Leicester and Southampton Chase £15m Rated Valencia Defender

French media outlet ​FootMercato are reporting that Southampton and Leicester City are keeping tabs on Valencia’s Aymen Abdennour.

Both clubs are reportedly preparing for moves for the centre-back, who has been previously linked with moves to Manchester City, Everton and Arsenal in recent windows.

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​Southampton have already signed a centre-back in the form of Jan Berdnark from Lech Poznan for £5m.

However, it seems as though new boss Mauricio Pellegrino is looking to Abdennour as a possible replacement for Virgil van Dijk if he decides to move on this summer. Reports have claimed though that there are a long list of clubs vying for the 27-year-old’s signature.

Olympique de Marseille and Newcastle had been previously linked, although it now seems that Leicester City and Inter Milan have joined Southampton as the front runners for the Tunisian’s signature.

Leicester have also signed a centre-back this summer in the form of Hull City’s Harry Maguire, although Craig Shakespeare could be looking to replace both his current ageing centre-backs, Wes Morgan and Robert Huth.

Despite being linked with a move to the Premier League last summer, the Tunisian international stayed an extra season at Valencia but only made 14 appearances over the last campaign.

Now an exit from the Spanish club, who finished 12th in La Liga last season, seems inevitable and the chance to play in England is thought to be an attractive proposition for Abdennour.

However, there is little chance of Abdennour arriving for a bargain price despite his lack of appearances for the Spanish club.

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Abdennour still has three years left on his contract and Valencia paid over £18m for him just two summers ago, so a fee of around £15m is thought to be wanted by Valencia.

No firm offers have been put on the table as of yet, however, if Virgil van Dijk makes a move away from Southampton, it wouldn’t be too outrageous to suggest a bid from the Saints for Abdennour could be quick to follow.

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Madrid Midfielder’s Future in Doubt as Clubs From Premier League & Serie A Monitor His Situation

​Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic is the subject of interest from Tottenham, Milan, Inter and Napoli, according to a report from ​AS (in Spanish).

The Croatian has been used a primarily a squad player, with most of his 39 appearances last season for Los Blancos coming from the bench.

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Spurs have reportedly already tabled a 25m bid for the player, but it was rejected out of hand and it will take a serious offer for Madrid to consider selling a player they would rather keep.

Inter – Kovacic’s former club – are interested in bringing him back to the San Siro, but could face competition in doing this from their neighbours and fierce rivals, AC Milan. Napoli also regard him as a player who could strengthen their midfield.

Despite the prospect of a bidding war commencing to secure 23-year-old’s signature, the man himself is believed to prefer staying put with the La Liga giants and forcing his way into the starting lineup. 

Zidane highly regards Kovacic and considers him an important part of his plans – but it is unclear if he sees him as the key player the Croatian aspires to be. 

Inter were forced into selling Kovacic against their wishes to Madrid in 2015 in order to adhere to Financial Fair Play regulations, with the fee agreed between the to clubs believed to be in the region of €29m.

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Nice’s Dalbert Henrique Reveals ‘Irresistible’ Offer Behind Move to Italy Over Liverpool

Outbound OGC Nice defender Dalbert Henrique has revealed an ‘irresistible’ offer from Internazionale was the reason why he turned down a move to Liverpool and a host of other clubs, in a public statement released on Friday evening.

The left back made 38 appearances in all competitions for the Ligue 1 outfit last season, as Nice fought their way to an unexpected third-placed finish,

Dalbert’s performances have attracted a lot of attention from around Europe, including from both Inter and Liverpool. In a statement released by the player begging for Nice to let him leave, the 23-year-old has explained that Inter’s offer was the most attractive.

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“My agent was contacted by over 10 European clubs, including Liverpool and Inter, who progressed in their desire to have me in the squad.” Henrique wrote on the Fair Play Assessoria Facebook page.

“Inter made a proposal that I find to be irresistible and I think over the next few days we can have a happy outcome for everyone.”

Dalbert went on to explain his desire to leave France, claiming that he yearns for a new challenge.

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“I have been very happy in France and will be eternally grateful to Nice and its fans, who gave me the possibility of emerging in an even bigger project.

“However, I am counting on the understanding of the directors to accept my desire to seek new heights and challenge for a chance at playing for my country, which is the dream of every player.

“It was difficult to decide, but I am certain when I say that my desire is to seek new projects.”

While Dalbert seems to be heading off to Serie A, Liverpool appear to have already found a new left back target and ​are closing in on an £8m move for Hull City’s Andrew Robertson.


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Inter Milan Ambitiously Ask Man Utd to Include Promising Youngster in Their Deal for Ivan Perisic

​Inter Milan have reportedly asked Manchester United to include Anthony Martial in a deal that would take Ivan Perisic to Old Trafford.

After a stellar debut campaign with the Red Devils, Martial fell out of favour under Jose Mourinho last season, and with the Old Trafford outfit looking to bring in Perisic, it may well seem that Martial doesn’t fit too well in Mourinho’s plans for next season.

