Transfer Talk: Arsenal's wishlist includes French teen prospect Saliba

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TOP STORY: Arsenal gunning for French prospect Saliba

Arsenal look set to sign French teenager William Saliba from Saint-Etienne -- and the good news doesn't end there.

According to the Evening Standard, the Gunners look set to snare the 18-year-old imminently before loaning him back to the French club for the 2018-19 season.

Unai Emery is understood to want the player far sooner but such is the player's burgeoning reputation that they could agree to Saint-Etienne's demands in order to seal the deal.

As a result they wouldn't have to eat substantially into their comparatively paltry £40m transfer budget this summer, with both clubs likely to agree a small initial fee before the player heads to London next summer.

What's not to love? Unless two Arsenal centre-backs pick up long-term injuries in the first match of the season.


22.48 BST: We'll close Tuesday's live edition of Transfer Talk with news from Spain, where Real Madrid have confirmed that third-choice goalkeeper Luca Zidane -- and son of manager Zinedine -- will spend the 2019-20 season on loan at Segunda Division side Racing Santander.

22.01 BST: Delegates from Inter are due to arrive in the U.K. this week to accelerate negotiations with Manchester United over the sale of striker Romelu Lukaku, Sky Sports reports.

21.14 BST: Toronto FC signed Venezuelan winger Erickson Gallardo on Tuesday. The 22-year-old tallied 13 goals and 22 assists in 116 appearances with Zamora FC in his native country and made his debut with the Venezuelan national team in June. Read the full story.

20.27 BST: Everton are one of several clubs interested in Manchester City midfielder Fabian Delph, according to the Telegraph, should the 29-year-old decide to leave the Etihad amid intensifying competition for places in the centre of the park.

19.40 BST: Arsenal are set to sign French centre-back William Saliba from Saint-Etienne for £27m on a five-year contract, sources have confirmed to ESPN FC.

18.53 BST: Villarreal have confirmed they've reached an agreement with free agent and former Liverpool left-back Alberto Moreno, who has already passed his medical and will sign a five-year contract on Wednesday morning before joining his new teammates for training and being presented to the media.

18.06 BST: While all eyes are on Paul Pogba, waiting to see if he forces a move away from Manchester United, it seems the club may have another problem on their hands. The Manchester Evening News quotes the agent of centre-back Victor Lindelof as saying that his client is "in the orbit of a great European club" and that "leaving United depends on the English club." Ed Woodward sure has his work cut out for him this summer.

17.19 BST: Everton have identified a long-awaited replacement to Romelu Lukaku, whom the Toffees sold to Manchester United two summers ago, and the Mail writes that it is Juventus' 19-year-old forward Moise Kean. Juve are reportedly preparing to sign the Italy international to a new five-year contract before selling him on for £31m and inserting a £40.5m buyback clause in his sale.

16.32 BST: Spanish program El Chiringuito has reported that an unnamed Chinese Super League club has offered Gareth Bale a double-your-money wage packet, but only if Real Madrid agree to allow the Welshman to leave on a free -- something Los Blancos reportedly are unwilling to do.

15.45 BST: Sporting Lisbon president Frederico Varandas is in Manchester today... but not to discuss Bruno Fernandes' potential move to Man United, Portuguese outlet Record are reporting.

According to Record, Sporting Lisbon sources confirmed to them that Varandas met with Man City director of football Txiki Beguiristain on Tuesday to strengthen relations between the two clubs.

Varandas will travel to Switzerland where Sporting have started their preseason training.

Sporting captain Fernandes reported for preseason and is training with Sporting in Switzerland.

15.05 BST: Burnley have re-signed West Brom striker Jay Rodriguez for an undisclosed fee, the club have announced.

The 29-year-old began his career at the Clarets, before moving onto Southampton in 2012, going on to make 121 career Premier League appearances and gain an England cap.

14.35 BST: Premier League big boys Arsenal and Man United are interested in Southampton's Mario Lemina, according to the Evening Standard.

The 25-year-old, who has three years remaining on his contract, will cost around £18m.

Lemina joined the Saints in 2017 for the same amount but was injured for much of last season and isn't in manager Ralph Hasenhuttl's plans for next season.

14.08 BST: US national goalkeeper Zack Steffen has gone on loan to Bundesliga side Fortuna Dusseldorf from Man City, the German club announced today.

The 24-year-old joined Pep Guadiola's Premier League champions in July, but has been immediately sent out on loan to gain experience in Germany.

