Transfer Talk: Coutinho sale hitch has Barca’s Neymar move in limbo

Barcelona, Blog - Transfer Talk, Clubs, Neymar, Paris Saint-Germain, Philippe Coutinho, Story, Transfers
Frank Leboeuf explains why he thinks Neymar’s actions are far from “how a footballer should act” and says PSG fans have had enough of the Brazilian.

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TOP STORY: Coutinho keeping Barca in transfer limbo

Barcelona’s summer spending spree has ground to a halt, with the La Liga champions struggling to finance big-money moves for Neymar and Real Betis’ Junior Firpo.

Reports at AS claim the expensive purchases of Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong have left a huge hole in the Barca books, which could now halt any progress they were hoping to make in negotiations to bring Neymar back to the Camp Nou from Paris Saint-Germain.

Frustration is growing in the Barcelona boardroom over their unsuccessful attempts to sell Philippe Coutinho, following reports that no formal bids have been made for the unsettled Brazilian.

That now means that any deal to reunite Neymar with Messi and Co. could involve the former Liverpool man as a makeweight in a cash-plus-player deal.

A move for 22-year-old full-back Firpo could be less complicated, however, following the sale of Barcelona winger Malcom to Zenit St Petersburg.


22.47 BST: We’ll bring Saturday’s live edition of Transfer Talk to a close with some news coming out of Brazil. ESPN Brasil is reporting that Manchester United have offered €50m for Ajax winger and Brazil international David Neres.

22.14 BST: SAo Paulo have confirmed the signing of former Atletico Madrid right-back Juanfran on a contract through the end of 2020, who’d been linked with a move to Major Legue Soccer outfit Chicago Fire.

21.31 BST: Bayern Munich legend Lothar Matthaus has again spoken about his former club’s pursuit of Manchester City winger Leroy Sane. “I also believe he will make a decision for Bayern Munich in the next couple of days,” he told ESPN FC. “I’ve said that many weeks ago that if Bayern really makes a move, there is interest from the other party. The other side, Leroy Sane, certainly dropped hints that he wants to change clubs, that he doesn’t feel at home at City anymore because he did not start as many games as he wanted, maybe that Pep Guardiola was not satisfied with his defending. That’s all official. Those are no secrets.

“Bayern are looking for a player in that position, and they were in contact a couple of years ago when he wasn’t that mature. [Bayern president] Uli Hoeness said many years ago that he loves to see the young Germany internationals at Bayern Munich and Sane is one of them. He could also step into Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben’s footsteps, not only on but also off the pitch. And I’d say that not only FC Bayern, but also the Bundesliga can look forward to a superstar.”

20.48 BST: Chelsea are likely to listen to loan or permanent offers for midfielders Tiemoue Bakayoko and Danny Drinkwater, according to the Telegraph, although neither player is reportedly close to leaving Stamford Bridge.

20.05 BST: The New York Red Bulls are determined to hang on to U.S. international defender Aaron Long, despite an improved offer of $4m from an unspecified French club. But according to Long’s agent, Shaun Higgins, the Red Bulls have placed a valuation on the defender that is inconsistent with his standing in the Red Bull soccer empire. Read the full story.

19.22 BST: Juventus have rejected Arsenal’s offer of a two-year loan for centre-back Daniele Rugani, which included an option to buy, Goal reports.

18.39 BST: Major League Soccer expansion side FC Cincinnati have confirmed the loan signing of 22-year-old left-back Andrew Gutman from Celtic, after the Chicago Fire academy graduate joined the Glasgow giants following an exemplary four-year collegiate career at the University of Indiana.

17.56 BST: After being told “no” by Edinson Cavani, Inter are preparing to raise their offer to Manchester United for Romelu Lukaku, according to Corriere della Sera, from €60m to €70m plus bonuses.

