Transfer news LIVE: Chelsea near Jules Kounde deal plus Oleksandr Zinchenko confirmed by Arsenal

Transfer news LIVE: Chelsea near Jules Kounde deal plus Oleksandr Zinchenko confirmed by Arsenal

Manchester United’s pursuit of Frenkie De Jong rumbles on as the start of the Premier League season is approaching and there is still much to be decided in the transfer market

While Chelsea continue to hold out hope that they will this time hold off competition from Barcelona for one of their prime targets to boost Thomas Tuchel’s squad. Jules Kounde could become their second significant defensive upgrade after Kalidou Koulibaly to reload after the departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen. The Sevilla star will cost in excess of £50m with Barcelona strongly linked to the France international and already beating the Blues to Raphinha after initial interest from the Londoners in the former Leeds winger.

Elsewhere, Cristiano Ronaldo‘s future remains in doubt, the Portuguese wants to leave Manchester United, but his wages remain prohibitive and Erik ten Hag maintains the No 7 is not for sale with one more year remaining on his contract at Old Trafford. Real Madrid are not interested according to the latest reports, while a shock move to Atletico Madrid has also been rumoured. The Mail reports Leicester have rejected a £15m bid from Monaco for Boubakary Soumare. And Leicester are willing to consider big-money offers for James Maddison and Kelechi Iheanacho in order to raise funds to strengthen the squad, the Telegraph claims.

Follow all the latest transfer news with our live blog below:

Transfer news and rumours

Oleksandr Zinchenko confirmed by Arsenal

Friday 22 July 2022 18:21 , Luke Baker

It took a while to get completed but Oleksandr Zinchenko is now OFFICIALLY an Arsenal player after completing his move from Man City.

The 25-year-old played 128 times for City, can operate in defence or midfield and joins on a long-term contract for £32m.

“We’re so happy Alex has joined us,” Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta told the club website.

“He’s a player that I personally know really well and continued to follow him after my time at Manchester City.

“Alex is a high-quality player who will give us options and versatility. It’s not only about the positions he can play but as well, the versatility he will give us in attack and defence.

“Alex is a person with great human qualities and character, and I’m delighted that everyone has made this huge effort to bring Alex to the club.”

Anthony Martial set to be involved with Erik ten Hag’s plans

Friday 22 July 2022 18:00 , Luke Baker

According to Fabrizio Romano, Anthony Martial is set to be part of Erik ten Hag’s plans at Manchester United this season. He was out of favour under former managers but has been involved in pre-season games and Ten Hag wants to keep him.

A number of clubs are interested in loaning the Frenchman but United look set to keep him.

Patrick Vieira praises incoming Crystal Palace full-back Chris Richards

Friday 22 July 2022 17:43 , Luke Baker

Chris Richards appears to imminently be joining Crystal Palace from Bayern Munich.

Eagles boss Patrick Vieira has been speaking about what the USA international defender will bring and what his signing says about the stature of Palace.

“He is going to give us different options at the back,” said Vieira. “He will give us competitiveness between players.

“I’m really pleased that an important player like that decided to come to Palace. I think we showed that we can attract players and when you look at the number of teams that were behind him and he decided to come to us, I think this is a really strong statement.”

Oleksandr Zinchenko move to Arsenal edges closer

Friday 22 July 2022 17:24 , Luke Baker

Oleksandr Zinchenko joining Arsenal is all but a done deal and the Ukrainian has posted on social media with something that could be construed as a goodbye message to Man City.

Leeds’ move for Arnaud Kalimuendo is still on

Friday 22 July 2022 17:15 , Luke Baker

Leeds United’s deal for Paris Saint Germain’s Arnaud Kalimuendo, which the Independent reported a few weeks ago, is still on. Those close to the situation consider it likely.

A €20m bid remains under consideration, as the striker himself has been assessing his situation and seeking to ensure he makes the best decision for his future.

That naturally involves seeing what else comes in, but Leeds look increasingly attractive.

West Ham bid for Kostic

Friday 22 July 2022 17:00 , Luke Baker

We mentioned it in passing earlier but West Ham have made a bid to sign Eintracht Frankfurt left-back Filip Kostic.

