Rumour Has It: Man Utd close on Varane, Atleti eye Lacazette

By Sports Desk July 26, 2021

All indications are Raphael Varane is set to move on from Real Madrid. 

The France international appears locked in on one destination. 

Manchester United are said to be close to a deal for the defender. 

 

TOP STORY – UNITED CLOSE TO VARANE MOVE

Manchester United have been linked to Raphael Varane in transfer rumours for months. 

Now it appears the move could come to fruition, as Marca reports United and Real Madrid are close to a €50million (£42m) agreement. 

Though the Mirror reports some at the Premier League club are worried the 28-year-old is merely using them to get a better deal out of Madrid, Fabrizio Romano says United are "confident" a deal is close and that no other clubs are involved. 

 

ROUND-UP

– With his Arsenal contract set to expire next year, Alexandre Lacazette is in demand, and Calciomercato says Atletico Madrid are pondering a potential €15m offer. 

Erik Lamela is set to join Sevilla in a swap deal, with Tottenham getting Bryan Gil, Marca says, while Romano says Spurs will also get €25m in the deal and Gil will sign through 2026.  

Newcastle are eyeing Ross Barkley as a potential addition if they cannot pry Joe Willock away from Arsenal, says The Athletic, with a loan move for Leicester's Hamza Choudhury also a possibility.

West Ham could make a move for Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, says the Express. 

Ben White's £50m move from Brighton to Arsenal will be official next week, reports Romano. 

Paris Saint-Germain have had talks with Kalidou Koulibaly's agent about a move from Napoli, reports Corriere dello Sport. 

Roma have offered €15m for Barcelona's Clement Lenglet, says Sport. 

Related items

  • Hasenhuttl insists Premier League 'the hardest to get' as Southampton hope to end Liverpool title push Hasenhuttl insists Premier League 'the hardest to get' as Southampton hope to end Liverpool title push

    Winning the Premier League is more difficult than lifting the Champions League, says Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, who could have a decisive say in the title race when his side host Liverpool.

    Liverpool could cut Manchester City's lead at the Premier League summit to just a point by winning at Southampton on Tuesday, after Pep Guardiola's team were held to a 2-2 draw at West Ham on Sunday.

    Victory over Southampton, who have won just one of their last 10 league games, would keep Jurgen Klopp's side in the hunt for an unprecedented quadruple. A shock win for Southampton would hand the title to City.

    Having already secured the EFL Cup and FA Cup, both on penalties against Chelsea in the final, Liverpool also have the Champions League final against Real Madrid on May 28 in Paris to contend with.

    But Hasenhuttl, speaking at a pre-match news conference on Monday, labelled the Premier League as the most challenging of titles to win.

    "We all know Jurgen and how strong he is and you can be sure that he doesn't give up the chance for winning the league, for sure," said Hasenhuttl.

    "This is still the title that is the most countable for everybody because it's the hardest to get. For me it's even harder to be over 38 games in the Premier League consistently on the top than to win the Champions League sometimes.

    "Even if he [Klopp] says it's tough for him to go for all four, I know he will do everything to win this game on Tuesday to give himself a chance on the last day."

    Klopp has already suggested he does not envisage City dropping points at home to Aston Villa on the final day, but Liverpool first have to negotiate the hurdle presented by Southampton, who won this exact fixture 1-0 last season.

    Southampton have also taken two points off City this campaign, with two stalemates in as many league games, but Hasenhuttl appreciates the sizeable task at hand when Liverpool visit.

    "I think it is fantastic for the Premier League to have such a close title race," he added.

    "Everybody is electrified from this battle and we are now part of this duel. We have done our job this season against Man City with two points. They lost four points against us in the title race.

    "Against Liverpool, the first game we lost, so now it's up to us to show again that we can be competitive against a top team.

    "For me, it's one of the most difficult games to prepare for because of the flexibility of the opponent and the unbelievable offensive qualities they have."

    Southampton have taken home points against Manchester United and Tottenham as well as City this season, but have lost eight of their last nine league meetings with Liverpool.

    Hasenhuttl was quick to add that Klopp's side may pose the toughest task yet for his side, who sit 15th in the Premier League.

    "This is maybe the most difficult one at home," he continued.

    "We have shown against the top teams that we can achieve something very big – and this is what we will need on Tuesday evening. They [the players] know what team we are facing, they know how tough it is, they know on what run of form they are.

    "It's our Champions League final, if you want. And we are going for this with everything we have and the team that is on the pitch is the team that will do everything to make them [the fans] proud."

  • Chiellini leaving Juventus and Italy retirement 'a pity for everyone', says Mancini Chiellini leaving Juventus and Italy retirement 'a pity for everyone', says Mancini

    Italy head coach Roberto Mancini has declared Giorgio Chiellini's decision to leave Juventus and retire from international football as a "pity for everyone".

    Juve great Chiellini confirmed after the 4-2 Coppa Italia final loss to Inter last week that he will depart Turin at the end of the season, ending a 17-year spell with the Bianconeri that has seen him lift 20 trophies.

