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Friday, May 15, 2020

Transfer news and rumours LIVE: Bale could leave Madrid for free

Liverpool cool Rashica interest
A host of Premier League clubs are hoping to sign Milot Rashica but Liverpool's interest in the Werder Bremen star has faded, claims Sky Sports.
The Kosovo international was previously linked with Anfield and has no shortage of other suitors, with Aston Villa, Brighton and West Ham amongst those reportedly interested in his signature.
Messi hails Lautaro as an 'impressive striker' as Barca rumours continue
Lionel Messi says that long-rumoured Barcelona target Lautaro Martinez is an "impressive striker" as the Inter star continues to be linked to the La Liga side.
The 22-year-old Argentina has been linked with Barca for several months, having scored 16 goals in 31 games for Inter this season.
As a result of his standout campaign in Serie A,  Martinez has been selected by Barca as their top priority this summer and the Catalan side is ready to offer the 22-year-old a contract worth €10 million (£9m/$11m) a year.
Southampton and Watford give contracts to released youth players
Released academy players at Southampton and Watford have been handed short-term deals to help them find new clubs, reports the Daily Mail.
Under the terms of the contracts those youngsters who did not receive a professional deal will be able to train at the clubs' facilities for up to three months while they seek new permanent homes.
Alena open to permanent Betis move
Barcelona youngster Carles Alena has affirmed that he would consider making his loan move to Betis permanent.
"It would be crazy to close the door on Betis," he told the club's official radio station, as reported by the Evening Standard.
"I'm very happy [here], I love it. I had my first child here and I'm delighted by how I have been treated by the club and the players."
Bale could leave Madrid for free
Merengue need to slash salary commitments due to Covid-19 pandemic
Gareth Bale leaving Real Madrid on a free transfer could be one of the consequences of coronavirus on Spanish football, reports the Daily Mail.
The Wales international is entering the final year of his Madrid contract, and while he has made no secret of his desire to depart suitors willing to match his wages have been few and far between.
With the Merengue facing a huge financial shortfall this year due to the interruption to the season, they may well decide that allowing Bale and James Rodriguez to run down their deals and leave for nothing is the most effective way to slash their wage bill.

Valencia after Argentine Bustos
Valencia are chasing Argentine up-and-comer Nahuel Bustos, reports Radio Marca Valencia.
The Spanish side are nearing a deal to sign Bustos from Talleres de Cordoba with owner Peter Lim's final approval one of the final steps remaining.
Valencia are also debating whether to purchase 80 per cent of Bustos' rights or spend extra money to buy all 100 per cent.
FC Cincy not ready to sign Locadia permanently
FC Cincinnati remains in discussions with Brighton & Hove over Jurgen Locadia, general manager Gerard Nijkamp said according to the Athletic.
The forward is on loan with the MLS club, who can activate an option to buy in July.
However, the club wants to see what the league plans to do with the season before paying to sign the Dutch forward.

Premier League return: Government give green light to games coming back in June

Premier League action has been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Government have given the green light to Premier League and EFL action returning in June. Games have been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Premier League have launched 'Project Restart', with clubs being sent protocols to follow to help protect their players from the deadly disease.
Numerous Premier League stars have voiced their concerns about games returning, with many feeling the decision is being rushed.
However, culture secretary Oliver Dowden has seemingly ignored those worries, claiming the Government are behind football returning in June.
Dowden said: "The Government is opening the door for competitive football to return safely in June.
"This should include widening access for fans to view live coverage and ensure finances from the game's resumption supports the wider football family."
Dowden hosted a video call with the Premier League, EFL and the FA on Thursday to discuss games returning.
The culture secretary has now urged the relevant leagues to put their plans in place for a June return.
The Premier League and EFL have also been told to reach an agreement with television companies to ensure there are free-to-air matches.
He added: "It is now up to the football authorities to agree and finalise the detail of their plans.
"There is combined goodwill to achieve this for their fans, the football community and the nation as a whole.
"The Government and our medical experts will continue to offer guidance and support to the game ahead of any final decision which would put these plans into action.
"We all agreed that we will only go ahead if it is safe to do so and the health and welfare of players, coaches and staff comes first."
One worry with football returning was player contracts that are set to expire in June.
Numerous players, including Chelsea's Willian, Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen and Liverpool's Adam Lallana are all out of contract on June 30.
However, the Premier League has now confirmed clubs have agreed to extend deals past June 30.
Clubs must agree extensions with their players before June 23.
The Premier League's statement read: "At Monday's Shareholders' meeting, Premier League clubs unanimously agreed to be allowed to enter into short-term contract extensions with players whose deals are due to expire on 30 June of this year.
"As the UK Government indicated on Monday its willingness for live sport to return behind closed doors from 1 June, the Premier League is exploring paths to resuming the 2019/20 season after this date.
"Clubs were concerned over expiring player contracts and registration issues posed by the potential of the 2019/20 season extending beyond 30 June.
"So, it was agreed by all Shareholders that clubs and players can mutually agree to extend their contracts beyond 30 June until the end of the season.
"Clubs and players will now have until 23 June to agree extensions."

