Ten Hag tight-lipped on Ronaldo; Rashford says Man Utd ‘a lot fitter than last season’
Football’s transfer machine continues to grind away and speculation is rampant as Premier League clubs and those across Europe look to finalise their squads for the new season.
Lisandro Martinez is headed to Old Trafford after Manchester United confirmed they have agreed a deal with Ajax worth up to £57m and the Argentine international defender will link up with his former boss Erik ten Hag.
Arsenal were also interested in the Argentina international but missed out on the left-sided centre-back despite the prospect of playing for Mikel Arteta appealing to him.
In other news, Cristiano Ronaldo could be on the verge of a shock move to Atletico Madrid, Armando Broja is edging closer to leaving Chelsea for West Ham, Arsenal are looking to tie up at least one of Oleksandr Zinchenko or Youri Tielemans and Matthijs de Ligt is Bayern Munich-bound from Juventus.
Follow all the latest transfer news with our live blog below:
Cristiano Ronaldo ignoring calls as speculation over his future continues
Cristiano Ronaldo has taken to ignoring phone calls as speculation over his future continues this summer, including from former Manchester United and Portugal team-mate Nani.
Ronaldo has told United that he intends to leave the club this summer in order to play Champions League football but the 37-year-old has been informed by manager Erik ten Hag that he is not for sale.
Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain are among clubs to have been linked with Ronaldo, who has yet to join United’s pre-season tour of Asia and Australia due to “personal reasons”.
The uncertainty it set to continue despite United’s stance while Ronaldo remains silent, and Nani has revealed that even those close to Ronaldo are not aware of his plans ahead of the upcoming season.
“When he’s on vacation he doesn’t answer the phone to anybody!” said Nani, who has joined Melbourne Victory and played against United in a friendly last week. “I tried to talk to him, but he said ‘I’m so busy now, we’ll talk soon’.”
Cristiano Ronaldo ignoring calls as speculation over his future continues
Manchester United insist the 37-year-old is not for sale
Luke Baker18 July 2022 15:21
Chelsea make Kimpembe offer and re-open Kounde talks
Chelsea have made a £40m offer for Paris St Germain centre-back Presnel Kimpembe and are back in talks with Sevilla over Jules Kounde, who is a target for Barcelona too – according to the Daily Mail.
The Blues have already signed Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli this summer but want further defensive reinforcements following the departures of Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger.
PSG are believed to be willing to sell Kimpembe for somewhere in the region of £42milion, while Fabrizio Romano confirms that Chelsea have made contact about a Kounde transfer.
Luke Baker18 July 2022 15:04
Bukayo Saka contract ‘a matter of time’ for Arsenal
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is confident that Bukayo Saka will sign a new contract in the near future, putting to bed speculation over his future.
The England star has become a key player at the Emirates and the club wanted to reward him with a new deal to tie him down. Several Premier League outfits were sniffing around including Liverpool and Manchester City but Arteta has insisted Saka is going nowhere.
“We will try and we both have the same intention and it’s a matter of time,’” Arteta told reporters.
Saka’s current deal expires in 2024, which gives Arsenal some breathing room. However, talks have been ongoing for much of the year and a deal has been prioritised to avoid any chance of a situation growing.
Luke Baker18 July 2022 14:51
Zlatan Ibrahimovic to play on past 41 after extending Milan contract
Evergreen AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic will stay at the Serie A champions beyond his 41st birthday after agreeing a one-year contract extension, the club said on Monday.
Details of the contract were not released, but a source close to the deal said the Swede has accepted a reduced salary given he will be unable to play until 2023 after undergoing surgery on his left knee in May.
“AC Milan is pleased to announce the renewal of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s contract until June 30, 2023,” Milan said in a short statement. “The Swedish forward will continue to wear the number 11 shirt.”
Ibrahimovic, Sweden’s all-time top scorer with 62 goals, returned to his former club Milan in January 2020 after leaving Major League Soccer team LA Galaxy.
Although his second stint at the Italian side has been riddled with injuries, Ibrahimovic has made 74 appearances and scored 36 goals in all competitions since his return, helping Milan win their first Serie A title in 11 years last term.
Luke Baker18 July 2022 14:42
Cristiano Ronaldo to Atletico Madrid?
