Liverpool to make third bid of £70m for Naby Keita while Man United and Chelsea join race to sign Ross Barkley

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With the transfer window in full swing the rumour mill has gone into overdrive.

We dissect all of the top gossip doing the rounds across media channels in Europe to discover the fact from the fiction.

 Will any of the following deals happen?

Get in touch with your thoughts on Twitter and via Facebook.

NABY KEITA

Liverpool will make a third offer of £70million to RB Leipzip for midfielder Naby Keita, according to The Mirror.

Jurgen Klopp is determined to land his No1 transfer target with Keita himself ready to push through the move despite Leipzig making it clear they won’t sell having rejected £66.3m this week.

RATING: 7/10

SPORT360 VERDICT

This will likely be Liverpool’s last offer but the £70million fee is the one touted as enough to convince Leipzig to sell.

It’s clear the next couple of days in negotiations will be pivotal but with talk Keita’s agent is in Hong Kong to meet Liverpool representatives, it seems a deal could be struck.

ROSS BARKLEY

Ross Barkley could find himself at the centre of a bidding war between Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham.

A report in The Times says Spurs are favourites but Chelsea and United are keeping tabs, although clubs have been put off by Everton’s £50million valuation for a player who has a year left on his contract.

RATING: 6/10

SPORT360 VERDICT

The 23-year-old is expected to miss the start of the season after surgery on his groin but it’s clear Everton are happy to let him leave if the right money comes in and the interest is present also.

The quoted fee has so far put clubs off, although, Spurs still appear to be the frontrunners despite reports he has demanded £150,000 per week to join them.

Everton midfielder Ross Barkley

DIEGO COSTA

Chelsea are seeking £44million for Atletico Madrid target Diego Costa, according to the Independent.

The Blues are looking to recoup a large chunk of the £70million outlay on Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata by holding out for a big fee for Costa.

RATING: 7/10

SPORT360 VERDICT

Diego Costa wants to leave Chelsea and the club want him to make an exit, too, but it seems the Premier League champions won’t let the Spain international go cheap.

Atletico had hoped to get a cut-price deal in the region of £25million but it looks like they will have to pay almost double that with the deal expected to go through upon Morata’s competed switch.

Diego Costa bites his Premier League title winning medal

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Jose Mourinho doesn't care about Chelsea signing Alvaro Morata as he has "amazing" Romelu Lukaku

Simon Peach 20/07/2017
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Alvaro Morata is bound for Chelsea rather than Manchester United but Jose Mourinho does not care having wrapped up a deal for “amazing” striker Romelu Lukaku.

Just weeks ago it had appeared that the Real Madrid frontman would be heading to Old Trafford, while Lukaku would return to Stamford Bridge three years after joining Everton.

Instead, United gazumped Chelsea to the signing of their former player and Antonio Conte’s men have now agreed a deal for Morata, subject to a medical and personal terms.

Mourinho last week admitted to having a “special liking” for the Spain international after giving him a chance when Madrid coach, yet seeing him join a Premier League rival does not stick in the craw.

“I am not interested in what Chelsea Football Club does, really,” the United boss said in Houston. “We needed a striker, yes. We needed with Zlatan (Ibrahimovic) in his best conditions, we needed one to give cover, to give options.

“Him and Marcus (Rashford) was not enough and especially after Zlatan’s injury.

“We got a big player – a player that I can compare with what he was a few years ago because he worked with me a few months four or five years ago.

“His development was very, very good, so we think we have a player that is now a top player in Europe.

“He has to prove it at the highest level, there is always that point. Now he has to do it for Manchester United, in Champions League matches but I think he has amazing qualities.

“I think it was obvious Chelsea would sign a striker, especially after the situation with the manager and Diego (Costa).

“It was clear that they were going to get a striker, they did it with Alvaro and Alvaro is a very good player for them.”

Lukaku followed Benfica defender Victor Lindelof into a club that is still active in the market, with Chelsea defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic, Tottenham’s Eric Dier and Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic all been linked with them.

Mourinho would ideally like to sign a further two players but has come to the terms with the fact only one may arrive in this inflated market.

“The problem is with us is we have four players that cannot play football now, not even training,” Mourinho said. “It looks like our group is big but it is not because they can’t ever train and the time for their recovery is really long.

“Marcos (Rojo) has no chance before December, as an example, so our squad is not so big.

“Everybody knows because I said it, very objective I would like four players and asked for four players.

“I’m ready to go from four to three because the market is difficult, because some clubs they think the market is different from others.

“We are not a club that is not ready to buy and buy and buy non-stop. We are not a club that is ready to pay what clubs wants us to pay, so I am ready to go from four to three.

“With these three, I just give a better balance to the team, to the squad and better conditions to compete.”

The comments could be construed as a dig at Inter over the tense Perisic transfer negotiations, or perhaps Manchester City ahead of Thursday’s International Champions Cup clash.