Left wing-back had been a priority position in this transfer window and the 29-year-old Serbian international - who has entered the final year of his contract - can play anywhere down the left flank.

Kostic started both legs of the Europa League semi-final against the Hammers last season and registered 22 goals involvements in 42 matches last term.

He has been training with Frankfurt, so there’s certainly no indication that a potential move is particularly advanced.

Everton interested in Leander Dendoncker

Friday 22 July 2022 16:45 , Luke Baker

Everton are interested in bringing Wolves midfielder Leander Dendoncker to Goodison Park, with Toffees boss Frank Lampard said to be a big fan - reports transfer insider Fabrizio Romano.

The Belgian star has a contract that expires in 2023 - although there are options for further seasons - and Everton will get the ball rolling this week

Japhet Tanganga talks with AC Milan ongoing

Friday 22 July 2022 16:30 , Luke Baker

Positive talks continue between AC Milan and Tottenham over the signing of defender Japhet TangangaSky Sports.

Discussions centre around a season-long loan - with Milan interested in inserting an option to make the deal permanent.

Tottenham sporting director Fabio Paratici has been leading negotiations in Milan and has been speaking to a number of clubs in Italy about several Tottenham players.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Chelsea could make surprise move for Allan Saint-Maximin

Friday 22 July 2022 16:15 , Luke Baker

Chelsea may be about to make overtures towards Newcastle star Allan Saint-Maximin, reports The Athletic - having enquired about his availability this summer.

They and Tottenham both have an interest in the enigmatic attacker but are currently unwilling to match the £40m asking price laid down by the Magpies.

The Blues have, of course, already added Raheem Sterling to their ranks this summer but may seek more attacking options.

Nottingham Forest interested in Emmanuel Dennis

Friday 22 July 2022 16:00 , Luke Baker

Nottingham Forest are eyeing a move Watford striker Emmanuel Dennis - according to The Daily Mail.

They’ve just completed the capture of Jesse Lingard and may now go after the man who was a rare bright light for the Hornets during a tough Premier League campaign.

Nigeria international Dennis scored ten goals but that wasn’t enough to keep Watford in the top flight.

Sergio Rico to make Fulham return?

Friday 22 July 2022 15:45 , Luke Baker

Fulham are interested in signing Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Sergio Rico on loan for a second time after his spell in 2018-19, report The Times.

The Cottagers released Fabri this summer but already have Marek Rodak and Paulo Gazzaniga on their books.

Rico made 29 Premier League appearances during his first spell in west London, as Fulham were relegated from the Premier League and there is allegedly interest in a second go-round..

Friday 22 July 2022 15:30 , Luke Baker

Dani Alves heads to Mexico after leaving Barcelona

Brazil defender Dani Alves has joined Mexican side Pumas UNAM on a free transfer, the Liga MX club said on Thursday, a month after he ended his second stint with Barcelona.

Alves won six LaLiga titles and three Champions League trophies among other major honours in his first spell at Barcelona from 2008-16.

“Dani Alves we are waiting for you,” Pumas wrote on Twitter.

Alves helped Brazil win Olympic gold at last year’s Tokyo Games, adding to two Copa America titles and two Confederations Cup trophies with the national team.

The 39-year-old has won more than 100 caps for Brazil since making his senior debut in 2006, and was part of the teams that played in the 2010 and 2014 World Cups.

Alves had joined Brazilian side Sao Paulo in 2019 after 17 years in Europe with Sevilla, Barcelona, Juventus and Paris St Germain but terminated his contract in September following a dispute over unpaid salaries.

He returned to Barcelona in November and signed a contract until the end of the 2021-22 season, reuniting with former team mate and newly appointed manager Xavi Hernandez.

Alves made 14 league appearances as Barcelona finished second, 13 points behind Real Madrid.

 (AP)
(AP)

Raphael Varane has no regrets over Manchester United transfer

Friday 22 July 2022 15:15 , Luke Baker

Raphael Varane has no regrets about joining Manchester United, despite a difficult first season at Old Trafford being compounded by former club Real Madrid winning the Champions League.

