Schalke 04
Manchester City
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Leg 1
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Atletico Madrid
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Leg 1
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Van Gaal to add Di Maria, Blind, Rojo

Another day, another raft of big names, big price tags and big clubs seeking significant others on the open market. But will any of these deals happen? Or will other deals happen instead? Does Blackpool have enough players yet? These are the transfer window days of our lives...

Top pick: Manchester United are plotting an 80 million pound treble swoop for Angel di Maria, Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo.

- Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has ruled out a bid for Roma defender Mehdi Benatia despite reports in the English and Italian press claiming the west London club have submitted a 30 million pound offer.

- Southampton have agreed a 12 million pound fee with Hull City for Republic of Ireland international striker Shane Long.

- Arsenal are reportedly preparing an eight million pound bid for Newcastle defensive midfielder Cheick Tiote

23.00 BST That's all for tonight folks, but a new edition of Transfer Talk will be ready to go with all of Thursday's news in just a little while!

22.36 BST DONE DEAL Championship side Leeds United have completed the signing of Liam Cooper from Chesterfield for an undisclosed fee.

22.22 BST News just in from our man with his ear to the ground at Man United. He tells us that United are turning their interest to Roma centre-half Mehdi Benatia as manager Louis van Gaal remains determined to bring in defensive reinforcements

21.48 BST Atletico Madrid have moved a step closer to completing the signing of Mexico striker Raul Jimenez after reaching agreement on a reported fee of 11 million euros ($14.7 million) with Club America.

21.11 BST DONE DEAL Everton have moved a bit quicker than we expected. They have now announced that Christian Atsu has completed his move from Chelsea.

21.04 BST DONE DEAL  Udinese have signed Greece international midfielder Panagiotis Kone from relegated Bologna. A statement published through Udinese's official Twitter account said Kone had arrived at the Stadio Friuli on a permanent basis. No financial or contractual details were disclosed.

20.56 BST Here's the story on Spurs signing DeAndre Yedlin from Seattle Sounders.

20.51 BST Christian Atsu is believed to have passed his medical at Everton ahead of signing for the club on a season-long loan from Chelsea on Thursday.

20.35 BST DONE DEAL Tottenham have announced that they have completed the signing of DeAndre Yedlin from Seattle Sounders. The fee is believed to be in the region of $4 million. He has signed a four-year contract with Spurs but will remain in MLS for another 12 months on loan back with his former club.

20.12 BST Roma defender Vasilis Torosidis has signed a new three-year deal with the Serie A club, keeping him at the Stadio Olimpico until 2017.

19.51 BST Sunderland boss Gus Poyet is confident the Black Cats will complete their club record 14 million-pound signing of Liverpool striker Fabio Borini "in the next few days."

19.13 BST DONE DEAL Watford defender Essaid Belkalem has completed a season-long loan to Turkish Super Lig outfit Trabzonspor, with an option for a permanent deal.

18.46 BST DONE DEALS AC Milan have announced the double capture of Real Madrid goalkeeper Diego Lopez and Colombia midfielder Pablo Armero. After Real announced the agreement earlier, Milan have now announced the keeper has signed a four-year deal. Armero will spend the 2014-15 season on loan from Udinese at the San Siro.

18.12 BST Zlatan Ibrahimovic has told ESPN FC that he can see himself finishing his career at Paris Saint-Germain. "I have a contract until 2016," he said when asked if he expected to finish his career at PSG. "I will be 34 next season and I don't see myself continuing to play at the top level after that. So probably the answer is yes."

17.40 BST Real Madrid have confirmed that Diego Lopez will join AC Milan.

The 32-year-old goalkeeper was first-choice at the Santiago Bernabeu last year but he has been replaced over the summer by Costa Rica's World Cup hero Keylor Navas.

17.30 BST Chelsea will tell Petr Cech to find a new club in the final weeks of the transfer window after Jose Mourinho decided to name Thibaut Courtois as his No.1 this season.

In one of the most difficult decisions of his Chelsea career, Mourinho has placed his trust in the young Belgian, thereby ending Cech's decade-long spell as the Blues' undisputed first choice goalkeeper. says that Real Madrid, Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain are all monitoring the 32-year-old who is valued at around 10 million pounds. 

17.15 BST Vincent Kompany has become the second major Manchester City player to sign a five-year contract in as many days after emulating David Silva by committing his future to the Premier League champions. Read the full story here.

