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Transfer news LIVE: Chelsea ‘expect’ to agree €60m Jules Kounde deal today as Josko Gvardiol also linked


Ten Hag tight-lipped on Ronaldo; Rashford says Man Utd ‘a lot fitter than last season’

Chelsea have moved a step closer to signing the highly-rated Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, according to reports. Chelsea have agreed personal terms with the 23-year-old France international centre-back and are now within the realms of the Spanish club’s asking price. Thomas Tuchel is rebuilding his defence after the departure of Antonio Rudiger to Real Madrid and Andreas Christensen to Barcelona, leaving the ageing Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta as Chelsea’s frontline centre-halves. Kounde would add to the recent arrival of Kalidou Koulibaly at Stamford Bridge.

Elsewhere, Arsenal are set to complete the signing of Oleksandr Zinchenko from Manchester City or around £30 million. The Ukraine international has left Manchester City’s pre-season training camp to sign his contract, with both Arsenal and City in agreement over the transfer. Meanwhile, this morning reports suggest Jesse Lingard could head to Nottingham Forest.

Cristiano Ronaldo could be heading to Atletico Madrid if the transfer rumour mill is to be believed, with the La Liga club in contact with the 37-year-old striker’s representatives, according to AS. It has been widely reported that the Portuguese is unsettled at Old Trafford after only one season back at the club, and has been pushing for a move away from United behind the scenes to a club with serious Champions League ambitions, but United boss Erik ten Hag remains adamant his forward is staying.

Follow all the latest transfer news with our live blog below:


Can Erik ten Hag teach Manchester United to become a passing team again?

Erik ten Hag arrived at Old Trafford equipped with a few passing drills. The themes seem to involve passing the ball forward, finding teammates in close quarters and keeping the ball on the ground. None of which sounds radical. All of which appears necessary.

Manchester United’s new manager also came with a shortlist of targets who can pass the ball. Lisandro Martinez, with an average of 87 passes per 90 minutes, can build up from the back. Christian Eriksen’s capacity to unlock defences meant that only Kevin de Bruyne and Jack Grealish averaged more shot-creating actions per 90 minutes in last season’s Premier League. Frenkie de Jong, the numbers show, will complete at least 89 per cent of his passes in a La Liga or Champions League campaign, which should bode well for the Premier League and the Europa League.

The training ground and the transfer market may form twin weapons in Ten Hag’s armoury. If his task is to make United better, in particular it is to make them better on the ball. If there are plenty of ways in which United have fallen behind in the last nine years, possession ranks among the most significant.

Mark Critchley asks whether Ten Hag’s appointment will lead to United being a significantly better team on the ball this year:


David Moyes continues long search for his flagship West Ham signing

They are quite a team, West Ham. Darwin Nunez leads the line in attack with a supply line from the flanks of Raphinha and Luis Diaz. In midfield, Declan Rice has teamed up with Kalvin Phillips and James Ward-Prowse.

He hasn’t, of course, apart from on international duty.

Rice is the only one of the stellar six plying his trade in claret and blue, and perhaps their numbers will be reduced to none next year. Each, however, has figured in David Moyes’ thoughts.

And while, obviously, he would not have had the money to sign all, or even most, each is proof of ambition, but also a source of frustration. A theme of Moyes’ reign has been the enduring search for a flagship signing. That four of his targets have been signed by either Liverpool, Barcelona or Manchester City in 2022 may suggest he has set his sights too high, though a manager who took over a club in danger of relegation and has steered them close to a top-four finish and a European final in his two full seasons in charge is entitled to argue he has thrived by setting his sights high. He has forged quite a team, but without his more glamorous targets.

Rich Jolly delves into West Ham’s market struggles:


Rangers have made ‘smart’ signing, says Liverpool boss

Liverpool sold defender Ben Davies to Rangers yesterday and Jurgen Klopp has given his seal of approval to the centre-back’s personality traits, despite him never featuring in a competitive game for the Reds.

“It’s a smart piece of recruitment from Giovanni van Bronckhorst,” Klopp said.

“Perfect for all parties. He has himself an accomplished defender, who is entering his peak years and whose character is top drawer. Rangers is a fantastic club. Ben belongs on a big stage for sure. European football as well. This presents a proper opportunity to demonstrate his quality.”

Davies moved to Anfield in January 2021 and spent last season on loan at Sheffield United.


