The wait for Tottenham is over – they have finally signed a player!

After what felt like an eternity since their last new arrival, Mauricio Pochettino's side have signed teenage winger Jack Clarke from Leeds United - and there could be more to follow in this transfer window.

The previous time Tottenham added a new face to the squad was on January 31, 2018, when Lucas Moura arrived from Paris Saint-Germain.

Plenty has happened in the period since the Brazilian landed in north London. We take a look at how the world has changed in the past 18 months.

MADRID'S MANAGERIAL MERRY-GO-ROUND

Five days after winning a third successive Champions League, Zinedine Zidane announced his departure from Real Madrid. But his replacement - Julen Lopetegui - did not last long, and was sacked in November.

Santiago Solari took over, but he too found himself out of the role within a matter of months, and on March 11, Zidane returned for his second spell in charge of Los Blancos.

Cristiano Ronaldo, meanwhile, left Madrid for good, going on to star as Juventus cruised to another Serie A title - in total, the Portuguese star has scored 55 goals for club and country since January 31, 2018, while Lionel Messi has netted an astonishing 72.

CITY'S DOMESTIC DOMINANCE AND FOOTBALL (ALMOST) COMES HOME

By the end of January 2018, Pep Guardiola had yet to win anything at Manchester City. Since then, however, the Spaniard has lifted the Premier League twice, the EFL Cup in successive seasons and also the FA Cup, completing a domestic treble at Wembley in May.

Meanwhile, Liverpool, who ran City close in the Premier League last term, have made it to two Champions League finals, losing in 2018 to Real Madrid before beating Spurs 2-0 this year in an all-English showdown in Madrid.

While English sides have enjoyed success in Europe, England have also undergone a rejuvenation under Gareth Southgate, reaching the semi-finals of a World Cup before also enjoying further success in the Nations League.

TRANSFER RECORDS TUMBLE

While Liverpool had already brought in Virgil van Dijk for a record fee for a defender by the time Lucas signed for Tottenham, the Reds then smashed the previous amount paid for a goalkeeper when they drafted in Alisson from Roma for a reported £56million.

The record did not last long, with Chelsea paying £72m for Kepa Arrizabalaga a few weeks later.

Overall, the rest of the Premier League's so called 'big six' have spent over £600m on new players since Spurs' previous signing.

PREMIER LEAGUE LEGENDS HEAD INTO MANAGEMENT

Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard both took their first senior management roles in 2018, taking charge of Rangers and Derby County respectively.

Lampard's efforts with the Rams look set to have landed him the Chelsea job after Maurizio Sarri's one-season stay, with the Blues in talks to bring their former player and record scorer back to Stamford Bridge.

Paul Scholes also took charge at Oldham Athletic, but quit after just 31 days. Thierry Henry tried to arrest an alarming Monaco slump, yet his reign was short and not so sweet, the Frenchman spending 104 days in charge of the Ligue 1 club.

BOLT'S FORAY INTO FOOTBALL, ZION GRADUATES AND AUSTRALIAN DUO BANNED

Usain Bolt finally started his football career - at the age of 32 - when he joined A-League side Central Coast Mariners in August, scoring two goals on his first start for the club in October, before retiring from sport in January.

In the NBA, Zion Williamson became basketball's next star, graduating from high school and, following a dominant freshman-year stint with the Duke Blue Devils, he was selected by the New Orleans Pelicans first overall in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Steve Smith and David Warner both received 12-month bans for their participation in the ball-tampering scandal that rocked Australian cricket. The duo have since returned to action, taking part in the Cricket World Cup on English soil.

Rafael Nadal has won two French Open titles while Tiger Woods returned to the pinnacle of golf with his victory at the Masters.

IN THE NEWS

The political landscape in Britain remains uncertain, with Theresa May, amid ongoing furore over failed Brexit negotiations, announcing her resignation as Prime Minister.

Donald Trump has sent in excess of 3,000 tweets, while North and South Korea came together in an historical summit in September.

And finally, Elon Musk's SpaceX programme managed to launch a Tesla Roadster into space, complete with a mannequin in a spacesuit. Well, why not?

Tottenham have ended their long transfer impasse with the capture of Leeds United's teenage winger Jack Clarke, who will return to Elland Road on loan next season.

