19 Aug Lewandowski eyes Bayern Munich exit for new challenge
The summer transfer window is into its final month for the major European leagues, which means the biggest clubs are looking to make a splash in the market before the new season begins. Check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.
TOP STORY: Lewandowski looking for way out of Bayern
Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski is seeking a new challenge away from the Bundesliga giants, Sky reports.
Lewandowski has cemented his position as one of the world’s top centre-forwards over the course of his seven years at Bayern, winning 18 trophies including seven Bundesliga titles and the 2019-20 Champions League. Last season he scored 41 league goals to beat Gerd Muller’s long-standing scoring record for a single Bundesliga campaign.
Now Sky reports that the Poland international, who turns 33 this weekend, wants to play for another top European club while he is still performing at his peak. However, the report adds that Bayern would seek a transfer fee of £100m for their star striker, who has a contract at the Allianz Arena until 2023. Sky claims that Lewandowski is “frustrated” with Bayern’s reluctance to let him seek a move, but he will not try to force an exit from the club.
Last month the Daily Mail reported that Manchester City, managed by former Bayern boss Pep Guardiola, were monitoring Lewandowski’s situation as a potential alternative to Harry Kane, although sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson that the Premier League champions are still pushing ahead in their attempt to sign the Tottenham striker.
Lewandowski has already scored three goals in two games this season, most recently a brace in Tuesday’s 3-1 win over his former club Borussia Dortmund in the German Supercup (stream the replay on ESPN+ in the U.S.).
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21.31 BST: Brighton & Hove Albion brass are negotiating with Benfica over a £25m move for 22-year-old striker Darwin Nunez, the Mail reports. The Uruguay international scored 14 goals in 44 appearances for the Lisbon giants last term, and would become the Seagulls’ record signing if the deal is confirmed.
20.58 BST: Napoli centre-back Kostas Manolas has informed the club that he would like to return to his home country of Greece, where Olympiakos are keen to reunite with the 30-year-old, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. The Partenopei would like to see a transfer fee of €20m in order to sanction his departure, but it’s a figure more than double what the Piraeus club can afford.
Should the two sides hammer out an arrangement, Napoli will need to find a replacement, and the report states they’ve just done that. The club are said to have already made contact with the agent of 27-year-old Juventus defender Daniele Rugani, who has assured the Neapolitans of his client’s availability and willingness to move to the south of Italy.
20.25 BST: Former Chelsea and Crystal Palace centre-back Gary Cahill will undergo a medical at Bournemouth on Thursday, Sky Sports writes, having agreed a one-year deal to join the Cherries in the Championship under new manager and former England teammate Scott Parker.
20.08 BST: Lyon have announced that they’ve signed Chelsea left-back Emerson on a season-long loan. The historic French club will pay a €500,000 loan fee with another €500,000 in potential add-ons, and contrary to many reports in the past two days, there will in fact be an option to make the 27-year-old Italy international’s move to Ligue 1 permanent.
— Olympique Lyonnais 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@OL_English) August 19, 2021
19.52 BST: Spanish outlet ABC reports that Sevilla have beaten Atletico Madrid to the signing of Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Rafa Mir. Los Rojiblancos had been strongly linked with the 24-year-old Spain youth international, who registered 25 goals in 57 appearances on loan at Huesca, but the Andalusian club reportedly will sign him from under their rivals’ noses “in the next few hours.”
19.19 BST: Once-capped United States midfielder Owen Otasowie is on the verge of joining Club Brugge from Wolverhampton Wanderers, according to the Athletic. The Premier League side have accepted an offer of £3.5m to transfer the 20-year-old to Belgium, and the New York native is said to be undergoing a medical and finalising paperwork on Thursday ahead of the completion of the deal.
18.46 BST: Manchester City want Harry Kane, but Tottenham Hotspur don’t want to let him go. Could the loser of this tug-of-war end up signing 21-year-old Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic? ESPN’s Gabriele Marcotti and Julien Laurens break down this front-man merry-go-round.
Gab & Juls suspect Dusan Vlahovic could end up at Spurs or Man City, depending on who gets Harry Kane.
18.13 BST: Sheffield United are keen to sign 19-year-old Manchester United attacker Amad Diallo on loan, Sky Sports writes. Minutes could be hard to come by for the Ivory Coast international amid the Red Devils’ deep attacking corps, so an opportunity to play regularly in the Championship could appeal to the Old Trafford hierarchy, although a decision has yet to be made by the Premier League club.
