Transfer news LIVE: Cristiano Ronaldo makes Man Utd demand as Juventus chase Liverpool striker

Transfer news LIVE: Cristiano Ronaldo makes Man Utd demand as Juventus chase Liverpool striker

The Premier League returns next week and both Manchester United and Chelsea look set to define the final weeks of the transfer window with their business yet to conclude. While Cristiano Ronaldo has returned to training at Manchester United’s training base, the 37-year-old did not take part in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Wrexham on Wednesday and instead watched on from the side-lines and the Mail claims he has demanded to be freed of his contract.

It comes as his agent Jorge Mendes leads showdown talks over his future, with Sir Alex Ferguson also reportedly involved in discussions with Erik ten Hag. Two players who did take part in the match were Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez, who has been unveiled as the club’s latest signing. United have meanwhile not changed their stance over Ronaldo, insisting he is not for sale, while the lack of interest since Ronaldo’s agent Mendes looked across Europe for interest could also see the marriage extended for a further season.

Elsewhere, Chelsea have been dealt a significant blow in their pursuit of Jules Kounde, with Barcelona now reaching an agreement with Sevilla for the highly rated defender after making a dramatic late intervention. Juventus are reportedly “very close” to agreeing a deal with Liverpool for Roberto Firmino, while they continue to montitor Chelsea’s Timo Werner and Man United’s Anthony Martial.

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

Transfer news LIVE

  • Cristiano Ronaldo ‘demands to be freed of his contract’ at Man United

  • Barcelona scupper Chelsea hopes of signing Jules Kounde

  • Luis Suarez returns to Nacional after 17 years in Europe

  • Liverpool have ‘no appetite’ to sell Roberto Firmino this summer

  • Bayern Munch capture Barcelona teenage prospect Adam Aznou

  • Everton complete £20m deal for Dwight McNeil

Marseille still pushing to land Saliba again from Arsenal

19:00 , Karl Matchett

William Saliba spent last season on loan at Marseille and the Ligue 1 club are not giving up hope of a return.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said he’d be given a chance this season and the defender himself has said he wants a starting berth in the Premier League, but L’Equipe say Marseille still think they can persuade Saliba to return.

The two clubs are also doing business with Nuno Tavares, who is heading on loan to France if all progresses smoothly.

Spurs could yet move for Leicester midfielder Maddison

18:40 , Karl Matchett

Tottenham have already rejected the notion they might move for James Maddison this summer, but’s Alasdair Gold says they could be tempted back into the market anyway.

Spurs are long-term admirers of the Leicester man and if other clubs try to close a deal this summer then Spurs “might just make a move” to avoid missing out, is the claim.

Nicolo Zaniolo remains another potential target but Spurs have to offload several players first, the report says. Ndombele, Reguilon, Winks and Lo Celso are the first of those names who have to go.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Arsenal rejected Mauro Icardi in favour of Gabriel Jesus

18:20 , Karl Matchett

An Argentinian or a Brazilian to lead the line? That was apparently Edu’s dilemma this summer, with the Arsenal chief opting for Gabriel Jesus as his primary target in revamping the Gunners’ attack.

But his alternative was PSG forward Mauro Icardi, who had been offered to the north London club before the deal with Man City was struck, report the Mirror.

Jesus certainly brings more versatility and mobility to the line, though Icardi in his Inter peak was a lethal scorer - but he’s still at PSG for now.

 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Jules Kounde arrives in Barcelona for medical

18:00 , Karl Matchett

Reports have surfaced from multiple outlets in Spain that Jules Kounde has arrived in Barcelona.

He’s there to undergo a medical and sort terms and paperwork, ahead of a big-money switch from Sevilla.

That will be a huge blow to Chelsea, who at one stage thought they had the £55m deal wrapped up.

Kimpembe, Gvardiol, Skriniar and several others have already been mentioned as potential alternatives.

Griezmann could still leave Atletico Madrid

17:40 , Karl Matchett

Much speculation has been about where Cristiano Ronaldo could go if he’s granted the move from Manchester United he apparently wants, with Atletico Madrid reported as a possible surprise destination.