 

Slowly but surely, Neymar's return to Barcelona appears to be getting closer.

The Paris Saint-Germain star, who is sidelined with an ankle injury, is heavily linked with a return to Camp Nou, two years after his world-record €222million switch to the Ligue 1 giants.

Amid reports of talks between Barca and PSG, steps continue to be taken for a possible return for Neymar.

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR'S FATHER MEETING WITH BARCA

Neymar's father and his lawyer are set to meet Barcelona representative Andre Cury on Tuesday, according to Esporte Interativo.

The report says Cury, who was involved in Neymar's sale, will put forward Barca's point of view.

If those talks go smoothly, Barcelona would only need to seal negotiations with PSG for a deal to be done.

ROUND-UP

- Christian Eriksen said last month he wanted a fresh challenge away from Tottenham amid links to Real Madrid, who are reported to be chasing a central midfielder. Marca report one of Eriksen's lawyers will meet with Madrid this week to find out their intentions.

- Gonzalo Higuain's future is unclear after Chelsea opted not to exercise their purchase option on the Juventus forward. Now, Tuttosport report Atletico Madrid could be interested in Higuain.

- Frank Lampard's dream return to Stamford Bridge is a done deal. The Mirror report the England great has agreed a three-year deal to become Chelsea manager, with confirmation expected in the next 48 hours.

- As they prepare to potentially make room for Neymar and Antoine Griezmann, Barcelona are expected to sell at least one player, with Ousmane Dembele linked with a move away. Kicker report the LaLiga champions have put the France attacker up for sale.

- Manchester United continue to try to get a deal done for Sporting CP midfielder Bruno Fernandes. According to Gazzetta dello Sport, United have reached an agreement with Fernandes and must now finalise a deal with the Primeira Liga outfit. Staying at Old Trafford, Gianluca Di Marzio reports Inter are set to resume talks with United regarding Romelu Lukaku on Tuesday.

- Nicolas Pepe is expected to leave Lille amid links to some of Europe's top clubs. In good news for Liverpool, L'Equipe report the forward – who scored 22 Ligue 1 goals in 2018-19 – is keen on a move to Anfield.

Lautaro Martinez has impressed at the Copa America and the forward could end up being team-mates with Lionel Messi at more than just international level.

Martinez, 21, has scored in back-to-back games to lead Argentina into a semi-final against rivals and hosts Brazil at the Copa.

The Inter forward seems to have caught the eye of Barcelona, who have enquired about his services.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA LOOKING AT MARTINEZ

According to Radio La Red, Barcelona have contacted Martinez's agent to express their interest.

A move would see Martinez team up with Messi – who is yet to hit top form at the Copa America – at club level.

But Barca are also linked with moves for Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann and PSG forward Neymar, so Martinez may just be a back-up option.

 

ROUND-UP

- Neymar is heavily linked with a return to Barcelona , but it seems Paris Saint-Germain may not let the star go so easily. Telefoot report PSG are still unwilling to let Neymar go. Meanwhile, Marca say Kylian Mbappe wants Neymar alongside him at the Parc des Princes.

- Real Madrid are expected to sign another midfielder heading into 2019-20, with Paul Pogba and Christian Eriksen linked. But AS report Madrid have made an offer to Ajax star Donny van de Beek, who apparently has eight proposals from top European clubs.

- Tottenham may finally get their man. The Daily Mail reports Spurs are close to an agreement to sign midfielder Tanguy Ndombele from Lyon in a deal worth up to £64million (€71.7m).

- Manchester United appear to be leading the race for Sporting CP midfielder Bruno Fernandes. Liverpool and Spurs have distanced themselves from the Portugal international, according to the Daily Express, and La Gazzetta dello Sport say United have had a £35m (€39.2m) bid rejected.

- Leonardo Bonucci continues to be linked with a Juventus exit ahead of the Serie A champions' expected signing of Ajax star Matthijs de Ligt. An apparent target for PSG, Bonucci has also become an option for Manchester City, according to The Sun.

Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks is not getting complacent in his bid to become a regular Premier League starter in the 2019-20 season.

The 23-year-old made 17 top-flight starts last term as he battled hip and groin injuries during somewhat of a stop-start campaign.