Arsenal set to rival Everton for transfer target Mikel Arteta spoke to about January loan

Arsenal have been tipped to move for Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot, who Everton also want to bring to the Premier League.
Arsenal set to rival Everton for transfer target Mikel Arteta spoke to about January loan

Arsenal could launch a summer pursuit for Juventus' Adrien Rabiot having already previously made contact with his agent and mother Veronique Rabiot in January when they wanted to sign the player on loan.
That's according to reports from Calciomercato, who say that Mikel Arteta even spoke to the France international personally back in January.
It is claimed that Rabiot's agent and mother is seeking a departure for the midfielder, although he only joined Juve from Paris Saint-Germain last summer.
The 24-year-old is said to be hopeful of a move to the Premier League and Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti is an admirer of the player having coached him in Ligue 1.
Rabiot has made 24 appearances for Juve this term, all in central midfield, and was a regular before the Serie A season was paused due to the coronavirus crisis.
But it appears that his time in Turin might be up already and Arsenal remain keen after seeking to sign him earlier this year.
Rabiot's huge salary - which is thought to earn him over £220,000 a week - would surely be an obstacle to any deal, however.
Calciomercato suggest that a swap deal could be in the offing for one of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Alexandre Lacazette, although Juve are hardly light on attacking firepower.
The Frenchman has also been tentatively linked to Manchester United, with a £26.5million (€30m) price tag having been mooted.
That fee, plus his wages, would almost certainly rule Arsenal out of the running this coming summer.
Indeed, it appears Thomas Partey of Atletico Madrid is Mikel Arteta's main target as he looks to strengthen his defence and midfield.
The Spanish coach will only have limited funds to work with but is keen on the Ghana international, who he could sign for £43m thanks to a release clause.
Partey's Ghana team-mate Karim Nuhu believes the pull of a move to north London might lie in the lure of playing in the Premier League.
"Atletico Madrid is a very good club so he [Partey] is playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world and Arsenal is also one of the biggest,” Nuhu told Instagram Live session with TV3 Ghana.
"For me, it is his decision because playing in Atletico Madrid is the same as playing in Arsenal.
"The two teams always make the same category in the league fighting for the third and fourth place to play in the Champions League but as we all know the Premier League is the best league in the world so if he joins Arsenal, I will be happy for him."
Arsenal have been linked with a deal that would see them swap Alexandre Lacazette in part exchange for defensive midfielder Partey.
But ESPN FC's European football expert Julien Laurens insists the Frenchman heading to the Spanish capital is unlikely.
"We know they [Atletico] want a striker, they're looking for a striker. Although Edinson Cavani is their top priority," Laurens said.
"The other way around, Thomas Partey is definitely on Arsenal's radar.
"Right now, they can't pay his release clause, which is €50million.
"Would they offer Lacazette? I don't think so. Especially when you know Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang only has one year left on his contract, and they might have to sell him now.
"They certainly couldn't afford to lose both of them in the same summer.
"It's quite similar to Juventus wanting Paul Pogba, they [Arsenal] might have to look at other options for players to swap."

Bundesliga to allow five substitutions and relegation if season is completed amid coronavirus

Saturday will see the German top flight return and teams will be able to make more changes during a match
Bundesliga clubs will be able to use five substitutes when it returns from its suspension enforced due to the coronavirus pandemic on Saturday, the German Football League (DFL) announced on Thursday.
The new rule was approved by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) to help protect player welfare with fixtures set to come thick and fast as the sport continues its schedule in a restricted time frame.
The Bundesliga will become the first major European league to return to action when it resumes behind closed doors on Saturday after a two-month stoppage. Germany's second tier will also be back this weekend.
A DFL statement read: "From now on, each club will have a total of three opportunities to substitute players during a game, including the half-time break.
"If there is extra time in the second leg of the relegation play-offs, both teams are given a fourth opportunity to change players, which they can use in the interruption between regular time and extra time or in the half-time period of extra time. The DFL 'Football Commission' recommends that a maximum of two players be substituted at the same time."
All but one of the 36 clubs from the top two leagues voted in favour of completing the 2019-20 season, including relegation, if it is legally possible.
Although the season is set to finish on the weekend of June 27-28, the DFL said games could take place into July if required. No decision was made on what will occur if the season cannot be completed due to health reasons.
"In the event that the season has to be abandoned prematurely, a regulation regarding the sporting classification is to be developed within the next two weeks," the statement said.
Venues for matches could also be changed at short notice in the event of a local outbreak of Covid-19.
"There will also be the possibility of a match being played in another stadium at short notice for overriding compelling legal, organisational and/or security reasons," said the DFL.
There are nine full rounds of fixtures remaining in the Bundesliga, with Bayern Munich sitting four points clear of Borussia Dortmund at the summit. The two teams will meet at Signal Iduna Park on May 26.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Coronavirus: Serie A hopes to return on June 13

