Spurs want seven in, seven out with £100m man house-hunting

Tottenham want seven new signings and ‘could offload’ as many – including house-hunting Christian Eriksen.

The Champions League runners-up have not made a single signing since that of Lucas Moura in January 2018, with Mauricio Pochettino stating it was “imperative” for Tottenham to change that this summer.

Jack Clarke is the closest to joining after undergoing a medical ahead of his £10m move from Leeds, while difficult negotiations are well underway over priority target Tanguy Ndombele.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas stated that Tottenham’s first offer for the midfielder was £31.4m short of their valuation, with Juventus also interested.

The north London side are also expected to follow up their failed club-record bid for Giovani Lo Celso, but The Times claim Pochettino ‘also wants’ Ryan Sessegnon ‘and potentially another two defenders and a reserve striker’.

One of the defenders could be Lucas Digne, who would be targeted if Danny Rose was to leave.

In the same story, it is suggested that the manager’s desire to ‘rejuvenate the squad’ means they ‘could offload seven players’, with Fernando Llorente among them.

Christian Eriksen could also be included, as it is said that his ‘family members have been seen looking for a house in Madrid’.

Eriksen outlined his desire to leave in the aftermath of the Champions League final – and Tottenham really should go all in on his departure – but the Dane is still valued at £100m.

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Even with a only a year left on his contract, the fact that Real Madrid, his likely destination, are reluctant to enter a bidding war over Paul Pogba could weigh in Eriksen’s favour.


Holding reveals Rashford apology over season-ending injury

Rob Holding says Marcus Rashford texted him to apologise for inadvertently ending his season in December.

Holding ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee after a clash with Rashford in Arsenal’s 2-2 draw against Manchester United before the turn of the year.

The centre-half has not featured since, returning to training towards the end of the season in the hope of proving his fitness by August.

But Holding does not hold anything against Rashford, stating that the United forward personally contacted him to deny the tackle was in any way “malicious”.

“Marcus text me when the [extent of the] injury came out,” Holding told Arsenal’s website.

“He just dropped me a text and just said, ‘Hi mate, sorry to hear about the injury, I didn’t mean it in any malicious way’.

“I didn’t take it as a personal attack on me, it’s just football. I just replied to him like, ‘Yeah mate, don’t worry about it, it’s football, you didn’t even make a tackle, you just sort of ran into me, there’s nothing in it, I’m not going to be judging you off that’. I’ve got nothing but respect for him and just wished him the best for the season.

“It wasn’t until a few nights when I was sort of in bed and on FaceTime to my girlfriend and just talking, and then thinking about it more, and then you sort of realise how long it’s going to be and you’re not going to play football, or kick a ball for three or four months.

“But yeah, that’s what it was and then it was just about a long road to recovery basically.”


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‘Outstanding’ Valencia starts post-Man United career

Former Manchester United captain Antonio Valencia has agreed a move back to his homeland with Ecuadorian side LDU Quito.

Valencia spent a decade at Old Trafford having joined from Wigan in 2009 and was named club captain by Jose Mourinho at the start of last season.

United opted against extending the 33-year-old’s contract at the end of the season and he has now joined LDU Quito on a two-year deal.

A statement from LDU Quito read: “One of the most outstanding players in the history of Ecuadorian football, Antonio Valencia has joined the Whites.”

Valencia won two Premier League titles during his time at Old Trafford, as well as the FA Cup, two League Cups and the Europa League.

LDU Quito won the Ecuadorian top flight last season and currently sit seventh in the table, with the season set to resume in early July at the conclusion of the Copa America.


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Zaha ‘pleads with’ Palace to let him join boyhood club Arsenal

Wilfried Zaha has ‘urged’ Crystal Palace to ‘reach an agreement’ with boyhood club Arsenal this summer.

Zaha has emerged as one of Arsenal’s main targets in this transfer window as they look to stretch a reported £45m budget well beyond comprehension.

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The winger reportedly met with Palace in May to explain his desire to leave the club after five years.

A month prior, Zaha declared that he was “too ambitious” to stay at Selhurst Park for much longer.

And the Ivory Coast international has now told Palace of his ‘desire’ to move to Arsenal, the club he supported as a boy, specifically.

The Daily Mail say that Zaha has ‘pleaded’ with Palace to sanction a move, despite the south London club’s reluctance to lose both him and Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the same transfer window.

With Wan-Bissaka’s move to Manchester United almost complete, it seems as though Zaha may be stuck at Palace.

Their valuation of £80m is also far beyond what Arsenal are willing to pay, with Zaha ‘hoping that Palace chairman Steve Parish will lower the club’s demands to make his dream switch a reality’.