But Winks' quality was on full display in June's Champions League final, impressing in an ultimately disappointing outing for Tottenham as Liverpool ran out 2-0 winners.

Winks described his season as "probably my best" in Tottenham colours but knows the importance of keeping level-headed.

"I feel I've become an important player now and I couldn't ask for more," he told Tottenham's official website.

"If you'd asked me three or four years ago if I wanted to be in this position now I would have snapped your hand off, but the most important thing now is not to get carried away, to work as hard as I can and try to stay in there and maintain that position because there are so many top players here.

"Staying in is the hardest. It's fantastic to get there but staying there is tough with so many top-quality players at the club, all wanting to start."

Tottenham have not made a signing since Lucas Moura in January 2018 but have been linked with moves for Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele and Leeds United winger Jack Clarke.

Neymar's return to Barcelona may be getting closer as Paris Saint-Germain seemingly accept the star is set to leave.

Neymar, 27, is heavily linked with a return to Camp Nou, two years after his world-record €222million move to PSG.

PSG reportedly set an asking price of €300m for Neymar, but that has apparently continued to reduce, increasing the chances of the Brazil star heading back to Barcelona.

 

TOP STORY – PSG'S ASKING PRICE FOR NEYMAR KEEPS DROPPING

From €300m to €222m to €130m plus two Barcelona players?

Le Parisien report PSG would be willing to accept the latter offer for Neymar as they continue to soften their demands.

The report says PSG would settle for somewhere between €130m and €150m plus two players, with Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, Ivan Rakitic and Samuel Umtiti all talked about.

ROUND-UP

- Real Madrid have apparently opted not to pursue Neymar due to some interest in Kylian Mbappe. In some good news for the LaLiga giants, Marca report Mbappe is not working on a new deal with PSG. Still, the superstar forward is contracted at Parc des Princes until 2022.

- Paul Pogba wants out of Old Trafford. The Sun report the midfielder, a reported target for Real Madrid and Juventus, will make a plea to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to let him leave Manchester United.

- Perhaps Christian Eriksen's move from Tottenham to Real Madrid will become a reality. Marca report Spurs chairman Daniel Levy called Madrid director general Jose Angel Sanchez to offer the midfielder, who is out of contract next year.

- Real Madrid still seem to want Liverpool star Sadio Mane. The Express reports Madrid are set to offer Marco Asensio to the European champions to secure a deal for star attacker Mane.

- Manchester United have slowly strengthened their squad this close season and there is apparently more to come. The Sun report United are set to bid for Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn, who will cost £50million. The newspaper also reports United are not giving up on Antoine Griezmann despite the Atletico Madrid star apparently being set for Barcelona.

- PSG might be likely to miss out on Ajax star Matthijs de Ligt to Juventus, but they have other plans. La Gazzetta dello Sport report PSG have spoken to Leonardo Bonucci's agent about a possible move from Turin to Paris.

Manchester United's bid to improve their defence has seen them spend a reported £50million to acquire right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace.

The 21-year-old is yet to win a senior England cap but impressed in his breakthrough 2018-19 campaign, with United hoping he can tighten up a backline that conceded 54 Premier League goals last term.

Wan-Bissaka has not cost United as much as their record signing Paul Pogba, who joined from Juventus in a then-world record £89.3m deal in 2016, but he is one of the most expensive defenders of all time.

We profile the men at the back who have cost a fair whack. 

VIRGIL VAN DIJK - Southampton to Liverpool, £75m

Liverpool tried unsuccessfully to buy Van Dijk in June 2017 and were accused of tapping him up by Southampton, but the defender's absence from several matchday squads thereafter meant a departure was never far away.

The Reds gave their fans a late Christmas gift in December of the same year, confirming the Netherlands international's arrival and he has looked worth every penny since making the switch to Anfield, winning the Professional Footballers' Association Players' Player of the Year last term and helping the club clinch their sixth Champions League title.

LUCAS HERNANDEZ - Atletico Madrid to Bayern Munich, £68m

Having featured as France's first-choice left-back in their triumphant 2018 World Cup campaign, it did not take long for other clubs to begin being linked with Lucas. Bayern were reported to have things tied up with the defender by the end of the year, though it was said they were trying to avoid paying his full release clause.

As it happened, Atletico received the €80m required to trigger Lucas' exit at the end of the 2018-19 season, meaning Bayern secured themselves a player who could cover two positions at the very top of the sport for the next decade. 


