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Transfer Talk: Man City and United in £120m battle for Felix

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TOP STORY: City and United in £120m battle for Felix

He's a player we all have to get used to calling "The New Cristiano Ronaldo," and he's going to be a regular fixture in Transfer Talk throughout the summer. Yes, it's Benfica sensation Joao Felix, who scored 20 goals in 43 appearances last season and has earned a first senior international call-up for this week's UEFA Nations League finals in Portugal. 

Horncastle: Felix is the future for Portugal

Felix, 19, is being courted by just about every top European club after an outstanding breakthrough season, and the Daily Mirror reports that Manchester City and Manchester United are going head-to-head for his signature

The Mirror says that scouts of both clubs will be in Portugal for the Nations League, as his side take on Switzerland in the first semifinal, but with Real Madrid already seeing an offer of £80m turned down it could be that the successful club will need to dig deep and find £120m. 

The forward has a release clause of €120m, but Benfica are evidently prepared to let him depart for slightly less. Juventus are also in the mix and keen to pair him with what we can only call 'The Original Cristiano Ronaldo."

LIVE BLOG

22.45 BST: To close Tuesday's live edition of Transfer Talk, we bring you news of AC Milan forward Andre Silva. Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the Rossoneri will look to recoup €30m of the €38m they spent on the Portugal international, with Wolves in pole position to sign the 23-year-old and Valencia, Monaco, Marseille and Fenerbahce all also interested.

21.58 BST: According to the Mirror, Real Betis midfielder Giovani Lo Celso has a buyout clause of £80m, Tottenham have bid £62m and the player's representatives "are confident" that any deal worth £70m will be considered by the Seville side.

21.21 BST: U.S. international, former Columbus Crew No. 1 and Manchester City-bound goalkeeper Zack Steffen will join Fortuna Dusseldorf on loan, according to the Athletic.

20.34 BST: Marca writes that while Isco has no intention of leaving Real Madrid, Los Blancos' board will listen to offers for the 27-year-old playmaker.

19.47 BST: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp thanked both Daniel Sturridge and Alberto Moreno ahead of their departures from Anfield on free transfers after their contracts expired. Read the full story.

18.40 BST: Mundo Deportivo cites Catalunya Radio as reporting that David Beckham's Inter Miami, who will contest their expansion season in Major League Soccer in 2020, have offered Barcelona and Uruguay striker Luis Suarez a four-year contract.

17.33 BST: Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser has been linked with moves to Arsenal and Chelsea but the Daily Mirror says that the 25-year-old is expecting to have to wait a while for a decision over his future.

The Mirror reports: "Fraser now expects his future to go to the wire on deadline day on Thursday August 8 ahead of the Premier League starting on August 10."

16.44 BST: Over to a different James... Daniel James, as the Evening Standard report that "Manchester United are nearing a breakthrough over Daniel James after being alerted by interest from AS Monaco in the Swansea winger."

United were looking to pay £10m; Swansea wanted £20m. But now Monaco are interested, it seems a deal is close to being agreed.

16.02 BST: James Rodriguez is set to leave Bayern Munich and return to Real Madrid. The Colombia international has asked the German club to not trigger a €42m option which would have turned his two-year loan deal into a permanent transfer.

The midfielder is looking for more playing time at his next stop after dropping down the pecking order under current Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac.

"Essientally, a decision has been made," Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told Sport Bild. "He told me in a conversation that he asks the club to not trigger the clause. And thus, it makes no sense. He wants to play. Wants to be a permanent starter. It's not guaranteed here. I personally regret it."

Bayern Munich could have still triggered the option and sold James on to another club, but Rummenigge said this was not Bayern's style. He explained: "We are not in the human trafficking business."

Of course this means that Zinedine Zidane has a new attacking midfielder to either keep, or sell. Though it's unlikely they'll get near the €75m they spent on him in 2014.

15.37 BST: Meanwhile, in more Jurgen Klopp news: He could take a year's sabbatical at the end of his Liverpool contract in 2022 and while the club's owners are hopeful he will commit to an extension, they are minded not to put pressure on him, sources have told ESPN FC.

The 51-year-old, who celebrated his first trophy as Liverpool manager with a 2-0 Champions League final victory over Tottenham last Saturday, has repeatedly stated his desire to take a break from the "very intense" demands of management when his contract expires.

It is a matter he has considered with his family, and he has mentioned a 12-month rest period would be his preference in the past.

15.20 BST: Liverpool fans will enjoy this one. Bild's journalists trying desperately to get Jurgen Klopp to say something revealing about his future, or that of his star players...

Q. Any fear that Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane or Virgil van Dijk will be bought by big clubs like Real Madrid or Barcelona?
A:
"It's not like one of them said goodbye to me extensively. I do believe that the players know they are at an extraordinary club and that's why I don't have any worries."

