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TOP STORY: Man United eye Maguire alternative Demiral

Manchester United’s much-publicised pursuit of Leicester defender Harry Maguire looks set to fail and they’ll need to start looking at other options. Leicester want around £90 million for the 26-year-old and sources have told ESPN FC that the two clubs are still “miles away” from doing a deal.

So it makes sense that United are turning to other players and one that comes as a bit of a shock is Juventus defender Merih Demiral. Turkish-football reports that after Juve’s signing of Matthijs de Ligt, Demiral feels like his development will be stunted, just a few weeks after arriving from Sassuolo for €18m following a six-month loan spell.

The 21-year-old Turkey international doesn’t fancy battling with De Ligt, Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Daniele Rugani for a place in the XI and is already attracting interest from AC Milan and Atletico Madrid, so United need to move fast. Though the player has said his idol growing up was Nemanja Vidic, so that should help…


08.33 BST: Celta Vigo winger Brais Mendez says he is flattered by reports linking him to Bayern Munich.

Bayern are reportedly willing to pay the Spain international’s release clause of €25m following a strong season with Celta, where he scored six goals and set up seven more in 31 league appearances.

When asked about Bayern’s reported interest, the 22-year-old said as reported in Marca: ”I’m flattered but I know nothing. I’m happy at Celta.”

Mendez has two years left on his contract but Celta are expected to offer the player a contract extension with an improved deal and an increase his release clause.

08.00 BST: Flamengo executives are in England to discuss the potential sale of their 17-year-old starlet Reinier to Everton, Globo Esporte reports.

Reinier is a reported target of AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid and Manchester City. He has a €70m release clause but according to Globo Esporte, Everton are willing to pay up to €40m, including add-ons, to sign the attacking midfielder.

Flamengo own 100% of the player’s rights and he has been included on the club’s list for the Libertadores Cup but has yet to play for the first team. He is currently on international duty with Brazil’s under-17 side and will play a warm-up game against Paraguay ahead of the Under-17 World Cup in October.

Tied to the Rio de Janeiro-based club until Dec. 31, 2020, even if sold, Reinier will remain at Flamengo until Jan. 19, 2020, when he turns 18. If the deal is not completed, Flamengo intend to extend the player’s contract until 2024. 

PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd)

Spurs’ Rose could Paris?

Tottenham look set to lose another full-back before the start of the season, with Paris Saint-Germain interested in signing Danny Rose, according to the Mirror.

The England defender was left out of the club’s preseason tour to Singapore to allow him to “explore prospective opportunities with other clubs,” with Spurs seemingly willing to listen to offers for him.

Rose has two years left on his contract and Spurs appear keen to avoid letting any other players run down their contracts, with both Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld unwilling to sign new contracts in their last year.

Rose has been a major player for Spurs since signing from Leeds United 12 years ago. However, he has been linked with a move away from Spurs for some time and this summer would appear to be his last in London.

Should Rose move, that could pave the way for Tottenham’s much expected bid for Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon

Fekir move to kickstart Lo Celso transfer to Spurs?

Nabil Fekir could sign with Spanish side Real Betis, a move that would end months of speculation linking him with a move to either Liverpool and Arsenal, among others.

That’s according to L’Equipe, which is reporting that Betis are the surprise side leading the race to land the 26-year-old.

Valencia and Sevilla have both also been linked with the Frenchman, but L’Equipe is reporting that Fekir’s move is close to being finalised, with Lyon boss Sylvinho confirming Fekir will move on this summer.

Fekir’s move to Betis could pave the way for Spurs to secure the signing of Argentine playmaker Giovani Lo Celso from PSG. Fekir would also prove to be a ready-made replacement for Lo Celso, who spent last season on loan at Betis from PSG, and Los Verde Blancos would be willing to let him go knowing they would have already reinforced their own ranks. 

Have Barca bid to bring Neymar ‘home’?

Barcelona have made their first move for former striker Neymar, according to Sky Sports, although multiple ESPN FC sources have knocked back the rumour.

Sky is suggesting that the Spanish champions have offered £90m plus two players from a list of six, including Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, Ivan Rakitic and Malcom, in an effort to reclaim their former Brazil striker.

Neymar has made it clear he wants to leave the French capital this summer and now it seems PSG are keen to recoup as much as the £198m world-record fee they paid for him in 2017, with a cash-plus-players offer seemingly the best option for all parties.

Barca are certainly reluctant to pay the full asking price and have asked that any payment be delayed until 2020, mainly because of the £108m they’ve already spent on forward Antoine Griezmann. Any further purchases risk Barca failing to comply with financial fair play regulations.

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De Rossi inching closer to Boca move

Former Roma captain Daniele de Rossi is close to finalising a deal with Boca Juniors to play at Argentina’s giant, according to media reports in both Argentina and Italy. 

The 35-year-old, who departed from his hometown club after 18 seasons, will reportedly fly to Buenos Aires this weekend to close the deal, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

De Rossi has been candid about his affinity for Boca Juniors and their fans in the past and has said it would be “a dream” to play at La Bombonera. The potential move has been negotiated by Boca sporting director Nicolas Burdisso, a former teammate of De Rossi in Roma.

Tap ins

The Sun reports that Wilfried Zaha has told Crystal Palace bosses that he wants to leave the club on his return from the Africa Cup of Nations. Zaha, 26, has been a target for Arsenal this summer after impressing since his return to Selhurst Park in 2015. Boss Roy Hodgson wants to keep his star man, however, and reiterates that no one has yet lodged a bid that comes anywhere near Palace’s valuation. 

– Manchester United are reportedly in “advanced negotiations” to sign Lyon’s in-demand starlet Florent da Silva, according to L’Equipe. The 16-year-old is one of the hottest prospects in France and is out of contract next summer, and while he has mainly played for the club’s reserves, he has also caught the eye in action in the UEFA Youth League.

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