Dayot Upamecano has ended speculation about his future by signing a new contract with Bundesliga side RB Leipzig.

The 21-year-old defender had been linked with a move to Premier League outfit Arsenal and his previous deal was due to expire in 2021.

Leipzig had told Upamecano he needed to sign a new contract or would likely be sold in this transfer window rather than being allowed to depart for free a year down the line.

And the France Under-21 international has elected to stay put, agreeing to terms on a deal that runs until 2023.

"I feel right at home here in Leipzig - the overall package is perfect," said Upamecano, who was also thought to be of interest to Bayern Munich. 

"We had good conversations with [chief executive] Oliver Mintzlaff, [sporting director] Markus Krosche and [head coach] Julian Nagelsmann, which showed to me that extending my contract was the right decision for me to make.

"Our young and hungry team is part of an ambitious club. I want to take the next step with Leipzig and reach our aims, because I'm convinced by the way we play our football.

"I have been in Leipzig for over three years and I have continued to improve alongside the team's development. I want to carry on developing personally, and I think Julian Nagelsmann is a coach that can bring me to the next level."

Leipzig, who have a Champions League quarter-final against Atletico Madrid to look forward to next month, have already lost Timo Werner to Chelsea after he became the club's all-time top scorer last season, so Upamecano's extension is a boost.

The centre-back has so far played 111 times for Leipzig since joining from sister club Salzburg in January 2017.

"We are obviously pleased that Dayot Upamecano has signed an early contract extension," Krosche added. 

"Dayot has become a top defender at RB Leipzig over the past few years and can still develop at the age of just 21. It's great that he will continue to grow as a player here with us.

"We have managed to retain the services of one of our most important players, who is a key figure for the club and also plays the way we want to as a team."

Vincent Kompany joined Manchester City in August 2008 – a little more than a week before the club's trajectory was irreversible changed by Sheikh Mansour's takeover.

The centre-back position, where long-serving club captain Kompany excelled and became a club great, has become a focus for the owner's transfer market millions over the intervening years.

However, there have been more expensive misses than hits, with City's struggles after Kompany's departure last year underlining how subsequent centre-back additions have rarely been anywhere near as successful.

Bournemouth's Nathan Ake is set to be the next man into the building, with City reportedly having agreed a £41million fee for the Netherlands international.

Here, we look at the major centre-back signings made by City during the Abu Dhabi era and how they panned out.

KOLO TOURE (ARSENAL £14M, JULY 2009)

A former title winner with Arsenal, Toure was given the captain's armband by Mark Hughes as club stalwart Richard Dunne was ushered out of the door. The Ivory Coast international struggled for consistency, however, and became a back-up option under Roberto Mancini. Arguably his most significant contribution to City's success was his mere presence encouraging brother Yaya to make the move to Manchester.

JOLEON LESCOTT (EVERTON £22M, AUGUST 2009)

Like Ake now and plenty of others in between, the fee City paid Everton for Lescott brought snorts of derision. But the England international established a rock-solid partnership with Kompany that underpinned the 2011-12 Premier League title triumph. City have never appeared quite so settled at centre-back since their alliance broke down the following year.

JEROME BOATENG (HAMBURG £10.5M, JUNE 2010)

Before going on to become one of Europe's elite central defenders at Bayern Munich, Boateng endured an unhappy year in Manchester. Primarily a right-back at that stage of his career, he found his path to the first team blocked by Micah Richards and Pablo Zabaleta and failed to settle.

STEFAN SAVIC (PARTIZAN £6M, JULY 2011)

Given he was fourth-choice in a season when Kompany and Lescott excelled, it was remarkable how quickly Savic carved out a reputation as an accident-prone liability. A year after signing him, Mancini had lost faith and decided to cut his losses. The steady hand in Atletico Madrid's formidable backline today is a player utterly transformed.

