Barcelona close to completing deal to sign Real Sociedad defender Inigo Martinez this week

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Martinez, who has been capped by Spain, is a lynchpin at the back for Sociedad.

Inigo Martinez is set to complete a €32 million move to Barcelona this week, according to Marca.

The 26-year-old is admired by Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde and Blaugrana are willing to meet the defender’s buy-out before the start of the La Liga season on August 20.

With two crunch Spanish Super Cup clashes coming up against arch-rivals Real Madrid on August 14 and 17, Barcelona would hope to tie-up a deal before then for the centre-back.

Martinez only penned a five-year contract with with the Basque club last season but is said to be very keen on a switch to the Camp Nou.

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (top C) jumps over Real Sociedad's defender Inigo Martinez Berridi (bottom) beside Real Sociedad's midfielder Asier Illarramendi (R) during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on April 15, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)

Soon to be team-mates? Martinez makes a flying challenge on Messi last term.

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Manchester United ready to make bid for Tottenham left-back Danny Rose while Chelsea chase wantaway Southampton star Virgil van Dijk

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Rose has struggled with injury problems this year.

WHAT THE PAPERS SAY

Manchester United are interested in signing Tottenham left-back DANNY ROSE, according to the Mirror.

United have reportedly turned their attention to signing the England international, despite the 27-year-old currently being sidelined with a knee problem.

Chelsea’s own pursuit of a left-sided defender has hit a major roadblock, with the Independent claiming Juventus have ruled out any hope of the Premier League champions signing ALEX SANDRO this summer.

But Antonio Conte could still be close to boosting his back line.

The Telegraph writes the Blues are hoping to sign Paris St Germain right-back SERGE AURIER, while they are looking to join the race for wantaway Southampton defender VIRGIL VAN DIJK.

Ivory Coast's Serge Aurier controls the ball during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying football match between Ivory Coast and Guinea at the Stade de la Paix in Bouake, on June 10, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)

Serge Aurier could make a Premier League switch.

Van Dijk has handed in a transfer request at St Mary’s – and the south-coast club are already lining up a replacement.

The Saints are hoping to sign Middlesbrough defender BEN GIBSON in a £30million deal, according to the Sun.

Stoke hope to sign last season’s loanee BRUNO MARTINS INDI, reports the Stoke Sentinel, while L’equipe claims Potters midfielder GIANNELLI IMBULA is closing in on a move to Monaco.

ONLINE/SOCIAL ROUND-UP

@SkySportsPL: ” Philippe Coutinho would like to move to @FCBarcelona if a deal can be done amicably with @LFC, say Sky sources”
@DailyStar_Sport: “Arsenal legend Tony Adams in £200m bid for Crystal Palace 3CPFC”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

GARETH BALE

Jose Mourinho has said Manchester United will pursue the Real Madrid forward – if he is not involved in Tuesday night’s Super Cup.

SKOPJE, MACEDONIA - AUGUST 07: Gareth Bale of Real Madrid looks on during a training session ahead of the UEFA Super Cup final between Real Madrid and Manchester United on August 7, 2017 in Skopje, Macedonia. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

What does the future hold for Bale?

VIRGIL VAN DIJK

After the defender went public with his transfer request, Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea have all been linked with him.

Southampton's Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk reacts after the UEFA Europa League group K football match between Southampton and Hapoel Beer Sheva at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England, on December 8, 2016. Hapoel Beer Sheva qualified for the final 32 after the game ended 1-1. / AFP / OLLY GREENWOOD (Photo credit should read OLLY GREENWOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

Desperate to leave St Mary’s: Van Dijk.

LEANDER DENDONCKER

The reported Manchester United target’s agent has been quoted saying his client is looking to leave Anderlecht.

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - NOVEMBER 03: Leander Dendoncker of RSC Anderlecht applauds the fans after the UEFA Europa League Group C match between RSC Anderlecht and 1. FSV Mainz 05 at Constant Vanden Stock Stadium on November 3, 2016 in Brussels, Belgium. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Dendoncker is the latest man linked to Old Trafford.

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Jose Mourinho will 'fight' to bring Gareth Bale to Manchester United if Real Madrid choose to sell

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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is ready to “fight” for Gareth Bale’s signature if Real Madrid leave the attacker out of the UEFA Super Cup.

Skopje plays hosts to the annual clash between the winners of the Europa League and Champions League on Tuesday evening, with both sides looking to kick the campaign off with silverware.

Bale is part of the 24-man squad in Macedonia for the match, but speculation continues over the Wales international’s future.

There have been suggestions in Spain that Madrid are willing to part company with the 28-year-old as they move for Monaco’s  Kylian Mbappe, giving hope to long-standing admirers United.

Mourinho recently said it would be impossible to bring in Bale, but is now ready to pounce on any softening on their part.

“If he’s playing tomorrow, well, no I wouldn’t think of that possibility of signing on (Bale),” the United boss said in Macedonia ahead of facing his former club.

Bale could make way for Mbappe according to the latest reports

Bale could make way for Mbappe according to the latest reports

“If he is playing tomorrow, it is because he is in the coach’s plans and in the club’s plans and because he also has that ambition to continue in Real Madrid.

“So I haven’t even thought of the possibility of signing him on our team.

“If he’s not in the club’s plans, if what you are writing right now is true – I am not sure whether it is or not – that the arrival of another player (would) perhaps (mean) Gareth would be on his way out.

“If he is on his way out of Real Madrid, well, I’ll try to be waiting for him on the other side and try to fight with other coaches that would also like to have him on his team.

“But I think that if he plays tomorrow, it is probably the best confirmation that they’ll keep counting on him during the season.”

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