"Zack Steffen is a modern goalkeeper who brings everything," Fortunas sport board Lutz Pfannenstiel said. "He is technically very well educated, strong in one-on-one situations and footballing outstanding. Not without reason has Manchester City decided to sign Zack Steffen on a long-term basis."

13.18 BST: Barcelona are interested in bringing in Japan under-20 international Jun Nishikawa, but must wait for the youngster to be of legal age, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Looking to add yet another Japanese youngster to their roster, after completing a deal for Hiroki Abe, 20, on Monday, and have tracked the Cerezo Osakadefender for several months.

But Barca must wait for 17-year-old Nishikawa to be 18 year of age before signing him, with the defender not allowed to leave Japan or sign for any foreign club until then.

12.42 BST: Juventus could sign highly-coveted Ajax defender Matthijs De Ligt by Saturday, according to Tuttosport.

The Ajax captain has reportedly "agreed terms" with the Italian giants, but the two clubs are yet to agree a fee.

European giants PSG pulled out of the race for his signature on Monday after sporting director Leonardo said that the Netherlands international "will not sign" for the club.

12.00 BST: Napoli are closing in on the signature of outcast Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez, according to Spanish outlet Marca.

The Colombia international, spent the last two seasons on loan at Bayern Munich, will cost Napoli around €42m, but the Italian club want to take him on loan first with the option of a future fee later on.

Marca reported that Napoli sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli is in Madrid to finalise a deal for James.

11.35: Barcelona unveiled the signing of new goalkeeper Neto on Tuesday.

The Brazilian keeper signed from Valencia for €32m, in what was effectively a swap deal with Jasper Cillessen going the other way for the same amount.

11.08 BST: Man City Women's have signed defender Aoife Mannion on a two-year deal.

Mannion joins Manchester City from Birmingham City where she made 136 appearances for the club, where she was named in the Women's Super League Team of the Year alongside new teammates Steph Houghton and Demi Stokes.

"[The Manchester Derby] is going to be so exciting, it's going to be so immense," Mannion said in a press release on Tuesday. "I'm so excited, especially with it being in the Etihad Stadium."

10.40 BST: Neymar Jr's father, Neymar Santos Sr, says his son will report for PSG pre-season duty on July 15 as the French club had been informed of his commercial and institutional commitments.

The father and agent of the Brazil star does not understand Paris Saint-Germain's decision to take "appropriate action" against his son for not turning up on Monday for the first day of pre-season training.

Neymar Sr told Fox Sports Brazil: "We had commercial and institutional commitments set. Since five years ago [Neymar's] institute takes part in those...PSG, with the presence of president Nasser, included, took part in those events. I don't understand this arbitrariness. We are annoyed by this but PSG knew about this situation."

PSG sporting director Leonardo has confirmed that Neymar can leave the club this summer if an offer that suits all parties arrives and that Barcelona have been in vague contact.

10.13 BST: Manchester United have set their sights on Chelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko, according to the Daily Mail.

The Belgian international, 24, seemingly impressed United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer whilst on loan at A.C. Milan from Chelsea last season, following a torrid first season in the Premier League.

Bakayoko, who moved to Chelsea from Monaco two years ago for £40m, has three years remaining on his contract at the club.

Arsenal and Ligue 1 champions PSG are also rumoured to be interested in Bakayoko.

09.35 BST: Liverpool are optimistic that Divock Origi will accept the club's offer of a contract extension following his return to preseason training, sources have told ESPN FC.

The striker, who has a year remaining on his contract, reported to Melwood on Monday and signalled his desire to play a further part in helping the Reds win silverware.

Sources have told ESPN FC that talks over a new deal have been progressing well with the Belgium international, who recognises there will be greater opportunities to feature for Liverpool given the packed schedule for 2019-20 plus the involvement of Roberto Firmino at the Copa America as well as Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah at the Africa Cup of Nations.

09.10 BST: Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba was filmed in an apparent row with teammate Jesse Lingard on the club's preseason tour of Australia.

Pogba, who has two more years remaining on his United contract, has been linked with a move to either Real Madrid or Juventus after his agent said he is ready to leave and a transfer is "in the process."

United posted a 79-second video on its official Twitter page on Monday of players walking through Perth, and 11 seconds in there appears to be a spat between Pogba and Lingard.

Pogba is seen exchanging strong words with Lingard as they are walking, before Pogba makes a movement towards his teammate. Defender Victor Lindelof then grabs hold of Pogba from behind in an attempt to diffuse the situation.

