Date published: Saturday 22nd July 2017 8:30
BARCA ISSUE COUTINHO WARNING
After having a £72million bid rejected by Liverpool this week, Barcelona are reportedly turning up the heat on Philippe Coutinho.
Reports on Friday suggested Barca were preparing an improved offer for the Brazilian but, according to The Sun, Coutinho has been “warned they will look elsewhere for a replacement if Liverpool refuse to sell him”.
Their first alternative is reportedly Borussia Dortmund star Ousmane Dembele, though that may also be a ploy to provoke Coutinho into forcing the issue from his end.
Jurgen Klopp has repeatedly insisted that Coutinho is not for sale, and if the playmaker continues to be a good boy, then Barca know they are powerless, unless they make a ridiculous bid. However, if Coutinho agitates for a move, then Liverpool will find it harder to retain their current stance.
According to the report, “it is understood Coutinho’s advisors would welcome a move to Spain this summer”. Of course they would, they would make a frickin’ fortune. But they are also said to be aware that Barca would need the cash from the sale of Neymar. Which brings us to…
PSG CLOSE IN ON SANCHEZ AND NEYMAR
It seems PSG haven’t taken their Champions League humiliation and the surrender of their Ligue 1 title at all well. Having been linked with Kylian Mbappe and Fabinho, they now appear to making strides over the recruitment of both Neymar and Alexis Sanchez.
On Friday, Sanchez reportedly checked into a Paris hotel, the one that PSG have used before to conduct negotiations and where new recruits often reside after moving to the club. “The Arsenal star was at the five-star Royal Monceau Raffles to meet with the Ligue 1 side’s sporting director Antero Henrique,” says The Sun.
The Mirror, meanwhile, suggests Henrique has been a busy boy. Their story claims he was in London this week to discuss a deal with Arsenal as PSG look to propose a £70million offer for Sanchez, who has one year remaining on his contract.
PSG are also grafting away on a deal for Neymar, who has apparently told Barca team-mates that he fancies moving to Paris. Given the terms outlined by Le Parisien, you can understand why.
The Daily Mail quotes the French publication, saying: “The Ligue 1 outfit are ready to meet Neymar’s €222million (£196m) buy-out clause and are confident of convincing him to move to Parc des Princes with a stunning five-year contract worth £596,000 a week after tax.”
ABRAMOVIC TELLS UNITED TO PAY THE TAX
Roman Abramovic is obviously in a good mood after landing Alvaro Morata, because he has told Man Utd they can have Nemanja Matic, But, of course, there’s a catch.
Jose Mourinho is said to have made a £35million offer, but Chelsea are applying what the Mirror are calling a ‘Lukaku tax’. They want £50million, after the Red Devils nabbed Romelu Lukaku.
Having signed Morata on Friday, Antonio Conte is now turning his attention to a forward to act as the Spaniard’s stand-in.
Conte is known to be a long-term admirer of Fernando Llorente, and the manager has reportedly clashed with the board over his desire to sign the forward from Swansea, who want £30million, according to The Independent.
AND THE REST
Real Madrid have agreed terms with Monaco and Kylian Mbappe over a world record £120m move…Arsenal have been offered the chance to sign Rafinha from Barcelona…Kasper Schmeichel has insisted he is “fully committed” to Leicester City amid speculation linking him with a move to Manchester United…Everton boss Ronald Koeman wants to throw relegated Hull City’s Kamil Grosicki a Premier League lifeline…Neymar has told some Barcelona team-mates he wants to join PSG as the French side prepare a world-record bid…Manchester United are in pole position to sign Bayern Munich’s Renato Sanches but may have to settle for a loan deal…Zinedine Zidane says Cristiano Ronaldo is definitely staying at Real Madrid.
Chelsea will turn their attention to a back-up striker after signing Alvaro Morata, but have already faced difficulties in their initial pursuits of Swansea City’s Fernando Llorente and Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke…Manchester United have lost out on Federico Bernardeschi, with the Fiorentina striker set to join Juventus for £36m…Watford are lining up a deal for Lyon star Rachid Ghezzal…Arsene Wenger’s current certainty that Alexis Sanchez will stay at Arsenal is based on his confidence that the Chile striker’s attitude will not be compromised by any desire to leave.
Manchester City are expected to take their summer spending to almost £220m in the next 48 hours as they prepare to wrap up deals for full-backs Danilo and Benjamin Mendy…Swansea City manager Paul Clement is interested in launching an ambitious bid to try to take Jack Wilshere to Wales…Arsenal are in dialogue with Crystal Palace over the sale of Calum Chambers with both clubs increasingly confident a compromise can be struck over the fee…Chelsea are back in for Swansea striker Fernando Llorente but have balked at the £30m asking price…Jack Wilshere is understood to be open to a move to West Ham if they can agree a fee with Arsenal…Paul Pogba is pushing Manchester United to snap up Paris Saint-Germain defender Serge Aurier…Neil Lennon says Hibs have made Anthony Stokes a “very good offer” to return to Easter Road.