Real Madrid aim to beat Liverpool to Jude Bellingham after Casemiro exit

The summer transfer window is here, and there’s plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Real Madrid set sights on Jude Bellingham

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham is a top transfer target for Real Madrid, with Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea also in pursuit of the 19-year-old. According to Marca, the England international is closer to joining Carlo Ancelotti’s side following Casemiro’s imminent move to Manchester United.

Real Madrid, for their part, handled their first match without Casemiro well, crushing Celta Vigo by 4-1 on Saturday as Aurelien Tchouameni stepped into a bigger role and Luka Modric did what he always does.

The 30-year-old Casemiro, however, is a much-needed addition to Erik ten Hag’s side, who have suffered back-to-back defeats in their opening league games.

It is reported that the £70m deal between Los Blancos and the Red Devils for the Brazil international will rule out a move to the Premier League for Bellingham, though. Instead, it will fund his transfer to the Santiago Bernabeu as Real Madrid look to act ahead of Liverpool.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was reportedly planning to wait until next summer to make an offer for the midfielder. However, the Reds will have to move fast if they are to beat the Spanish side to a deal.

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blank15.02 BST: CF Montreal midfielder Djordje Mihailovic is closing in on a move to Dutch Eredivisie side AZ Alkmaar, sources confirmed to ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle.

Montreal sporting director Olivier Renard told TVA Sports that Mihailovic wouldn’t take part in Saturday’s match against the New England Revolution, as he had been given permission to travel to Europe to finalize the deal.

Sources confirmed that, including bonuses, the deal could reach $6m. Montreal would also receive a percentage of a future transfer, which could take the total haul even higher. The plan is that if the transfer goes through, Mihailovic will remain with Montreal until the end of the 2022 campaign.

Mihailovic enjoyed a sparking start to the MLS season, recording seven goals and four assists by the end of May. But a knee injury sidelined him for the month of June, and denied him the opportunity to take in a quartet of games with the U.S. men’s national team. Although he has returned to the field, he has yet to register a goal or assist since he went down.

14.34 BST: Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez has confirmed that both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Memphis Depay will be available for Sunday’s trip to Real Sociedad, but didn’t close the door on them leaving before the transfer deadline.

Chelsea are negotiating for Aubameyang, who could return to London just six months after leaving Arsenal to join Barca, while Juventus are keen on Memphis.

“The transfer window is open until [Sept. 1] and we don’t know what will happen,” Xavi said. “At the moment, [Aubameyang] is our player and I am counting on him. For me, he’s an important player, but we will see what happens.

“For now, neither [Aubameyang nor Memphis] has left. If there’s an offer for one of them, we will see how the squad is and decide what to do.”

Sources have told ESPN that talks between Chelsea and Barca over Aubameyang are progressing. However, despite their interest in Marcos Alonso, Barca don’t want the left-back to be included in the deal and will demand cash only.

There’s an expectation that a middle ground could be struck at around €25m, while Barca would move for Alonso in a separate deal once they are sure they can register him. That is far from a certainty, though, with summer signing Jules Kounde missing a second game this season as a result of Barca being unable to register him with LaLiga yet (see 11.56 BST).

– Real Sociedad vs. Barca: LIVE Sunday, 4 p.m. ET on ESPN+ (U.S.)

blank13.47 BST: Los Angeles FC is finalizing a deal to loan defender Mamadou Fall to LaLiga side Villarreal, a league source with knowledge of the deal confirmed to ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle.

The 19-year-old, who had previously trained with Villarreal’s U17 and U19 academy teams, had made 16 appearances this season with the Black and Gold, 13 of them starts, while scoring one goal. But Fall has seen his playing time decrease over the course of the campaign, and has made just one league start since June 1.

Former Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini arrived during the summer transfer window, while fellow defender Eddie Segura returned from a long-term injury, increasing the competition for minutes.

13.09 BST: Tottenham Hotspur are among the Premier League clubs targeting Manchester United midfielder James Garner, The Sun reports.

Garner, 21, made 49 appearances on loan for Nottingham Forest last season, helping them gain promotion back up to the Premier League for the first time this century.

Garner has made seven first-team appearances for United, none of them as a starter in the Premier League, but that has not stopped Spurs, Leeds and Southampton looking at the England youth international.

However, The Sun reports that United’s £14m valuation of their youth product is too high for those clubs to act on their interest.