AYMERIC LAPORTE - Athletic Bilbao to Manchester City, £57m

City had been put off by the fee Southampton wanted for Van Dijk but were more willing to part with a club-record £57m to sign left-sided French centre-back Laporte.

Though he remains without a senior cap for Les Bleus, Laporte has become a key figure under Guardiola and was City's best defender in 2018-19 as they won an unprecedented domestic treble.


BENJAMIN MENDY – Monaco to Manchester City, £51.75m

City broke the record for a defender when they signed Mendy from Monaco in July 2017, the left-back having quickly established himself as one of Europe's most exciting attacking full-backs as his side won the 2016-17 Ligue 1 title and reached that season's Champions League semi-finals.

His arrival was part of a spectacular overhaul of the City backline, which saw them spend close to £165m on three defenders and goalkeeper Ederson, but two serious knee injuries have badly hindered his time in Manchester so far. 

 

DAVID LUIZ – Chelsea to Paris Saint-Germain, £50m

Paris Saint-Germain paid a whopping fee to sign Brazil international David Luiz from Chelsea in 2014.

He won Ligue 1 in both of his seasons at the Parc des Princes and made it three top-flight titles in a row after he surprisingly returned to Chelsea for £34m in August 2016, claiming his first Premier League winners' medal.


KYLE WALKER – Tottenham to Manchester City, £50m

When Walker joined Spurs from hometown club Sheffield United for £5m in 2009, few would have guessed he would one day become the most expensive English player in history.

Walker, who recently signed a new long-term deal at the Etihad Stadium, quickly established himself as a key component at the back following his July 2017 arrival and he has won two Premier League titles, two EFL Cups and an FA Cup.


AARON WAN-BISSAKA - Crystal Palace to Manchester United, £50m

Walker now has company as his country's most costly player following fellow right-back Wan-Bissaka's arrival on the other side of Manchester.

Wan-Bissaka fits the mould for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who wants young players to spearhead a revival at Old Trafford, and he made 129 tackles last term, more than any other defender across the top five European leagues.


JOHN STONES – Everton to Manchester City, £47.5m

City have certainly shown a willingness to pay large amounts for English talent, with Stones joining the club from Everton in 2016.

The 24-year-old had a difficult first campaign as Guardiola's side under-performed. His displays have since improved considerably, although he largely spent the final weeks of last season among the substitutes. 


EDER MILITAO – Porto to Real Madrid, £42m

Another reinforcement for 2019-20, Madrid caught many by surprise when it was announced earlier in March they had paid the release clause of Porto's Brazil international Militao.

The 21-year-old was only brought to Europe from Sao Paulo in 2018 and appears to represent something of a gamble by Los Blancos.


DAVINSON SANCHEZ – Ajax to Tottenham, £36.6m

Spurs waited several weeks to make their first signing of the close-season transfer window in 2017, but they did so in some style, smashing their club record to bring Sanchez to north London.

The former Atletico Nacional man reportedly caught Barcelona's attention during Ajax's run to the Europa League final in 2016-17 and has looked a solid addition to the Premier League since arriving.

(*Prices are as reported at the time of transfers being completed.)

Barcelona have started talks to sign Antoine Griezmann and landing the Atletico Madrid star looks set to be easier than bringing in Neymar.

Griezmann announced last month he would be leaving Atletico, with LaLiga champions Barcelona long expected to be his next destination.

Barca have reportedly taken steps to make it happen, while their bid to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou from Paris Saint-Germain is shaping as more difficult.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA, ATLETICO BEGIN GRIEZMANN TALKS

Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have started negotiations regarding Griezmann, according to Sport and L'Equipe.

Sport report Barca will agree to pay €126million for Griezmann, slightly above the forward's release clause of €120m, which will come into effect next month, and the same amount Atletico are set to sign Joao Felix for from Benfica.

Like Atletico want to do with Joao Felix, Barcelona would pay the fee in instalments, opening up their potential move for Neymar.

While PSG initially set a €300m asking price for Neymar, Le Parisien report the Ligue 1 champions would accept €222m – the same amount they paid Barca to sign the Brazil star two years ago.