17.00 BST Manchester City could let five players go before the transfer window closes, with Javi Garcia potentially the first to leave the Etihad Stadium.

Matija Nastasic, Micah Richards, Scott Sinclair and Karim Rekik could also depart as Manuel Pellegrini reduces his squad and City look to recoup some money. Read the full story here.

16.45 BST Wolfsburg are considering offering a contract to former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner, according to BILD.

The Denmark international is currently without a club following his exit from the Gunners earlier this summer and the Bundesliga side are desperate for a new striker, having failed in attempts for Romelu Lukaku, Mattia Destro and Alvaro Morata.

Bendtner had been in talks with Eintracht Frankfurt but negotiations broke down after he reportedly requested a weekly salary of 40,000 pounds in addition to 30,000 for every league point earned.

16.30 BST Napoli are in talks to sign Villarreal midfielder Jonathan de Guzman after Swansea City failed to convert their two-year loan deal into a permanent agreement.

Garry Monk had hoped to keep the 26-year-old at the Liberty Stadium but failed to meet the Yellow Submarine's seven million pound asking price.

De Guzman's preferred destination is Naples but claims that the Serie A outfit would prefer a loan deal which could open the door for Queens Park Rangers, who are the only club to have submitted a bid that matches Villarreal's valuation.

16.20 BST Chelsea winger Christian Atsu is on the verge of signing for Everton on a season-long loan.

The Ghana international is currently at the Toffees' training ground to undergo a medical and is expected to be unveiled within the next 24 hours.

16.12 BST DONE DEAL! Leeds United have confirmed that Billy Sharp has joined the club for an undisclosed fee from Southampton.

The 28-year-old striker joins David Hockaday's side on a two-year deal after spending last season on loan at Reading and Doncaster.

16.04 BST DONE DEAL! Granada have completed the signing of 21-year-old striker Jhon Cordoba from Queretaro for a fee in the region of 1.8 million euros.

The talented Colombian has drawn comparisons with Didier Drogba for his power and eye for goal, and he signs for Joaquin Caparros' side after impressing on loan at Espanyol last season.

15.50 BST With Alexis Sanchez now in the fold, is it time for Arsenal to sell Lukas Podolski? ESPN blogger James McNicholas gives his verdict here.

Should Arsenal cash in on Lukas Podolski this summer?

15.40 BST Spanish journalist Guillem Balague has spoken about Angel Di Maria's transfer situation...

15.32 BST Tottenham are willing to listen to offers for ELEVEN players in a desperate attempt to trim down their first-team squad.

Mauricio Pochettino has identified Queens Park Rangers striker Loic Remy, PSV winger Memphis Depay, Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin and La Liga defensive duo Mateo Musacchio and Toby Alderweireld as his main transfer targets but he must first offload players or risk the wrath of certain individuals by leaving them out of his 25-man Premier League roster.

The Telegraph speculates that Spurs are willing to sell Michael Dawson, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Kyle Naughton, Nacer Chadli, Sandro, Etienne Capoue and Mousa Dembele while they could be tempted into letting Andros Townsend, Aaron Lennon, Roberto Soldado and Vlad Chiriches depart White Hart Lane if the price is right.

15.16 BST Barcelona are ready to make Fiorentina a final take-it-or-leave-it offer for Colombia international Juan Cuadrado.

The 26-year-old winger is Luis Enrique's top target in the remaining 19 days of the transfer window but so far, Manchester United have presented the highest bid.

Fiorentina president Andrea Della Valle has admitted that he will not stand in Cuadrado's way this summer if the club receive a sizeable offer and AS says that Barcelona are prepared to make a non-negotiable bid of 40 million euros which they are confident will be sufficient to prise him away from Italy.

Fiorentina's Juan Cuadrado has been linked with a move to Barcelona.
Barcelona are set to make a final 40 million euro offer for Fiorentina winger Juan Cuadrado.

15.02 BST Lazio are considering a swoop for Partizan Belgrade centre-back Vojislav Stankovic.

The Biancocelesti are looking for a defensive partner for new signing Stefan De Vrij and hope to take advantage of Stankovic's uncertainty at the Serbian club.

The 26-year-old is out of contract in December and La Repubblica says that Lazio could offer 300,000 euros to purchase him now after being priced out of a move for Aston Villa centre-back Ron Vlaar.