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However, while United have made a significant dent in this summer’s transfer market in signing Everton’s Romelu Lukaku (£75m) and Benfica’s Victor Lindelof (£35m), the club have been locked in talks with Inter over Perisic’s transfer fee – the Serie A outfit looking for £50m from United.

Now, according to Sky’s Kaveh Solhekol, Inter are asking for United to include the out of favour Martial in any deal the Red Devils make for the Croatian winger (likely to be Martial plus cash), which may work for the Manchester club.

With Perisic set to arrive, United would likely be looking to offload a winger in order for the wide man to fit into the squad. Martial has seemingly been dis-preferred by Mourinho, so removing the Frenchman might make sense.

It would mean that the club don’t have to find a buyer for Martial and it would also (presumably quite drastically) drive down the fee involved for Perisic.

However, one big elephant in the room remains. Why would United want to get rid of a 21-year-old full of potential in exchange for a 28-year-old who has only just made a name for himself in the past year? Baffling. 



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Arsenal Favourites to Sign Croatian International Marcelo Brozovic Amid Rumoured Ox Exit

Arsène Wenger is expected to complete the signing of Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic, becoming the club’s third signing this summer. Versatile winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also expected to be shown the exit door at the Emirates this summer as Arsenal hope to regain their Champions League status next season.

Arsenal’s pursuit of Inter Milan’s 24-year-old midfielder will be seen as a long term replacement for Santi Cazorla in the heart of the Gunners midfield. Brozovic is now odds on to move to north London, according to BetStars (via the Daily Star).

Arsenal have already bolstered their attacking options with the acquisition of Alexandre Lacazette,” said BetStars Director of Trading Ian Marmion. “And the odds suggest they could soon be adding another midfielder during this window.

“The Gunners are now odds-on at 7/10 to complete the signing of Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic from Inter Milan.

“As Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looks to be heading for the exit door Brozovic could represent a great replacement, if not an upgrade, given his ability to play multiple midfield positions.”

Marmion also added: “We’re calling it, expect to see Brozovic in an Arsenal shirt sooner rather than later.”

Arsenal fans will be eager for the club to add to the squad even further this summer, however, news that Oxlade-Chamberlain could leave the club will not be met well after the England international impressed as Arsenal’s right wing-back last season. 



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Chelsea Grant Diego Costa & Nemanja Matic Permission to Miss Pre-Season Tour Amid Exit Negotiations

​Chelsea have granted both Diego Costa and Nemanja Matic permission to miss the club’s pre-season tour of China and Singapore – amid the duo’s negotiations for an exit from Stamford Bridge. 

Sky Sports announced on their Twitter account that the Premier League title winners will be omitted from Antonio Conte’s travelling squad on Monday as their exit from the Blues nears. 

Both Costa and Matic have long been touted with a move this summer after being considered surplus to requirements by Conte, with Atletico Madrid and Juventus the front-runners for the duo respectively. 

28-year-old Matic is said to have received interest from both Juventus and Internazionale, according to ​the Guardian, after his reported move to Manchester United was scuppered following Romelu Lukaku’s dismissal of Chelsea in favour of a move to Old Trafford. 

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After the Serbian international’s contract negotiations with Chelsea stalled in the past few months, he expressed his desire to leave the club where he has since been training on his own at the club’s Cobham base. 

Chelsea are understood to be demanding a fee in the region of £40m for Matic, and with regular talks with Juventus already in progress over defender Alex Sandro the 28-year-old is also set to be up for discussion. 

Matic is now set for a talk with Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia in the hope that a deal can be agreed for his transfer, now that the Blues have acquired Monaco’s Tiemoue Bakayoko – subject to a medical.

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Costa on the other-hand has remained in his native Brazil as he awaits further negotiations over his future, with a possible return to Atletico Madrid on the cards. 

Despite the Spanish side’s transfer ban – which would prevent Costa from featuring for the club until January – the striker maintains the hope that a compromise can be reached for his transfer fee. 

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Inter Milan Enter Talks With Chelsea Over £34.5m Deal for Manchester United Midfield Target

​Inter Milan are supposedly vying to snag Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic in a deal worth £34.5m according to a report published by Evening Standard, a move which could certainly end 

Manchester United’s advances for the midfielder once and for all.

United’s former Blues boss Jose Mourinho is said to be keen on reuniting with the Serbian international, although Chelsea are reluctant to sell to a domestic rival, putting the Nerazzurri in the driver’s seat for his signature.

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Chelsea are in-fact close to signing AS Monaco’s Tiemoue Bakayoko, meaning that Matic will indeed be free to leave Stamford Bridge in the summer.

A £40m figure has allegedly been met between the respective Ligue 1 and Premier League champions – Bakayoko will undergo a medical on Friday before completing his switch across the English Channel.

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Matic, 28, has been training on his own since the team regrouped on Monday, but left the club’s Cobham-based training facility early on Wednesday before the day’s second session, a sure fire sign that his services have subsequently become obsolete. 

