LIONEL MESSI is staying at Barcelona – and the Catalan giants are trying to partner him with Lautaro Martinez.
Meanwhile we’ve the very latest on Gareth Bale and potential interest from Spurs, while Aston Villa are on the cusp of signing Ollie Watkins from Brentford.
Get all the latest transfer news, updates and gossip here…
Ryan Fraser rubbed further salt into Bournemouth’s wounds by claiming he could have saved them from the drop.
He said: “With me playing, without being big-headed, I think I would have helped massively.
“Obviously I made a decision not to play, and got battered for it. Everyone has got their opinions but I need to look after myself.
“My contract was done so it’s not like I refused to play any games. If the virus didn’t come I would have played every game under my contract.
“Some lads in the Premier League signed an extension, and fair play to them.
“But for me, at my age, knowing that this club wanted me, it was just a decision I had to make.”
Everton reportedly landed Colombian star James Rodriguez on a FREE transfer despite him having a year left on his Real Madrid contract.
The Toffees announced the playmaker had signed a two-year-deal on Tuesday.
Rodriguez is now reunited with Carlo Ancelotti yet again after the Italian signed him for both Real and Bayern Munich.
And Everton were believed to have paid around £22million for the 29-year-old.
But no cash actually changed hands, according to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo.
Everton’s eagerness to bring Rodriguez in was reportedly matched by Real’s desire to let him go.
And as a result, Los Blancos only requested a sell-on percentage in return.
LYON IN WAIT
Lyon are desperate to re-sign Karim Benzema from Real Madrid as part of a three-way transfer tussle with Barcelona.
The 32-year-old came through Lyon’s youth academy before going on to score 66 goals in 148 matches for the Ligue 1 outfit from 2005.
He left for Real in 2009 and has notched up 249 goals and 135 assists at the Bernabeu in 513 games since.
And Lyon sporting director Juninho confirmed the club would love to be reunited with their former star.
He said: “It is our dream that Karim ends with us.
“It is the dream of everyone at Lyon, to bring him two seasons to play the Champions League and to be our leader and scorer.
“We need your experience and it would help us win games.”
JOEL’S IN TOON
Steve Bruce has confirmed that Joelinton will remain as Newcastle’s No9 – despite signing Callum Wilson for £20million.
The Toon boss said: “He’s training now. He’s OK. He’ll remain with the No9 shirt. I’ve spoken to Callum on that.
“The kid still has a big future and I think he’ll be better for last year.
“The type of character he is, I’m convinced he’ll roll up his sleeves at the challenge that lies ahead.
“It’s a big wake-up call and he’s found it difficult. But there are many others who struggle to adapt.
“That’s why I wanted to go down the route of been there, done it, got the T-shirt with Callum.”
FUL OF IT
Alphonse Areola has passed his medical at Fulham ahead of a transfer, reports say.
The French keeper spent last season at Real Madrid providing back up for Thibaut Courtois, 28.
But having returned to PSG, the Ligue 1 champions have no plans to keep him.
It sparked a transfer pursuit with Arsenal said to be interested in the stopper, but appear to have been edged out by London rivals Fulham.
According to RMC, Areola has completed a medical with the Premier League side, who beat Brentford in the play-off finals last season.
The 27-year-old is believed to have agreed a loan move with Scott Parker’s side.
MEND IS NIGH
Rennes have confirmed they are in talks with Chelsea to sell Edouard Mendy.
President Nicolas Holveck said: “We’ve started official negotiations with Chelsea to sell Edouard Mendy.
“We know the player wants to leave [and join Chelsea].
“But the agreement at the moment is not 100 per cent completed between the three parties.”
Bayern Munich will NOT sign Ivan Perisic on a full-time basis after the Croatia winger helped them win the Treble.
Perisic, 31, played for Bayern last season on loan from Inter Milan.
But he now looks set to head back to the San Siro after the arrival of Leroy Sane at the Allianz Arena.
World Cup finalist Perisic scored eight goals and provided ten assists in Bayern’s gung-ho attacking side.
Hansi Flick said: “I would like to thank Ivan for his performance and contribution to winning the triple. We really enjoyed working with him.
“Especially in the final round of the Champions League in Lisbon you could see what quality Ivan has. “
Wolves are ready to open talks over a new contract with boss Nuno Espirito Santo, writes GRAEME BRYCE.
Molineux chiefs have shown that they mean business by splashing out a club-record £35million on whizkid Fabio Silva, 18, last weekend.
And now SunSport understands executive chairman Jeff Shi wants to tie his inspirational head coach to a new, three-year deal worth around £4million.