12.33 BST: Raheem Sterling has said he was “fuming” and “raging” at the way his Manchester City career came to an end this summer.

The forward ended his seven-year spell at the Etihad Stadium after sealing a transfer to Premier League rivals Chelsea in a deal worth up to £50m.

Sterling previously said a lack of game time led to his departure but he has now expressed his unhappiness with how he was treated at City.

“Everyone wants to feel wanted, football is no different,” Sterling told Sky Sports. “When you play your heart out, sacrifice some of your kids’ birthdays, and then get treated in a certain way, it’s disappointing.

“At the time I was fuming, raging, but it’s gone, it’s in the past and I can only focus on the present, which is now, here at Chelsea, and the opportunity I’ve got here to go out and showcase my talents once again.”

When asked about the biggest factors leading up to his Chelsea move, Sterling said: “Misunderstandings, contracts running down. It was a shame to see how it ended in the end because I had such a great time there.

“A lot of things came into play, a lot of reasons, but I wasn’t complaining, I was ready to challenge and, as you can see, even with some of the performances I put in, you couldn’t guarantee yourself a place so it just didn’t make sense to fight a battle you can never win.”

11.56 BST: Barcelona have failed to register summer signing Jules Kounde in time for Sunday’s LaLiga game against Real Sociedad.

Kounde arrived for €55m from Sevilla in July and is the only one of Barça’s six summer signings yet to be registered.

Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen were all registered last Friday, just 24 hours ahead of the opening game against Rayo Vallecano at Camp Nou, a goalless draw.

Pablo Torre has a youth registration for now and has been included in the squad to travel to San Sebastian this weekend.

Barca have sold club assets worth over €700m this summer to improve their financial situation and are now operating with a 1:1 ratio when it comes to new signings.

That means they can spend whatever they make in fees or save in wages on new players — they were previously working with a 1:4 ratio.

However, they do not yet have enough space within their LaLiga-imposed spending cap to register France international Kounde.

– Real Sociedad vs. Barcelona: Stream LIVE 4 p.m. ET on ESPN+ (U.S.)

blank11.12 BST: Manchester United’s swift move to agree a deal to sign Casemiro this week made headlines, while the potential fee that they’ll pay Real Madrid — which sources have told ESPN is an initial £60m (€70m), with another £10m (€11m) in add-ons — has raised eyebrows for a player who turned 30 in February.

The deal doesn’t make the Brazil midfielder the most expensive over-30 player of all time, though. It’s his future United — and former Madrid — teammate Cristiano Ronaldo who still holds that honour. Juventus eventually paid a whopping €100m to sign Ronaldo, now 37, from Madrid back in July 2018. Casemiro — another Madrid departure — now holds the No. 2 spot on the most expensive over-30s list, as he faces the unenviable task of turning around United’s season after two losses in their two opening Premier League games.

A common feature of several of the historical transfers in the over-30s top 10 is that they didn’t work out quite as anticipated — ranging from being simply underwhelming to outright flops. United will be hoping that Casemiro is the exception.

– Casemiro among most expensive over-30 transfers ever

10.28 BST: Another player left out of a matchday squad on Saturday was Wesley Fofana, who was not named in Leicester City’s matchday squad against Southampton amid reported interest from Chelsea.

Last weekend the Daily Mail reported that personal terms over a potential transfer have already been agreed with Fofana, but Leicester are holding out for a bigger transfer fee. Chelsea have had two bids turned down, the most recent for £65m, but the Foxes want more than the £80m they got from Manchester United for Harry Maguire in 2019.

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers told the BBC after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat: “He’s just a young player who is not quite in the right frame of mind at the moment to play.

“There’s a lot going on behind the scenes, which I understand. It’s a difficult moment for him. He’s a good kid. He’s been great for us while he’s been here.”

Midfielder Youri Tielemans, another player who has been linked with a move, began the game on the bench but was brought on in the second half.

“With Youri and Wesley, there’s no problem but if your mind isn’t quite on playing, this is a level where you have to be totally concentrated and focused — and if you’re not, unfortunately you can’t play,” Rodgers added.

“There have been a few offers in for some players — nowhere near the valuation the club would want to sell. None of them are for sale but I know how the game works. There are a few weeks to go, I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

blank09.44 BST: Arsenal forward Nicolas Pepe was left out of the matchday squad at Bournemouth on Saturday, with sources telling ESPN’s James Olley that the club are in talks with Ligue 1 club Nice over a transfer.

