Marcos Llorente delighted with Atletico switch from Real Madrid as Rodri nears exit

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Marcos Llorente has pledged his full commitment to Atletico Madrid – after his move from city rivals Real appeared to nudge Rodri towards the exit door.

Llorente’s move last week for a reported £35.75m saw him follow his father Paco Llorente Gento in moving between the Madrid giants.

After five years of sporadic first-team appearances in all white, the 24-year-old is switching to red and white stripes – although the more interesting detail of his new shirt is perhaps the number 14 on the back, worn up to now by fellow midfielder Rodri who is a widely reported target for Premier League champions Manchester City.

“I wear it naturally,” Llorente told Marca. “I know (moving from Real to Atletico) doesn’t happen often but it was the best thing for me and I’m happy and glad to be here.

“I’m coming with hard work and commitment to help the team when I need to and fight together for this shirt.

“My family and I believed this was going to be the best thing for me. I’m very happy and excited, my family and I can’t wait to get started.”

Llorente admitted Atleti coach Diego Simeone was a major draw for him.

“He has spoken to me, he welcomed me and showed his confidence in me,” he said.

“There’s not much I can say (about him) that you don’t know already. He’s a coach with a winning mentality and a great ability to get this across to his players.

“I love the idea of working with him. It was his character as much as the club’s project that attracted me and I didn’t think twice about coming.

“I was sure that I wanted to come to an ambitious project and to a place that had confidence in me and gambled to get me, those two things are here.”

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Arsenal set to keep Mesut Ozil and must improve bid to sign Kieran Tierney

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Mesut Ozil

What the papers say

Newcastle are drawing up a shortlist to replace Rafael Benitez, with Porto boss Sergio Conceicao among those being considered for the manager’s job, the Mail says. St James’ Park officials have been in touch with 44-year-old Conceicao, who is reportedly not ruling out the prospect of a move, the paper says.

Mesut Ozil looks set to remain part of Arsenal’s future as reports suggest the Gunners are struggling to attract offers for him, according to the Mail. Arsenal were believed to want to offload their high earner in the transfer window to free up funds to approach Celtic’s Kieran Tierney and St Etienne’s William Saliba, the paper says.

Meanwhile, the Telegraph reports that Arsenal will need to up their original £15million bid in order to land Tierney from the Scottish champions. Celtic are said to value their left-back at £25million – but that is thought to be more than half of the Gunners’ £45million summer transfer budget.

Bayern Munich have been turned away as they pursue Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi, the Mirror says. The winger, who is recovering from an Achilles injury, has long been admired by the German club, but the Blues want to hold on to their 18-year-old ace, the papers says, with Bayern said to be diverting their attention to Manchester City winger Leroy Sane in the search for a replacement for Arjen Robben.

Players to watch

Samuel Umtiti: The Barcelona defender is on the radar of Manchester United, Spanish paper Mundo Deportivo reports, as they look for a cheaper alternative to Leicester’s Harry Maguire.

Dan-Axel Zagadou The Borussia Dortmund centre-back is reportedly keen to leave the German side, leaving the path clear for Arsenal to make a summer swoop, German paper Bild reports.

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Transfer Predictor: Ricardo Pereira to Juventus gets a 4 but Dan-Axel Zagadou to Arsenal is a 7

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Struggling to pick out the facts from the figures? Reality from the rubbish? Sense from the silly season? We’ve got you sorted in our daily dose of the Transfer Predictor, where we round up the latest rumours with an analytical spin.

We sort through the most eye-catching transfer reports of the past 24 hours and give a balanced judgment on whether the move really will happen – and why.

Today’s edition features potential signings for Sevilla, Juventus and Arsenal.

LUUK DE JONG

Luuk De Jong

PSV Eindhoven -> €12 million -> Sevilla

Dutch publication De Telegraaf report that Luuk de Jong could be on his way to Seville after a successful season with the Dutch giants. The player could cost Sevilla around €12-13 million and will be joining Munas Dabbur upfront.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

Should Wissam Ben Yedder follow interests from Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United out of Ramon Sanchez Pizuan, Sevilla will find themselves needing a striker who can get 15-20 goals a season.

Besides, the Seville club had a disappointing season and are likely to make some big-name signings. De Jong – who netted 32 goals for PSV last season – could be a great addition to the squad

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

Reports suggest that the fee is unlikely to cause harm to this transfer. But if this deal is dependent on Ben Yedder leaving Sevilla, complications could arise. The Frenchman is a fan-favourite and an established player at the club.

TRANSFER RATING: 6/10

RICARDO PEREIRA

Ricardo Pereira

Leicester City -> Undisclosed -> Juventus

Juventus are expected to lose full-back Joao Cancelo to Manchester City and have hence targeted Leicester City’s Ricardo Pereira according to The Sun.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

Arguably Leicester’s best player of the 2018/19 season, Pereira has demonstrated enough quality to draw interest from a heavyweight.

If reports are to be believed, Cancelo could very well be on his way to Etihad. Pereira would then be an able replacement for the Portuguese who added a lot of width to their attack.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

It’s unlikely that Leicester will let two of their best players in Harry Maguire and Pereira leave in the same window.

Also, there is no mention of the transfer fee in the rumours and the deal hence seems far off from materialising.

TRANSFER RATING: 4/10

DAN-AXEL ZAGADOU

Dan-Axel Zagadou

Borussia Dortmund -> £26.8 million -> Arsenal

Bild report that the return of Mats Hummels to Borussia Dortmund could pave the way for Dan-Axel Zagadou out of Germany. Arsenal are said to be interested and an asking price of £26.8 million has been set by Dortmund.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

Zagadou reportedly confirmed that he is looking for a way out of Dortmund after the arrival of Hummels has threatened his playing time ahead of the new season.

Arsenal still have issues at the back and with Laurent Koscielny not getting any younger, they will need able reinforcements at the back. Zagadou had a great first half of the season with Dortmund and could do well in London.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

The reported transfer fee of £26.8 million is more than half of Arsenal’s transfer budget and the Gunners are reportedly also after a winger and a striker.

However, if the 20-year-old attempts to force a move out, Dortmund could be compelled to reduce the fee. The arrival of Hummels does render this transfer likely.

TRANSFER RATING: 7/10

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