Liverpool's transfer activity is ramping up.

After securing the services of Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara, Diogo Jota is reportedly next on the list.

Could there be more arrivals?

 

TOP STORY – JOTA LIVERPOOL BOUND

Premier League champions Liverpool are set to complete the signing of Wolves star Diogo Jota, according to Goal.

Liverpool announced the arrival of Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich on Friday as they look to retain their Premier League crown in 2020-21.

Now, Jurgen Klopp's men are poised to bring former Atletico Madrid forward Jota to Anfield amid widespread speculation.

 

ROUND-UP

- RMC claims Porto full-back Alex Telles has agreed terms with Manchester United over a five-year deal. However, Paris Saint-Germain are also considering a move for the 27-year-old Brazilian following Juan Bernat's knee injury.

- Liverpool have enquired about Schalke star Ozan Kabak, reports Chris Williams. Bundesliga strugglers Schalke are reluctant to sell the 20-year-old centre-back.

Atletico Madrid are finalising a deal for Bayern Munich utility Javier Martinez, says Marca. Martinez played for Athletic Bilbao before joining Bundesliga powerhouse Bayern in 2012.

- The Daily Mail claims Manchester City are eyeing Sevilla defender Jules Kounde as an alternative to Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly. Pep Guardiola's City have been tipped to sign Koulibaly, though they have struggled to find an agreement with Napoli as PSG reportedly circle.

Milan have overtaken Barcelona in the race to sign Lyon captain Memphis Depay, according to Sky Italia. Tipped to reunite with former Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman at Barca, Depay could now join Milan in a swap deal involving Lucas Paqueta.

- The front page of Saturday's Mundo Deportivo says Barca are looking to sell Nelson Semedo to fund new arrivals, with Ajax sensation and Bayern target Sergino Dest, City defender Eric Garcia and Depay wanted.

- Goal confirmed Juventus are working to bring Everton forward Moise Kean back to Turin in addition to signing Roma's Edin Dzeko. Juve are interested in a loan deal, though Everton are asking for a permanent transfer or loan with an obligation to buy.

Pep Guardiola insisted it was not right for him to talk on Lionel Messi's behalf after the transfer saga that saw the Barcelona superstar heavily linked with a move to Manchester City.

Messi asked to leave Barca in the tumultuous aftermath of their humiliating 8-2 defeat against Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

City were widely viewed as the frontrunners for his signature, with a reunion between Messi and Guardiola heavily tipped to happen before the six-time Ballon d'Or winner announced he would remain at Barcelona for the final year of his contract, accusing president Josep Maria Bartomeu of going back on his word and making the financial cost of any deal for a buying club "impossible".

LaLiga backed Barca in confirming the €700million release clause in Messi's contract remained valid.

Speaking ahead of Monday's trip to Wolves, where City will begin their attempt to unseat Liverpool and win a third Premier League title in four seasons, Guardiola was keen not to cause any friction with his former employers.

"I think I don't have to explain anything," he said. "Leo explained quite well his feelings, I don't have anything to add.

"He's a football player for FC Barcelona, the club I love, and there is nothing more to say."

Asked whether City would be interested in signing Messi were he to become available, at the age of 34, when his contract expires in June, Guardiola replied: I don't know. It's a question for Leo Messi. I cannot talk about the intentions of other people."

Guardiola's forward line at Molineux will be entirely without Argentinian talent after he confirmed City's record goalscorer Sergio Aguero is yet to resume full training following meniscus surgery in June.

Riyad Mahrez is set to feature after time in isolation following a positive coronavirus test, although centre-back Aymeric Laporte only returned to training from his own COVID-19 absence on Friday, so is a doubt.

That could mean a debut for Nathan Ake at centre-back, one of two major close-season acquisitions for Guardiola, alongside winger Ferran Torres from Valencia.

"So far really good," he said of how Ake and Torres had settled.

"What we have to do with all the players and staff, the people close to them, is to help them to settle as quickly as possible.

"They are two nice people and it's good to have them with us."

City have been extensively linked with a move for Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, with the deal appearing to have stalled over recent weeks.

