Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio linked with Manchester United move


The summer transfer window is racing toward the Sept. 1 deadline, and there’s plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Asensio linked to Man Utd

Real Madrid forward Marco Asensio has been linked with a potential move to Manchester United, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Madrid are willing to transfer the 26-year-old Spain international for €30 million, but sources told ESPN on Thursday that the Red Devils are first prioritising their pursuit of Ajax winger Antony.

Ajax have communicated to United they will consider offers of around €100m for Antony, because of the 22-year-old Brazilian’s desire to move to Old Trafford, while the Dutch club have already rejected an offer of €80m.

Asensio, 26, has been unsatisfied with his starting minutes in Carlo Ancelotti’s side, and with the 2022 World Cup on the horizon, the attacking midfielder is keen to garner match sharpness as he featured for just eight minutes when coming on as a substitute in Real Madrid’s 4-1 LaLiga win over Celta Vigo.

Movistar spoke to Ancelotti after he won the UEFA Men’s Coach of the Year award in Istanbul, and he said: “I don’t know what will happen. I think he’s looking at something to see if he can leave. if he doesn’t go, from September 1 he’ll be a Real Madrid player, 100%.”

Asensio would be the second Los Blancos player to make the switch to Old Trafford this summer after midfielder Casemiro joined United for €70m earlier this week.

However, United could be forced to compete with Arsenal for Asensio’s signature, as the Gunners have also been linked with a move.

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16.30 BST: Atletico Madrid and Nottingham Forest are in talks over a loan for left-back Renan Lodi, sources have told ESPN’s Alex Kirkland, after the player asked to be allowed to leave the Metropolitano in search of increased playing time.

Lodi, 24, made just 13 starts in LaLiga for Atletico last season and has been an unused substitute in both their games so far this campaign.

The Brazil international has spoken to manager Diego Simeone to request a move, sources said, and although Simeone would like him to stay, discussions have now taken place between Atletico and Forest, with the Premier League club yet to speak to Lodi’s representatives.

16.00 BST: Barcelona have spent a lot of money this summer, but Ansu Fati could feel like a new signing after his return from injury.

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Craig Burley praises Ansu Fati’s impact after he came off the bench against Real Sociedad.

15.33 BST: Erik ten Hag wants to keep Harry Maguire at Manchester United despite dropping the defender for the victory over Liverpool, sources have told ESPN.

Club captain Maguire was criticised for his performances during defeats to Brighton and Brentford and, despite public backing from Ten Hag, lost his place for Liverpool’s visit to Old Trafford on Monday. It has raised the possibility that Maguire could leave the club ahead of next week’s transfer deadline, and the 29-year-old has been linked with a move to Chelsea, who are facing resistance from Leicester in their bid to sign Fofana.

But sources have told ESPN that Ten Hag wants to keep Maguire, even if he has to wait to win back his place. Ten Hag wants four senior centre-backs in his squad ahead of a busy season that will also include a break for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar during November and December.

15.04 BST: Nottingham Forest have signed another player.

This time it’s Hwang Ui-jo from Ligue 1 side Bordeaux, with the South Korea international forward heading out on loan to Olympiakos for the season.

14.46 BST: Newcastle United have completed the signing of Sweden striker Alexander Isak from Real Sociedad, the clubs announced on Friday.

The 22-year-old has joined the Premier League club for a club-record fee of €70m including €5m in add-ons, smashing their previous transfer record, sources have told ESPN. The deal will also see Sociedad retaining 10% of any future departure.

– Scouting report: Everything you need to know about Isak

Isak joined Sociedad from Borussia Dortmund for €10m in the summer of 2019 and went on to score 44 goals in 132 matches. He now becomes Sociedad’s record outgoing transfer, eclipsing the €32m received when defender Inigo Martinez joined LaLiga rivals Athletic Club in 2018.

“I’m delighted to have it done. It was a big, big decision for me but it is a decision I am really happy with,” Isak told the club’s official website. “It is a great, historical club that I think anyone would like to play for, with amazing fans. They were a big part of why I came here — and also the club’s project, which is one that I really believe in.

“You always want to go into a team and know how they play. I think Newcastle play very attractive football and I want to be a part of that.”

14.34 BST: Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley is attracting plenty of attention from some of Europe’s biggest clubs, including Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United, according to ESPN sources.

O’Riley moved to Celtic from MK Dons in January for £1.5m, and his form and statistics have caught the eye of teams all around Europe, with sources saying there could yet be a late move for him in this transfer window. Celtic have no interest in losing the 21-year-old, sources said, but a bid in the region of £15m-£20m could be tempting in this window, although it is expected his contract value will increase this year if he continues his impressive run.

