Clubs are stepping up their transfer plans as they prepare for the 2021-22 season. Manchester United have followed up the signing of Jadon Sancho by seemingly being close to adding Raphael Varane to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad. Manchester City, who are completing pre-season with a small squad, are hoping for news on Harry Kane and Jack Grealish this week. There might also be news on Chelsea’s pursuit of both Romelu Lukaku or Erling Haaland as boss Thomas Tuchel eyes a new striker. Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool could be busy, too. Express Sport brings you all the latest news throughout the day.
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Arsenal ‘make move’ for Lautaro Martinez
3:00pm update: Arsenal have reportedly made an offer for Inter Milan forward Martinez as Mikel Arteta searches for a long-term attacking option.
The Argentine has been widely tipped to leave the San Siro despite helping Inter win Serie A.
The Telegraph report that the Gunners have made a surprise enquiry about the 23-year-old.
Martinez would be an alternative target to Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham, who has fallen out of favour with the Blues and particularly boss Thomas Tuchel.
Man Utd trying to ‘speed up’ Varane transfer to avoid further problem
2:30pm update: United are reportedly trying to speed up their transfer pursuit of Real Madrid defender Varane.
The Frenchman is expected to complete a £35m transfer to Old Trafford imminently.
However, the Red Devils are trying to get the deal done as soon as possible so that Varane can have as long a pre-season with his new team-mates.
As thing stand, it’s unclear whether the 28-year-old will have his medical in Madrid or Manchester.
Current British laws mean Varane must quarantine for five days upon entering the country before he can link up with his new team-mates for the first time.
United are hoping that the player can make the trip on Thursday at the earliest but, when it comes to doing his medical in Madrid, that’s tricky.
And that’s because English doctors would struggle to get over to Spain to carry out the examinations, making things ‘tricky’.
Chelsea ‘open’ Jules Kounde talks
2:00pm update: Chelsea have reportedly opened discussions with Sevilla over signing defender Kounde.
Boss Thomas Tuchel is looking to strengthen his squad after winning the Champions League last term.
The German is widely believed to want a new centre-back to add depth to his back-three options.
Kounde was a member of France’s Euro 2020 squad.
Everton held Sergio Rico talks
1:30pm update: Asmir Begovic made quite the impact on his Everton debut as he scored and saved the winning penalty in the club’s Florida Cup shootout triumph over Millonarios in Orlando.
The Bosnian only signed for the Toffees last week on a free transfer from Bournemouth as he looks to provide healthy competition for Jordan Pickford.
Express Sport understands that Everton did explore other options before signing the Cherries No 1 though, including Paris Saint-Germain’s Sergio Rico.
The Spaniard, who first made a name for himself at Sevilla, spent the 2018/19 campaign on loan at Fulham.
Yet it’s understood Rico turned down the chance to move to Goodison Park as he wants to play regularly at his next club.
By Ryan Taylor
Tottenham ‘tempted’ by Kane transfer fee reduction
1:00pm update: Spurs chairman Daniel Levy and owner Joe Lewis do not want to sell star forward Kane this summer.
The England captain is expected to reiterate his desire to leave the north Londoners when he returns to training this week.
Lewis, in particular, is understood to be annoyed by the way that Kane’s stance was made so public towards the end of the season.
But the Spurs hierarchy will reportedly be ‘tempted’ by a £120m bid from Man City should one be made, according to the Manchester Evening News.
It is a £30m decrease on the fee that is rumoured to be the club’s official asking price.
Man City’s Jack Grealish transfer talks
12:30pm update: England’s Euro 2020 stars are nearing the ends of their extended holidays and therefore the transfer speculation surrounding them is intensifying.
Harry Kane has been earmarked as a potential signing by Man City, and they could reportedly sign him for a little cheaper than the £150m transfer fee that has been widely quoted.
And Kane could be joined at the Etihad Stadium by Three Lions team-mate Grealish.
The Athletic report that City are in advanced talks with the Aston Villa captain, who was previously rumoured to be close to a £100m move to the Premier League champions.
Real Madrid have stance on Paul Pogba transfer
12:00pm update: The La Liga club’s president, Florentino Perez, has reportedly rejected a move for Man Utd midfielder Pogba.
