Chelsea eyeing Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic

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Marseille have made a move to sign World Cup winner Olivier Giroud from Chelsea, as the Blues are looking to make space in their squad for Gonzalo Higuain, the Daily Mirror says.

In other Stamford Bridge news, Chelsea are also considering making a £30m bid for Aaron Ramsey, according to the Daily Telegraph, but the Daily Mail reports the Blues have given up on signing the Welsh international and Maurizio Sarri has turned his attention to Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic.

Also said to be in Sarri’s sights is Bayern Munich and Poland international Robert Lewandowski, with the Daily Star reporting Real Madrid also want to sign the £80m-rated striker.

Marcos Rojo has been told he can leave Manchester United, but only if a club matches the Red Devils’ £30m valuation of the defender, reports the Daily Mirror.

rojo

The paper says Everton are leading the race to sign the Argentina international, with Wolves also reportedly interested in a deal.

Patrick Bamford, the highly-rated former Nottingham Forest and Chelsea player, could be heading from Middlesbrough to Leeds for a fee of around £7m, reports the Guardian.

Players to watch

N’Golo Kante: The World Cup winner may be on the move again, with Paris Saint-Germain interested in signing the Chelsea player, according to Talksport.

Islam Slimani: Leicester have resigned themselves to losing the Algeria forward, but his future may not be decided until the end of August, reports the Leicester Mercury.

Thibaut Courtois: Real Madrid have their sights set on the Chelsea and Belgium keeper, reports Marca.

Lucas Perez: Lazio will need to pay at least £7million to land the forward from Arsenal, Talksport says.

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Only one more player for Man United but Jose Mourinho insists it is 'not a drama'

Simon Peach 31/07/2018
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Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho is not expecting to get what he wants this summer, but the Manchester United manager insists only bringing in one more player is “not a drama”.

The wheels have threatened to come off during the club’s pre-season tour of the United States, with the Portuguese becoming increasingly outspoken and irritated by a variety of matters.

Transfers are arguably chief among the issues as United have so far only managed to bring in Brazil midfielder Fred, raw full-back Diogo Dalot and third-choice goalkeeper Lee Grant.

Mourinho freely admitted he wants another two new signings in a bid to launch an improved Premier League title challenge by the August 9 deadline, but attempted to downplay the frustrations of only getting one.

Asked if he was confident he would get both, the United boss said: “No. I am confident I get one.

“I am confident I get one, but I think two I am not going to get which is not a drama.

“I think in every pre-season it happens basically the same and probably with every club, which is the manager wants more.

“It’s our nature, it’s out way of being – you always want more for your team.

“But then club decisions are different and normally you don’t get what you want, which happened basically during all my career.

“So, if I get one player until the end of the market, that’s fine.”

Mourinho gave United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward his list of “five names a few months ago” and is now playing the waiting game as the deadline creeps closer.

Imposing Leicester centre-back Harry Maguire and Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld have been strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford, as have a variety of other defenders.

On the radar: Toby Alderweireld.

On the radar: Toby Alderweireld.

“More or less I know (my best team),” the United boss told beIN SPORT. “It’s not going to be very different. We have basically the same players.

“The players that we have bought one is a goalkeeper cover, another one is a 19-year-old kid.

“So, in fact, we have one new player which is Fred so of course our team is not going to be very different.”

Fred made his first United appearance off the bench in Saturday’s 4-1 friendly loss to Liverpool after enjoying his post-World Cup downtime.

Mourinho is still without a number of players, who reached the latter stages in Russia, and made clear his preference that they cut their breaks early to aid preparations for the season opener against Leicester on August 10.

The rescheduling of that match to a Friday compounded the United manager’s frustrations over the early start date of a season that for the first time will see the summer transfer window end before campaign begins.

“I agree that when the Premier League starts, the transfer window close,” Mourinho said. “I agree with that.

“I am not a big fan of some player to start the Premier League with one club and a couple of weeks later the transfer window is still open and he moves to another club and he plays against his former club. I really don’t like that.

“I agree totally with the window closing at the same time the Premier League starts.

“What I don’t agree is that the Premier League starts now.

“You look to other countries and the countries with lots of players in the World Cup, they start later.

“You look to Spain, to Italy, they start later, and the Premier League could, should do that.”

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Real Madrid and Man United target Sergej Milinkovic-Savic confirms Lazio stay

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Sergej Milinkovic-Savic dismissed rumours of his departure from Lazio as he told fans of his decision after arriving for training one day late.

The 23-year-old has been linked to a number of top European clubs, including Spanish giants Real Madrid, Premier League club Manchester United and Serie A champions Juventus, all of whom are willing to pay Lazio’s asking price of €100million for him.

The Serbian international impressed at the 2018 World Cup in Russia but his team crashed out in the Group stage of the tournament.

After national duty however, the midfielder was expected to return to training on Monday, but instead arrived on Tuesday at the Clinica Paideia for his medical.

His agent Mateja Kezman later informed that the delay was because of a missed flight from Belgrade.

Meanwhile, when questioned by fans outside the facility on whether he stay at he club, Milinkovic-Savic said – “Of course I’m staying, do you not see that I’m here?”

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