14.50 BST ESPN blogger Rory Smith assesses some of the transfer fees paid for defenders this summer, explaining that a shrinking pool of top-class centre-backs has forced clubs to raise their budgets. Read his article here

14.35 BST Jorge Benitez's proposed move to Borussia Monchengladbach has collapsed as the Bundesliga club could not agree personal terms.

The 21-year-old striker says he does not think he was treated with enough respect by the Foals and has now returned to Paraguayan employers Guarani.

"I couldn't arrange a transfer because of economic factors," he told 970 AM. "In addition, I didn't like the way I was treated in Germany. It's not good for me to be far away from my family and not get paid what I think I deserve."

14.22 BST Cardiff City are on the verge of signing Norwich City midfielder Anthony Pilkington.

14.12 BST Mexico international striker Raul Jimenez is closing in on a 10.5 million euro move to Atletico Madrid.

The 23-year-old has proved one of the most prolific finishers in Mexican football over the past few seasons and looks set to become the next big signing at the Vicente Calderon following the arrivals of Antoine Griezmann and Mario Mandzukic.

Mexico national team coach Miguel Herrera sent a message to Jimenez on Twitter, wishing him luck in the next stage of his career and the striker duly responded, saying that he will do his country proud.

13.53 BST Fredy Guarin's agent is due in Milan as speculation grows that the Inter midfielder could be about to join Tottenham Hotspur.

Inter, who paid Porto 11 million euros for his services in 2012, value the 28-year-old at 15 million euros. In January, he was on the verge of joining Serie A rivals Juventus in a straight swap for Mirko Vucinic until Inter president Erick Thohir called off the move amid mounting pressure from the fans.

With a delay of just over six months, Guarin may now finally leave the Nerazzurri with La Gazzetta dello Sport saying his agent Marcelo Ferreyra is due in Lombardy at the weekend to discuss his client's future. Manchester United and Monaco have also been linked with the Colombian.

Inter may then revive their interest in Parma's Jonathan Biabiany, who is also reportedly attracting the attention of West Bromwich Albion, West Ham United and Schalke.

13.38 BST DONE DEAL! Marseille have completed the signing of Moroccan midfielder Abdelaziz Barrada for a fee in the region of 4.5 million euros.

The 24-year-old has penned a four-year contract at the Ligue 1 outfit and becomes the third signing of the Marcelo Bielsa era, following the arrivals of Romain Alessandrini and Michy Batshuayi.

13.24 BST Paris Saint-Germain are prepared to offer Ezequiel Lavezzi a new contract after failing to lure Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria to the French capital.

The former Napoli star has been heavily linked with a move to Juventus, Milan and Liverpool, but reports in France claim that PSG are determined to tie him down to a long-term deal.

Javier Pastore and Gregory van der Wiel have also been rumoured to be leaving the Parc des Princes this summer, and they too could be in line for new contracts. 

13.14 BST Despite reports in the English media that Daley Blind is closing in on a move to Manchester United, Ajax have insisted that they are yet to receive an offer for the versatile Netherlands international. 

13.06 BST Torino are bracing themselves for a bid from Atletico Madrid for Alessio Cerci, according to Tuttosport.

The Italy international winger was an integral figure in helping the Granata to secure European football for the first time in 21 years last season but club president Urbano Cairo has resigned himself to losing his most prized asset if they receive an offer of 20 million euros.

Torino have already sold Ciro Immobile to Borussia Dortmund this summer and should Cerci join Diego Simeone's side, Torino will look to bring in Palermo's highly-rated Uruguayan forward Abel Hernandez or Inter's Ruben Botta as a replacement.

12.55 BST Sporting Lisbon president Bruno de Carvalho has told Sporting TV that Marcos Rojo faces "strong disciplinary measures" following reports he requested a transfer to Manchester United. Read the full story here.

Manchester United target Marcos Rojo is in hot water at Sporting after handing in a transfer request.

12.45 BST DONE DEAL! Promising Inter midfielder Diego Laxalt has rejected the advances of Stuttgart and Almeria to sign for newly-promoted Serie A outfit Empoli.

Laxalt joins on a season-long loan but Maurizio Sarri's side have the opportunity to purchase the 21-year-old Uruguayan for two million euros next summer. 

12.38 BST Kolo Toure has rejected the opportunity to sign for Turkish side Trabzonspor, insisting that he is happy to stay at Liverpool for the time being.

12.30 BST DONE DEAL! Middlesbrough have completed the signing of midfielder Adam Clayton from Huddersfield Town.

The former Manchester City youth player joins Aitor Karanka's side on a four-year deal, with Jacob Butterfield moving in the opposite direction. 

