TOP STORY: Messi wants Bielsa at Barcelona
Bielsa is yet to agree a new contract with the Lilywhites and, according to the report, Lionel Messi wants his Catalan employers to do everything in their power to tempt the 64-year-old to Camp Nou to replace under-fire Quique Setien.
Barca would appear to be in turmoil after having lost out to Real Madrid in the title race, and their finances are such that they're having to sell up to 11 players.
Setien's position is under threat after just six months, and his strained relationship with Messi appears to be one of the biggest issues, with the Barca talisman believing Bielsa would sort out Barcelona in the short term.
23.00 BST: That will do it for the latest edition of our LIVE Transfer Talk blog. We hoped you enjoyed following along with us and remind you to check back shortly for the latest transfer rumours, reports and completed deals. Goodnight!
22.49 BST: Chelsea need defensive help and AS suggests that former Barcelona and current Getafe left-back Marc Cucarella is a target.
The outlet claims that the Blues have made a bid for the €30 million-rated defender, who also can play in midfield. The 22-year-old would replace Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri, both of whom there are defensive concerns around.
Cucurella, was in previous windows was linked with Arsenal, would cost around a third of the price of Leicester's Ben Chillwell, who has also been linked with the Stamford Bridge club.
22.12 BST: Napoli have found out how much Napoli midfielder Allan will cost.
Calciomercato understands that Napoli have evaluated the Brazilian at €38 million, and that Allan has agreed to personal terms with the Merseyside club. The report cites that Allan would earn €4.7m per-year, if the teams are able to come to an agreement.
The Brazil international has been at Napoli since 2015 and has made over 200 appearances for the club.
21.37 BST: Some news on Kai Havertz's proposed move to Chelsea...
German pundit Christian Falk understands that now that Chelsea have secured Champions League football for next season, their move for the Bayer Leverkusen starlet can be accelerated. The 21-year-old, who is valued at over £70 million, reportedly wants to force through a move to London.
After qualifying for Champions League: it can now go quickly with the deal of @ChelseaFC and @kaihavertz29. Leverkusen does not insist on participating of @kaihavertz29 in the Euro League. Now the negotations are getting hot— Christian Falk (@cfbayern) July 26, 2020
Chelsea have already signed Hakim Ziyech from Ajax and Timo Werner from RB Leipzig.
20.51 BST: Lille need a Victor Osimhen replacement and the French club are considering Rangers ace Alfredo Morelos.
Despite reports from France claiming a deal for the Colombian had been completed, the BBC reports that despite the two parties holding talks, no deal has been completed. The 24-year-old Colombian has scored 59 goals in Glasgow over the last two seasons but also has amazingly been sent off seven times during that span.
Napoli are currently finalising a reported €60 million move for Lille's current frontman Osimhen.
20.07 BST: Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish to Man United?
The Daily Mail writes that moves for the two players hinges on Paul Pogba's future at Old Trafford. The midfielder, who has rediscovered top form since the restart, is tipped to stay at United but is alsol being pursued by Juventus and Real Madrid.
The paper writes that Grealish would likely only join if Pobga departed and that the fee United would recoup for Pogba would help ease negotiations with Borussia Dortmund for top target Sancho.
19.15 BST: Remember those Lionel Messi to Inter Milan rumours?
Well it looks like they were just that, rumours. Inter CEO Beppe Marrotta told Sky Italia that Messi to Inter talk is "fantasy football"
"He certainly is not one of our objectives and I think he's interested in continuing his football career in Barcelona, Marotta added"
18.33 BST: ICYMI - here's what the ESPN Insider Notebook had on Friday.
- Chelsea will prioritise the signing of a new goalkeeper once a deal is finalised for Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz, with sources telling ESPN that manager Frank Lampard has lost patience with No.1 Kepa Arrizabalaga.
- Xavi is trying to convince David Silva to join Al Sadd when his Manchester City contract expires, multiple sources have confirmed to ESPN.
- New Monaco manager Niko Kovac wants Real Madrid striker Luka Jovic as his first signing and has held talks with the Serbia international, sources have told ESPN.
- Roma and Inter Milan will need to extend their loan agreements for Chris Smalling and Alexis Sanchez before Manchester United allow the pair to play in the remaining Europa League fixtures, sources have told ESPN.
