Category Archives: transfer news

Shocking: Messi wants to join Chelsea


A remarkable claim by Gianluca Di Marzio on Sky Sports suggests that a FaceTime call was held between Lionel Messi and Jose Mourinho, back in the manager’s second stint at Stamford Bridge in 2014.

Chelsea were ready to pay the Argentine’s €700million release clause and the pair spoke on the phone to determine the suitability of the move. Messi was impressed by Mourinho, says the Italian journalist.

But Deco informed Messi’s father and agent Jorge of the call, which was facilitated by someone else entirely, and the entire deal collapsed.


Statistical deep dive on Algerian Said Benrahma.


One thing that stands out off the bat is Benrahma’s direct influence in front of goal. Last season alone, he netted 17 goals in the Championship and contributed nine assists, helping Brentford reach the play-off final.

If you’re a West Ham supporter, you’re probably sick to the back teeth of the club’s transfer business during the ‘summer’ window.

Just one new arrival has wandered through the London Stadium doors, in the shape of right-back Vladimir Coufal. Costing just £5m, he hardly represents big business – though judging by his debut performance at Leicester pre-international break, the Czech may turn out to be a shrewd signing.

Other than that, West Ham’s supporters have had to settle for Tomas Soucek’s loan being made into a permanent move, with a number of other supposed targets falling by the wayside.

There’s also been the intense furore around the club’s decision to allow Grady Diangana, a promising young winger who had graduated from the academy, to join West Brom permanently. Sure, he netted the bank balance a cool £18m, but his departure represented everything that’s bad about West Ham’s way of doing things these days.


Furthermore, once record-signing Felipe Anderson has been lopped off the wage bill and sent packing to FC Porto on loan – a move instigated and pushed through by the club and not the player, if we’re to believe what we read.

There is, however, a small ray of light attempting to beam through the transfer darkness. That light goes by the name of Said Benrahma, a highly-rated Algerian playmaker who has made waves in the Championship with Brentford for the past couple of years.

A deal potentially costing upwards of £30m – yes, £30m – is agreed, offering some respite for a fanbase who have had very little to shout about in recent times, despite two glorious results before the pause for needless international football.

The question on every supporter’s lips now will revolve around value for money, and whether or not a player unproven at the highest level is worth forking out such a large sum for – particularly when Diangana was already on the books and raising cash to strengthen the defence was the primary reason for his departure.


With the help of WhoScored, we’ve done a little bit of digging into Benrahma’s game – comparing his statistics from the past season to Diangana and Anderson, in order to paint a more complete overview of what this deal means for West Ham.

The 25-year-old was one-third of the Bees’ ‘BMW’ attacking triumvirate – alongside Bryan Mbuemo and Ollie Watkins – and between the three of them, they accounted for 78% of the 83 league goals scored by Thomas Frank’s side. Benrahma also played in 43 of 46 Championship games last season, as well as appearing in both play-off semi-final legs and the final.

In comparison, Diangana only started in half of West Brom’s Championship fixtures, totalling 30 appearances overall. He played almost 2,000 less minutes than Benrahma, but still managed to tot up eight goals and six assists as the Baggies secured automatic promotion – an indicator that without injuries, he could have made a more substantial contribution.


Anderson, meanwhile, endured a player’s version of second-season syndrome, as his promising debut campaign in east London was quickly swept aside in favour of a campaign of anonymity.

The Brazilian scored just one Premier League goal and was responsible for just four assists – playing half of the amount of minutes he did during the 2018/19 campaign.

He only featured in 25 Premier League games in all – 80% of those coming from the start – and his minutes dwindled significantly towards the end of the season as David Moyes opted to utilise Pablo Fornals on his favoured left-hand side.

Benrahma’s other standout categories revolve around his directness in attack. He’s been playing at a slightly lower level, granted, but his average of 5.9 dribbles per 90 minutes played far exceeds what Diangana – playing in the same division – and Anderson were producing.

He also rained down 175 shots on goal over the course of the campaign, and although that only correlates to a 9.7% conversation rate, it demonstrates Benrahma’s appetite for scoring goals. In any event, netting 17 isn’t half bad when you consider it’s almost double Diangana and Anderson’s combined figure and his efforts on target stood at a respectable 36.5%.