12.22 BST Sporting Lisbon President Bruno de Carvalho says he is furious with Marcos Rojo and Islam Slimani's lack of professionalism, after the pair handed in transfer requests in an attempt to push through moves to the Premier League.

De Carvalho says that the club will not be held to ransom by either World Cup star and says that the players have been dealt with accordingly.

12.12 BST Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has told Sport Bild the club remains "calm" over contract negotiations with Marco Reus but said: "It's his decision alone." Read the full story here.

12.02 BST Former Brazil international Michel Bastos looks set to become the latest player to add his name to a lucrative cast at Sao Paolo.

The 31-year-old ex-Lyon and Lille wing-back enjoyed a successful loan spell at Roma last season and is on the verge of moving back to his native Brazil from UAE outfit Al-Ain.

Sao Paolo are able to boast a catalogue of former Brazil stars, with Alexandre Pato, Ganso, Kaka, Alan Kardec and Luis Fabiano all plying their trade for the Tricolor.

11.50 BST Sunderland have agreed a deal with Gus Poyet's former club Brighton for 24-year-old winger Will Buckley

The Black Cats manager has also confirmed that he has no intentions of selling Connor Wickham, despite interest from West Ham, Crystal Palace and fierce rivals Newcastle.

11.40 BST Manchester City midfielder Javi Garcia is expected to be unveiled as a Zenit St Petersburg player on Thursday.

The 27-year-old Spaniard has fallen down Manuel Pellegrini's pecking order following the arrival of Fernando from Porto and City need to sell one more player to meet the Premier League's 17-man non-homegrown quota following the signing of France international Eliaquim Mangala.

Garcia has consequently been selected as the unlucky player to be sacrificed by the English Champions and The Guardian says he will complete a move to Andre Villas-Boas' side for a fee of 12 million pounds plus a further 800,000 in add-ons.

11.30 BST Surely Arsenal aren't going to make another big money signing, are they?

Arsenal fans have been demanding all summer that the club signs a high-profile striker to provide competition to Olivier Giroud and Spanish journalist Kike Marin says that the club are keeping tabs on Uruguay international Edinson Cavani.

Paris Saint-Germain continue to chase Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria but a move has been put on hold amid the Ligue 1 club's concerns over UEFA financial fair play regulations. Could PSG sell Cavani to Arsenal in order to push through a move for Di Maria? 

11.20 BST Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp could offload wantaway striker Loic Remy to Tottenham in exchange for TWO Spurs players.

The Hoops boss has made it clear that he wants Remy's future sorted sooner rather than later and the prospect of him staying at Loftus Road has looked more probable in the past couple of weeks following his failed medical at Liverpool.

However, The Independent says that Redknapp is keen to take advantage of Tottenham's interest in Remy and is prepared to waive his release clause in exchange for Andros Townsend and Harry Kane.

Could Loic Remy be on his way to Tottenham?

11.10 BST With the Premier League kickoff only four days away, fantasy football managers face several selection headaches as they prepare to finalise their squads.

ESPN FC's Dale Johnson gives his verdict on which players to keep an eye out for and which newcomers are likely to make an early impression.

11.00 BST Hannover 96 hope to sign Leverkusen attacker Robbie Kruse, 25, on a one-year-loan, Bild reports.

Kruse had missed major parts of last season with an anterior cruciate ligament tear, which also ruled him out of the Australia World Cup squad.

Elsewhere in the Bundesliga, Mainz are interested in signing Denmark under-21 international Uffe Bech from Nordsjelland as a replacement for new Hamburg man Nicolai Muller.

10.50 BST Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has ruled out a bid for Roma defender Mehdi Benatia despite reports in the English and Italian press claiming the west London club have submitted a 30 million pound offer.

The Moroccan centre-back impressed during the Giallorossi's title challenge last season and has consequently been linked with moves to Chelsea, Manchester City and Bayern Munich.

However, speaking after Chelsea's 2-0 friendly victory over Real Sociedad last night, Mourinho stated that he was happy with his defensive options at the club.

"We are not interested," he affirmed. "We are fine."

10.40 BST Tottenham have made Inter midfielder Fredy Guarin their No.1 transfer target and are prepared to offer misfiring forward Roberto Soldado as bait in order to sweeten the deal.

