Di Maria chooses Utd; Welbeck options
Get your weekend started (or keep it going!) with another dose of Transfer Talk! As you're watching the football we'll be here all day, sneaking into clubs' backrooms for the latest news and rumours, while the wheelers and dealers are all out on the pitch.
Top pick: Manchester United are on the brink of signing Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid, although the final details of the transfer must still be agreed.
- Liverpool are continuing to consider Samuel Eto'o as a back-up option if Mario Balotelli's move falls through.
- Arsenal, Tottenham and Hull City are all interested in signing Manchester United forward Danny Welbeck who has been told that he can leave the club.
- Reports in Italy claim that Bayern Munich have beaten Chelsea in the race to land Roma defender Medhi Benatia.
- Juventus have stepped up their efforts to sign a new forward on loan, with Manchester United's Javier Hernandez and Arsenal's Lukas Podolski at the top of Beppe Marotta's shortlist.
22.55 BST: That's your lot for tonight, but we'll be back before too long with the latest rumours from the Sunday papers, alongside -- no doubt -- plenty more on the likes of Angel Di Maria and Mario Balotelli.
22.28 BST: Chelsea midfielder Marco van Ginkel's agent, Karel Jansen, has told calciomercato.com that rumours of a loan move to AC Milan are "without sense or foundation" following speculation in the Italian media.
22.05 BST Southampton coach Ronald Koeman is busy hunting new signings after a 0-0 draw against West Brom today, and one potential starlet has put forward his availability for the Saints. With the club retweeting the message, it's a done deal, surely?
21.55 BST Javier Hernandez has been dropped from Mexico's upcoming friendlies by coach Miguel Herrera in order to give the forward time to sort out whether his future lies at Manchester United.
"I had a word with him and we agreed that the best thing was to wait, most of all so he can stay where he is and decide his future," Herrera told Mediotiempo, according to Sky Sports.
21.30 BST There is of course the question of where Angel Di Maria will actually play at Manchester United if he completes an expected move from Real Madrid -- take a gander at our video to find out.
21.10 BST Would Fernando Torres fit in at AC Milan? With Mario Balotelli set for Liverpool, there's a space in the Rossoneri's squad for the Spain international -- though his wages may prove problematic...
20:55 BST With Arsenal snatching a late 2-2 draw away to Everton, find out how new-boy Alexis Sanchez got on for the Gunners in a lone striking role at Goodison Park (hint - not very well).
20.25 BST Danny Welbeck could be on the move from Manchester United -- would a move away from Old Trafford make sense for the England international?
19.50 BST Manchester United are on the brink of signing Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid, sources in Spain and England have told ESPN FC, although the final details of the transfer must still be agreed.
Real have agreed to the sale of Di Maria, sources say, but they are still holding out for a fee of close to 70 million euros -- around 56 million pounds. That would be almost 20 million pounds more than the 37.1 million paid to Chelsea for Juan Mata in January.
Sources also said that United have offered Di Maria by far the best wage package of all his suitors, including Paris Saint-Germain.
19.40 BST West Brom boss Alan Irvine is intent on bringing more creative signings into his squad after the Baggies were held to a 0-0 draw at Southampton on Saturday.
"We're looking to bring in another couple of players before the window shuts," he said. "They're at the top end of the pitch, creative players."
19.25 BST Guillem Balague isn't the only one reporting on the Angel Di Maria rumours...
Sky Sources: Angel Di Maria to sign for Manchester United next week. #SSNHQ- Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) August 23, 2014
19.10 BST Angel Di Maria is joining Manchester United, according to journalist Guillem Balague, who tweets that the Argentina international has chosen to leave Real Madrid for the Red Devils.
Things finally moving about di María: meetings (agents, clubs) will take place early nxt wk. He has chosen United- Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) August 23, 2014
Real and United are very close in the valuation of the player. He will cost MORE THAN 60m euros, could be 70. He will wear number 7- Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) August 23, 2014
Cristiano told di María United is the club to go. Mendes is returning to Europe from Singapur to finalise deal. All very very close.- Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) August 23, 2014
19.05 BST Here's more from Jose Mourinho on Fernando Torres' future: "I want three strikers in the team. Sometimes I want to play with two and have one on the bench. Other times somebody will be injured, somebody will be suspended.
