Transfer Talk: PSG overtake Barcelona for De Ligt's signature

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TOP STORY: De Ligt puts Europe's finest on red alert

Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt is causing a stir in the transfer market as the top clubs jockey for position to sign the youngster.

De Ligt reportedly feels that a move to Barcelona now might be too soon, while Marca is reporting that the Catalan club are losing patience with the player and the way he's handling the process.

But Paris Saint-Germain remain the favourite for the Dutch defender with club officials and agent Mino Raiola is in "advanced talks" this week, according to Gianluca Di Marzio.

Barca had already reached an agreement with Ajax for a fee of €75 million and are alleged to have presented their offer to the player four weeks ago. The Blaugrana see the 19-year-old as the long-term pillar of their back line, but his hesitancy has frustrated them.

Juventus are also keen to add the youngster to their defence, while both Manchester clubs have been keeping tabs on the situation. The hold up in De Ligt's decision, it seems, is choosing the club he feels is most likely to give him first-team football immediately.


22.25 BST: We'll bring Wednesday's live edition of Transfer Talk to a close with some news from Merseyside. The Liverpool Echo cites unnamed reports in Italy claiming that AC Milan have interest in Liverpool centre-back Dejan Lovren, but states that the two clubs have yet to hold discussions over the centre-back's future, and adds that it would take a bid in excess of £25m to part with the 29-year-old Croatia international.

21.42 BST: Paris Saint-Germain are close to agreeing terms with Ajax over a transfer fee in excess of €75m that would see 19-year-old centre-back Matthijs de Ligt move to the French capital, sources have told ESPN FC.

20.59 BST: The Mail writes that Chelsea are "not keen" on taking up the purchase option on Mateo Kovacic following the Croatia international's underwhelming season on loan in West London, and that parent club Real Madrid are looking to move him on as they are unable to guarantee him playing time next year. And the Mail's report cites Tuttosport as reporting that Inter -- where the 25-year-old spent two-and-a-half seasons prior to joining Los Blancos in 2015 -- are looking to bring him back to the San Siro.

20.16 BST: Real Madrid have confirmed the signing of 24-year-old Lyon full-back Ferland Mendy to a six-year contract after agreeing a €48m fee with the French club. Read the full story.

19.33 BST: Having been in a stalemate with David De Gea over a new contract, Manchester United will offer the Spain No. 1 a new deal, the Telegraph reports. De Gea is said to want to up his wages from £240,000 a week to a number closer to the £500,000 a week that teammate Alexis Sanchez earns, something United have so far been unwilling to do. With Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus reportedly interested in adding the 28-year-old, and as his existing contract enters its final 12 months, it may be now or never for the Red Devils to secure the long-term future of their goalkeeper.

18.50 BST: Tottenham have opened discussions with Lyon over the transfer of midfielder Tanguy Ndombele, according to the Guardian, but the two clubs remain some way apart in their valuations: Spurs envision a €50m fee, while Lyon have set a €75m asking price for the 22-year-old France international. The French club will hope that interest from Manchester City, Juventus and Real Madrid will drive the price closer to their valuation, while the North London club have identified alternative targets in Ajax's Donny van de Beek and Roma's Nicolo Zaniolo.

18.07 BST: The Mirror is reporting that while Manchester United don't want to lose Paul Pogba, "there is an acceptance within the club that they may be forced to sell if the price is right." The report suggests that the Red Devils have decided the right price is £150m, which is above the £135m Real Madrid are reportedly preparing to offer the Premier League club.

17.24 BST: Manchester United have rejected the chance to talk to Real Madrid about the possibility of signing Gareth Bale, sources have told ESPN FC.

16.42 BST: Roma's Lorenzo Pellegrini is attracting the interest of both Arsenal and Tottenham, as well as AC Milan and Inter Milan, say Gazzetta dello Sport.

The 22-year-old midfielder could be set to join the Gunners for £27m, but reports suggest he wants to play in the Champions League and that puts Tottenham and Inter in pole position.

16.07 BST: Barcelona are being linked with Brazilian 'wonder kid' Joao Pedro. Watford have already signed him but he's playing with Fluminense on loan and SPORT say that wouldn't stop a deal being done.

Growing interest from Manchester United and Liverpool could see Watford look to cash in, after paying just €2.5m to land him in 2018, but "according to SPORT sources, Barça have already spoken to the player about breaking his agreement with Watford to join up at the Camp Nou."

