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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Man United join John Stones race, Angel Di Maria edges closer to PSG

As always, Transfer Talk has its finger on the pulse when it comes to all the latest rumours and gossip. See all the latest deals here.

TOP STORY

Rivals battle for English starlet

Chelsea have risked Everton's wrath with a very public pursuit of John Stones, though it seems Jose Mourinho is not the only Premier League coach interested in the 21-year-old centre-back.

The Mirror reports that Manchester United have joined the race for Stones having made "discreet contact" with Everton, and are hoping to capitalise on Roberto Martinez's anger with Chelsea in order to steal a march on the English champions.

The Toffees reportedly value the young defender at a whopping £38 million, but United have been asked to be kept informed of the situation and could well use Jonny Evans, who did not feature in Saturday's 3-1 win vs. Barcelona, as bait for the Merseyside club.

LIVE BLOG

24:00 BST: Alright folks, another exciting live Transfer Talk comes to an end but don't worry, we'll be back with the evening edition later on tonight and the live blog tomorrow! Please stay tuned with ESPN FC for all of the latest news and analysis. 

23:45 BST: Lorient's Jordan Ayew looks set to become an Aston Villa player as French media outlet RMC is reporting that the 23-year-old striker has undergone a part of his medical with the club on Saturday. The outlet also reports that he has provisionally agreed to a five-year deal with the West Midlands club.  

Villa's matches against Swansea should be interesting as his older brother Andre Ayew joined the Wales-based club earlier this summer. 


23:25 BST: Sergio Ramos and Florentino Perez are set for a meeting that will determine the centre-back's future at Real Madrid according to the club's manager Rafa Benitez. 

"During dinner last night I was told that they have arranged to meet, but I haven't been able to talk directly to either of them as I was busy with the team's training session," Benitez told reporters according to Goal.com on the club's preseason tour of China.

"The president told me that they were going to have a private chat. I watched Ramos score from 25 metres out and he seems fine to me."

23:05 BST: Andrea Pirlo, New York City FC's latest marquee signing, made his long-awaited MLS debut against Orlando City in a 5-3 win. Here is a replay of his Pirlo-esque entrance at Yankee Stadium. 

22:45 BST: While Crystal Palace have been able to turn heads with their activity in the transfer market, they may be disappointed in their pursuit of Newcastle's Fabricio Coloccini.  New Magpies manager Steve McClaren has told Sky Sports that the Argentine, who worked with current Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew for four seasons at St. James Park, is expected to stay. 


22:20 BST: Another former Chelsea star could be one step closer to joining Major League Soccer. ESPN FC's Jeff Carlisle is reporting that the Montreal Impact have acquired the rights to Didier Drogba from the Chicago Fire. According to Carlisle's sources, the Ivorian wanted a move to French speaking city and is considering a 18-month deal worth $3 million per season. 

21:00 BST:​ Theo Walcott dealt with speculation over his Arsenal future throughout last season but that appears to be coming to an end. Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger told reporters on Sunday that he expects the 26-year-old to sign a new deal shortly.

"Not yet but we're getting closer and closer. Hopefully we can finalise it very soon,'' Wenger said when asked if Walcott had already signed a new deal.

20:45 BST: After watching NYCFC sign the likes of Frank Lampard, Andrea Pirlo and David Villa, the New York Red Bulls have to decided to recruit their own European import this summer. ESPN FC's Taylor Twellman is reporting that the Red Bulls will announce the signing of Shaun Wright-Phillips from QPR on Monday. That's right, they are reuniting the former England international with his brother Bradley, who won the MLS Golden Boot last season.

The New York Post is also reporting that Shaun Wright-Phillips won't count as a Designated Player for the Red Bulls, leaving the club with two vacant DP spots as his brother is the only one on the squad. 


20:20 BST: Barcelona's talented young Croatian playmaker Alen Halilovic could be on the move after only one season with the Catalan club. The 19-year-old has only seen action with Barca's B team and according to news outlet Sport, is drawing interest from Everton and West Ham -- two clubs who could probably give him the first team action he wants. 


