Arsenal's quiet transfer window seems to be about to spark into life.

Widespread reports on Monday claimed Dani Ceballos is on the verge of joining the Gunners on loan from Real Madrid.

William Saliba could follow him to Emirates Stadium by the end of the week, too.

 

TOP STORY - CEBALLOS BOUND FOR ARSENAL

Arsenal are close to completing the loan signing of Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid.

AS report the midfielder could head to London on Tuesday for a medical, with Marca saying the 21-year-old is excited about the prospect of spending a season under Unai Emery.

Various UK media outlets have also stated Ceballos is not far from finalising a deal, while the BBC's David Ornstein says Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba could follow him to north London before the week is out.

 

ROUND-UP:

- Barcelona are to open talks with Lionel Messi to try to extend his contract beyond 2021, according to ESPN.

Jiangsu Suning have joined Chinese rivals Beijing Guoan in the race for Real Madrid outcast Gareth Bale but must offer wages of £1million per week, reports the Telegraph.

- Fotosport in Turkey say Galatasaray have made an approach to sign Fred on loan from Manchester United.

- Inter are still eager to sign Romelu Lukaku and have offered Manchester United a choice of €78m or €55m plus winger Ivan Perisic, FCInternews.it suggests.

Ademola Lookman is expected to arrive in Germany in the next 36 hours to finalise a transfer from Everton to RB Leipzig, say Sky Sports.

- Marca claim Atletico Madrid would prefer to sign Real Madrid's James Rodriguez than Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen.

- Atletico Madrid are likely to earn a total of €57m when Angel Correa finalises his move to AC Milan, Sky Sport Italia say.

- Corriere dello Sport claim Napoli are pushing to sign Mauro Icardi from Inter, with James Rodriguez poised for Atletico Madrid.

Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri is pushing the Serie A champions to sign Tottenham full-back Danny Rose, according to the Daily Mail.

Neymar and Gareth Bale have been locked in something of a transfer impasse in recent weeks - but it appears there could be a solution.

According to the Independent, Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar's representatives are trying to push through a deal that would see the Brazil star move to the Santiago Bernabeu, with Bale and money moving the other way.

Manchester United are not thought to be interested in either player, but their pursuit of Harry Maguire may, at last, be coming to an end.

 

TOP STORY - NEYMAR AND BALE PROPOSED IN SWAP DEAL

Neymar is said to be "desperate" to leave Paris Saint-Germain and ideally return to Spain, but his options have so far seemed limited, with Barcelona and Real Madrid either unable or unwilling to stump up for the transfer.

Meanwhile, Gareth Bale has been told by head coach Zinedine Zidane that it would be best for him to leave, but suitors appear hard to come by for the Wales international.

The Independent claims this has prompted some of Neymar's camp to explore the prospect of the forward joining Madrid in a deal involving money and Bale heading to PSG.

The idea is that it would solve some of the concerns around transfer fees that have stalled moves for each player and allow the two teams to sign ready-made stars to replace the ones they are losing.

ROUND-UP:

Manchester United's chase for a centre-back could nearly be over, with the Independent claiming a deal to sign Harry Maguire from Leicester City is "imminent".

Manchester City could yet intervene but, according to the Sun, they would have to sell Nicolas Otamendi or Eliaquim Mangala to afford England international Maguire.

- If Bale does not become part of a Neymar swap deal, he could end up in China – the Mirror claim he has been offered a contract worth £1million per week to join Beijing Guoan.

- Having agreed personal terms, Andre Silva is close to moving to Monaco, which would free up AC Milan to sign Atletico Madrid's Angel Correa, both Sky Sport Italia and Sport Mediaset claim.

Napoli have been chasing James Rodriguez but might now go instead for Lyon captain Nabil Fekir, according to RMC Sport and L'Equipe.

- Another Madrid player tipped for an exit, Dani Ceballos, has been told to choose between Arsenal and Tottenham for his season-long loan, AS say.

- Calciomercato reports Juventus could sell either Merih Demiral or Daniele Rugani following Matthijs de Ligt's arrival. Demiral, who only just arrived from Sassuolo, has been linked to AC Milan. Roma are reportedly interested in Rugani.

Filipe Luis said he hopes Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar returns to LaLiga champions Barcelona for the good of Brazilian football.

Neymar wants to leave Ligue 1 holders PSG, with a move back to former club Barca on the cards two years on from his world-record €222million exit.

Real Madrid are another possible destination for Neymar, whose future is dominating headlines during the off-season.

While Filipe Luis would like to see his Brazil team-mate return to Camp Nou, the former Atletico Madrid full-back acknowledged it will not be easy.