Q. Is it easier to sign big stars like Matthijs de Ligt or James Rodriguez? Money shouldn't be a problem!
A.
 "We are still a club which first pays its bills. And I don't have the feeling we must invest three-figure million amounts. Like I said, we have a very good base. We've got a young and talented squad which can still develop further."

Q. Franz Beckenbauer said in Bild that all he wanted at Bayern was you coaching them one day.
A
: "I like Franz and he likes me. But I've got a long-term contract at Liverpool."

Q. Does that mean you rule out ever joining Bayern?
A:
It means that I am delighted when Franz says things like that. I take that over him saying and thinking that Klopp's a bad coach. But both Bayern and Dortmund have very good coaches. And I don't know what might be in five years or even later. Maybe there are other coaches around at that point."

14.26 BST: Lukas Podolski's agent is set for talks with Liga MX club Monterrey about a move for his client, according to Monterrey daily newspaper Cancha

Podolski, 34, plays for Vissel Kobe alongside Andres Iniesta and David Villa in Japan, though his contract runs out at the end of the year and he is reportedly in search of a new club.

According to Cancha, Podolski's pricetag of around €2m will not trouble Monterrey, or any other Liga MX club, but his performances last season might give them pause for thought as he only scored 12 goals over 47 matches.

13.51 BST: Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting may never live down this miss, but he seems happy at PSG. 

"I really like PSG, the supporters, and the city. Of course, I would like to be there," he told RMC Sport. "Normally, I will remain there, as I am still under contract (until 2020). In football, you never know, but I am still contracted and I feel very good.

"I am satisfied and happy with the season. Of course, there were some matches where I could have done better. However, there were also many good things. I know why I came. I did not come to start instead of Edinson Cavani, Neymar, nor Kylian Mbappe. I know Thomas Tuchel very well, and we spoke a lot before I came. I think that I played my games, which is essential, even if it does not seem much when you look at the minutes. We had a very good season overall -- we can be proud to be champions." 

13.23 BST: Eintracht Frankfurt could be set to lose another young star, Evan Ndicka, as the defender has been linked with PSG.

However, he told Goal: "For now, in the context of the World Cup [under-20], that [talk over his future] has to be ignored. However, I am calm about it. I am in Frankfurt and I am fine there. I am under contract, so that is as far as it goes. I am competing at a World Cup, so I am not worrying myself about that right now."

12.58 BST: Liverpool left-back Alberto Moreno looks set to depart this summer, possibly for Barcelona, and he's given an insight into his frustrations.

Questioned about his relationship with manager Jurgen Klopp, he told Onda Cero: "Well, normal. The reality is that I was playing every minute [in the first half of last season] but I had an ankle injury and it took me two months to return as a result of that... he was fine with me. In the morning he greeted me and was OK but then he left much to be desired in the way he separated me from the team. From [playing] everything to nothing. I was going to many games knowing that I was not going to play. Indeed, I've only played once from the bench in all the matches that I've been in the squad. That is something I still do not understand."

12.36 BST: A signing. A real signing! Real Madrid have landed Eintracht Frankfurt striker Luca Jovic for around €60m.

The Serbia international, 21, scored 29 goals in all competitions for club and country last season and is Zinedine Zidane's third signing of the summer after Eder Militao, who will officially join from Porto on July 1, and Rodrygo from Santos.

12.23 BST: Bundesliga clubs have been watching highly-rated Manchester City brothers Lukas and Felix Nmecha, sources have told ESPN FC.

Lukas, 20, who spent last season on loan at Championship side Preston North End, recently switched from England to playing for Germany under-21s. He told Kicker that he would consider a move to Germany next season, with Borussia Monchengladbach linked with a move for the striker.

A number of German clubs have also watched midfielder Felix, 18, who made his first team debut for City in the Carabao Cup semifinal victory over Burton Albion. However, sources said that City are only keen to send him out on loan.

German scouts are regularly at City youth team games following the successful move of Jadon Sancho to Borussia Dortmund, with Welsh winger Rabbi Matondo joining Schalke in January.

12.06 BST: Deportivo Alaves have announced the signing of West Ham striker Lucas Perez.

The Spaniard has signed a contract for the next three seasons, having scored six goals in 19 games after joining West Ham from Arsenal last summer. Perez returns to Alaves, where he had played for the youth teams when he was 16.

"I'm really excited about this new challenge in La Liga," Perez tweeted. He also posted a goodbye message on Twitter for the West Ham fans, admitting it hadn't been an easy season for him.