"Our squad was made carefully, with great balance. I believe he [Torres] will stay, I want him. He will play, he will score goals, he will be very useful for us. He is a fantastic professional so no problem."
18: 50 BST Leicester boss Nigel Pearson has confirmed there was no further progress on a proposed transfer for Argentina midfielder Esteban Cambiasso, but wants to bring fresh faces.
"It is not that we have not been trying," he said. "It is clear we do need one or two more players, and we will endeavour to add to the squad."
18:32 BST Ronald Koeman is still looking to add to his depleted Southampton squad following a 0-0 draw at home to West Brom earlier on today.
"We know inside what we need in the time we have," he said. "We will work to bring in one or two players. We need that -- it will be a long season in England and on Tuesday we play in the League Cup and with that you need enough players of quality to give the competition in the squad."
18.20 BST Sheffield Wednesday manager Stuart Gray revelled in his side's continued good form following an impressive 3-2 win over Middlesbrough, but is still looking to add to his ranks this summer.
"I am pushing for a bigger squad," he revealed after the victory. "I am carrying only 20 outfield players, which is not going to be enough. We're desperately trying to get players in but you're relying on other clubs to let players go on loan.
"We have a few targets but unfortunately we are what we've got at the moment. But one thing I do know is that we're going to have to add to that squad."
18:07 BST Despite signing Siem de Jong and Remy Cabella this summer, Alan Pardew has suggested he may be after another player after watching Newcastle draw a blank earlier on today at Aston Villa.
"We haven't scored yet again and that will be hanging on us," he told BT Sport after the early kick-off. "Whether we can get another body in or even two before the window shuts, I don't know, but I think there will be some movement -- maybe one or two going out as well. We'll see."
Could one of those leaving by the much maligned Hatem Ben Arfa? Don't bet against it.
17:57 BST Fernando Torres didn't even make the Chelsea squad against Leicester today, as Didier Drogba was the preferred backup to Diego Costa on the bench -- but Jose Mourinho still wants the Spaniard to stay.
Mourinho on whether Torres will stay: "I believe so, I want it."- Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) August 23, 2014
Mourinho asked how Torres plays: "Score more goals than main striker... He will play."- Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) August 23, 2014
Trouble is, with Costa scoring a goal a game, how can Torres match that record when he's sitting in the stands?
17:40 BST Chelsea look to be the big winners from this summer's transfer market already, with Diego Costa netting in the Blues' 2-0 win over Leicester to make it two in two games for the new signing. Another summer recruit, Cesc Fabregas, created a goal to make it three assists in two games for the Spain playmaker.
17.30 BST Chile playmaker Marcelo Diaz is the subject of a four million pound bid from Leicester City.
Nigel Pearson is growing frustrated in his attempts to sign decorated Argentine veteran Esteban Cambiasso on a free transfer and the Foxes boss has now turned his attentions to Diaz, who was one of Chile's outstanding performers at the World Cup.
Basel are willing to allow the 27-year-old to leave for four million pounds and The Sun says that Leicester are willing to meet both the player's and the Swiss club's financial demands.
17.20 BST Feyenoord have ruled out the prospect of Manchester City striker John Guidetti re-joining the Eredivisie club for a second loan spell.
Feyenoord have given up on signing John Guidetti from Manchester City, with director Martin Van Geel stating, "The risk is too great."- Dutch Football (@football_oranje) August 23, 2014
17.10 BST Napoli are the latest club to express an interest in out-of-favour Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira.
The World Cup winner rejected the opportunity to sign a contract extension at the Santiago Bernabeu and Los Blancos coach Carlo Ancelotti has publicy declared that he can leave the club this summer.
Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Chelsea and Fiorentina are four of the clubs rumoured to have enquired about the 27-year-old's services but reports in Italy speculate that Napoli have now joined the race as Rafael Benitez steers his attentions away from crocked Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini.
16.55 BST Liverpool are expected to complete the 16 million pound signing of Mario Balotelli from Milan within the next 24 hours. Can Brendan Rodgers tame the enigmatic striker or will his gamble prove to be a disaster?