However, most reports have said he’ll only be able to go there if they offload Antoine Griezmann and it seems that could still yet happen.

Marca report that the French forward still isn’t convinced about leaving the Metropolitano, however, and it could yet be that another forward’s future - Alvaro Morata - has a knock-on effect of both Griezmann and Ronaldo both being able to clarify their own fates before the end of the transfer window.

Which domino will fall first?

Mario Gaspar leaves Villarreal ahead of Watford move

17:20 , Karl Matchett

Villarreal legend Mario Gaspar has departed the Spanish club, after 15 years with the Yellow Submarine.

The right-back is set for a new career challenge now, having fallen out of favour under Unai Emery, and the 31-year-old is set to switch to Watford according to Marca, following 424 appearances in yellow - more than all but two in the club’s history.

Now he’ll be playing in, well, yellow again, but in the second tier of English football once the Hornets confirm his signing.

Mixed reports on Timo Werner’s Chelsea future

17:00 , Karl Matchett

Chelsea forward Timo Werner seems to be in semi-limbo right now; not a first-choice starter, not absolutely in-demand anywhere else and seemingly not able to find his Leipzig shooting boots either.

There have been links with both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund this summer, as well as more recently with Newcastle United and Juventus.

But the latest story from German outlet Kicker is that Thomas Tuchel is blocking any exit and wants the player to remain an important part of the squad for the campaign ahead. RB Leipzig have also made an approach to take him back, is the claim.

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

Richards delighted after joining Crystal Palace

16:45 , Karl Matchett

Chris Richards is now a Crystal Palace defender having moved from Bayern Munich yesterday.

He’s very much up for the challenge of disturbing that brilliant Andersen-Guehi partnership from last season and looks another fine addition by the Eagles over the last three transfer windows.

“I’m really excited for it,” Richards told Palace’s website.

“The kind of project I’ve seen [attracted me]. It’s a lot of young players but also young players who have a lot of fight. Palace is a club that seems like they’re always fighting.”

Nuno Tavares set for Marseille loan

16:30 , Karl Matchett

Hours after his reported move to Atalanta fell through, it seems Arsenal left-back Nuno Tavares is instead off to Ligue 1.

Marseille have reportedly agreed a deal to take him on loan, say the Evening Standard, and a medical is booked in to take the youngster there for the 22/23 campaign.

There’s no option to buy included in the switch, which is what Atalanta were unhappy about when they were presented with the chance to take him.

Chelsea in for Joakim Maehle

16:15 , Karl Matchett

Wingbacks are on the agenda for Chelsea this afternoon and Thomas Tuchel has three in mind, according to the latest rumours.

Joakim Maehle, of Denmark and Atalanta, is the prime candidate according to - but Inter’s Denzel Dumfries is also in the mix.

There’s also a mention of Benjamin Pavard, of Bayern Munich, though perhaps with the French defender having said he’s keen to move central instead of on the right, perhaps that’s another alternative to the likes of Kounde and Fofana instead.

Frank Lampard on Dwight McNeil

16:03 , Lawrence Ostlere

Lampard said: “I have been a big admirer of Dwight for some time.

“He has huge talent and is exactly the type of player we want to bring into the squad to help us improve.”

McNeil becomes Everton’s third summer signing as Lampard aims to build a team that can avoid a relegation scrap in the coming campaign.

He joins former Burnley team-mate James Tarkowski in the Everton dressing room, along with Ruben Vinagre, who has signed on a season-long loan from Sporting.

Dwight McNeil has moved to Goodison Park (Getty Images)
Dwight McNeil has moved to Goodison Park (Getty Images)

Atalanta pull plug on Nuno Tavares loan from Arsenal

15:45 , Karl Matchett

Arsenal left-back Nuno Tavares will not now be heading to Serie A and Atalanta, it seems.

He was set for a switch to Bergamo but the Italian side have rejected the Gunners’ plans for the deal, a loan with no option to buy, with reporting they wanted the chance to sign him permanently in the summer.

There’s no immediate prospect of Tavares getting game time after the arrival of Oleksandr Zinchenko and the likes of Kieran Tierney still being at the club.