20:00 BST: Speaking of Crystal Palace transfer targets, Sports Bild is reporting that the Eagles have made a £14 million bid for Dortmund's Adrian Ramos If the move becomes official, it will be the second time in the span of two months that Palace have broken their transfer record, with the reported £10 million move for Yohan Cabaye earlier this month being the current record. 

19:35 BST: Pato hasn't been in the European football spotlight since his move back to Brazil's Serie A from AC Milan in 2013. Still, the now 25-year-old forward has an inch to get back to playing on the old continent after publicly revealing to Spanish outlet MARCA that he is weighing his options. 

"I find myself happy at Sao Paulo, but my big dream is to return to play in the Champions League," he told the outlet.

"I feel that my moment in European football is not yet over. I will be on loan at Sao Paulo until the end of the year and afterwards I do not know what will happen."

So far, two clubs outside of the Champions League, West Ham and Crystal Palace, are rumoured to be interested. Will the player known as "Duck" settle for playing outside of Europe's elite?


19:10 BST: After just selling Younes Kaboul to Sunderland a few days ago, Tottenham could be on the verge of moving on another centre-back in Vlad Chiriches. Sky Italia is reporting that Fiorentina are interested in the 25-year-old and a deal could be sealed in the next 48 hours. The media outlet is reporting that the transfer will be a season-long loan deal at €1 million with the option to buy at €5 million. 

Considering that Tottenham bought Chiriches at €9.5 million just two years ago, it's a bit of disappointing business for Spurs. 

18:45 BST: Adding to today's Stevan Jovetic news, the striker has said his goodbye to Manchester City fans on Twitter.

18:30 BST: Remember Dani Osvaldo? Southampton's colossal transfer bust at £13 million, who only scored three goals in 13 appearances for the club before being loaned three times in the past two years, may finally have a new home. After being let go on a free transfer by Saints earlier this month, A Bola is reporting that Osvaldo is drawing interest from Portuguese giants Benfica.

The same publication also reports that Real Betis is also interested in Osvaldo. 


17:55 BST:  Barcelona's versatile full-back Adriano is close to a new deal with the club, according to Mundo DeportivoThe outlet is reporting that the 30-year-old is set for a 12-month extension, which will likely end Roma's rumoured pursuit. 

17.20 BST: Fancy hearing more of Laurent Blanc's overtures towards Angel Di Maria? Of course you do...

16.56 BST: Real Madrid centre-back Pepe thinks that Sergio Ramos will also stay with Los Blancos despite Manchester United's interest.

AS reports him as saying: "I'm fine and I don't think any of us are thinking about what might happen if Sergio leaves us. He's our captain.

"I'm sure that he's going to stay with us because he loves the club so much and his teammates. There's nothing unusual when we speak, everything is normal. I hope he stays, he's a reference for us."

Pepe is also expecting to prolong his own Bernabeu future, adding: "I'm very happy at Madrid. I've made my intentions clear to the president and my agent is working on it so that I can remain here for a few more years. I hope the season to come will be a good one."

16.40 BST: A number of British media outlets are reporting that Arsenal have signed Dutch striker Donyell Malen from Ajax -- the Gunners were thought to be scouting the 16-year-old earlier this year.

16.25 BST: Arda Turan's arrival at Barcelona hasn't exactly been smooth -- the Turkey captain was threatened with an immediate return to Atletico Madrid by prospective Barca presidential candidates (who have since gone silent), and can't even play for Barca until January.

However, Turkey coach Fatih Terim has full confidence in the 28-year-old, saying: "Arda is nothing short of our Messi. Arda will surprise people with his tremendous quality as a footballer."

16.04 BST: Tottenham look set to help themselves to a trio of Bundesliga talents, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

The paper reports that a Spurs delegation will travel to Germany next week with Stuttgart forward Timo Werner, Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Christoph Kramer and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Sven Bender on Mauricio Pochettino's wish list.

Christoph Kramer started the 2014 World Cup final but was eventually substituted following an early head injury.

15.53 BST: Rafa Benitez has confirmed that the most expensive "chat" of the summer will be had today between Sergio Ramos and Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.