Nerazzurri owner Erick Thohir is demanding 18 million euros for the Colombian's signature but Spurs are reluctant to pay such a high fee and hope to take advantage of the Serie A club's search for a striker following the departure of Diego Milito earlier this summer.

Tuttosport says that Tottenham have offered 12 million euros plus Soldado for Guarin, though Inter are unlikely to accept such a proposal as they want to raise funds to re-sign Parma winger Jonathan Biabiany.

Reports in Italy claim that Tottenham have made a bid for Inter midfielder Fredy Guarin.

10.28 BST Benfica are reportedly close to signing Udinese's Greece international goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis as replacement for new Atletico Madrid signing Jan Oblak.

Meanwhile, newly-promoted Spanish club Deportivo La Coruna are expected to announce the transfer of Bosnia international midfielder Haris Medunjanin today after he successfully completed a medical at the Galician outfit.

10.15 BST PREMIER LEAGUE EXIT! Sunderland have announced that Swedish midfielder David Moberg Karlsson has completed a move to FC Nordsjaelland.

The Swede, who joined the Black Cats from IFK Goteborg in 2013, has signed a four-year-deal at the Danish club and joins for an undisclosed fee.

10.05 BST Roberto Martinez is what many may call a loan specialist -- and the Everton manager is up to his famous antics again.

Speaking to Sky Sports News HQ this morning, the Spaniard confirmed that he he has agreed a deal with Chelsea to bring Ghana international winger Christian Atsu to Goodison Park on a season-long loan.

"It has been an open secret for the past few days but we expect Christian Atsu to join us tomorrow," he said. "The deal is done with Chelsea."

Atsu has excelled for Ghana at the Africa Cup of Nations
Everton have agreed a deal to take Chelsea winger Christian Atsu on loan.

09.55 BST Former Getafe midfielder Abdelaziz Barrada, 25, has agreed to join Marseille from Al Jazira.

The Morocco international has been identified by new l'OM coach Marcelo Bielsa as a replacement for Mathieu Valbuena and trained with the first-team squad on Tuesday.

However, it appears to be a case of one in, one out at the Stade Velodrome, with defender Lucas Mendes close to joining Qatari club Al Jaish. 

09.45 BST Sunderland are edging closer to the signing of Brighton star Will Buckley after he was left out of the Seagulls' Capital One Cup clash last night.

Gus Poyet is eager to add a winger to his ranks and looks set to to poach his former club for the 24-year-old who would cost 2.5 million pounds.

The Black Cats boss admits he is desperate to seal a deal for Liverpool striker Fabio Borini though a move for Manchester City misfit Micah Richards appears unlikely due to the defender's wage demands.

"I'm desperate [for it to happen] but it's still ongoing," Poyet is reported as saying in the Shields Gazette

"You can always go and spend some millions on a player, but when you know the player the way I know Fabio, how professional he is, how much he cares, the positions in which he can play and what he brings to the team and to the group...

"He has plenty of things that I really, really like. He's professional and I think he would be fantastic for the group as well, not just because he scores goals."

09.35 BST Arsenal fans will not have particularly fond memories of Cheick Tiote after that infamous four-goal collapse in February 2011 but the Newcastle midfielder is being linked with a surprise switch to the Emirates Stadium.

Arsene Wenger continues to come up short in his relentless pursuit of a defensive midfielder and hopes to test the Tyneside club's resolve with an eight million pound bid.

The Gunners have failed to convince Newcastle to part with their Ivory Coast powerhouse in the past but The Mirror says that Alan Pardew's side could be willing to do business this time around.

Arsene Wenger's search for a defensive midfielder continues, with Newcastle's Cheick Tiote his latest target.

09.25 BST DONE DEAL! Schalke have signed former youth team goalkeeper Christian Wetklo, 34, on a free transfer.

The former Mainz shotstopper will return to his old club as a backup keeper for Ralf Fährmann, with new signing Fabian Giefer ruled out through injury. 

09.15 BST ICYMI: Liverpool have agreed a deal in principle to make Alberto Moreno their eighth summer signing, in a deal worth a reported 12 million pounds.

The news came after the left-back was pulled out of Sevilla's squad for Tuesday's UEFA Super Cup final defeat to Real Madrid. Read the full story here.

Four more for United?

What power Gary Neville holds. Having told Sky Sports that his former club, Man United, are several players short of a squad that can contend for the Premier League title, we receive word via several news outlets that Louis van Gaal is planning to fix what Neville believes to be ailing.

