Manchester United have made Jadon Sancho their prime target heading into 2020-21.

However, prising Sancho away from Borussia Dortmund is proving difficult.

United, as a result, could be about to walk away.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED SET TO GIVE UP ON SANCHO

Manchester United are ready to abandon their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to the Mirror.

United have been unable to agree a fee with Dortmund for England sensation Sancho, who is valued at €120million (£108m).

Now, United are willing to give up on Sancho until next year, which could see the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Liverpool enter the fray.

 

ROUND-UP

- Marca claims Barcelona have re-opened talks with Inter regarding star forward Lautaro Martinez. As Barca look to move on veteran Luis Suarez, the embattled LaLiga giants remain keen on Inter's Martinez, despite links to Lyon star Memphis Depay.

Arsenal have joined Premier League rivals Liverpool in the race to sign Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara, reports the Daily Mail. Thiago is eyeing a switch to Liverpool, though the English champions are believed to be unwilling to meet Bayern's demands.

- According to the Mirror, Barca have been quoted £143m (€158.6m) to sign Richarlison from Everton.

- Tuttosport claims former Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri is preparing to replace Antonio Conte at Inter. Conte is reportedly set to leave San Siro following one season at the helm.

Arsenal have agreed a deal to sign Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes, says Fabrizio Romano. Also linked to Napoli, Everton and United, Gabriel will fly to London on Monday to sign a contract until June 2025.

- Romano also claims Chelsea will announce the signing of Leicester City full-back Ben Chilwell in the coming days as the Blues also target Paris Saint-Germain veteran Thiago Silva and continue negotiations with Bayer Leverkusen for Kai Havertz.

Leicester are considering Ajax left-back Nicolas Tagliafico as a replacement for Chelsea-bound Chilwell, says the Daily Mail.

- Roma star Edin Dzeko only wants to leave the capital club for Juve, reports Tuttosport. Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly sees Dzeko as the perfect strike partner under Andrea Pirlo.

- As new boss Ronald Koeman oversees a Barca rebuild, Sport reports Ajax would demand €55m for Donny van de Beek. The Netherlands international has also been linked to Madrid and United.

Monaco coach Niko Kovac wants the Ligue 1 side to sign former Dortmund midfielder Mario Gotze, according to Le10 Sport. Gotze is a free agent after leaving Dortmund.

The transfer saga that is Jadon Sancho-Manchester United continues to roll on.

Sancho has long been tipped to join United, though Borussia Dortmund are adamant the England star will not return to his homeland this off-season.

United, however, are reportedly not giving up.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED HELD UP BY PERSONAL TERMS

Manchester United remain keen on signing Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho but personal terms and an agent fee are holding up their pursuit, according to ESPN.

Dortmund have insisted Sancho will not be sold, though United continue to target the former Manchester City youngster in a blockbuster transfer.

United have reportedly been given the green light to speak to Sancho and his representative but there has been an impasse with the player's camp over salary demands.

ROUND-UP

- Journalist Fabrizio Romano says Chelsea and Bayer Leverkusen are still negotiating a deal for star Kai Havertz. While Chelsea are confident, there remains a difference between the two clubs as Leverkusen hope to conclude a deal by the end of the month.

Jack Grealish to United? The Aston Villa captain continues to be linked with a move to Old Trafford and ESPN reports United goalkeeper Sergio Romero could be included in a deal to sign Grealish. Romero is United's number two behind David de Gea and the Argentina international's future is unclear, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reportedly keen for Dean Henderson to challenge for the number one spot.

- According to Cadena Ser's El Larguero, Luis Suarez is aiming to stay at Barcelona. Linked with a return to former club Ajax, Suarez is reportedly one of a number of players who could be forced out following Ronald Koeman's arrival. However, Suarez, Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Sergi Roberto all want to speak to Quique Setien's replacement.

- Amid doubts over Pique's long-term future with Barca, Libero claims newly promoted Premier League side Fulham have made an offer for the Spain international star.

United remain interested in signing Barca teenager Ansu Fati, reports Marca. The 17-year-old reportedly switched agents to Jorge Mendes, having previously been represented by Messi's brother.