Jurgen Klopp addresses reports of Roberto Firmino transfer chance

15:30 , Karl Matchett

Jurgen Klopp has not exactly closed the door on any departure for Roberto Firmino this summer, but stated he was delighted to be able to call on his services again after links with Juventus emerged. Speaking ahead of the Community Shield, the Liverpool manager was effusive in his praise of the Reds’ No9.

“Bobby is crucial for us. Bobby is the heart and soul of this team,” Klopp said.

“The way we played in the last few years was only possible because of Bobby and that’s why I’m really happy that he could train the majority of pre-season so far.

“Everything looks really good, I’m absolutely fine. For me, there’s no doubt about his quality. All the rest, we will see how this year goes. But yes, he is essential for us.”

Everton sign Dwight McNeil from Burnley in £20m deal

15:12 , Karl Matchett

Everton have signed Dwight McNeil from Burnley for £20million as Frank Lampard has made his first summer buy.

The winger has agreed a five-year contract at Goodison Park and is reunited with his former Burnley team-mate James Tarkowski, who Lampard recruited on a free transfer, and loan arrival Ruben Vinagre.

However, McNeil is the first buy as Everton start to spend the proceeds of Richarlison’s £60 million sale to Tottenham and have responded to Lampard’s comments that there was a “void” in attack after the Brazilian’s departure.

The 22-year-old, who was a product of Burnley’s academy, made 147 appearances for the Clarets, becoming an England Under-21 international.

McNeil said: “It is an amazing feeling to sign. I feel playing under a manager like Frank Lampard, he will help me to get my stats up – and that is what I want to do and improve my game.”

More from McNeil as he swaps Turf Moor for Goodison Park:

Everton sign Dwight McNeil from Burnley in £20m deal

Everton confirm signing of Dwight McNeil

15:02 , Karl Matchett

The Toffees complete their biggest transfer of the window so far, with Dwight McNeil in as their third summer capture.

Ruben Vinagre (loan) and James Tarkowski (free) were their other earlier deals - this one is worth £20m on a five-year deal.

More to follow on this...

Ajax up price tag for Man United target Antony

15:00 , Karl Matchett

Erik ten Hag might have to do some of his shopping somewhere for someone with no connection to Ajax at all, eventually.

Brazilian winger Antony was another Eredivisie star the Dutch coach wanted to take with him to Old Trafford, but Ajax have now put the price up from nearly £70m to around £85m, according to the Mail.

That’s to turn United away from bidding for him as they look to strengthen the squad, as the Dutch side have no desire to lose a “non-transferable” part of their team.

Middlesbrough sign Marcus Forss from Brentford

14:50 , Karl Matchett

Done deal for Middlesbrough - they’ve signed striker Marcus Forss from Brentford.

“We’re delighted to bring Marcus in,” said boss Chris Wilder.

“He played a big part in Brentford winning promotion a couple of seasons ago, and he knows this league well.

“He’s a good athlete and all-round player. We’re really looking forward to what he can bring to the squad.”

Jurgen Klopp ‘obsessed’ with Real Madrid midfielder

14:44 , Karl Matchett

Federico Valverde remains the object of Jurgen Klopp’s footballing affections, report Nacional.

The Spanish outlet say that the German is “obsessed” by the versatile midfielder, who has played centrally and wider as a selfless runner in Carlo Ancelotti’s team.

Real Madrid have added Aurelien Tchouameni to their midfield this summer - who the Reds were also keen on - but Valverde has a long-term contract after signing an extension a year ago.

Community Shield team news

14:17 , Karl Matchett

A quick look away from transfers and the start of the 2022/23 season in England - the Community Shield as Man City face Liverpool.

In his press conference today, Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that both goalkeeper Alisson and forward Diogo Jota will miss out, though the Brazilian should return for the start of the Premier League campaign.

As Caoimhin Kelleher has also not featured in preseason due to injury, that means a likely start for Adrian for the Reds.

Newcastle and Juventus interested in Werner

13:59 , Lawrence Ostlere

Italian news organisation CMW are reporting that Chelsea are willing to sell Timo Werner for €40 million (£33.42 million) in the summer transfer window with both Newcastle United and Juventus interested in signing the forward.