Coronavirus: Serie A hopes to return on June 13
Serie A has agreed on a June 13 resumption date following a video call with all 20 clubs in the Italian league on Wednesday.
The return is subject to government approval.
Teams are already planning to return to full team training on May 18, following government approval of the league's medical protocol in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Individual sessions have already taken place.
"As far as the resumption of sports activities is concerned, the date of June 13 for the resumption of the championship has been indicated ... in accordance with medical protocols for the protection of players and all those involved," Serie A said in a statement.
Serie A said the clubs had also called on broadcasting rights holders to "respect the payment deadlines set out in the contracts in order to maintain a constructive relationship with them."
When the league was suspended in March, Serie A giants Juventus -- who are looking to win their ninth consecutive title -- were just one point ahead of Lazio, who haven't won the league since 2000.
There is still a considerable amount of games left to be played, with 12 rounds remaining in the league along with four matches postponed earlier in the season.
The main problem to be solved for both the government and the league is how to deal with a positive test as both have different solutions.
The Italian football federation has said that isolating the player who tested positive is sufficient if the rest of the players remain negative. However, the Italian health ministry has said that the whole squad would need to go into a 14-day quarantine irregardless.
The health ministry's plan would result in chaos for fixtures if any player did test positive.
Earlier on Wednesday, Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora told the Italian Senate that the government would take its time.
"If [Serie A] resumes, as we all hope, it will be because we will have arrived at this decision after an orderly succession of actions and protocols," he said. "It is not possible to decide in an irresponsible hurry.
"Football is by its nature a sport in which it is not possible to keep distances, the players must run and agglomerate in the penalty area.
"The underestimation of this problem led a few weeks ago to the quarantine of several Serie A teams. We want to avoid finding ourselves in this situation."
In England, the Premier League could resume as early as June 1 as clubs and league officials continue to work out the details of "Project Restart."
Should the Premier League return, all games will be held behind closed doors and possibly at neutral venues. However, several top clubs have objected to the concept of neutral venues and would prefer to play in a traditional home-and-away format.
The German Bundesliga will return on May 16. France has completely cancelled its Ligue 1.
La Liga is slowly increasing the number of players allowed to train in the hopes that it can start games on June 12.
La Liga president Javier Tebas has said there will be "zero" risk for matches to be played every day when competitive football returns in Spain.
However, the return of football to Europe has hit several stumbling blocks. Five players in Spain's first and second divisions have tested positive for the virus in the past week, while the entire Dynamo Dresden squad has been forced to go into isolation ahead of the resumption of Bundesliga 2.

Transfer news and rumours UPDATES: Barcelona, Juventus & Man City set for three-way swap involving Lautaro

Juventus consider Aouar as Pjanic replacement
Juventus will move for Lyon star Houssem Aouar should Miralem Pjanic leave the club, reports Le10Sport.
Pjanic has been linked with a move to Barcelona or Manchester United as his four-year run with Juve appears set to end.
Aouar could be looking for a way out of Lyon after the club did not qualify for European football next season.
Norwich to sign U.S. youth international Soto
Norwich have agreed to a contract with Hannover forward Sebastian Soto, according to Bild.
The 19-year-old will see his deal with the 2.Bundesliga side expire next month and is set to move on after falling out of favour in Germany.
Soto will be loaned out by Norwich next season, as the U.S. Under-23 striker won't initially qualify for a work permit in England.
Barca, Juve & Man City set for three-way swap involving Lautaro
The Blaugrana are looking to drive the Argentine star's price down
Barcelona are hoping to land Lautaro Martinez from Inter in a three-way swap deal involving Nelson Semedo and Joao Cancelo, reports Sport.
The Blaugrana are keen on a move for the Argentina striker but are looking to facilitate a player exchange deal to drive down his price.
The proposed deal would see Semedo go to Manchester City, which would allow Cancelo to return to Inter where he starred on loan in 2017-18.

Bayern Munich to bid £50m for Sane
Bayern Munich are preparing a £50 million ($61m) bid for Manchester City's Leroy Sane, according to The Telegraph.
The Bundesliga champions have been heavily linked with a move for the winger and were hoping to land him for as little as £35m ($43m).
Despite the coronavirus driving transfer prices down, Bayern have accepted they will need to pay more if they are to land the 24-year-old.
Barcelona eye De Sciglio as Semedo replacement
Barcelona are in talks with Juventus over the transfer of Mattia De Sciglio, reports Marca.
The Catalans have been unable to reach an agreement with Nelson Semedo over a contract extension and have put the Portuguese up for sale as a result.
With an eye on a new right-back, Barcelona have moved for De Sciglio, who could cost around €10 million (£9m/$11m).
Man Utd agree €70m deal for Dembele
The Lyon striker is on his way back to England after four years
Manchester United have agreed a €70 million (£62m/$76m) deal to sign Lyon striker Moussa Dembele, according to TodoFichajes.
The 23-year-old will return to England after leaving Fulham in 2016 to join Celtic, where he starred for two seasons before moving to his native France with Lyon.
Dembele scored 22 goals for Lyon in the 2019-20 season, which was brought to an early end due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Everton set to let Stekelenburg depart
Everton are ready to allow backup goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg to leave the club, according to Football Insider.
Stekelenburg is out of contract at the end of the current season and the Toffees are set to look for a different understudy for Jordan Pickford.
Stekelenburg, 37, has not played for Everton since October 2018.

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