AS reports Benitez as saying: "Florentino Perez and Sergio Ramos told me today that they were going to chat."

However that talk goes, we should soon know whether Los Blancos are open to selling Ramos to Man United -- and that's a situation which could certainly affect David De Gea's future at Old Trafford.

15.45 BST: Former England under-21 manager Peter Taylor has told Sky Sports that John Stones would be better off staying at Everton amid interest from Chelsea, but thinks turning down Jose Mourinho would be a tall order.

"I would say at the moment probably staying at Everton if he's guaranteed a first-team place, for John's education and progression he's probably better off staying at Everton," he said. "But who would ever turn down going to work for Mourinho?

"Especially on the defensive side of it, being in the same changing room as John Terry. He's going to improve either way, but at the moment maybe if he could hang around for another year, play 38 league matches for Everton."

15.38 BST: Germany's newly-crowned Player of the Year Kevin De Bruyne also starts for Wolfsburg against Arsenal -- we'll give you three guesses as to whether any Man City scouts will be in attendance in London...

15.29 BST: Lord Bendtner returns to Arsenal -- he starts for Wolfsburg against the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium at 16.00 BST.

15.23 BST: There could be another major move coming at Man City with beIN SPORTS reporting that Pep Guardiola has agreed to succeed Manuel Pellegrini, although any switch will wait until next summer.

Pep has reportedly agreed a deal with City, but intends to see out his contract with Bayern Munich and is aiming to win the Champions League as a "farewell gift" to the Bavarian giants.

15.14 BST: Fabian Delph has told the Mail that he is confident of succeeding at Man City despite the club's reported interest in Paul Pogba.

"Whether City were linked with him or not and they're not getting him, I think that's irrelevant to me coming," he said. "I'm coming as a box-to-box midfield player with a lot of energy and I see myself as quite different to him."

14.58 BST: Here's our full story on Man City striker Stevan Jovetic's impending move to join Inter Milan after the Serie A side announced he will have a medical in Italy on Tuesday. Read more.

14.40 BST: Kevin De Bruyne has been named Player of the Year in Germany for his scintillating Wolfsburg performances -- that could add a few more million onto Man City's impending transfer bid. Read more.

14.29 BST: With Stevan Jovetic set to be the next high-profile player to arrive in Milan, ESPN FC's Richard Hall looks at five players who could be leaving Inter this summer.

- Shaqiri, Nagatomo, Vidic, Bardi, Andreolli - Five to leave Inter

14.11 BST: Man City are potentially making room for another high-profile forward this summer, with Inter confirming that Stevan Jovetic is arriving in Milan tomorrow ahead of a medical on Tuesday.

14.05 BST: Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Mohamed Salah has no future at Chelsea, telling reporters in the United States: "He doesn't belong to my squad and he's not staying here.

"The important thing is that he plays like he did at Fiorentina, so [I'm] happy with him going on a loan.

"Italian football is difficult football to play, especially for attacking players. So if it's not Fiorentina it's Roma or Inter or Juve -- I don't know. Maybe he has a loan.

"He's a good boy and a good player. He needs more top-level football so I'm happy with any decision him and the club make."

14.00 BST: The "like a new signing" klaxon rings loud and true for Barcelona now, as Thomas Vermaelen is determined to prove himself at the Camp Nou after enduring a "terrible" maiden campaign in Spain. Read more.

13.42 BST: How do you know your career at Manchester United is over? When the United megastore sells your stuff at a discount, of course.

- Angel Di Maria masks sold at a discount for £1 at Man United store

Di Maria
Angel Di Maria is now in the bargain basement. CREDIT: MEN/Jon Baxter.

13.21 BST: Here's our full story on what Zlatan Ibrahimovic has to say on PSG's impending deal for Angel Di Maria. Read more.

13.14 BST: Fabian Delph said the lure of Champions League football persuaded him to give up the captaincy of Aston Villa and join Manchester City. Read more.

13.00 BST: Here's our full story on Man United goalkeeping coach Frans Hoek's views on the futures of Victor Valdes, Pedro and David De Gea.
Read more.

