whose presumed exit to Barcelona is now dragging on bitterly.
"I do not feel pressure, do not read what is written about me, whether good or bad things," Felix told reporters, who asked whether he would feel pressure in replacing Griezmann at the club. "I just do my job, and give my best to help the team. The issue of money is about the market, nothing to do with me. I do not worry about that. I just do my work as well as I can to help my club."
Asked about whether he would follow compatriot Ronaldo by making history in the Spanish capital, Joao Felix said he aimed to write his own story.
"Ronaldo is a great player, the best in the world at the moment, maybe the best ever," the teenager said. "With the national team, he told me a lot about Madrid, that he liked the city a lot. And now I am here to make my own story, to be remembered as Joao Felix. Cristiano is Cristiano, I want to be myself."
12.59 BST: Carlo Ancelotti has said he is a fan of reported Napoli target Mauro Icardi, while confirming interest in Mexico international Hirving Lozano.
"Icardi is a great player -- not just in our or my opinion, but for everyone," he said. "Thre is definitely appreciation for the player, but nothing more.
"Another interesting profile is that of Lozano, but he is a PSV player and I don't want to talk about him."
12.20 BST: Manuel Neuer's agent has doubled down on his criticism of Bayern Munich's transfer policy, telling football magazine kicker that the German champions "must reinforce their squad" to fulfil the Germany captain's dream of winning another Champions League title.
At 33, time is slowly running out on Neuer's career and Thomas Kroth said that the keeper wants to win Europe's biggest club competition "no matter where, but preferably at Bayern." The agent added that "it's impossible to attack the Champions League only with young players. You need the right mix."
Under contract until 2021, Bayern have yet to open contract talks with their captain and Kroth said that "from a certain age on, you start thinking about one final new challenge."
11.55 BST: Liverpool have edged out Europe's elite in their bid to sign Fulham's record-breaking midfielder Harvey Elliott, sources have told ESPN FC.
Paris Saint Germain, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig all had designs on securing the services of the 16-year-old, who became the youngest-ever Premier League player in May.
Manchester City and Chelsea were among the English clubs to scout the teenage sensation, who opted against remaining at Craven Cottage with sources close to the player having said he has decided his future is best served developing with the European champions.
11.30 BST: Manchester United are ready to rival Paris Saint-Germain for the signing of Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, according to Il Corriere dello Sport.
The Serbia international was named Serie A's best midfielder in 2018-19, despite failing to hit the heights of the previous season, which saw linked with many of Europe's top clubs.
PSG had appeared as favourites for his signature, but United could have the upper hand should Paul Pogba leave Old Trafford.
11.10 BST: Atletico Madrid have opened disciplinary proceedings against Antoine Griezmann for breach of contract, after the France international refused a request to attend preseason training on Sunday, a source has told ESPN FC.
Atletico publicly called on Griezmann to join up with his teammates on Sunday to travel to their Los Angeles de San Rafael preseason base in the mountains above the Spanish capital.
But the 28-year-old did not appear and upset club officials at Wanda Metropolitano are now set to fine the player the maximum allowed under his contract, which is around €200,000.
10.55 BST: Saint-Etienne have asked Barcelona about the possibility of signing Malcom on a season-long loan, according to reports in France.
The Ligue 1 club signed right-back Sergi Palencia from Barca last week and are said to have brought up Malcom's name in the negotiations.
Arnautovic, 30, scored 22 goals in 65 games for West Ham and signed a contract extension in January. He is likely to be replaced by Celta Vigo forward Maxi Gomez who has rejected Champions League football with Valencia to move to the Premier League.
09.55 BST: Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua have signed Stephan El Shaarawy from Roma, making the Italy international forward their most expensive acquisition to date as they bid to avoid relegation.
El Shaarawy, 26, joined Shenhua for a transfer fee of €16m, the Serie A club said on Monday. Shenhua are 14th in the 16-team Chinese Super League standings just over halfway through the season, only one point above the relegation zone, and former Valencia and Watford coach Quique Sanchez Flores resigned last week after just over six months in charge after a disappointing run, citing "personal reasons."
El Shaarawy, capped 23 times by Italy, joined Roma from AC Milan in Jan. 2016 after spending the first half of the season on loan at French side Monaco.