There was a sense of optimism around the Red Devils last summer when the France international followed Jadon Sancho in joining a club that had just finished as Premier League and Europa League runners-up.

Varane enjoyed an unforgettable welcome at a packed Old Trafford before a convincing victory against rivals Leeds and the return of former Real team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo added expectation.

But things soon went awry for United. Poor results led to the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and interim replacement Ralf Rangnick only managed to lead the side to sixth, while injuries restricted the defender to just 20 league starts.

“It was not the best season, the best results,” Varane told the PA news agency. “Obviously I wanted to play a little bit more but that’s part of football and we’re looking forward for the next season.”

Asked if his former team’s success made him think he made the wrong decision moving, the four-time European champion replied: “Absolutely not.

“I think in football you have to challenge yourself and you have to try to improve and I wanted to live another experience after 10 years in the same place – so, no.”

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

Ben Brerton Diaz to West Ham?

Friday 22 July 2022 15:00 , Luke Baker

West Ham ultimately missed out on Jesse Lingard to Nottingham Forest but are moving closer to plenty of other attacking players, including the likes of Sassuolo striker Gianluca Scamacca, Chelsea forward Armando Broja and left-back Filip Kostic.

According to the Daily Mail, West Ham manager David Moyes has also marked Blackburn striker Ben Brereton Diaz as a top target for the club in this window. Burnley’s Dwight McNeil has also been floated as an option to bolster the Hammers up front, but Brereton Diaz is the preferred man.

Chelsea hope to complete Jules Kounde move despite Barcelona interest

Friday 22 July 2022 14:45 , Luke Baker

Chelsea have moved a step closer to signing the highly rated Sevilla defender Jules Kounde.

The Blues have agreed personal terms with the 23-year-old France international centre-back and have now met the Spanish club’s asking price of £55m, according to several reports, with Kounde set to have a medical over the next 48 hours.

Thomas Tuchel is rebuilding his defence after the departure of Antonio Rudiger to Real Madrid and Andreas Christensen to Barcelona, leaving the ageing Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta as Chelsea’s frontline centre-halves. Kounde would add to the recent arrival of Kalidou Koulibaly at Stamford Bridge.

Benjamin Pavard: Manchester United and Chelsea ‘battling over Bayern Munich defender’

Friday 22 July 2022 14:30 , Luke Baker

Bayern Munich defender Benjamin Pavard is reportedly in the middle of a tug-of-war between Manchester United and Chelsea. The Sun, citing French outlet L’Equipe, says both Premier League rivals are tracking the 26-year-old, who is also wanted by Juventus and Atletico Madrid.

Here’s what else the papers were saying this morning:

Man United and Chelsea ‘battling over Benjamin Pavard’

Antony’s agent flies in to negotiate Man United transfer

Friday 22 July 2022 14:15 , Karl Matchett

Those flight paths from Amsterdam to Manchester are getting some serious business this summer, aren’t they?

The agent of Ajax winger Antony is next to tackle that journey, with the Mirror reporting he is flying in to undergo official negotiations over a transfer.

There’s absolutely no agreement between United and Ajax just yet, and a fee of £68m has been reported as being needed if Old Trafford becomes his new home, after a £51m bid was turned down earlier in the summer.

Lisandro Martinez has already followed Erik ten Hag from one to the other.

Everton target Wolves duo for transfers

Friday 22 July 2022 14:00 , Karl Matchett

Everton boss Frank Lampard has been vocal over the need to make signings quickly, especially after a 4-0 pre-season defeat in the US and the sale of Richarlison to Tottenham.

Two Wolves players are on their radar, it appears, with a £20m bid for Morgan Gibbs-White already rejected, say the Telegraph, while the Birmingham Mail say Leander Dendoncker is the defensive option Lampard is most keen on.

Meanwhile, Patrick Cutrone has barely kicked a ball for Wolves since signing and never looked cut out for the English game, and the £16m striker is now wanted by Rangers and Celta Vigo, say Italian media. He only has a year left on his deal and Wolves want to sell.

