Man United to scupper Arsenal hopes of Gabriel deal?

Man United to scupper Arsenal hopes of Gabriel deal?

The coronavirus pandemic has made the transfer market uncertain — and you can find out when the windows open here — but here are the rumours floating around Europe’s big leagues and beyond.

TOP STORY: Man United to scupper Arsenal hopes of Gabriel deal?

While some reports are suggesting that Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes has undergone a medical at Arsenal, Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio reports that Manchester United have joined the race for his signature.

Napoli are also believed to be interested in Gabriel’s services, though Arsenal were supposed to be on the verge of adding the consistent central defender to their back line. Indeed, Lille president Gerard Lopez told TalkSPORT that he believed Gabriel would choose between Arsenal and Napoli in the next 24 hours.

However, it would appear Manchester United are hoping to hijack Arsenal’s move, along with PSG.

Both Arsenal and United are keen to bolster their defences ahead of the new season, while PSG are looking to replace the outgoing Thiago Silva. Napoli, meanwhile, are keen to sign a central defender with Kalidou Koulibaly expected to leave for Man City.

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16.07 BST: Lewis Dunk has signed a new five-year contract at Brighton, ending speculation that the defender could move to Chelsea.

16.05 BST: Kosovan soccer club FC Prishtina have taken the unprecedented step of signing players on loan from rival teams for one match in order to contest a Europa League qualifier, the club and the national federation have confirmed.

Prishtina’s preliminary-round qualifier away to Lincoln Red Imps of Gibraltar, scheduled for last Tuesday, was postponed after eight players tested positive for the coronavirus upon arrival in Gibraltar.

The match was due to go down as an automatic 3-0 win for Lincoln but Prishtina were so determined for it to go ahead they made use of special UEFA rules to get players from rival teams.

15.01 BST: Wilfried Zaha didn’t enjoy his time at Man United, so should he try and leave Crystal Palace for a bigger club now?

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Ed Dove and Colin Udoh look at Wilfried Zaha’s value amid links to PSG, Monaco and Borussia Dortmund.

14.44 BST: RAC1 claims that new Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman wants to sign Lyon forward Memphis Depay this summer.

Depay, 26, is rated at around €30m and could be looking to move on after three years in France after his failed spell with Man United.

14.20 BST: PSG are letting centre-back Thiago Silva leave for free this summer and Chelsea are keen, according to transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano.

Silva, 35, is coming to the end of his career (possibly after winning the Champions League if his side can beat Bayern on Sunday) but “Chelsea are seriously considering him as an option.”

Clearly the Brazilian’s mind isn’t on transfers right now but he’ll make a decision next week with “Fiorentina and three more clubs” having already contacted him.

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13.46 BST: Football Insider reports that Leeds are looking at a deal for AC Milan forward Rafael Leao and Valencia’s Rodrigo, at around €50m.

Leao, 21, scored six goals for Milan in 12 Serie A starts this season. Rodrigo had a less impressive four in 27 La Liga games for Valencia, but is a more established player, having represented Spain 22 times.

Leeds want “cover and competition for Patrick Bamford” and both players are reportedly valued at €25m so they just need to choose which one they want to chase.

13.13 BST: Espanyol midfielder Nico Melamed is of interest to Chelsea, reports Sport.

Melamed, 19, is reportedly available for just €8m this summer and the Blues are on a one-club recruiting mission this window already so it’s no major surprise to see them linked.

12.51 BST: Kai Havertz‘s potential move from Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea is an interesting one … Will it happen?

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Gab Marcotti tries to wrap his head around whether Kai Havertz will join Chelsea this summer.

11.57 BST: Paris Saint-Germain are monitoring Manchester United full-back Diogo Dalot, who is expected to leave the club this summer.

Portuguese newspaper O Jogo reports that Dalot, 21, is keen to depart after playing only played four Premier League games this season.

The Portugal U21 international signed for United in 2018, but is looking for a chance to play regular football and Everton have also been linked with him.

11.20 BST: Edinson Cavani is due to arrive in Lisbon on Monday morning to sign a three-year deal with Benfica, sources have told ESPN’s Julien Laurens.

The Uruguay striker is in Paris as his brother and agent, Walter Guglielmone, finalises the last details on the contact. At 33 years old, Cavani wanted a three year deal, which Benfica have agreed to — unlike other interested clubs who were only ready to offer two years.

PSG’s record goal scorer (200 goals in 301 games in all competitions) will earn €10m a year in wages, as well as a large signing on fee, and will be presented next week.

11.09 BST: Juventus are ready to let left-back Alex Sandro leave for €40m, says Corriere Dello Sport.

Sandro, 29, has been on the radar of Chelsea and Man United in the past. The Brazilian will be sold to raise transfer funds as the Italian champions’ new boss Andrea Pirlo looks to bring in players who will suit his style.

10.50 BST: There’s growing concern at Real Madrid at a lack of offers for Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez, with the club eager to move on both out-of-favour stars before the squad returns for preseason training.

The pair were both left out entirely for Madrid’s Champions League round-of-16 defeat to Manchester City earlier this month and barely featured before that when La Liga restarted.

