Ivan Perisic to Man United, Gonzalo Higuain to Chelsea and more transfer window rumblings

Sport360 staff 20/07/2018
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The summer transfer window has the rumour mill running over time.

Among the top reports, Ivan Perisic is being linked with Manchester United and Mateo Kovacic to Manchester City.

Meanwhile, Gonzalo Higuain could be on his way to Chelsea who are bracing themselves for the departure of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid.

Watch the video below for all the latest summer transfer speculation.

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Eden Hazard among three players Real Madrid must sign to fill Cristiano Ronaldo void

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There’s simply no replacing Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid must know that and their support must come to terms with it.

However, there is life after the Portuguese superstar even if his transfer to Juventus coupled with Zinedine Zidane’s departure has put Los Blancos’ dominant European reign in jeopardy.

The good news for new manager Julen Lopetegui is that he already has a supremely talented squad at his disposal. If he is to maintain the lofty standards set at the Santiago Bernabeu though, he’ll need an extra sprinkling of stardust.

Madrid are consistently linked with every big name under the sun while the transfer market is open and this summer is no different.

However, there are three key targets who could make all the difference.

EDEN HAZARD

With pursuits of Paris Saint-Germain duo Neymar and Kylian Mbappe proving to be futile, Madrid have stepped up their interest in Eden Hazard with Le10Sport claiming a €190 million deal has been agreed.

The Chelsea star will not replace Ronaldo’s goals but his superior link-up play and guile in the final third should bode well for Madrid given Lopetegui’s preferred style of play which brings more focus on passing and possession.

Hazard worked brilliantly in tandem with Kevin De Bruyne for the Red Devils and potential interchanges with Golden Ball winner Luka Modric and impressive Spaniard Isco could produce similar results.

The Belgian isn’t in the same stratosphere as Ronaldo in terms of market potential and doesn’t fit into the younger category either which is headlined by the likes of Mbappe and Paul Pogba. After his impressive showing at the World Cup though, his stock has certainly risen.

A decent first season at Madrid would likely put him on par with Gareth Bale at the very least.

Eden Hazard has been linked with a move to Real Madrid.

Eden Hazard has been linked with a move to Real Madrid.

THIBAUT COURTOIS

With Ronaldo gone, Madrid can’t afford to paper over the cracks anymore. Every position needs to boast enough cover if they are to extend their golden era.

Los Blancos have been attempting to sign a new goalkeeper for several seasons, consistently failing to land David De Gea. Thibaut Courtois is their main target for the position this summer after he became available for a cut-price £31m fee.

The World Cup Golden Glove winner is keen to return to Madrid and would be an upgrade on current custodian Keylor Navas in addition to being five years his junior.

With the Costa Rican relegated to second-choice, it bolsters the position as back-ups Kiko Casilla and Luca Zidane do not inspire much confidence.

Thibaut Courtois

Thibaut Courtois

MAURO ICARDI

The goals need to come from somewhere and while Ronaldo’s departure means others can step up and build on their previous tallies, the arrival of a new striker at the Bernabeu is long overdue.

Karim Benzema should see more chances come his way but whether he can replicate his goalscoring form from earlier in his career is debatable after only managing 12 across all competitions last season. Alvaro Morata’s move to Chelsea last summer had already rendered Madrid short in that department while Benzema has been linked to Napoli as well.

Mauro Icardi would be a good fit after his excellent form for Inter Milan over the last couple of seasons, scoring 55 goals over 77 appearances in all competitions.

At only 25, a move for the Argentine makes a lot more sense than a swoop for Robert Lewandowski – turning 30 next month – who would likely cost a lot more.

Hotshot: Inter skipper Mauro Icardi.

Hotshot: Inter skipper Mauro Icardi.

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Erik Lamela joins Son Heung-min in extending Tottenham stay

Sport360 staff 20/07/2018
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Tottenham confirmed midfielder Erik Lamela had joined forward Son Heung-min in signing a new contract extension on a busy afternoon of announcements for the Premier League club.

Manager Mauricio Pochettino has so far not yet strengthened a squad which finished third last season, but has been able to tie down two of his key players.

South Korea international Son, who caught the eye at the World Cup, scoring against holders Germany in the final group match, has signed a deal to stay with Spurs until 2023.

Lamela, meanwhile, sees his new contract run through until at least 2022.

Son has forged an excellent working relationship with England captain Harry Kane, scoring 26 league goals across the last two campaigns.

The 26-year-old, who joined Spurs from Bayer Leverkusen in 2015, is determined to continue his progress under Pochettino – and “make some history” with the north London club, who are set to move into a new stadium next season.

“I’ve learned so many things in the last three years and we’re all looking forward,” he said on the club’s official website.

“We deserve to win something and deserve to make some history. It’s time to do it and to believe in ourselves.

“I’m always positive with the lads and looking forward to playing again in the Premier League and the Champions League.”

Lamela can also expect to be an integral part of the Spurs team next season, having returned to action in November 2017 after more than a year out because of a hip problem.

The midfielder went on to make 33 appearances over the remainder of the 2017-18 campaign, and scored twice as Spurs beat Leicester 5-4 at Wembley on the final day of the season in May.

In a brief video on Tottenham’s official Twitter feed, Lamela said: “I am delighted to sign a new contract. I hope to see you next season in the stadium. I can’t wait.”

Tottenham, who have been linked with a move for Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish, are set to head off on a pre-season tour of the United States as focus turns towards the start of the new domestic campaign.

Pochettino’s squad will compete in the International Champions Cup, with matches against AS Roma (San Diego), Barcelona (Los Angeles) and AC Milan (Minneapolis).

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