Nevertheless, Guardiola has no qualms over how his club have backed him in the transfer market.

"Since day one, when I arrived here, I was more than satisfied with what I had in the team," he added.

"The club do absolutely everything to do their best for all of us. I'm a lucky person to have these players and be in this club."

Liverpool and Manchester United could be set for another transfer battle.

The Premier League rivals were both reportedly interested in Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who is set for a move to Anfield.

Now it seems they could be targeting the same player once more.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL, MAN UTD TARGET SARR

Liverpool have enquired about Watford star Ismaila Sarr, according to the Daily Mail.

It reports Watford want at least £36million for the 22-year-old forward, who scored five goals and provided four assists in 28 Premier League games last season.

Meanwhile, The Independent says Manchester United are looking at Sarr as they continue to be frustrated in their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho.

 

ROUND-UP

- What is next for Luis Suarez? Goal reports Roma striker Edin Dzeko is set to join Juventus on a two-year deal, dashing Barcelona forward Suarez's hopes of heading to the Serie A champions. Fabrizio Romano says Atletico Madrid are considering a move for Suarez, while he also claims Napoli's Arkadiusz Milik is getting closer to a Roma switch.

- Gareth Bale's return to Tottenham is almost done. Sky Sports reports the Real Madrid attacker will fly to London from Spain on Friday after completing a medical, returning to Spurs after leaving for the LaLiga giants in 2013.

- Staying at Tottenham and The Sun claims Spurs had a transfer enquiry for forward Danny Ings rejected by Southampton. Ings enjoyed a prolific 2019-20 season, scoring 22 Premier League goals.

- After a difficult first season at Real Madrid, Luka Jovic is apparently considering his options. According to Marca, the Serbian forward is studying a temporary loan move from the LaLiga champions.

- At Madrid's rivals, Barcelona, more movement is also expected. Mundo Deportivo reports Ronald Koeman wants Ajax full-back Sergino Dest if Nelson Semedo leaves the club.

- Could Chelsea's spending spree continue? The Independent reports West Ham star Declan Rice is yet to decide whether to push for a move to Stamford Bridge, where the likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech and Thiago Silva are new arrivals.

Former Barcelona midfielder Bernd Schuster said he can see the embattled club winning LaLiga but little else in 2020-21.

Barca are coming off a trophy-less season and superstar captain Lionel Messi's unsuccessful attempt to leave Camp Nou.

President Josep Maria Bartomeu is also under increasing pressure following Messi's transfer request.

As Barca prepare for their LaLiga opener against Villarreal on September 26, ex-Real Madrid player and head coach Schuster told Onda Cero: "I see Barca winning LaLiga but little else.

"The radical overhaul at Barca included selling Messi. That's what I believe the people at the club thought." 

Ronald Koeman is at the helm after Barca opted to sack head coach Quique Setien, who had only replaced Ernesto Valverde in January.

Barca were dethroned by bitter rivals Madrid last season and humiliated 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.

"When a new coach arrives at a club, you can't overhaul the squad. It's a mistake because they might be forced to stay and you're off to a bad start," German Schuster, who won LaLiga and five other trophies during his time at Barca from 1980 to 1988, said.

"Barca are going through a tough moment and a radical change was needed. But this transition period might take a couple of years."

Mauricio Pochettino said he did not receive an offer to coach LaLiga giants Barcelona, while the former Tottenham boss insisted leading Real Madrid is his dream.

Pochettino was linked with Barca following Quique Setien's sacking before the embattled Spanish powerhouse opted for Ronald Koeman after a trophy-less 2019-20 campaign.

Argentine manager Pochettino, who departed Tottenham in November last year, was asked about the Barca speculation.

"They didn't offer me to coach Barca," he told Cope and Marca. "I didn't see myself with [president Josep Maria] Bartomeu.

"I did eat with Ramon Planes because we have a friendship for many years, since 2009 when he signed for Espanyol."

Pochettino had opened the door to potentially coaching Barca, having previously suggested he would not take charge at Camp Nou due to his links with rivals Espanyol.