15.13 BST: Manchester United have completed the signing of Wales international Daniel James from Swansea on five-year deal with the option of an extra 12 months.

The club announced they had agreed a deal to sign James on Friday -- with the initial fee believed to be around £15m, potentially rising to £22m.

James is the first signing of the Solskjaer era at Old Trafford. What is his best position? What are his strengths and weaknesses? Rob Dawson has the lowdown.

15.08 BST: Arda Turan is still a Barcelona player, though out on loan at Basaksehir, whose president says they will respect him if he wants to move back to Galatasaray, where it all began for the Turkey midfielder.

14.54 BST: Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz will remain at the Bay-Arena for at least one more season, Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has told Sport Bild.

"[Leverkusen sporting executive Rudi Voller] told me [....] that the player will be at Leverkusen next season," he said.

Havertz, the breakout star of the 2019-2020 Bundesliga season, has previously been linked with €100m transfer to Bayern Munich. Arsenal have also been keen on a player nicknamed 'the next Mesut Ozil' but the 20-year-old look like he'll be staying put for now.

14.20 BST: Benfica and Portugal starlet Joao Felix has not yet made a decision over his future, a source has told ESPN FC, with Atletico Madrid and Manchester City among the many clubs tracking the 19-year-old.

The AS front cover on Wednesday morning claimed that Atletico Madrid were ready to match Manchester City's €6m net annual salary offer, and pay Benfica an initial fee of €60m, plus €20m in add-ons.

But, asked about the report, a source said that "all options were currently open" as the player and his advisors are still weighing up the best next step for his career.

Real Madrid, Manchester United and Juventus have all been monitoring the forward, who made a huge impression with 20 goals and 11 assists in 43 appearances for Benfica last season, and also made his senior international debut during Portugal's recent UEFA Nations League finals success.

14.06 BST: Done deal here.

13.34 BST: U.S. international Timothy Weah looks set to leave PSG this summer and join Lille for €10m, according to L'Equipe.

Weah, the son of Milan legend George, spent last season on loan at Celtic but now looks set to make a permanent move in order to play more regular football.

13.26 BST: One man who will be at Real Madrid is Luka Jovic. The striker has signed for around €60m from Frankfurt and is being presented as we type.

Easy to see why he moved based on this...

13.25 BT: James Rodriguez isn't staying at Bayern, and he might not find himself that welcome back at Real Madrid either. So Sport say that the Colombia midfielder could make a move to Napoli to reunite with former boss Carlo Ancelotti.

13.06 BT: Meanwhile, Barcelona reportedly like Mikel Oyarzabal, according to Sport, but he has a €70m release clause.

The Real Sociedad forward, 22, attracted plenty of attention for his performances last season but that's a lot of money to splash out. Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao are also keen, but not at that price.

12.37 BST: Backup goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen speaking to Voetbal is funny. He talks about the crazy prices in the transfer market, his continued desire to leave and Barcelona not letting him go cheaply.

"They won't sell me for an apple and an egg," he says. Not sure if that's a Dutch or Spanish saying but we can only guess it's the English equivalent of peanuts!

12.13 BST: Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan says he knows nothing about a rumoured return to Borussia Dortmund.

The 28-year-old is set to enter the final 12 months of his contract at the Ethiad and has yet to put pen to paper on a new deal. However, on Tuesday he told reporters at Germany's 8-0 win over Estonia that he has yet to be informed about any Dortmund interest.

"I'd know about this, right? I know nothing. I talked to no-one," he said. "We'll hold talks [with Man City] in the summer and we will see after that. It's not that I am unhappy at City and that's why I would not say that I want to leave by all means. The club also wants to prolong my contract."

11.40 BST: Manchester United forward Romelu Lukaku has said he expects a hectic summer, amid interest from Inter Milan.

Sources have told ESPN FC that, while new Nerazzurri boss Antonio Conte is interested in making Lukaku his first signing at San Siro, there has not yet been any contact between the two parties. And, asked after Belgium's 3-0 Euro 2020 qualifying victory over Scotland, whether he expected a hectic summer, Lukaku replied: "Yes, I think so."

He added: "I have a contract with Manchester United, but I will speak to my agent Federico Pastorello to ensure I make the best decision."

11.18 BST: Gazzetta dello Sport have some news about PSG's summer. They reckon that Juventus are keen on Marquinhos, which could open the door for De Ligt (see above) to arrive in Paris.

