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TOP STORY: PSG make de Ligt No. 1 target
De Ligt, 19, has been linked with Barcelona and Manchester United, but PSG now look set to open negotiations following talks between senior PSG officials about the club’s transfer strategy.
A €70 million fee is rumoured to be the minimum Ajax would accept for their top defensive asset — but with so many of Europe’s biggest sides in the race for the Netherlands international, that price is set to rise.
Defensive signings look set to be the bulk of PSG’s transfer dealings following a disappointing showing in the Champions League and, with captain Thiago Silva nearing his 35th birthday, manager Thomas Tuchel is keen to recruit a long-term replacement.
11.47 BST: To Paris once more, where reports say midfielder Lisandru Tramoni is set to join PSG from Ligue 2 Ajaccio.
11.23 BST: Gary Cahill, on his way out of Chelsea on a free transfer in the summer after seven years at Stamford Bridge, could return to his former club Aston Villa following their promotion to the Premier League, the Birmingham Mail reports.
10.52 BST: West Ham want to sign Chilean defender Guillermo Maripan from Alaves and would like to complete the deal for the Chile international before the Copa America begins, Marca reports.
10.19 BST: Borussia Dortmund CEO Michael Zorc has ruled out the possibility of midfielder Julian Weigl going anywhere this summer, telling WAZ: “No — Julian has a long-term contract with us, and we have no intention of changing anything.”
09.57 BST: As Arsenal head into the summer licking their wounds from the Europa League drubbing by Chelsea, reports in France suggest that coach Unai Emery will make his former PSG midfielder Adrien Rabiot a key target, according to reports. Rabiot will leave PSG on a free transfer after rejecting a new contract.
09.29 BST: Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero, asked about his future at a news conference, said he could return to former club Independiente once his contract expires in 2021.
“I try to focus on the two years that I have left and, obviously, I will see what I do next. Obviously el Rojo [Independiente] is always my priority,” Aguero said.
09.14 BST: Elseid Hysaj has told Sky Italia he wants “a new adventure” and is set to leave Napoli this summer.
The Albania right-back has been linked with Chelsea, Inter, Barcelona, Manchester United and many more. So there will be a fair few teams interested now they know he’s available.
08.47 BST: ICYMI — Inter Milan have appointed former Juventus and Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, they announced on Friday.
Conte replaces Luciano Spalletti, sacked earlier this week after two seasons with the club. The Nerazzurri finished fourth in Serie A on the final day of the season thanks to a 2-1 win over Empoli, qualifying for the Champions League.
Meanwhile, Manchester United have told Inter it will take £80m to sign Romelu Lukaku, sources have told ESPN FC, with the striker the top summer target for Conte now he is in charge.
08.30 BST: Cadena Ser reports that Antoine Griezmann reached an agreement with Barcelona in March to join this summer.
According to the Spanish radio station, the Atletico Madrid forward had been negotiating with Barca since last November. It claims there is documented proof that the agreement between the France international and Barcelona was signed in March, before Atletico’s Champions League elimination at the hands of Juventus in the quarterfinals.
Griezmann announced at the end of the season that he would leave Atletico after five seasons, but did not reveal his next destination. His release clause will drop from €200m to €120m on July 1.
PAPER TALK (by James Capps)
Real pull of out Felix move in order to pursue Hazard
Madrid were prepared to pay about €80m for the highly coveted Felix, and also offered to loan the 19-year-old back to the Portuguese champions next season.
But Benfica knocked back the bid, demanding that Zinedine Zidane‘s side pay the full €120 million asking price.
The impending arrival of Hazard means Real are well-stocked with attacking options, and it’s believed that has also played a role in their decision.
News of Madrid’s withdrawal from negotiations leaves many of Europe’s elite clubs in the hunt for Felix. Manchester City, Juventus and Barcelona are all reported to have an interest in the player, set to make his senior Portugal debut in the UEFA Nations League finals.
Coutinho earmarked as Hazard replacement
Chelsea have identified Barcelona winger Philippe Coutinho as the man they want to replace Hazard — provided they can avoid a transfer ban.
The prospect of a two-year transfer ban still hangs over the Londoners, who are prepared to take the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Any such appeal is likely to delay an official ban, paving the way for a move for Brazil international Coutinho regardless of whether manager Maurizio Sarri remains at the club.
The Ivory Coast international has been in and out of Mauricio Pochettino’s side this season, and could be tempted by a return to Ligue 1 after winning back-to-back league titles with PSG.