- The Telegraph says Chelsea are considering a move for Paris Saint-Germain defender Thiago Silva. The 35-year-old will become a free agent following the Champions League final and he has already been linked with former club Milan and fellow Serie A side Fiorentina.

Juventus are negotiating with United for Federico Bernardeschi and Douglas Costa, claims La Gazzetta dello Sport. The report also says the Serie A champions are speaking to City regarding Alex Sandro, while new boss Andrea Pirlo is eyeing Roma striker Edin Dzeko and Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli.

- Tuttosport's frontpage on Thursday suggests a merry-go-round of strikers. Inter have reportedly told Real Madrid that Romelu Lukaku is not for sale, Juve are in talks with Wolves to sign Raul Jimenez and Inter are challenging the Bianconeri for Dzeko. Meanwhile, Napoli's Arkadiusz Milik is heading towards Roma.

- The countdown is on for Madrid to sell outcasts Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez, according to Marca.

Donny van de Beek says he is "proud" to play for Ajax and will not complain if he does not get a move away from the club amid interest from Manchester United and Real Madrid.

Ajax director Edwin van der Sar revealed in June that Van de Beek is a target for United and Madrid following another impressive campaign for the Dutch giants.

However, the Netherlands international concedes that leaving the club this year is unlikely due to the "messy" situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Van de Beek, who has two years to run on his Ajax contract, insists he has no problem remaining at the Johan Cruijff ArenA for another season.

"It is very messy, in any case a very messy period in terms of transfers," he told Fox Sports following Ajax's 5-1 pre-season friendly win over Utrecht on Thursday.

"Nothing is certain yet. I am still a player of Ajax and I am still proud to be there.

"If there had not been the coronavirus, it might have been different now. There is no clarity now and we have to wait and see how it turns out.

"I'm still here and after all these years I still have a lot of fun. If I also play at Ajax next season, I still have a lot of fun. You won't hear me complaining."

Academy product Van de Beek has spent five seasons in Ajax's first team, accruing close to 200 appearances in all competitions.

Kai Havertz is reportedly still pushing for a move to Chelsea, while Manchester United are considering their options.

Havertz has been heavily linked with a move to Chelsea after an impressive season with Bayer Leverkusen.

The attacker may be getting closer to a switch to Stamford Bridge.

 

TOP STORY – HAVERTZ STILL PUSHING FOR CHELSEA MOVE

Havertz is still pushing for a move to Chelsea from Leverkusen, according to Fabrizio Romano.

The Germany international would join Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech in heading to Chelsea ahead of 2020-21.

Havertz scored 18 goals and provided nine assists in 45 games for Leverkusen this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- With Jadon Sancho potentially staying at Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United could look elsewhere. Sport reports United are insisting on Barcelona's teenage forward Ansu Fati and are willing to pay more than £90million (€100m). Meanwhile, ESPN reports United are looking at another Barcelona attacker in Ousmane Dembele.

- Real Madrid are considering their options ahead of next season. AS reports the LaLiga champions will bring back Martin Odegaard, who has been on loan at Real Sociedad, and Dani Ceballos, the latter having spent time on loan at Arsenal.

- Chelsea are linked with numerous moves ahead of 2020-21. However, The Guardian reports they are yet to make a bid for West Ham star Declan Rice.

- After a fine career at Manchester City, David Silva is leaving the Premier League giants. The Guardian reports Silva, 34, will join Lazio on a three-year deal.

- Quincy Promes has caught the eye at Ajax. The Sun reports Arsenal are eyeing a £25m (€27.8m) move for the forward, who netted 16 times in 28 games in 2019-20.

- Mario Gotze is set to have plenty of interest after leaving Borussia Dortmund. However, Sport Bild reports the 28-year-old has rejected a move to MLS side Inter Miami.

The Jadon Sancho transfer saga continues to ramble on.

Borussia Dortmund insist Sancho will not leave following Monday's apparent deadline, while Manchester United are still eyeing the English sensation.

Will Sancho be gracing Old Trafford in 2020-21?

 

TOP STORY – UNITED STILL TARGETING SANCHO

Manchester United are not giving up on signing Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to reports in the UK.

United were dealt a blow on Monday when Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said Sancho will remain with the Bundesliga club in 2020-21.

