Football transfer rumours: Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to Milan or Juve?

Today’s fluff starts with an earthquake A little over a week after the drama, excitement and largely underwhelming-apart-from-Everton actuality of England’s transfer deadline day it is Italy’s turn to bring the curtain down on the summer market. They have until the clock strikes eight in Rome on Friday to complete their business, and the day dawns with one particularly big name – in more ways than one – the subject of heightened speculation. It looks like Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, the young Lazio midfielder so frequently linked with the Premier League’s power hitters in the early summer, is going to make a big-money move. Milan are apparently in the driving seat, with rumours circulating that they have struck a €40m loan deal with Lazio that includes a right to make the deal permanent if they feel like it, though Tuttosport believes that Juventus will rival them for the Serb’s signature and Continue reading "Football transfer rumours: Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to Milan or Juve?"

Football transfer rumours: Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso back to Real Madrid?

Today’s tell-all didn’t get where it is today learning about the ‘them and us’ situation which bedevils British industry so tragically Having played just a solitary minute for Real Madrid’s first team back in April 2010, Marcos Alonso is being tenuously linked with a return to the club of his youth. After his only appearance – as a substitute, on for Gonzalo Higuaín in a 2-0 win over Racing Santander – for the senior team, Alonso went to on to play for Bolton, Fiorentina, Sunderland and then Chelsea, where his hair has recently developed a kind of lustrous, Michael Flatley-esque bouffant quality that appears to be attracting admiring “come hither” glances from the Bernabéu. With Chelsea precluded from buying players until January, they are unlikely to entertain any offers for the full-back and only time will tell how Alonso reacts to news of his former club’s apparent interest. Following his Continue reading "Football transfer rumours: Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso back to Real Madrid?"

Everton paid over the odds for Richarlison, admits Marcel Brands

• Director of football Brands: ‘Maybe the market value was lower’
• Brands rejects claims club overspent on agents for Yerry MinaMarcel Brands, Everton’s director of football, has rejected Manchester United claims that excessive agents’ fees were paid to sign Yerry Mina from Barcelona but admitted paying a premium to prise Richarlison from Watford. Everton saw off interest from United and Lyon to sign Mina, the Colombia international defender, on deadline day for £30.25m plus £1.5m add-ons. United officials, while defending their reluctance to sign some of José Mourinho’s targets this summer, claimed they would have pursued him but for agents’ demands which, if paid, would have distorted the market. Brands, however, insisted Everton paid only what they offered at the start of negotiations and the deal took six weeks to complete because Barcelona held out for a better offer from United that never came. Continue reading...

Football transfer rumours: Spurs’ Christian Eriksen to PSG for £100m?

Today’s fluff wants all you gappers and finger snappers Having failed to recruit a single player before the time available for incoming deals ran out, Tottenham’s summer transfer window is only now starting to hot up, with this morning’s newspapers linking them with a stadium-fund-swelling if slightly optimistic £150m-worth of outgoings. The Express exclusively report that Paris St-Germain are ready to spend £100m on Christian Eriksen, on whom the French side “have long been keen”, but that Spurs are “equally determined not to sell”. The Parisians aren’t the only club whose eye has been caught by the twinkle-toed Dane: according to the Star, Real Madrid could join the chase if they sell Luka Modric to Internazionale (though according to Tuttosport that move is becoming less likely). Related: Tottenham are forced back to Wembley by safety concerns at home Continue reading...

PSG agree £33m deal for Schalke defender Thilo Kehrer

• Defender set to leave after six years at Bundesliga club
• Germany Under-21 international won Euro 2017 competitionParis Saint-Germain have agreed a deal worth a reported £33m (€37m)to sign the Schalke defender Thilo Kehrer, with the Germany Under-21 international set for a medical before sealing a move to the Ligue 1 champions. The 21-year-old made his Schalke debut in February 2016 before enjoying a breakthrough season last term. The centre-back was also part of the Germany team which won the European Under-21 Championships last year and played 27 matches in the Bundesliga last season. Continue reading...

Five new Premier League players to look out for this season

Chelsea, Arsenal, Fulham, Wolves and West Ham all made eye-catching signings while the World Cup was on If Antonio Conte became used to not getting his way with transfers, the signing of Jorginho felt like the perfect sweetener for his successor. The 26-year-old midfielder was confirmed on the same day as Maurizio Sarri, both arriving from Napoli, and it said plenty for his importance to the new manager’s plans that Manchester City were beaten to his signature. Continue reading...

Football transfer rumours: Is Spurs’ Danny Rose heading for PSG?

Today’s fluff is sifting through the debris After a wonderful transfer window for Manchester United, news has emerged that Mino Raiola has been hawking Paul Pogba to Barcelona and Juventus. Remember, European clubs have until 31 August to make signings, so the Mill is going to spend the day wondering what Ed Woodward will do if it comes down to a straight choice between Pogba and the Sulky One. But if it’s any consolation for José Mourinho, other managers also had annoying summers. Take Mauricio Pochettino, who made no signings at Tottenham, because Daniel Levy is a crack negotiator. Tottenham couldn’t even prise Jack Grealish away from Aston Villa, who are set to give the creative midfielder a new contract that will contain a clause allowing the 22-year-old to leave if Steve Bruce’s side miss out on promotion to the Premier League this season. Continue reading...