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

Arsenal target PSV winger Cody Gakpo

Friday 22 July 2022 13:45 , Karl Matchett

Arsenal aren’t done with their summer reinforcements just yet, it seems.

They were linked with Raphinha before his Barcelona move so it’s no surprise to see another winger on the radar, with this time PSV man Cody Gakpo in their sights.

The report from football.london says Mikel Arteta “hugely admirers” him but other English clubs are in the mix too and he wants to eventually come to the Premier League - though the World Cup squad remains his priority.

Brighton still negotiating for Florian Grillitsch free transfer

Friday 22 July 2022 13:30 , Karl Matchett

Florian Grillitsch isn’t yet a definite signing, but Brighton remain in talks with his father and agent over the deal.

He’s on a free transfer after leaving Hoffenheim at the end of last season, but Fiorentina have already backed out of an agreement claiming that his demands were too high.

Galatasaray are also keen, report the Express, but it’s Brighton who are in a good position to close the signing of the Austrian international.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Ben Mee signs for Brentford on a free

Friday 22 July 2022 13:15 , Karl Matchett

And another done deal, this time effectively Championship into the Premier League - Ben Mee has signed for Brentford on a free transfer.

The Bees are looking to again keep themselves in the top flight after a superb return last year, while Mee’s former side Burnley were relegated to the second tier.

That’s goalkeeper Eddie Pope and both starting centre-backs James Tarkowski and now Mee who have left - with winger Dwight McNeil still linked with Palace, too. Wout Weghorst also left on loan and Nathan Collins was sold to Wolves.

Newcastle sell Dwight Gayle to Stoke City

Friday 22 July 2022 13:00 , Karl Matchett

Dwight Gayle has departed Newcastle United, the St. James’ Park club have announced.

A long-term squad member but rarely a starter in the top flight, he moves back to the Championship with Stoke City on a permanent deal.

West Ham make bid for winger Kostic

Friday 22 July 2022 12:45 , Karl Matchett

West Ham are widely reported to have submitted an official bid for Serbian winger Filip Kostic.

The left-sided player has been a key performer for Eintracht Frankfurt over the past few years, playing both wide left in a 4-2-3-1 originally and then for most of last season as a wing-back.

A superb crosser of the ball, the 29-year-old was linked with Inter Milan last term but ended up staying.

The bid is for around €15m but there’s no firm agreement yet between the clubs.

Forest and Brighton fighting for Betis star transfer

Friday 22 July 2022 12:30 , Karl Matchett

Nottingham Forest have seen a €5m bid rejected by Real Betis for Alex Moreno.

The left-back would be a surprise addition after they signed both Harry Toffolo and Omar Richards as left wing-back options, though the latter is set for a 10-week injury layoff after suffering a leg fracture in pre-season already.

Brighton are also said to be keen, say AS, though their interest may be only likely to push forward if Marc Cucurella moves to Man City. Betis apparently want almost €20m for Moreno, who starred last season.

Jules Kounde heading to Chelsea, says Barcelona president

Friday 22 July 2022 12:15 , Karl Matchett

A latest update now on Chelsea target Jules Kounde, and it’s a good one for Blues fans.

Barcelona are the team rivalling them to sign the Sevilla centre-back and the Catalan outfit are currently in the US on a pre-season tour.

There, club president Joan Laporta was reportedly asked by a fan if they will be signing Kounde - but he replied, as captured by Relevo: “No, he is going to sign for Chelsea.”

Laporta doesn’t actually appear in the video, just his voice, it should be noted, but it appears the £55m deal should go through soon.

Spurs meet with Milan over deals for four potential players

Friday 22 July 2022 12:00 , Karl Matchett

Tottenham transfer boss Fabio Paratici is focused on outgoings right now after a busy summer of spending so far, and met up with AC Milan counterparts yesterday to discuss a potential move for Japhet Tanganga, reports Fabrizio Romano.

Gianluca Di Marzio also reports that Pape Matar Sarr could be in line for a San Siro switch on loan, while it’s thought Sergio Reguilon and Tanguy Ndombele were also names in the talks as Spurs look to shift the out-of-favour players who won’t be seeing much game time under Antonio Conte.