MATIJA NASTASIC (FIORENTINA £12M, AUGUST 2012)

Savic served as a makeweight in the deal to bring Nastasic to the Etihad Stadium. He performed impressively during a largely forgettable 2012-13 campaign, for which Mancini paid with his job. Successor Manuel Pellegrini did not much fancy Nastasic, with injuries further compromising the Serbia international before he moved to current employers Schalke in 2015.

MARTIN DEMICHELIS (ATLETICO MADRID £4.2M, SEPTEMBER 2013)

A loyal lieutenant for Pellegrini, Demichelis left Atletico Madrid without playing a game when the opportunity to reunite with the Chilean coach arose. Long of hair and short of pace, his introduction to the Premier League was fraught and Marcus Rashford skinning him to win a 2016 Manchester derby gave his City career a clanging footnote. However, the Argentina international's experience and steel was vital as the Blues edged out Liverpool in a knife-edge 2013-14 title race.

ELIAQUIM MANGALA (PORTO £42M, AUGUST 2014)

Unperturbed by a massive transfer fee, Mangala was majestic on his debut as 10-man City battled to a 1-1 draw against Chelsea. To be blunt, he never reached those levels again and was rarely close – a slapstick own goal in his next outing at Hull City proving far more representative of what was to come. A popular squad member, Mangala came up short in terms of form, fitness and temperament to unfortunately stand as one of the biggest transfer flops in Premier League history.

NICOLAS OTAMENDI (VALENCIA £32M, AUGUST 2015)

Mangala's struggles sent Pellegrini back into the transfer market for another big-money addition. Otamendi proved scarcely more reliable and the duo generally needed to be watched through one's fingers when paired together. Nevertheless, the Argentina defender's dogged determination saw him become a mainstay during the 100-point season under Pep Guardiola in 2017-18, when he deservedly won a place in the PFA Team of the Year. His error-strewn efforts since have worn increasingly thin.

JOHN STONES (EVERTON £47.5M, AUGUST 2016)

A flagship signing ahead of Guardiola's first season, Stones appears set for the exit door having failed to realise his undoubted potential. He oozed class during the early stages of back-to-back Premier League successes over the previous two seasons, although he tellingly spent large chunks of both run-ins on the sidelines. Injuries have not helped and Guardiola appears to have lost trust in a man who once looked set to be synonymous with his reign.

AYMERIC LAPORTE (ATHLETIC BILBAO £57M, JANUARY 2018)  

For now, Laporte remains City's most expensive central defender and the Frenchman has given considerable bang for their buck after the costly folly listed above. As important to City for his precise and varied range of left-footed playmaking from deep, Laporte is Guardiola's defensive rock. When his cruciate knee ligament injury last August followed a failure to replace Kompany, the writing for 2019-20 was on the wall.

Barcelona are set to re-sign Ansu Fati until 2024, while Real Madrid are eyeing "the new Raphael Varane".

Fati, 17, has been linked with a stunning move to Manchester United after a breakthrough season at Barca.

But the teenage forward seems to be going nowhere.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA TO EXTEND FATI STAY UNTIL 2024

Barcelona are set to renew Fati's contract until 2024, according to the cover of Sport.

Out of contract in 2022, Fati has scored eight goals in 32 games this season, leading to links to Manchester United.

Sport also reports Barcelona are prepared to listen to offers for attacker Ousmane Dembele.

ROUND-UP

- Are Real Madrid looking to sign a new defender? AS reports the LaLiga giants are closely following Monaco defender Benoit Badiashile, who it compares to Madrid star Raphael Varane.

- Raul Jimenez could be set for a Wolves exit. RTP Sport says Jimenez is on his way to Manchester United and Wolves are on the verge of signing Sporting Braga striker Paulinho as his replacement.

- Barcelona may be preparing to strengthen their defence. Mundo Deportivo claims three defenders – Bayern Munich's David Alaba, Paris Saint-Germain's Juan Bernat and Manchester City's Eric Garcia – are within range for the LaLiga giants.

- Tanguy Ndombele continues to be linked with a move away from Tottenham. Sky Sport reports Inter have made contact with Spurs about the midfielder.