"I was ironic then," Pochettino reflected. "It was my first news conference at Tottenham and they asked me about the Barca rumours. Then I answered with my irony and I think I went too far, I said what I said.

"It sounds very nice for the radical Espanyol fan but I did not want to speak for that radical fan. Nor do I have to justify any statement because no one can question my love for Espanyol."

Pochettino has also been linked with Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain, Serie A champions Juventus and Inter heading into the 2020-21 season.

Thomas Tuchel remains in charge of PSG, Juve turned to Andrea Pirlo and Inter have opted to continue with Antonio Conte.

"Neither PSG, nor Juventus, nor Inter Milan [made offers in the off-season]," Pochettino added. "I did have a call from Benfica and Monaco. I have no need to lie."

Pochettino shunned Madrid in 2018, deciding to honour his contract with Premier League side Tottenham at the time.

Madrid attempted to hire Pochettino as Zinedine Zidane's successor and asked about Los Blancos again, the 48-year-old said: "I don't know if I'll ever coach Madrid, but of course it's my dream.

"If it's not the best it's one of the best clubs in the world. I'm no different, everyone has it on their dream list."

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is facing a vote of no confidence after club members claimed to have gathered enough signatures for a motion of censure.

Bartomeu has been under enormous pressure at Camp Nou after a tumultuous 2019-20 season, during which Barca finished trophy-less.

The LaLiga giants confirmed on Thursday that enough members had delivered a vote of censure against the Barcelona board.

It said a total of 20,687 signatures had been counted, which was more than the 16,520 required, although they must still be validated before a vote goes ahead.

If it proceeds, two thirds of members would have to vote against Bartomeu and the board for them to be removed.

A presidential election is nonetheless due to be held at Barcelona in March with Bartomeu, who has been in the role since 2014, under pressure.

Ernesto Valverde and Quique Setien were both sacked as head coaches this year, with former Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman taking charge.

Setien announced on Thursday he was taking legal action against Barcelona over his sacking.

To add to the turmoil, Lionel Messi requested to leave the club during the close season, but the superstar will instead stay for this campaign after the saga.

Barcelona are facing legal action from Quique Setien after the coach they sacked last month revealed dismay over the handling of his dismissal.

Setien was removed from his post in a move that allowed Ronald Koeman to return to Camp Nou to take charge of the team.

Former Real Betis boss Setien indicated Barcelona have offered no compensation and said the Catalan club have failed to honour terms of the contract he signed in January.

In a statement that Setien posted on social media, from himself and his coaching team of Eder Sarabia, Jon Pascua and Fran Soto, it was claimed that all four only received written confirmation of their sackings on Wednesday of this week.

Those came via burofax, the coaches said, with the statement saying there had been "absolute silence on the part of the FC Barcelona board of directors" until that point.

According to the statement from Setien and his coaches, Barcelona indicated "a clear intention ... not to comply" with contracts that were signed on January 14, in the week that Setien succeeded Ernesto Valverde.

Setien said in the statement: "It is public and well known that, on August 17, both the club and the president announced my dismissal with immediate effect.

"However, it was not until yesterday, September 16 (one month later), when they sent me, for the first time, the written communication of said dismissal (without any settlement)."

The statement from Setien and his coaches added: "For all that has been said, we have been forced to put the conflict resolution in the hands of our lawyers, having to file the corresponding legal actions.

"This is in order to preserve our rights and what was agreed upon with FC Barcelona."

Setien endured a tough seven months as head coach after relacing Valverde.

Following a three-month pause in the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Barcelona were overtaken by Real Madrid in the LaLiga title run-in.

They were then humiliated 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, a result which proved the final straw for president Josep Maria Bartomeu and the Barcelona board as Setien departed.

Captain Lionel Messi sought to follow his coach out of Camp Nou but could not agree terms for a free transfer.

Life 20 years ago was markedly different to the world we know today.

Grim predictions of global chaos did not come to fruition as the human race survived Y2K and the threat of the "millennium bug".