Wolves are set to sign Porto midfielder Vitor Ferreira, 20, on a season loan this week.
That deal would seal a hat-trick of summer signings after the stunning swoop for Porto striker Silva — and a £1.8million deal for Lyon’s experienced left-back Fernando Marcal, 31.
Shi hopes this sends a clear message to Nuno that his pleas to strengthen the squad have been heard and acted upon.
Leeds have signed Crysencio Summerville from Feyenoord, according to reports.
The Dutch winger, 18, has been scouted and signed for the Elland Road club ahead of their return to the Premier League.
Summerville played 21 games in the Eredivisie last season on loan at Den Haag and grabbed two goals and three assists.
The transfer could turn out to be one of the shrewdest of the transfer window if he develops under Marcelo Bielsa as hoped.
Gianluca Di Marzio claims the deal has been completed and will cost £910,000.
JOBS FOR THE MOOYS
Aaron Mooy has arrived in Shanghai for his big unveiling.
The former Manchester City, Brighton and Huddersfield midfielder has completed his move to Shanghai SIPG after 11 years in English football.
Donny van de Beek touched down at Carrington for his first Manchester United training session on Wednesday.
The Dutchman was driven into the club’s base for a workout under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after his £39million move from Ajax last week.
Fresh from his hero’s send-off by the Amsterdam club’s fans, van de Beek can look forward to an extended period of training before United’s season begins.
With the Red Devils’ Premier League opener against Burnley postponed, the squad can utilise the extra week’s preparation before hosting Crystal Palace on September 19.
United fans are keenly watching Solskjaer for indications on how he will fit van de Beek into his system.
CLICK HERE TO SEE DONNY VAN DE BEEK’S UNITED INTRO
HEART TO HEART
Georginio Wijnaldum is set to have talks with Jurgen Klopp over his future after being linked with a move to Barcelona.
Ronald Koeman wants to bring the former Newcastle midfielder to the Nou Camp and the 29-year-old would jump at the chance of playing for another one of the world’s biggest clubs.
Sky Sports News report that the Dutchman WILL be in Klopp’s squad when Liverpool face Leeds on Saturday.
Manchester United haven’t ruled out signing superstar Jadon Sancho this summer, according to reports.
And supporters believe a deal is closer than ever after United’s No2 Mike Phelan dropped a subtle hint on social media.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s assistant manager started following the Borussia Dortmund ace on Instagram further fuelling speculation that negotiations are ongoing.
One optimistic fan commented: “Micky Phelan following Sancho on Insta is better than an announcement video for me. Welcome to the theatre Jadon”
Another added: “Michael Christopher Phelan following Jadon Sancho on Insta? Get the beers in, it’s endgame.”
REIN IT IN
The BBC have banned sports commentators from using “racist” phrases including cakewalk, sold down the river and nitty gritty.
In an ‘avoiding racial bias’ training session, commentators and co-commentators were given a list of terms that must be avoided.
The Daily Mail reports that in the online training session staff were instructed to stop using “pace” and/or “power” to describe black players.
This can be deemed as racial stereotyping,
A guide was sent out to attendees which read: “Is there a danger of spreading a perception that black players’ success is purely based on their athleticism and doesn’t require hard work and intelligence?
“Do you need to spend more time thinking about how to explain the variety of reasons for a black player’s success?”
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STORY
Aston Villa are racing to sign Arsenal keeper Emiliano Martinez in time for their opening league match against Sheffield United next week.
Villa manager Dean Smith has identified Martinez as the solution to the club’s goal-keeping problems, as Tom Heaton is out injured and Pepe Reina has joined Lazio.
They have launched a £20million bid for Martinez, after their initial offer was turned down as it fell short of the Gunners valuation.
Smith is optimistic of the deal going through as Martinez has rejected Arsenal’s latest contract proposal.
Martinez, 28, has been with Arsenal since 2011, but has played second fiddle during his time there.
The Argentinian has made it clear that he feels he should be the club’s No.1 keeper to boost his chances of playing for his national team.
‘HIR WE GO
Former Manchester United full-back Rafael has become the latest ex-Premier League star to move to Turkish giants Basaksehir.
The former Red Devil will team up with old Liverpool rival Martin Skrtel, with the ex-Anfield star extending his contract at the club by another year.
And the Brazilian is also set to join ex-Chelsea striker Demba Ba in the squad of Turkey’s Super Ligue champions this season.
Rafael, 30, made 109 appearances for Man United, where he played with twin brother Fabio, before leaving Old Trafford for Lyon in 2015.