17.10 BST: Are Man United better or worse with Paul Pogba?
FC pundits question Pogba's concentration & commitment
ESPN FC's Steve Nicol and Stewart Robson are quite critical of Paul Pogba for his handball vs. West Ham.
16.00 BST: Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana is set to join Brighton on a free transfer says the BBC.
Lallana, 32, won the Premier League this season but only started three times. His contract expires this summer and he has decided to move on.
The former England international signed for Liverpool from Southampton for £25m in July 2014.
15.07 BST: Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa is resigned to leaving the club this summer and will accept a pay cut to join Sevilla, says The Sun.
Kepa, 25, earns around £150,000-a-week and has four years left on his contract, having signed for a world-record fee for a goalkeeper (£71.6m) in 2018.
The Spaniard has been linked with a swap deal involving Jan Oblak of Atletico Madrid, while Borussia Dortmund keeper Roman Burki, Burnley's Nick Pope and Manchester United's Dean Henderson have also been linked with the Blues.
Kepa has also been dropped for their final game of the season against Wolves. So he's definitely on his way.
14.45 BST: Superdeporte reports that Valencia are closing in on the signing of coach Javi Gracia. The Spaniard has been out of a job since being sacked by Watford in September 2019.
Gracia, 50, has reportedly agreed a two-year contract with Los Che. Valencia sacked Albert Celades last month following a run of bad results. They finished ninth in the standings and will miss out on European football next season.
14.19 BST: Danny Loader is set to become the next promising young English talent to continue his career abroad with the forward on the verge of signing for Porto, sources have told ESPN's Tom Hamilton.
Loader, 19, is expected to sign a three-year deal with Porto in the next 48 hours.
He will move to the Portuguese club on a free transfer with his contract expired at Championship side Reading.
13.48 BST: Arsenal, West Ham and Everton are looking to sign Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Umtiti, 26, will be allowed to leave Camp Nou this summer as Barca desperately need cash to fund their new arrivals.
Marseille, Lyon and Rennes are also keen but the centre-back is keen to stay if possible.
Kante needs to start with 'all the marbles' on the line
The FC guys believe Frank Lampard needs to play N'Golo Kante in some capacity vs. Wolves.
Sources have told ESPN's James Olley this week that Chelsea are set to make a £75m offer to Bayer Leverkusen for the 21-year-old once the Premier League season is finished, even though the German club want closer to £90m.
The Blues go into the Premier League's final day on Sunday needing to avoid defeat against Wolves to ensure Champions League qualification for next season.
Barnes, 22, has impressed at the King Power Stadium ever since he broke into the team in January of last year following a successful half-season spent on loan at West Brom.
The England under-21 international has made more than 40 appearances this season under Brendan Rodgers, and the versatile attacking midfielder has caught the eye of the newly crowned Premier League champions.
Contract talks with the Germany international, who is tied to Barca until June 2022, were left to one side talks due to the coronavirus pandemic but the negotiations have now restarted.
Asked what contract renewals he considered a priority at Barca, Bartomeu told Mundo Deportivo: "For me that of Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Not just for his quality as a goalkeeper but also because of his personality as a player, what he's like, and how he relates with others. He is key in the changing room and for the future.
"As a goalkeeper, he is very young and he is already in the elite. At 28, he is one of the best three in the world."
Ter Stegen, who signed for Barca in the summer of 2014 from Borussia Monchengladbach, has kept 15 clean sheets in 44 appearances for Barca this season. He has reportedly been offered a three-year contract extension which will also see an improvement in his wages but not a substantial increase due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"[Ter Stegen] understands what is going on in the world and knows that due to reduction in the club's revenue, his salary must be adjusted," Bartomeu said. "All the players are having to do that [compromise] and that is what we are working on."
Maddison, 23, has long been linked with interest from Manchester United, who Leicester face on Sunday's final day of the Premier League season in a match that will determine Champions League qualification for both clubs.
The Sun on Sunday reports that Maddison has agreed terms on a new deal worth up to £95,000 a week, bringing him close to the club's top earner, Jamie Vardy in terms of pay.
Zaha, 27, expressed his desire to leave last year and at the time, a source told ESPN that Arsenal had a £40m bid plus add-ons rejected.