16.45 BST Milan CEO Adriano Galliani was pictured meeting with Roma director of football Walter Sabatini earlier today, with reports in Italy claiming that he was attempting to negotiate a deal for Roma forward Mattia Destro.
The Rossoneri are looking for a new striker to fill the boots recently vacated by Mario Balotelli though they are reluctant to meet Roma's initial 25 million euro asking price.
Photo of Galliani and Sabatini in Forte dei Marmi earlier today: pic.twitter.com/jBrSGLtjOJ- AC Milan News (@Milanello) August 23, 2014
16.35 BST Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has dismissed reports that Ron Vlaar will leave the club this summer.
The Netherlands international defender has helped Villa to keep two successive clean sheets in their opening two Premier League matches and Lambert says he is confident of staving off interest from the likes of Lazio and Manchester United.
16.25 BST Respected Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio says that Lukas Podolski is edging closer to the Arsenal exit.
The Germany international has been pushed further down the pecking order at the Emirates Stadium following the arrival of Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona and the return of Joel Campbell from Olympiakos -- and Arsene Wenger is rumoured to be open to selling the World Cup winner for the right price.
Podolski has been omitted from the Arsenal squad to face Everton today and Di Marzio says that Juventus will meet with Arsenal officials in the coming days to discuss a potential deal.
16.10 BST Can Atletico Madrid do the unthinkable and retain their La Liga title? ESPN FC's Sid Lowe assesses the Rojiblancos' chances for the season ahead here.
15.55 BST Former Manchester United striker Andy Cole says that it will be difficult for the Red Devils to sign top quality footballers without the lure of Champions League football.
United have slipped behind their rivals in both the league and the transfer market over the past year and Cole reckons that Louis van Gaal will struggle to convince stars such as Angel Di Maria to come to Old Trafford.
"I know a lot of people have been complaining about the club not bringing enough players in, but it gets tougher when you don't have European football because if you want to try and bring in the best, you have to entice them with European football," Cole said, as reported by the Manchester Evening News.
"Like it or not, every top player wants to play in Europe, and this year we aren't playing in it. We need to improve competition for places. If you are going to get stronger you need to buy players."
15.45 BST Netherlands international midfielder Jonathan de Guzman has thanked the Swansea and Villarreal fans for their support following his transfer to Napoli earlier this week.
To all my Swansea City Jack Bastards! pic.twitter.com/95Knmk6m0Q- Jonathan De Guzman (@jdeguz) August 23, 2014
To all my Villarreal fans! pic.twitter.com/CpEgQz1Cru- Jonathan De Guzman (@jdeguz) August 23, 2014
15.40 BST However, it seems that Fernando Torres is not the only attacker on Milan's shopping list...
15.30 BST Sources have told ESPN FC that AC Milan are considering a move for Chelsea's Fernando Torres, as the Spanish striker was dropped from the squad for Saturday's home game against Leicester City. Read the full story here.
15.20 BST Brendan Rodgers is eyeing up Argentina's World Cup goalkeeper Sergio Romero as a deputy to Simon Mignolet.
The 27-year-old shotstopper turned down a move to Dynamo Moscow earlier this week and The Mirror report that Liverpool have already agreed a 1.6 million pound fee with Sampdoria.
15.10 BST Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc has resigned himself to losing France under-21 international midfielder Adrien Rabiot.
The Arsenal and Chelsea target has just one year remaining on his existing contract though he has stated his desire to leave the French champions as he wishes to play more regular first-team football.
PSG had slapped a 24 million pound price tag on Rabiot but The Express says that the Ligue 1 side have now lowered that figure to just 9.5 million as they do not want to simply lose him on a free next summer.
"I believe he will leave, but I can't tell you where," Blanc admitted. "Rabiot has received a good [contract] offer from PSG but apparently it doesn't interest him. It's a shame."
14.55 BST Hungarian club Honved have confirmed they are in negotiations with Juventus legend Alessandro Del Piero.
The 39-year-old is currently without a club following the expiry of his Sydney FC contract earlier this summer, though he has revealed that he is not yet ready to hang up his boots.