- Where to next for Willian? Coming out of contract at Chelsea at season's end, the attacker's future is uncertain. Sky Sports says Chelsea, Barcelona and Inter Miami have made contract offers to the Brazil international.

- A player looking likely to leave Stamford Bridge is Kepa Arrizabalaga. The Sun reports the goalkeeper fears he has played his last game for Chelsea.

- After Dejan Lovren's departure, Liverpool continue to be linked with defenders. COPE reports the Premier League champions have made an offer of £9.1million (€10m) for Real Betis defender Aissa Mandi.

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge confirmed Liverpool target Thiago Alcantara will leave the Bundesliga champions.

Thiago is out of contract at Bayern next year and the 29-year-old Spanish star is reportedly ready to depart Bavaria after opting against a renewal.

Jurgen Klopp is believed to be keen on bringing Thiago to Anfield, where Liverpool won their first league title since 1990 this season.

Amid growing speculation over Thiago's future, Rummenigge said the former Barcelona midfielder is ready for a new challenge.

"Actually, the conversations [sporting director] Hasan [Salihamidzic] had with him were always very productive. And at some point it actually seemed that [a deal would be reached]. But then Thiago informed Hasan that he would like to do something new again, and so it is," Rummenigge told Sky Sport Germany.

"We will have to accept that. We have a contract that is still valid for one year and if he agrees with any club and that club should pay a transfer of a certain amount.

"I don't want to make any public comment about the amount that we have in mind. Then we will deal with it, but we will not, as I have already said, hold a summer sale. 

"I'm not angry at all, I like him. I think he's a great footballer, a fine footballer and he's a good character too. And one shouldn't forget either: At 29, he is at an age where, if he wants to do something new, he has to do it now because if you are in your 30s, it will be more difficult to make transfers."

Thiago has claimed seven successive Bundesliga crowns, four DFB-Pokal titles, two DFL-Supercup honours and the Club World Cup trophy since arriving from Barca in 2013.

After helping Bayern to an eighth consecutive Bundesliga triumph, Thiago and the German giants are preparing for next month's second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Chelsea.

Bayern won the opening leg 3-0 in London before the Champions League was postponed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said the Bundesliga club would be happy for Jadon Sancho to stay in 2020-21 as Manchester United reportedly try to negotiate a blockbuster transfer.

Sancho has been tipped to swap Dortmund for United and the Premier League giants are nearing a deal for the England star after securing their Champions League status, according to growing speculation.

Dortmund, however, are apparently unwilling to lower their asking price for Sancho as the German side seek £109million (€120m) from United.

Zorc addressed the rumours regarding Sancho on Thursday, saying: "Jadon is an outstanding footballer with a quota that I have never seen at this age.

"I think it would even stand up to being one of the largest in the industry if you look at its age.

"I would be happy if he would still play with us this season. And that's the current state of affairs.

"First of all we have to stick to the facts - and they are so, that we still have a contract with him until 2022."

Sancho left Manchester City for Dortmund in 2017 in pursuit of first-team football, and quickly established himself in the Bundesliga.

The 20-year-old scored 17 Bundesliga goals and supplied 16 assists in 2019-20 as Dortmund finished second behind champions Bayern Munich, while he netted 20 goals across all competitions.

Amid question marks over Sancho's future, former Manchester United forward and current Lyon captain Memphis Depay has reportedly emerged as a possible replacement for the Englishman at Dortmund.

Bayern Munich are optimistic they will reach an agreement over a contract extension for David Alaba and that he will ultimately stay with the club for the rest of his career, according to chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Alaba, 28, joined Bayern's academy in 2008 and has since gone on to enjoy a glorious career with Die Roten's senior side, winning nine Bundesliga titles.

Ever since breaking into the senior side on a regular basis in 2011-12, when he made 30 league appearances, Alaba has rarely struggled to hold down a place in the side.