Milan won the Serie A title last year but have lost a couple of players such as key midfielder Franck Kessie.

Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira wanted by Roma

Friday 22 July 2022 11:45 , Karl Matchett

Lucas Torreira has simply not been able to squeeze into the team since moving to Arsenal and spent last season in Serie A on loan with Fiorentina.

They didn’t take up the permanent option to sign him, but he could be heading back to Italy anyway as Calciomercato say Roma are now keen on him.

Nemanja Matic has already been added in midfield this summer at the Stadio Olimpico and they were linked yesterday with a move for Gini Wijnaldum, too.

Injury concern for new Leeds signing Sinisterra

Friday 22 July 2022 11:37 , Karl Matchett

Not a rumour, more of a done transfer deal - and not a great start to life at his new club.

Leeds United signed Luis Sinisterra from Feyenoord for £21m only two weeks ago, but he has seemingly picked up a hamstring issue in today’s friendly game against Crystal Palace.

Nicolas Tagliafico set to join Lyon

Friday 22 July 2022 11:30 , Karl Matchett

Ajax left-back Nicolas Tagliafico seems to have been linked with half the Premier League over the last two or three seasons, but it looks like he’s heading to Ligue 1 instead.

L’Equipe report that despite the Argentina international not being initially keen to join Lyon, he’s now headed there for a medical ahead of a €4m transfer.

Meanwhile in France, Marseille and Nice are said to be rivalling Everton to sign Borussia Dortmund forward Alassane Plea, who only has a year left on his deal and is keen on a return to the French top flight.

Liverpool to open ‘formal negotiations’ for Matheus Nunes

Friday 22 July 2022 11:20 , Karl Matchett

Liverpool are ready to open formal discussions with Matheus Nunes, reports Correio da Manha in Portugal.

The Sporting midfielder is a £45m target, according to reports in that country this week, after the Reds had been linked with both Jude Bellingham and Aurelien Tchouameni earlier this summer - all different styles of central players, it should be noted.

Aged 23, Nunes has eight caps for the Portuguese national team and was a regular as SCP finished as runners-up in the Primeira last season.

He’s a real ball-carrier from central areas, as well as being a capable ball-winner.

Barcelona came back from the brink but are gambling their chances of a sustainable future

Friday 22 July 2022 10:49 , Karl Matchett

What’s going on at Barcelona this summer, why are they spending so much but unable to register players and what’s the latest with Frenkie de Jong? Miguel Delaney’s deep dive into the Catalan club is a must-read today:

Given that he had once been assured he was “the future of Barcelona”, Frenkie de Jong might roll his eyes at stories like the following. A few months ago, the Catalan club were talking to a potential summer target, but this at a time when La Liga’s salary cap meant they couldn’t register new signings. The player was interested but understandably sceptical, and the situation formed a large part of discussions. Barcelona were insistent, though. They assured the player they would find a way. In the meantime, they were selling their image. Everyone still wants to play for Barca.

The selling club, who were German, were not so confident. They didn’t want to do business. Put bluntly, they were sceptical over whether they would get paid in full. They now have a very different image of Barca.

It is one that is increasingly widespread in the game.

Barcelona back from the brink but are gambling with their future again

Real Madrid reject chance to sign Edin Dzeko

Friday 22 July 2022 10:30 , Karl Matchett

Real Madrid have turned down an opportunity to sign Edin Dzeko for 22/23, report Sport.

They say Los Blancos only want players with something to offer for the future, whereas Dzeko at 36 would be a short-term addition only. He’d only cost €4m and Inter are keen to sell having brought back Romelu Lukaku this summer from Chelsea.

Instead, Real’s current options - having missed out on Kylian Mbappe, who stayed at PSG - are now Rafael Leao, Christopher Nkunuk and Jonathan David.

Manchester United transfer news latest: Anthony Martial and...Memphis Depay!

Friday 22 July 2022 10:15 , Karl Matchett

Now, one of these might seem to overrule the need for the other, depending on exactly what Erik ten Hag wants from his team this season.