17.38 BST: United States centre-back Matt Miazga is in Spain to finalise a loan move to Alaves, Goal reports, with the 26-year-old former New York Red Bulls standout expected to extend his contract at Chelsea by a year to facilitate his fifth temporary move away from Stamford Bridge since joining the West London club in 2016.
17.21 BST: Atletico Madrid have announced that they’ve signed 30-year-old goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte from AS Monaco on a season-long loan. The former France youth international has made 60 appearances for the Principality since signing in 2019, and will serve as backup to longtime Atleti No. 1 Jan Oblak.
Welcome, Benjamin Lecomte! 🤩 pic.twitter.com/Zzyv4kY41R
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) August 19, 2021
17.05 BST: AC Milan have spent much of the summer in search of a versatile attacker who can both create chances for others and conjure up moments of magic on his own – Hakim Ziyech of Chelsea and Real Madrid’s Isco have been linked for most of the transfer window. Now, however, an alternative has emerged.
Freshly minted European champions Domenico Berardi is ready to leave Sassuolo, according to Tuttosport, and Rossoneri boss Stefano Pioli has long been an admirerer of the 27-year-old Italy international. The issue, however, is price: the Neroverdi are said to want a transfer fee of €35m to sanction Berardi’s departure, an amount that could prove problematic for Milan, although the report suggests an initial loan arrangement could be a fair compromise.
16.32 BST: Manchester United have offered Paul Pogba a new contract, but less than a year away from free agency and with Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid reportedly keen to sign him on a free transfer next summer, should the 28-year-old midfielder extend his stay at Old Trafford? ESPN’s Julien Laurens advises the France international on his next steps.
Julien Laurens plays the role of Paul Pogba’s agent and offers his best advice to the midfielder.
15.59 BST: Harry Kane and his advisors were “naïve” if they thought they could hold Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy to a so-called gentleman’s agreement to let him leave this summer, according to former Spurs striker Dimitar Berbatov.
Manchester City are pushing ahead with their bid to sign Kane despite continued denials from Tottenham that they are prepared to listen to offers for the England captain, and sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson that the Premier League champions would be willing to break the British transfer record to get him.
Berbatov was in a very similar situation when he left Spurs for Manchester United in a £31m transfer in 2008, although City then broke the record aain just hours later when they signed Robinho.
“I know first-hand that it is a very difficult situation, but even with everything going on I would like to see him play,” Berbatov told Betfair. “At least that way he could help the team. If he doesn’t get involved in any matches, then I think we have a problem.
“I also read the reports about a supposed broken promise between Kane and Daniel Levy, it’s easy in this situation to have accusations flying all over the place, the only people who know the true story are Harry Kane, his agent and Daniel Levy.
“If they did speak at the end of last season and they had a gentleman’s agreement which has been broken, it isn’t a great situation and it’s no surprise that Kane is p—d off. I have been in this situation and all I have to say is that they should have expected and anticipated this.
“Kane’s team shouldn’t have been so naive with this situation because football is a business. Of course, we like that gentlemen’s style of shaking hands and saying, ‘yes, you have my word,’ but sometimes in football it doesn’t work like this and you get angry. You have to expect for these things to happen and plan how to avoid it or react to it when it happens.”
15.05 BST: Watford have signed Turkey international Ozan Tufan on a season-long loan from Fenerbahce.
The 26-year-old midfielder has made 174 appearances for the Istanbul club since joining them in 2015, and his 63 senior international caps include all three of Turkey’s group-stage matches at Euro 2020.
14.41 BST: With Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard and Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale both closing in on permanent transfers to arsenal, are they the signings that the Gunners need to help them climb the table this season?
Ian Darke and Julien Laurens react to Arsenal’s moves of signing Martin Odegaard and Aaron Ramsdale.
14.23 BST: Manchester United’s Andreas Pereira is close to joining Brazilian club Flamengo on loan, Sky reports.
Pereira, who was an unused substitute for the 5-1 win over Leeds United on Saturday, is keen to secure regular first-team football and is open to a move away from Old Trafford before the transfer deadline.
United would prefer a permanent transfer or negotiate a loan deal with an obligation to sign but sources told ESPN’s Rob Dawson earlier this week that they believe they may have to settle for a straight loan.
Pereira, who has one senior cap for the Brazil national team, still has two years left on the contract he signed in 2019.
13.39 BST: Ruben Dias is in talks over a new contract just one year after joining Manchester City, according to The Sun.
Portugal international Dias signed for City from Benfica in a £62m transfer last summer, and helped form the bedrock of the City defence as they won the Premier League title and reached the Champions League final.