Kyle Walker is set to make his first City appearance at the Houston Texans’ NRG Stadium – the first Manchester derby on foreign soil – having arrived from Tottenham in a deal that could reach £50million.

Asked if that sum had surprised him, Mourinho said: “It doesn’t surprise me, really.

“It doesn’t surprise me because I keep saying there is big economic power in every club that allows the clubs to say no or to say, ‘You pay what I want or you don’t get it’.

“I can imagine that Man City would like to pay £25million for Kyle. I can imagine that.

“But I am sure that they knocked on Spurs’ door and were told, ‘This is the price’. If you don’t pay, you don’t get.

“Then you have the option to pay or have the option to say no, so the market will be always what people ask and what people pays.

“The strange thing is that now I am used to paying or seeing teams paying big amounts for big players – and now everybody is paying big amounts for good players.

“There is a difference between good players and big players, and now the figures go really crazy also for normal players.”

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Man Utd turn to Verratti while Barkley stuns Spurs with demands

David Cooper 19/07/2017
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Call and collect: Marco Verratti has several suitors (Getty).

With the transfer window in full swing the rumour mill has gone into overdrive.

We dissect all of the top gossip doing the rounds across media channels in Europe to discover the fact from the fiction.

Will any of the following deals happen?

Get in touch with your thoughts on Twitter and via Facebook.

MARCO VERRATTI

Manchester United have emerged as rivals to Barcelona in the chase for coveted Paris Saint-Germain and Italy star Marco Verratti, according to TuttoMercatoWeb.

Barca have been strongly linked to the metronomic centre midfielder throughout the summer, most recently reportedly failing with an offer of €65 million (Dh275.3 million) plus maligned Portugal international Andre Gomes. These setbacks have opened up an opportunity for Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho, whose clubs have made contact with Verratti’s entourage.

Intriguingly, Sportitalia have stated the highly-rated 24-year-old could be about to dump long-term agent Donato Di Campli for Mino Raiola  – the man who has taken Sergio Romero, Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Romelu Lukaku to Old Trafford in recent years.

Verratti has reportedly decided to ditch Di Campli after his incendiary remarks earlier this month about PSG’s stance towards Barca.

RATING: 6/10

SPORT360 VERDICT

This still looks like a long shot for United, but the potential switch of representatives for Verratti is intriguing.

Raiola’s superior relationship with them and the club’s willingness to pay more to the ‘super-agent’ were key to stealing Lukaku away from Chelsea’s grip at the last minute. Could they do the same to Barca?

Verratti’s supreme game management and spiky nature would enliven the United midfield. The thought of him teaming up with Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera is tantalising, albeit still a long shot with PSG so reluctant to cash in on him.

ROSS BARKLEY

Ross Barkley and Everton’s excessive financial demands look set to scupper his escape route to Tottenham Hotspur, according to the Daily Mirror.

Spurs are looking to bolster their squad for another Champions League campaign. But have been blown away by the midfielder’s request to be their highest-paid player on £150,000 (Dh717,557) a week and a difference in valuation whereby they are only prepared to spend about £15 million (Dh71.8 million) to acquire his signature, while the Toffees want £50 million (Dh239.2 million).

The England midfielder, 23, has just one-year left on the deal at his boyhood club and their extensive list of summer signings is likely to squeeze his chances next term.

RATING: 3/10

SPORT360 VERDICT

You couldn’t pick a worse chairman to make, frankly ridiculous, demands to than Spurs’ parsimonious Daniel Levy.

Barkley’s decline in both form and standing at Goodison Park makes it ludicrous that he could be paid more money than England superstars Harry Kane and Dele Alli.

Unless major alterations are made, Barkley will not be running out at Wembley next season – for club or country.

Ross Barkley in action against Spurs (Getty).

Ross Barkley in action against Spurs (Getty).

NIKOLA KALINIC

Big-spending AC Milan’s pursuit of a second elite centre forward in the summer market is set to land them Fiorentina’s Nikola Kalinic, according to Corriere dello Sport.

Kalinic, 29, scored an impressive 20 times for the Viola last term and has moved to the top of the Rossoneri’s shopping list after Borussia Dortmund refused to sell Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to them.

They have already bought the highly-rated Portugal striker Andre Silva from Porto, while Colombia’s Carlos Bacca is set to be retained.

RATING: 8/10

SPORT360 VERDICT

Kalinic declined advances from the Chinese Super League in the recent past, but it is a different matter when ambitious Milan come calling.

At 29-years old, this move would represent a final payday for both himself and his club. Don’t expect the Croatia international to be denied this chance if Milan come through with the money.

He would also be considerably cheaper than Spain’s Alvaro Morata, for whom Real Madrid already proved reluctant sellers when Manchester United tried to by him earlier this summer.

Nikola Kalinic celebrating against Fiorentina (Getty).

Nikola Kalinic celebrating against Fiorentina (Getty).

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