But with Cristiano Ronaldo (so far) set to stay, the Red Devils need to decide who supports and rivals him in the attack - with the Manchester Evening News reporting that they have “decided” to keep Anthony Martial.

That said, they also say there’s “no market” for the French forward, which perhaps indicates United haven’t decided anything at all and are simply stuck with keeping him.

A day or two ago there were the first tenuous links over a double deal with Barcelona, with United wanting to bring back Memphis Depay as well as Frenkie de Jong, with €20m enough to sign the forward who has a year left on his deal.

Now Sport are saying that United haven’t actually enquired over the Dutch attacker at all - but Tottenham have, and he quickly knocked them back, saying he’s not interested in a move to north London.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Manchester United transfer news latest: Frenkie de Jong

Friday 22 July 2022 10:00 , Karl Matchett

So it’s time for a Manchester United run-down, starting with the ongoing and long-running chase for Frenkie de Jong.

A few things are unchanged:

  • Fee agreed between United and Barcelona

  • Barca owe €17m in wages which they want De Jong to waive

  • He’s not overly keen on that idea, as you’d expect

Yesterday, there were stories that De Jong also preferred a move to Bayern or Chelsea over Man United, but neither of those clubs have agreements with Barcelona.

Today’s news from Sport is that manager Xavi Hernandez - who only arrived on Barca’s US tour yesterday after a visa issue - will sit down to discuss with his Dutch midfielder exactly why the club want him to depart, with financial issues a near-certainty after their summer outlay if De Jong does not leave.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Ravel Morrison joins up with former boss Wayne Rooney at DC United

Friday 22 July 2022 09:45 , Karl Matchett

Ravel Morrison has rejoined his former Derby County manager Wayne Rooney by signing for MLS club DC United.

Morrison played under Rooney at Pride Park, making 38 appearances and scoring five goals after joining the Rams in July 2021.

“Wayne worked closely with Ravel during his time as manager of Derby County,” Dave Kasper, DC United president of soccer operations, told the club website.

“Ravel is an incredible talent and his ability to create and score goals is impressive.

“He has played at the highest levels during his career and his vision, creativity and ability on the ball will be a huge asset for us.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Nottingham Forest land Lingard on one-year deal

Friday 22 July 2022 09:30 , Karl Matchett

Worth a recap from last night in case you missed it - Nottingham Forest have signed former Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard on a free transfer.

Lingard, a United academy graduate, ended his 22-year association with the Old Trafford club following the expiry of his contract last month.

The 29-year-old England international, who made his United debut in 2014, scored 35 goals in more than 200 games for them.

Forest did not specify the length of his contract but Sky Sports reported he had signed a year-long deal.

Lingard had been linked with a switch to Newcastle United as well as a return to West Ham United, where he enjoyed a successful loan spell in the 2020-21 season, scoring nine goals in 16 matches.

He will wear the number 10 jersey at Forest.

Forest have been busy during the transfer window, signing defender Harry Toffolo and midfielder Lewis O’Brien from Championship side Huddersfield Town on Wednesday. They have also recruited Dean Henderson, Taiwo Awoniyi, Brandon Aguilera, Neco Williams, Giulian Biancone, Wayne Hennessey, Moussa Niakhate and Omar Richards.

Saints set to sign £11m Sekou Mara

Friday 22 July 2022 09:15 , Karl Matchett

Southampton have reached an agreement to sign French forward Sekou Mara from Ligue 2 club Girondins de Bordeaux, the Premier League club said on Thursday.

The fee was not disclosed but British media reported it was around 13 million euros (£11.06m).

Mara, 19, played 27 games and scored six goals for Bordeaux last season, but could not stop them from being relegated to France’s Ligue 2.

Mara will be Southampton’s sixth signing this transfer window, after Gavin Bazunu, Mateusz Lis, Armel Bella-Kotchap, Joe Aribo and Romeo Lavia.

Ralph Hasenhuettl’s side finished 15th in the Premier League standings last season.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Erik ten Hag demands more Manchester United signings to achieve success: ‘It’s vital’

Friday 22 July 2022 09:00 , Jack Rathborn

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag believes new signings are “vital” if his first season at the club is to be a success.

