Liverpool set to step up chase for Stoke star Xherdan Shaqiri

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Liverpool are to raise the tempo in their pursuit of Swiss winger Xherdan Shaqiri after the World Cup, the Daily Mirror reports.

Representatives of the Stoke forward, 26, are said to have held talks with counterparts at Anfield already after the Potters’ relegation from the top flight.

Stoke’s demise is said to have reduced Shaqiri’s price to £13.5million, which has not escaped the attention of other Premier League clubs.

Everton, West Ham, Tottenham and Southampton are said to be keeping an eye on the former Bayern Munich and Inter Milan player.

Talks are continuing apace between Arsenal and Sampdoria over their 22-year-old midfielder Lucas Torreira, according to the Daily Mail.

A £22million deal is said to be on the cards to bring the Uruguay international to the Emirates on his return from Russia.

New boss Unai Emery is said to favour Torreira as part of his summer squad-strengthening spree, although Sampdoria have warned he will not come cheap.

lucas-torreira

A release clause in his contract may have to be paid off in instalments as the Gunners seek to maximise their budget.

Spurs are set to offer Dele Alli to a new long-term deal worth nearly £100,000-a-week, the Evening Standard reports.

The 22-year-old midfielder’s reported £40,000-a-week pay rise is said to be part of a drive by White Hart Lane bosses to lock in their star talent.

England captain Harry Kane signed a six-year deal on Friday, while efforts are said to be under way to secure the futures of Jan Vertonghen, Christian Eriksen and Eric Dier at the club.

Commitments by Kane and manager Pochettino, who agreed a new five-year deal, are part of a reported effort to consolidate ahead of next season.

A transfer to Manchester City for Napoli midfielder Jorginho appears to have hit rough ground after the Blues balked at the 26-year-old’s £60million price tag, the Daily Mirror says.

City are reported to have offered £44million for the midfielder, who is said to have high hopes for a move to the Premier League.

His agent, Joao Santos, said an “opportunity of a lifetime” would await the the Italy international at the Etihad.

The two clubs are said to have been trying to reach a compromise, however Real Madrid’s Mateo Kovacic and Southampton’s Mario Lemina are also tipped as possible targets.

Players to watch

Dean Henderson: The England Under-21 international goalkeeper, 21, is set to sign a new deal at Manchester United, the Daily Mail reports.

Aleksandr Golovin: CSKA Moscow could put the Arsenal target, 22, up for sale this summer, according to Corriere.it

Federico Chiesa: The Fiorentina and Italy winger has attracted attention from Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United, according to Talksport.

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La Liga president makes Antoine Griezmann and Cristiano Ronaldo transfer claims

David Cooper 11/06/2018
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La Liga president Javier Tebas has declared he expects both Antoine Griezmann and Cristiano Ronaldo to stay put this summer.

France forward Griezmann, 27, has seen La Liga champions Barcelona long linked to paying the €100 million (Dh432.8m) release clause in his Atletico Madrid contract when it kicks in from July 1 and he said a decision on his future would occur “this week”. The prolific forward’s current employers have also been keen to agree fresh terms.

Portugal attacker Ronaldo, 33, is reportedly unsettled at Real Madrid and stated after last month’s Champions League final win that it had been “very nice” to be at the club.

But speaking to Onda Cero, Spain’s leading football administrator dismissed talk of imminent switches.

“I think Cristiano stays at Real Madrid and Antoine Griezmann stays at Atletico,” he said.

“What are the chances of Cristiano leaving? Out of 10, I would say a five or maybe even a four, I am not worried.

“Regardless of these moves, I do not think this is damaging for the league because we are becoming less reliant of our very best players.”

France boss Didier Deschamps informed his squad that he wants decisions on their futures to be made before World Cup 2018 begins. Les Bleus start their Group C-campaign on June 16 against Australia at Kazan Arena.

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Ajax warn Barcelona that highly rated midfielder Frenkie de Jong is not for sale

David Cooper 11/06/2018
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Frenkie de Jong (r) in action.

Barcelona face frustration in the summer transfer market after Ajax warned them that starlet Frenkie de Jong is not for sale, according to reports.

De Jong, 21, has earned rave reviews for the Amsterdam giants. Such praise has not gone unnoticed by the La Liga champions , who have a history dating back to the 1970s with Johan Cruyff of plundering their best talent.

De Telegraaf stated Barca faced rejection on Sunday for the €40 million (Dh173.5m)-rated Netherlands Under-21 centre midfielder and centre-back when they initiated talks with Ajax director Marc Overmars and agent Ali Dursun. Not even an offer of loaning him back to the Eredivisie runners-up for 2018/19 could convince them to do a deal, with rival interest also being registered by Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.

Barca are eager to avoid a repeat of the ongoing situation where they appear to have been beaten to the signature of 17-year-old Santos prospect Rodrygo by Real Madrid.

De Jong contributed seven assists in 22 Eredivisie games during 2017/18, despite largely playing in defence.

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