The recently concluded 2019-20 campaign posed an entirely different challenge, as a defensive injury crisis led to Alaba featuring as a centre-back, and he took to that role with flying colours and his new role allowed for Alphonso Davies to shine at full-back.

But the Austria international has just a year left on his contract and is reportedly admired by the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Barcelona.

While Thiago Alcantara appears unlikely to renew with Bayern, Rummenigge remains relaxed about reaching an agreement with Alaba, whom he compared to club icon Franz Beckenbauer.

"First of all, I have to say about David that he had a great season," Rummenigge told Sky Germany. "It was born out of necessity that he had to play at centre-back because we had several injuries, and then Hansi [Flick, Bayern coach] put him in this position.

"He did it with flying colours. We haven't had a 'chief' in defence for some time now, one who really takes the reins in hand and sets the tone there and simply acts as the head of the defensive unit – he did that.

"This has been seen especially in these coronavirus times. In these empty stadiums, his instructions showed how well he organised it in the back. Even with his style of play he is a very, very important player for us, we don't need to talk about that.

"I am nevertheless optimistic that at the end of the day we will find a solution that David will even end his career here.

"I have always said that, for me, David is actually something like Franz Beckenbauer. He is the first player to play again at this level like Franz back then.

"I think David knows what he has at Bayern, and we know what we have in David."

Manchester City are wasting little time in their close-season rebuild after a bid for Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake was reportedly accepted on Thursday.

A deal worth an initial £40million is said to have been agreed with the relegated Cherries as City reinforce options in a defence that drew criticism during Liverpool's march to the 2019-20 Premier League title.

But just what will City be adding to their central defensive options if a deal for Ake goes through?

With some help from Opta, we took a look at the data comparing the Dutch centre-back to Aymeric Laporte, John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi and Eric Garcia, going back to when Ake joined Bournemouth on a permanent deal ahead of the 2017-18 campaign.


CASE FOR THE DEFENCE?

Scoring goals was, unsurprisingly, not a problem for City this season as they racked up a mightily impressive 102 in the Premier League.

Indeed, the 35 they conceded was the second-best record in the division – Ederson claimed the Golden Glove thanks to 16 clean sheets - but represented a dip against the respective 27 and 23 they shipped in the previous two campaigns.

So, will Ake help Pep Guardiola's side improve at the back? There are certainly positive signs.

For instance, Ake has won more tackles (88) and duels (469) than any of Laporte (33 and 226), Stones (32 and 208), Otamendi (71 and 325) or Garcia (1 and 25) in our timeframe.

But, as the more astute among you will recognise, this does not nearly paint a full picture, not least because Ake has comfortably the most appearances with 105, compared to Otamendi (76), Laporte (59), Stones (58) and Garcia (13).

A more useful indicator could be a tackle success rate of 58.67, which ranks third behind Stones (68.09) and Otamendi (64.55). When it comes to duel success percentage, Ake's 58.12 is higher only than Garcia's (42.37).

Indeed, when looking at the data for averages per 90 minutes Ake still performs reasonably well. Only Otamendi (1.08) performs better in terms of tackles won (0.85 for Ake), while the Argentine is the only man to come out on top on average in more duels (4.95 to 4.55).

For aerial balls won, Ake's 2.48 on average per game fairs pretty well compared to Stones (2.92) and Otamendi (2.77) and is better than Laporte's (2.3) and Garcia's (1.25) – albeit the latter has played in far fewer games.

One area on the face of it where Ake excels is blocks and interceptions, where his 88 and 115 are higher than Otamendi's 22 and 99 – the next best of the five for those metrics.

But again there are caveats. When assessing the data on average per 90 minutes, both Otamendi (1.51) and Laporte (1.27) average more than Ake (1.12).

With blocks it appears simply a case of workload. Ake has faced 14.31 shots per 90 minutes. By contrast, Garcia (7.63), Stones (7.03), Otamendi (6.41) and Laporte (6.16) face significantly fewer.


