Transfer news LIVE: Thiago Alcantara preparing for Liverpool move – Spurs, Man City, Everton LATEST gossip and rumours

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TRANSFER NEWS is picking up with the domestic football season on the verge of reaching its conclusion.

The window will open on July 27 and close in October.

Follow all the latest gossip and rumours below…

KEPA’S NO KEEPER

Chelsea will not be able to challenge for the Premier League title with Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal, says Jamie Carragher.

The Liverpool legend compared Frank Lampard’s current charges to the Reds during Jurgen Klopp’s first years at Anfield, when they struggled with Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius in goal.

He told Sky Sports: “Chelsea won’t go no further unless they change their goalkeeper.

“Going back to how important goalkeepers are I look at this Chelsea team and there’s a lot I like about it, it does remind me in a lot of ways the position Jurgen Klopp was in a couple of years ago.

“[Lampard] has done as much as he can, yes Frank’s still in his early stages but those big signings can completely transform you as a team.”

MUSTANG SALI

William Saliba has compared joining Arsenal to a whirlwind romance.

Describing joining the Gunners, he said: “I fell for Arsenal from the start. A number of French players have been there.

“Arsenal has not been at the top of its game for the last three, four years.

“But, like St Etienne, its badge, its history and its fans made me want it.

“I have a crush on Arsenal. What it gives off speaks to me.

“I had no hesitation. I am discovering another world.”

WHY ALWAYS C?

Mario Balotelli is in talks with Italian THIRD TIER outfit Como over a potential transfer move.

The former Manchester City and Liverpool star is due to be released by Brescia just 12 months into his three-year deal.

Massimo Cellino, the Serie A side’s owner, had a public falling out with the 29-year-old and now wants to activate a clause in his contract that enables him to rip up his deal after a season.

Now with Balotelli set to become a free agent, ambitious Serie C club Como have moved quickly to try and pull off a huge coup.

Como chief executive Michael Gandler told Football Italia: “There’s been some contact between the two parties.

“His representatives sat down to listen to us. I can’t say any more than that.”

NUTS FOR JADON

Jesse Lingard has followed Marcus Rashford by calling for Jadon Sancho to join for Manchester United this summer.

Speaking in his role as ambassador for American Pistachio Growers, the midfielder said: “Jadon is a brilliant player. It is obviously up to him.

“I’ve seen him with England, I’ve seen his qualities and I feel like he’d be a great addition to any team.”

That follows on from Rashford, who said in April: “It would be good. Sancho’s a great player and he’s like a new generation player.

“It’s definitely exciting to watch him become the player he’s becoming.

“Hopefully we can all play together, that would be good.”

EAGLES SWOOP FOR SAKA

Nigeria have stepped up their efforts to lure Bukayo Saka away from the England team.

The Arsenal star, 18, has represented the Three Lions at youth level – but remains torn over where his international future lies.

Saka is eligible to play for England or Nigeria as he was born in London and has Nigerian parents.

The Daily Mail claim Nigeria are prepared to fast-track Saka into their first-team.

But he has played for England at Under-16, Under-17, Under-18 and Under-19 levels.

And he is on track to break into Gareth Southgate’s senior squad following his remarkable spell of form.

JOSE’S NEW SPECIAL ONE

Chelsea’s urgent need for a new centre-back has reportedly led them to Atletico Madrid star Jose Gimenez.

Declan Rice and Kalidou Koulibaly have also been linked with the Blues following their poor defensive displays this season.

Only seven Premier League teams have let in more goals than Chelsea this campaign, hampering their bid for a top-four finish.

According to the Telegraph, club scouts have taken a look at Uruguay international Gimenez during his starring spell since the restart.

The 25-year-old was a regular in Diego Simeone’s team as they comfortably secured Champions League football after a rocky start to the season.

Frank Lampard is said to see Gimenez as a positive solution with his height and aerial ability a key factor.

NEV’S RED WARNING

Gary Neville reckons Manchester United will struggle to make a title charge next season.

He told Sky Sports: “I don’t think this Manchester United team at this moment can challenge for the title this season.

“It needs more additions and more of the right additions.

“To be fair to Ole, in the time he has been at the club, I think the players he has brought in have improved his team enormously.

“I think that he needs three or four more of those as a minimum before he can even think about getting up into third or second place.

“My concern isn’t really for the front three or the midfield three, it’s the depth and the drop that you have beneath that talent.”

EDIN IN ANOTHER DIRECTION

Benfica are reportedly closing in on a deal for Leeds target Edinson Cavani.

The newly-promoted Whites have spoken of ambitious moves for the Paris Saint-Germain striker and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, both of which are due to become free agents.