Leeds starlet warned Spurs move may ‘send his career backwards’

Jack Clarke has been warned that leaving Leeds for Tottenham “could send his career backwards”.

Clarke is set to become Tottenham’s first signing since January 2018 after a £10m move was agreed with Leeds.

The Championship had a cheeky request to keep the 18-year-old rejected, with the confirmation of his move to north London expected within days.

But former Leeds right-back Danny Mills has warned Clarke that he is making “the right move at the wrong time”.

“There’s a lot of potential there,” he told Sky Sports. “But at this stage he’s very, very raw, and it is purely potential.

“You have to say, if a player is that good at 18 years old, 19 years old, whoever you are, you have more than four starts in a Championship side. That’s what people have got to think about.

“You know, you’re coming off the bench, it’s easier to pick the ball up and run at people, and you’re generally coming off the bench because you’re either one, two, three-nil up and there’s a little bit more freedom, or there’s desperation stakes, and it’s ‘right, just go and have a go at people, go and do something and be creative,’ whatever it is.

“Why is Marcelo Bielsa not saying, ‘Right, OK, you are worthy of more starts than this’? Can he be trusted? Has he seen enough in training?

“I actually think it’s the wrong move. No, let me correct that: it’s the right move at the wrong time. He’s too young. Is he going to play at Tottenham next season? No chance. He’s going to be nowhere near the first team.

“He’s dipped his toe in the water in a Championship side with a handful of starts. Next year he might have got 15, 20 starts and the opportunity to impress. He now goes to Tottenham and he’s going to, at best, be in their U23 squad.

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“I think it’s the wrong move. He should stay and play. He’s a good player. Look at what the Ajax players have done. Look at what other young players going out on loan, some of the young Chelsea players. Playing games week in, week out is what he needs to do.

“Going back to the U23 system…he’s not going to play ahead of Lucas Moura, he’s not going to play ahead of Ndombele. All these people that are coming in, I think this actually could send his career backwards because he’s not going to play football.”


Liverpool ‘adamant’ that £20m forward will be biggest signing

Liverpool will not make ‘any high-profile signings’ in a summer where a ‘versatile’ forward worth no more than £20m will be their priority.

While many Champions League winners have used their status to bring in expensive new recruits in the past, Liverpool will avoid the temptation.

The Reds have already branded links with Nicolas Pepe as ‘pure lies’ and distanced themselves from Sporting midfielder Bruno Fernandes, while a move for Kylian Mbappe would be a gamble not worth the risk.

The arrival of Sepp van den Berg – despite Bayern Munich’s best efforts – is a greater indication of their plans ‘to pursue a low-key transfer policy during the current window’.

David Maddock of the Daily Mirror says Liverpool want ‘to identify young talent that can be developed further under the watch of boss Jurgen Klopp and his coaching team,’ and that ‘the recruitment team… have indicated there will be little business this summer’.

Klopp’s side are said to be ‘adamant’ not to sign anyone for fees close to the £56m and £52.75m they parted with for Alisson and Naby Keita respectively last summer.

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Maddock adds that ‘there won’t be any high-profile signings at all,’ with ‘one more versatile signing to strengthen attacking/wide areas’ their current ‘focus’. Any potential deal ‘would be more likely to be in the region of £20m or less’.

Liverpool made a striker to replace Daniel Sturridge one of their two transfer ‘priorities’ this summer, with as many as 12 players possibly fitting the bill.

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Man United decide when to make £30m move for next target

Manchester United will pursue a deal for Sean Longstaff when Newcastle appoint Rafael Benitez’s replacement as manager.

United are set to complete their second signing of the summer, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka expected to be unveiled imminently.

But the next part of their transfer throwback will be midfielder Longstaff, who United are ‘confident’ of signing.

The Metro say their hopes ‘have been boosted’ by the departure of Benitez, who considered keeping Longstaff at the club to be of ‘paramount importance’.

The midfielder is now ‘questioning his future’ amid the uncertainty at St James’ Park, with the Magpies said to ‘want around £30million’ for a player with eight career Premier League starts.

They add that it will be Mike Ashley’s decision whether to sell Longstaff or not as the club are still without a manager, but The I say United will actually wait for Newcastle to ‘sort out their managerial vacancy’ before making a move.


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Gossip: Aubameyang open to Man Utd move, Bayern rebuffed

Having wrapped up the signing of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Manchester United are moving on to their next targets. Sean Longstaff and James Maddison are apparently two of them, while reports suggest Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang may be another.

According to Tuttosport, the interest is mutual. The Arsenal striker is reported to have ‘said yes’ to joining United this summer which seems mental on first glance, but there may be some logic in the Gunners’ egging on their Europa League rivals.