KEEP THE BALL, PASS THE BALL

If you're a defender playing under Guardiola, you need to be as comfortable on the ball as you are off it.

Initial analysis on this department suggests Ake has work to do, although the amount of time City spend in possession certainly should help.

Ake's 3,853 successful passes is lower than Otamendi (5,393) and Laporte (4,580) despite having played the most games, while he ranks second behind the former in terms of successful passes in his own half (2,803) and only ahead of Garcia for successful passes in the opposition half (1,050) – where City defenders spend a lot of their time camped.

His passing accuracy of 85.7 is comfortably the worst, with Stones (94.69) leading the way.

Again, what is important to note here is that it should be expected City's defenders perform better with this measurement, given the amount of time they spend on the ball.

Indeed, City's possession average of 68.89 per cent far outweighs the 45.67 Bournemouth enjoy.

It stands to reason that Ake's numbers could easily improve in this regard when part of a team that, more often than not, will beat their opponents in the possession stats.


FOUL PLAY!

Okay, admittedly this section is a little mischievous…

You see, under Guardiola, City have earned a reputation (rightly or wrongly, we'll let you be the judge) for being somewhat adept at tactical fouls.

Over our time period, Ake has committed 64 fouls, more than Otamendi (57), Laporte (40), Stones (17) and Garcia (9).

When looking at the same factor over 90 minutes per game, Ake's 0.62 is lower than Garcia (1.03), Otamendi (0.87) and Laporte (0.72).

So, maybe there is a little bit of work to be done with that one…

Lazio sporting director Igli Tare has refused to discount the prospect of signing David Silva on a free transfer.

Silva will leave Manchester City after the Champions League concludes, having spent a hugely successful 10 years at the Etihad Stadium.

There has been growing speculation the 34-year-old could move to Simone Inzaghi's side, who have secured a return to the Champions League for the first time since 2007-08.

Tare claims to have mutual friends of the midfielder but appeared keen to make it clear that any prospective deal is some way off.

"He's a great player, but I don't know where certain stories come from," Tare told Sky Sport Italia prior to Lazio's 2-0 Serie A win over Brescia on Wednesday.

"I've heard from mutual friends that he would like to have a different experience to England, but as is often said, there's a big difference between saying something and doing something."

The victory over Brescia, Lazio's third in a row after going five games without a win in the top flight, was secured through Joaquin Correa and Ciro Immobile.

Immobile has scored 35 goals in 36 league games this season and is on track to finish as Serie A top scorer and win the European Golden Shoe.

Tare wants the 30-year-old to be the focal point of Lazio's growth in the coming years.

"Without a doubt, the Lazio of the future will be built around him," Tare said. "He has a long contract, he's an important figure for this club, this team.

"The party his team-mates had in the dressing room after the match against Verona shows everything that's been built around him.

"He's had an incredible season but so have the whole team, who have always supported him.

"We need to exploit the Immobile brand and the Lazio brand. We're back in the Champions League after 13 years. We need to create a strategy, which we've already started with several initiatives, to lift these brands higher."

Luis Suarez is eager to stay at Barcelona amid MLS interest, while Chelsea may have a choice to make.

Suarez, 33, is out of contract at the LaLiga giants next year and has been linked with a move away.

The forward seemingly has options.

 

TOP STORY – SUAREZ WANTS BARCELONA STAY AMID INTER MIAMI INTEREST

Suarez has no intention of leaving Barcelona, according to Sport.

It comes after Mundo Deportivo reported Suarez has an offer from MLS club Inter Miami, but wants to extend his stay at Barca beyond 2021.

Suarez has scored 19 goals in 34 games in 2019-20.

 

ROUND-UP

- Chelsea are linked with further moves this close season. But Sport Bild reports Atletico Madrid are relaxed over the Premier League club's interest in Jan Oblak, with the LaLiga side doubting Chelsea can afford both the goalkeeper and Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz.