With Antonio Conte refusing to sell to the Red Devils, United have looked for an alternative in Tottenham Hotspur’s Eric Dier.

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The 23-year-old has supported the club since he was a child and is understandably interested in the jump from north London to Old Trafford.

But, like the set-back with Matic, Spurs are unwilling to listen to offers for their England international, so if the ‘Special One’ is to land at least one of the two defensive midfielders, he’ll have to pull out all the stops to do so. 


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Inter Director Appears to Deny Man Utd Are Close to Striking Ivan Perisic Deal

​Inter Milan director Piero Ausilio appears to have poured cold water on recent suggestions that Manchester United could soon tie up a deal for star winger Ivan Perisic, flatly declaring, “It’s not happening”, upon being quizzed about the saga.
A report from The Independent earlier this week claimed that United are ‘confident’ of completing a £45m-£50m deal for Inter winger Ivan Perisic , while Sky Sports have since added that the player is keen on the proposed switch to Old Trafford after his agent met with Inter for talks.
Sky’s update added that while no agreement has been reached, United are ‘getting closer’.
Yet Ausilio’s take on the situation appears to be different. Inter are believed to have steadfastly stuck to their €55m (£48m) valuation and Ausilio’s recent comments to Sky Italia would suggest that he has now grown tired of negotiating with United.
“It’s not happening. Perisic is training with us and so far we have not taken into consideration anything that Manchester United have offered us,” the Inter director is quoted as saying.
[embedded content]With United already having signed centre-back Victor Lindelof and striker Romelu Lukaku this summer, the club is halfway to their goal of four signings. Rumours continue to abound about a number of defensive midfield targets, while Perisic fits the brief another creative player.
United are now just days away from their first outing of pre-season ahead of Saturday’s opening tour friendly against famed MLS franchise LA Galaxy at StubHub Center. Fans will be hoping to catch a first glimpse of Lukaku in United red, while Lindelof is also in line to feature.

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West Ham Have Fears Inter Milan Forward Could Be Denied Work Permit as Bilic Intensifies Search

​Premier League club West Ham United are keen to make a move for Inter Milan youngster Gabriel Barbosa – but they have fears that the FA will deny them the transfer.
West Ham are desperate for a striker this summer and they are attempting to bring Barbosa to London on a year-long loan. However, according to the ​Mirror, the Hammers have fears that Barbosa will be denied a work permit by the Premier League’s Exceptions panel.

#WHUFC are keen to sign Inter Milans Brazilian wonderkid Gabriel Barbosa… but fear losing out to red tape.— PredictTheScore (@PTS_Updates) July 12, 2017The 20-year-old signed for Inter Milan just one year ago from Santos for a fee of around £26m, but since his arrival in Italy, he has made just ten appearances for the club – nine of those coming from the bench. 
He has also featured three times for Brazil when he helped his country to Olympic glory in 2016.
However, due to the lack of game time Barbosa has received in the last 12 months, it is understood that he will not match the criteria needed to be accepted for a work permit to play football in England.
West Ham United boss Slaven Bilic is willing to dispute the work permit as his frustration grows at being denied a transfer for one of the most promising young players in European football.
If the London club do fail to sign Barbosa from Inter, they do still have a strong interest in Barcelona winger Munir El Haddadi, West Brom’s Nacer Chadli and also Stoke City’s Marko Arnautovic.

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Manchester United Hoping to Finalise Ivan Perisic Swoop With Final £45m ‘Take it or Leave it’ Offer

​Manchester United are hoping to seal the signing of Ivan Perisic from Internazionale within the next week, with Ed Woodward skipping the club’s pre-season tour of the US in order to concentrate on tying up the deal. 
The club’s transfer business is picking up after the signing of Romelu Lukaku over the weekend, with the ​Mirror reporting that club officials are hoping that a last-ditch ‘take it or leave it’ offer of £45m will be enough for Inter to let go of the 28-year-old – who the Italians are believed to value closer to the £50m mark.

Ivan Perisic’s Serie A season by numbers for Inter:
36 games203 crosses61 chances created41 take-ons37 tackles won11 goals8 assists pic.twitter.com/CFr0SydUb1— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 8, 2017Perisic is currently in pre-season training in northern Italy with his team, but is reported to be keen to push through a move to last season’s Europa League winners sooner rather than later in order to avoid any late drama, and get himself integrated into the squad as soon as possible. 
The Croatian scored 11 goals off the left wing last season, adding eight assists in the league, despite Inter’s struggles in the latter part of the campaign – which led to the dismissal of Stefano Pioli. 
Jose Mourinho is looking to add a more dynamic element to what was, at times, a very one-paced attack last season – and Perisic’s arrival could spell trouble for Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford’s prospects of game time in the coming campaign if he nails down a place as a starting left winger. 
With Lukaku expected to play as a lone striker in Mourinho’s system, the two youngsters could find it difficult to carve out consistent roles in the first team.

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