The ex-Ligue 1 player, who rose through the ranks of the Red Devils during Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign, was part of the last United side to win a Premier League title in 2013.
New challenge is coming and I’m ready for it… thank you @ibfk2014 let’s go 💪💪
KIT’S NOT OKAY
Tottenham, Chelsea and Liverpool have the most expensive kits in the Premier League as Nike are revealed as the dearest in the top flight.
Manchester United’s will set fans back around £13 less, but the cost of kids’ kits is set to hit triple figures for the first time.
CLICK HERE TO READ OUR IN DEPTH FEATURE ON EACH TEAM’S UNIFORM PRICING
Aston Villa have unveiled new signing Ollie Watkins, on a five-year deal.
The striker has cost Villa £28million, after scoring 26 goals for Brentford in the Championship last season.
Watkins said: “I am so excited to join Aston Villa and reunite with Dean Smith as my head coach.
“I cannot wait to wear the famous claret and blue in the Premier League.
“I want to do something special here and score some goals.”
Ollie Watkins: Announced. ✅
Say hello to our new striker! 🙌#WatkinsAnnounced
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) September 9, 2020
Juventus have “reached an agreement” with Barcelona over the transfer of Luiz Suarez, according to reports.
The Uruguayan striker will earn £175,000 a week at the Allianz Stadium and Barca will receive an initial £2.73million.
Then there will be an instalment of just £11.8m to complete the deal, according to Tancredi Palmeri.
Juventus and Barcelona found an agreement on Suarez: 3m€ + 13m€ bonus.
— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) September 8, 2020
Michael Essien has landed his first coaching role, after being appointed first-team coach at Nordsjaelland.
The Danish club have given the ex-Stamford Bridge star the role of player-coach and he has been working on his coaching badges with the club.
Sports director Jan Laursen said: “Michael left a very positive impression here during his visit and we continued the dialogue with him after he had left.
“We felt, he was excited by what he experienced here through our philosophy, the people he met at the club, and that our environment inspired him.”
Everton are poised to continue their spending spree with a bid for Napoli forward Hirving Lozano.
The Mexican played under Carlo Ancelotti at the Stadio San Paolo for a few months before the Italian was sacked last December, joining Everton 10 days later.
Napoli bought Lozano from PSV for £34million just over a year ago, but the club’s poor form and the fact that they are out of the Champions League means they could well want a replacement left forward.
The 25-year-old scored four goals and had just one assist last season in Serie A, as well as a single strike in the Champions League.
Premier League stars earn more money than most people could spend and some of them bag millions without even playing.
Manchester United’s Sergio Romero tops the list of last season’s highest earning bench warmers.
EXCLUSIVE: SKY SHAKE-UP
Micah Richards and Alex Scott are not expected to be part of the new revolving Soccer Saturday panel on Sky this season, reports MARTIN LIPTON.
Sky’s decision to axe long-time studio guests Charlie Nicholas, Matt Le Tissier and Phil Thompson brought suggestions that Richards and Scott would be parachuted in.
But the pair have been lined up for match punditry duties rather than sitting in front of TV screens on a Saturday afternoon.
Sky chiefs have decided not to have a permanent panel alongside host Jeff Stelling, with the likes of Matt Murray and Clinton Morrison likely to appear as well as retained veteran Paul Merson.
Fans were devastated when the trio of Nicholas, Le Tissier and Thompson, who had worked for the broadcaster for almost 50 years combined, were let go.
Scott Minto was then added to the cull after 13 years with the broadcaster.
BYE BYE DEPAY?
Memphis Depay has confirmed Barcelona’s transfer interest in him.
But his club Lyon denied there have been any talks with the Nou Camp giants.
Depay, 26, has been in red-hot form for the Ligue 1 since his switch following a failed stint at Manchester United.
He scored 15 goals in 22 appearances during an injury-hit season term as Rudi Garcia’s side beat Juventus and Manchester City on their way to the Champions League semi-finals.
The forward smashed in a hat-trick in the 3-1 win over Dijon to kick-start Lyon’s new Ligue 1 campaign.
KANT GET RID OF ME
Blues midfielder N’Golo Kante reportedly wants to stay at Stamford Bridge and help fire Chelsea to the Premier League title.
The Frenchman has been a key player at both Leicester and Chelsea after switching in 2016.
And Kante wants to snub former boss Antonio Conte at Inter Milan and push on in the Champions League in West London.
The 29-year-old is settled in London and does not fancy a move abroad.