17.13 BST: The Times reports that Chelsea are hoping to agree new contracts with Willian, Tammy Abraham and Reece James. Crystal Palace are believed to have made a bid in excess of £20m for the highly rated James, who spent last season in the Championship with Wigan Athletic.

16.36 BST: Juventus are making a concerted push for Barcelona left-back Juan Miranda. The Serie A side have offered €10m plus variables, with Real Betis and Marseille also monitoring the 19-year-old’s situation. Barca want €15m with a buy-back option.

16.07 BST: Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has called Harry Maguire a “special player” they do not want to lose but said they have no choice after Manchester United met their £80m valuation.

14.12 BST: Paul Pogba will not feature for Manchester United against AC Milan on Saturday amid renewed interest from Real Madrid. Sources have told ESPN FC that the midfielder is keen to join Real Madrid but time is running out with just five days to go before the deadline for Premier League teams to buy players. The club put the midfielder’s absence down to a back spasm.

15.21 BST: USA international Aaron Long is praying that his move from New York Red Bulls to West Ham United can go through. The centre-back needs to obtain a work permit to play in England before Thursday’s transfer deadline and it’s a race against time.

“As our biggest ally, it seems strange that a football player from the US can’t automatically get a work visa to play in England,” Long said. “Every kid in the USA dreams of playing in the English Premier League. Not many players get the chance, so of course I would like to play there someday.”

15.09 BST: Manchester City have announced that 20-year-old forward Lukas Nmecha has joined Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg on loan for the season.

14.53 BST: Big news coming out of Scotland here, and for Arsenal’s hopes of signing Kieran Tierney from Celtic. The Gunners lodged another bid for Tierney on Friday, but the player is struggling to recover from a summer groin problem. The Sun claims the injury could yet plague the player for eight weeks. 

Manager Neil Lennon said: “Kieran started kicking a ball on Wednesday, but he’s still feeling some discomfort there. We’ll see how it is when things settle down because it’s a very unsettling time for him at the minute. The injury has compounded that frustration because he’s not 100% right.

“He had a double hernia and he still has the Osteitis pubis problem so it’s a slow burner that one.”

We wait to see if the Gunners still push on. 

14.34 BST: Celta Vigo have announced that Emre Mor, the Turkey international previously on the books of Borussia Dortmund, has joined Galatasaray on a season long loan. It will be the first time he has played in Turkey, having been born in Copenhagen and beginning his professional career at Danish club FC Nordsjaelland.

15.43 BST: Here we go again! Another Bruno Fernandes update! Portuguese paper Record reports that Real Madrid could turn their attention to the Sporting player should a move for Manchester United’s Paul Pogba come to nothing.

 13.39 BST: ESPN FC’s Sam Marsden reveals that Barcelona have reached agreement with Real Betis to sign Junior Firpo. The 22-year-old left-back will sign a five-year contract once he has passed a medical. The initial fee is €18m, possibly rising to €25m with add-ons. 

13.14 BST: Remember when Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina was being linked with Manchester United? Well Footmercato reports that the Gabon international is now in advanced negotiations to join Wolves on loan with an obligation to buy.

12.59 BST: Arsenal have been in for Celtic full-back Kieran Tierney all summer but the Gunners are still trying to force through a structured deal, allowing them to pay in instalments over a number of years — the latest offer was submitted on Friday. Celtic are still holding firm in the hope that the Gunners relent with the Premier League transfer deadline fast approaching. Who will blink first? 

12.36 BST: Barcelona “B” midfielder Oriol Busquets, who has toured with the first team, could be set for a loan move to Eredivisie outfit FC Utrecht. Mallorca, Granada, Borussia Monchengladbach, RB Leipzig and Sassuolo are also monitoring his situation.

12.07 BST: We have our first DONE DEAL of the day! Brighton have completed the signing of Adam Webster from Bristol City for an undisclosed fee. That fee is reported to be in the region of £22m. That is a massive price tag for a Championship central defender. 