However Cavani’s half-brother and agent Walter Guglielmone is said to have been holding talks with Benfica.

Uruguayan journalist Sebas Giovanelli has described the first meeting as ending very positively with a second round of talks already underway.

Benfica club president Luis Filipe Vieira has reportedly been present at the negotiations with the player’s representative, before the addition of various directors.

HE WANTS TO ‘GO

Bayern Munich have warned Liverpool midfielder Thiago won’t leave on the cheap as they hold out for £36million.

The Spaniard, 29, has already told chiefs at the Bundesliga champions that he wants to team up with Jurgen Klopp as he seeks a new challenge.

Liverpool have reportedly had a £23m bid rejected and are reluctant to go any higher with Thiago’s contract expiring next summer.

Bayern chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge confirmed the player has asked to leave the club but warns suitors they have to reach their asking price.

Speaking at Leroy Sane’s unveiling, he said: “He wants to leave this summer.

“But I have to say honestly, the fees that circulate in the media, I have to laugh at that.”

POPE CHECKS

Chelsea are interested in signing Burnley shot-stopper Nick Pope to replace the struggling Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak, Ajax’s Andre Onana and Man Utd’s Dean Henderson are all on the Blues’ radar.

But according to website 90min.com, a source has confirmed that England keeper Pope is also on their list.

The 28-year-old has impressed Frank Lampard’s backroom staff, with the club conducting background checks on him ahead of a potential bid.

GOOD MORNING FOOTY TRANSFER FANS

Manchester United are reportedly considering a shock summer swoop for PSG anchorman Idrissa Gueye.

According to Le10 Sport, United are preparing to make a move for the Senegalese star after being linked during his Everton days.

But the Red Devils are yet to make a concrete offer for the experienced midfielder, who turns 31 in September.

Meanwhile, Chelsea must meet Jan Oblak’s £109million release clause if they want to sign him this summer.

The Daily Mail claims Atletico Madrid will not entertain negotiations for their star man.

Oblak is widely regarded as the best goalkeeper in world football.

And Chelsea will have to pay his full buyout if they want him to replace Kepa Arrizabalaga.

The Blues have also reportedly scouted Atletico Madrid star Jose Gimenez.

The Telegraph claims the Uruguayan could be the man to shore up Frank Lampard’s defence this summer.

Finally, Arsenal are weighing up a shock move for Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz.

90min claims the Brazilian could be heading to the Emirates this summer regardless of whether Villa stay in the Premier League.

Luiz has been one of their best players this term and could be rewarded with a move to Mikel Arteta’s side.

However, he could yet end up at former club Man City, who are considering triggering his buy-back clause.

HEY BIG SPENDER

Man Utd will not challenge for the title next season unless they spend big this summer, claims Gary Neville.

He told Sky Sports: “I don’t think this Manchester United team at this moment can challenge for the title this season.

“It needs more additions and more of the right additions.

“I think that he needs three or four more of those as a minimum before he can even think about getting up into third or second place.

“My concern isn’t really for the front three or the midfield three, it’s the depth and the drop that you have beneath that talent.”

SAMBA STYLE

Arsenal are weighing up a shock move for Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz.

90min claims the Brazilian could be heading to the Emirates this summer regardless of whether Villa stay in the Premier League.

Luiz has been one of their best players this term and could be rewarded with a move to Mikel Arteta’s side.

However, he could yet end up at former club Man City, who are considering triggering his buy-back clause.

GIME MORE

Chelsea have reportedly scouted Atletico Madrid star Jose Gimenez.

The Telegraph claims the Uruguayan could be the man to shore up Frank Lampard’s defence this summer.

Gimenez has long been linked with a Premier League switch and was tipped to join Manchester United last year before they opted for Harry Maguire.

Gimenez was also a target for ex-Arsenal boss Unai Emery but was deemed to expensive by club chiefs.

WINGING IT

Spurs are eyeing a move for Real Madrid winger Lucas Vazquez.

Defensa Central claims Jose Mourinho is eyeing up a reunion with the versatile right-sider as he looks to bolster numbers in his squad.

Real may even be willing to loan Vazquez as he does not feature in any future plans.

OB ONE OUT

Chelsea must meet Jan Oblak’s £109million release clause if they want to sign him this summer.

The Daily Mail claims Atletico Madrid will not entertain negotiations for their star man.

Oblak is widely regarded as the best goalkeeper in world football.

And Chelsea will have to pay his full buyout if they want him to replace Kepa Arrizabalaga.

NEW DEVIL

Manchester United are reportedly considering a shock summer swoop for PSG anchorman Idrissa Gueye.