The Gunners went top of the Premier League with a commanding 3-0 win at the Vitality Stadium, but Pepe again played no part having been an unused substitute for the club’s first two games of the season.

Pepe has struggled since joining Arsenal from Lille for a club-record fee of £72m in 2019, scoring 27 goals in 112 appearances for the club across all competitions.

The Ivory Coast winger scored 16 goals in 47 appearances in his most productive campaign for the north London side in 2020-21 and helped them lift the FA Cup in 2020. But the 27-year-old made just five Premier League starts last season.

– Olley: Arsenal go top as Arteta revolution continues

09.00 BST: Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has called for the summer transfer window to close earlier after a number of his players were linked with moves away from the club with the season already under way.

ESPN reported earlier this week that Atletico forward Matheus Cunha was a target for Manchester United while Alvaro Morata had also been offered to the Premier League giants.

Joao Felix was linked with a move to Old Trafford by the Spanish newspaper Marca this week, while there has been speculation about the futures of Antoine Griezmann, Yannick Carrasco, Marcos Llorente and Renan Lodi.

“It would be good for managers [if the window closed earlier],” Simeone said on Saturday in a news conference ahead of Atletico’s LaLiga game with Villarreal. “I don’t know about agents and clubs!

“For us it would be good to start with the players we have and know that they’ll be with the team all year, or at least with a break in January. While [the market] stays open, all this [speculation] happens.”

– Atletico vs. Villarreal: Stream LIVE 1:30 p.m. on ESPN+ (U.S.)

PAPER GOSSIP (by Abbie Ingham)

– Barcelona striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is open to a shock return to the Premier League with Chelsea, according to Sport. Despite only arriving at the Camp Nou in the January transfer window, the 33-year-old could be set to leave as Barcelona look to sign Jules Kounde. It is understood that the Blues have offered £16m plus Marcos Alonso for the Gabon international. Aubameyang reportedly is interested in a move to Stamford Bridge following the departure of Timo Werner now that Robert Lewandowski‘s arrival in Barcelona could siphon away playing time.

– MLS sides want to sign Mauro Icardi from PSG, reveals Ekrem Konur. The two North American sides are set to enter the race for the 29-year-old, who will likely leave Paris this summer. Recent transfer rumours have linked the forward with a move to the Super Lig following interest from Turkish rivals Galatasaray and Fenerbahce, with Manchester United also previously reported to have enquired after the Argentina international.

– Olympique Marseille and Manchester United have reached a full agreement to sign Eric Bailly on loan, reports Fabrizio Romano. The 28-year-old defender, who made just four Premier League appearances last season, is not part of Erik ten Hag’s plans for the season and is fifth-choice centre-back following the arrival of Lisandro Martinez. Following the agreement of personal terms, which are reportedly being finalised, the Ivory Coast international will join the Ligue 1 side in a loan deal which includes the option to buy.

– Aston Villa have reached an agreement with Watford for Ismaila Sarr, reports Sky Sports. The 24-year-old winger is set to return to the Premier League in a deal reportedly worth more than £25m plus add-ons. The Senegal international, who has been heavily linked to a move to West Ham this summer, scored five goals in the Premier League last season.

– Barcelona forward Memphis Depay is moving closer to a Juventus transfer, according to Sky Sport Italia. The 28-year-old’s agent is reportedly in Italy this evening to secure a move to the San Siro on a two-year deal. The Netherlands international is reportedly close to terminating his contract with the Catalan club so he can leave on a free transfer. However, it is understood that the Turin side are further away from reaching an agreement on personal terms with the forward.

– Lazio plan to make a last-minute move for Sergio Reguilon, reports Calciomercato. Maurizio Sarri is still searching for a left-back this transfer window, and after failing to secure the signing of Chelsea’s Emerson Palmieri, the Serie A side are set to pursue the 25-year-old from Tottenham Hotspur. The Albania international has already attracted interest from Atalanta, and appears set to depart North London after being displaced by from Antonio Conte’s starting 11 for this season following the arrival of Ivan Perisic.

https://www.espn.com/soccer/blog-transfer-talk/story/4726137/live-transfer-talk-real-madrid-aim-to-beat-liverpool-to-jude-bellingham-after-casemiro-exit Real Madrid aim to beat Liverpool to Jude Bellingham after Casemiro exit

Emma Bowman

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