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TOP STORY: Pogba in the money if he stays
Pogba, who has two years left on his existing deal, signalled his intention to leave the club after he intimated at the weekend that he needed a new challenge. United seem desperate to keep him, however, and are prepared to offer him a hefty pay rise in an effort to prevent him from moving elsewhere. If they are to going lose him, it won’t be without a fight, and they’re keen to at least recoup the £89 million they paid Juventus back in 2016.
To that end, they have already turned down an opening offer believed to be in the region of £90m by Real Madrid for the Frenchman, but they’re hoping a substantial pay rise might help Pogba’s mind.
United see Pogba as a key commercial asset off the pitch as well as an important part of the squad on it.
13.39 BST: Manchester United and Leicester City are £40 million apart on their valuation of Harry Maguire, with sources telling ESPN FC that the Old Trafford outfit’s initial enquiry rated the England defender at half of his club’s £80m price tag.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made a commanding centre-half his top priority this summer, with the Norwegian keen to solve the team’s defensive problems before the start of preseason training on July 1.
But United look set to miss out on Maguire, who is also a target of Manchester City, due to their low valuation of the 26-year-old.
13.04 BST: Borussia Dortmund extended head coach Lucien Favre’s to a new contract until 2021.
Dortmund finished Favre’s first season in charge as runners-up behind Bayern Munich, who won a seventh consecutive league title, despite having led by nine points at one stage.
However, Dortmund were pleased with the outcome of the 2018-2019 season following a turbulent 2017-2018 when they only beat Leverkusen to Bundesliga’s fourth Champions League squad on goal difference.
“He 100 percent fulfilled our expectations,” Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said in the official press release adding that is looking forward to shaping the future with the 61-year-old coach.
Dortmund have already signed Germany internationals Julian Brandt and Nico Schulz as well as Belgium attacker Thorgan Hazard for the 2019-2020 season and are rumoured to be in talks with their former captain Mats Hummels over a potential return from Bayern Munich.
Favre 2021 📝 pic.twitter.com/VeEDVVZOmr
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) June 18, 2019
12.36 BST: Atletico Madrid remain in the hunt for Joao Felix but other “very important clubs” are also in pursuit of the rising Benfica star, a source close to the Spanish club told ESPN FC on Tuesday.
The Portugal international is reportedly a target for several top European clubs, including Manchester City and Manchester United.
Benfica denied they are in the process of negotiating Felix’s transfer on Monday with a statement amidst reports in Portugal and Spain that a move to Atletico was imminent.
Moreover, Benfica added that the conditions for the player’s potential departure are “public” and “well known to everyone,” reiterating that the 19-year-old’s €120m release clause must be met.
Lukaku is a transfer target for new Inter Milan chief Antonio Conte — with the ex-Everton man having recently labelled the Italian the “best manager in the world.”
11.38 BST: Manchester City target Rodri has told Atletico Madrid he wants to leave this summer but the Spain international is yet to decide his next move, sources have told ESPN FC.
Sources had told ESPN FC in April that Pep Guardiola had earmarked Rodri as a top priority for the summer transfer window. The City boss sees the Spaniard as the ideal long-term replacement for Fernandinho.
11.00 BST: Anthony Martial could be heading to West Ham as part of a deal to bring Issa Diop to Manchester United, according to The Independent.
French centre-back Diop has been linked with interest from Old Trafford, but West Ham have so far remained steadfast in their desire to keep hold of the defender following initial talks between the two clubs.
However, the Hammers have said that making Martial part of a play-plus-cash deal could make a transfer happen, although United are not willing to let the France forward go.
10.30 BST: Tottenham have been told they will have to pay out a club-record £63m if they want to sign Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele, Sky Sports reports.
Talks are ongoing between last season’s Champions League runners-up and the Ligue 1 club over a deal for a player who moved for just £7m from Amiens.
Ndombele, 22, made 44 appearances for Lyon last season including the two Champions League group-stage clashes against Manchester City (a 2-1 away win at the Etihad and a 2-2 draw at home), as well as making his first senior appearances for the France national team.
Tottenham have not signed a player for their first-team squad since Lucas Moura arrived in January last year from Paris Saint-Germain.
09.50 BST: More on Neymar‘s potential move from Paris Saint-Germain back to Barcelona — Luis Suarez has opened the door to the possibility of the Brazilian returning to the Camp Nou.
“I was privileged to spend one of the best years of my life as a Barcelona player alongside the best in the world, [Lionel] Messi, and the second best, Neymar,” Suarez told RAC 1.
“For me, it was one of the best moments I have experienced. We won the treble. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy playing with players like Ney? But he belongs to PSG and these are things which are always talked about during the transfer window.”
