LIVE Transfer Talk – Arsenal join PSG, Atletico Madrid in pursuit of Lyon’s Houssem Aouar



Lyon’s Houssem Aouar has the interest of Arsenal, PSG, and Atletico Madrid. Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Amid all the action at Euro 2020 and the Copa America, the summer transfer window has opened, with Europe’s biggest clubs looking to make a splash in the transfer market. Check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.

TOP STORY: Arsenal join PSG, Atleti in Aouar chase

Arsenal have been long-time admirers of Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar and are now taking action in an attempt to sign him, Le 10 Sport reports.

There were plenty of sides linked with the Frenchman in previous windows, including Juventus and Barcelona, but nothing ever came to fruition.

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The Gunners have reportedly already made an offer for the 23-year-old, with Lyon hoping to make between €20-€25 million for the midfielder, and the Gunners are close to matching that fee.

Lyon will let their talismanic figure leave if an offer they feel is suitable comes in for the man with a contract that runs until 2023. The Ligue 1 side are hoping to offload Aouar and use the money to help their recruitment drive this transfer window.

Arsenal shouldn’t get too excited just yet, though, as it is suggested that other European clubs are looking at the midfielder. Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has shown plenty of ambition this window and is a fan, while Atletico Madrid have also made enquiries.

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14.42 BST: Liverpool are set to rival Manchester City for the signature of Napoli midfielder Piotr Zielinski, Calciomercato reports.

Zielinski, 27, scored 10 goals last season as Napoli narrowly missed out on a place in the 2021-22 Champions League.

The Poland international, who featured in all three of his national team’s matches at Euro 2020, has attracted plenty of interest from big clubs during his five years at Napoli, and now the last two winners of the Premier League have both registered their interest in him.

13.45 BST: Rafael Marquez‘s return to Barcelona as coach of the club’s under-19 team has been called off for personal reasons, sources have confirmed to ESPN’s Sam Marsden.

Marquez, 42, was in Barcelona in May and reached a loose agreement to return to the club where he played between 2003 and 2009.

However, after Barca confirmed current U19 coach Sergi Mila will not continue in the role, negotiations with Marquez have drawn to a halt.

The former Mexico defender could still return to Camp Nou in the future, but the timing has not been deemed right on this occasion.

Marquez had all the necessary qualifications to work with Barca’s youngsters but he’s keen to take his UEFA Pro badges as soon as possible to be able to work with senior teams eventually.

12.57 BST: Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale could retire from club football when his contract at the Bernabeu expires at the end of next season, according to the Daily Mirror.

However, the report adds that the Wales captain could still represent his country at the 2022 World Cup even if he is without a club by then.

Bale scored 19 goals during his loan spell at Tottenham last season, but it is unclear where he features in the plans of Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti, who is returning for his second spell in charge at the club.

The 31-year-old commented on his future following Spurs’ final-day victory over Leicester City, stating: “I know what I am doing but it will just cause chaos if I say anything.”

12.09 BST: Now that Paris Saint-Germain have completed the signing of Achraf Hakimi (see 09.00 BST), how soon before we see the next new arrival at the Parc des Princes unveilled?

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Julien Laurens reacts to PSG signing Achraf Hakimi and provides an update on the club’s pursuit of Sergio Ramos.

11.38 BST: David de Gea will return to preseason with Manchester United determined to fight for his place at Old Trafford, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.

De Gea competed with Dean Henderson for the No. 1 spot last season and with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer yet to make a decision on who will be his first-choice goalkeeper, the Spain international is keen to stake his claim for the gloves rather than immediately look for a move away.

Sources have told ESPN United have yet to receive any concrete interest in the 30-year-old, who still has two years and a 12-month option on his £375,000-a-week contract.

De Gea is set to return late to preseason. He will be granted a holiday after being part of Spain’s squad at Euro 2020. United kick off their Premier League campaign against Leeds United at Old Trafford on Aug. 14.

10.54 BST: England midfielder Kalvin Phillips “has no desire” to leave Leeds United despite impressing with his performances at Euro 2020.

Phillips, 25, helped his boyhood club gain promotion the Premier League last year, and he quickly established himself in Gareth Southgate’s England team to the point where he has started all five of his national team’s games at the tournament so far. However, agent Kevin Sharp insists his client wants to stay at Elland Road for next season.