 

ROUND-UP

- Real Madrid are no longer as interested in signing Neymar, according to Goal, who report the LaLiga giants are considering several factors, including a possible move for another PSG star, Kylian Mbappe, in the future.

- Zinedine Zidane is well and truly rebuilding Madrid and they are reportedly next eyeing a midfielder. While they want Paul Pogba, Christian Eriksen is also a target, with Danish newspaper Fyens reporting the Tottenham midfielder's family has been in Madrid looking for a house. Sport says Ajax's Donny van de Beek is plan D for Madrid, behind Pogba, Eriksen and Lyon's Tanguy Ndombele.

- Inter are still looking to strengthen and are eyeing Gareth Bale. Sport Mediaset report the Serie A giants met with the Real Madrid forward's agency to discuss a possible loan deal. Staying at San Siro, The Sun says Inter are set to sell Joao Mario and Dalbert to raise funds for a move for Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku, who is apparently valued at £75m.

- AC Milan have set their price for goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. According to CalcioMercato, Milan want €50m up front for the shot-stopper, who is linked with PSG and Manchester United. PSG goalkeeper Alphonse Areola would not be involved in a move, according to L'Equipe and Eurosport.

- Manchester United want Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, Sport says. The report claims the Premier League giants contacted Barca about the Croatia midfielder once more, having also initially been interested in defender Samuel Umtiti. United have finally completed the signing of Crystal Palace defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka, according to Sky Sports and the BBC.

- Juventus apparently want to extend Gonzalo Higuain's contract. Yes, you read that right. But, CalcioMercato report the Serie A champions are aiming to extend his deal – which runs until 2021 – by a year for Financial Fair Play reasons. However, Repubblica report Juve could sell the forward to Roma.

Fenerbahce have agreed to sign former Germany international Max Kruse from Werder Bremen after the forward decided against extending his contract at Weser Stadium.

The 31-year-old rejoined Werder, where he began his career, for a second spell in August 2016 and scored 32 goals in 84 Bundesliga appearances across the last three seasons.

Fenerbahce finished sixth in the Turkish Super Lig in 2018-19 and head coach Ersun Yanal will be expected to improve the club's fortunes next term. Kruse will join a strike force that already includes Andre Ayew and Michael Frey.

A statement on Fenerbahce's official website said: "As a result of meetings with the German national football player Max Kruse, whose contract with the Werder Bremen club is ending, our club reached an agreement with the football player and signed a preliminary contract.

"Max Kruse will come to Istanbul within the next week and after the detailed health check, will sign the official contract that will connect him to our colours for three seasons."

Kruse, who was named Werder captain in 2018-19, was linked with Bayern Munich, Tottenham and Inter before Fenerbahce confirmed his switch to the Super Lig.

Tottenham's rumoured pursuit of Dani Ceballos has become trickier with the Real Madrid midfielder declaring he does not want to be sold.

Ceballos, 22, has been mentioned as a potential makeweight in a deal that could send Christian Eriksen the other way.

Arsenal have also been linked with a move for the former Real Betis player, who signed a six-year contract at the Santiago Bernabeu in July 2017.

But it appears the only hope the north London rivals have of engineering a deal is on a loan basis.

"I don't want to be sold," Ceballos told Spanish broadcaster Onda Cero.

"Whatever comes next, wherever I am, I want to enjoy myself and feel important.

"I've got a lot of football left in me and I think the next season will be my best."

Ceballos made 13 starts in LaLiga last season, up from four the previous campaign.

A full Spain international, Ceballos is currently preparing to face Germany in the final of the European Under-21 Championship.

He scored twice during the group stage, against Poland and hosts Italy.

"This team still has room for improvement and in the final we hope to show our best game," Ceballos said.

Real Madrid seem to have settled on their goalkeeping situation for next season, and it is good news for Manchester United.

For all the talk about Keylor Navas leaving the Santiago Bernabeu and David de Gea potentially joining, it appears the LaLiga giants are content with what they have.

That will be music to the ears of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with De Gea set to remain at Old Trafford.

 

TOP STORY – DE GEA SET TO STAY PUT AS MADRID MAKE DECISION

Navas, continually linked with a move away from Real Madrid, will stay at the club, according to AS.