A potential shock return to Madrid could be on the cards as Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly convinced Diego Simeone to sign him for Atletico.
Ronaldo has made no secret of his desire to leave Manchester United to play Champions League football and Atleti fit the ball, despite the 37-year-old being a legend for fierce rivals Real Madrid.
The market for Ronaldo has not been as robust as the Portuguese might have hoped for with Chelsea and Bayern Munich having ruled themselves out and the forward rejecting a lucrative offer from an unnamed Saudi Arabian club.
Spanish outlet Diario AS are now claiming he could be about to return to the Spanish capital with Atletico.
Luke Baker18 July 2022 14:30
Lisandro Martinez: Manchester United reach £47m agreement with Ajax for Argentina defender
Manchester United have reached an agreement with Ajax for the £47 million transfer of defender Lisandro Martinez that could rise to £55m.
The Argentina centre back will become new United manager Erik ten Hag’s third summer signing at Old Trafford, subject to a medical, and is set to sign a five-year contract with the option of an additional year.
Ajax confirmed in a statement that the deal includes another £8.5 million in potential add-ons for the 24-year-old international.
Ten Hag coached the defender at Ajax last season and Martinez follows Tyrell Malacia and Christian Eriksen in joining the club this summer.
Manchester United said: “Manchester United is delighted to announce the club has reached agreement with Ajax for the transfer of Argentine international defender Lisandro Martinez, subject to medical, to player terms being finalised, and to UK visa requirements.”
Manchester United reach £47m agreement with Ajax for defender Lisandro Martinez
The 24-year-old is set to sign a five-year contract, subject to a medical, player terms being finalised and visa requirements
Luke Baker18 July 2022 14:16
Youri Tielemans will discuss Leicester future
Youri Tielemans will discuss his Leicester future with boss Brendan Rodgers this week, with Arsenal, Manchester United and Newcastle allegedly all interested in the midfielder.
Sky Sports News reported last month that Leicester are keen to tie the Belgium international down with a one-year contract extension, in order to prevent him leaving on a free transfer next summer. Tielemans is open to that possibility if no suitable transfer offer emerges before the end of this window.
But Rodgers wants more clarity on Tielemans’ intentions, with the club needing to sell players before they can spend on any new talent – as the only Premier League club yet to sign a player.
“He’s happy in his work and he’s happy at the club,” Rodgers has said. “But naturally with a year in his contract he may feel he has to look at everything for him and his family. But I certainly know he’s committed while he is here.
“I’ll have a good chat with Youri to get privately what he’s thinking. But it won’t change, whether he’s leaving or staying for another five years, he’ll still be super committed.”
Luke Baker18 July 2022 14:01
How the Premier League top six are shaping up – Manchester United
It may only be pre-season but starting your tenure with a 4-0 win over Liverpool is a good introduction for any new Red Devils boss.
Erik ten Hag has already signed left-back Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord and Christian Eriksen on a free, with Lisandro Martinez expected to join from his former club Ajax in the coming days.
Whether United’s summer has been a success or not is likely to be judged on if they can convince Frenkie de Jong to sign from Barcelona.
Luke Baker18 July 2022 13:50
How the Premier League top six are shaping up – Arsenal
The signing of Gabriel Jesus from champions Manchester City had already excited Gunners fans even before he scored three goals in his first two friendly appearances.
Fabio Vieira has also been added to the ranks along with goalkeeper Matt Turner and young forward Marquinhos with the trio aiming for minutes in the upcoming matches against Orlando City, Chelsea and Sevilla.
A move for another City player, Ukraine’s Oleksandr Zinchenko, would give boss Mikel Arteta further clout in the top-four race.
Luke Baker18 July 2022 13:38
How the Premier League top six are shaping up – Tottenham
Antonio Conte may have guided Tottenham to fourth last season but the Italian is clearly aiming higher after a summer in which Ivan Perisic, Yves Bissouma and Richarlison were the stand-out arrivals, with Clement Lenglet signing on loan and Djed Spence also expected to join from Middlesbrough.
A win over a K-League XI and a 1-1 draw with Sevilla marks a good start to a pre-season campaign which continues with fixtures against beaten Europa League finalists Rangers and former boss Jose Mourinho’s Roma in the coming days.
Luke Baker18 July 2022 13:25