In terms of passing, you’re splitting hairs between pass completion rate among the three, though Benrahma does rank highest in terms of number passes completed per 90 minutes. That’s an indicator that Brentford have been – and are – keen to get him on the ball as much as possible, given that he also excels in the other aforementioned categories.

But what stands out above anything, perhaps, is Benrahma’s fitness. When he moved to the capital aged 23, he’d never played more than 31 league games in a season – and even that was double the amount of his next best. At Brentford, he’s featured in 94 games in all competitions – at the time of writing – and that consistency has helped evolve his game ten-fold.

He’s now West Ham’s primary target and is almost certainly an upgrade on Diangana, no matter the circumstances of his departure from the club. He’s likely a better fit than Anderson, too, and the statistics highlight the graft Benrahma is willing to put in week in, week out – something that the former Lazio man didn’t necessarily display each and every time he took to the field.

Personal terms now just need to be thrashed out for Benrahma, and West Ham fans should be excited – because he does appear to have that little bit of ‘wow factor’, and could easily follow in the footsteps of Watkins, who is already shining brightly at Aston Villa after a big-money move.


West Ham spills £30m on Said Benrahma of Brentford.


Since arriving in west London, he has been nothing short of sensational, and he will bring invention and flair to West Ham.

West Ham have agreed a £30m fee with Brentford for Algerian winger Said Benrahma.

The 25-year-old lit up the Championship last season, registering 17 goals and nine assists for Thomas Frank’s side. Ever since the Bees lost to Fulham in the 2020 playoff final, speculation has been rife over his future, with several Premier League clubs linked.

Arsenal, Aston Villa and Leeds United were all thought to be interested in the summer but West Ham have recently emerged as favourites to land the him. On Friday, NobleSport reported that the Hammers had submitted a £17m bid for Benrahma, not including add-ons.

Said Benrahma looks set to become a Hammer | Pool/Getty Images

And it now seems that a £30m deal has been agreed. According to The Athletic, that fee includes all add-ons, with personal terms still needing to be negotiated.


Benrahma started his career at Nice, enjoying a string of fruitful loan moves between 2013 and 2018 before being snapped up by Brentford.

After a troubling start to the Premier League season, the Hammers picked up back-to-back wins against Wolves and Leicester before the international break. This fine form has relieved some of the discontent among the supporters, who had previously expressed their dismay about the club’s performance on and off the pitch.

The sale of youth academy graduate Grady Diangana to West Brom attracted the ire of Hammers fans, and there is also long term resentment over the club’s move to the London Stadium.

David Moyes, who will return to the touchline following a two-week absence after testing positive for coronavirus, will be hoping that his side’s good run of results continues next weekend when they take on Tottenham.


Officially: Bayern Munich completes the signing of Marc Roca


OFFICIAL: Bayern announce the signing of Marc Roca on a 5-year contract until 2025.

Bayern announces him as a player on Sunday afternoon after completing necessary documents on Saturday, October 3.


Semedo to Wolves almost deal done


Wolves have made an offer for Barcelona right-back Nelson Semedo.

Talks between the two clubs are continuing but Barcelona are willing to part with the Portugal international, meaning it will be down to the player to decide if he wants to join Wolves.

Semedo is represented by Gestifute, the agency run by Jorge Mendes, who plays a key part in many Wolves deals.


Thiago release clause is massive but Liverpool impresses


Liverpool will shell out an initial £20million for Thiago Alcantara as the longest running transfer saga of their summer comes to an end.

The Reds have been linked with a move for the Bayern Munich midfielder since before the end of last season, when he helped the German giants win their sixth Champions League crown in the revamped end to the tournament in Lisbon.

The former Barcelona midfielder effectively said goodbye to the club after that, as his seven year spell – in which he had won seven Bundesliga titles – was seen to be coming to an end.

But with one year left on his Bayern contract, a game of brinkmanship between Liverpool and Bayern began, with the Reds’ sporting director Michael Edwards becoming renowned in the game for driving a hard bargain.