12.49 BST: Newcastle have announced that Anderlecht defender Chancel Mbemba has agreed personal terms and undergone a medical with the Magpies, but that they must wait until July 30 for the correct FA documents in order for the player to obtain a visa.

12.32 BST: As the new Premier League season approaches, ESPN FC's Miguel Delaney explores which traits -- and players -- teams need to lift the title...

- What do Premier League clubs need to possess to win the title?

12.15 BST: Zlatan Ibrahimovic has welcomed Angel Di Maria to Paris Saint-Germain ahead of the midfielder's reported move from Manchester United.

PSG star Ibrahimovic told Le Parisien: "Welcome to him -- he will bring his qualities, he is a good player. With him the team will be better."

11.57 BST: More big Real Madrid news here -- AS reports that Los Blancos rejected a world-record €120m bid for Cristiano Ronaldo from PSG.

According to newspaper Rotana, PSG's owners met with Madrid president Florentino Perez in Doha on July 4 and made the bid for the Portuguese star, with money made available the Qatar Investment Authority (owned by the country's royal family).

However, PSG were reportedly met with a clear "no" from Perez, who referred him to Ronaldo's astronomical €1 billion buyout clause.

11.43 BST: Chris Coleman believes Gareth Bale will stay at Real Madrid despite reported interest from Manchester United, and that Wales will benefit from the forward's decision. Read more.

11.24 BST: On Saturday Jordan Ayew accused his club Lorient of raising his asking price at the last minute amid discussions with Aston Villa, but the Birmingham Mail reports that the two clubs have now agreed a fee of around £9m for the 23-year-old Ghana forward. 

11.05 BST: Manchester United goalkeeping coach Frans Hoek has had his say on the futures of Pedro and Victor Valdes -- and the word you're looking for here is "coy."

When asked about Barcelona forward Pedro, the coach said: "We will see. A lot of things can happen in the world of football, but everything is very difficult."

Of Valdes -- who looks destined to leave Old Trafford -- he added: "I don't want to talk about negative things. Valdes is a great goalkeeper and I am sure he will find a great team this season."

10.53 BST: Thiago Motta says he is hoping to leave Paris Saint-Germain for Atletico Madrid before the summer is out but admits his future is not in his hands. Read more.

10.36 BST: Here's a teaser for you -- Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who as you all well know is not shy of spending cash when the opportunity arises, says that his rivals for the Premier League title are now trying to buy silverware. Read more.

10.25 BST: Bad news, Arsenal and PSG fans -- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has dismissed speculation linking him with a move away from Borussia Dortmund this summer, and insists he is happy at the Bundesliga club.

Read more.

10.10 BST: David De Gea was back in goal for Manchester United and in typically impressive form during their 3-1 victory over Barcelona -- and United boss Louis van Gaal is understandably keen for the goalkeeper to stay amid interest from Real Madrid.

"Of course I do hope that David de Gea shall stay but in this world of football you never know," Van Gaal said. "In spite of his injury he doesn't train for one week, he can show his quality already in this game. He has showed his quality." Read more.

09.57 BST: Andrea Pirlo insists that he is not simply a "tourist" in the United States as he prepares to make his MLS bow for New York City FC. Read more.

09.43 BST: With Manchester City preparing to sell Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic, The Sun reports that Manuel Pellegrini will seek to bring in Napoli forward Gonzalo Higuain as a replacement.

The paper suggests that while Napoli are keen on keeping their Argentine striker, a £45m fee and the promise of Champions League football could convince both the player and his club that a move is the best option.

Napoli's strong Europa League run is one of the major reasons Italy is making a push for a coveted fourth Champions League spot.
Gonzalo Higuain has been linked with Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool in the past.

09.30 BST: In case you missed it last night, Schalke have completed the signing of Franco Di Santo from Bundesliga rivals Werder Bremen after activating a release clause in the player's contract. Read more.

09.17 BST: The apparently AWOL Angel Di Maria is edging closing to Paris Saint-Germain, and -- quite coincidentally, it must be said -- PSG boss Laurent Blanc believes there is a "good possibility" that the Argentine midfielder will be his player before the new season starts. Read More.