Also, evidently Leonardo has promised to make a move for Cagliari's Nicolo Barella once he returns to PSG as sporting director.

10.47 BST: Bayern Munich want to find a "fair and sincere" solution for Jerome Boateng.

The former Germany international, 30, is no longer wanted at the Allianz Arena and CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told Sport Bild: "I believe we must find a fair and sincere solution for both sides. And, fundamentally, I believe that is possible."

On around €12m-a-year in wages, Boateng has recently dropped hints he could stay at Bayern for another season if he does not get the right offer. Bild, meanwhile, said Munich are willing to listen to offers exceeding €15m.

10.27 BST: The father and agent of Alexis Mac Allister says his son could continue playing in Argentina for the 2019-20 campaign.

Mac Allister signed a four-and-a-half year contract with Brighton in January but was loaned back to his former side Argentina Juniors until the end of the season. Several Argentinian clubs, including Boca Juniors, are keen to have the 20-year-old attacking midfielder on loan next season, according to his father Carlos.

He said, as reported in TyC Sports: "If Brighton accepts a season-long loan we will make a decision regarding Racing, Independiente, San Lorenzo and Boca Juniors. If it's (the loan) for six months, he will remain at Argentinos. It's very important that he feels comfortable with the coach, with the team and the system. It's key that you arrive to a club and you play from the first day."

10.09 BST: Barcelona are set to sign 15-year-old Louie Barry from West Brom, say Sky Sports.

Indeed: "Sky Sports News understands West Brom are keen on keeping their prodigious talent, but fear a move to the Nou Camp may prove too tempting to turn down."

09.58 BST: Sweden international Alexander Isak, once hailed as the next Zlatan Ibrahimovic, is set to join Real Sociedad from Borussia Dortmund.

The 19-year-old striker has failed to win over four coaches -- Thomas Tuchel, Peter Bosz, Peter Stoger and Lucien Favre -- at Dortmund, but managed 13 goals in just 16 games during his loan with Willem II last season.

With his contract ending in 2022, the La Liga club are reportedly set to pay around €10m and Isak arrived in San Sebastian late on Tuesday for a medical.

09.35 BST: Filipe Luis will only make a decision regarding his future after the Copa America.

The 33-year-old left-back is with Brazil's squad preparing for the tournament his country will host, but he has not renewed his contract with Atletico Madrid and becomes a free agent this month. Atletico have reportedly offered him a one-year contract extension, while the veteran has been linked with Barcelona to serve as a back-up to Jordi Alba.

"My contract expires and I have the possibility to stay at Atletico or leave," he said in a news conference: "I know the doors are open. I've already spoken to the club and I will not say yes to any club before the Copa America. Any doubt they have, they will have to speak to me directly. I will only say where I will play after the Copa America. That way my mind is focused on the Brazil national team."

09.13 BST: Manchester City winger Leroy Sane has refused to be drawn on his future when asked about a potential summer switch to Bayern Munich following Germany's win against Estonia on Tuesday.

The 23-year-old is yet to sign a new contract at the Etihad Stadium, with Bayern officials admitting they would like to sign him. But Sane told reporters: "I'm going on holiday now. Everything else will be seen. That's it with the questions about Bayern Munich."

For his part, Bayern Munich chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has said the club are waiting on Sane.

"It takes three sides to get a transfer done," the Bayern CEO told Sport Bild. "The player must first decide where he sees his future."

08.53 BST: Former LA Galaxy and Barcelona forward Giovani dos Santos is reportedly close to moving to reigning CONCACAF Champions league winners Monterrey, according to Mexico's Multimedia Deportes.

The Mexico international grew up in Monterrey before leaving for Barcelona as a teenager and talks between Rayados and the 30-year-old are "going smoothly," says the report.

Monterrey sporting director Duilio Davino wouldn't be pressed in an interview with Fox Sports Mexico on Wednesday. "I don't want to deny or confirm it because it's not time, when there is something official we'll announce it," he said.

Dos Santos has been a free agent since the Galaxy exercised their option to buy out his contract on March 1 and he has been training with the Mexico national team, although was left out of the Gold Cup squad.

08.25 BST: Atletico Madrid are prepared to match Manchester City's contract offer of €6m net per season to land Benfica rising star Joao Felix, according to AS.