Spurs want to offload five players this summer

Tottenham have been busy in the market for new faces this summer, so it’s time for some exits to occur as well.

Their valuation of £20m for Giovani Lo Celso has not yet been met, with Villarreal aiming for another loan deal, say the Times, while Fiorentina have enquired over a loan with a permanent option of £15m.

Elsewhere, wing-backs Sergio Reguilon and Emerson Royal, midfielder Harry Winks and centre-back Joe Rodon are all set to be sold if possible, though Sevilla are the side rumoured to be keen on Reguilon but will not match his £70,000-a-week wage.

Mundo Deportivo say Barcelona view Reguilon as a low-cost option at left-back if they can arrange a loan deal.


Man City face £50m bill for Cucurella

Manchester City are still keen on Brighton wing-back Marc Cucurella, but Brighton are demanding a £50m fee for the Spaniard.

The Times report that the Seagulls will tell City they must pay the full amount or else there will be no deal, much like the stance taken with Arsenal over Benjamin White a year ago.

Zinchenko’s exit from City – he’s set to sign for Arsenal for £32m – will free up the space in the squad at left-back for Cucurella’s arrival, but he won’t be a cheap addition as City add to the long line of big-money full-backs signed under Pep Guardiola.


Transfer rumour roundup: Liverpool, Luis Suarez and De Ketelaere

Here’s the latest from the European rumour mill:

  • Liverpool have asked Ajax about Antony, according to Marca. But the €70m quoted fee is out of the Reds’ price range, they say, following the signing of Darwin Nunez this summer
  • Luis Suarez – formerly of Liverpool and Ajax both, as well as Barcelona and most recently Atletico – has been offered to Borussia Dortmund as a free signing to cover the absence of Seb Haller, who has learned this week he has testicular cancer
  • Belgian striker Charles De Ketelaere has been linked with Leeds, but Marca say AC Milan are in talks over a €35m deal and Paolo Maldini has travelled to Belgium to try and complete the deal.

(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)


Manchester United sign Maya Le Tissier from Brighton for undisclosed fee

One done deal from the WSL: Manchester United have signed defender Maya Le Tissier from Barclays Women’s Super League rivals Brighton for an undisclosed fee.

The 20-year-old, who holds the record for the most WSL appearances made by a teenager (53), has agreed a three-year contract with United.

She has represented England at under-23 level, having previously captained her country’s under-17 side.


Chelsea also aiming for Leipzig defender Gvardiol

A new name in the frame? The Evening Standard report that Chelsea have targeted Josko Gvardiol as another central defensive option this summer.

The Leipzig centre-back will move to the top of the wanted list for Thomas Tuchel if his side cannot land either Kounde or PSG’s Presnel Kimpembe, who has also been heavily linked.

An “exceptional offer” would be needed to tempt the Bundesliga side into selling, but with Kimpembe so far unconvinced about leaving Ligue 1, it may be that the Blues look for reinforcements elsewhere.


Chelsea ‘expect’ Kounde deal to be agreed today

Chelsea are inching closer to completing the transfer of Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, according to latest reports.

CBS Sports’ Ben Jacobs says a €60m deal, including add-ons, should be agreed and sealed between the two clubs today, with the Spanish side having informed Barcelona they need to make a straight-cash offer or else walk away from their own interest in the Frenchman.

Kounde is apparently keen on Stamford Bridge, and his move is “imminent”.

Chelsea appear to be on the verge of securing a transfer for Sevilla defender Jules Kounde (PA/DPA)

(PA Archive)


Calvin Bassey leaves Rangers for Ajax in record deal

Rangers defender Calvin Bassey has joined Ajax in a record £22.6million sale for the cinch Premiership club.

The 22-year-old has signed a five-year deal with the Eredivisie champions after the two sides agreed a fee of 23 million euros – around £19.6m – which could rise to 26.5 million euros, in the region of £22.6m.

A statement on the Dutch outfit’s official website said: “Ajax has reached an agreement with Rangers and Calvin Bassey for the transfer of the defender to Amsterdam.

“The English-Nigerian player has signed a contract with Ajax that will take effect immediately and will run for five seasons, until June 30 2027.”

Bassey, who joined Rangers from Leicester in return for a training compensation fee during the summer of 2020, won the league title and the Scottish Cup during his time at Ibrox and also played a part in last season’s run to the Europa League final.


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