The Telegraph also reported earlier this week that the Magpies where keeping an eye on the former RB Leipzig star with manager Eddie Howe interested to see if this is a transfer he could get over the line.

 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Burnley sign Vitinho

13:49 , Michael Jones

Burnley have completed the signing of Cercle Brugge defender Vitinho on a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee. The defender becomes first Brazilian to represent the Clarets.

The 23-year-old has spent the last four seasons in Brugge, making over 70 first team appearances in the Belgium first division.

The right-back made the switch to Europe from Brazilian side Cruzeiro Esporte Clube in the summer of 2018, where he had been since he was six-years-old.

Internationally, Vitinho has represented Brazil U20’s and was called up to the provisional senior Brazil squad ahead of the Russia 2018 World Cup.

Middlesbrough targeting Muniz

13:36 , Michael Jones

Middlesbrough have approached Fulham in a bid to loan striker Rodrigo Muniz.

The Cottagers spent £6.5 million signing Muniz from Flamengo last summer and are not keen to loan him out unless they have an option to replace the Brazilian.

De Jong tells Man Utd he isn’t leaving Barcelona

13:30 , Michael Jones

Manchester United’s pursuit of Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong may not have the happy ending they are hoping for after the player has reportedly confirmed that he won’t be moving to Old Trafford this summer.

According to Cadena SER the Barcelona star has contacted United revealing that he has no desire to leave the Spanish giants this summer as he is still owed £17million in wages.

A deal worth between £63-7m has been agreed between the clubs but the transfer is still no closer to going through. It is understood that Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag is keen to reunite with De Jong but the problem of the 25-year-old’s deferred wages continues to be a stumbling block.

Barcelona have made it clear that they wish to sell De Jong this summer as they need to shift him from their wage bill in order to register their new signings Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen with LaLiga.

If De Jong remains at the Camp Nou Barcelona won’t be able to register these signings for the Spanish top flight.

Man United keeping De Jong alternatives in mind

13:20 , Karl Matchett

Sky Sports are reporting that Manchester United are “keeping alternatives warm” as they wait on Frenkie de Jong to complete a transfer from Barcelona.

United announced new squad numbers today for Christian Eriksen (14) and Lisandro Martinez (6), but they have left the No21 shirt free - which De Jong wears now at Barcelona.

The £72m deal for the Dutch midfielder is still in the balance while Barca try to convince him to pass up on the money owed him by the Catalan outfit, but United still believe the deal is “there to be done”.

West Ham bid for Kostic rejected

13:11 , Karl Matchett

West Ham have had a first bid for Filip Kostic rejected by Eintracht Frankfurt, say Sky Sports.

The deal was for around €15m but the Bundesliga side want €20m for the winger, who has a year left on his deal.

Kostic’s agent is the same as Scamacca’s, who they signed yesterday, and the player has reportedly already rejected two Champions League sides as he weighs up an important move.

Cristiano Ronaldo still determined to leave Manchester United

12:55 , Lawrence Ostlere

Cristiano Ronaldo is still adament he is leaving Manchester United.

That’s according to Sky Sports, which reports Erik ten Hag’s efforts to persuade Ronaldo to stay at Old Trafford during training ground talks yesterday were unsuccessful.

Ronaldo remains convinced he must leave in order to challenge for major honours and add to his record goal tally in the Champions League, with United in the Europa League this season.

However, it remains unclear where he will go next. Atletico Madrid fans unfurled a banner stating the former Real Madrid star was “not welcome” at the club, while Chelsea appear focused on defence rather than attack.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Chelsea close on Tyler Dibling after signing Zak Sturge

12:42 , Lawrence Ostlere

Chelsea are continuing to beef up their academy’s pool of talent.

The club recently signed 18-year-old Zak Sturge from Brighton, a left-back who has impressed at England youth level. Now the club are looking to bring in England U17 international Tyler Dibling from Southampton, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, for a fee of £1.5m.