Despite United's frustration over negotiations, the Independent and Goal claim the Red Devils are still pursuing the England international.

 

ROUND-UP

Kai Havertz is closing in on a move to Chelsea, reports the Evening Standard. The Bayer Leverkusen star is "desperate" to join Chelsea following the German club's Europa League exit on Monday.

Andrea Pirlo's Juventus overhaul is underway. Calciomercato and Tuttomercatoweb say Blaise Matuidi is set to move to David Beckham's Inter Miami in MLS. Aaron Ramsey, Gonzalo Higuain, Sami Khedira, Daniele Rugani, Mattia De Sciglio and Douglas Costa are also on the chopping block following Maurizio Sarri's exit. United have been linked with a move for Costa.

- Sky Sport reports Chelsea and Barcelona are battling to sign Ajax left-back Nicolas Tagliafico. Atletico Madrid are also reportedly interested.

Milan are looking to re-sign star midfielder Franck Kessie, according to Calciomercato. Kessie is wanted by city rivals Inter.

- L'Equipe says Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes is set to decide his future. Gabriel will choose between United, Arsenal, Everton and Napoli. RMC and L'Equipe, meanwhile, report Gent star Jonathan David will undergo a medical at Lille on Tuesday ahead of his €32million transfer.

Paris Saint-Germain are focused on Kylian Mbappe and Neymar over Cristiano Ronaldo.

Mbappe and Neymar have both been linked with moves away from the Ligue 1 champions, while Ronaldo has reportedly been a target for PSG previously.

PSG seemingly know where their priorities are.

 

TOP STORY – PSG FOCUS ON MBAPPE, NEYMAR OVER RONALDO

PSG would prefer to extend the contracts of Mbappe and Neymar than chase Juventus star Ronaldo, according to ESPN.

Mbappe and Neymar are both coming to the end of their contracts in 2022 and have been linked to Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.

 

ROUND-UP

- Arsenal are reportedly ready to splash the cash. The Sun says the Premier League side are set to spend £100million on Real Madrid's Dani Ceballos, Atletico Madrid's Thomas Partey and Lille's Gabriel Magalhaes, but must sell at least three players.

- With Eric Garcia set to leave Manchester City, Barcelona are preparing a move. The Sun reports Barca will make a €15.5m (£14m) bid for the defender.

- Will Chelsea find a way to land West Ham star Declan Rice? The Daily Star says Chelsea are looking to raise £65m to land the midfielder.

- Liverpool continue to be linked with moves. The Liverpool Echo reports Watford attacker Ismaila Sarr is on the Premier League champions' shortlist.

- Staying at Anfield and Yahoo reports Liverpool are tracking Vasco da Gama's 18-year-old forward Talles Magno.

- Ryan Sessegnon continues to be linked with a move from Tottenham. The Guardian reports Ajax are interested in Sessegnon on loan.

Chelsea must pull off one of the greatest second-leg comebacks if their Champions League hopes are not to be killed off by Bayern Munich on Saturday.

There has been a spate of stunning salvage jobs in recent seasons that may give hope to Frank Lampard's side, who trail 3-0 from the first leg in London.

Nevertheless, Bayern start as firm favourites to clinch a place in the quarter-finals heading into the clash at the Allianz Arena.

Here is a look at games that may give Blues fans some hope as their team head to Germany.

2019: Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona (4-3 on aggregate)

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool had been well beaten at Camp Nou, with the 3-0 scoreline flattering Barcelona but making the Catalans clear favourites to complete their semi-final task at Anfield.

Liverpool were without injured forwards Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino for the second leg, yet two goals each from Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum saw the hosts defy the odds in sensational style.

Origi had the final word thanks to Trent Alexander-Arnold's quick thinking from a 79th-minute corner.

It meant a Barcelona side boasting Lionel Messi and former Liverpool stars Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suarez were left devastated, while Klopp's men celebrated reaching the Madrid final.

2019: Real Madrid 1-4 Ajax (5-3 on aggregate)

Despite an impressive display in their 2-1 first-leg defeat, few thought Ajax could turn things around at the Santiago Bernabeu. Madrid's Sergio Ramos certainly did not - he earned a first-leg booking to avoid the risk of a quarter-final ban, earning an extra-game suspension from UEFA in the process.

