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. 

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    The pair enjoyed a successful partnership at Borussia Dortmund.

    Now, Klopp is reportedly trying to lure the Bayern Munich forward to Liverpool.

     

    TOP STORY – KLOPP WANTS LEWANDOWSKI REUNION

    Liverpool are targeting Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski, according to Fichajes.

    Lewandowski worked with Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund before joining Bundesliga rivals Bayern in 2014.

    There has been talk Lewandowski could be ready for a new challenge amid links to Real Madrid and Manchester City, though Klopp is reportedly determined to reunite with the Poland international.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Bild claims Dortmund have identified Chelsea forward Timo Werner as a possible option to replace Erling Haaland. Club are queueing up to sign Haaland, with City, Manchester United, Bayern, Liverpool, Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain all reportedly interested. Should Haaland leave Dortmund, the Bundesliga outfit reportedly see former RB Leipzig star Werner as a potential successor.

    - Fabrizio Romano says Inter forward Lautaro Martinez is nearing a contract extension at San Siro. He has reportedly turned down offers from Tottenham and Atletico Madrid.

    Bayern, Inter, Real Madrid and Tottenham are interested in Borussia Monchengladbach defender Matthias Ginter, reports Calciomercato.

    Chelsea are looking to sign Jorginho, N'Golo Kante, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen to new contracts, according to Romano.

  • Liverpool's Origi backed to become Anfield legend by Klopp: People forget how good he is! Liverpool's Origi backed to become Anfield legend by Klopp: People forget how good he is!

    Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insisted Divock Origi will be remembered as a club legend, lauding the forward following Wednesday's thrilling Champions League victory over Milan.

    Origi has often taken a backseat to Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino but the Belgian started and impressed in Liverpool's 3-2 win against Milan at Anfield midweek.

    In his first start since January, Origi teed up Salah's equaliser as Liverpool kicked off their Group B opener with maximum points on Merseyside, where Jordan Henderson settled the contest.

    Klopp hailed Origi, who only started six matches last season after Liverpool braced for the 26-year-old's exit in 2021-22.

    "Divock is a great guy, that's how it is, and in 10 years' time when we look back he will be a Liverpool legend, but he is too young to be already seen as a legend now so he has to play football," Klopp told reporters.

    "To be 100 per cent honest, of course I thought he would maybe leave in the summer, but the football world is a crazy place and people obviously forgot how good he is.

    "I said it, it is really difficult to get into this team. That's just how it is and I have to decide about different positions, who I bring on, how I want to react before a game. That's why Div was not in, he did nothing wrong. He trains, he gives everything and sometimes you still don't make it into the squad.

    "That really can happen, especially when everybody is fit. But for tonight he was the right player to do it and he did really well. He was not injured, he had cramps, that's normal and so now let's see. It's just nice, I'm really happy I could give him the opportunity and that he used it like he did."

    Liverpool have won their opening home game in seven of their last eight Champions League campaigns (D1), last losing such a match in October 2007 (1-0 against Marseille).

    Under Klopp, Liverpool have only lost one of their 13 group-stage games in the Champions League at Anfield (W10 D2) – 2-0 against Atalanta last season.

    Liverpool have averaged 2.5 goals per home game in the group stage since the German took charge (33 goals).

  • Milan have room to grow after valuable lesson in Liverpool loss – Pioli Milan have room to grow after valuable lesson in Liverpool loss – Pioli

    Stefano Pioli insisted Milan learnt a "valuable lesson" following their entertaining 3-2 defeat to Liverpool upon the club's return to the Champions League.

    Milan were featuring in the Champions League for the first time since 2014 and the seven-time winners threatened an upset at Anfield, where the visitors surprisingly claimed a 2-1 half-time lead.

    Ante Rebic and Brahim Diaz both scored within two minutes of each other on the stroke of half-time to stun Liverpool, who had Mohamed Salah's penalty saved by Mike Maignan following Fiyako Tomori's ninth-minute own goal.

    But Salah redeemed himself with an equaliser three minutes into the second half before Jordan Henderson's first Champions League goal in seven years settled the Group B thriller on Merseyside.

    Despite leaving England empty-handed, Milan head coach Pioli – whose Rossoneri have won their opening three Serie A games this season – was relatively upbeat post-match.

    "This was a valuable lesson that will help us going forward. The team was motivated, we expected Liverpool to start strong, but were a bit too static and couldn't get past their first press. When you don't have the ball, you run into danger," Pioli told Sky Sport Italia.

    "It was a very good game of football, it's a pity we lost the game, because a strong start here would've been very important.

    "I leave Anfield aware this team can grow more and we still need that extra step up in terms of details, because those are what make the difference in the Champions League.

    "We lost because on a set play we cleared the ball to the edge of the box and that is not what we ought to be doing."

    Rebic became the seventh Croatian to score on his Champions League debut and the first since Miroslav Orsic for Dinamo Zagreb in September 2019.

    Meanwhile, team-mate Diaz (22 years and 43 days) is the youngest player to score on his Champions League bow for Milan since Yoann Gourcuff in September 2006 (20 years and 64 days against AEK Athens).

    "Liverpool deserve credit for their intensity and quality, above all in the first 25 minutes," Pioli said. "We had been able to turn it around and the real regrets are the two goals we conceded in the second half. Along with Liverpool's quality, we also made mistakes on those two goals.

    "Hopefully, in future we'll face teams with slightly less quality and won't concede in those situations."

    Milan are winless in their past nine European away games against English opposition (D4 L5), since a 1-0 victory against Manchester United in February 2005.

    Pioli – whose Milan visit rivals Juventus on Sunday – added: "What disappoints me and we must work on is that we can do better, because we allowed Liverpool some give-and-go situations that we usually defend better against.

    "We could've created a lot more problems for the Liverpool forwards and made it more difficult for them."

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