The result is an impressive deal which will see one of the game’s most revered central midfielders move to Anfield at a knockdown price.

The 29-year-old will sign a four-year contract at Liverpool, with his guaranteed £20million price take being paid over the course of that deal, meaning the Reds have only shelled out £5million upfront.

The remaining £6million of the £26million deal comes in performance related clauses and bonuses that could have to be paid to the German champions.

These include the Reds winning both the Premier League and Champions League again as Thiago plays a significant part in the victories.

There are also triggers relating to individual prizes that he may win while he’s at Liverpool,including the Ballon d’Or.

With the midfielder due on Merseyside for his medical, he could make his debut in next Thursday’s Carabao Cup third round tie at Lincoln City.

The Reds then face Arsenal in the Premier League at Anfield on Monday, September 28.


Just in: Luis Suarez travels to Turin


Luis Suarez took a private flight from El Prat airport to Perugia at 13:15 CEST on Thursday, with the Barcelona striker set to take an Italian exam in order to try and qualify for Italian citizenship.

As a result, the Uruguayan’s potential move to Juventus is heating up, despite the fact that it seemed to have lost some momentum in the last few days.

Suarez took part in Barcelona’s training session on Thursday morning.


Just in: bale arrives in Tottenham


The Welsh forward was welcomed back to London like a superstar. Around 100 fans were waiting for him in Enfield. His loan deal was not made official yesterday.

Gareth Bale returned to north London as a superstar on Friday, the Welsh forward was given a warm welcome by both the local media and the fans. Bale’s return was top news story across all of the national sports media, with the BBC and Sky giving a minute-by-minute account of his arrival in the capital.

But by mid-afternoon, the mood was a little more subdued. There was still no official announcement from Spurs (regarding Bale or Reguilón), and no photographs of either player posing in the Tottenham shirt. But nor was there any hint that the deal might have fallen through – it was just that Tottenham preferred to wait until today to confirm the news and draw a bigger audience.

Bale and Reguilón arrived at a private terminal in Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas airport at around 9:00 hours yesterday. They flew together on a small, private jet, and were picked up on arrival by Tottenham officials and driven directly to the club’s training complex in Enfield. Tottenham president Daniel Levy and manager José Mourinho were seen arriving moments earlier.


When Bale arrived in London, the loan deal had been agreed but not signed. Tottenham were keen to conduct medical tests of their own – on top of the ones which the player completed in Madrid, given his history of injuries. During those tests, a minor problem with Bale’s knee was detected – an injury which he ad picked up while on international duty with Wales and for which he had been receiving treatment. That will delay his debut, which would not have come in tomorrow’s meeting with Southampton because for that to happen, he would have needed to have been registered with the FA by midday on Friday.

Terms of Bale’s loan move to Spurs
Spurs did confirm to local media that it is a one-year loan deal without the possibility of an automatic extension. As for the financial details of the operation, there are two versions coming out of England – one says that Tottenham will be responsible for paying 40% of Bale’s wages, the other claims that the club will pay half of Bale’s gross 30 million euro salary, but that figure could rise to 22 million if the player reaches a series of performance-related objectives.

Bale is still a big draw in the United Kingdom. As was evident yesterday. Around 100 fans were waiting for his arrival in Enfield. When Bale’s car was spotted, the fans started chanting: “Spurs, Wales and golf, in that order!”, and “Bale, born to play for Spurs!” He was the talking point in all of the sports debates in the country’s top television programmes. Bale is smiling once again…


Shocking: Tottenham completes the signing of Bale and Regulion


The signings of Gareth Bale and Sergio Reguilon could see Tottenham’s formation change as Jose Mourinho completes one of the biggest tactical shifts of his long and illustrious managerial career.

Bale’s return would be a major coup for Spurs and reignite enthusiasm from supporters but the onus would be on Mourinho to make best use of his undoubted ability. The acquisition of Bale’s young Real Madrid team-mate could prove to be a key factor in achieving that.

It will surely bring a change of formation, one hinted at since Mourinho arrived.