"I want him to finish in Barcelona," Filipe Luis told Cope's Tiempo de Juego program.

"At Barca, Neymar is happy. I want him to enjoy and play next to [Lionel] Messi.

"I hope, for the good of Brazilian football, that Neymar returns to Barca, but I think it will not be easy."

Filipe Luis was speaking having confirmed his departure from Atletico following eight seasons with the LaLiga side.

The 33-year-old – who started his career at Figueirense – is reportedly set to return to Brazil via Flamengo on a free transfer.

It has been a busy off-season for Atletico, who have lost Antoine Griezmann, Lucas Hernandez, Rodri and Diego Godin but signed Joao Felix, Hector Herrera, Marcos Llorente, Kieran Trippier, Felipe and Renan Lodi.

Atletico have also been linked with Real Madrid and Colombia playmaker James Rodriguez, who is wanted by Serie A side Napoli.

Filipe Luis added: "Having a player like James at Atletico would be very interesting, it would not be bad. Whoever comes will help but signing James would be spectacular."

Carlo Ancelotti said Napoli are still negotiating a deal to prise James Rodriguez from Real Madrid as Atletico Madrid reportedly circle.

James has been linked with Napoli throughout the transfer window, but a deal reuniting the Colombia star and head coach Ancelotti is yet to materialise.

Atletico have emerged as a possible destination for James amid a deadlock in talks between Napoli and LaLiga giants Madrid.

Asked about Napoli's pursuit of James, Ancelotti told TV Luna: "I'm not aware of a deal with Atletico.

"We're still talking for James, a player that I really like. I'm very attached to James, I rate him very highly and he can certainly improve our team.

"He doesn't need to re-announce himself, he's a great player. But he's not the only player we're openly negotiating for. We're assessing many players."

While negotiations for James drag on, Napoli are close to signing Fenerbahce and Macedonia midfielder Eljif Elmas.

With Amadou Diawara now at Roma and Marko Rog poised for Cagliari, Napoli have turned to the 19-year-old Elmas as Ancelotti's men look to dethrone Serie A champions Juventus in 2019-20.

"We're very close and I hope a deal closes quickly. He's a very interesting player and we're defining the final details," Ancelotti added. "I hope he arrives before we leave Dimaro.

"We were looking for a player skilled at playing between the lines, and Elmas has a lot of quality.

"The squad is already very complete. We have to take a little step at a time. We're very close to the top.

"We'll be happy as of August 31. Napoli are working and nothing is impossible, but then there are the wants of the players or problems with the clubs or agents."

Filipe Luis has confirmed his departure from Atletico Madrid after eight seasons with the LaLiga club.

The Brazil international delayed a decision on his club future until after the Copa America and both parties have now agreed not to extend his contract, which expired at the end of June.

Atleti have overhauled their squad since the end of last season and though he had been open to the prospect of another campaign under Diego Simeone, Filipe Luis agreed the time has come for a change.

"We had a conversation and decided this is best for the club and for me," Filipe Luis said at his farewell announcement on Sunday.

"The relationship is great, the doors are open. We waited for the right moment to announce it. We both have a clear conscience.

"I made myself available for whatever was needed. We decided that it was best to go our separate paths."

The left-back praised his successor and compatriot, Renan Lodi, as the best Brazil had to offer in his position.

After more than a decade in Europe, which included a season at Chelsea in between his two stints with Atleti, Filipe Luis now appears set to return to his homeland.

Flamengo are reportedly in pole position to secure the 33-year-old's signature.

"I have not signed any contract," he said. "I will make the decision in the next few days.

"I have been a Flamenguista since I was young. Leaving Atletico is not an easy decision to make, but I want to end my career in Brazil

"Some things are missing. We are conversing. You always have to listen to Flamengo."

Barcelona's side for the 2019-20 campaign is like a "cheat code in a video game", according to new signing Antoine Griezmann.

The French World Cup winner joined the LaLiga giants this month after they triggered his €120million release clause with Atletico Madrid.

He joins a team rich in attacking talent and is likely to line up alongside a combination of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho in what promises to be a mouth-watering frontline in the forthcoming season.

Griezmann is excited about linking up with his new team-mates and says entertaining the club's supporters is a primary motivation.

"Barcelona are building a team like a cheat code in a video game," he told Marca.  

"We have a good team, great players and then it's the boss that has to decide who plays.

"We'll be ready to enjoy ourselves and make the fans and ourselves happy at all times."

Griezmann was particularly fulsome in his praise of Messi and vowed to strive to reach the dizzying standards set by the Argentina superstar.