Dibling, 16, is a highly rated attacking midfielder who has already appeared in Saints’ reserves, scoring three goals in two games in Premier League 2.

Man City want game time for McAtee if he leaves on loan

12:30 , Karl Matchett

Man City are only allowing James McAtee to head out on loan this season if he gets guaranteed game time, reports the Mail.

He’s a highly rated youngster and has a host of admirers, including Leeds, Bournemouth and potentially Brighton in the top flight.

The report suggests the latter might be favoured if he makes it easier to sign Marc Cucurella, with the Seagulls turning down a £30m bid last week for the left-back.

Meanwhile, HITC claim Phil Foden is close to signing a new £200k-a-week deal at City.

Late Leno twist possible if Arsenal move for Tielemans

12:15 , Karl Matchett

The Mirror claim that Bernd Leno’s proposed move to Fulham could fall through as “talks seem to have stalled” and it might be Leicester who prosper.

Arsenal have yet to make a move for Youri Tielemans, who has been widely linked with them and is available this summer, but a knock-on effect of Nice’s sudden interest in Kasper Schmeichel could be that the Gunners use Leno as a makeweight in a transfer for the Belgian midfielder.

That could see Leno move to the KP Stadium instead of Craven Cottage, leaving Fulham looking elsewhere.

Paqueta wants Spurs move over Arsenal transfer

12:00 , Karl Matchett

Lyon midfielder Lucas Paqueta was linked with Tottenham in January, but it’s Arsenal who have been most keen this summer.

However, the Brazilian would rather move to Antonio Conte’s side than Mikel Arteta’s, report L’Equipe, and he has no interest in a move to Newcastle either, who are also credited as wanting to reunite him with Bruno Guimaraes.

£34m wasn’t enough for Spurs to get him in January, they say, and there’s been no imminent news of a fresh bid now - and Tottenham have to offload midfielders first in any case.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Liverpool end interest in Athletic winger Nico Williams

11:45 , Karl Matchett

Liverpool were briefly linked earlier this week with Athletic Club winger Nico Williams - as opposed to the full-back just sold to Nottingham Forest, Neco Williams - but those rumours appear consigned to history already.

Spanish media outlets are reporting that the Reds were keen to pay up to around €40m but no higher for Williams, younger brother of club legend Inaki, but his release clause already stands at €50m and Athletic would want it paid in full.

It could be one for next summer, though, with AS pointing out he has only two years left on his current deal and last season seeing him push his name toward the front of exciting youngsters in La Liga.

Saul to be offered to Juventus following Chelsea loan

11:30 , Karl Matchett

Saul Niguez simply didn’t show anything like his true ability at Chelsea last season, with his loan spell not yielding a permanent move or a role back in the team at Atletico Madrid.

Now AS report that he’ll be offered to Juventus as a way to fill the void during Paul Pogba’s injury - see our earlier post - on another loan deal, with Atleti looking to trim the wage bill.

Saul currently has no route back into the lineup under Diego Simeone and needs a fresh start to recapture his undoubtedly excellent top form.

 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Wild rumour claims Cristiano Ronaldo offered to Napoli

11:15 , Karl Matchett

A Cristiano Ronaldo update, but very much an unverified one to take with a pinch of salt: Italian outlet Il Mattino reports the forward’s agent Jorge Mendes offering Napoli the chance to sign him.

Napoli are in the Champions League after finishing third last year, but their financial standing is not quite of the same level as Real Madrid, Juventus and Man United - in other words his salary would almost certainly be beyond them.

The report also cites Spanish outlet AS for the story, but there’s - as yet - no mention of it on their website. Perhaps one to watch, but it seems an unlikely destination for one of the game’s greatest goalscorers.

Tottenham struggling to offload Tanguy Ndombele and Harry Winks

11:06 , Karl Matchett

Spurs are into sell mode now after a busy summer of buying so far...or at least, they would be if they could.

The Athletic report there’s “nothing especially advanced” with Tanguy Ndombele right now and “no deal imminent” for Harry Winks either, two midfielders left off their pre-season tour of South Korea.