Sources close to Bale told ESPN’s Alex Kirkland and Rodrigo Faez he asked not to travel to Manchester, knowing he wouldn’t play. That situation is untenable but finding a new club for the Wales forward is difficult given his £600,000-a-week wages and Madrid’s reluctance to let him go without receiving a substantial fee.

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There has been interest in James this summer, with the Premier League and Serie A both touted as potential destinations, but a formal offer is yet to arrive at the Bernabeu. The club are optimistic that will change before the end of the transfer window.

10.11 BST: ESPN’s Insider Notebook is live and here’s the latest transfer news:

– Manchester City approached Lyon about midfielder Houssem Aouar days after he shone as Pep Guardiola’s men were stunned 3-1 in the Champions League quarterfinals, sources have told ESPN’s Julien Laurens, but face competition from Arsenal, who have already held talks with Lyon’s sporting director Juninho.

– Bayer Leverkusen have reportedly set a deadline of Aug. 28 to resolve Kai Havertz’s future but Chelsea boss Frank Lampard wants the situation to be resolved sooner, so the 21-year-old can start preseason at the club, sources have told ESPN’s James Olley.

– Atletico Madrid are desperate to keep their squad together this summer but Diego Simeone fears losing top stars Thomas Partey or Jan Oblak if their attractive buyout clauses are met, sources have told ESPN’s Alex Kirkland and Rodrigo Faez.

– Manchester United’s summer signing Marc Jurado will not be allowed to train with his new club for two weeks because of UK quarantine rules, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.

09.30 BST: Why won’t Mesut Ozil be leaving Arsenal?

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Gab Marcotti and Julien Laurens explain Mesut Ozil’s desires to remain at Arsenal under Mikel Arteta.

08.58 BST: It was one of the top sagas back in January but now Gazzetta Dello Sport says that Tottenham and Manchester United are still interested in Paulo Dybala.

Dybala, 26, has had a good season in Turin — beating teammate Cristiano Ronaldo to this season’s Serie A Player of the Year award and scoring 11 goals in 33 games in the league.

Spurs still need a foil for Harry Kane, while United have yet to replace Romelu Lukaku in the central striking department since he left for Inter Milan last year.

08.31 BST: Brighton centre-back Ben White is attracting interest from Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham, says The Sun.

White, 22, is tipped to become the next top English defender but clubs are being put off by Brighton’s £50m valuation.

Leeds United were also interested, but the Daily Telegraph reports that they will turn their attention to Germany and Freiburg defender Robin Koch instead.

08.00 BST: Chelsea have completed the signing of young centre-back Xavier Mbuyamba.

Mbuyamba, 18, joined Barcelona last summer after coming up through the ranks at Dutch side MVV Maastricht. He has now signed a three-year deal and will join the development squad at Stamford Bridge.

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Gab Marcotti muses over the possible permutations involving Lionel Messi if he decides to leave Barcelona.

PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd)

Arsenal and Juve consider player swap

Arsenal and Juventus are reported to be discussing a swap deal that would see Alexandre Lacazette head to Turin and Federico Bernardeschi move to London.

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That’s according to the Daily Star, which reports Juve are leading the swap as they look to add Lacazette to their attacking armoury, and who have even opened talks with the Gunners despite the fact that Wolves striker Raul Jimenez remains the Bianconeri‘s top target. Lacazette is yet to agree an extension to his contract at the Emirates, which runs out in 2022.

Arsenal, of course, are still waiting for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to sign an extension to his deal, and if they can persuade the Gabon striker to stay then they would be more willing to let Lacazette move, particularly if it meant they could bolster their midfield.

Arsenal see Bernardeschi as the perfect addition to an area currently in need of improvement.

Messi sees his future away from Barcelona

Lionel Messi has told new Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman that he is more likely to leave Camp Nou than stay, according to Catalan radio station RAC1.

Messi reportedly cut short his holiday to meet with Koeman on Thursday, and though the Argentina international remains under contract for one more year, he is believed to have dealt the club a fresh blow just days after their 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinals.

ESPN sources said new Barcelona boss Koeman and Messi have met, and that the club is calm about Messi leading the new project on the pitch under the guidance of the former Netherlands coach. However sources added it was a private meeting and they would not divulge any information about the conversation.

Koeman himself said that he wanted the opportunity to sit down with the No. 10 and explain his vision, but now he faces having to persuade the 33-year-old to stay.

The news has of course put other clubs on red alert, with Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City the only realistic targets to sign Messi.

Tap-ins

– Leeds United are hoping to sign Valencia striker Rodrigo this summer, reports Di Marzio. Marcelo Bielsa, who is reportedly on the verge of agreeing his own stay at Elland Road, is keen to strengthen his Championship-winning squad before his side faces Liverpool on the opening day of the Premier League season. The 29-year-old Rodrigo scored seven goals in 34 appearances for Valencia last season.

– Aston Villa are preparing a bid for Brentford forward Ollie Watkins in the next few days, reports the Daily Mail. Watkins, they say, is Villa’s top target and is valued at £25m by the Championship club after he scored 26 goals for the Bees in all competitions last season, while Villa’s bid is reportedly closer to £18m and is thus likely to be rejected.

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