"Yes, it will be amazing [to play alongside him]," he added. "I'm excited to see what he's like day to day, what he's like in training.

"I want to catch him doing things in training that I will try to repeat or do in my own way and get to know him on and off the pitch.

"I will be ready to do whatever it takes: for him, for the club and for the players."

Atleti fans are aggrieved by Griezmann's switch to their rivals, which came a year after he had pledged his future to the club, but the 28-year-old insists he will always hold fond memories of his time with Diego Simeone's side.

"I know that there will be whistles [when he returns to the Wanda Metrpolitano]," he added. "It's part of football. They really loved me and when someone leaves, it can hurt.

"It was like that at Real Sociedad. My first visit back wasn't easy, but I will always have Sociedad and Atleti in my heart because they gave me so much."

Christian Eriksen put some of Europe's biggest clubs on alert when he declared he would "like to try something new" and now it seems the Tottenham star could make a surprise move.

Initial speculation suggested that Real Madrid would make a move for the talented Spurs playmaker.

As the 2019-20 season draws ever closer, however, it could be that another Spanish giant – and neighbours of Real Madrid – steal a march in the quest to land the Denmark international.

 

TOP STORY – ATLETI AND TOTTENHAM IN ERIKSEN TALKS

Atletico Madrid have enjoyed a productive transfer window – despite losing Antoine Griezmann, Rodri and Diego Godin – and could be set to swoop for Tottenham's Christian Eriksen.

The Dane has spent six seasons with the north London club but is ready for a new challenge and could join former team-mate Kieran Trippier in the Spanish capital.

AS reports that the two clubs have started discussions over a fee for the 27-year-old, with Spurs likely to demand in excess of €70million.

ROUND-UP

- Paris Saint-Germain have found their target if Neymar gets his desired move away from the Parc des Princes. According to RMC Sport, Juventus midfielder Paulo Dybala is PSG's top option if Neymar leaves.

- James Rodriguez is linked with the likes of Atletico Madrid and Napoli, and Real Madrid want around €40m for the playmaker, according to Marca.

- David de Gea will become the world's highest paid goalkeeper. The Manchester United shot-stopper has agreed to a six-year deal worth around £117m with the Premier League giants, according to The Telegraph.

- Arsenal could land Moise Kean from Juventus, but only if any deal includes a buy-back clause. The Daily Mail say Juve will insist on a £36m (€40.1m) clause in a possible deal involving the forward.

- Danny Rose is widely expected to leave Tottenham this close season, with numerous clubs linked with the left-back. Now, the Mirror report Serie A champions Juventus are the frontrunners to sign the defender.

- After Aaron Wan-Bissaka's move to Manchester United, Crystal Palace may have found their replacement. The Daily Mail report Palace have held further talks over a potential deal for Liverpool right-back Nathaniel Clyne.

Antoine Griezmann said he cried tears of joy after his transfer to LaLiga champions Barcelona was finalised.

Griezmann left Atletico Madrid for Barca after the Spanish giants triggered the French World Cup winner's €120million release clause.

The transfer ended months of speculation following Griezmann's announcement that he was departing Atletico after five years.

Reflecting on his move to Barca, Griezmann told Marca: "I called my father and I started to cry with happiness because I was there, everything was done.

"I was with my friends, my wife and my children and it was an incredible moment."

"I just wanted to end my holiday and start this new challenge," he said. "The dressing room have welcomed me very well: players, coaching staff and doctors.

"For the moment, I'm enjoying it and let's hope I can get enough confidence to speak, be myself and enjoy."

Griezmann will link up with Barca superstar and five-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi at Camp Nou.

Messi led the way for Barca in 2018-19, scoring 51 goals in all competitions as Ernesto Valverde's side retained their LaLiga crown ahead of Griezmann's Atletico.

"It will be amazing [to play alongside him]," Griezmann added. "I'm excited to see what he's like day to day, what he's like in training, [I want to] catch him doing things in training that I will try to repeat or do in my own way and get to know him on and off the pitch.

"I can't wait for him to arrive. I will be ready to do whatever it takes: for him, for the club and for the players."

Atletico Madrid won 3-0 at Numancia in their first game since Antoine Griezmann's controversial move to Barcelona, but the striker's replacement Joao Felix was substituted due to injury.

Diego Simeone started with five debutants, including the teenage forward, for Saturday's trip to Estadio Municipal de Burgo de Osma.

But, after taking an early blow on his right hip, the €126million signing limped off the pitch in the 26th minute and went straight down the tunnel.

