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Transfer news LIVE: Gareth Bale’s Real Madrid pay-off, Leeds ramp up Draxler bid, Depay to Barcelona gets closer

GARETH BALE is being pursued by former club Tottenham, according to reports.

As well as that potential mega deal, we’ve got the very latest on Leeds’ interest in Julian Draxler as Marcelo Bielsa’s side look to bring in the PSG midfielder.

Get all the latest transfer news, updates and gossip here…

OD DECISION

Chelsea are reportedly considering letting Callum Hudson-Odoi could leave the club on loan.

90min claim the Blues have informed the England winger has been informed that he could be sent out to secure game time after the arrival of Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen.

The report adds that Frank Lampard has been left unimpressed by Hudson Odoi’s attitude and performances in training this summer.

MOR TO COME

US Women’s star Alex Morgan has reportedly signed for Tottenham on a short-term loan.

The Athletic reports Orlando Pride forward Morgan has penned a deal to play in the Women’s Super League until the end of the year.

Morgan, 31, becomes the fifth high-profile US star to make the move across the pond.

Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle joined Manchester City and Christen Press and Tobin Heath joined Manchester United.

As the USA struggles with the Covid-19 pandemic, players have looked abroad for some guaranteed gametime.

World Cup winner Morgan has not played a game since August 2019.

She announced her pregnancy in October last year before giving birth to daughter Charlie on May 7.

BARKING UP THE RIGHT TREE

Chelsea are reportedly ready to ramp up their pursuit of West Ham star Declan Rice.

Football Insider claim that the Blues owner Roman Abramovich has given the green light for a deal that is set to include England compatriot Ross Barkley in part-exchange.

Barkley previously played under Hammers chief David Moyes at Everton and the Scot is said to be keen on a reunion with the £30million midfielder.

WHAT THE HEC

Barcelona are reportedly ready to ramp up their pursuit of Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin.

According to Spanish newspaper Marca, the LaLiga giansts are working on a very restricted budget and are prepared to include a player in a cash-plus-swap deal.

Barca’s preferred option is to sign the 25-year-old on loan with an obligation to buy him permanently next summer.

Yet Arsenal are chasing a big fee now so they can invest in the transfer market themselves.

NEED MOUR HELP

Spurs boss Jose Mourinho, like most supporters, is hopeful of recruiting a new striker in a bid to cope with the fixture congestion.

He said: “After the gift we had from the EFL and Uefa, that gives me after 20 years of football a unique experience of playing Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday for two consecutive weeks, we realise that more than ever we need [a new forward].”

JUST WAITING FOR A MAIT

Ainsley Maitland-Niles is reportedly yet to decide his Arsenal future with Wolves waiting in the wings.

The newly-capped England international wants to prioritise regular first-team football as he weighs up his options, according to The Daily Mail.

The 23-year-old was brought off the bench for the Three Lions against Denmark in the Nations League on Tuesday by Gareth Southgate.

But the versatile ace knows he needs regular Premier League minutes to maintain a place in Southgate’s squad ahead of the delayed Euro 2020 tournament.

Wolves had a £15million bid rejected for Maitland-Niles last month.

BARC IN BUSINESS

Lionel Messi’s Argentina suspension has been reversed after a successful appeal.

The Barcelona star had been set to miss out on a World Cup qualifier with Ecuador next month, following explosive comments in which he accused governing body CONMEBOL of corruption.

But Argentine FA chief Claudio Tapia launched an appeal, claiming that the statute of limitations on the ban had expired.

And pleasingly for boss Lionel Scaloni, formerly of West Ham, it has been successful – meaning that Messi WILL be available after all.

The punishment had been handed out following a fiery third-place play-off clash between Chile and Argentina at last year’s Copa America.

After Messi, 33, had been shown a red card, he fumed that the competition had been “set up for Brazil” to win.

OL BE BACK

Olivier Giroud is reportedly ready to stay at Chelsea and fight for his place having NOT held talks with Juventus.

The Frenchman, 33, will compete with new signing Timo Werner, 24, and Tammy Abraham, 22, at Stamford Bridge next season.

It led to reports in Italy suggesting he had agreed a two-year deal with Juventus, who have stalled in negotiations to sign Luis Suarez, 33, from Barcelona.

But according to The Athletic, Giroud wants to remain a Blue and has not been in contact with the Serie A champions.

It is claimed the World Cup winner understands his role as a senior leader at the club and wants to stay and challenge for the Premier League title this season.