- Philippe Coutinho is expected to make a permanent move from Barcelona. Mundo Deportivo claims Arsenal are best-placed to land the playmaker and Barca want only money for the Brazil international.

- Bayern Munich have set their price for Thiago Alcantara, who is linked with a move to Liverpool. Sport Bild says the Bundesliga champions want £27.2m (€30m) for the midfielder.

- Could Manchester City have received a transfer boost? Sport Bild reports David Alaba's contract talks with Bayern Munich are at a stalemate. Alaba is out of contract at Bayern next year and has been linked to City.

- Jesse Lingard's time at Manchester United could be over. The Daily Mail says United are prepared to sell the midfielder, who has been linked to Roma and Borussia Monchengladbach.

Milan director Ricky Massara said the Serie A club are in talks with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Gianluigi Donnarumma over new contracts.

Ibrahimovic has transformed Milan since arriving on a free transfer in January, though the evergreen 38-year-old is out of contract at the end of the 2019-20 season.

The former Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona striker scored two goals in Wednesday's 4-1 Serie A rout of Sampdoria, taking his tally to 10 in 2020.

Asked about Ibrahimovic's future prior to the midweek clash, Massara told Sky Sport Italia: "We are talking to Mino Raiola and trying to do it behind the scenes, even if it's difficult to keep anything from the media nowadays.

"There are issues that we will evaluate together, including Ibra's spirit and desire to continue this wonderful adventure, which has been so positive in the second half of the season.

"We are all happy, first and foremost Ibra, that he's been able to prove his value to Milan all over again."

Ibrahimovic and Milan goalkeeper Donnarumma are both represented by outspoken agent Mino Raiola.

Donnarumma, who made his debut as a 16-year-old in 2015-16, is contracted to the Rossoneri until 2021.

The Italy international – previously linked to the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea, Real Madrid and United – is reportedly ready to extend his San Siro stay.

On Donnarumma, who saved a penalty against Sampdoria, Massara said: "That is a different situation, but we are eager and confident that we can resolve both of them positively. Donnarumma has a contract and we'd like a longer one to create a stronger future together.

"Ibra, on the other hand, is out of contract this summer and so these are very different discussions."

Rony Lopes has returned to Ligue 1, joining Nice on a season-long loan from Sevilla.

The two-time Portugal international, 24, left Monaco for Sevilla last year, but made just 14 appearances for the LaLiga side in 2019-20.

Sevilla announced on Wednesday that Lopes was joining Nice, who have an option to buy the attacker at the end of the loan.

Lopes signed a five-year deal at Sevilla when he arrived in 2019.

Brighton and Hove Albion have signed Netherlands international Joel Veltman from Ajax on a three-year contract.

The defender, who can play at right-back or centre-back, becomes Brighton's latest signing following the arrival of Adam Lallana from Liverpool.

Veltman came through the Ajax academy and played a part in three Eredivisie title triumphs.

The 28-year-old also featured in their run to the 2018-19 Champions League semi-finals, although he has been hampered by injuries over the past two seasons.

Brighton head coach Graham Potter said: "We're delighted to welcome Joel to the club.

"He has terrific experience from his time with Ajax - including the Champions League - and, of course, with the Dutch national team.

"He's an excellent defender who can play at right-back and at centre-half, but he's also comfortable in possession. 

"He is really looking forward to the challenge of playing in the Premier League. We're delighted he is now a Brighton player and we're looking forward to working with him."

Manchester City have signed teenage defender Issa Kabore from Belgian First Division club Mechelen

Kabore, a 19-year-old Burkina Faso international, will spend next season back at Mechelen on loan, having penned a five-year contract at the Etihad Stadium.

The right-back moved to Belgium from Rahimo in his homeland last August and went on to make five first-team appearances in 2019-20.

A fee has not been disclosed for the transfer, which remains subject to international clearance.

"This is a win-win situation for all parties," said Mechelen sports director Tom Caluwe. 

"The player himself dreams of the Premier League and can calmly prepare for that step with us. 

