Follow the latest updates with our transfer live blog as Manchester United and Arsenal enter the final week of the summer window looking to make big moves that could send out a major statement. The Gunners are closing in on a club-record deal for Lille winger Nicolas Pepe that is expected to be announced today, but they have not yet dropped their interest in Celtic’s Kieran Tierney either.
United meanwhile have entered talks with Juventus about a swap deal involving Paulo Dybala and Romelu Lukaku, with the Argentine’s agent already in England to hold negotiations with the Premier League club. Gareth Bale meanwhile continues to be trapped at Real Madrid, with the club now claiming that he is “not fit enough to play” despite blocking his move to China last week.
Bayern Munich’s pursuit of Leroy Sane has hit a stumbling block, with club chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge admitting that he doesn’t know why manager Niko Kovac is “very confident” of signing the Manchester City winger, while Newcastle United goalkeeper Freddie Woodman is attracting interest from Arsenal and Celtic. Follow the live updates below.
Premier League clubs look set to raid Serie A this summer with Paulo Dybala and Moise Kean reportedly nearing moves to England.
Dybala could leave Juventus for Manchester United, with Romelu Lukaku heading in the other direction, while Everton are apparently very keen on 19-year-old Kean, another Juve forward.
We take a look at five of the biggest names to have also made the switch from Italy to England.
The French midfielder became the most expensive import ever to English football when United shelled out 105million euros (approximately £96.2million) to bring him back to the club from Juventus in 2016. Pogba has shown brilliance at times but not the consistent excellence to justify his price tag and has been repeatedly linked with another move away from Old Trafford.
Salah cost less than half Pogba’s fee when Liverpool brought him to Anfield from Roma in 2017 but there has been no doubting the Egyptian’s positive impact. He scored 44 goals in his first season and 27 in his second, earning the Premier League Golden Boot both times and playing a key role in the Reds’ success under Jurgen Klopp. Liverpool raided Roma again last summer for another key recruit, bringing in goalkeeper Alisson Becker.
Thierry Henry can lay claim to being the most successful import from Serie A. The Frenchman was a winger when he moved from Juventus to Arsenal for £11million in 1999. He went on to become one of English football’s most prolific strikers, scoring 228 goals in all competitions. He was a member of the Invincibles team of 2003-04 and played for the Gunners for eight seasons.
Juan Sebastian Veron
Argentina midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron became the most expensive transfer in English football when he joined Manchester United from Lazio in 2001, signing a five-year deal. But he struggled to adapt to the pace of the game in the Premier League and was widely considered a flop. He moved on to Chelsea after only two years but made just a handful of appearances.
Balotelli may not have made the biggest impact on the pitch following his move from Inter Milan to Manchester City but he generated plenty of headlines. Brought to City by his former boss at Inter, Roberto Mancini, striker Balotelli scored 20 top flight goals in 54 appearances but his disciplinary record was poor and he was sold to AC Milan two-and-a-half years later. He subsequently spent an unsuccessful season back in England with Liverpool.
Does Manchester United’s interest in Paulo Dybala make sense so late in the transfer window?
In a word: yes. That’s according to our chief football writer Miguel Delaney, who believes that the time is right to move for a player who up until two seasons ago was a target for every club going.
Breaking: The Independent can confirm that Romelu Lukaku has agreed terms with Juventus that will see him leave Manchester United this summer – but only if Paulo Dybala’s move in the other direction can be agreed.
Northern football correspondent Mark Critchley can reveal that personal terms have been agreed between Lukaku’s camp and the Serie A champions, and that United have given him the green light to leave as long as they get their hands on Juventus striker Paulo Dybala.
Here’s the full story:
Former Tottenham and Barcelona midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng has landed himself yet another club after he agreed to join Italian side Fiorentina on a two-year contract.
It means the former Ghana international extends his senior career path to Hertha Berling, Spurs, Borussia Dortmund, Portsmouth, AC Milan, Schalke, AC Milan (again), Las Palmas, Frankfurt, Sassuolo, Barcelona and now Fiorentina.
Arsenal may be busy with a number of incomings over the final week of the window, but one possible outgoing remains under-pressure defender Shkodran Mustafi.
The Germany international has drawn the ire of fans over the last 12 months for his performances and has been identified by the club management as an area of concern.
But he remains under contract until 2021 and his father has rejected claims that he will look to leave this summer given that there seems to be little interest in his services.
Reports in France are suggesting that Monaco could up their interest in the 27-year-old, though Arsenal are yet to receive any offers.
Reports in Italy suggest that Arsenal have made an approach to Juventus Daniele Rugani, but have been knocked back with their initial enquiry.
The Italian club are not keen to let Rugani leave, although newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport say that while they have rejected the interest in the centre-back, Arsenal could look to try force through a joint-move by taking Sami Khedira off the club’s hands as well.
Bayern Munich appear to to have a problem on their hands.
Two days after head coach Niko Kovac said that he was “very confident” the club would land Manchester City winger Leroy Sane, chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has given a fresh interview to say he does not know why Kovac would say such a thing.
Speaking to German newspaper Bild, Rummenigge said that the club are not close to a deal for the 23-year-old, but it could easily be a move to appease City anger for Kovac talking openly about their player.
