Real Madrid join Chelsea in chase for Sevilla’s Jules Kounde


The summer transfer window is into its final month for the major European leagues, which means the biggest clubs are looking to make a splash in the market before the new season begins. Check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.

TOP STORY: Madrid eye Chelsea target Kounde

Real Madrid are eyeing either Chelsea target Jules Kounde or Villarreal defender Pau Torres as a replacement for Raphael Varane.

That is according to Spanish outlet AS, who say that the two centre-backs are top of the shortlist at the Bernabeu.

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Kounde, 22, has impressed in LaLiga last season with Sevilla FC, which has drawn the attention of top clubs. Sources told ESPN in July that Chelsea and Sevilla have entered talks regarding Kounde that would send the French defender to Stamford Bridge this summer. Sources added that the deal could be worth around €70 million — €10m less than Kounde’s buyout clause.

Chelsea are considering including Kurt Zouma in the deal, according to ESPN sources, to lower the transfer fee, but the Premier League side are yet to set a value on the Kounde.

Real Madrid are also eyeing Torres, 24, who has impressed for both Villarreal and Spain in the past year and is said to have a €65m release clause if he is to leave his boyhood club. The centre-back featured heavily for his club in a Europa League-winning campaign under Unai Emery and had been linked with a move to Manchester United before they signed Varane.

Real Madrid let Varane, 28, leave the club for United due to a dwindling contract and a desire to not lose him on a free transfer. However, this has left them short at the back due to the loss of club captain Sergio Ramos, who also left this summer to Paris Saint-Germain.

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16.03 BST: Manchester City will open talks with midfielder Phil Foden and goalkeeper Ederson over long-term contract extensions, the Daily Mail reports.

City announced this week that defender John Stones had signed a new five-year deal, but that is just likely to be the start of a slew of renewals for the Premier League champions.

Foden, 21, has a contract with his boyhood club that runs until 2024, while 27-year-old Ederson’s deal is due to expire a year later.

The Mail reports that City are also keen to discuss Raheem Sterling‘s future. The England forward, who did not see as much game time last season as he has in previous years, has just two years left to run on his current contract.

15.37 BST: Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea insists he envisions spending many more years at Old Trafford.

The Spain international, who recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of his United debut, has had his future at the club brought into question by the presence of Dean Henderson remaining in the squad to compete for the No. 1 jersey, but he says he is not thinking about leaving.

“It’s been a lot of years at the club and a great source of pride for me to have been able to play for a club like Manchester United for so many seasons now,” the 30-year-old told the club’s official website.

“But you have to live in the present, I think I still have a lot of years ahead of me at the club, I’m excited about that, feeling strong and I’m very keen to do well. I feel great in myself, high in confidence and I think it should be — and has to be — an important season for all of us.”

15.09 BST: On the subject of Jules Kounde, Sevilla’s sporting director extraordinaire Monchi has commented on the France international defender’s situation:

“As of today, there is no concrete offer on the table, nor has there been,” he told the club’s official website. “Obviously there has been a lot of noise, many clubs have asked about him.”

14.31 BST: Chelsea fans have been waiting for the moment that Romelu Lukaku signs, but this isn’t what they were waiting for.

The Inter Milan striker’s agent, Federico Pastorello, has posted a picture of the two of them after extending their working relationship for another two years.

The next time we see Lukaku in front of a signed contract, it could be at Stamford Bridge…

13.51 BST: All the focus has been on PSG as Lionel Messi has signed for them, but where does his exit leave Barcelona?

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Julien Laurens looks into Barcelona’s financial issues leading into their LaLiga opener against Real Sociedad.

13.07 BST: Lionel Messi‘s move to Paris Saint-Germain has no bearing on whether Cristiano Ronaldo will stay at Juventus, according to the Portugal forward’s teammate Leonardo Bonucci.

Ronaldo has been linked with a move away from Juve throughout the summer after entering the final year of his contract, and PSG were among the clubs said to be interested.

But a move to France for Ronaldo now looks improbable with Messi officially joining the French club on Tuesday on a two-year deal that includes an option for a third.

“I think Cristiano would have stayed even if Messi did not go to PSG,” Bonucci told Gazzetta dello Sport on Tuesday. “For us he is an added value, and I am sure that this year, more so than in past years, he will help us to go far with all our objectives.”

12.36 BST: Sevilla are closing in on the signing of River Plate right-back Gonzalo Montiel, according to Estadio Deportivo.

The LaLiga club will pay in the region of €10m to acquire the Argentina international, who is expected to sign a contract through June 2026 with Sevilla.

Montiel, 24, featured in four of the seven games at the Copa America that Argentina won last month and has made 138 appearances since making his debut with River in 2016.

Sevilla are looking to strengthen their right-back position with first-choice Jesus Navas turning 36 years old in November.

Montiel, who has a Spanish passport so he will not take up a non-European spot in the squad, is set to become Sevilla’s third summer signing following the arrival of winger Erik Lamela and goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic.

11.49 BST: Diego Costa is in talks to sign for Brazilian club Atletico Mineiro, according to Yahoo! Sports in Brazil.

The former Chelsea forward has been out of a job since terminating his contract with Atletico Madrid in December 2020 despite having entered talks with Benfica, Besiktas and Palmeiras.

Costa, 32, has reportedly reduced his financial demands in order to facilitate negotiations with Atletico Mineiro.

The ex-Spain international, who has scored more than 200 goals in his career, is keen to help the Copa Libertadores.

11.03 BST: Lionel Messi has been giving his first news conference as a Paris Saint-Germain player, in which he said that after a “very hard” end to his Barcelona career his target is to win the Champions League again.

