Ten Hag tight-lipped on Ronaldo; Rashford says Man Utd ‘a lot fitter than last season’
The Premier League returns next week and both Manchester United and Chelsea look set to define the final weeks of the transfer window with their business yet to conclude. While Cristiano Ronaldo has returned to training at Manchester United’s training base, the 37-year-old did not take part in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Wrexham on Wednesday and instead watched on from the side-lines and the Mail claims he has demanded to be freed of his contract.
It comes as his agent Jorge Mendes leads showdown talks over his future, with Sir Alex Ferguson also reportedly involved in discussions with Erik ten Hag. Two players who did take part in the match were Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez, who has been unveiled as the club’s latest signing. United have meanwhile not changed their stance over Ronaldo, insisting he is not for sale, while the lack of interest since Ronaldo’s agent Mendes looked across Europe for interest could also see the marriage extended for a further season.
Elsewhere, Chelsea have been dealt a significant blow in their pursuit of Jules Kounde, with Barcelona now reaching an agreement with Sevilla for the highly rated defender after making a dramatic late intervention. Juventus are reportedly “very close” to agreeing a deal with Liverpool for Roberto Firmino, while they continue to montitor Chelsea’s Timo Werner and Man United’s Anthony Martial.
Follow all the latest transfer news with our live blog below:
Spurs could yet move for Leicester midfielder Maddison
Tottenham have already rejected the notion they might move for James Maddison this summer, but football.london’s Alasdair Gold says they could be tempted back into the market anyway.
Spurs are long-term admirers of the Leicester man and if other clubs try to close a deal this summer then Spurs “might just make a move” to avoid missing out, is the claim.
Nicolo Zaniolo remains another potential target but Spurs have to offload several players first, the report says. Ndombele, Reguilon, Winks and Lo Celso are the first of those names who have to go.
Karl Matchett28 July 2022 18:40
Arsenal rejected Mauro Icardi in favour of Gabriel Jesus
An Argentinian or a Brazilian to lead the line? That was apparently Edu’s dilemma this summer, with the Arsenal chief opting for Gabriel Jesus as his primary target in revamping the Gunners’ attack.
But his alternative was PSG forward Mauro Icardi, who had been offered to the north London club before the deal with Man City was struck, report the Mirror.
Jesus certainly brings more versatility and mobility to the line, though Icardi in his Inter peak was a lethal scorer – but he’s still at PSG for now.
Karl Matchett28 July 2022 18:20
Jules Kounde arrives in Barcelona for medical
Reports have surfaced from multiple outlets in Spain that Jules Kounde has arrived in Barcelona.
He’s there to undergo a medical and sort terms and paperwork, ahead of a big-money switch from Sevilla.
That will be a huge blow to Chelsea, who at one stage thought they had the £55m deal wrapped up.
Kimpembe, Gvardiol, Skriniar and several others have already been mentioned as potential alternatives.
Karl Matchett28 July 2022 18:00
Griezmann could still leave Atletico Madrid
Much speculation has been about where Cristiano Ronaldo could go if he’s granted the move from Manchester United he apparently wants, with Atletico Madrid reported as a possible surprise destination.
However, most reports have said he’ll only be able to go there if they offload Antoine Griezmann and it seems that could still yet happen.
Marca report that the French forward still isn’t convinced about leaving the Metropolitano, however, and it could yet be that another forward’s future – Alvaro Morata – has a knock-on effect of both Griezmann and Ronaldo both being able to clarify their own fates before the end of the transfer window.
Which domino will fall first?
Karl Matchett28 July 2022 17:40
Mario Gaspar leaves Villarreal ahead of Watford move
Villarreal legend Mario Gaspar has departed the Spanish club, after 15 years with the Yellow Submarine.
The right-back is set for a new career challenge now, having fallen out of favour under Unai Emery, and the 31-year-old is set to switch to Watford according to Marca, following 424 appearances in yellow – more than all but two in the club’s history.
Now he’ll be playing in, well, yellow again, but in the second tier of English football once the Hornets confirm his signing.
Karl Matchett28 July 2022 17:20
Mixed reports on Timo Werner’s Chelsea future
Chelsea forward Timo Werner seems to be in semi-limbo right now; not a first-choice starter, not absolutely in-demand anywhere else and seemingly not able to find his Leipzig shooting boots either.
There have been links with both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund this summer, as well as more recently with Newcastle United and Juventus.
But the latest story from German outlet Kicker is that Thomas Tuchel is blocking any exit and wants the player to remain an important part of the squad for the campaign ahead. RB Leipzig have also made an approach to take him back, is the claim.
Karl Matchett28 July 2022 17:00
Richards delighted after joining Crystal Palace
Chris Richards is now a Crystal Palace defender having moved from Bayern Munich yesterday.
He’s very much up for the challenge of disturbing that brilliant Andersen-Guehi partnership from last season and looks another fine addition by the Eagles over the last three transfer windows.
“I’m really excited for it,” Richards told Palace’s website.
“The kind of project I’ve seen [attracted me]. It’s a lot of young players but also young players who have a lot of fight. Palace is a club that seems like they’re always fighting.”
Karl Matchett28 July 2022 16:45
Nuno Tavares set for Marseille loan
Hours after his reported move to Atalanta fell through, it seems Arsenal left-back Nuno Tavares is instead off to Ligue 1.
Marseille have reportedly agreed a deal to take him on loan, say the Evening Standard, and a medical is booked in to take the youngster there for the 22/23 campaign.
There’s no option to buy included in the switch, which is what Atalanta were unhappy about when they were presented with the chance to take him.
Karl Matchett28 July 2022 16:30
Chelsea in for Joakim Maehle
Wingbacks are on the agenda for Chelsea this afternoon and Thomas Tuchel has three in mind, according to the latest rumours.
Joakim Maehle, of Denmark and Atalanta, is the prime candidate according to football.london – but Inter’s Denzel Dumfries is also in the mix.
There’s also a mention of Benjamin Pavard, of Bayern Munich, though perhaps with the French defender having said he’s keen to move central instead of on the right, perhaps that’s another alternative to the likes of Kounde and Fofana instead.
Karl Matchett28 July 2022 16:15
Frank Lampard on Dwight McNeil
Lampard said: “I have been a big admirer of Dwight for some time.
“He has huge talent and is exactly the type of player we want to bring into the squad to help us improve.”
McNeil becomes Everton’s third summer signing as Lampard aims to build a team that can avoid a relegation scrap in the coming campaign.
He joins former Burnley team-mate James Tarkowski in the Everton dressing room, along with Ruben Vinagre, who has signed on a season-long loan from Sporting.
Lawrence Ostlere28 July 2022 16:03