Honved signed ex-Lazio and Inter striker Tommaso Rocchi earlier this week and Pietro Vierchowod's side are prepared to hand Del Piero the No.10 shirt that they had previously retired in honour of Ferenc Puskas.
"Our club is not economically up to the standard of these names, but the technical sponsor immediately accepted our idea and is ready to give us a big hand," Honved director of sport Fabio Cordella told GianlucaDiMarzio.com.
"We'll see what happens. It would be wonderful to bring him to Budapest. Until an hour ago everyone thought it was a made-up story. Instead we really are trying for Del Piero.
"That shirt was retired many years ago, but President Hemingway would gladly bring it back for Del Piero and the Puskas family would also be honoured."
14.40 BST Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp says that he is confident of keeping hold of Loic Remy.
The France international forward has been strongly linked with a move to Tottenham in recent weeks while he failed a medical at Liverpool earlier this summer.
Redknapp says that Remy is impressed by the club's transfer activity and he has plans to add more new faces to his squad before the transfer window shuts, with Manchester United winger Wilfried Zaha at the top of his wanted list.
"I've spoken with Loic, he's been excellent in training and his attitude has been world class. Unless a top six club comes in, I think he'll be happy to stay here. He's seen we've brought some good players in," Redknapp said, as reported by Sky Sports.
"We've still got two loans that we can use from the Premier League if we want to. If they were to loan him [Zaha], if he did become available I'm sure he would be a player a lot of clubs would be interested in. If we thought he was available he would certainly be of interest."
14.25 BST Udinese have informed Milan that they are not prepared to entertain offers for promising forward Luis Muriel.
The Colombia international striker scored eight goals in 31 games last season and had been touted as a potential replacement for Mario Balotelli.
However, reports in Italy claim that the Zebrette are not interested in cashing in on the 23-year-old and they will reject any bid that Milan, or any other suitor, puts forward.
14.15 BST Sevilla are on the verge of signing Benoit Tremoulinas as a replacement for new Liverpool recruit Alberto Moreno.
The French left-back landed in Spain on Friday evening and will put pen to paper after undergoing a medical.
Marca says that Sevilla will pay Dinamo Kiev 2.5 million euros for the 28-year-old and Tremoulinas will be in the stands at the Sanchez Pizjuan this evening to watch Sevilla take on Valencia in their league opener.
14.05 BST ESPN blogger Kevin Hughes says that the signing of Colombia international Carlos Sanchez could prove to be the missing piece of the jigsaw at Aston Villa. Read his article here.
13.55 BST Angel Di Maria and Sami Khedira both have one foot out of the exit door at Real Madrid following their respective exclusions from the Spanish Super Cup second-leg defeat to city rivals Atletico on Friday.
Di Maria had pondered staying at the European champions this summer after the applause he received from the Santiago Bernabeu faithful in the first leg on Tuesday but Carlo Ancelotti's decision to withdraw him from Friday's squad has quashed any lingering hope that he might stay.
Marca says that Di Maria's representatives are now in talks with Manchester United regarding a 65 million euro switch to Old Trafford while Khedira continues to wait patiently for offers.
13.40 BST Inter have rejected Atletico Madrid's proposal to take Argentine playmaker Ricardo Alvarez on loan.
The 26-year-old fell out of favour at the San Siro towards the end of last season but the Nerazzurri would prefer to sell him on a permanent deal.
Calciomercato.it says that Inter are prepared to listen to offers in the region of 12 million euros for Alvarez as they are eager to raise funds for Torino winger Alessio Cerci.
13.30 BST Newly-promoted Serie A outfit Cesena have announced that midfielder Nico Pulzetti has joined the club on loan from Bologna.
13.20 BST Monaco have completed the signing of highly-rated Brazilian centre-back Wallace on a season-long loan from Braga.
13.10 BST Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique has reiterated that the club are not finished in the transfer market just yet despite having spent over 160 million euros so far this summer.
Luis Enrique: "We have done great signings so far, but we keep on monitoring the transfer market and can still strengthen the squad."- barcastuff (@barcastuff) August 23, 2014
13.05 BST Sunderland manager Gus Poyet says he is prepared to wait and see which players are considered surplus to requirements among the Premier League's heavyweights before making his final moves in the transfer market.