14.10 BST: Hector Bellerin’s future remains uncertain with less than a week of the transfer window remaining as contract termination talks with Arsenal continue, while both Barcelona and Real Betis face complications in signing the defender, sources have told ESPN.

In what one source close to the situation describes as a complicated deal with “a lot of moving parts,” Bellerin is in negotiations to agree a financial package for the final year of his contract with the Gunners which would then free him to join another team. Arsenal have agreed contract terminations with several players in recent years — including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mesut Ozil and Shkodran Mustafi among others — and talks are ongoing with Bellerin to do the same.

Betis and Barcelona are yet to indicate they are willing to pay a transfer fee and so the emphasis is on Bellerin and Arsenal to reach a deal first. However, sources have also told ESPN that Betis and Barcelona need to resolve issues with registering players as they seek to comply with La Liga’s financial regulations.

13.49 BST: The Daily Mail says that Leicester City are keen on signing Borussia Dortmund defender Manuel Akanji.

Leicester are struggling in the transfer window and have yet to add any new players, while fending off interest from Chelsea for defender Wesley Fofana.

However, Akanji could arrive on loan to replace Fofana if they do opt to let him leave for £80m.

13.26 BST: West Ham have agreed a deal to sign Lyon midfielder Lucas Paqueta, says Sky Sports.

Paqueta, 24, had been the subject of two bids from West Ham which were rejected, but they have now agreed to transfer the Brazil international for a fee that could reportedly reach €60m with add-ons.

12.43 BST: Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta believes the competitiveness of this summer’s transfer window is “something I haven’t experienced” before but remains hopeful the club can bring in a winger to replace Nicolas Pepe before Thursday’s deadline.

Premier League spending surpassed £1.5 billion on Thursday, exceeding the record for a single window from 2017 of £1.43bn, with several clubs including Chelsea and Manchester United expected to make further additions to their squads in the coming days.

The Gunners have already spent around £120m in the current window and after Pepe’s season-long loan move to Nice was confirmed yesterday, they are seeking to make at least one more addition with Wolves’ Pedro Neto their top target, although the two clubs remain some way apart in their valuations.

“If you look at the players who are coming, the amount of money spent, the level that already the squads have and what they are adding it’s something that I haven’t experienced in this league,” Arteta said on Friday. “You saw yesterday a few of the transfers that happened and what is going to happen in the last week or so I think is going to be very powerful.

“The record in terms of performances that the leagues have produced last year it’s the highest ever. When you look at the points you need to achieve certain things it’s never happened before. The level has raised so much for every team in this league and you can already see that in these first few games with surprises and results.”

12.00 BST: Alexander Isak will cost Newcastle €70m, but he could be a great signing.

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Shaka Hislop says the signing of Alexander Isak will give Eddie Howe strength in depth in his Newcastle attack.

11.07 BST: New Manchester United signing Casemiro said he hopes that Cristiano Ronaldo stays at Old Trafford, despite the Portugal star being linked with a move away for much of the summer.

Casemiro joined United in a potential £70 million deal last week from Real Madrid, where he was previously a teammate of Ronaldo’s for several seasons. And Casemiro said Ronaldo has already helped with the transition to his new surroundings.

“We are talking about one of the best players of all time,” Casemiro said in an interview with ESPN Brasil. “He knows that I respect him a lot. I hope he stays with us, because he is a great player.

“He gives you a lot of goals, he is a winner, he is a leader. He is so important for us. We approached each other because of the language, too. Since the first day here, he has helped me with everything. He is helping me a lot. I really hope he stays with us.”

10.27 BST: Leicester City face a frantic end to the transfer window as a consequence of the brinkmanship employed by several rivals relating to the Foxes’ future accounts, sources have told ESPN.

Multiple intermediaries with knowledge of the situation believe that Leicester are under pressure to move players on due to Financial Fair Play concerns and their projected losses for the 2021-22 season.

Defender Wesley Fofana has been linked with a move to Chelsea for weeks — Leicester turned down a third offer worth £70m on Tuesday — while Newcastle have had two bids rejected for playmaker James Maddison.

Midfielder Youri Tielemans has one year left on his contract and is unlikely to sign an extension amid interest from Arsenal and other clubs, but remains at Leicester with less than a week left in the window.

Furthermore, other players deemed surplus to requirements — including Jannik Vestergaard and Caglar Soyuncu — have not attracted offers close to their valuations.

Sources have told ESPN that Leicester’s financial difficulties are widely known and as a consequence, clubs are lowballing them with offers below the respective asking prices.