New signings Kieran Trippier, Mario Hermoso, Renan Lodi and Marcos Llorente also started while Joao Felix's replacement Angel Correa hit the post shortly before half-time.

Having made wholesale changes at the break, including sending on another new defender, Felipe, Atletico took the lead in the 69th minute.

Substitute Rodrigo Riquelme delivered a deep cross from the right wing that Vitolo tried to meet with a diving header, the ball appearing to bounce in off his left arm.

Ivan Saponjic, who like the club's record signing Joao Felix has joined from Benfica ahead of the 2019-20 season, then made it 2-0 to the visitors.

Neat build-up play led to Toni Moya freeing Manuel Sanchez on the left wing, with his centre coolly converted by Serbian striker Saponjic for his first Atletico goal.

Atletico had finally found their rhythm and they scored a third goal with six minutes to go, Felipe celebrating another debut goal for the Rojiblancos with impressive acrobatics.

Atletico Madrid won 3-0 at Numancia in their first game since Antoine Griezmann's controversial move to Barcelona, but the striker's replacement Joao Felix was substituted due to injury.

Diego Simeone started with five debutants, including the teenage forward, for Saturday's trip to Estadio Municipal de Burgo de Osma.

But, after taking an early blow on his right hip, the €126million signing limped off the pitch in the 26th minute and went straight down the tunnel.

New signings Kieran Trippier, Mario Hermoso, Renan Lodi and Marcos Llorente also started while Joao Felix's replacement Angel Correa hit the post shortly before half-time.

Having made wholesale changes at the break, including sending on another new defender, Felipe, Atletico took the lead in the 69th minute.

Substitute Rodrigo Riquelme delivered a deep cross from the right wing that Vitolo tried to meet with a diving header, the ball appearing to bounce in off his left arm.

Ivan Saponjic, who like the club's record signing Joao Felix has joined from Benfica ahead of the 2019-20 season, then made it 2-0 to the visitors.

Neat build-up play led to Toni Moya freeing Manuel Sanchez on the left wing, with his centre coolly converted by Serbian striker Saponjic for his first Atletico goal.

Atletico had finally found their rhythm and they scored a third goal with six minutes to go, Felipe celebrating another debut goal for the Rojiblancos with impressive acrobatics.

Joao Felix had his Atletico Madrid debut cut short by injury as Diego Simeone's side opened pre-season away to Numancia.

The forward, a €126million signing from Benfica, was named in Simeone's starting lineup for Saturday's trip to Estadio Municipal de Burgo de Osma.

But a hip injury meant Joao Felix had to come off in the first half with Angel Correa - linked with a move to AC Milan - replacing him.

Simeone also handed debuts to new defenders Kieran Trippier, Mario Hermoso and Renan Lodi while a fifth fresh face, Marcos Llorente, started in midfield.

Correa hit the post shortly before the half-time whistle ended an opening 45 minutes light on goalmouth action at either end.

Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal has denied talks were opened with Antoine Griezmann in March, as has been claimed by Atletico Madrid.

Griezmann completed his long-awaited switch to Camp Nou last week and is expected to make his Barca debut on their pre-season tour of Japan.

Barca paid €120m for Griezmann but Atletico argue the fee they received should have been €200m as they claim the Catalan club were in talks with the striker before his release clause fell on July 1.

Griezmann announced his intention to leave Atletico in a social media video posted before the end of the LaLiga season, but the Rojiblancos say his move to Barca had been agreed some weeks earlier.

Reports in Spain have claimed the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has opened proceedings against Barcelona over the club's move for Griezmann but, in an interview with Le Parisien, Abidal said the move for the France forward was above board.

He said: "The president [Josep Maria] Bartomeu got in touch with Atletico Madrid to discuss the terms of a transfer for Griezmann and to inform them, if negotiations weren't possible, that Barca would pay his €120m buyout clause. It was €200m in March and €120m in July..

"Atletico are defending their interests and we are defending Barca's. We never had a prior agreement with the player. We got in contact with his lawyer after Griezmann announced he wanted to leave the club.

"We can always talk about interest. We can like a player because our sporting department says they'd fit the profile of what we are looking for. But this interest only became concrete when the player expressed his wish to join Barca.

"He was a very important player for Atletico Madrid. He can make a difference in the big matches and is capable of playing in various positions. He's still a great goalscorer and Barca need players like him."

Despite adding Griezmann to a forward line already containing Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele, Malcom and Philippe Coutinho, Barca have been linked with making a sensational move for Neymar.

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo has confirmed the Brazil forward wants to leave the French capital with a return to Camp Nou two years after his world-record move said to be Neymar's preferred option.

