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TOP STORY: Juve finalizing De Ligt move
Juventus are closing in on the signing of Ajax centre-back Matthijs de Ligt, following a breakthrough in discussions between the Serie A champions and De Ligt’s agent, Mino Raiola — according to reports at Calciomercato.
Raiola and Netherlands international De Ligt have given the green light to Juve’s latest contract offer, meaning the Italians now just need to formalize their financial proposal to Ajax.
The Eredivisie winners have sought to avoid a bidding war between clubs for their prized asset by placing a fixed asking price on the 19-year-old, leaving much of the negotiations down to the player himself.
Interest in the Netherlands international is rife, with Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and Manchester United all believed to be desperate to secure a deal, but Juve’s offer of a €12 million net salary plus bonuses is believed to have secured one of the most highly sought-after signatures in European football.
United pull plug on move for Maguire
The Daily Star claims Manchester United are set to withdraw their interest in Leicester City defender Harry Maguire.
The Red Devils were believed to be keen on securing a deal for the England international as part of a major defensive shake-up that also includes a soon-to-be-completed move for Crystal Palace full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, but Leicester’s asking price of up to £100m appears to have scuppered negotiations.
Reports claim United have valued the former Hull City defender at around £60m, but Old Trafford bosses have now been left stunned at the Foxes’ demands, which would make Maguire the most expensive defender in history.
Manchester City are also rumoured to be interested in the 26-year-old, but Maguire now fears that his latest price tag could block a dream move to a Champions League club.
Dzeko Inter switch suffers Roma hitch
Inter Milan remain keen to sign striker Edin Dzeko from Serie A rivals Roma, but Calciomercato claims a cash-plus-player deal involving Inter’s Edoardo Vergani could now be in the balance.
The Italian publication claims 18-year-old Vergani is being used as a makeweight in a proposed package to sign Dzeko, but the forward is believed to be uninterested in a move to the Stadio Olimpico, placing that specific deal in serious doubt.
Inter, however, are said to be optimistic about completing a move for the Bosnia international, and are expected to hold further talks with their Roman counterparts to thrash out an alternative deal.
Despite an excellent 87 goals in just 179 Serie A appearances for Roma, 33-year-old Dzeko is expected to cost a modest £10m, with the lure of Champions League football at the San Siro providing an added incentive to the move.
– Gianluca DiMarzio is reporting that Chelsea and Real Madrid have agreed a fee to make Mateo Kovacic‘s loan at Stamford Bridge permanent at a cost of £50m to the Blues.
– Calciomercato claims Napoli are closing in on the signing of Roma defender Kostas Manolas for around €34m. A move for the Greece international could trigger a deal that sees Guinea midfielder Amadou Diawara head to the Eternal City for a fee in the region of €18m.
– Newcastle United would have to part with a massive £10m to make Burnley boss Sean Dyche their new manager, according to the Daily Mail. Dyche is believed to be in the running to replace Rafa Benitez, who is set to leave the club at the end of the week when his contract expires.