In the absence of their captain, Madrid capitulated against a fearless and thrilling Ajax. Hakim Ziyech and David Neres put the visitors 2-0 up after only 18 minutes and it was 3-0 just after the hour mark thanks to the inspired Dusan Tadic.

Marco Asensio got a goal back, but Lasse Schone's free-kick beat Thibaut Courtois and sent Madrid crashing out. It was the first time Madrid had ever been knocked out after winning the first leg of a Champions League tie, while Ajax would themselves be stung by a comeback in the semi-finals.

2019: Ajax 2-3 Tottenham (3-3 agg)

Ajax looked certain finalists when they extended their 1-0 first-leg lead to 3-0 in Amsterdam with first-half goals from Matthijs de Ligt and Ziyech.

Mauricio Pochettino's Spurs took inspiration from Liverpool's stunning fightback against Barcelona 24 hours earlier, though, and Lucas Moura stepped up to emerge as their hero.

The Brazilian winger was thrust into a central attacking role and scored an improbable hat-trick in the second half, the vital third goal coming deep into stoppage time, as Spurs won on away goals.

2018: Roma 3-0 Barcelona (4-4 agg)

Barcelona were stunned in the Italian capital as Roma completed one of the most unlikely quarter-final turnarounds.

Eusebio Di Francesco's side came back from a 4-1 first-leg deficit to progress to the last four on away goals after a thrilling 3-0 win in front of their home fans.

Edin Dzeko, Daniele De Rossi and Kostas Manolas secured the 4-4 aggregate draw and sent the Stadio Olimpico into raptures, as Barca fell to pieces.

2017: Barcelona 6-1 Paris Saint-Germain (6-5 agg)

Before their humblings by Roma and Liverpool, Barcelona pulled off an astonishing Champions League comeback of their own, and the greatest so far in terms of the deficit overhauled.

Trailing 4-0 from the first leg of their last-16 tie with PSG, Suarez and Messi scored either side of a Layvin Kurzawa own goal, only for Edinson Cavani to grab what was expected to be the decisive away goal for the visitors.

However, two quickfire Neymar goals against his future club – the second a highly controversial penalty after an apparent Suarez dive – levelled the tie at 5-5.

Then, in the fifth minute of stoppage time, Sergi Roberto struck to create a slice of Champions League history – no side had ever turned around a four-goal first-leg deficit before.

2004: Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 Milan (5-4 agg)

Deportivo were among Spain's major forces just after the turn of the century and one of their finest moments in Europe came in April 2004 when, despite being 4-1 down from the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final with Milan, they stunned the Rossoneri at the Riazor.

Walter Pandiani, Juan Carlos Valeron and Albert Luque had Depor ahead on away goals before half-time, with veteran Fran Gonzalez scoring the fourth to make sure of their passage.

Depor were eliminated by eventual winners Porto in the semi-finals, but this comeback stood as arguably the very best in Champions League history until Barca went one better.

2000: Barcelona 5-1 Chelsea (aet, 6-4 agg)

This is not one Chelsea will remember fondly.

A 3-1 first-leg loss at Stamford Bridge – having trailed 3-0 – had Barca in danger of being on the wrong end of a major Champions League upset prior to Chelsea's Roman Abramovich era, but in the return match the Catalan giants showed their true class.

Tore Andre Flo's 60th-minute goal was sending Chelsea through despite Rivaldo and Luis Figo scoring before the break, but Dani Garcia headed home seven minutes from the end of regulation to force extra time.

Rivaldo atoned for an earlier missed penalty by converting from the spot after Celestine Babayaro was sent off and Patrick Kluivert finished the game off, crushing Chelsea's dreams.

Ajax have confirmed a number of players and staff have had coronavirus after De Telegraaf reported 13 cases for the Eredivisie champions.

According to the newspaper, 13 people from approximately 90 tested were shown to have antibodies against COVID-19 following blood tests conducted in June.

Players and coaches from the Ajax first-team squad, Jong Ajax and staff associated with both teams were tested for antibodies and continue to undergo weekly coronavirus tests.