09.20 BST: Borussia Dortmund are desperate to get 2014 World Cup winner Andre Schurrle off their wage bill and have made the former Chelsea and Fulham winger available for just €8m, German outlet Bild reckons.
However, any club interested in the 28-year-old must be prepared to pay him an annual salary of around €7m.
08.45 BST: Estadio Deportivo report that Tottenham are leading AC Milan in the race to sign Dani Ceballos on loan from Real Madrid.
According to the Spanish sports daily, a decision regarding Ceballos' future will be taken before July 22, the day Ceballos is due to report back to Madrid for preseason.
Tied to Madrid until June 2023, Ceballos, who is weighing up his options in a bid to have more playing time, said last week he would only be willing to leave Madrid on loan this summer.
Ceballos, 22, made 23 league appearances for Madrid, 13 as a starter in the 2018-19 campaign. He recently helped Spain win the European Under-21 Championship.
08.00 BST: Brazil international Filipe Luis says he has yet to make a decision regarding his future. Filipe Luis has not renewed his contract with Atletico and is a free agent this summer.
Atletico have offered him a one-year contract extension while the veteran has been linked with Barcelona as a back-up to Jordi Alba. Filipe Luis is also a target of Brazilian club Flamengo.
The 33-year-old left-back told Lance after winning the Copa America with Brazil on Sunday: "The first thing I'm going to do is to go to Atletico, speak to them, see what the club needs and what they don't, what people they choose for the future. Then I will have to take a difficult decision, but it's one that I must take.
"I have offers and I will make a decision with calmness. I hope I can take the best decision with a cool head. I expect a decision to be made in the next week. I have been at Atletico eight years, I have a duty to speak to them and from then on, we shall see. A return to Brazil? I would only go to Flamengo. I've been a Flamengo fan since I was a boy. But the biggest decision I need to take is whether I remain in Europe or return to play in Brazil."
PAPER TALK: Juve prepping £120m Pogba bid
It seems money could be tight this summer for the Old Lady, with The Times reporting that Juventus are also readying a £120m bid for Paul Pogba -- in addition to the stack of cash they'll need to send to Amsterdam if they're going to bring in de Ligt as well.
Raiola -- who also happens to be Pogba's agent -- told the Times last week that he was "in the process" of arranging the France World Cup winner's exit from Manchester United, but this report states that the Red Devils "are resolved to resist any efforts" to take Pogba from Old Trafford.
Regardless of whether United would actually entertain the sale of the 26-year-old, an offer of £120m isn't going to be enough to test their resolve.
And, as we alluded to earlier, the Times suggests that the massive wages given to free signings Aaron Ramsey, Adrien Rabiot and Gianluigi Buffon -- in addition to the enormous pay packet of Cristiano Ronaldo and his nine-figure transfer fee from last summer -- means the Bianconeri might not have the financial wherewithal to afford Pogba.
Newcastle still searching after Gerrard and Vieira refusals
According to the Mirror, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley sent out feelers to the camps of both Gerrard and Vieira, but they indicated they were happy at their clubs for the moment.
Ashley is stuck trying to replace Rafa Benitez, who left the Premier League side for a lucrative offer in China. Ashley is also frustrated by slowing of a potential £350m takeover by Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan.
Both Gerrard and Vieira are preparing for the second season with their respective campaigns.
- Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has been informed by midfielder Mario Lemina that he wants to leave the clubs, reports the Mirror. The 25-year-old had an injury-hit season at St Mary's last year after joining from Juventus in the summer of 2017 for £15m and has told the club he's ready to move on, telling reporters: "They are giving me the opportunity to be able to go elsewhere."
- Liverpool are leading the pack of suitors looking to sign England Under-17 midfielder Harvey Elliot from Fulham, according to the Telegraph. The academy project recently rejected a scholarship from his boyhood club, says the report, setting up a dream move to Anfield despite the fact he can't officially turn pro until his 17th birthday next April.
- Frank Lampard's arrival as Chelsea boss could be good news for his former Blues and England teammate Ashley Cole. The Sun says Lampard, who brought Cole in to aid his Derby team's run to the championship playoff final this season, wants Cole to join his coaching staff after the 38-year-old called time on his career at the end of the 2018-19 campaign.
- Former Philadelphia Union midfielder Roland Alberg is on trial at A-League club Adelaide United, according to News Corp. The 28-year-old spent last season at Panionios, but he made only three appearances for Greek Super League side.