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TOP STORY: Arsenal gunning for French prospect Saliba
Arsenal look set to sign French teenager William Saliba from Saint-Etienne — and the good news doesn’t end there.
According to the Evening Standard, the Gunners look set to snare the 18-year-old imminently before loaning him back to the French club for the 2018-19 season.
Unai Emery is understood to want the player far sooner but such is the player’s burgeoning reputation that they could agree to Saint-Etienne’s demands in order to seal the deal.
As a result they wouldn’t have to eat substantially into their comparatively paltry £40m transfer budget this summer, with both clubs likely to agree a small initial fee before the player heads to London next summer.
What’s not to love? Unless two Arsenal centre-backs pick up long-term injuries in the first match of the seaon.
08.00 BST: Juventus have welcomed a young defender to their training ground for a medical this morning ahead of a proposed transfer… but it is not Matthijs de Ligt.
Genoa centre-back Cristian Romero has arrived to complete a move to Turin. The 21-year-old Argentina U20 international, who made 27 Serie A appearances for the Rossoblu, is set to seal a move worth around €15m-€20m.
Given that Juve also expect to sign De Ligt from Ajax this summer, it is likely that Romero will be loaned back to Genoa, or to another Serie A club, for next season.
PAPER TALK (by Rich Edwards): Solskjaer eyes a trio of signings
Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku look highly likely to be playing their football elsewhere by the time the season rolls around but The Sun report that Ole Gunnar Solksjaer is still intent on bolstering his squad by signing three more players before the big off.
United have just touched down in Australia for their pre-season tour but although their Norwegian boss is likely to be hopping mad at the ongoing speculation surrounding the most high profile members of his squad, it seems he has been busy hatching plans to replace them.
Alongside his intentions to improve his squad, the paper also claim that Solskjaer has developed a harder edge in the off-season and is a more aloof figure than he was when he first took the managerial reins following Jose Mourinho’s departure from Old Trafford. He might need that new found toughness in the coming weeks, particularly after a video emerged of Jesse Lingard and Pogba apparently being less than friendly on a walkabout after arriving in Australia.
Agent dashes Spurs’ hopes of Zaniolo capture
The future of Nicolo Zaniolo, meanwhile, remains as murky as a Peroni bottle filled with river water, after his agent claimed that there had been no negotiations with any club — including his current club Roma and Spurs. Calciomercato report quotes from his agent Claudio Vigorelli and it appears, for the moment at least, that the prodigious 20-year-old Spurs target ain’t going anywhere.
Spurs had been heavily linked with the player, who arrived at Roma from Inter Milan last year for a fee of just £4m. He’s now worth many multiples of that figure after shining in the Italian capital, with his form catching the eye, not only of Spurs and Liverpool but also Juventus. Vigorelli, though, has poured cold water on speculation linking him with a switch elsewhere.
“To date, as far as we are concerned, no negotiations are underway with any international or Italian [club],” he said unequivocally. So that’s those rumours nipped in the bud. For at least another 24 hours.
– Aston Villa are eyeing a loan move for Axel Tuanzebe, who impressed on loan at Villa Park during a loan spell from Manchester United last season. That’s according to the Daily Telegraph, who report that Villa gaffer Dean Smith is looking to make at least three signings before the club begin their battle for Premier League survival. Or launch a bid for a European place. Hey, it’s July! Anything is possible in high summer. In the meantime, they’re prepared to wait on the 21-year-old, who’s currently having a grand old time with Pogba on United’s tour Down Under.
– The Telegraph also report that West Ham will find out this week whether their attempts to bring Maxi Gomez to the capital from Celta Vigo have been successful. If he does leave Spain for London, then he will apparently find himself as the highest paid player at the club.