Charged with overseeing a big rebuild at Old Trafford, the demanding Dutchman’s meticulous work has been clear during the pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia.

Tyrell Malacia was the only new face on a trip that ends with Saturday’s friendly against Aston Villa in Perth, but deals for Christian Eriksen and Ajax’s Lisandro Martinez were struck during their time Down Under.

Earlier in the tour Ten Hag said that midfield and attack were priority positions to strengthen and he reiterated on Friday the need to bring in new faces despite some promising signs on tour.

‘It’s vital’: Erik ten Hag demands more Man United signings

Dani Alves heads to Mexico after leaving Barcelona

Friday 22 July 2022 08:45 , Reuters

Brazil defender Dani Alves has joined Mexican side Pumas UNAM on a free transfer, the Liga MX club said on Thursday, a month after he ended his second stint with Barcelona.

Alves won six LaLiga titles and three Champions League trophies among other major honours in his first spell at Barcelona from 2008-16.

“Dani Alves we are waiting for you,” Pumas wrote on Twitter.

Alves helped Brazil win Olympic gold at last year’s Tokyo Games, adding to two Copa America titles and two Confederations Cup trophies with the national team.

The 39-year-old has won more than 100 caps for Brazil since making his senior debut in 2006, and was part of the teams that played in the 2010 and 2014 World Cups.

Alves had joined Brazilian side Sao Paulo in 2019 after 17 years in Europe with Sevilla, Barcelona, Juventus and Paris St Germain but terminated his contract in September following a dispute over unpaid salaries.

He returned to Barcelona in November and signed a contract until the end of the 2021-22 season, reuniting with former team mate and newly appointed manager Xavi Hernandez.

Alves made 14 league appearances as Barcelona finished second, 13 points behind Real Madrid.

DANI ALVES (AP)
DANI ALVES (AP)

Raphael Varane has no regrets over Manchester United transfer

Friday 22 July 2022 08:33 , Karl Matchett

Raphael Varane has no regrets about joining Manchester United, despite a difficult first season at Old Trafford being compounded by former club Real Madrid winning the Champions League.

There was a sense of optimism around the Red Devils last summer when the France international followed Jadon Sancho in joining a club that had just finished as Premier League and Europa League runners-up.

Varane enjoyed an unforgettable welcome at a packed Old Trafford before a convincing victory against rivals Leeds and the return of former Real team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo added expectation.

But things soon went awry for United. Poor results led to the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and interim replacement Ralf Rangnick only managed to lead the side to sixth, while injuries restricted the defender to just 20 league starts.

“It was not the best season, the best results,” Varane told the PA news agency. “Obviously I wanted to play a little bit more but that’s part of football and we’re looking forward for the next season.”

Asked if his former team’s success made him think he made the wrong decision moving, the four-time European champion replied: “Absolutely not.

“I think in football you have to challenge yourself and you have to try to improve and I wanted to live another experience after 10 years in the same place – so, no.”

Benjamin Pavard: Manchester United and Chelsea ‘battling over Bayern Munich defender’

Friday 22 July 2022 08:15 , Karl Matchett

Bayern Munich defender Benjamin Pavard is reportedly in the middle of a tug-of-war between Manchester United and Chelsea.

French outlet L’Equipe say both Premier League rivals are tracking the 26-year-old, who is also wanted by Juventus and Atletico Madrid.

Man United and Chelsea ‘battling over Benjamin Pavard’

Chelsea hope to complete Jules Kounde move despite Barcelona interest

Friday 22 July 2022 08:00 , Jack Rathborn

Chelsea have moved a step closer to signing the highly rated Sevilla defender Jules Kounde.

The Blues have agreed personal terms with the 23-year-old France international centre-back and have now met the Spanish club’s asking price of £55m, according to several reports, with Kounde set to have a medical over the next 48 hours.

Thomas Tuchel is rebuilding his defence after the departure of Antonio Rudiger to Real Madrid and Andreas Christensen to Barcelona, leaving the ageing Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta as Chelsea’s frontline centre-halves. Kounde would add to the recent arrival of Kalidou Koulibaly at Stamford Bridge.