09.50 BST: Barcelona are concerned about what might happen with Antoine Griezmann next summer, sources have told ESPN, with the LaLiga club believing Atletico Madrid will seek to avoid paying the agreed €40m to make the forward’s move permanent.

Griezmann returned to Atletico last year on a two-year loan deal, with a clause stating that they would be obliged to pay Barca €40m if the France international played at least 45 minutes in 50% of the games for which he is available over the two seasons.

Last year, Griezmann did so in 30 of the 37 games for which he was available, fit and not subject to suspension — but in Atletico’s two league games so far this campaign, he has played just 28 minutes against Getafe and another 28 minutes against Villarreal.

Barca and Atletico held a series of meetings over the summer to discuss the situation, with sources telling ESPN that Atletico were trying to convince Barca to offer them a better deal.

09.21 BST: Barcelona are hoping to reach a deal with Chelsea for the transfer of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Stamford Bridge before Sunday, according to SPORT.

Aubameyang, 33, has agreed personal terms with Chelsea but no fee has been agreed between the clubs. Barca want at least €20m, plus €5m in variables for the Gabon international.

Aubameyang moved to Camp Nou earlier this year as a free agent after his four-year spell at Arsenal ended and is under contract with Barca until June 2025.

But with Barca having signed Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich for €45m this summer, Aubameyang’s hopes of being a regular starter diminished. His departure would allow Barca to register Jules Kounde, who signed for Barca from Sevilla for €55m earlier this month, under LaLiga’s salary spending cap.

08.41 BST: Athletic Club defender Inigo Martinez wants to join Barcelona, says SPORT.

Martinez, 31, has a contract which expires in 2023 but Barca have already seen a €20m bid rejected.

The Spain international moved to Athletic from Real Sociedad for €32m in 2018 but is now keen to continue his career at Camp Nou.

08.09 BST: Juventus have signed striker Arkadiusz Milik from Marseille.

Milik, 28, has completed a loan move worth a reported €1m fee, with a €7m option to sign permanently, plus add-ons.

The Poland international netted 38 goals in 93 leagues games for Napoli and 30 in 55 games for Marseille over the past three seasons.

08.00 BST: Premier League clubs have broken their spending record in a summer transfer window, with the deadline still a week away, according to analysis from finance company Deloitte.

According to Deloitte, top-flight clubs have spent £1.5 billion this summer which exceeds the previous record of £1.4bn in 2017.

It also surpasses the £1.4bn that was spent by clubs in the whole of last season.

The Premier League spending record stands at £1.86bn for the entire season, a record set in 2017-18.

“The record levels of spending that we’ve seen in this summer transfer window so far provides a sign that the business models of Premier League clubs are rebounding post-COVID,” said Chris Wood, assistant director in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group. “While this is encouraging, the importance of clubs establishing responsible and sustainable spending policies cannot be overstated.”

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Stewart Robson isn’t convinced that Ajax’s Antony is a smart target for Manchester United.

PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)

– The agent of Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo has made contact with Napoli over a potential deal, writes Gianluca Di Marzio. The 37-year-old striker is still looking to leave Old Trafford this summer, though it is reported that the Serie A side will only be able to make a genuine approach for him if striker Victor Osimhen is transferred.

Chelsea are plotting a fourth approach for Leicester City centre-back Wesley Fofana, according to Fabrizio Romano. It is reported that Thomas Tuchel’s side will offer £75m for the 21-year-old’s services, as they look to land a defender before the transfer window closes. Fofana has been training with the Leicester U23s after failing to attend first-team training due to his desire to move.

Paris Saint-Germain are in talks with goalkeeper Keylor Navas over terminating his contract, reports Foot Mercato. The 35-year-old has found himself out of the starting line up at the Parc des Princes amid competition with Gianluigi Donnarumma for starting minutes, and has been in negotiations with Napoli. PSG could be prepared to offer Navas up to €8m to leave the club as a free agent.

– After moving forward with a €70m move for Alexander Isak, Newcastle United have ended their interest in Watford forward Joao Pedro, according to the Telegraph. While the Magpies were interested in the 20-year-old, it is understood that they will now look to prioritise loan moves before the deadline closes, having failed to agree a fee with the Hornets during talks on Monday.

– PSG have seen their opening €70m offer for Bernardo Silva rejected by Manchester City, reports the Times. Having already agreed personal terms with the 28-year-old midfielder, they are now looking to seal a deal with City. Pep Guardiola’s side will reportedly only part ways with him if their €100m valuation is met, while Barcelona are also interested in landing his signature.





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