When asked whether Zaha would remain at Selhurst Park, Hodgson responded: "That's the $64,000 question isn't it, that one, always but it's not just Wilf Zaha -- there's players in every club that come into that category.
"Wilf has made it clear, ever since I came to the club really, that he would relish a move and would like to move on and find some pastures new.
"But he's a very valuable player and the club realises his value and appreciates his value and so really everything will depend I guess -- as it always does -- [on] what sort of offers the club is going to receive for him and how they will equate that with the need to keep him or the need, maybe, to satisfy his wishes, and allow him to go after giving good service to the club for a period of time.
"Quite frankly, I've got no answer to that question, it will be all a matter, I guess, of seeing what transpires."
09.46 BST: Real Madrid's Toni Kroos hopes Gareth Bale's situation at the club is resolved. Bale was close to leaving the club last summer, with a move to the Chinese Super League in the offing, before Madrid decided against selling the forward they signed for a then-world record €100m in 2013.
Speaking to Sky Germany, Kroos said: "The reality is that it is an unsatisfactory situation for everyone. Bale was not signed to play as little as [he is doing] now.
"I think he originally wanted to leave last summer and that the club said yes to it and then again no. I don't know if he's still a little angry about it, I don't really know. But it is true that it is a difficult subject...."
Despite the reported relationship between Bale and coach Zinedine Zidane, Kroos sees Bale "fairly relaxed."
"The situation is certainly not as extreme as it appears. We shouldn't give it too much importance as everything is well in the team and Bale has helped us win many things the past six years."
United are hopeful they can land Sancho, despite Borussia Dortmund's insistence it will take a bid of around £120m. United believe that price tag is unrealistic in a transfer window impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and value the 20-year-old at closer to £80m.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to sign a winger to complement his other forwards and Coman, 24, has emerged as an option if a deal for Sancho cannot be agreed.
United would be open to exploring a loan move for the France international, although there is a feeling at Old Trafford that Bayern would only consider a permanent transfer.
Laurens: Tottenham will be strong next season
Julien Laurens believes Tottenham will be a tough side to beat and heaps praise on Harry Kane.
PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd)
Spurs lead chase for £10m Wilson
That's according to The Sun, who believe Daniel Levy is plotting a £10m offer for Wilson in the face of the Cherries' impending drop to the Championship unless results go massively their way on the Premier League's final matchday on Sunday.
Wilson's form has taken a dip this season, but Spurs believe he could be the perfect cover for Harry Kane next season, particularly given that Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe would have to get the striker off his wage bill.
Wilson currently earns £110,000-a-week, which is too much for Bournemouth should they find themselves outside of the Premier League at full-time on Sunday.
Inter ask Sanchez to take a pay cut
Sanchez has been on loan in Milan this season, but his £500,000-a-week salary at Manchester United is making a permanent switch difficult to negotiate. Inter were paying £4.5m of Sanchez's annual salary, and if the striker's stay is to be extended beyond this season, he will have to agree to reduce the numbers involved.
Sanchez has two years left on his contract at Old Trafford, but Manchester United are desperate to get him off the wage bill. The outlet is also suggesting that United won't sanction another loan move and will look only to facilitate a permanent transfer.
Sanchez has contributed six assists in the past seven games since the restart and has impressed Antonio Conte. With Lautaro Martinez potentially moving to Barcelona, the Nerazzurri need reinforcements in attack.
- Serie B champions Benevento are looking to sign former Liverpool and Manchester City striker Daniel Sturridge, according to The Sun. Sturridge is a free agent after having left Trabzonspor and the Italians are looking to him after former Chelsea striker Loic Remy failed a medical. Sturridge, 30, was suspended for four months in March after breaching betting rules but could now end up in Serie A.
- Southampton are closing in on Real Valladolid defender Mohammed Salisu, according to Marca. The Ghana international has been one of the standout players in La Liga this season, making 31 appearances for Valladolid and scoring one goal. The 21-year-old joined the club in 2017 but is now set to swap Spain for England's south coast.
- Le10Sport says Rennes, AS Monaco, Lyon, AC Milan and Leicester City are all chasing Saint-Etienne's Wesley Fofana. The young centre-back has impressed all season and starred once again in his side's narrow defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the Coupe de France final on Friday. Milan are said to be leading the race to sign the 19-year-old.