Ajax's head of communications Miel Brinkhuis told De Telegraaf that these provisions indicate there are no current cases of COVID-19 among Erik ten Hag's squad.

"It is true that a number of players and staff members have had the coronavirus," he said, while declining to confirm the identify or number of cases for legal reasons. 

"I want to emphasise that there is currently no one with corona and - except Andre Onana, who has mild ankle complaints - everyone was present on the training on Tuesday."

In February, Ajax played Madrid-based Getafe in a two-legged Europa League tie, around the time of the first confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Spanish mainland.

Those fixtures represent a possible explanation for the reportedly high number of antibodies found among the Ajax squad.

Ajax are set to begin their bid for a third consecutive Eredivisie title away to Sparta Rotterdam on September 13.

Ten Hag's men were declared champions for 2019-20 when the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) cancelled the season amid the coronavirus pandemic in April.

Bayer Leverkusen will be powerless to resist selling Kai Havertz to Chelsea if the Blues' billionaire owner Roman Abramovich wants the German at Stamford Bridge, according to the Premier League club's former manager Avram Grant.

Havertz, 21, has been a revelation in the Bundesliga ever since making his breakthrough as a 17-year-old in the 2016-17 campaign.

The midfielder, who has been played in an increasingly attack-minded role over the past two years, has scored 29 Bundesliga goals since the start of the 2018-19 campaign, while his haul of 12 this term was added to with six assists.

Already a Germany international, Havertz is widely expected to leave Leverkusen in the coming weeks, with Chelsea said to be his most likely destination.

The financial implications of the coronavirus pandemic, combined with Chelsea's recent deals for Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner, have led to suggestions the club might not be willing to meet Leverkusen's apparent €78million (£70m) asking price.

But Grant, a friend of Abramovich and a former Chelsea manager, thinks the Blues will sign anyone if the owner wants them.

Speaking to Stats Perform News, Grant said: "Abramovich didn't have a problem with money before! When he wants something, he buys it.

"He doesn't do things to save money. Whether they have more or less money, I don't think it's important.

"What I think is important is that they started to use the academy. They spent so much money on it and they didn't give anyone a chance [before]. My policy at Chelsea was that we wanted one third of the squad as under-21 players, because you cannot invest a lot into the academy and not give them a chance.

"Now, not as a policy, they gave them a chance, and Frank has done a great job. Michael Emenalo, a director, was always complaining that we invested a lot of money in them [academy players] but we don't give them a chance.

"When you have a good young player, they can develop a lot and there are a lot of good talents at Chelsea, and we're in a good phase for the coming years.

"With a good signing they can compete with Liverpool or Man City. [Havertz] has the quality. We need to wait and see [if he's the one to bridge the gap]."

The signings of Ziyech and Werner, from Ajax and RB Leipzig respectively, have been widely applauded, particularly given they were both secured well before the conclusion of the season.

But Grant did urge caution, highlighting that many big signings in a short period does not always guarantee success.

"On paper they look like good signings and that they can make the team stronger, but we need to wait and see," Grant said. "We've seen years ago, Tottenham bought a lot of players but they bought too much and many didn't perform well - eventually Harry Redknapp saved them and did a very good job.

"I think you need to be careful when you sign a player, whether they will be good for the squad, but I'm sure they've checked this. It's not only about quality."

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."

Kai Havertz's reported move from Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea should speed up, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic is set for a Milan stay.

Chelsea recorded a 2-0 win over Wolves on Sunday to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League and a spot in next season's Champions League.

That result should open the door for the arrival of Havertz – and soon.

 

TOP STORY – HAVERTZ TO CHELSEA SET TO SPEED UP

Chelsea's qualification for the Champions League should see a deal for Leverkusen star Havertz speed up, according to Sport Bild.

Leverkusen are in the Europa League last 16, but reportedly do not insist on keeping the Germany international for the rest of the tournament.

Havertz, 21, has scored 17 goals and provided nine assists in 43 games in all competitions this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Coming out of contract at Milan, Ibrahimovic could be set to extend his stay. CalcioMercato reports the 38-year-old forward is open to accepting a deal worth around €4million, lower than his initial demand of €6m. The report also says Gianluigi Donnarumma, whose deal expires next year, could renew until 2023.