The 24-year-old’s central defensive partner John Stones recently signed a new deal at the Etihad Stadium, and The Sun reports that it is Dias’ turn.
13.04 BST: Pedro has become the first player to move directly between Roma and Lazio in 36 years after signing for the Biancocelesti.
The 2010 World Cup-winner only joined Roma in 2020 and signed a three-year contract but was not part of new manager Jose Mourinho’s plans — having even been omitted from their preseason squad list.
Pedro, who was given the No. 9 shirt at Lazio, will reunite with former boss Maurizio Sarri, having worked under him during their season together at Chelsea.
He made 40 appearances for Roma last season, scoring six goals in all competitions.
— S.S.Lazio (@OfficialSSLazio) August 19, 2021
12.42 BST: Cristiano Ronaldo lashed out over the transfer rumours regarding his future on Wednesday, accusing people of being “disrespectful” yet stopping short of committing his future to Serie A giants Juventus. But could the club be trying to move him on this summer?
Gab Marcotti and Julien Laurens wonder if now is a good time for Juventus to part with Cristiano Ronaldo.
12.09 BST: Atletico Madrid have told Manchester United and Arsenal that right-back Kieran Trippier is not available this summer, AS reports.
Trippier, 30, has been the subject of interest from Old Trafford for much of the summer, while Arsenal have also been linked with the England international.
However, LaLiga champions Atletico have reportedly told any clubs trying to sign the former Tottenham defender that they will not sanction his exit unless a bidding club can offer €60m.
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11.49 BST: The transfer window deadline in Europe has is just under two weeks away and clubs are busy putting the finishing touches to their squads for the new season. However, while there have been some big-money moves already, even in the face of the financial issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the elite clubs are still struggling to move on players to balance the books.
That means a lot of unhappy players, unhappy clubs, and a lot of uncertainty for some as we head into the final stages of the window. Here’s a list of some top players who could use a change of scenery if they are able to negotiate an exit to pastures new.
– Molyneux-Carter: Will Coutinho, Icardi, Bellerin move before deadline?
11.25 BST: Leicester City midfielder Harvey Barnes has signed a new four-year contract with the club.
Barnes, 23, enjoyed a breakout season with the Foxes last term, when he scored 13 goals in 35 appearances and made his England debut before his season was ended in February through injury.
“I’ve been here that many years now, it feels like home,” he said. “For me, it was a no-brainer.”
— Leicester City (@LCFC) August 19, 2021
10.58 BST: Tottenham Hotspur manager Nuno Espirito Santo has said that Manchester city target Harry Kane must be in the right frame of mind before he is selected to play again for Spurs.
City are pushing ahead with their bid to sign Kane despite continued denials from Tottenham that they are prepared to listen to offers for the striker. Tottenham value Kane, who has three years left on his contract, at more than £150m.
Kane did not feature in Sunday’s 1-0 win over City as he returned late for preseason training, and he has also been left out of the squad for Thursday’s Europa Conference League qualifier against Pacos de Ferreira.
“What we must be sure of is that when we decide to put a player on the pitch, we have to consider all of the aspects,” Nuno said. “The fitness, the mental aspects. We are here to support all of the players equally. “Harry, of course, has all of our support. His fitness is getting better each day. He worked today, he is going to work tomorrow and he is going to join the group on Friday. On Saturday we will make the decision on who is going to be involved in the next [league] game.”
Nuno takes his new club to face his former side Wolves on Sunday, and he is yet to confirm if Kane will be part of his matchday squad for the first time at Molineux.
“Maybe I am the only one who does not really care about what is being said or written on the outside,” Nuno said. “With all my respect, it does not really matter. What matters is what is happening behind the doors and what is happening behind the doors is Harry is our player. We don’t really pay much attention to what is being said on the outside regarding the situation of Harry. Harry is our player, one of the best players in the world and we are very lucky to have him.”
10.15 BST: Arsenal are closing in on a deal worth around €40m for Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard, sources have told ESPN’s James Olley.
Personal terms are yet to be finalised but no issues are expected and Arsenal are now confident of sealing an agreement once the finer details of the fee are determined.
Odegaard spent the second half of last season on loan at Arsenal, making 20 appearances and scoring twice in all competitions, but initially returned to Spain hoping to force his way into Madrid’s first team.
However, Carlo Ancelotti replaced Zinedine Zidane as head coach and Odegaard was subsequently told he faced a fight for regular action this season.
The key breakthrough was Madrid’s decision earlier this month to drop their asking price from €60m to €45m.