The Black Cats boss is still hopeful of tying up negotiations for Liverpool striker Fabio Borini but he is also plotting two or three loan deals before the transfer window shuts on September 1.
The Sunderland Echo says that Poyet is interested in bringing Manchester United forward Danny Welbeck back to the Stadium of Light while he could plump for out-of-favour Liverpool defender Sebastian Coates.
12.50 BST Hull City are closing in on the signing of Tottenham captain Michael Dawson.
The 30-year-old centre-back was left on the bench for Spurs' opening 1-0 Premier League win at West Ham last weekend and Mauricio Pochettino has sanctioned the transfer, expected to be in the region of four million pounds.
12.40 BST Zenit St Petersburg are confident of wrapping up a deal for Inter midfielder Fredy Guarin.
The Colombia international has been constantly linked with a move away from the Nerazzurri this summer but none of his Premier League suitors have followed up their interest with an official bid.
Gazzetta dello Sport says that the player is not convinced by relocating to Russia but he is tempted by the prospect of Champions League football.
Inter are asking for 16 million euros for Guarin but Zenit hope to complete a deal for around 14 million.
12.30 BST Tottenham are rumoured to be closing in on the signing of Sevilla defender Fazio.
12.25 BST Arsenal are contemplating a bid for Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama amid fears over Mikel Arteta's long-term fitness.
Arsene Wenger had expressed an interest in the Kenya international during his spell at Celtic and Goal.com says the Gunners boss could poach the Saints for the second time this summer after his capture of Calum Chambers.
Wenger also remains in the market for another centre-back following the sale of Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona and he has lodged enquiries for Olympiakos defender Kostas Manolas and out-of-favour Atletico Madrid man Toby Alderweireld.
12.10 BST Queens Park Rangers have turned their attentions to Guingamp striker Mustapha Yatabare after growing frustrated in their attempts to sign Ajax forward Kolbeinn Sigthorsson.
Harry Redknapp has admitted that he still wants to bolster his attack before the transfer window shuts in nine days' time and L'Equipe says that he has identified the Mali international as a potential candidate.
Yatabare's goals proved pivotal to Guingamp's shock Coupe de France triumph last season and both Lille and Lyon are also keeping tabs on his situation.
12.00 BST Imagine if your entire starting line-up didn't cost a single penny. Over to you, AC Milan...
11.50 BST Chelsea have reportedly rejected Milan's request to take Marco van Ginkel on a season-long loan with a future option to buy.
The 21-year-old's agent Karel Jansen admitted that the player could be tempted to leave Chelsea this summer if he was not promised a chance of first-team football and said that he was open to a loan move.
However, reports in Italy claim that Jose Mourinho is convinced that Van Ginkel can prove be a success at Stamford Bridge and has informed Milan that he is not for sale.
11.40 BST Could Salomon Kalou be heading to the Premier League?
The Ivory Coast international has been linked with the likes of Sunderland, Tottenham and West Ham United this summer and he has been left out of Lille's squad to face Lorient today after informing head coach Rene Girard that he wants a move away from the Ligue 1 side.
Kalou won't play for Lille against Lorient today. Transfer could be imminent. Potential replacements Waris and Yatabare. #LOSC- FFW (@FrenchFtWeekly) August 23, 2014
11.30 BST Sampdoria are hopeful of completing a deal for Colombia international Eder Alvarez Balanta.
The Serie A outfit are looking for defensive reinforcements following the sale of Shkodran Mustafi to Valencia and the highly-rated River Plate defender appears to fit the bill.
However, gianlucadimarzio.com says that a deal could be complicated by the player's ownership rights, with Sampdoria determined to seal the 21-year-old's transfer for under seven million euros.
11.20 BST Napoli have revived their attempts to sign Tottenham midfielder Sandro after Marouane Fellaini's ankle injury halted negotiations with Manchester United.
The Partenopei completed the signing of Netherlands international Jonathan de Guzman from Villarreal earlier this week but Rafael Benitez is still in the market for another central midfielder following Valon Behrami's exit and the likely departure of Blerim Dzemaili.
Reports in Italy claim that Napoli are ready to test Tottenham's resolve with a bid in the region of 10 million pounds, though they could first explore the possibility of signing the Brazilian on loan.
