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TOP STORY: Madrid won’t give Hazard No. 10
It reports that Madrid are keen to get Belgium international Hazard signed as quickly as possible.
Despite the monumental fee that he is expected to fetch when he finally leaves London, Madrid are reluctant to let him wear the No. 10 shirt he has worn with distinction at Chelsea.
Instead, he’ll be wearing the No. 7 — which belonged to Cristiano Ronaldo before he left for Juve last summer. The No. 7 is currently under the ownership of Mariano Diaz, but Diaz is said to be more than happy to hand it to Hazard.
22.53 BST: We’ll close this Saturday live edition of Transfer Talk with a bit of gossip within the Premier League. Leicester are interested in Andros Townsend, according to the Mirror, with Crystal Palace valuing the 27-year-old at £14m.
21.49 BST: Calciomercato cites Corriere della Sera as reporting that Manchester United have made contact with Mino Raiola over the availability of AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma as David De Gea continues to stall on a new contract at Old Trafford.
20.33 BST: Inter and Juventus are continuing negotiations that would see Mauro Icardi join the Serie A champions and Paulo Dybala leave Turin for the San Siro, according to Gianluca Di Marzio.
19.17 BST: The Mirror reports that Real Madrid are balking at Manchester United’s £160m asking price for Paul Pogba, putting Zinedine Zidane in a position to push Los Blancos‘ board for his midfielder of choice, while Florentino Perez has identified Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen — who has just a year to run on his contract and talks on a new deal have stalled — as a more realistic target.
18.01 BST: Philippe Coutinho is a man in demand, it seems. Gianluca Di Marzio is reporting that Chelsea have identified the Brazilian as the ideal replacement for Real Madrid-bound Eden Hazard — assuming their transfer ban is overturned — and the report suggests that Barcelona will demand €150m for the attacked signed from Liverpool 18 months ago. AS, meanwhile, writes that Paris Saint-Germain are looking to tie up a €100m deal that would see the Parisian club offload Edinson Cavani to make way for a trident of Coutinho, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
16.45 BST: More from Aston Villa, who have released eight players as they prepare for a summer squad shake-up. Among the eight are ex-England defender Micah Richards, who has not made a senior Villa appearance for more than two years, winger Albert Adomah and full-backs Alan Hutton and Ritchie de Laet.
16.17 BST: Arsenal could make a move for FC Basel defender Eder Balanta, says the Mirror, which reports that the Colombia international could be available for around £4 million. Balanta can play in either the centre of defence or at left-back.
15.14 BST: Chelsea and Manchester United would have been all ears when Napoli defender Elseid Hysaj said he wanted to leave in the summer, according to talkSPORT, which says both clubs are interested in the right-back.
14.17 BST: On Friday, reports said Aston Villa were lining up a swap deal to sign attacker Jota from Birmingham, with Villa midfielder Gary Gardner moving in the other direction.
The Birmingham Mail reports that the deal “is now complete” — although not announced — and says Villa will also pay £4 million under its terms to sign Jota, who worked with manager Dean Smith at Brentford.
13.24 BST: To Everton, where the Liverpool Echo reports that Marco Silva is “targeting the signing of a young, left-footed forward this summer” and Lyon’s Bertrand Traore is one of the names in the frame.
12.50 BST: Citing reports in France, the Mirror says Arsenal boss Unai Emery has been in contact with Paris Saint-Germain defender Thomas Meunier, also a reported target for Manchester United.
Emery worked with Meunier during his time in charge at the Parc des Princes, and the Mirror says he “is hoping his personal touch will help Arsenal in their battle with United.
11.23 BST: Markus Babbel wants to sign Franck Ribery for Western Sydney Wanderers when the winger leaves Bayern Munich this summer, but has told Sky Sports he does not believe the A-League club can afford him.
10.51 BST: Managerial news now, and Chelsea are prepared to grant Maurizio Sarri‘s request to join Juventus, sources have told ESPN FC.
Sarri is understood to have told director Marina Granovskaia on Friday that he wanted to return to Italy and succeed Massimiliano Allegri, two days after the 4-1 win over Arsenal in the Europa League final — his first major trophy.
Sources told ESPN FC that Chelsea would not have been inclined to sack Sarri even if his side had lost in Baku, but were open to letting the head coach leave if he indicated a desire to do so and another club made an official approach to buy him out of his contract.
10.14 BST: Spurs, of course, have bigger fish to fry today than transfers, but reports suggest that they could have to pay big, big money to sign Real Betis midfielder Giovani Lo Celso. How much? Something approaching £90 million, that’s (apparently) how much.
09.42 BST: Yesterday, Aston Villa manager Dean Smith was linked with one of his former Brentford players, Birmingham City attacker Jota. Today, he is being linked with another – the Bees’ former Chelsea midfielder Josh McEachran, the Birmingham Mail reports.
09.15 BST: Reports suggest that Leicester, Everton and Manchester United are all interested in Chelsea defender Reece James after his outstanding season on loan at Championship club Wigan.
PAPER TALK: Barca plan big summer sell-off
Barcelona are ready to sell big over the next month in order to balance their books for the 2018-19 campaign, says Marca.
It reports that the cost of transfers and payments, which have been spread in order to provide the La Liga giants with some short-term gain, have come back to haunt them this month, meaning sales rather than new arrivals, could be the name of the game in the coming weeks.
The amount Barca need to recoup by selling players has not been revealed, but Catalunya Radio reported that it could be as much as €70m, although Marca claim it could be closer to €40m.
Man City have backup plan if Rodri move fails
Manchester City have been seeking a suitable backup and eventual replacement for midfield stalwart Fernandinho, and it seems they have a contingency plan if a move for first choice Rodri, of Atletico Madrid, falls through.
The report says that City don’t want to pay Atleti the €70 million release clause in Rodri’s contract, but time is not on their side as Tottenham are moving for Ndombele, with the Champions League finalists having had an initial bid rejected.