Real have frequently been linked with the Frenchman but have never been able to do a deal, despite lengthy talks over the last two years.
Pogba has entered the final 12 months of his United contract and the Old Trafford hierarchy could this summer choose to cut their losses on the £86m they paid in 2016, rather than lose him for free.
But Spanish outlet Central defense claim that Perez has now turned down the opportunity to sign Pogba.
The 28-year-old’s former club Juventus are believed to be interested, as are Paris Saint-Germain.
Mane ‘likes’ social media post frustrated by lack of Liverpool transfers
10:30am update: Sadio Mane has interacted with an Instagram post attacking Liverpool for their lack of transfer business.
It has been widely reported that the Reds will not be busy during the summer transfer window, despite only signing defender Ibrahima Konate.
“Mood after hearing the ‘here we go’ from Fabrizio [Romano] of Varane to United & news earlier today that we may not sign anyone else,” fan account Liverpool Goals wrote.
“I know everyone says we must be patient, but I get everyone’s pain. Hopefully we get some reliable incoming news soon.”
The post was liked by Liverpool forward Mane.
Varane fired Premier League warning by former Man Utd defender
10:00am update: Red Devils legend Rio Ferdinand has told imminent arrival Varane that he must quickly adapt to the Premier League.
Ferdinand believes that a partnership between Varane and United captain Harry Maguire looks good on paper but is concerned that the Frenchman might not adapt.
“On paper it looks a very, very good combination,” Ferdinand said on his podcast Rio Ferdinand presents FIVE.
“But he’s got to understand that the English game is very different. You have got to go to Burnley and places like that.
“Sometimes it can be up and at them, a different style of football in the Premier League to anything he’s played in before.
“Can he deal with it? They’re the questions he’s going to get asked.
“Balls getting wrapped around his ear holes, crosses from different angles that he hasn’t seen on a consistent basis in Spain where they play more on the floor, slower football, slower build up.
“So he’s going to be asked to defend in a different way and that’s where he’s going to have to show his real class – can he adapt? That’s the real question.
“I genuinely believe he’s got the tools to do that.”
Man City told to ditch Kane transfer and sign Abraham
9am update: The striker has been a fringe figure at Chelsea since Tuchel’s arrival in January.
Abraham scored just one of his 12 goals last season under the German and it was in an FA Cup tie at Barnsley.
Tuchel named him in the matchday squads for neither the FA Cup final nor the Champions League final and it looks like Abraham is running out of time to prove his worth, especially if the Blues sign one of Lukaku or Haaland.
Man City, in need of a striker following the departure of Sergio Aguero, have been told to join Arsenal in the race for Abraham by former forward Trevor Sinclair.
He said: “The season he had at Aston Villa and then he went back to Chelsea and did very well. He’s a handful, his pace, he looks to stretch the lines, he’s a finisher.
“No player’s perfect, especially at 22 or 23, but there’s a lot of growth there with Tammy. He’d be someone I’d be very interested to see at Manchester City.”
Haaland tells Chelsea his worth
8:30am update: Chelsea want to sign a striker this summer as Thomas Tuchel saw his side misfire at times following his January arrival.
Lukaku and Haaland have both been suggested as possible targets, although the latter would cost close around £150million this summer.
However, the Norwegian appears to disagree with Borussia Dortmund’s valuation of him.
Sky Sports Germany reporter Jesco von Eichmann says that Haaland asked him if there was any news about his transfer saga when they met at Dortmund’s training ground.
Von Eichmann told the 21-year-old that there were rumours of a £150m move, to which Haaland quipped: “I’m not worth that!”
Man Utd agrees Varane transfer
8am update: The Red Devils’ pursuit of Real Madrid defender Varane is reportedly set to end this week as the two clubs have finally agreed a deal.
Varane is widely believed to be flying to England in the coming days and will undergo a medical ahead of a £39m move.
Boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has wanted a new partner for centre-back Harry Maguire after neither Eric Bailly nor Victor Lindelof sufficiently convinced that they can be the England star’s long-term sidekick.
The deal for Varane will take United’s spending above £100m following the £73m arrival of Sancho from Dortmund.