11.10 BST Blackburn Rovers have released a statement on their website explaining that they have rejected two bids from Hull City for Jordan Rhodes.
The 24-year-old has established himself as one of the most prolific and sought-after strikers in the Championship in the past few seasons and Blackburn have announced that he is not for sale despite reports that Hull are readying a third bid in excess of 12 million pounds.
"The owners of Blackburn Rovers wish to reassure fans that their intention is not to sell Jordan Rhodes as they, along with the manager and board of directors, feel that he is integral to our bid to gain promotion back to the Premier League," the statement read.
"Despite the necessity to comply with and address the pending restrictions of FFP regulations, the owners feel it would be a detrimental step to lose our top goalscorer and such an icon of this football club."
11.00 BST Done Deal Former Germany international defender Manuel Friedrich is the latest player to join the inaugural Indian Super League after penning a deal with Mumbai City FC.
10.55 BST Milan have identified Roma forward Mattia Destro as the man to fill Mario Balotelli's boots at the San Siro.
The 23-year-old striker bagged 13 goals in 20 league appearances for the Giallorossi last season and has been strongly linked with a move to both Tottenham and Chelsea this summer.
However, Roma have slapped a 30 million euro price tag on Destro -- ten million more than Milan are prepared to pay.
Roma want €30m for Destro, but Milan aren't willing to offer more than €20m, according to Corriere dello Sport.- AC Milan News (@Milanello) August 23, 2014
10.45 BST Netherlands winger Memphis Depay has silenced speculation that he is set to move to the Premier League this summer by signing a contract extension at PSV Eindhoven.
The 20-year-old saw his stock rise after a series of impressive displays at the World Cup and both Tottenham and Manchester United had registered an interest in landing his signature.
10.30 BST Done Deal Benfica have completed the signing of Greece international midfielder Andreas Samaris from Olympiakos for a reported 10 million euros.
The 25-year-old has penned a five-year deal with the Portuguese champions and is expected to be a replacement for the Valencia-bound Enzo Perez.
Official: Benfica have signed Olympiakos midfielder Andreas Samaris on a 5-year deal for €10m. €45m release clause. pic.twitter.com/Qb0sFeYM2M- Jan Hagen (@PortuBall) August 23, 2014
10.25 BST Bayern Munich have reportedly agreed a 30 million euro fee with Roma for in-demand centre-back Medhi Benatia.
Roma director of football Walter Sabatini claimed earlier this summer that an offer of 30 million euros would only be enough to buy the Moroccan's weaker left foot but the player is desperately pushing for a move away from the club, giving the Giallorossi board little choice but to sell.
Benatia has been left out of the Roma squad to face AEK Athens on Saturday and Gazzetta dello Sport says he is expected to complete a move to the Bavarian champions within the next week, despite preferring a move to Chelsea.
Tottenham defender Vlad Chiriches and Lille centre-back Marko Basa have been identified as potential replacements by Rudi Garcia though the priority target is Manchester City's Matija Nastasic, who has been told that he can leave the Etihad Stadium by Manuel Pellegrini.
10.10 BST Juventus have upped the ante in their search for a new attacker, with managing director Beppe Marotta desperate to bring in at least one more new face before the start of the Serie A season.
However, the Italian champions are reluctant to splash the cash and instead hope to lure Javier Hernandez or Lukas Podolski to the club on a season-long loan.
Manchester United have already rejected Juventus' first bid as they hope to part with the Mexico international on a permanent deal -- but negotiations are still ongoing between the two clubs, according to Tuttosport.
The arrival of Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona and the return of Joel Campbell from a loan spell at Olympiakos has given Arsene Wenger plenty of attacking options for the season and Podolski could be allowed to make way, with the Gunners determined to cut their wage bill.
Should attempts for Hernandez and Podolski both fail, Juventus are expected to turn their attentions to Shakhtar Donetsk forward Luiz Adriano who has expressed his desire to leave Ukraine due to the country's hostile political situation.
09.55 BST The agent of Mario Balotelli says that negotiations have been ongoing between Liverpool and Milan for the last three months.