09.10 BST: A recap on last night's big news as Louis van Gaal revealed that Angel Di Maria failed to board his flight to the United States and therefore did not join Manchester United's preseason tour party on Saturday. 

Read more.

09:00 BST: Welcome to ESPN FC's live rolling Transfer Talk blog! There's plenty to talk about this morning, so let's get straight to it...

PAPER ROUND

Di Maria decides future

If Stones does move to Old Trafford, it looks unlikely that he will have Angel Di Maria as a teammate, with the Argentine looking increasingly likely to join Paris Saint-Germain.

The latest twist came on Saturday when United manager Louis van Gaal told a press conference that Di Maria and Marcos Rojo had failed to board a flight to join the club's U.S. tour. 

"Di Maria and Rojo are not on the plane," Van Gaal said. "He [Rojo] has passport issues, but for Di Maria, I don't know why."

The Express is among many outlets reporting that Di Maria has demanded Van Gaal let him join PSG, with the French champions finalising a £45m offer for the 27-year-old.

The Guardian states that senior United executives refused to deny the reports, while L'Equipe reports that Di Maria could undergo his medical at the New York Red Bulls' facilities on Monday. Two days later in Chicago, PSG face United. Awkward...

Meanwhile, The Mirror reports that United veteran Michael Carrick has been targeted by both Newcastle and Inter, but that Van Gaal has turned down offers despite the summer arrivals of midfielders Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger.

City hand De Bruyne monster offer

A six-year contract worth £53m. Just let that sink in.

That's probably what Manchester City's negotiators told Kevin De Bruyne and his agents, with the Daily Star reporting that the Premier League club are desperate to land the Wolfsburg playmaker with a huge deal.

The paper suggests that the contract -- an initial five years plus a one-year extension which City could activate -- is the longest that City have ever offered to a player and would pay the 24-year-old Belgium international a massive £170,000 a week.

City are set to offer Wolfsburg £50m for De Bruyne's services, and it would take a very, very determined man not to take that sort of deal

Spurs close in on Berahino

Mauricio Pochettino has been busy trying to offload Roberto Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor while looking for a reliable alternative to Harry Kane, and the Tottenham coach looks to have gotten his man.

Saido Berahino scored 20 goals in all competitions for West Brom last season.

The Express reports that Saido Berahino is the forward in question, and is set to complete a £15m move from West Brom in the next 48 hours. The England under-21 international is thought to have refused a double-your-money offer on his current £15,000-a-week wages from the Baggies.

Walcott set for Gunners stay

Pre-season just keeps getting better and better for Arsenal fans. Arsene Wenger's men spanked Lyon 6-0 on Saturday with long-term target Alexandre Lacazette on the pitch to see exactly what he's missing in Ligue 1, while The Mirror reports that another forward has pledged his future to the Gunners.

Theo Walcott has reportedly agreed to a £100,000-a-week deal to stay in North London until 2019, with the England international set to become one of the club's highest earners as a result.

With just a year left on his current contract, Walcott's extension will be a relief to the player, Wenger and the fans. The club is set to officially announce the 26-year-old's stay within the next two weeks.

Tap-ins

- Plenty of sides who want to sign Charlie Austin and QPR will reluctantly let their star striker go for the right price. The problem? Austin's £85,000-a-week wage demands -- The Mirror reports that suitors including Newcastle, Leicester and Aston Villa have been put off by the 26-year-old's sky-high demands.

- Having already managed to recruit one former Newcastle star in Yohan Cabaye for Crystal Palace this summer, Alan Pardew is targeting another in Fabricio Coloccini, according to The Mirror.

- Rickie Lambert is not short of suitors, with The Mail suggesting that Leicester have joined West Brom and Norwich in the hunt for the 33-year-old Liverpool striker, who will be allowed to leave Anfield by Brendan Rodgers.

- Steven Fletcher has failed to impress since a £12m move to Sunderland three years ago, but The Mirror reports that Swansea boss Garry Monk is keen on bringing the striker to South Wales for around £4m.

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