- What's next for Philippe Coutinho? The cover of Sport says the playmaker, who is on loan at Bayern Munich from Barcelona, is considering options to join Arsenal, Tottenham or Leicester City.

- Brescia star Sandro Tonali is linked with a big-money move. CalcioMercato says Inter have agreed terms with the Italy international midfielder and are nearing a €35m agreement with Brescia, while Milan are also reportedly interested in the 20-year-old.

- With Dejan Lovren reportedly set for an exit, Liverpool may have found a replacement. Sport Bild reports the Premier League champions have started talks with Schalke to sign 20-year-old centre-back Ozan Kabak.

- With uncertainty over Kepa Arrizabalaga's future at Chelsea, the Premier League club are said to be looking for a new goalkeeper. Voetbal International reports Chelsea and Leverkusen have strong interest in Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana.

- Edinson Cavani may be close to deciding his future. Todofichajes reports the former Paris Saint-Germain striker is close to agreeing a deal with Benfica.

Arsenal may get an opportunity to sign Philippe Coutinho, while Mason Greenwood is set to be rewarded by Manchester United.

Coutinho is expected to leave Barcelona permanently this close season after a loan spell at Bayern Munich.

A stunning swap deal could see the playmaker end up at Emirates Stadium.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA OFFER ARSENAL COUTINHO FOR GUENDOUZI

Barcelona are in talks to send Coutinho to Arsenal in exchange for Matteo Guendouzi, according to Foot Mercato.

Coutinho has struggled to have an impact at Barca, while Guendouzi seems set for an Arsenal exit.

Former Liverpool star Coutinho has been heavily linked with a return to the Premier League.

ROUND-UP

- Greenwood is set to be rewarded for his breakthrough season at Old Trafford. The Mirror reports the forward, who has scored 16 goals this campaign, is set to be offered a new deal to double his wages at Manchester United.

- Ajax defender Nicolas Tagliafico has been linked with a move away. Goal reports Atletico Madrid have joined the race for the Argentina international, who is also said to be a target for Chelsea.

- Manchester City could be set to sign a Brazilian teenager. According to the Daily Mail, City are in talks with Gremio over a £4.5million (€5m) deal for midfielder Diego Rosa.

- Compared to Cristiano Ronaldo, Joelson Fernandes is linked with several European heavyweights. A Bola reports Arsenal are leading the race for the Sporting CP forward, with Barcelona and Juventus also said to be interested.

- West Ham are preparing to make changes. The Sun reports they are open to offers for Manuel Lanzini and Fabian Balbuena ahead of next season.

- Amid apparent interest from the Bundesliga, Timothy Fosu-Mensah is set to be given a chance to earn a new contract at Manchester United, according to The Sun.

Ajax have beaten off reported competition from several Premier League clubs to sign highly rated Ghanaian teenager Mohammed Kudus from Nordsjaelland.

The 19-year-old attacking midfielder is thought to have cost Ajax roughly €9million and has signed a five-year contract.

Kudus came through the Right To Dream academy in Ghana, an organisation set up by former Manchester United scout Tom Vernon in the late 1990s.

Vernon and a group of investors acquired Danish Superliga side Nordsjaelland in 2016, with the view to eventually developing a team made up entirely of academy graduates, and Kudus is one of the early success stories.

Kudus made the move to Nordsjaelland two years after the initial link was established and he proved a big hit, playing 51 league matches across two seasons with the senior side, scoring 14 times.

Eleven of those came in 2019-20, with his form attracting the interest of several of Europe's leading clubs.

But it is Ajax who have taken the plunge, with Kudus potentially seen as a long-term replacement for Hakim Ziyech, who has joined Chelsea.

Kudus, a nominee for the 2020 Golden Boy award, made his senior international debut for Ghana last year and is predicted to have a bright future.

For most of the year, Lautaro Martinez has been tipped to leave Inter for Barcelona.

Barca are eyeing a long-term replacement for veteran forward Luis Suarez, though, the coronavirus pandemic appears to have impacted their transfer plans.

