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TOP STORY: Gunners return for sought-after Tierney

Arsenal made an improved offer for Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney, after having their initial bid turned down, The Times reports. 

The Gunners offered a fee of £15 million for the promising 22-year-old earlier in the week, but that wasn’t enough for the Scottish side.

It’s estimated that the second offer is somewhere between £19m to £25m — a figure that would likely make Tierney the most expensive player sold by Celtic ahead of Moussa Dembele, who left for Lyon for a reported £19.7m in 2018.

However, £25m is the bare minimum for Celtic, who know that they hold all the cards with a number of clubs circling for Tierney’s signature.

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08.54 BST: AC Milan are reported to be lining up a bid for Real Madrid full-back Theo Hernandez after he was spotted dining with the Italian club’s technical director Paolo Maldini.

Maldini travelled to Madrid last week with fellow Milan directors Zvonimir Boban and Frederic Massara, with Maldini telling reporters on his return that the trip had “gone well.”

He had reportedly been there to discuss a loan move for Dani Ceballos, although a picture published by El Chiringuito showing Maldini with Hernandez in Ibiza suggests the French full-back, who spent last season on loan at Real Sociedad, is also a Rossoneri target and could become the first new signing for new coach Marco Giampaolo.

08.26 BST: James Rodriguez says he doesn’t know which club he’ll play for next season and that Real Madrid will make that decision. The Colombia international is competing at the Copa America after a two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich for Real Madrid.

Napoli are interested in signing James, who is tied to Madrid until June 2021, while the player is also a reported target of Atletico Madrid. Marca reported that Madrid are hoping to cash in on James following the 27-year-old winger’s strong performances at the Copa America. Earlier this month, Napoli reportedly offered Madrid €10m to take James on a season-long loan, with a compulsory €40m purchase option included in the deal.

Asked about a potential move to Napoli or Atletico, James said as reported on Cadena Ser radio: “I don’t know. Right now I’m thinking about the Copa. I still don’t know where I’m going and I want to be calm.”

Asked if he or Real Madrid would determine his future, he said: “The club. There are people within [the club] that give the orders and I can’t do anything.”

When asked if he had spoken to Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane about his future, he said: “No, never, never.”

08.00 BST: Barcelona legend Samuel Eto’o has put the cat amongst the pigeons by suggesting that Liverpool star Mohamed Salah should leave the European champions for a move to Camp Nou.

Salah has been linked with Real Madrid ever since he emerged as one of the Premier League’s elite forwards in the 2017-18 season, and he has scored 71 goals for the Reds since joining them from Roma two years ago, most recently in the Champions League final triumph over Tottenham earlier this month.

However, despite those constant rumours of interest from the Bernabeu, Eto’o — who played for both of the Spanish giants as well as Premier League club Chelsea during his career — believes La Liga champions Barca would be more suitable for the Egypt international.

“Barcelona would be a better fit,” the former Cameroon striker told the BBC. “Real gave me the opportunity to leave Africa but I know Barcelona’s style and I think it would be better for him.

“If he has the chance to play in the best league of the world, which is the Spanish one, he has to sign for Barcelona.

“Mo has everything to be one of the best players in the world.”

PAPER TALK (by Steve Wright)

Torreira’s move to Milan on the cards

More news from the Emirates as Arsenal are open to allowing Lucas Torreira to move to AC Milan, after the Serie A side submitted their first offer, according to a report by Sport Mediaset

AC Milan made a two-year loan offer for Torreira worth up to £7m, which includes a £34m option to buy that would be paid in one installment.

The Gunners have responded positively, welcoming the negotiations with Milan but insisting that a deal could be completed only with an obligatory purchase clause included in the contract, meaning Milan would have to buy him outright at the end of his loan spell.

With Unai Emery’s side omitted from the Champions League in 2019-20, they’re understandably looking at thinning the squad to bolster revenue in an effort to increase the transfer budget for next season.

Maguire to join City in record deal

Harry Maguire could join Manchester City this week in a record-breaking £80m deal, according to a report by The Mirror

It was reported last week that City had offered £65m for the Leicester City centre-back, but the Premier League champions are now prepared to increase that valuation in line with the Foxes’ expectations.

The current record transfer for a defender is £75m, set when Virgil van Dijk joined Liverpool from Southampton in January 2018.

City are reported to be happy to cough up a hefty £280,000-per-week wage to attract the Englishman to the Etihad Stadium.

Tap-ins

Romelu Lukaku‘s rumoured move to Inter Milan is at a standstill, as the Italian club have failed to meet Manchester United’s transfer valuation for the Belgian, Mediaset Premium reports. United reportedly won’t sell Lukaku for any less than £75m, and Inter remain short of meeting the valuation.

– Newly promoted Sheffield United are hopeful of signing relegated Huddersfield Town midfielder Jonathon Hogg, The Sun reports. However, former Huddersfield boss David Wagner — who’s now in charge at Schalke — wants to bring his former apprentice with him to Germany.

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