Planes did not fall from the sky, missiles did not fire at random, and the resetting of dates on computers didn't set alarms blaring. No, we ticked along just fine into the year 2000.

And what a year it was. Beyonce was dominating the charts and inspiring a generation of independent women as part of Destiny's Child. Kylie Minogue made a fierce comeback. Coldplay launched their debut album. Eminem was leading the hip-hop boom. David Bowie wowed at Glastonbury for the final time.

'Big Brother' launched in the United Kingdom, sparking a global franchise that changed the landscape of reality television forever. Anne Robinson became a cold-hearted cheeky winker on 'The Weakest Link', a quiz-show concept that too travelled the globe. Russell Crowe was the ultimate 'Gladiator' and Ang Lee's 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' mesmerised with its comic-book like narrative. 

There were no iPhones. Oh no, they were still a pipe dream. Instead, millions were getting aching thumbs playing Snake on their Nokia 3310s – the best-selling phone of all time. Nintendo sold its 100 millionth Gameboy, the PlayStation 2 was launched, and The Sims hit the shelves for the first time.

In sports, Tiger Woods dominated the golfing landscape, Pete Sampras won a 13th grand slam and Wimbledon for the seventh and final time, Venus Williams won two majors and sister Serena only had one of her 23. France were European champions in football and Steve Redgrave won a fifth gold medal at a Sydney Olympics where Maurice Greene was the 100 metres champion.

But on September 17 two decades ago another seismic moment was taking place. Lionel Messi trained with Barcelona for the very first time.

"In the moment I met him [Messi], his family wanted to leave Argentina for economic reasons. They saw an opportunity with Leo," Fabian Soldini, the agent who helped bring a 13-year-old Messi to Barcelona from Argentina, recalled to Stats Perform News.

"A boy from Newell's [Old Boys] had just left for Milan and Messi's family had the idea to leave through a trial with Leo, because they understood they had the new [Diego] Maradona. 

"We did not even have passports. In those days it took time to get a passport in Argentina, we had to do everything to obtain the passport very quickly and be able to travel on September 17th with hope and uncertainty because I knew what Leo was capable of doing but I had never been [to Barcelona] and did not know the youth football in Spain."

The circumstances prior to Messi's first session were not ideal. There were concerns too over his physical ability to mix it with others who became global names.

Soldini explained: "For us, it was something with a lot of hope and we were looking for something unknown. It was like going to conquer Spain to see what level he had. 

"We had a quite difficult flight with turbulence so Leo could not rest nor eat, the day we arrived he had his first training session. I did not want him to do it because he was not at his best condition. 

"Also, I saw the boy in that moment. Gerard Pique was there, Cesc Fabregas, Victor [Vazquez], Toni Calvo. All players who reached the first division. 

"They had well-developed bodies. Pique was much bigger than Leo. And [I remember] seeing Leo so small going there. I remember Juan Mateo [Walter, an Argentine agent] said to me: 'Fabian, he is too small. You can get Barcelona's doors closed forever if you say you have a good player and he is not.' After 15 minutes watching him touching the ball, he changed his mind concerning what he thought about Leo."

It was not just the global landscape that looked very different 20 years ago. So too did the picture at Camp Nou. Barca had seen superstar Luis Figo depart for fierce rivals Real Madrid and lost their crown in LaLiga – a title they would not win again until 2005.

But behind the scenes at Barca's famed La Masia academy a perfect storm was brewing and a golden generation, led by their crown jewel Messi, that would thrive under Pep Guardiola was being moulded.

"I believe Messi arrived at the right place and at the right time, they are important things,"Soldini said. 

"It came at a time when Figo was leaving. Messi arrived in that year. I remember that we went to see a game, together with Leo. A derby [El Clasico]. Real Madrid came, I remember the whistles to Figo every time he touched the ball. Messi arrived at a time that was not a good sporting moment for Barcelona. 

"For me, Barcelona, in the academy, is one of the best clubs, with its model of play. Some may like it, others may not. But Leo arrived precisely at a stage with great players who accompanied him. 

