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Leipzig, who start in the Champions League next season, reportedly want to keep hold of the centre-back, who is supposed to play a key role in new manager Julian Nagelsmann’s 3-5-2 system. Upamecano had also been linked with moves to FC Barcelona and Manchester United recently. The Frenchman still has two years left on his Leipzig contract, which includes a €100 million (£92m) release clause this summer and a €80 million (£73.6m) buy-out option next year.
Arsenal were said to be on a tighter budget this transfer window and will pay most of the £72 million fee for club-record signing Nicolas Pépé (24) in instalments. A more affordable option at the back could therefore be available in Juventus defender Daniele Rugani (25). According to Sportitalia reporter Alfredo Pedullà, the Italian’s agent, Davide Torchia, is currently in London for talks. Juve sporting director Fabio Paratici and agent Jorge Mendes are said to be present as well. With which club they are negotiating is reportedly unclear. Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal have both been linked with the centre-back recently.
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Most expensive defender:
Manchester United have completed the signing of Leicester City centre-back Harry Maguire (photo). At Old Trafford, the 26-year-old signs a six-year contract, with the option to extend for a further year. The fee paid for the England international reportedly ammounts to £80 million, which makes him the most expensive defender in history, surpassing Matthijs de Ligt (19), who moved from Ajax to Juventus for £77 million this summer, and Virgil van Dijk (28/£76.2m to Liverpool in 2017).
Maguire said: “I am delighted to have signed for this great club. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Leicester and would like to thank everyone at the club, and the fans, for their fantastic support over the past two seasons. However, when Manchester United come knocking on your door, it is an incredible opportunity. From my conversations with the manager, I am excited about the vision and plans he has for the team. It’s clear to see that Ole is building a team to win trophies. I am now looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and getting the season started.”
The centre-back joined Leicester for about £12 million from Hull City in 2017, which means the club makes a £68 million profit on Maguire before paying a sell-on percentage to Hull. He also becomes the most expensive English player in history, taking the top spot from Raheem Sterling (24), who cost Man City about £57 million, when he joined the Citizens from Liverpool in 2015.
A domino effect is already be on the way. Brighton have completed the signing of Bristol City defender Adam Webster (24) for a reported fee of around £20 million, which could free up Lewis Dunk (27) for a potential £45 million move to King Power Stadium. The fellow England international was rumoured to replace Maguire at the Foxes, with Burnley’s James Tarkowski (26) providing another possible option for Leicester.
Barcelona vice-president Jordi Cardoner says the Spanish champions are in no position to re-sign Neymar (photo). The 27-year-old left the Nou Camp for Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 for a world-record £200 million transfer fee.
Barça have reportedly been keen to bring the forward back to Spain, with the Brazil international having apparently grown disillusioned with life in the French capital. But Cardoner told Catalonian broadcasters TV3: “As of today, there’s no Neymar case, and it’s complicated. We are passive actors. We know he’s not happy in Paris and it’s a situation that needs to be resolved in Paris. We haven’t spoken to them. There is a lot of respect between the clubs and if there is a Neymar case one day, we’ll talk. Today, at this time, it’s ruled out.” Barça president Josep Maria Bartomeu said at the weekend: “The market isn’t closed yet and we will still sign some new players.”
Messi injured: Striker misses US tour
Lionel Messi (32), meanwhile, will miss Barcelona’s pre-season trip to the United States after suffering a calf strain. “First-team player Leo Messi, who had returned from his summer break for training on Monday, withdrew from the session due to discomfort in his right leg,” read a Barcelona statement. “Tests carried out have diagnosed a Grade 1 calf strain for the Argentine.” Barcelona are due to play Napoli twice in the US, in Miami and Detroit three days later, before opening their LaLiga title defence at Athletic Bilbao on August 17.
Tottenham are considering Napoli’s Elseid Hysaj as they explore potential new right-back options following an injury to Juan Foyth, Sky Sports News understands.
Foyth is expected to be out for “many weeks” according to Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino, having emerged as a leading right-back candidate for their new season.
Tottenham have been open to entering the market for a new right-sided full-back this summer, having made Kieran Trippier available and then selling him to Atletico Madrid last month for around £21.7m.
Since joining from Empoli in summer 2015, 25-year-old Hysaj has made over 130 Serie A appearances for Napoli, and has been capped 46 times by Albania.
Sky Sports News reported earlier this summer that Marseille’s Japan international Hiroki Sakai is another one they like – but they have concerns about his age at 29.
Pochettino played youngster Kyle Walker-Peters at right-back as Spurs drew 1-1 and then lost on penalties to Inter Milan in their final pre-season game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday.
Serge Aurier was not available despite returning to first-team training at Hotspur Way last week, following a minor injury he picked up during the Africa Cup of Nations.
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson wants his club to bring in four more signings before the transfer window closes on Thursday.
Hodgson’s side have been one of the lowest-spending clubs in the Premier League so far this summer, having only brought in Jordan Ayew from Swansea for £2.5m and goalkeeper Stephen Henderson from Nottingham Forest on a free transfer.
However, Palace accrued £50m from the sale of Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United, and the manager hopes they spend some of this money in the final few days of the window.
Hodgson said: “We wanted four and then we sold [Aaron] Wan-Bissaka, so that meant five really and that’s not counting the goalkeeper.
“At the moment we have got one of that five so there is still plenty of spaces in the number that we identified as being important for us to have in order to get the full squad, so there is still work to be done.”
The Eagles have been linked to many players over the course of the summer and look to be close to bringing in Gary Cahill on a free transfer and are also in talks with Real Betis over the signing of midfielder Victor Camarasa.
Hodgson, however, believes any business the club do could go down to the wire.
He added: “Normally any transfers that take place at Crystal Palace are late ones.
“I know that the chairman and Doug Freeman are still working hard on certain targets that we’ve had, so I can only hope that they will be able to get those deals done.
“They seem to be very optimistic that it will happen and I see no reason not to share their optimism.”
One major boost to Hodgson is a depature for star player Wilfried Zaha is looking less likely by the day, after Palace turned down bids from both Arsenal and Everton earlier in the window.
The Ivory Coast star is back training with the club after his exploits at the Africa Cup of Nations and Hodgson revealed “he was fine,” upon his return.
Palace have endured a tough pre-season, winning just one out of eight matches, but the boss hopes for results to improve with the return of players from international duty and injuries, as well as new signings.
Hodgson said: “The way pre-season was set up was excellent, the major problem has been the lack of personnel.
“We’ve been involved in all the games we played virtually with no more than half of the players who saw us through the end of last season.
“We have to start again with quite a few players because four or five of our most important players have not been with us.
“If we are going to get to the level we got to last season, it’s going to be a question of making sure one or two who are still unfit from the end of last season can become fit again and join us on the field of play.”