City are reportedly favourites to acquire the Portugal international who is also a target for Real Madrid, Manchester United and Juventus.

Felix, who helped Benfica win the Portuguese league title by scoring 15 goals and setting up nine more in 26 league appearances in his debut season. has a €120m clause and, according to Portuguese outlet Record, Atletico are prepared to pay €60m, plus €20m in variables to land the 19-year-old winger.

Atletico will get €120m if Antoine Griezmann's release clause is activated after June 30, although Griezmann's former club Real Sociedad will get around €20m from that sale. Atletico intend to spend €55m to sign Spanish forward Alvaro Morata on a permanent transfer from Chelsea this summer.

08.00 BST: Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos says he will decide his future after the European Under-21 Championship. The 22-year-old, tied to Madrid until June 2023, is a reported target of Tottenham.

Ceballos, who signed for Real Madrid in the summer of 2017 from Real Betis for €17m, is among the players told by Zinedine Zidane that he is surplus to requirements. He made 34 appearances for Madrid this season, 19 as a starter.

Ceballos is currently on international duty with Spain preparing for the U21 Euro that kicks off on June 16.

"I started well under [former Real Madrid coach Julen] Lopetegui, but once he was fired, I unfortunately became secondary," he told Onda Cero radio. "I'm not going to say what was said regarding my talk with Zidane but what I can say is that he was clear with me and once the Euro U21 is over, I will decide my future. My aim is to play wherever I go and prove that I can compete in any team in Europe. I hope to succeed because nothing is going to defeat me."

PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd)

Guedes to replace Hazard... if Chelsea can spend

With Chelsea still looking to overturn their two-year transfer ban, Plaza Deportiva are reporting that the London club are keen to reinvest £62m of the £100m made from the sale of Eden Hazard on Valencia wide man Goncalo Guedes.

Chelsea are looking to enhance their attacking options following the Belgian's departure to Real Madrid and though they're still unable to make any moves in the transfer market, they've apparently made a bid for Guedes in case their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport proves successful.

Guedes scored eight goals in 2018-19 for Valencia and scored the winning goal for Portugal against Netherlands in the Nations League final.

Regardless of how Valencia and the player himself respond, Chelsea would be unable to bring the former PSG midfielder to Stamford Bridge until their case is resolved.

Atletico to land Felix coup

The Mirror is reporting that Manchester City and Manchester United risk losing out on hotshot Joao Felix to Atletico Madrid.

City and United have both been chasing the Portuguese wonderkid for months and appeared to be leading a host of clubs in the chase for the 19-year-old, but the Mirror suggests that Felix's agent, Jorge Mendes, is pushing for a move to La Liga in an effort to aid the youngster's development.

Mendes feels Felix could benefit from playing under Diego Simeone, who could have plenty of money to spend if, as expected, Atletico cash in on Antoine Griezmann. Atletico also have £68m burning a hole in their pocket following the sale of Lucas Hernandez to Bayern Munich, all of which could see them compete with any offer City can muster.

Felix is expected to make a decision on his future following his holiday. He scored 15 goals and added nine assists in his 21 league starts for Benfica last season.

Hudson-Odoi to sign on... if he plays

Callum Hudson-Odoi has admitted he would sign an extension to his Chelsea contract... if the club can promise him game time, reports the Sun.

Hudson-Odoi is planning more of a starring role at Stamford Bridge following the departure of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid, but he has admitted he was frustrated at his lack of games last season.

The club are in talks with the 18-year-old over a five-year deal and have even offered him the prized No. 10 shirt, but the talks have stalled partly because of Hudson-Odoi's desire to play, but also the uncertainty about Chelsea's managerial situation.

Hudson-Odoi has one year left on his contract, but Chelsea will need to confirm their managerial plans for the season ahead before they can expect to see their man commit to then future.

Tap ins

- Tottenham are expected to make an improved offer for Real Betis starlet Giovani Lo Celso after their initial offer of £53m was rejected, say the Mirror. The Spanish club is said to be holding out for the full £88.9m release clause stated in the midfielder's contract, but Spurs are looking to keep some cash to enable them to sign Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon.

- With Maurizio Sarri expected to go to Juventus, the higher-ups at Chelsea are on track to bring club legend Frank Lampard in as new manager. According to Goal, Ajax boss Erik ten Hag is also an option, but the transfer ban drama has made him cautious about joining Stamford Bridge.