However, a blockbuster move could still be on the cards.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA STILL WANT TO SIGN LAUTARO

Barcelona remain keen on signing Inter star Lautaro Martinez at the end of the season, according to the front page of Tuesday's Mundo Deportivo.

Barca's interest in Martinez is well documented but a transfer has been put on hold as the LaLiga giants re-assess their plans after the Argentina forward's €111million release clause expired at the start of the month.

However, Barca head coach Quique Setien is reportedly considering three options in his pursuit to recruit Martinez.

Ousmane Dembele could be sold to raise funds or a swap deal involving Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic and Samuel Umtiti could be proposed to Inter, while a player plus cash offer including Junior Firpo is the third alternative.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Mirror says Chelsea are ready to swap goalkeepers. Unhappy with the world's most expensive keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, Chelsea are ready to use the Spaniard as a makeweight in a deal to sign Atletico Madrid star Jan Oblak.

Paris Saint-Germain are eyeing in-demand Salzburg sensation Dominik Szoboszlai, reports Tuttosport. The Hungary teenager has been heavily linked to Milan and Napoli, as well as Arsenal.

Ajax are hopeful of keeping star goalkeeper Andre Onana for one more season, claims De Telegraaf. Onana has been linked to the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Barca.

- Journalist Nicolo Schira reports Napoli are confident of reaching an agreement with Lille forward Victor Osimhen. The Nigerian has been tipped to join the Serie A side, who have prepared a five-year contract worth €3.5m per season amid talk of an €80m transfer.

- While Osimhen could arrive, Napoli are set to lose Arkadiusz Milik. Calciomercato claims Italian champions Juventus are interested, while the likes of Atletico, Tottenham and Roma are also keen. Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette is an alternative for Juve, as well as Atletico.

- According to Calciomercato, Edinson Cavani has turned down a move to David Beckham's Inter Miami in MLS. A free agent since leaving PSG, Cavani is reportedly wanted by Roma.

Everton and PSG both want to sign Napoli midfielder Allan, says Calciomercato. Napoli are looking to raise funds.

Manchester City will accelerate their rebuilding plans after having their Champions League ban overturned, claims the Telegraph. Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly – also linked to United, Liverpool and Real Madrid previously – is reportedly high on the list of targets, which includes Leicester City full-back Ben Chilwell, Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish and Atletico star Saul Niguez.

Ajax coach Erik ten Hag has resigned himself to losing Nicolas Tagliafico in the next transfer window, while midfielder Donny van de Beek may depart Amsterdam too.

A year ago an Ajax team that reached the Champions League semi-finals - and came within a whisker of making the final - was broken up as Frenkie de Jong was sold to Barcelona and Matthijs de Ligt to Juventus.

Now a few more key figures from that double-winning side of 2018-19 may leave too, with Hakim Ziyech's transfer to Chelsea already confirmed.

Left-back Tagliafico, 27, is the most likely to depart and the Argentina international is thought to be interesting both Chelsea and Arsenal.

Van de Beek, linked to Real Madrid and Manchester United, and goalkeeper Andre Onana are another two Ten Hag fears will exit if the price is right.

"The transfer market will start in August - the top leagues are now being played out, so the money flows are maintained," Ten Hag told Het Parool.

"The market value of players will be slightly depressed, but not much. Based on their performance and ambition, a number of our players also want to make the move abroad. 

"Agreements have been made with Andre Onana, Donny van de Beek and Nicolas Tagliafico, but it remains to be seen whether the market is indeed breaking loose. 

"For Onana and Van de Beek, another year of Ajax could certainly be an option, for Tagliafico it is slightly different because of his age."

Another Ajax youngster on the radar of Europe's major clubs is Sergino Dest.

Bayern Munich have been linked with the Netherlands-born teenage defender, who has already represented the United States at senior level, but Ten Hag would rather the 19-year-old continued to develop with Ajax.

"I can only argue why he should stay," he said.

"I know how it is. If I can't convince him and the right price is paid, I can't rule out going. In general, I say you have to make the step abroad if you are ready for it. If you go too young, there is a chance of failure. 

"The culture and structure in which you grow up is your support. In order to stay upright in another country, in another competition, at the age of 20, you have to do a lot."

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