Barca are reported to have offered PSG a choice of six players - including Coutinho, Dembele and Malcom - as makeweights but Abidal suggested the club's work in the transfer market could be complete.

"We needed six attacking players and, with Griezmann, we have those six," he added. "After that, it's the coach [Ernesto Valverde] who makes the decisions."

Messi is reportedly pushing for Neymar's return with the Barca captain said to be underwhelmed by Griezmann's arrival.

"That isn't Messi's role," Abidal added. "If he gives his opinion on someone who players for another team, it's disrespectful to his current team-mates. I believe that's why Leo didn't want to talk about Antoine."

Diego Simeone has expressed gratitude to Antoine Griezmann for gracing Atletico Madrid with five "faultless" seasons.

Griezmann left the club for Barcelona just over a week ago, a move that upset many at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Atletico claim the LaLiga champions still owe an additional €80million, believing Barca to have privately agreed terms with the France international before his release clause dropped from €200m to €120m on July 1.

The sense of resentment is not shared by Rojiblancos boss Simeone, who holds no ill will towards the player he signed from Real Sociedad in 2014.

"I talked with him a lot," Simeone told TyC Sports. "It's an important moment in his career in which he decided to move to an extraordinary team like Barcelona.

"I am grateful to the people who have been with us. People are normally valued for the final decision, but not by me. I value the five years he gave us that were faultless.

"He gave his best, he improved as a player and he listened to us. He makes me happy as a coach.

"I love him very much and I have a great relationship with the family.

"Obviously he's going to a very strong team and surely if he maintains the rhythm of when he was among the best he will have a great season."

Griezmann won the Europa League and secured two third-place finishes in the Ballon d'Or under Simeone's guidance.

The mutual respect between the pair has shone through amid the tension between Griezmann and his former employers. 

"I am lucky to have learned from Cholo Simeone," the World Cup winner said in the wake of his move to Barca.

Atletico Madrid's close-season spending spree has continued with the €29million acquisition of Spain defender Mario Hermoso from Espanyol.

The 24-year-old centre-back has cost Atletico €25m upfront despite having just 12 months left on his Espanyol contract, with Hermoso signing an five-year deal at the Wanda Metropolitano.

A Real Madrid academy product, Hermoso only made his top-flight debut in the 2017-18 campaign but has since enjoyed a rapid rise.

Hermoso particularly impressed last term as Espanyol - who have a 20 per cent sell-on clause - finished seventh in LaLiga, earning his first Spain cap last November.

With Atletico seeing Diego Godin, Lucas Hernandez, Filipe Luis and Juanfran all depart at the end of last season, Hermoso had long been suggested as a likely arrival.

But Espanyol's apparent initial reluctance to reduce their asking price from the reported €40m release clause in his contract meant negotiations dragged on.

An agreement has been found, though, and Hermoso is the latest defender to join Atletico after Felipe, Renan Lodi and Kieran Trippier, who arrived a day earlier.

Hermoso takes Atletico's reported expenditure to €248m with Marcos Llorente, Joao Felix, Hector Herrera, Nicolas Ibanez and Ivan Saponjic also new to the club, although they recouped €120m from Antoine Griezmann's controversial departure to Barcelona.

Kieran Trippier says he had no hesitation about leaving Tottenham for Atletico Madrid because of his long-held ambition to play abroad.

The right-back signed a three-year contract in the Spanish capital on Wednesday, bringing an end to his four-season stint at Spurs.

Serie A side Napoli expressed interest before Atleti swooped on their replacement for Juanfran, who left the club on a free transfer at the end of June.

Trippier, 28, has the chance to rediscover the form that eluded him last season as he forges a place in Diego Simeone's notoriously mean defence.

"The Premier League is one of the best leagues in the world, but I didn't think twice when Atletico were interested," Trippier said at Thursday's presentation.

"It's a great opportunity to come and live in Madrid. Not many British players come abroad, but I always wanted to play abroad, especially in LaLiga, since I was young.

"I'm looking forward to learning the language straight away, which is my first priority. The quicker I can do that, communicate with my coach and team-mates, the better.

"I want to enjoy playing for Atletico and living in Madrid."

Trippier greeted the local media moments after Atletico sealed the signing of another defender, centre-back Mario Hermoso.

The Spain international, formerly of rivals Real Madrid, arrives from Espanyol in a €29million deal.

If starting his career across town does not attach enough pressure, Hermoso also has the unenviable task of trying to plug the gap left by Diego Godin's departure for Inter.

"It's a beautiful, important challenge," the 24-year-old said.

"Diego has been a symbol for the club. What better way to continue making history. I hope to continue that line."

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