"That is what makes Barcelona reach that level, an unbeatable team, with a coach [like Guardiola]. For me it was as if the planets were aligned at that time for Barcelona. I say that if Leo had been nationalised Spanish, as at some point they asked him, Spain would have been world champion three times, I have no doubt."

Over the next two decades Messi etched himself into football legend and is considered by many as the greatest of all time.

A club-record 634 goals, 254 assists, 444 goals in LaLiga - a competition record - the most registered in a calendar year in 2012 with 91, 10 LaLiga titles, six Copas del Rey, four Champions Leagues, 34 Barca honours in total, a benchmark six Ballons d'Or. The only blot on a flawless resume is a lack of international titles with Argentina.

This transfer window almost saw the end of one of football's greatest love affairs. Barca's humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League left Messi despondent and seeking a new challenge.

A dispute over a clause in his contract meant Messi, who did not want to drag his beloved Barca through the courts, stayed put. 

"FC Barcelona is his life. I am sure it is his life," Soldini said about the saga. "In 2015, he told me that he was going to stay there all his life. 

"He could play in the United States when he is no longer at his highest competitive level. The feeling for Barcelona ... he said it's the club he loves. I have no doubt about his feeling for Barcelona."

Messi's love affair with Barcelona has produced some of the most utterly joyous moments for fans of the game. The world may be a completely different place to when he first stepped foot on a Barcelona training pitch 20 years ago, but boy has football been blessed by his presence.

Luis Suarez will still have a place in Barcelona's squad if he does not leave Camp Nou during the transfer window, says head coach Ronald Koeman.

Uruguay striker Suarez has been heavily tipped with an exit as part of an overhaul of the first-team squad by Koeman, who replaced Quique Setien in the wake of Barca's humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.

It was expected the experienced forward would move to Serie A champions Juventus, though that deal has reportedly been complicated by the length of time required to obtain an Italian passport.

Suarez was again absent from Barca's squad for Wednesday's 3-1 friendly win over Girona but Koeman insists he would not be frozen out if a move fails to come to fruition. 

"I've spoken to him about his future and we are waiting to see whether or not he leaves, we still don't know," Koeman told Catalan network TV3 after the win over Girona.

"But we respect every contract here and if in the end he does not find a club and he stays, he will be just like any other player in the squad."

While Suarez's future remains shrouded in doubt, Philippe Coutinho is seemingly going to be afforded a second chance under Koeman.

The Brazil midfielder spent last season on loan at Bayern and was expected to find a new home for the coming season but has scored in friendly wins over Gimnastic and Girona, while he started in the latter fixture.

"He is in high spirits at the moment, training and playing well," Koeman said when asked about Coutinho. 

"He has great quality. We must bear in mind that he needs the support of the coach and the fans."

Barca have one final warm-up fixture against Elche in the Joan Gamper Trophy on Saturday before starting their LaLiga campaign at home to Villarreal the following weekend.

Gareth Bale is returning to Tottenham.

Linked with a move from Real Madrid after being frozen out, the Wales international was reportedly a target for Manchester United.

But it seems Bale is heading back to Spurs.

 

TOP STORY – BALE TO COMPLETE TOTTENHAM RETURN

Bale is completing a return to Tottenham from Madrid, according to The Daily Mail.

The report says Bale has agreed to a season-long loan deal worth more than £13million, part of which will be financed by Madrid.

It comes as ESPN reported Spurs head coach Jose Mourinho sanctioned the move despite being warned Bale would struggle to meet expectations in the Premier League.

 

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Tottenham and Sergio Reguilon will complete a medical at the club on Thursday before sealing a move from Madrid, according to the Evening Standard. The left-back, who was also linked to United, is set to cost around £25m (€27.5m) and the deal will include a buy-back option for LaLiga's champions. Meanwhile, the Mirror reports Danny Rose is set to leave Tottenham and join Genoa.

- Arsenal could be set to make a move for Lyon star Houssem Aouar. Telefoot reports Arsenal are set to make a £36.4m (€40m) offer for Aouar, who is also apparently a target for Manchester City.