11.34 BST: Munich paper TZ reports that Bayern Leverkusen have turned down Bayern Munich's €90m bid for Kai Havertz.

With James Rodriguez set to return to Real Madrid after his two-year loan spell and Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery moving on, Bayern need some attacking talent and the man labelled the 'new Mesut Ozil' might just fit the bill. Leverkusen are holding out for a fee in excess of €100m though.

11.03 BST: Manchester United are monitoring Leicester midfielder James Maddison but face competition from a number of their Premier League rivals, sources have told ESPN FC.

United have expressed an interest in the 22-year-old, along with Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham, but have not submitted a formal offer.

10.33 BST: Neymar clearly has other things on his mind right now, but Mundo Deportivo report that Barcelona have denied asking PSG about the Brazil forward.

It seems that Neymar will only return to Camp Nou if he really pushes for an exit.

10.06 BST: Former Spain and Real Madrid (for a brief time) coach, Julen Lopetegui has joined Sevilla.

10.04 BST: Nice Matin claim the UK's richest man, billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, a chemical products magnate, has struck a €100m deal with French club Nice's Chinese owners.

Ratcliffe, who has an estimated net worth of £21 billion has previously been linked with a takeover of Chelsea. He nearly bought Nice in February from Chinese businessman Chien Lee, but the deal fell through.

09.24 BST: Brazil centre-back Diego Carlos has passed a medical and put pen to paper on a five-year contract with Sevilla, the La Liga club announced.

Sevilla had previously reached an agreement with Nantes to acquire the 26-year-old for an undisclosed fee.

"It's a big step in my career, I'm very happy," he said on the club's website: "I cannot wait to get started, I'm very eager and I hope we can do a good job at this club. My aim is to play for the national team and I think by being here, I can be closer to that objective. I hope I have a good year and I can make the Brazil squad."

08.45 BST: There's been interest from China in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang before, and now it's reported by The Times that the Arsenal striker is wanted by Guangzhou Evergrande and Shanghai SIPG.

The Gabon international is attracting offers of a £300,000-a-week contract, and with the player 30 at the start of next season the Gunners could cash in -- even though he was the join winner of the Premier League Golden Boot with 22 goals. 

PAPER ROUND (by Stephen Wright)

Pogba set for Juve return?

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is once again being linked with a return to Juventus, as Sky Sport Italy reporter Gianluca Di Marzio says the Serie A champions are ready to step up their interest

United have been informed of Juve's admiration for the player, and Pogba is apparently keen for the deal to go across the line. Agent Mino Raiola is ready to put the wheels in motion -- though he himself is banned from dealing in transfers until Aug. 9. 

Di Marzio adds that the Old Lady might be willing to send players the opposite way to soften the blow of losing Pogba, and also to reduce the amount they would actually have to pay for the player.

Pogba spent four successful years at Juventus, after originally leaving United for Italy at the end of his contract in 2012. The Red Devils bought him back for £89.3m in 2016, but some critics continue to argue that he hasn't lived up to that pricetag since returning to the Premier League. 

Man United mad for Maddison

Manchester United are reported to be at the front of the queue for Leicester City midfielder James Maddison, according to The Independent

They'll have to fend off interest from Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham, but it's thought that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side are in pole position and are prepared to offer £60m for the 22-year-old's services.

It isn't difficult to see why some of the big clubs in England are interested in Maddison, given that he created more goal-scoring opportunities than anyone else in the Premier League in 2018-19. With that in mind, he could be a suitable "plan B" after interest in Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho appeared to come to nothing.

Richarlison happy at Everton

One player who might not be arriving at Old Trafford this summer is Richarlison, who is not looking for a way out of Everton, according to The Sun.

Manchester United and Barcelona have both had the Brazilian on their radar of late, with the club reportedly demanding as much as £100m to part company with him. However, Richarlison said: "It's a nice feeling when you get praise for your good work, but I'm not thinking about a transfer at the moment. I've just arrived at Everton. I'm happy here."

The forward joined England's top flight with Watford back in 2017 and, after earning himself a £50m move, he scored 14 goals in all competitions for the Toffees last season and earned a call-up to the Brazil national team.

Tap-ins

-- Fenerbahce captain Hasan Ali Kaldirim could be on his way to West Ham, according to the BBC. The left-back was linked with the Hammers in 2017 and now has a £4.42m release clause in his contract, which expires in 12 months.

-- Kieran Trippier's future at Tottenham is up in the air after his side lost the Champions League final on Saturday, the BBC reports. A target for Napoli, Juventus and Atletico Madrid, Trippier said, "I'll enjoy my summer, come back in preseason, and that's when I'll sit down with the manager and have a talk about my future. I see a lot of speculation about me not being here. I give everything, 100 percent every game, win lose or draw. So we'll see what happens in preseason."

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