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi also took the opportunity to send a message to Messi’s new teammate, Kylian Mbappe ,who has long been linked with a move to Real Madrid.

“I think we have the most competitive team,” he said. “Now there is no choice for Kylian but to stay here in Paris.”

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Lionel Messi says he’s joining “the best” players at PSG, and looks forward to getting started on the pitch.

10.38 BST: Deportivo Alaves coach Javi Calleja is hopeful that Spanish striker Joselu will continue at the club.

Joselu, whose contract with Alaves expires next summer, has an offer to join Sevilla this summer. Other LaLiga clubs are also keen on Joselu following a strong campaign which saw him score 11 goals and set up three more in 37 league appearances.

“Several clubs, including Sevilla, have tempted Joselu, but he is focused on having a good season with Alaves,” Calleja told Onda Cero. “I don’t know about his future but I hope he remains with us. I’ve spoken to him and his commitment and professionalism is maximum. He has a contract with us and I’m counting on him. He is a crucial player for us, to have him here benefits the team.”

10.11 BST: AC Milan striker Samu Castillejo is set to join Getafe to strengthen the LaLiga side’s attack, according to AS.

Getafe has monitored the Spanish forward’s situation in the past month and have entered talks with both the player and Milan to bring Castillejo back to La Liga.

The 26-year-old joined the Rossoneri in the summer of 2018 from Villarreal for a reported €21m transfer fee. Castillejo, who has a contract with Milan until June 2023, regularly featured for Milan in his first seasons at the San Siro but has slipped down the pecking order and is keen to leave in search of regular playing time.

09.41 BST: Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said he understood striker Tammy Abraham‘s frustration over his lack of playing time last season and took some responsibility for it, as speculation grows over the England international’s future at the Premier League club.

Abraham has been linked with a move to Serie A club AS Roma, who are managed by former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho. The 23-year-old ended last season as Chelsea’s joint-top scorer with 12 goals in all competitions but found himself marginalised at the London club since Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard as the manager in January.

Sources have told ESPN that Chelsea are close to signing Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku, a move which would further cut short Abraham’s opportunities.

“I will not comment on the actual situations — how far this is and if it’s true and not true,” Tuchel said before Wednesday’s Super Cup match against Villarreal. “Tammy is right now in the squad. He was clearly not happy with the last half a year and maybe he has reason also not to be happy. Maybe it was also my fault not to push him, not to trust him on the same level I maybe trusted other players.

“I can absolutely understand that he wants more minutes. So the decision will be ‘how do we plan, what are Tammy’s plans, does he fight his way back into the team from the position where he ended last season or does he want to change club to have the chance of being a regular starter?'”

09.00 BST: Just in case you have emerged from a few days in the woods, with no access to communications from the outside world, the big transfer news from last night could hardly have been bigger: Paris Saint-Germain confirmed the signing of Lionel Messi after the Argentina captain’s contract at Barcelona expired earlier this summer.

Messi has signed a two-year contract with the Ligue 1 side, with the option of extending for a further year. Sources told ESPN’s Julien Laurens that Messi is expected to earn between €30-35m ($35-41m) net a year.

PSG will hold a news conference on Wednesday at 11 a.m. CEST (5 a.m. ET) to formally introduce Messi. He arrived to the French capital on Tuesday via private plane and then completed his medical exam and visited Parc des Princes stadium.

Messi will wear No. 30 with PSG, which was his first number at Barcelona. Neymar, now reunited with his ex-Barca teammate, had offered the No. 10 but Messi refused. PSG asked for authorisation, as No. 30 is reserved for goalkeepers under league rules and was worn by Alexandre Letellier.

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PAPER GOSSIP (by Luke Thrower)

– Arsenal are looking to hijack a move for Bologna defender Takehiro Tomiyasu from rivals Tottenham Hotspur this summer. That is according to Tuttosport, who claim that the Gunners are hoping to add to their defensive ranks following the transfer of Ben White from Brighton already this transfer window. It is believed that Tomiyasu is valued at over €20m, which could include potential bonuses for the 22-year-old.

– Leicester City and Sevilla are set to battle it out for the signature of former Liverpool loanee Ozan Kabak, according to Calciomercato. The 21-year-old is back with Schalke 04 but after the club was relegated to the 2. Bundesliga, they are keen to move the youngster on. He spent last season on loan, but Liverpool did not trigger the clause to sign him permanently, opening the door for other clubs.

– Everton are hoping to make a move for Antwerp right-back Aurelio Buta according to the Sun. New Toffees boss Rafa Benitez is said to be impressed with the 24-year-old, who has only one-year left on his contract. The Belgian side are said to be holding out for £3m for the player with Celtic making a £1m move for him already this window.

– Manchester United do not want to move striker Anthony Martial this summer despite reported interest from Italian giants Internazionale. The Daily Mail reports that the Nezazzuri view the 25-year-old as a potential replacement for the outgoing Romelu Lukaku, preparing a £50m offer that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is ready to reject despite the forward’s troubles in the past year.

– In the midst of a contract stalemate, Calciomercato reports that several Premier League clubs and Bundesliga club RB Leipzig are eyeing a possible free transfer in Barcelona youngster Ilaix Moriba. The 18-year-old is highly rated at the Nou Camp; however, negotiations have stalled for a new contract, with his current deal ending in 2022. Due to the breakdown in talks, the youngster hasn’t been in the Barcelona squad so far, demoted to the youth squad, but it is believed he is willing to wait until next year to leave on a free.



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