The Spanish outlet report that Paris Saint-Germain and United are no longer looking for a goalkeeper, although the former have been linked with a move for AC Milan shot-stopper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Recent reports have said De Gea is set to re-sign with Manchester United and, with Madrid seemingly happy with Thibaut Courtois and Navas, that appears an increasing possibility.

ROUND-UP

- Talks between PSG and Barcelona appeared to start slowly, but Neymar seems pretty confident about a return to Camp Nou. Sport report the Brazil international's mother and sister are in Barcelona working out logistics, and a place to live, for the star forward.

- Inter seemingly want Romelu Lukaku, but they will have to work out a different deal for the Manchester United striker. The Telegraph report United are "likely" to reject the Serie A outfit's proposal to first loan and then buy the Belgium international.

- Mesut Ozil is going nowhere fast. The Mirror claim Arsenal want to see the playmaker depart, but no bids have come in for Ozil, whose reported salary of £350,000 per week is putting off potential suitors.

- Joao Felix's move to Atletico Madrid from Benfica is close to completion and the teenage attacker is set for a blockbuster contract. Goal report he will sign a five-year deal worth €3.5m per season.

- Tottenham appeared to be closing in on Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele, but a potential move may yet take some time. The Sun report the Ligue 1 side have demanded £72m for the France international, almost double Spurs' opening bid of £40m.

- Hakim Ziyech could be the next to move on after helping Ajax reach the Champions League semi-finals. De Telegraaf report Ziyech has an agreement with the Eredivisie champions to leave for €30m, and they say Sevilla are best placed to sign the playmaker.

Tottenham had an opening offer of €45million for Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele rejected, according to the Ligue 1 club's president Jean-Michel Aulas.

France international Ndombele has emerged as one of the most sought-after midfielders in Europe after two impressive seasons with Lyon.

Spurs appeared to have moved to the front of the queue for the 22-year-old, with media reports even going as far as claiming Ndombele visited the club's training ground and agreed terms.

Rumours had suggested a €65m deal was close to being concluded between the two clubs, but Aulas has rubbished those stories, adamant Spurs are yet to meet the asking price.

"If I wait eight more days it [the asking price] will be €80m," Aulas told RMC Sport.

"Tottenham made a first offer at €45m and we spoke since then, but I can assure you there's nothing done.

"We're not in a hurry. Tanguy demonstrated his qualities in the French national team. He's one of our best players.

"How much is he worth? I can't say, but definitely more than €45m."

Matthijs de Ligt seems close to deciding his future and it appears to be good news for Juventus.

The Ajax captain has been linked with Europe's biggest clubs after a standout campaign, including leading the Dutch giants to the Eredivisie title and Champions League semi-finals.

Paris Saint-Germain were reportedly favourites to sign the centre-back, but it seems De Ligt is close to joining Juventus.

 

TOP STORY – DE LIGT AGREES TERMS WITH JUVE

De Ligt has accepted a five-year contract worth €12million a year from Juventus, according to Sky Sport.

It is a big step for the Serie A champions, who must still strike a deal with Ajax for the defender.

However, Sky Sport also report PSG are still in the race for De Ligt.

The arrival of De Ligt in Turin would be a boost for Juve, whose formidable defence has the likes of Giorgio Chiellini, 34, and Leonardo Bonucci, 32, nearing retirement.

ROUND-UP

- Neymar is expected to leave PSG for Barcelona, but talks have – somewhat predictably – started slowly. Le Parisien claim the parties met and PSG are unwilling to sell the attacker, with the Brazilian perhaps needing to state his position publicly. AS report Ivan Rakitic could be key to a possible deal, with PSG having wanted the Croatia midfielder last season.

- Real Madrid's rebuild is well and truly on track, but it may not be over yet. Sport believe Zinedine Zidane is still pushing Florentino Perez to bring in Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, with the club president more interested in the cheaper Christian Eriksen, Tanguy Ndombele or Donny van de Beek.

- Manchester City could be eyeing a move for Real Madrid playmaker Isco. Marca report Pep Guardiola wants the Spain international, who he considers an ideal replacement for David Silva. Silva has announced the 2019-20 season is set to be his last at the Etihad Stadium. Isco was first touted as a possible City signing back at the start of Manuel Pellegrini's tenure in 2013.

