Transfer news LIVE: Man United target Frenkie de Jong picks preferred clubs, Chelsea near Jules Kounde

Ten Hag tight-lipped on Ronaldo; Rashford says Man Utd ‘a lot fitter than last season’

Frenkie de Jong wants to stay at Barcelona but if he must leave then his preferred destination is not Manchester United, according to Sport, despite the huge lengths the United hierarchy are going to to sign Erik ten Hag’s primary target in this summer transfer window. Instead, it is reported the Dutch 25-year-old would only consider switches to either Bayern Munich or United’s Premier League rivals, Chelsea. This protracted deal looks like running right to transfer deadline day on 31 August.

Meanwhile Chelsea have moved a step closer to signing the highly rated Sevilla defender Jules Kounde. The Blues have agreed personal terms with the 23-year-old France international centre-back and have now met the Spanish club’s asking price of £55m, according to several reports, with Kounde set to have a medical over the next 48 hours. Thomas Tuchel is rebuilding his defence after the departure of Antonio Rudiger to Real Madrid and Andreas Christensen to Barcelona, leaving the ageing Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta as Chelsea’s frontline centre-halves. Kounde would add to the recent arrival of Kalidou Koulibaly at Stamford Bridge.

Elsewhere, Real Madrid do not want to re-sign Cristiano Ronaldo, according to Marca. The Mail reports Leicester have rejected a £15m bid from Monaco for Boubakary Soumare. And Leicester are willing to consider big-money offers for James Maddison and Kelechi Iheanacho in order to raise funds to strengthen the squad, the Telegraph claims.

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Georgia Stanway mixes teamwork and timing to provide England’s most spectacular moment

Let’s move away from the transfers for a moment and take a look at last night, where England overcame Spain in extra time to book their spot in the Euro 2022 semi-finals. Mark Critchley discusses the Lionesses’ matchwinner:

It was the type of goal that Georgia Stanway, growing up in the footballing outpost of Barrow-in-Furness, playing in the back garden with her brothers, would always have imagined herself scoring. The sort of emphatic, long-range strike that is befitting of such a stage, that deserved to book England’s place in the semi-finals of another major international tournament.

But in the white heat of the extra time win over Spain in Brighton, when that dream had become a reality, it was a moment she could barely remember.

“It all feels like a massive blur at the moment,” the Bayern Munich-bound midfielder said after the final whistle. “I need to watch it back and see where I was, how it went in the net, I literally can’t remember. I remember saying to one of the girls, ‘At what moment did we actually score?’”

That is one of the great ironies of such moments in elite sport. While a goal as spectacular and as significant as Stanway’s will live long in the memory of many who witnessed it, whether they were one of the 28,994 inside the Amex or the millions watching at home, it will only be a vague, hazed mess of sweat, strains and lactic acid in the mind of the woman who scored it. You wait all your life to score a goal like that and then struggle to remember how you did what did, or even why you did.


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Leicester may consider offers for England midfielder James Maddison, according to The Telegraph. The Foxes are yet to make a signing this summer as they look to sell before they buy, with forward Kelechi Iheanacho and full-back Timothy Castagne also reportedly on the chopping block.

Staying with Leicester, the Daily Mail says the club have rejected a £15m bid from Monaco for midfielder Boubakary Soumare as they hold on to a higher price for the 23-year-old.


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Breaking news, or maybe not: Thomas Muller does not fancy a move to the Emirates. Another season of winning trophies instead, then.


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Uncertainty over Aaron Ramsey’s future grew on Thursday when he was left out of Juventus’ squad for the Serie A club’s pre-season tour to the United States.

The 31-year-old Wales midfielder, who spent the second half of the 2021-22 campaign on loan at cinch Premiership Rangers, has been omitted from Massimiliano Allegri’s travelling party along with Federico Chiesa, Mattia De Sciglio, Kaio Jorge, Arthur Melo, Marko Pjaca and Adrien Rabiot.

Ramsey is in the final year of his lucrative contract at Juve, for whom he made just five appearances last season, and has been linked with a return to former club Cardiff.

The ex-Arsenal player’s career has been blighted by injury, but he remains a key member of the national team as they prepare for their first World Cup since 1958 later this year.

It appears his future lies away from Turin, although his situation is complicated by a reported £400,000-a-week pay packet.


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Fabio Paratici is “happy with the squad” at Tottenham now and will turn his attentions to selling players this summer, says Fabrizio Romano.

Six additions have been made to the senior squad this summer, with Richarlison the most expensive and Djed Spence the most recent, but now it’s time to offload those who don’t have a future under Antonio Conte.

Giovani Lo Celso, Tanguy Ndombele, Sergio Reguilon and Harry Winks are no

Cameron Carter-Vickers and Steven Bergwijn are the biggest departures so far.

“I think in August, Fabio Paratici will look at some opportunities, but as of now, they’re really happy with the market they had.”

“Tottenham is focusing on selling players, because they have too many players with Antonio Conte right now.”


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Sky Sports reporter Mark McAdam says Man City’s approach for Brighton wing-back Marc Cucurella is far from over despite having a £30m offer rejected.

However, it’ll take a massive improvement to prise him away from the Amex.

“We know this will carry on. Pep Guardiola is massively keen on Cucurella and he is at the top of their list when it comes to replacing Oleksandr Zinchenko. This is a situation I think will rumble on for some time,” McAdam said.

“It’s our understanding that Brighton will only entertain an offer that is in excess of £50m. He has been such a prominent figure for Graham Potter, he is a hugely loved member of the dressing room.”

Not a bad profit for one year, after they signed him for around £15m.


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Southampton are on the verge of a £12m deal for Bordeaux forward Sekou Mara.

Newcastle and ‘Gladbach were also in the running but had gone low with their bids, with the French team facing financial problems.

Bordeaux say they now have an “agreement in principle” with Saints and he’s headed to England for a medical and to discuss personal terms. He could become Saints’ seventh signing of the window soon.


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Man United are in need of a new right-back it seems and French media say they are going for Benjamin Pavard.

Chelsea and the Red Devils are in fact both keen, say L’Equipe, with Bayern Munich open to a sale with two years left on his contract. Worth noting perhaps that the rumour suggests he wants regular game time at centre-back, rather than on the flank where he has been stationed for club and country – though no bids are in for him yet, with Juventus and Atletico both eyeing him up too.

Another French outlet (of less standing, it should be noted) suggests United are considering signing free agent Dan-Axel Zagadou, who just left Dortmund.


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Mikel Arteta has done some decent business this summer with Arsenal, brining in Jesus, Marquinhos, Vieira and Turner, but after Zinchenko makes it five arrivals it will be a case of offloading some others.

“It’s what we have today. We have a large squad, so we have to make some decisions as well on the players that we’re not going to be using consistently and be fair and straight with them and that’s a process that is going to start very soon as well,” he said.

“We have to [sell some]. We have a big squad and now we have to make things happen.”

The Mirror suggest Nicolas Pepe may be sent out on loan, while Pablo Mari, Hector Bellerin and Ainsley Maitland-Niles will be allowed to leave.


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Rumour mill quick hits from the papers this morning:

  • Newcastle are tracking Benjamin Sesko from Salzburg (Mail)
  • Bruno Fernandes “doesn’t know” what Cristiano Ronaldo’s future is at Man United (Times)
  • Spurs have offered Barcelona Sergio Reguilon on loan (Express)
  • Rangers want Besiktas left-back Ridvan Yilmaz (Mail)
  • Man United right-back target Jonathan Clauss has signed for Marseille instead (multiple)

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