The Italy international striker arrived at Melwood on Friday evening to undergo a medical and is expected to complete his 16 million pound move to Brendan Rodgers' side within the next few days.
Balotelli had been linked with a switch to Arsenal earlier this summer but his agent says that there was never any contact with the north London outfit.
"The negotiations have been going on for three months. It's not exactly a scoop," representative Mino Raiola told the Corriere della Sera newspaper.
"Liverpool have always been the only English club who negotiated for Mario. I never lied to the media. Three days ago there was talk of Liverpool, but no offer. The truth is I've been working on Mario for months: the time had come to divorce from Milan.
"Playing in Italy is much tougher for him than abroad."
09.40 BST Mark Hughes has ruled out the possibility of Asmir Begovic leaving Stoke City this summer, claiming it would take a handsome offer to force the Potters to sell.
The Bosnian has established himself as one of the most reliable and consistent goalkeepers in the Premier League over the past few seasons and for that reason, he has attracted interest from the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City.
But Hughes said: "He'll be here and he'll be our keeper. Our view is that even if something is presented to us, we wouldn't take it anyway at this stage because we're comfortable with the group that we've got.
"It's hands off if anyone comes in. There's only a certain level he'd be able to go to. His next move won't be a sideways move to a club on the same level. It'd be to one of the top clubs in World football."
09.30 BST Could Sami Khedira be heading to Bayern Munich? The Germany midfielder was left out of Real Madrid's Spanish Super Cup defeat to city rivals Atletico on Friday night, with head coach Carlo Ancelotti admitting that the player was free to leave the club.
Pep Guardiola is browsing the market for a new central midfielder following the cruciate ligament injury sustained by Javi Martinez and The Daily Mail says that Khedira was in Germany on Friday to watch his brother Rani play for Leipzig.
However, it is speculated that Khedira is not Guardiola's first-choice for a holding midfielder, leaving the door slightly ajar for Arsenal, Chelsea or Manchester United to make a late bid.
Everyone wants Danny Boy
The big news of the day arguably revolves around out-of-favour forward Danny Welbeck, who was reportedly told on Friday that he was free to seek a move away from Man United by none other than new manager Louis van Gaal.
Not surprisingly, that news sparked a flurry of interest; after it was said that Hull City (and former United legend Steve Bruce) were intrigued in the striker despite a 20 million-pound price tag, it seems that Arsenal and Tottenham aren't going to let him go that easily.
The Daily Express reports that the north London pair are equally interested in the 23-year-old striker. Where will he end up?
Podolski on the move?
Transfer Talk always views the news with a healthy dose of skepticism and today is no different. The Sun believes that Lukas Podolski's omission from the Gunners' squad to face Everton at Goodison Park this Saturday is evidence that he is on the outs.
Squad omissions happen for a number of reasons and it's no secret that Arsenal are somewhat well-stocked in midfield and out wide. Is the German really headed away from the Emirates? Watch this space.
Eto'o still a go?
Liverpool have rightfully grabbed the headlines with their "advanced negotiations" ahead of a deal for troubled/brilliant striker Mario Balotelli, but sources have told ESPN FC that free-agent forward Samuel Eto'o is waiting in the wings should that deal fall through.
Brendan Rodgers' side has been trying to secure reinforcements up front all summer, with Balotelli, Radamel Falcao, Edinson Cavani, Loic Remy and Eto'o all linked to the club in recent weeks.
The Mirror probably has the best (or worst?) headline on the Eto'o news.
Personal terms with Balotelli seem to be the holdup there, though The Guardian reports that Balotelli has agreed to a 50 percent pay cut.
Ancelotti Gets Honest
Angel Di Maria didn't play in the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup on Friday. But don't let Carlo Ancelotti hear you say it's because the player's about to leave the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
"It was a technical decision not to play Di Maria. I did not need him today," Ancelotti said. (Keep in mind that Real actually lost Friday's match.)
However, Ancelotti did wash his hands of Sami Khedira, saying, "Khedira has permission to leave. I am not interested in where he goes."
And to replace him? Don't look for another striker to join Karim Benzema. "We do not need another solution at centre-forward," Ancelotti said.
All these quotes and more from Carlo at his most candid here.