- Still linked with a move for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, United are also apparently targeting other attackers. The Manchester Evening News reports the Red Devils are considering a move for Atalanta's 18-year-old attacker Amad Traore.

- Barcelona may be close to strengthening. The Daily Telegraph claims the Catalan giants are set to sign Ajax defender Sergino Dest, who was also linked to City and Bayern Munich.

- Could Inter make a move for United defender Chris Smalling? The centre-back seemed set to join Roma, where he was on loan last season, but no switch has materalised. Now, CalcioMercato reports Inter could step in and offer one of Ivan Perisic, Marcelo Brozovic or Joao Mario to the Premier League club.

- Leicester City are set to land Cengiz Under from Roma. Fabrizio Romano says a £2.7m (€3m) loan bid with a £21.8m (€24m) obligation to buy the 23-year-old attacker has been accepted.

Lionel Messi returned to the scoresheet in style with a brace in Barcelona's 3-1 friendly win over Girona on Wednesday.

The Blaugrana captain is set to see out the remaining year of his contract at Camp Nou after failing to secure a move away from his only senior club.

Messi was heavily linked with Manchester City but stayed at Barca despite announcing his frustration with the failed negotiations.

The number 10 returned to the fold for his side's first pre-season friendly under Ronald Koeman on Saturday, playing the first half against Gimnastic but failing to find the net.

Messi put that right against Girona, however, with a stunning right-footed strike from 20 yards crashing against the post and in on the stroke of half-time, although it prompted only an understated celebration.

A second followed after the restart, his shot deflecting beyond the wrong-footed goalkeeper and adding to Philippe Coutinho's opener.

Messi made way for Ousmane Dembele after 63 minutes and now has one more friendly remaining - the Joan Gamper Trophy against Elche - before Barca's LaLiga campaign begins at home to Villarreal on the weekend of September 26/27.

Neither Luis Suarez nor Arturo Vidal were included in the Barcelona squad for a friendly against Girona on Wednesday as the pair remain the subject of transfer speculation.

New Barca coach Ronald Koeman is leading an overhaul of the first-team squad at Camp Nou following their humiliating 8-2 Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich under previous boss Quique Setien.

Lionel Messi is to remain with the Blaugrana despite pushing for a move, but team-mates Suarez and Vidal, both 33, have reportedly been told they can leave.

Suarez appeared set for a move to Juventus, joining Messi's great rival Cristiano Ronaldo, although reports have since suggested that deal has run into problems due to the length of time required to obtain an Italian passport.

Vidal, on the other hand, is said to be closing on his own Serie A move, linking up with Antonio Conte – his former Juve coach – at Inter.

Barca's latest squad included Messi and the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho but had no room for Suarez or Vidal.

The duo had also been absent for the previous friendly against Gimnastic.

After playing Girona, Koeman's charges take on Elche in the Joan Gamper Trophy and then belatedly begin their LaLiga campaign at home to Villarreal on September 26.

Lionel Messi has been "deceived and ignored" by Barcelona and should still be granted his wish to leave, according to former Rayo Vallecano head coach Paco Jemez.

Six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi announced on September 4 he was staying at Camp Nou after Barcelona made it "impossible" for him to leave with their demands.

Barca disputed that the 33-year-old was still able to take up an option in his contract that would have allowed him to depart for free, meaning any suitors had to pay his €700million release clause or negotiate a fee.

He will now remain in Catalonia for at least another season, but Jemez has suggested it may have worked out better had the Argentina international moved on.

"It is great news that Messi remains in Spanish football and Barca will think the same, but I would not be so happy because Messi has not been comfortable," he said on YouTube channel Idolos. 

"Messi has stayed because they have forced him.

"If what he said is true, Messi has been deceived and ignored. That is not a good thing. If I was the president of Barca, I would do everything possible to make Messi leave. Because if not, this situation will burst."

Jemez has sympathy for recently appointed Barca boss Ronald Koeman and insisted the issue will not go away now that Messi has committed to staying.

"Letting go of Messi is also very difficult. I understand it, too. What I am clear about, at least as a coach, is that I would not like to have Messi unhappy," he said.