Rumours have been swirling all summer about where Angel di Maria will land. The latest destination is Manchester United.

Just days after LvG reportedly told several players - Anderson, Rafael, Nani and Javier Hernandez - that they had "no future" at Old Trafford, Transfer Talk brings word of those replacing them.

The Daily Mail reports that United are "poised to splash out" 80 million pounds on Angel di Maria, Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo before the window slams shut. That's a brand-new winger, utility defender/midfielder and wing-back, folks. This in addition to The Daily Express (via German paper Bild) boldly proclaiming that Mats Hummels, apple of Barcelona's eye, is about to be coaxed to jump ship via a 29 million-pound bid.

Seeing these kinds of wholesale squad changes is normally something we associate only with Harry Redknapp and Queens Park Rangers, but the truth remains that Man Utd, at least the side David Moyes watched sink last season, were in the kind of painful, awkward transition usually reserved for caterpillars.

How much weight these whispers hold remains to be seen, but we can try to parse them out. Di Maria's summer-long position in Real Madrid's "out" pile appears legitimate -- Paris Saint-Germain couldn't match his supposed price tag, especially after paying double what David Luiz is probably worth. Would van Gaal and Ed Woodward really meet Real's 50 million pound valuation for the Argentine star?

Blind and Van Gaal enjoyed a productive summer in Brazil as left-back and manager for the Dutch national team, respectively. Despite Frank de Boer asking his utility man for another season at Ajax, this deal appears most likely though Blind is understandably anxious about moving too soon.

Meanwhile, Rojo's stock has risen thanks to a steady showing for Argentina -- this after he was thought pre-World Cup to be their weakest link -- and Hummels' tenure at Dortmund hasn't wavered despite sustained interest from several clubs. (Jurgen Klopp even doubled down by making the defender his new first-team captain.)

By the time September rolls around, the dizzying amount of transfer rumours emanating from Old Trafford might be enough to power the floodlights.

Chelsea envy Medhi

Losing David Luiz to Paris Saint-Germain didn't seem too horrific for Jose Mourinho but the Daily Star reckons the loss will prompt him to shift goalkeeping legend Petr Cech AND midfield enigma John Obi Mikel in order to raise enough money for Roma's in-demand center-back Mehdi Benatia.

Jose Mourinho is looking for help on the backline in the form of Roma's Mehdi Benatia.

Having failed to lure Raphael Varane or Miranda from Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid respectively, 30 million pounds would apparently suffice for the French-born Moroccan currently comfortable in Serie A.

So why ditch Cech or Mikel? Homegrown rules. They allow a maximum of 17 non-homegrown players over 21 years old on their squads, a quota Benatia would break if he signed.

Cech would apparently cost any suitor around 18 million pounds. Good luck to all.

A Love Song For Shane Long

The fun is strong in Southampton, as the Daily Mail reports that new manager Ronald Koeman is reportedly set to sign Shane Long from Hull for 12 million pounds. Nice, tidy bit of business for the Tigers, who paid just seven million for the Irish striker back in January.

The Saints need proven Prem players given that all of theirs have been sold this summer, but is anyone really thinking Long is the answer? Time will tell.


As we count down to kickoff on Aug. 16, ESPN FC previews all 20 teams in this season's competition. Can Burnley, QPR and Leicester stay up? Will the new signings of Alexis Sanchez, Diego Costa and Adam Lallana help usurp Man City's crown? Will Manchester United get back on track under Louis van Gaal?

Odds and Ends

- Cardiff City want a defender. They'd like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's former club, Man United, to loan them Michael Keane for the season. If they can't get that done, they'd be quite happy with fringe Liverpool center-back Tiago Ilori on a similar deal. 

- Man City's signing of Eliaquim Mangala has likely ruined any aspirations Karim Rekik had on breaking into the first team squad. As such, he's likely to return to PSV Eindhoven on a season-long loan having thrived in the Eredivisie last season. 

- Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka is making moves to aid their promotion chances. The Northern Echo reports moves for full-back Damia Abella from Osasuna and midfielder Adam Clayton (he of the impressive charity beard) from Huddersfield town for 1.5 million pounds. (The beard in question).

He's also hoping to leverage his history and friendship with Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho (Karanka was Mou's deputy in Madrid) to add two Blues on loan, per the PA: striker Patrick Bamford and midfielder George Saville.

- Finally, Stoke boss Mark Hughes wants Norwich winger Nathan Redmond. Yes, we're on the edge of our seats as well.


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