Right from the start of his Spurs reign, Mourinho’s idea was to deploy Ben Davies as a defensive left-back sweeping to cover the centre-backs with Serge Aurier free to race forward and provide the width on the right. Building with a back three was his vision.

The subsequent injury to Davies – sustained in his first game in charge – became a theme of press conferences, as well as the subsequent documentary series on Spurs’ season. The loss of Harry Kane cost Spurs points, but it was the injury to Davies that jeopardised his plans.

So wedded was Mourinho to this asymmetrical formation that he ended up utilising Japhet Tanganga out of position there rather than playing the more experienced England left-back Danny Rose. That decision even led to Rose’s departure on loan to Newcastle last season.

In conversation with Rose, Mourinho cited the greater physicality of Tanganga as a key factor in his decision. It was a clear indication that the qualities he wanted in his left-back were very different from the demands of the position on the opposite flank.

Serge Aurier was encouraged to raid forward on the right and play a very different role. In part, this was because – something openly stated by Mourinho – he does not trust Aurier in defensive situations. This was him accommodating those weaknesses.


Following Davies’ return from injury, Spurs enjoyed some success reverting to the original plan and the transfer business prior to the opening weekend of the season appeared to suggest that the vision for this season was to upgrade rather than overhaul this idea.

The signing of Matt Doherty was widely regarded as a straightforward upgrade even though he had been used as a wing-back at Wolves. Aurier’s role was so attacking anyway that it could be argued that a natural wing-back on that right side made more sense.

The move for Reguilon is different. He is not a like-for-like upgrade on Davies. His attacking qualities mean that he is more suited to mirroring the role of Doherty on the right than slotting seamlessly into the existing shape. A formation change would appear inevitable.

Switching to a genuine back three makes sense.

It was as an offensive force rather than a defensive full-back that Reguilon caught the eye for Real Madrid before thriving on loan at Sevilla. Mourinho has operated with attacking full-backs before. But this Spurs defence needs too much help for that to be a serious option.


It is more likely that Reguilon would find himself in the sort of positions that Heung-Min Son has often found himself expected to take up in this lopsided Tottenham formation. With little attacking threat coming from Davies, Son has had to come deeper to collect the ball.

Son could be one of the big winners if Mourinho switches to a 3-4-3 formation because the presence of a wide man outside him on the left would free him to push forward into the box and find himself closer to Kane in attack. That would play to his strengths.

The benefits for Dele Alli are less obvious and perhaps that helps to explain why his name has been mentioned as a possible factor in any deal with Real Madrid. The 3-4-3 formation effectively removes his role – one that is so central to the 4-2-3-1 formation.

While it might seem a negative move to withdraw an attacking midfielder to bring in a full-back, the introduction of Reguilon in his natural position would not only push Son into more threatening areas, providing much-needed support for Kane, but it would help others too.


Doherty would be free to play the wing-back role in which he impressed for Wolves without leaving the wide open spaces behind him that Everton were able to exploit on the opening weekend. Toby Alderweireld playing on the right of a three-man defence would avoid that.

It would also suit Eric Dier, on his return to defence, if he were able to play as a sweeper with defensive cover either side of him rather than as a marker. His experience of years in midfield could even enable him to step up and distribute from there if the game demanded it.

The partnership of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Harry Winks looked bereft of creativity against Everton but greater passing options out wide could alleviate those concerns. The presence of a back three behind them could even allow Giovani Lo Celso to be used in a deeper role.

Having wing-backs stretching the play could see Tottenham’s formation become more like a front five in possession with Son and Bale, two potent scorers, getting closer to Kane in attack and delivering the sort of numbers needed to take Spurs forward.

That is crucial to unlocking Bale’s full potential.


Getting the best from Bale
The Welshman remains a physical specimen but at the age of 31, the days of him powering past opponents with sheer speed are drawing to a close. While he retains the threat of going by markers on the outside, his chief weapon now is cutting inside on that famed left foot.

With Doherty providing the width, Bale could be used as an inside rather than an outside right – putting him more often in that zone from which he found the net no fewer than nine times from outside the penalty box in his most recent season as a Premier League player.