"Koeman has a significant 'dead man'. It often happens to us coaches, finding yourself with a problem that other people have generated. You get there and it turns out that the one who has to fix it is you.

"The problem will not be solved just because Messi is staying at Barcelona. There comes a time when there is so much animosity that it is practically impossible to redirect things."

Could Tottenham and Gareth Bale reunite?

Bale, who left Tottenham for Real Madrid in 2013, is not wanted in the Spanish capital.

While Manchester Untied are reportedly interested, former club Spurs are Bale's preference.

 

TOP STORY – SPURS LEAD BALE RACE

Tottenham are ahead of Premier League rivals Manchester United in the pursuit of Real Madrid outcast Gareth Bale, according to ESPN.

Bale has reportedly been told he can leave Madrid after falling out of favour with head coach Zinedine Zidane.

The Welshman wants to return to former club Tottenham after leaving Spurs for Madrid in 2013 and the Telegraph claims Dele Alli could be included in a deal to bring Bale back to London.

While United's interest is believed to be serious, it all depends on whether they are able to sign number one target and Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Transfer Podcast reports United believe that if they leave final negotiations for Sancho until the last week of the transfer window, Dortmund will eventually cave in and sell the England international. Dortmund have refused to budge on their €120million (£108m) valuation.

- The Mirror claims Arsenal are close to offloading unwanted trio Sead Kolasinac, Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira. Kolasinac has been linked to West Ham, Valencia are considering Guendouzi and Torreira has been tipped to join Torino. The Gunners want to keep full-back Hector Bellerin but he may be sold to Paris Saint-Germain.

Roma are poised to sign Juventus full-back Mattia De Sciglio, reports Fabrizio Romano. It comes as Juve close in on Roma striker Edin Dzeko, while Roma Press says the latter are set to complete the capture of Hellas Verona defender Marash Kumbulla. He had been linked to Inter, Lazio and Juve.

-  Luis Suarez's move to Juve has collapsed, says RAC1. The Barcelona veteran had been tipped to leave Camp Nou for Turin but a delay in an Italian citizenship test has reportedly scuppered the deal. Atletico Madrid are now an option for the Uruguayan.

- The Mail claims Bayern Munich are ready to renew their interest in Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi. The Englishman was linked to Bayern last year before opting to sign a new deal. Now, Hudson-Odoi could swap London for Munich before the October 5 deadline, with Juve also reportedly eyeing the Chelsea star.

- Diario AS reports Turkish giants Fenerbahce are eyeing Atletico's Diego Costa. Fenerbahce just sold striker Vedat Muriqi to Lazio and may use the transfer funds to bring Costa to Istanbul.

United had been favourites to land Sergio Reguilon from Madrid but the Telegraph and widespread reports say Tottenham are poised to sign the Spanish full-back. United have been reluctant to include a buy-back clause in any deal with Madrid.

- According to Sport Bild, Liverpool have contacted Bayern regarding Thiago Alcantara but the asking price is too high. United and Barca are also reportedly interested.

Lyon sporting director Juninho insisted there have been no offers for Houssem Aouar or Barcelona target Memphis Depay.

Aouar and Depay are in demand following their exploits for Ligue 1 club Lyon, who reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2019-20.

Aouar has been linked with the likes of Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal and Chelsea, while Depay is reportedly wanted by LaLiga giants Barca.

Juninho was asked about the star duo following Lyon's 2-1 loss at Montpellier on Tuesday.

"For now, there is nothing for these players, we have not received anything for Houssem [Aouar], we have not received anything for Memphis [Depay]," Juninho said.

Depay has been tipped to reunite with former Netherlands head coach Ronald Koeman at Barca, however, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas claimed the Spanish powerhouse cannot afford to buy the former Manchester United forward due to their finances amid the coronavirus crisis.

Amid talk of a €25million transfer, Juninho told Telefoot: We have not received anything from Barcelona. Not even a call to ask for the price for Memphis.

"What I have understood, is that if he stays, he will be happy to help us to have a good season. The players who received offers have already left."

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