LIVE Transfer Talk: Arsenal to break bank for Koscielny replacement

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Top Story: Arsenal identify Koscielny replacement

With Laurent Koscielny not turning up for Arsenal’s preseason tour of the United States, the Gunners suddenly find themselves light in experience when it comes to the heart of defence. And so, to the market the club turns.

The Mail reports that the North London side have turned their attentions to Benfica centre-back Ruben Dias — again. Arsenal reportedly considered a move for the Portugal international at the start of this window, but abandoned the idea because of cost.

The Portugal international has a buyout clause of £54 million, and with a reported transfer budget of a measly £40m, it’s hard to see the math adding up to a deal in the Gunners’ favour. But try they will, as the report suggests they will attempt to negotiate a lower initial fee with further add-ons.

With Koscielny essentially on strike and Arsenal looking to rid themselves of Shkodran Mustafi, they’ll need to find a way to add defensive reinforcements — and fast.


22.33 BST: We’ll close Saturday’s live edition of Transfer Talk with some news from the North East. Unsettled by the departure of Rafa Benitez, Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka is drawing interest from Tottenham, Manchester United, Porto and Monaco, but it’s Aston Villa who lead the race for the £12m-rated Slovakia international, according to the Mail.

22.00 BST: Mexico star Rodolfo Pizarro is apparently an option for AC Milan, according to a report from Sky Sport Italia. The 25-year-old, who plays for club Monterrey, was part of El Tri’s Gold Cup squad and had a pivotal role in their title run. Pizarro’s agent tells ESPN Mexico that he is “on the table” for Milan but added that no concrete offer has yet emerged.

21.36 BST: Juventus will allow Moise Kean to leave the club this summer, according to Calciomercato, with Manchester United, Manchester City, Everton, Inter Milan and Ajax all interested in the 19-year-old Italy international.

20.49 BST: “This is football and he won the Champions League last season and he has the chance to go to Madrid. … The career of a footballer is very short and sometimes you don’t get the chance a lot so if it’s there, and I think Zidane likes him, why not?” Those are the words of Senegal FA chief Saee Seck, urging Sadio Mane to leave Liverpool for Real Madrid in an interview with the Mirror.

20.02 BST: Kia Joorabchian, agent of Philippe Coutinho, has called out Barcelona’s treatment of his client in an interview with the Telegraph. “Coutinho’s camp are not actively looking to move him but we believe people inside Barcelona may be acting without authority to try and sell the player,” he’s quoted as saying. “Either Barcelona have to contain the people within their organisation who are giving out information to the contrary or they have to tell us the truth if they have changed their minds.”

19.15 BST: Real Betis are in advanced negotiations with Lyon over the €30m transfer of Nabil Fekir, according to Le Parisien. The deal is dependent, however, on Betis shifting Giovani Lo Celso to Tottenham.

18.28 BST: The Mail cites Sky Italia as reporting that Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis has said Real Madrid will need to lower their asking price if the Partenopei are to conclude a deal for James Rodriguez: “We are willing to make sacrifices to secure a deal for James, but Real Madrid must do more,” De Laurentiis is quoted as saying. “We have not given up hope on securing a deal, but Madrid must consider that it is better to sell him, or loan him, rather than have him unhappy at the club.”

17.41 BST: Coincidentally, Inter have sent Mauro Icardi home from their preseason camp in Switzerland. Manchester United have been credited with interest in the 26-year-old. Could this have anything to do with Romelu Lukaku’s cryptic message about his future as we detailed below?

16.54 BST: Romelu Lukaku is one of a few players keen to leave Manchester United this summer, and missed the club’s 2-0 preseason win over Perth through injury. The Belgian — who said “you will know something next week” as he walked past reporters — is wanted by Inter Milan and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refused to confirm after the match whether or not the striker will still be at the club next season.

16.07 BST: Bayern Munich’s interest in Leroy Sane has been well documented, and the Mail cites German outlet Bild as reporting that the Germany international remains their No. 1 priority, although Manchester City’s £90m valuation could prove a stumbling block. Meanwhile, the seven-time defending Bundesliga champions envision Sane and Ousmane Dembele being the pair to replace the departed Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, and have already had a £62m bid rejected.

15.20 BST: One that might have slipped through the net on Friday. Scottish Premiership side St Mirren signed Oan Djorkaeff, the son of 1998 World Cup winner Youri Djorkaeff.

If the 22-year-old midfielder has any of his father’s ability then Buddies fans are in for a treat.

14.55 BST: Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi will unexpectedly return from the club’s preseason training camp in Switzerland, the club have said.

A statement read: “Mauro Icardi will today return to Milan from our training camp in Lugano. The club and the striker have come to this decision by mutual agreement. Icardi will continue his preseason training over the next few days and will take no part in our Summer Tour in Asia.”

14.25 BST: Napoli have announced the signing of Kostas Manolas from Roma.

Read more at this link (News Source).

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