Nobody has come close to those numbers since. That not only serves as a reminder of just how dangerous that Bale can be but it underlines the potential transformation in potency that his arrival could bring. The heavy scoring load on Kane could be shared.

Lucas Moura scored only four goals in 35 Premier League appearances last season at a rate of one every 562 minutes spent on the pitch. It is a paltry return for a player in the offensive line and a key differential between Tottenham and those teams they aspire to catch.


Liverpool have had great success by feeding the ball to Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane in the channels with their full-backs providing the width. Could Spurs hope for similar returns from Bale and Son if they can set up the system to position them in those same zones?

It requires special full-backs, hard-working midfielders and centre-backs who are world class in one-on-one situations for Liverpool to make that work in a 4-3-3 formation. For Tottenham, it would seem more achievable with that extra man at the back in a 3-4-3.

It is not a formation that is alien to the club’s supporters, of course. Mauricio Pochettino switched to a back three during the 2016/17 season after enjoying success with 4-2-3-1.

He used it to give his side an extra man at the back – notably using it against Watford’s two-striker system – while encouraging Kyle Walker and Danny Rose to attack as wing-backs.


Many of the Spurs squad remain from those days so the formation would not be new to them – but it would be a major departure for Mourinho from his tried and trusted methods.

He is a coach who has enjoyed so much success over the past two decades that it would be understandable for him to be reluctant to embrace a formation different to the one with which he has won two Champions League finals and no fewer than seven domestic league titles.

And yet, it now seems the natural step for his Tottenham team to make a similar tactical tweak to the one adopted by Arsenal, of all teams, under Mikel Arteta. “I think Mikel has found a way for them to play and to be stable and to improve,” said Mourinho recently.

Tottenham are in search of that same stability and improvement. If the signings of Bale and Reguilon help them to find it with their own switch to 3-4-3 it would be an evolution for the team – and their celebrated coach.


Bale Tottenham’s move: who gets advantage? Bale or Tottenham


The Welshman could be making an emotional return to his former club, but what can a 31-year-old Bale offer to Jose Mourinho’s side?

Gareth Bale appears to be closing in on a sensational return to Tottenham Hotspur, seven years after he left for Real Madrid. The Welshman, now 31 years old, has fallen out of favour in the Spanish capital and his agent Jonathan Barnett has revealed that he believes a deal is possible.

“There’s a long way to go on some issues, but without doubt Gareth is closer to leaving Madrid than at any time in last seven years,” he said.

“The deal is complicated, but there’s reason to believe a deal is close and things could move very quickly if discussions continue to go well.”

Bale made his name as a world class player during a six-year stint with Spurs from 2007 to 2013, winning the PFA Players’ Player of the Year on two occasions. His time in North London came to an end when Real Madrid paid around €100 million for his services.


A lot has changed in the seven years since Gareth Bale’s last game for the club, when he scored a brilliant last minute winner against Sunderland, so what would his signing mean for Spurs?

Bale could be missing piece of Mourinho’s attack
Despite struggling to tie down a place during his last few years in Madrid the Welshman is still one of the world’s finest attacking talents on his day. He has contributed 126 goals (80 goals and 46 assists) in 171 La Liga appearances and boasts four Champions League winners’ medals.

He is usually deployed as a wide forward, an area in which Spurs seem fairly well-stocked with Son Heung-Min, Lucas Moura, Eric Lamela and Steven Bergwijn in those positions.

However Jose Mourinho is desperate to sign another striker before the transfer window ends, saying recently: “But I want to make it very clear that the club – if you want to call it the club or the structure above me – knows I need a striker and they also want a striker.


Mourinho tends to play with a physically powerful centre forward and at 1.85m and blessed with strength and pace, Bale could fit the bill. In recent years he has found himself deployed more centrally for the national team and he could be an option down the middle when Spurs captain Harry Kane is unavailable.

Genuine star presence
Tottenham Hotspur have changed a lot in recent seasons. They moved to a glamourous new stadium, hired a big-name manager in Mourinho and recently released a behind-the-scenes Amazon documentary. Spurs chairman Daniel Levy seems intent on building the club’s brand and the arrival of a global star like Bale would certainly help raise their profile.