According to Le10 Sport, United are preparing to make a move for the Senegalese star after being linked during his Everton days.

But the Red Devils are yet to make a concrete offer for the experienced midfielder, who turns 31 in September.

DONE DEAL

Man Utd have announced that academy defender Ben Hockenhull has joined Championship club Brentford.

The 18-year-old has joined the Bees’ reserve side on a two-year deal with the option of a further 12 months.

Hockenhull had been at United since he was nine years old and featured 22 times for the Under-18s side over the last few years.

A United club statement read: “Everybody at Manchester United would like to wish Ben well for the future following his departure.”

HUGH ARE YA?

Chris Hughton has reportedly agreed to become Bristol City’s new manager.

TalkSport claims the ex-Brighton and Newcastle gaffer Hughton met with City chiefs after emerging as their top choice for the role.

And Hughton agreed to take charge from the start of next season, nearly three weeks since Lee Johnson was axed after missing out on the play-offs.

HENDO THAT ARGUMENT

Jose Mourinho reportedly reckons Dean Henderson is better than David De Gea as a huge No1 decision looms for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Old Trafford stopper had yet another horror show in the 3-1 FA Cup semi-final loss against Chelsea.

Man Utd fans called for De Gea to be dropped after being beaten too easily for all three of the Blues’ goals.

Solskjaer has repeatedly defended his No 1 but even he lost patience on Sunday, saying De Gea should have saved Mason Mount’s shot “100 times out of 100”.

Some supporters have pleaded for on-loan Sheffield United keeper Henderson to replace the Spaniard between the sticks next season.

And according to the Manchester Evening News, Mourinho is also an admirer of Henderson, having briefly managed him at United.

CARRA: SCRAP KEPA

Jamie Carragher reckons Chelsea will not compete for the league title unless they ditch under-par keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

He told Sky Sports: “Chelsea won’t go any further unless they change their goalkeeper. Going back to how important goalkeepers are I look at this Chelsea team and there’s a lot I like about it, it does remind me in a lot of ways the position Jurgen Klopp was in a couple of years ago.

“He’s done as much as he can, yes Frank’s still in his early stages but those big signings can completely transform you as a team.

“I still think Chelsea need a defender, you see how many goals they’ve conceded.

“I think a lot of that is down to the goalkeeper being totally honest.”

ONCE A BLUE ALWAYS A 22

Birmingham City have RETIRED Jude Bellingham’s No22 jersey after he left the club.

The 17-year-old is off to Borussia Dortmund, but the club want to take his number off the shelf forever.

Birmingham City will retire the number 22 shirt following Jude Bellingham’s transfer to Borussia Dortmund.

💙 pic.twitter.com/N59DinN6IQ

— Birmingham City News (@BCFC_News) July 23, 2020

POTT THE WHITE

Graham Potter has ruled out selling Ben White to Leeds.

Defender White, 22, has shone on loan at Elland Road this term where he has helped Marcelo Bielsa’s side win promotion back to the Premier League.

The Championship champions would love to keep him permanently but Potter wants the ex-Newport and Peterborough loanee back at the Amex next term.

Former Swansea chief Potter said: “He’s our player, he’s got a long contract with us. I’ve known Ben for a while. I’ve been aware of him. I wanted to sign him at Swansea. I know about his qualities.

“He’s a fantastic player who has done brilliant with Leeds and helped them get promotion. That’s fantastic for them and him.

“But he’s our player and we’re really looking forward to working with him.”

HAVET’ IN THE BAG

Leroy Sane has appeared to let slip Chelsea will definitely sign Kai Havertz this summer, writes DUNCAN WRIGHT.

The Blues have been leading the race for the Bayer Leverkusen midfielder who is regarded as the brightest young talent in Germany.

And ex-Manchester City ace looks to have confirmed that deal is now done by letting it slip during his first press conference as a Bayern Munich player.

Sane said: “It‘s good for Chelsea, that they signed two German top talents with Werner and Havertz this summer.”

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has been at pains to avoid speaking about Havertz while his side continue their battle to secure Champions League football.

‘TARA LADS

One-time Manchester United target Thiago Alcantara is preparing to complete his move to Liverpool, according to reports.

The Spaniard has reportedly ‘said goodbye’ to his Bayern team-mates and the two clubs are locked in discussions over a transfer fee.

According to Munich’s Abendzeitung, the former Barcelona midfielder sees his future at Anfield and is seduced by Jurgen Klopp’s vision for the club.

He could walk away from the Allianz Arena next year for nothing but Bayern are determined to get the most they can for him this summer, but there is unlikely to be a bidding war.

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