09.41 BST: Rebekah Stott‘s remarkable comeback from Hodgkin’s lymphoma has reached another major milestone with the defender signing a one-year contract to join Melbourne City for the coming W-League season.
Stott, 28, received a diagnosis of Stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in early 2021, forcing her to cut short her stint with FA Women’s Super League side Brighton & Hove Albion and return to Melbourne to undergo six cycles of aggressive chemotherapy. Documenting her cancer journey across social media, the 71-time New Zealand international announced on Instagram that was in complete remission in July, days after she returned to the field for the first time, with National Premier League side FC Bulleen Lions, since her diagnosis.
Stott’s focus will now turn to City’s pre-season, hoping to regain full fitness and set herself up to play a key role in the club’s attempt to bounce back from their 7th-placed finish in the 2020-21 W-League campaign. From there, she has the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in her sights, as well as the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
“I’m so aware that it’s going to be a hard journey back to try and get back to fitness and back to where I need to be,” Stott told ESPN’s Beyond The Lead podcast. “But I’m sure I’ll get there and I reckon I’ll be better.
“For W-League, I want to play the whole season. That’s my goal. I think I’ll be ready for that, so it’s a crucial two months at the moment to work hard and get my body back there. I have no doubt that I’ll be playing fully for Melbourne City.
“What bigger goal [than the 2023 Women’s World Cup] can you have to give you motivation to get back? I don’t think there’s anything else bigger than that.”
– Brantz: Stott’s ‘positive mentality’ key after cancer diagnosis
09.00 BST: Manchester United are still hoping to add a midfielder to their squad before the summer transfer deadline, with the Manchester Evening News reporting that Brighton & Hove Albion’s Yves Bissouma is an “obvious target” for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
Sources told ESPN last December that United were monitoring Bissouma, while Liverpool were also keen to bring in the Mali international as a replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum. The 24-year-old joined Brighton from Lille in 2018 for around £15m, and has impressed for the Seagulls in his defensive midfield role.
The Manchester Evening News reports that United would have to offload players before they can afford to make any new signings, with a transfer fee of around £30m likely to be needed to sign Bissouma.
Brighton manager said last week when asked about Bissouma’s future at the AMEX stadium: “I’ve been speaking about Yves Bissouma for quite some time and he’s still here. That’s all I can say on it. I can’t control the future, I don’t know what’s going to happen essentially – that’s the beauty of life and football.”
PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)
– Internazionale may have signed Denzel Dumfries and Edin Dzeko following Romelu Lukaku’s departure to Chelsea. However, Calciomercato are suggesting they’re not stopping there, with Atalanta’s Duvan Zapata their priority as they look for another striker. The other options offered in the report are Lazio’s Joaquin Correa, Torino’s Andrea Belotti, Wolfsburg’s Wout Weghorst and Borussia Monchengladbach’s Marcus Thuram.
– L’Equipe have reported that Bayern Munich are looking to add another defender to add to their ranks, as they are keen to bring in Paris Saint-Germain’s Thilo Kehrer. So far, the German champions have brought in Dayot Upamecano and Omar Richards this transfer window — with both deals being completed early. They are hoping to bring in somebody with versatility on their side as they aim to strengthen their backline, with Benjamin Pavard offering a benchmark, after he moved from centre-back to largely being used at right-back.
– Arsenal’s interest in Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale has been reported for some time now. The Athletic have stated that the Gunners and Blades are on the verge of finalising an agreement that will see the North Londoners spend an initial £24 million with £6m in potential add-ons — after Sheffield had initially asked for £40m.
– Atletico Madrid and Atalanta are both showing an interest in Lorient forward Terem Moffi, as has been reported by Foot Mercato. The Nigerian, who has previously caught the eye of Borussia Dortmund, stood out during a victory over AS Monaco with scouts in attendance. The 22-year-old is currently happy where he is, so it would take a special offer to take him away from the Ligue 1 side.
– It had looked as though Chelsea’s Ike Ugbo would be joining Genk. However, Fabrizio Romano has suggested that Marseille are trying to hijack the deal. There had been an agreement with the Belgian outfit for weeks, but Ugbo and Chelsea will decide upon the striker’s destination soon.
– Newcastle United want £10m for Sean Longstaff with Everton and Southampton interested in the midfielder, reports The Daily Mail. The 24-year-old has entered the final year of his contract, so they risk losing him for free next summer if a deal is not reached. However, he will stay until Steve Bruce has another midfielder, with Leicester City’s Hamza Choudhury open to a loan move.
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