There’s slightly better news on Giovani Lo Celso, with Fiorentina among the sides hoping to sign him, and Spurs face taking a heavy loss on the player who cost around £30m.

The report also suggests Spurs may move for Eintracht centre-back Evan Ndicka if Japhet Tanganga completes a transfer to AC Milan or Bournemouth.

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

Newcastle target Watford attacking duo

10:53 , Karl Matchett

Newcastle United have yet to really add to their attack this summer despite the obvious spending power they possess, with Eddie Howe and his side keen to only recruit carefully and not spend for the sake of it so far.

Goalkeeper Nick Pope, centre-back Sven Botman and left-back Matt Targett - who was on loan last term - are the only senior additions so far.

But now they could do a double deal with relegated Watford, report 90min, with Emmanuel Dennis and Ismaila Sarr both potentially available for “knockdown fees” as the Hornets restructure.

The same report suggests the Magpies have been offered Memphis Depay, Timo Werner and Nicolas Pepe, with all three out of favour at their respective clubs.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Norwich pull out of talks over Kone deal

10:40 , Karl Matchett

Ismael Kone will not be swapping MLS for the Championship just yet.

The Canadian 20-year-old was on Norwich City’s wishlist for the summer after impressing with Montreal, but Stuart Webber has now moved on to other targets, report the Athletic, after being priced out of a move.

Isaac Hayden and Gabriel Sara are the Canaries’ additions this summer, both in midfield, but more arrivals are expected as they look to continue yo-yoing and bounce back up to the top flight next term.

Liverpool have ‘no appetite’ to sell Firmino this summer

10:26 , Karl Matchett

Roberto Firmino has been linked with Juventus this week - see below in our 8:28am post for the latest updates from Italian media - but closer to home it’s a firm no.

The Echo say that the Reds’ “position is unchanged” and there is “absolutely no appetite” to entertain any offers for the Brazilian forward.

He, arguably even more than Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane on account of being there longer, typifies the Jurgen Klopp regime over the past seven years, even if he’s now not a guaranteed starter at Anfield.

The arrival of Darwin Nunez gives further competition in attack, but it would still be a shock to see Firmino depart this year.

Bayern capture Barcelona prospect Adam Aznou

10:12 , Lawrence Ostlere

Bayern Munich have completed the signing of highly rated 16-year-old Adam Aznou from Barcelona on a free transfer.

The Spanish left-back has signed a contract until June 2025 and has been assured of a fast-track to first-team opportunities after turning down a promotion to Barca’s youth squad.

Adam Aznou has joined Bayern Munich (Bayern Munich)
Adam Aznou has joined Bayern Munich (Bayern Munich)

The reaction of a popular Barca youth account:

Gini Wijnaldum set for Roma loan switch

10:00 , Karl Matchett

Things haven’t gone well for Gini Wijnaldum since leaving Liverpool and moving to PSG on a free transfer a year ago, as he lost his place in midfield and has now been told he has no part in Christophe Galtier’s plans this season.

He’s set to relaunch his career in Italy, with AS Roma close to agreeing a loan with an option to buy, reports Gazzetta, with only a salary split left to work out between the clubs.

Wijnaldum earns around €180,000 a week in Paris and the Rome club want to pay only around half, it is suggested. Jose Mourinho’s side have already added Nemanja Matic to their ranks in midfield this summer.

Everton closing in on £20m Dwight McNeil

09:44 , Karl Matchett

Everton are looking to complete their third deal of the summer - and the first of any notable transfer fee - with the addition of Burnley winger Dwight McNeil.

The exodus from the Clarets after their relegation has already seen Pope, Mee, Tarkowski, Weghorst and others depart Turf Moor, with key wide man McNeil now set to follow.

He had been linked with Crystal Palace among other teams, but the Echo say Everton are close to a £20m deal and he could even be in their squad for a friendly against Dynamo Kyiv on Friday.

A loan deal for Ruben Vinagre and the free transfer arrival of the aforementioned Tarkowski are Everton’s only deals so far.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Chelsea ‘consider move’ for Leicester defender Wes Fofana

09:29 , Karl Matchett

Chelsea are moving on to other defensive targets as it looks like Jules Kounde will be going to Barcelona instead of the Bridge - and one alternative is already in the Premier League. say the Blues will make contact with Wesley Fofana’s agents this week to sound out a move, with an expected price tag of above £60m not putting them off a potential transfer.