“Before Kalvin signed his last contract, we had good interest so we sat down and explored all the pros and cons,” Phillips told the i. “His desire was never to leave, it was to be rewarded and stay and play for the team he supported as a kid.

“Within the contract he signed in September 2019, we included provisions within it for if Leeds reached the Premier League, so it’s all set up for the top flight. We knew it was a bit of a gamble, but we knew Leeds would get there under Bielsa and obviously they did.

“There may be clubs who are actually looking at Kalvin now because the more successful you are — playing for England in big tournaments — naturally breeds interest. “But Kalvin is happy at Leeds and has no desire to move whatsoever. It’s more a case of ‘carry on what you’re doing for club and country.'”

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10.26 BST: South Africa striker Thembi Kgatlana has signed a two-year deal with Atletico Madrid Femenino, leaving fellow Spanish top flight side Eibar after a successful spell.

Kgatlana was a frustrated star player for Eibar in the 2020/21 season, scoring 10 goals in 21 league fixtures as the team finished 14th out of 18 with only nine wins.

Her new side, however, finished fourth, a good distance behind league winners Barcelona, who also won the women’s Champions League.

09.57 BST: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said his club cannot afford to sign a top striker this summer.

Premier League champions City have been linked with interest in Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland, both of whom would likely cost more than £100m in transfer fees.

“At the prices [quoted] we are not going to buy any strikers,” Guardiola said. “It is impossible, we cannot afford it.

“All clubs are struggling financially; we are not an exception. We have Gabriel [Jesus] and Ferran [Torres] who have been incredible in this position. We have young players in the academy and we play many times with a false No. 9. There is more of a chance we aren’t going to buy a striker for next season.”

City are yet to replace Sergio Aguero, who left to join Barcelona on a free transfer after a decade in England, following the expiring of him contract.

09.00 BST: ICMYI — Paris Saint-Germain completed the signing on Tuesday of Achraf Hakimi from Inter Milan on a five-year contract.

ESPN reported last month that the Serie A champions would receive up to €70m, bonuses included, for the Morocco international.

Sources told ESPN that personal terms were agreed between PSG and Hakimi more than a month ago and that the full-back pushed for the move to happen.

Champions League winners Chelsea were also interested in signing Hakimi this summer but sources told ESPN that they never made a concrete offer.

The defender played a key role in helping Inter claim their first league title in 11 years last season, contributing seven goals and 11 assists in Serie A.

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PAPER GOSSIP

– Juventus have not yet begun any negotiations to sign Barcelona midfielder Miralem Pjanic, reports Fabrizio Romano. This comes with the suggestion that Sassuolo’s Manuel Locatelli remains their priority when it comes to adding someone to the heart of their midfield.

– AS Roma are looking at Borussia Monchengladbach’s Ramy Bensebaini as a possible replacement for Leonardo Spinazzola, reports La Gazzetta dello Sport. The Italy international faces months out after undergoing an operation on his Achilles, which has led Jose Mourinho and his team to look elsewhere. The Bundesliga side are looking for €20m, but the deal could be a loan with an obligation to make it permanent.

– Internazionale and Lyon are both looking to sign Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana, reports Calciomercato. The Scudetto winners are hoping to wait until next year when the Cameroonian’s contract will have come to an end, while Lyon are looking to move immediately. The decision is now down to Onana, as he has to say whether he’d like to leave now or next summer.

– Arsenal are set to complete a deal with Anderlecht for Albert Sambi Lokonga, reports Fabrizio Romano. It is suggested that personal terms have been agreed for a deal that will last until 2026 and negotiations are in their final stages, with the fee set to be €17.5m plus add-ons.

– Calciomercato have set out a list of AC Milan’s list of midfield targets for the summer transfer window. It is suggested that they’re looking at Chelsea’s Tiemoue Bakayoko, Marseille’s Boubacar Kamara, Bologna’s Jerdy Schouten and Real Madrid’s Dani Ceballos.

– Crystal Palace are hoping to sign Manchester City youngster Morgan Rogers as newly appointed manager Patrick Vieira aims to lower the average age of his squad, reports the Daily Mail. It is suggested they will need to spend around £7m to bring in the 18-year-old, who spent last season on loan at Lincoln City.



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