Unai Emery has a transfer budget of around £45million to buy at least four players – and half of that kitty will probably have to go on Kieran Tierney. So Arsenal will have to sell to make the necessary reinforcements. But no one wants to pay decent money for the players Emery is happy to shift.

Aubameyang is 30 and with Alexandre Lacazette banging them in, Arsenal could make do without their record signing. They have been linked with Wilfried Zaha this summer, despite having no funds to buy the Palace winger. Aubameyang’s sale could change that.

Arsenal would expect to make a small profit on the former Borussia Dortmund striker and while he doesn’t fit with United’s supposed policy of buying young British talent, the Red Devils have form for buying veteran strikers – even from Arsenal.

Or, of course, it could all be bollocks.


Bayern Munich are shopping in the Premier League for a winger – but it seems they won’t get Callum Hudson-Odoi.

The Bundesliga champions have been chasing the England youngster since January when they had bids in the region of £35million rejected by the Blues.

Then it will come as no surprise to learn from the Daily Mail that Chelsea have also turned their nose up at Bayern’s latest offer of £22.5million.

Hudson-Odoi may be six months closer to free agency with only a year left on his contract at Stamford Bridge, but given the Blues currently cannot source a replacement, there is no incentive for them to take an offer a third lower than that they received earlier in the year. And there are whispers suggesting the 18-year-old is warming to the idea of extending his deal.

So it tallies that Sky Sports are reporting that Bayern will redouble their efforts to land Leroy Sane instead. But Manchester City are just as reluctant as Chelsea to sell, leaving Timo Werner sat waiting for Bayern to take him from RB Leipzig with agreements already in place over a transfer fee and personal terms. But Bayern might hold fire given they can take the forward for free next summer.


Man Utd are likely to reject Inter’s offer of £62.7m for Romelu Lukaku… Juve striker Moise Kean wants to join Inter… Arsenal are eyeing Monaco forward Keita Balde and Borussia Dortmund defender Dan-Axel Zagadou… Dani Ceballos does not want to leave Real Madrid… Crystal Palace want Nice winger Allan Saint-Maximin as a replacement for Wilfried Zaha… Man City and Man Utd are scrapping for Hoffenheim midfielder Ilay Elmkies… Atletico Madrid are weighing up a move for Real Madrid’s out-of-favour playmaker James Rodriguez… Tottenham will rival Arsenal for Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba… Arsenal centre-back Krystian Bielik wants to leave the Emirates.

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Man Utd rekindle interest in Barca defender, says ‘Top Secret’ report

Manchester United are looking to sign Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti as they continue to explore defensive targets, according to reports.

Umtiti has slipped down the pecking order at Barcelona this season, due to injury problems and the form of summer signing Clement Lenglet, who has established himself as the first-choice partner for Gerard Pique.

Consequently, it was claimed that Barca could look to cash in on the Frenchman after three years at Camp Nou – but reports have suggested the Catalan club are not prepared to let him leave on the cheap.

A ‘Top Secret’ report in Mundo Deportivo (via Sport Witness) claims that United are back in for Umtiti after being keen on him last summer.

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Rumours of interest have refused to go away this season and the report adds that United have decided to ‘ask questions’ to Barca about a potential transfer.

United’s rekindled interest in Umtiti comes at the same time that reports have been rife of the Catalan club’s desire to bring Victor Lindelof in the other direction.

It is understood that the Blaugrana have contacted United over the possibility of bringing the Sweden international to Spain, but after speaking to them ‘several times’ the answer is always ‘no, thanks’.

The report in Mundo Deportivo continues by saying that the stance of both clubs is that the two players are non-transferable, despite the interest.


Liverpool announce ‘excited’ Van den Berg as first signing

Liverpool have reached an agreement to sign Holland Under-19 defender Sepp Van Den Berg from PEC Zwolle.

The Champions League winners have announced the highly-rated 17-year-old will join them in July after finalising a deal – subject to international clearance – understood to be worth an initial £1.3million.

Van den Berg, who made 15 appearances for the Eredivisie side last season, has agreed a “long-term contract” at Anfield and will become Jurgen Klopp‘s first signing of the summer.

Van Den Berg told the Premier League club’s website, www.liverpoolfc.com: “It’s just an amazing feeling. It is, for me, the biggest club in the world and it’s a dream come true. I am really excited.

“I’ve seen what kind of players from the academy grew into the first team here. It is unbelievable, especially when this kind of big club does that.

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“Of course, the trainer (Klopp) is a great guy and one of the reasons they are successful – and also one of the reasons I came here. I think this is the best place for me to grow and hopefully play a lot of games here.”

Van Den Berg, who has four under-19 caps, will join the first-team squad but is expected to be eased into action with games in the academy side.