- Inter continue to be linked with Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku and it seems they may be close to a deal. Sky Sports report the Serie A side are preparing a £9m offer to sign Lukaku on a two-year loan deal, with an obligation to buy the Belgium striker for another £54m. Inter are also set to sign Hertha Berlin midfielder Valentino Lazaro in a deal worth €22m, according to Gianluca Di Marzio.

- Manchester United seem set to finally complete the signing of Crystal Palace defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka. The BBC report the clubs have agreed a £50m fee for the full-back. United, however, have given up on signing Harry Maguire after being told Leicester City wanted £100m for the defender, according to the Daily Mirror.

- Tottenham are close to strengthening their squad, with Sky Sports reporting they have agreed a £55.5m fee with Lyon for Ndombele.

Defence appears to be an area of interest for LaLiga champions Barcelona.

Despite already boasting centre-backs Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti, Barca continue to be linked to Ajax star Matthijs de Ligt.

However, the Blaugrana have contingency plans should they miss out on the 19-year-old sensation.

 

TOP STORY – LINDELOF BARCA'S PLAN B

Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof is Barcelona's alternative to Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The race is hotting up for De Ligt, who is a target for the LaLiga champions, United, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus.

With uncertainty over De Ligt's destination, Barca reportedly contacted United over Lindelof but the Red Devils rejected the approach. The 24-year-old moved to Old Trafford from Benfica for €35million in 2017 and the Spanish giants remain confident a deal can be struck.

 

ROUND-UP

Ajax and Netherlands midfielder Donny van de Beek has emerged as alternative target should Real Madrid miss out on Manchester United star Paul Pogba, according to Marca. Pogba has also been linked to Juventus and Corriere dello Sport claims the Frenchman and the Serie A champions will ask Adidas to intervene in a bid to bring him back to Turin.

- According to Tuttosport, an agreement on salary has been reached between Juventus and De Ligt. Juve are increasingly optimistic a deal will be reached with Ajax.

Tottenham have not signed a player since 2018 but the Champions League finalists a poised to complete a club-record transfer for Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele, says the Telegraph. A £55m transfer is set to be finalised, with Spurs also closing in on Leeds winger Jack Clarke, according to the Daily Mail.

- Marca says Barcelona are preparing for lengthy negotiations as they try to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou from Paris Saint-Germain following his €222milllion move in 2017.

- Premier League champions Manchester City and rivals Manchester United will battle it out for Leicester City centre-back Harry Maguire, who is rated at £65m, Sky Sports reports.

AC Milan are confident of signing Lucas Torreira from Arsenal, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. Milan want to reunite Torreira with former Sampdoria boss Marco Giampaolo on an initial two-year deal with the option of a permanent €30m transfer. France Football also says the Rossoneri are also a possible destination for Lyon captain Nabil Fekir.

Manchester United are considering a move for Sevilla's Wissam Ben Yedder should Romelu Lukaku join Inter, according to France Football.

Tanguy Ndombele is planning to leave Lyon but will only be available for a transfer if "substantial" offers are received, according to club president Jean-Michel Aulas.

Aulas made it clear no deal has been done to take Ndombele away from Lyon and indicated a preference to keep him, though he acknowledged "the biggest European clubs" are pursuing the midfielder.

Tuesday's arrival of Brazilian youngster Jean Lucas from Flamengo stoked speculation surrounding Ndombele, with Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain understood to be among those keen on signing the 22-year-old.

During Jean Lucas' presentation news conference, Aulas provided an update on Ndombele's future and even highlighted Lille's Thiago Mendes as a potential replacement for the midfielder who has emerged as one of Ligue 1's top players during his two seasons at Lyon.

"We would need substantial proposals so that we can move forward with Tanguy [his plans], who is eventually interested in leaving," said Aulas.

"But if he were to leave, which is not the case today, we would have to make signings, which is what Juninho [Pernambucano, sporting director] has asked for in any case.

"For the moment there is nothing done, but the door may be ajar thanks to Jean Lucas, who has just arrived.

"He [Ndombele] is a pragmatic boy, meaning that he didn't say, 'I'm leaving tomorrow, for sure'. He has been in demand from big clubs.

"When the biggest European clubs are knocking at your door, you have to listen.

"There is no deadline. At the moment, Thiago Mendes is one of the players who are of interest to our recruitment team."

 

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