    The centre-back has also already revealed he will retire from international duty with Italy after the Azzurri play Argentina at Wembley Stadium on June 1.

    Chiellini opted to play in the Finalissima, a new final pitting the winners of the Copa America and European Championship against each other, as a fitting conclusion after Italy lifted Euro 2020 at Wembley in July.

    Reports suggest 37-year-old Chiellini may accept an offer to play in MLS before taking his sizeable experience into management or a coaching role.

    Mancini, speaking at the Prisco Prize in Chieti where he received a Special Jury Prize, was quick to heap praise on the veteran Chiellini as he reflected on the influence he has had on Italian football.

    "It is a pity for everyone because he was a great player for the national team and for Juve," Mancini said, as quoted by Corriere dello Sport.

    "Unfortunately, time passes for everyone. He made this decision but leaving after winning the European Championship in a race like the one at Wembley is still important."

    Napoli talisman Lorenzo Insigne has also announced he will leave Serie A to move to Toronto FC at the end of the season.

    The 30-year-old scored on his final home appearance for Napoli on Sunday, becoming the second-highest goalscorer in the club's history as he moved clear of Marek Hamsik's tally of 121.

    Only team-mate Dries Mertens, with 148, has managed more goals for Napoli, and Mancini spoke glowingly of Insigne after his efforts in Naples and with the national side.

    "He will go on to have an important experience anyway. He gave a lot to the national team and I hope he can do it again," the Azzurri boss added.

    With those two experienced campaigners leaving Serie A, Mancini believes it is time for the Italian top flight to provide more young talent to fill the void Chiellini and Insigne will leave.

    Mancini and the Italian system came into criticism for not trusting younger players after Italy failed to qualify for a second successive World Cup following play-off defeat to North Macedonia in late March.

    "The important thing when things didn't go well is to get up," he continued. "We will have games in the summer and then the Nations League restarts. 

    "There are several interesting youngsters in the championship but we would like more."

  • 'I do not expect City to drop points' – Klopp cannot see Guardiola's side faltering in title race 'I do not expect City to drop points' – Klopp cannot see Guardiola's side faltering in title race

    Jurgen Klopp predicts that Manchester City will not drop more points, but that does not stop Liverpool from keeping the Premier League title race alive by beating Southampton on Tuesday.

    Pep Guardiola's City fought from two goals down at half-time to draw 2-2 at West Ham on Sunday, leaving them four points clear at the top.

    Liverpool can cut that gap to just a point heading into the final matchday with a win at Southampton, who have won just one of their last 10 league games.

    The Reds have also won eight of their last nine league games with Southampton, netting at least twice in each victory, which could be useful to slice City's goal difference advantage.

    Guardiola's side boast a better goal difference by seven, but Klopp suggested it may not come down to that differential as he cannot predict City faltering against Aston Villa next Sunday.

    "I don't know the last time City dropped points two games in a row," said Klopp, who became only the second manager to win the European Cup, EFL Cup, the top-flight title and the FA Cup with the same club after defeating Chelsea in the latter competition on Saturday.

    "Villa have to play two games in a short space of time, they are professionals, but they are not used to it.

    "I do not expect City to drop points there, but our game is tomorrow, and we want to go into the final matchday one point behind."

    Nevertheless, Klopp insisted Liverpool will push City to the final day even as he contends with fitness issues, given the Reds played 120 minutes in the FA Cup just days ago.

    Mohamed Salah limped off in the first half at Wembley Stadium but Klopp did not appear concerned after the game, while Fabinho remains out as he battles a muscular injury.

    "This process is not finished yet, we only played 120 minutes two days ago so when the boys arrive I have to make a lot of decisions," he added.

    "We line up a team to try and win the game at Southampton as difficult as it is, that is the job to do and we have to see who is able to help – the 30 extra minutes made a big difference but we have to see.

    "This is game 60. When did Southampton have their last game, 10-12 days? They might lack rhythm, but we lose that advantage if we make changes. They are completely fresh.

    "Imagine we go there with eight players who played 120 minutes, it makes no sense. We will make changes, I don't know how many. They thought the next day for us to play was Tuesday.

    "We can't play Wednesday? UEFA [Europa League final on Wednesday between Rangers and Eintracht Frankfurt], my friends."

    Regardless of whether City lift the title at Etihad Stadium or Liverpool complete an unlikely turnaround to keep an unprecedented quadruple on the cards, Klopp will see the season as a success.

    "If we play a season like we play and we win the EFL Cup and fight for the title until the end, I think it's a good season," he continued.

    "The FA Cup is a massive competition. It felt great to win it. It takes the pressure off and makes it more enjoyable."

    As for the Champions League final on May 28 with Real Madrid in Paris, Klopp believes his side cannot be labelled as favourites after Carlo Ancelotti's team dominated LaLiga.

    "It would be massive if we win in two weeks' time in the Champions League. But we play the most experienced Champions League team," the German said.

    "We aren't massive favourites. They have won the league already but between now and then we still have two massive games."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.