In Brief

Premier League transfer news: Pepe, Zaha, Drinkwater, Matuidi, Sane, Adebayor, Bale

Arsenal close in on Nicolas Pepe and Frank Lampard wields axe at Chelsea

Premier League transfer gossip and rumours 

Emery confirms Pepe chase

Arsenal lost to Lyon in the Emirates Cup on Sunday but the questions at the post-match press conference were more to do with the stunning news that the Gunners are on the verge of signing Lille winger Nicolas Pepe in a £72m deal. 

Head coach Unai Emery was happy to confirm the reports, saying: “We are working, the club, and also thinking about how we can improve. There are different players on the table with the possibility that we can achieve their signature. 

“Pepe is a very good player and also we are thinking only of players who can really, really improve this squad and also give us some different conditions to improve.”

According to the Daily Mail, talks between Arsenal and Lille are ongoing with the Gunners “keen to conclude the deal soon”. 

Rugani also a target 

While Arsenal continue to be linked with attacking players, it’s in defence where the Gunners need to bulk up. One player who could be an option for Unai Emery is Juventus centre-half Daniele Rugani. The Daily Mirror says the Italian international, 24, could be a loan target for Arsenal.  

Longstaff stays put

Manchester United will have to think again if they believe they can prise Sean Longstaff from Newcastle. The Magpies’ owner Mike Ashley recently declared that the 21-year-old is not for sale, and Sky Sports says new boss Steve Bruce has echoed those sentiments. 

Currently recovering from a knee injury, Longstaff is coveted by Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but Bruce had this message for the Norwegian: “You never want to lose your best young players, and I think we’ve made it pretty evident that we won’t. We’re concentrating on Sean now, getting his knee right… I’ll just repeat what the owner said - he’s not for sale.” 

Lampard wields axe

Another new manager intent on laying down the law is Chelsea gaffer Frank Lampard. According to Metro, the Blues boss has decided to sell Chelsea “flops” Tiemoue Bakayoko and Danny Drinkwater. 

The paper says that Lampard has spent the summer running the rule over his squad during their tour to the Far East, and as a consequence he’s reached the conclusion that the pair are surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge. 

Drinkwater has been a spectacular flop since arriving from Leicester in 2017, making just 12 league appearances for the club, and Bakayoko has also failed to impress. Everton are tipped to sign French defensive midfielder Bakayoko as a replacement for Idrissa Gueye, who’s reportedly agreed terms with Paris Saint-Germain.

Wilfried Zaha scored against Arsenal in Crystal Palace’s 3-2 win at the Emirates in April

Warren Little/Getty Images

Palace play hardball over Zaha

Everton are discovering, as Arsenal did, that Crystal Palace won’t sell Wilfried Zaha for anything under their £80m asking price. The Gunners failed with two attempts to prise the winger from south London earlier in the summer, and Everton have had a £52m offer for the 26-year-old knocked back. (Daily Mail)

Sane out, Oyarzabal in at City?

Manchester Evening News reports that Bayern Munich remain confident of signing Leroy Sane from Manchester City. Should Sane return to Germany who could City bring in as a possible replacement? Spanish newspaper AS says City are interested in Real Sociedad’s Mikel Oyarzabal. 

Juve move for Lukaku

Juventus hope to beat Italian rivals Inter Milan to the signing of Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku. Juve could tempt United by offering Paulo Dybala as part of the deal, but according to reports the Argentine wants to stay in Italy. (Daily Mail

Matuidi to Manchester?

One player who could make the move from Turin to Manchester is Juventus star Blaise Matuidi. The French international is interested in a move to Man Utd. (Daily Express)  

United close in on Milinkovic-Savic

Another Serie A-based player linked with Manchester United is Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. United are reportedly closing in on a deal for the Serbian, who has reached a “verbal agreement” with the Old Trafford club. (Daily Mail)  

Prem clubs target Adebayor

Emmanuel Adebayor could make a shock return to the Premier League this summer. The 35-year-old striker is available on a free transfer and West Ham, Sheffield United and Watford are all said to be interested. (The Sun)

Real Madrid and Wales forward Gareth Bale

Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images

Real cancel Bale deal

Gareth Bale won’t be going to China, reports BBC Sport, as the Wales forward is “now set to stay at the Spanish club”. 

The 30-year-old had appeared close to agreeing terms with Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Suning on a three-year deal that would net him £1m a week, but the BBC says that Real have “cancelled the deal”. 

There’s a slightly different take on events in Spanish paper Marca, however, which says that Bale has come under pressure from his family, who “are not in favour of a move to China”.

Marca says that they have asked Bale’s agent to explore alternatives in Europe before “definitively saying yes to Jiangsu Suning’s offer”. 

Bale has until Wednesday to give an answer to the Chinese side and Marca claims that Real are giving him “the chance to decide his own future”, though they would prefer that he moves to a club in Europe so that they receive a transfer fee, rather than see him head to China on a free.  


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