TALK OF THE TOON

Steve Bruce is out to end Newcastle’s wait for a top-half finish – after admitting the Saudi takeover is ‘dead in the water’.

Owner Mike Ashley fumed over the failed £300million bid on Wednesday, pinning the blame on Premier League chief Richard Masters.

Having feared the chop had it gone through, Newcastle boss Bruce said: “The takeover looks dead in the water.

“It’s as if now it has eventually gone away.

“It was a unique situation which everybody looked at and thought, ‘If this happens, does it lift Newcastle straight away into the realms of a Manchester City, or a Chelsea?’.

“That’s why Mike is probably disappointed, that it could have taken Newcastle to where everybody would love to see them – competing like they did 20 years ago.

“But he is still interested and only wants the best for the club.

“Now we have to get on with our business and try and finish above where we did last year.

“Certainly there’s a far healthier look to the squad than it had 12 months ago.

“We gave ourselves a chance of the top 10 last season, so that’s got to be the aim.”

ED TURNER

Chelsea have reportedly had a transfer bid accepted by Rennes for goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.

Frank Lampard has been desperate to bring in a new shot-stopper having grown impatient with Kepa Arrizabalaga, 25, following a number of mistakes.

Senegal international Mendy has been heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge this month.

And now according to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, the Blues moved a step closer to signing of the 28-year-old after improving their latest offer.

He tweeted: “The new bid from Chelsea for Edouard Mendy has been accepted by Rennes: here we go!

“Deal to be completed on next days, the goalkeeper is ready to fly to London and he’ll have medicals soon.

“Personal terms agreed days ago. Lampard will have his new GK.

“Personal terms already agreed. He’s pushing to leave and join cfc… and he’s getting closer.”

ART DEALER

Mikel Arteta has remain tight-lipped over Arsenal’s pursuit of their No1 target Houssem Aouar.

The Lyon ace has been heavily linked with a switch to the Emirates, though it will take the Gunners £55million to prise him away from the Ligue 1 outfit.

According to ESPN, the French youth international remains Arsenal’s top priority this summer with Arteta a huge fan of the player.

They claim that the ex-Manchester City assistant manager wants to build his side around the 22-year-old.

Man City and Juventus have been credited with an interest in the midfielder, but Arsenal are understood to be leading the race to sign him.

It has been stated that Aouar is keen to depart Lyon, with his future to potentially be resolved in the next two weeks.

And speaking ahead of the Premier League season opener against Fulham, Arteta was quizzed about signing the player.

He told reporters of Aouar: “I don’t want to talk about players at other clubs.”

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RENN-YAY

Chelsea have had a bid for Edouard Mendy ACCEPTED by Stade Rennais.

The keeper is ready to fly to London to complete his deal, with personal terms already agreed.

According to Fabrizio Romano, he is heading to London to have his medical.

RELAX GUYS

Mikel Arteta has sent a brief but encouraging message on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s new contract.

Asked if Gunners supporters should be anxious over his new deal, Arteta said: “I think they can be pretty relaxed.”

POGBACK SOON

Paul Pogba will get fit quickly again for Manchester United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has promised.

The Frenchman has been quarantining for two weeks after contracting Covid-19.

But Solskjaer hopes the 27-year-old will be ready for United’s first game of the season against Crystal Palace next Saturday.

The Norwegian said: “Paul’s had a couple of training sessions so he’s lost out on a few sessions because of the virus, of course.

“But Paul is quick to get fit…. hopefully, he’ll be ready for next weekend. I am not 100 per cent sure though.”

BLUES AREN’T GOING TO POTT

Brighton boss Graham Potter believes Chelsea have unmistakable ambitions of mounting a Premier League title challenge following their hefty summer spending spree.

The Blues have splashed more than £200million to bring Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Thiago Silva, Ben Chilwell and Malang Sarr to Stamford Bridge.

Potter said: “The intention is clear – they want to compete, they want to compete at the top.

“They had a really good season last year in terms of finishing fourth with an embargo, introducing young players, and still managing to get into a Champions League spot was really good.

“I am guessing for a club like Chelsea and for somebody like Frank, who has competed at the top for all of his career, that they are going to push on and try to compete for the title.

“That’s pretty much what their intention looks like.

“They have recruited well, they’ve got some really good players, they’ve already got some really good players there so they will be a strong team, no doubt about that.”