A high-ranking source at Barcelona told ESPN FC they’re seriously considering bringing Neymar back, adding that one of the main reasons for the move for Neymar is the fact key players at the club want the Brazilian back.
Barca midfielder Arturo Vidal has said “it would be really nice” to see the Brazilian return because he’s still “much-loved inside the dressing room.”
It’s not clear if the players are as keen to see Antoine Griezmann join in July when his release clause drops to €120m.
“I said what I had to say last year, [about] the quality he has as a player, but he’s an Atletico Madrid player at the moment and I prefer not to comment,” Suarez said.
09.05 BST: Former Barcelona winger Ibrahim Afellay has returned to PSV Eindhoven after signing a one-year deal with his boyhood club.
Afellay was one of Europe’s most promising young players when he emerged at PSV a decade ago, but his career has been plagued by injuries.
The 33-year-old had his contract at Stoke City was terminated in January after another extended spell on the sidelines, but PSV insist he has proved his fitness to get a contract with them.
“Ibi has had an injury-hit tough spell, but he has meanwhile returned to full fitness”, PSV director of football John de Jong said. “He has been working very hard the past few months to get back to full fitness… He is now ready to take the next step with the senior squad. Ibi is one of us and he still has got key qualities and is enjoying his football. We feel confident that he will succeed and that’s why we have offered him a contract.”
— PSV International (@psveindhoven) June 18, 2019
08.35 BST: Marcus Rashford will soon sign a new contract to commit him to Manchester United, according to The Times.
Sources have told ESPN FC that Barcelona have been monitoring Rashford’s situation, while Juventus have also been credited with interest in the England striker.
However, The Times reports that the 21-year-old and United have almost completed their talks over a new deal.
Rashford has just one year to run on his deal at Old Trafford, although United have an option to extend his deal by an additional year.
08.00 BST: Barcelona are seriously looking into bringing Neymar back to Camp Nou next season, with a high ranking source at the Catalan club telling ESPN FC a transfer “could be doable, but it won’t be simple.”
Barca, though, are aware that negotiating with Paris Saint-Germain is not like negotiating with other clubs, given the huge economic backing the Ligue 1 champions enjoy from their Qatari owners.
“If it wasn’t for that, signing Neymar would be even simpler,” the source said.
The source at the Spanish champions also stated that “there has been no direct contact with Neymar’s people” but added that “once Neymar makes it known he wants to return to Barca, anything is possible.”
On Monday, PSG chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi warned Neymar that he only wants players who are “willing to give everything for the shirt.”
Al-Khelaifi told France Football. “Those who do not want that, or do not understand, we will see each other and talk.”
PAPER TALK: Woodward to offer Pereira sweetener to land Maguire
Staying in the red half of Manchester, it appears as though Ed Woodward is getting creative in his pursuit of bringing Harry Maguire to Old Trafford.
The Manchester United executive has been told by Leicester City that he would need to spend in the region of £90m to land the centre-back, a fee too rich for the Red Devils.
Which is why United could offer Brazilian star Andreas Pereira as bait to help sweeten the deal. The Sun suggest that Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers is a big fan of 23-year-old Pereira after he tried to lure him to Celtic, and United would be prepared to let him go in a loan deal — not permanent — if it made the Maguire deal easier to do.
If not, United could turn their attentions to West Ham centre-back Issa Diop.
Manchester City are also keen on signing Maguire but have also baulked at the asking price.
– Real Madrid and Benfica have reached an agreement over the transfer of Raul de Tomas, reports Marca. The Lisbon-based club are set to spend in the region of €20 million to land the striker, which is well below Madrid’s initial valuation of €35m. The move is believed to be imminent, with just the player to agree personal terms. De Tomas scored 14 goals for Rayo Vallecano last season while on loan.
– Barcelona and Valencia could swap goalkeepers this summer, reports the Daily Mail. The two clubs are in talks over a switch that would see Neto head to the Nou Camp and Jasper Cillessen in the other direction to the Mestalla. The deal would see Barcelona offer cash as part of the deal to ease Valencia’s cashflow.
– Manchester United have been told to increase their offer for Aaron Wan-Bissaka to £45m up front by Crystal Palace, says the Daily Mail. United are believed to have already offered £50m, but only £35m up front and the other £15m coming in add ons. Palace are said to be digging their heels in after having already rejected United’s opening bid, as they look to cash in on one of their prized assets.
– Leicester city midfielder James Maddison has added to the fervour around his future by stating he wants to win trophies, reports the Mirror. Maddison was talking to the press while on England Under-21s duty, where he is surrounded by players who have won the Premier League and FA Cup. Manchester United are believed to be front runners for his signature.