11.47 BST: Looks like Harry Maguire‘s £80 million move from Leicester to Manchester United is moving closer. Sky Sports report that a car carrying his agents has arrived at Manchester United’s training ground. 

11.12 BST: Barcelona have confirmed that their quartet of new players — Frenkie De Jong, Neto, Antoine Griezmann and promoted “B” team prospect Moussa Wague — will play their first game at the Camp Nou on Sunday, when Barca take on Arsenal in the Joan Gamper Trophy.

10.46 BST: Talk of Edinson Cavani moving to Inter Milan could be wide of the mark. Le Parisien reports that the Uruguay international will remain at Paris Saint-German until his contract expires next summer, when he can have his pick of clubs on a free transfer.

10.18 BST: The sticking point in Paulo Dybala‘s move from Juventus to Manchester United has reportedly been his wage demands. The Sun reports he wants a massive £350,000-a-week to move to the Premier League. Will Ed Woodward be prepared to sanction another player on such high pay?

09.46 BST: Want a Bruno Fernandes update? We know this has been one of the least fascinating transfer stories of the summer, but you have to take what you can get. Gazzetta dello Sport’s Nico Schira reports that Fernandes will sign for Manchester United (not Tottenham) after featuring for Sporting against Benfica in the Portugal Super Cup on Sunday evening. We wait with bated breath. 

09.20 BST: Just six days to go now in the English transfer window, so expect the deals to really start to ramp up. Will we see anyone on the move today? Stick with us. 


Spurs set to seal Sessegnon deal

Tottenham Hotspur look set to finally complete a deal to bring long-term target Ryan Sessegnon to the club, according to reports in the Daily Mail.

Reports claim talks between Spurs and Sessegnon’s club Fulham are at an advanced stage, with the Londoners set to agree a fee of around £30 million for the highly-coveted 19-year-old, who is likely to head across the capital for personal talks and a medical next week.

The breakthrough comes after Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino vented his frustration at a lack of progress in his side’s search for new players, with Lyon’s Tanguy Ndombele their only major acquisition so far.

Spurs remain interested in a deal for Real Betis midfielder Giovani Lo Celso, although a deadlock in negotiations has caused them to switch their attention to Sporting Lisbon’s Bruno Fernandes.

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Khedira interested in taste of Premier League

Calciomercato claims Juventus midfielder Sami Khedira is considering his future in Turin, and could be tempted by a move to the Premier League, with Arsenal and Wolverhampton Wanderers interested in the German.

The Gunners are on the lookout for bargain signings after spending a large chunk of their transfer budget on Lille’s Nicholas Pepe, and with Khedira reportedly on the periphery of Maurizio Sarri’s new-look Juventus midfield, a deal could well be on the table for Unai Emery’s side.

Wolves, meanwhile, are in need of reinforcements to supplement their squad ahead of a busy season that is likely to feature a heavy load of Europa League football.

The 32-year-old Khedira endured a frustrating season at the Serie A champions last year, making just 10 league appearances for the Bianconeri, and further midfield arrivals in the form of Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot look set to limit his playing time further.

Tap Ins

– Spanish publication Sport claims Juventus are interested in a move Barcelona youngster Juan Miranda, with the Serie A winners set to make a €10 million bid. The 19-year-old is yet to make a first-team appearance for the Spanish giants, but has impressed since making his Barca B debut in 2017.

– Leicester City are on the hunt for a centre-back, following news that Harry Maguire is set for a move to Manchester United, and Marca has linked the Foxes with a swoop for Getafe defender Djene Dakonam. The 27-year-old has a €35 million release clause in his contract at the La Liga side.

Calciomercato claims Arsenal are looking to ditch Armenian attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Unai Emery’s side have now begun the process of searching for a buyer for the 30-year-old. Despite making 39 appearances for the Gunners last season, Mkhitaryan is no longer in Emery’s first-team plans.

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