Southampton finally sign Danny Ings after Crystal Palace prefer Jordan Ayew

• Saints loan Liverpool striker prior to permanent move
• Palace had been linked but bring in Ayew from SwanseaSouthampton signed Danny Ings on loan from Liverpool after being granted an extension to the 5pm transfer window deadline. The Anfield club announced the deal was an initial one-season loan with the move becoming permanent on 1 July 2019, then with a fee of £18m plus £2m in add-ons. Ings had interested Crystal Palace but the London club signed Jordan Ayew from Swansea City instead. He became their fourth summer signing, following on from the arrivals of the goalkeeper Vicente Guaita and the midfielders Cheikhou Kouyaté and Max Meyer. The deal is initially a loan, with the possibility of the move becoming permanent in January. Related: Transfer window 2018 – every summer deal from Europe's top five leagues Continue reading...

Premier League’s power shown by spending of clubs outside elite | David Conn

TV riches fund ever more overseas recruitment and make England’s inspiring World Cup campaign seem a long time ago When most of England was glued to the World Cup and gleefully chucking beer around in feverish fanzones, club football seemed to recede into some proper perspective, where the national team’s success would always be the highest priority. Yet one month later, as this summer’s transfer window closed, it seemed almost party‑pooping even to mention that the overwhelming majority of Premier League signings are from overseas and to wonder at the effect this will have on opportunities for English players. Related: Transfer window 2018 – every summer deal from Europe's top five leagues Continue reading...

Kepa Arrizabalaga praises Chelsea for their ‘great bet in taking me’

• Young goalkeeper unconcerned by £71.6m world-record fee
• ‘I will do everything I can to repay the trust they have put in me’Kepa Arrizabalaga has said he does not feel any pressure after becoming the world’s most expensive goalkeeper and he believes Chelsea have made a “great bet” after signing him for £71.6m. The fee for Kepa surpasses the £66.9m paid by Liverpool to Roma for Alisson in July but the 23-year-old Spaniard is confident he will prove a successful replacement for Thibaut Courtois after joining from Athletic Bilbao. Continue reading...

Thibaut Courtois keen for Eden Hazard to join him after Real Madrid unveiling

• Former Chelsea goalkeeper wants to play with fellow Belgian
• Courtois says he turned down more lucrative offers for RealThibaut Courtois signed for Real Madrid on Thursday before revealing he is keen for his former Chelsea team-mate Eden Hazard to join him at the Bernabéu. The Belgium international, named best goalkeeper at the World Cup this summer as he helped his country to third-place, has signed a six-year deal after completing a medical on Thursday. Continue reading...

The Fiver | Unbearably dull but not out of date

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now! Transfer deadline day is always a difficult time for The Fiver, especially since Sky Sports News started shielding its reporters from purple joysticks. Now the only fun we can have is making up stories to arouse fans’ hopes but the social media contagion has made that an ultra-competitive field and, besides, there’s a genuine risk that by the time this arrives in your inbox, one of our fabrications could turn out to be true, so the joke would be on us. Continue reading...

Manchester United make €25m offer for Diego Godín to trigger release clause

• United trying to secure defender on transfer deadline day
• Uruguayan keen to stay at La Liga clubManchester United have made a €25m (£22.5m) offer to Atlético Madrid for the 32-year-old defender Diego Godín to trigger his release clause but the Uruguayan would prefer to stay at his current club. José Mourinho is desperate to sign a centre-back before the window closes but has been put off by the fees for Bayern Munich’s Jérôme Boateng and Leicester City’s Harry Maguire. Continue reading...

Real Madrid’s strategy of signing World Cup stars goes back 60 years

Thibaut Courtois, Toni Kroos and Ronaldo are all part of a transfer policy first used by Santiago Bernabéu in 1958
By Craig McCracken for Beyond The Last Man It is a quadrennial tradition that Real Madrid swoop for standout performers from the recent World Cup. West German left-back Paul Breitner was an early and successful example of this policy in action when he joined the club weeks after winning the World Cup on home soil in 1974. Gheorghe Hagi, Predrag Spasić, Fernando Redondo, Robert Jarni, the Brazilian Ronaldo, Fabio Cannavaro, Mesut Özil and Sami Khedira all arrived on the back of strong World Cup performances. Thibaut Courtois, the golden glove winner in Russia this summer, is just the latest player to turn up in Madrid after impressing at the World Cup. Real Madrid’s two acquisitions after the 2014 World Cup – James Rodríguez and Toni Kroos – provide a Continue reading "Real Madrid’s strategy of signing World Cup stars goes back 60 years"