The 31-year-old still has plenty to offer on the pitch but the Real Madrid man’s commercial potential will also appeal to a shrewd operator like Levy. His experience could also be invaluable as Spurs look to win their first piece of silverware since the 2008 League Cup, when an 18-year-old Bale missed the final due to injury.


Enormous wage demands
Bale’s days at Madrid have appeared numbered since Zidane announced in August that the forward “didn’t want to play” in the Champions League tie against Manchester City. However the Welshman still has two years remaining on a contract believed to be worth around €600,000 per week, a colossal amount of money even a club of Real’s size.

It has been reported in the Telegraph that the Spanish side are so desperate to reduce their wage bill that they would be willing to continue paying half of his salary for the remainder of his contract. Even if the North London club were only covering 50% of his earnings, the eighth-highest paid footballer in the world would still be their biggest wage expense.

Back in June Tottenham were forced to take out a £175 million government loan to help deal with loss of revenue due to the pandemic so Bale would represent a sizeable risk for the club. But if he can recapture some of the form from his first spell in North London, it will be an investment worth making.


Tottenham moves closer to swoop Madrid’s Duo


Tottenham have moved closer to sealing their double swoop for Real Madrid pair Bale and Sergio Reguilon.

A total agreement for Bale to join a year long loan was close on Wendesday night following another day of discussions.

It is understood no players will go in the opposite direction.

Left-back Reguilon is due to undergo a medical on Thursday ahead of signing a five-year deal with Tottenham, who have agreed a £27million fee with Real.

Jose Mourinho will be buoyed by the incoming duo from his former club in the Spanish capital.


It now seems a matter of time before both deals are completed to bolster his squad for the upcoming season.

But one blow to Spurs fans is the fact that Dele Alli has sensationally been left out of the squad to face Lokomotiv Plovdiv in the Europa League and he could leave before the transfer window closes.

It is unlikely that the England international will be used as a sweetener in the Bale deal and Real are well stocked in the attacking midfield department.

If the 24-year-old and Spurs are willing to part company, there will be a number of clubs interested in him.

Inter Milan and PSG are both interested parties and the club would prefer to sell him abroad rather than to a Premier League rival.

Alli was substituted at half-time during Spurs’ opening day 1-0 defeat by Everton, fuelling suggestions of a rift between player and manager.

There is however a reluctance to sell him below market value, particularly with coronavirus impacting the transfer market so significantly.


Juventus pessimistic over Barcelona Striker Luis Suarez


Juventus are ‘growing pessimistic over completing a deal for Luis Suarez’ due to issues with the Uruguayan securing Italian citizenship.

The Turin club are at their maximum allotment of foreign players in the squad, which means Suarez has to obtain an Italian passport.

The process is a slow one and Juventus are increasingly concerned that the red tape will take up too much time.

According to Goal, they are pessimistic about the deal being concluded, despite the fact that personal terms on a £9million-a-year deal have been concluded.

Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has no place for Suarez in his side but a fee has not yet been agreed between both clubs.

Juventus begin the defence of their crown on Sunday against Sampdoria and Pirlo is understood to be considering alternatives to Suarez.


Gonzalo Higuain’s contract was terminated so the club are eager to arrange their striking options as quickly as possible.

The situation with Suarez’s passport application is a hindrance in this regard and Edin Dzeko might well join in the coming days.

His move from Roma is dependent on the capital club signing Napoli frontman Arkadiusz Milik.

Pirlo reiterated the urgency of signing a new forward over the weekend, saying: ‘I need a striker as soon as possible. But the market is long. There will be time to be able to work until October 4.’

Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has also been linked but dismissed that speculation last week.

Suarez remains of huge interest to Juventus but it seems bureaucracy may yet scupper his favoured move and prevent him teaming up with Cristiano Ronaldo in an all-star attack next season.


Just In: Tottenham now leads the race to sign Bale challenging Man United


Spurs will try to bring Bale back on the express wishes of José Mourinho, who tried to sign him when he was at United.