Paulo Dybala is currently holding talks with Juventus manager Maurizio Sarri over his future, according to Sky Sports News.
It’s claimed that the Argentina international trained as usual on Wednesday morning, but headed straight for talks with the new club manager to decide if he will enter transfer talks with Manchester United or not.
Blackburn Rovers have announced the signing of Manchester City youngster Tosin Adarabioyo on a season-long loan.
Neymar’s return to Barcelona will not be happening this summer.
Spanish newspaper Marca reports that PSG have vetoed any transfer back to the Nou Camp due to the bad blood that still remains between the two.
Barca were furious with PSG’s approach two years ago to take the Brazilian to the French capital, which lead to a firm reposte from the Ligue 1 side that they would not be bullied by the Catalans.
That bad relationship remains in place, and Marca claims that while PSG are open to Neymar leaving the club this summer, they will block any approach from Barcelona.
However, it is highly unlikely that Barca can afford Neymar due to their €107, signing of Antoine Griezmann, unless they agree to let a substantial collection of players move in the opposite direction.
Manchester United are being linked in France with a move for Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti.
According to LeSport10, the five-month injury lay-off for Eric Bailly will spark United into action in the transfer market for a centre-back.
However, as they have not reached a breakthrough in negotiations for Leicester City’s Harry Maguire, the French newspaper reports that Barcelona’s out-of-favour defender has grabbed United’s interest.
The report does add that United are yet to move for the 25-year-old though, who previously interested Arsenal earlier this summer.
The latest twist in the Gareth Bale saga has come from manager Zinedine Zidane.
The Frenchman kicked it all off when he publicly announced that he hoped to see Bale sold sooner rather than later, only for the club hierarchy to pull the plug on a lucrative move to Chinese side Jiangsu Suning as they were not satisfied with the transfer fee.
Bale’s response was one of fury, after being forced out of the club only to be told he couldn’t leave, and he did not travel with the rest of the team for their pre-season friendly against Spurs yesterday in Munich.
However, Zidane has now claimed that the decision for Bale not to travel was due to him “not being fit enough”, and that it had nothing to do with the ‘will he-won’t he’ saga that is playing out in Madrid.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has not been one to be afraid of calling out the club publicly when it comes to their transfer business.
That had looked to have changed following the club-record signing of Tanguy Ndombele this summer, but the follow-up transfers have not arrived and when asked about this yesterday, Pochettino seemed somewhat annoyed by the lack of progress.
Speaking after the victory over Real Madrid in Munich, Pochettino said: “I am not in charge and I know nothing about the situation of my players.
“I am only coaching them and trying to get the best from them. Sell, buy players, sign contract, not sign contract – I think it is not in my hands, it’s in the club’s hands and (chairman) Daniel Levy.
“The club need to change my title and description. Of course I am the boss deciding the strategic play, but in another area I don’t know. Today, I feel like I am the coach.”
Here’s the full story:
But The Independent can confirm that talks between the two clubs are very much ongoing, and that United are keen on signing Dybala – who himself is looking to leave Juventus after losing his place in the starting XI to Cristiano Ronaldo last year.
Northern football correspondent Mark Critchley has the latest:
However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was not about to give the game away in their pursuit of Dybala.
After United beat Kristiansund in their pre-season friendly last night, the United manager was quizzed about the latest updates in negotiations.
But he chose to remain coy on the matter, given that executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is handling talks.
He said: “I’m not here to talk about rumours about other teams’ players. We’re working on one or two cases. It’s 10 days or so before we start the league and hopefully we can announce a fresh face or two.”
Manchester United have opened discussions with Juventus over a move for their out-of-favour striker Paulo Dybala.
But the talks are far from simple, as the Italian club are keen on signing Romelu Lukaku in return in what could prove a straight swap deal.
Tottenham have been keen on Dybala this summer, but United look to be in pole position for the Argentine striker after it emerged late last night that his agent had already travelled to England for talks with the Manchester club.
Nothing is agree yet, but given how open United were to selling Lukaku to Inter Milan, the move makes sense for Ed Woodward and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Arsenal are also still keen on signing Kieran Tierney from Celtic before next Wednesday’s deadline.
Despite the club agreeing to pay £72m for Pepe, the club have managed to agree a deal spread over five years, meaning they still have something of a transfer budget this summer.
And according to the Daily Mail, what is left in the transfer kitty will be allocated in full towards the deal to sign Scotland full-back Tierney.
Arsenal are expected to complete the club-record signing of Nicolas Pepe today.
The Lille winger arrived in London on Tuesday to undergo a medical with the club and agree personal terms ahead of a £72m move, and it’s understood that everything went smoothly between the two parties as footage emerged overnight of the Ivory Coast international in full Arsenal kit, ready for today’s announcement.
The move is perhaps not the one that Arsenal fans will have expected at the start of the summer, but it will go a long way to appeasing their frustrations that the club are being left behind by their rivals.
We’ll bring you all the details around the move as soon as it’s announced.
Welcome to The Independent’s transfer live blog where we’ll bring you all the latest done deals, rumours and updates throughout the summer window as we head into the final week before next Wednesday’s deadline day.
The summer transfer window closes at 5pm on Wednesday 8 August for all Premier League and Championship clubs, with teams in League One, League Two and across Europe able to sign new players until 11pm on Monday 2 September.