"City has a clear path in mind and indicated that our club is important for the further development of Kabore. And this way we can still keep Issa in Mechelen."

Stats Perform News understands City are on the verge of their first major signing in preparation for 2020-21, with an initial £21.2million (€23m) fee agreed with Valencia for Spain Under-21 winger Ferran Torres.

Manchester City have agreed an initial fee with Valencia for highly rated 20-year-old winger Ferran Torres.

Stats Perform News understands the Spain Under-21 international will cost City £21.2million (€23m), plus further add-ons.

Talks between the clubs are on-going, with an agreement on the wider terms of the deal thought to be close.

Ferran is considered one of Spain's most promising young players, having come through Valencia's academy and making his debut as a 17-year-old in 2017.

A talented and direct winger capable of playing on either flank, though preferring to operate from the right, Ferran enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2019-20.

Having made 24 LaLiga appearances in 2018-19, Ferran had even greater exposure to first-team football this term due to injuries, taking full advantage of Goncalo Guedes' long-term absence as he featured 34 times domestically.

He scored four goals and set up another five in LaLiga, while his Champions League strike against Lille in November made him the first player born in 2000 to net in the competition for a Spanish club.

Ferran's contract with Valencia was said to contain a €100m release clause, but he had stalled on signing fresh terms, meaning Los Che were never likely to hold out for such a fee given his deal was due to expire next year.

With Valencia failing to qualify for European football next season after a disappointing 2019-20, their final bargaining chip was essentially lost and City have moved swiftly to secure the youngster's future.

City were linked to several young wingers after Leroy Sane's move to Bayern Munich was confirmed at the start of July, with Ferran ultimately emerging from the pack.

While perhaps not a like-for-like replacement, Pep Guardiola's club will believe they have got themselves a bargain and pulled off a significant coup in landing Ferran, who had also attracted interest from Barcelona, Juventus and Liverpool.

Jadon Sancho has long been linked with a move to Manchester United.

The former Manchester City youngster is reportedly ready to return to his native England after starring in the Bundesliga for Borussia Dortmund.

With United's Champions League status confirmed, the Red Devils are ready to strike a deal.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED STEPPING UP SANCHO PURSUIT

Manchester United are prioritising the signing of Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho as they cool on Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, according to Sky Sports.

United are determined to bring Sancho to Old Trafford after securing Champions League qualification, though both clubs are yet to come to agreement on a transfer fee – Dortmund are reportedly holding out for €120m (£109m).

England international Sancho has previously been linked to Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool and Chelsea.

It now looks unlikely that United will pursue Villa star Grealish, who is valued in excess of £80m by the Premier League side, with doubts over where he would fit into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.

 

ROUND-UP

- Leicester City full-back Ben Chilwell will demand he wants to leave the club in order to force a move to Chelsea, reports The Mirror. Chilwell has also been linked to Manchester City and Manchester United.

Everton want to sign Lazio star Ciro Immobile, says 90min. Immobile has scored a Serie A-high 34 goals for Lazio this season.

- According to Diario AS, Lazio are in talks to sign Manchester City great David Silva. The Spanish star is set to become a free agent following the Champions League campaign.

- Calciomercato claims Tottenham are eyeing Inter outcast Ivan Perisic. The Croatia international, who was linked to United during Jose Mourinho's time in Manchester, spent the 2019-20 season on loan at Bayern Munich.

Milan are interested in signing Fiorentina centre-back Nikola Milenkovic, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. The 22-year-old has also been linked to the likes of Napoli and United.

- Edinson Cavani has emerged as a possible understudy for Bayern star Robert Lewandowski, says Le10Sport. Cavani is a free agent since leaving Paris Saint-Germain and has been linked to Portuguese giants Benfica.

- According to Cadena Cope, Barcelona have contacted Villarreal to discuss defender Pau Torres, who has a €50m release clause.

- Qatari side Al Gharafa are interested in Monaco midfielder Cesc Fabregas, claims France Football.

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