Gareth Bale is stirring interest in England. The most keen to take the Real Madrid forward is Manchester United, especially as they look set to miss out on Jadon Sancho with Borussia Dortmund refusing point blank to negotiate a lower price, but Bale’s old club Tottenham are also considering a move for the Welshman. According to NobleSports, Spurs, who Bale left in 2013 to join Real Madrid for 101 million euros, are now the frontrunners in the situation.

It remains to be seen what Tottenham will be prepared to offer, although Madrid might be resigned to accept a no-cost loan deal and also possibly pay part of Bale’s huge salary (14.5 million euros net per season); whatever it takes to get a player who doesn’t figure in Zidane’s plans off their payroll. The relationship between the coach and Bale has hit a point of no return and the best option would be for the player to leave Madrid.

Mourinho keen to take Bale
José Mourinho is eager to bring Bale back to north London. The coach has tried to lure Bale back to England in the past when he was manager at Manchester United; during a pre-season friendly in 2017, Mou was captured on camera saying: “I can’t sign you because you aren’t saying anything,” – his way of urging the winger to publicly say he wanted to leave. That move never materialised, Madrid renewed Bale’s contract until 2022 and the situation started to slowly decline, eventually reaching the untenable point it is in today.


Breaking: Barcelona wants Salah


The Blaugrana have made the Egyptian forward their top transfer target, according to the Express.

Salah and his Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mané have often been linked with moves to Barça’s rivals Real Madrid.

Since Ronald Koeman arrived to take charge at Camp Nou, Barça have been said to be interested to numerous forwards, including Lyon star Memphis Depay.


Shocking: Crisis Barca as they shall offload 12 players


Luis Suarez, Martin Braithwaite and Samuel Umtiti could be part of a 12-man firesale at Barcelona, according to reports in Spain.

The Catalan giants are looking to add at least three names to their squad this summer – namely a left-footed centre-back, a physical midfielder and a forward – after resolving the transfer saga involving Lionel Messi last month.

But the club acknowledge they must address their overly-inflated wage bill and Mundo Deportivo claim 12 players are yet to clarify their future with the club.

Forward Suarez appeared set for a move to Juventus, with just a medical and bonuses to sort out, but the report claims Atletico Madrid have arrived on the scene and the Uruguayan’s openness to staying in Spain has changed the scenario.


If and when the 33-year-old departs, Barcelona will be left with controversial January signing Martin Braithwaite as their only natural central striker.

But the Spanish outlet claims new boss Ronald Koeman is not totally convinced by the Dane and would like time to cast his eye over him, despite admiring his professionalism.

The 29-year-old’s agent has reportedly offered his client around in the transfer market but has not received any interest for the Denmark international.

Arturo Vidal could also be among the first to leave the club alongside Suarez, but the report admits the current financial slump is holding up his move to Inter Milan.

Centre-back Samuel Umtiti is also a player who Barcelona would like to sell, and although the France international initially refused to leave the Camp Nou he has been told by Koeman that his future lies elsewhere, with former club Lyon best placed to sign him.


Fellow Frenchman Jean-Clair Todibo’s future also lies away from the club, who are demanding a £23million (€25m) fee for him amid Premier League interest from Everton and Leicester City.

Despite making him unavailable for transfer earlier in the summer, Nelson Semedo could also depart the Camp Nou if an offer that is impossible to reject arrives, with the club already seeking to strengthen in wide areas.

Rafinha Alcantara spent some of last season on loan at Celta Vigo, but with the Spanish side unable to make the move permanent due to his £15million (€16m) release clause, he has returned to the Camp Nou.

Koeman is reportedly happy with his performances, but Barcelona’s desperation to sell this summer may yet see him depart if a suitable offer arrives.

The list of potential departures is completed by left-backs Junior Firpo and Miranda, as well as youngsters Moussa Wague, Barcelona B central midfielder Monchu and defensive midfielder Oriol Busquets, with Watford said to be considering a loan with an option to buy for the latter.


Atletico contact Cavani as possible replacement for Morata


According to Gianluca Di Marzio via NobleSports, Atletico Madrid are looking at Edinson Cavani again as a potential replacement for Alvaro Morata or Diego Costa, should one of the current strikers depart.