It is unclear what happened next because the video cuts to a different section of the player group.

08.49 BST: Dani Alves says he wants to continue playing for a big club in order to achieve his dream, which is to play at the 2022 World Cup.

The 36-year-old right-back captained Brazil to Copa America glory on Sunday. Alves is looking for a new club after his contract with Paris Saint-Germain, with whom he played for two seasons, expired last month.

Alves, a reported target of Atletico Madrid and former club Barcelona, told Sportv: "In order to achieve my dreams, which is to play in a World Cup, I have to be at a high level. I need to be in a competitive team, one that arrives at the end of the season fighting for big things."

08.22 BST: West Ham will have to deposit Maxi Gomez's €50m release clause as a single payment if it is to land the Uruguay international this summer, according to Faro de Vigo.

Celta Vigo have turned down requests by West Ham to pay Gomez's release clause in instalments. Should West Ham fail to do so, Celta would then complete the agreement they reached with Valencia to sell the player to Los Che.

Valencia would pay €14.5m plus €1.5m in add-ons to Celta and include Spanish forward Santi Mina in the deal, with defender Jorge Saenz also moving to Vigo on a season-long loan.

Gomez is tied to Celta until June 2022 and is reportedly keen to leave the Galician club this summer. The 22-year-old, who scored 13 goals and set up five more in 35 league appearances for Celta this past season, is also a reported target of Barcelona, Liverpool and Tottenham.

08.00 BST: Juventus have welcomed a young defender to their training ground for a medical this morning ahead of a proposed transfer... but it is not Matthijs de Ligt.

Genoa centre-back Cristian Romero has arrived to complete a move to Turin. The 21-year-old Argentina U20 international, who made 27 Serie A appearances for the Rossoblu, is set to seal a move worth around €15m-€20m.

Given that Juve also expect to sign De Ligt from Ajax this summer, it is likely that Romero will be loaned back to Genoa, or to another Serie A club, for next season.

PAPER TALK (by Rich Edwards): Solskjaer eyes a trio of signings

Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku look highly likely to be playing their football elsewhere by the time the season rolls around but The Sun report that Ole Gunnar Solksjaer is still intent on bolstering his squad by signing three more players before the big off.

United have just touched down in Australia for their pre-season tour but although their Norwegian boss is likely to be hopping mad at the ongoing speculation surrounding the most high profile members of his squad, it seems he has been busy hatching plans to replace them.

Alongside his intentions to improve his squad, the paper also claim that Solskjaer has developed a harder edge in the off-season and is a more aloof figure than he was when he first took the managerial reins following Jose Mourinho's departure from Old Trafford. He might need that new found toughness in the coming weeks, particularly after a video emerged of Jesse Lingard and Pogba apparently being less than friendly on a walkabout after arriving in Australia.

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Agent dashes Spurs' hopes of Zaniolo capture

The future of Nicolo Zaniolo, meanwhile, remains as murky as a Peroni bottle filled with river water, after his agent claimed that there had been no negotiations with any club -- including his current club Roma and Spurs. Calciomercato report quotes from his agent Claudio Vigorelli and it appears, for the moment at least, that the prodigious 20-year-old Spurs target ain't going anywhere.

Spurs had been heavily linked with the player, who arrived at Roma from Inter Milan last year for a fee of just £4m. He's now worth many multiples of that figure after shining in the Italian capital, with his form catching the eye, not only of Spurs and Liverpool but also Juventus. Vigorelli, though, has poured cold water on speculation linking him with a switch elsewhere.

"To date, as far as we are concerned, no negotiations are underway with any international or Italian [club]," he said unequivocally. So that's those rumours nipped in the bud. For at least another 24 hours.


- Aston Villa are eyeing a loan move for Axel Tuanzebe, who impressed on loan at Villa Park during a loan spell from Manchester United last season. That's according to the Daily Telegraph, who report that Villa gaffer Dean Smith is looking to make at least three signings before the club begin their battle for Premier League survival. Or launch a bid for a European place. Hey, it's July! Anything is possible in high summer. In the meantime, they're prepared to wait on the 21-year-old, who's currently having a grand old time with Pogba on United's tour Down Under.

- The Telegraph also report that West Ham will find out this week whether their attempts to bring Maxi Gomez to the capital from Celta Vigo have been successful. If he does leave Spain for London, then he will apparently find himself as the highest paid player at the club.