Fofana came back from a long injury lay-off last season but prior to that had shone after moving to the Foxes.

Milan Skriniar and Presnel Kimpembe are other possible targets.

‘CR7 not welcome’: Atletico Madrid fans protest against Cristiano Ronaldo transfer speculation

09:15 , Karl Matchett

Atletico Madrid fans have urged the club to rule out signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United, displaying a protest at a pre-season friendly and warning that he is the “antithesis of the club’s values of modesty and humility”.

Atletico have been one of the clubs linked to signing Ronaldo since it was reported that the 37-year-old wanted to leave Manchester United this summer and the Portuguese international’s agent, Jorge Mendes, has used the Spanish club to stoke up interest.

Ronaldo had a successful spell playing with Atletico’s city rivals Real Madrid and had a fractious relationship with their fans during his time in Spain. Ronaldo also has a history of scoring important goals against Atletico, including the winning penalty in the 2016 Champions League final.

While Atletico’s president Enrique Cerezo said a move for Ronaldo was “practically impossible” due to financial reasons on Wednesday, one of the club’s official supporters groups released a statement demanding that they distance themselves from the forward. A banner was also unfurled during Atletico’s friendly match against CD Numancia, stating: “CR7 not welcome”.

More details here:

‘CR7 not welcome’: Atletico Madrid fans protest against Cristiano Ronaldo speculation

Liverpool and City face new challenge to make old solutions work after striker deals

09:03 , Lawrence Ostlere

How will Manchester City and Liverpool adapt their play this season after signing high-profile old-fashioned No 9s? Richard Jolly takes a look ahead of the Community Shield:

Liverpool and City face new challenge to make old solutions work after striker deals

All three promoted Premier League clubs closing in on new signings

08:54 , Karl Matchett

A quick round-up of where the three promoted teams are right now, with each set to name a new face (at least) in the coming days according to the latest reports:

  • Fulham have agreed terms with Arsenal over a transfer for goalkeeper Bernd Leno, claim Sky Sports. He fell behind Aaron Ramsdale last season and the German looks set for a move across London very soon

  • Bournemouth have agreed a £15m deal with Middlesbrough to sign midfielder Marcus Tavernier, reports 90min. Both the Cherries and Nottingham Forest were rumoured to be in for him but an improved offer, including £3m in add-ons, has now been agreed

  • Nottingham Forest themselves are keen on Betis midfielder William Carvalho, say the Mail, while left-back Alex Moreno from the same club is also thought to be close to a move to the Reds

(Nick Potts/PA) (PA Archive)
(Nick Potts/PA) (PA Archive)

Pogba in danger of missing World Cup

08:46 , Karl Matchett

Not a piece of transfer news, since he has just completed his move from Manchester United to Juventus, but worth knowing all the same: Paul Pogba faces missing out on the 2022 World Cup.

An injury sustained during training soon after joining up with the Italian club in America sees the midfielder needing surgery on his lateral meniscus, says Gazzetta dello Sport, and one variation of the operation could see him sidelined for up to five months - meaning he’d miss out on Qatar with France.

Further talks with club and country medical staff are expected.

Everton open talks over return for Idrissa Gana Gueye

08:40 , Karl Matchett

Everton are going back to the future to improve their midfield, with Idrissa Gana Gueye “one of the names” on their shortlist.

Fabrizio Romano says talks will continue with PSG over the coming days, with the French club wanting to sell, but it’s very early in discussions right now.

The Toffees managed to sign Ruben Vinagre on loan yesterday and further deals might be close too.

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

Juventus ‘very close’ to agreeing deal for Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino

08:28 , Lawrence Ostlere

Juventus are closing in on a surprise deal for Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino.