NOU FACES

Barcelona are set for a huge fire sale under new manager Ronald Koeman – with 12 players reportedly up for grabs.

Big names like Luis Suarez and Samuel Umtiti are facing the chop as the Spanish club looks to rebuild following their 8-2 Champions League humiliation and the prolonged Lionel Messi transfer saga.

The Catalan giants are also believed to be on the hunt for new names in their dramatic squad overhaul.

But with Lionel Messi set to stay, the inflated wage bill must first come down to accommodate expensive signings, according to Spanish sports site Mundo Deportivo.

Along with Suarez and French international Umtiti, the likes of ex-Middlesbrough flop Martin Braithwaite and Arturo Vidal could also be shown the door.

Liverpool fan favourite Suarez, 33, is tipped with a move to Juventus costing around £2.8million plus £12 million in variables, which would link him up with superstar Cristiano Ronaldo after he spent the last few years alongside Messi.

LIFELINE FOR ‘DOUZI

Mikel Arteta has told Matteo Guendouzi he still has a chance to succeed at Arsenal.

The Gunners boss has been impressed with how the French midfielder has performed in training.

PSG and two La Liga clubs had been linked with a switch for the midfielder.

Arteta said: “It’s a new season, time is over, we had some really positive conversations between both parties and now he’s back with the group training.

“He’s been training really well.”

BACK SEAT DRIVING

The Premier League has slammed the government for restricting the number of fans allowed to watch matches, with a statement saying:

With test events now capped at 1,000 supporters, we believe they will not provide any opportunity to properly test and evaluate measures designed to maximise fan safety.

Therefore, Premier League clubs will defer holding test events until a sufficient number of fans are allowed back to enable thorough trials to take place.

At 1,000 supporters, not only would there be little to learn from a test event, but each match would be heavily loss-making.

For each month of the season without fans, more than £100 million is lost to football across the leagues, with consequent damage to the local and national economy.

It also harms the employment prospects of more than 100,000 people whose jobs depend on matchday activities.

BRAN NEW BAGG

West Brom boss Slaven Bilic has confirmed the signing of Chelsea legend Branislav Ivanovic.

The defender, 36, is joining after leaving Zenit St Petersburg.

The Baggies gaffer said: “He would be a great addition, he has done everything and I hope it will be done soon in a matter of hours.”

RASH DECISION

ston Villa are leading the race to sign Kosovo international Milot Rashica.

The attacking midfielder and winger plays for Werder Bremen, but the Villans have been told to shell out £16.6million for Rashica.

The 24-year-old scored 11 goals and had eight assists in all competitions last season.

‘LIV TO FIGHT ANOTHER DAY

Olivier Giroud is understood to want to stay at Chelsea and fight for first-team football despite interest from Juventus.

Giroud fired his 40th goal for France in Les Bleus’ 4-2 victory over Croatia on Tuesday in warming up for the start of the new Premier League campaign.

Chelsea have launched a major squad overhaul this summer, shelling out more than £200million on a string of high-profile recruits, not least Germany striker Timo Werner.

But Giroud remains determined to continue his Stamford Bridge career, according to the Press Association.

Giroud racked up seven goals in 12 games in all competitions to close last season in style, after football’s resumption following the coronavirus lockdown.

Werner’s £53million arrival from RB Leipzig adds further competition alongside England striker Tammy Abraham.

GET YOUR FIX

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FORWARD THINKING

Jose Mourinho has called on Daniel Levy to sign him a striker to help Harry Kane fire in the goals.

The Tottenham boss said: “Yes, I want, I need a striker. The club know I want a striker and they want a striker.

“Are we going to get one? I believe so.

“For the balance of the squad, we need it.”

AUBA PARKED

Barcelona have “started contact” to try and sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but have hit a brick wall.

The Gabon star’s new deal at the Emirates, which will keep him in North London till 2023, appears to have put the brakes on Ronald Koeman’s side’s bid.

Fabrizio Romano tweeted: “Barca also started contacts to sign Aubameyang weeks ago, but Koeman wants Depay and Auba decided to extend his contract with Arsenal [agreed until 2023 and official soon].”

Barcelona are working to get Memphis Depay – personal terms agreed but no official bid to OL yet.

Barça also started contacts to sign Aubameyang weeks ago, but Koeman wants Depay and Auba decided to extend his contract with Arsenal [agreed until 2023 and official soon]. 🛑 #FCB

— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) September 11, 2020

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