That’s according to Corriere dello Sport in Italy, which claims talks with Liverpool for the Brazilian striker over a potential £19m transfer are at an advanced stage. Firmino’s contract at Anfield runs out at the end of the season and the 30-year-old has been in prolonged talks with the club, just like Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah were over the recent months, with Mane eventually departing for Bayern Munich as Salah chose to sign a lucrative new deal.

The arrival of new striker Darwin Nunez has added competition for Firmino’s spot leading the line this season, but Jurgen Klopp has only ever spoken highly of Firmino and his role in the squad.

Will Roberto Firmino be at Liverpool this season? (Getty Images)
Will Roberto Firmino be at Liverpool this season? (Getty Images)

Milan set to sign Leeds target De Ketelaere

08:23 , Karl Matchett

Leeds United were hopeful of landing young Dutch attacker Charles De Ketelaere, but it seems he is now set for AC Milan.

HLN report that an agreement is not yet finalised between the Serie A champions and his current side Club Brugge, but they are not far apart and personal terms will be no barrier.

The highly rated forward already has eight senior caps at age 21 and scored 18 goals in all competitions last year.

Jesse Marsch had suggested he was unavailable this summer, meaning Leeds have started to look elsewhere.

 (BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)
(BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

City consider move for Benfica full-back Grimaldo

08:12 , Lawrence Ostlere

Manchester City are considering Spanish left-back Alex Grimaldo as a potential option.

With little progress yet in their pursuit of Brighton’s Marc Cucurella, City have turned their attention to Benfica’s full-back who has been priced at around €20m, according to Marca.

City have Joao Cancelo who can play in the position exceptionally well but is a right-back by trade. They sold left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko to Arsenal this summer in a £30m deal, while the only other left-back on the club’s books, Benjamin Mendy, is awaiting trial on sexual assault charges.

Alex Grimaldo, right, playing for Benfica (Getty Images)
Alex Grimaldo, right, playing for Benfica (Getty Images)

Luis Suarez returns to Nacional after 17 years in Europe

08:02 , Lawrence Ostlere

Former Liverpool striker and Uruguay’s all-time leading goal scorer Luis Suarez has confirmed he is returning to the club he made his debut with 17 years ago.

The 35-year-old striker announced the news on Twitter, a day after he told fans he had reached a pre-agreement with Nacional in Montevideo.

On Wednesday, Suarez said the deal was now official and he changed his social media profile to one of himself wearing the white, blue and red of Nacional.

“I am proud to wear my shirt again at @Nacional!” Suarez wrote on Twitter. “Thank you all for the support! SEE YOU SOON.”

Uruguay’s all-time leading scorer Luis Suarez returns to Nacional after 17 years

Barcelona scupper Chelsea hopes of signing Jules Kounde

07:57 , Lawrence Ostlere

Barcelona are set to beat Chelsea to Jules Kounde, after agreeing a €50m fee with Sevilla for the 23-year-old defender. Barca’s incredible spending spree looks set to continue, with the club still keen to add Chelsea’s Spanish 30-somethings Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso to the wage bill.

It looks like Chelsea will be going back into the market for a defender over the coming weeks.

Chelsea appear to be on the verge of securing a transfer for Sevilla defender Jules Kounde (PA/DPA) (PA Archive)
Chelsea appear to be on the verge of securing a transfer for Sevilla defender Jules Kounde (PA/DPA) (PA Archive)

Cristiano Ronaldo ‘demands to be freed of his contract’ at Manchester United

07:54 , Lawrence Ostlere

Good morning. We start with the latest from the Cristiano Ronaldo situation. Ronaldo has returned to training at Manchester United’s training base, the 37-year-old did not take part in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Wrexham on Wednesday and instead watched on from the side-lines and the Daily Mail claims he has demanded to be freed of his contract.

It comes as his agent Jorge Mendes leads showdown talks over his future, with Sir Alex Ferguston also reportedly involved in discussions with Erik ten Hag. Two players who did take part in the match were Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez, who has been unveiled as the club’s latest signing. United have meanwhile not changed their stance over Ronaldo, insisting he is not for sale, while the lack of interest since Ronaldo’s agent Mendes looked across Europe for interest could also see the marriage extended for a further season.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

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07:51 , Lawrence Ostlere

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