What the papers say
The Mirror says Arsenal are refusing to give up on signing Wilfried Zaha and are preparing a player-plus-cash bid. Unai Emery has already seen the club’s opening £40milion approach rejected with Crystal Palace demanding twice that. The Gunners will get nowhere near that figure but are now discussing putting players into the deal, with Calum Chambers, Carl Jenkinson and Mohamed Elneny all possible makeweights.
In related news, Arsenal are looking to hijack Everton’s £31.5million move for Barcelona winger Malcom, according to The Sun. Arsenal boss Unai Emery has reportedly identified the player as a possible alternative to signing Zaha.
Newcastle offered Sam Allardyce a surprise return as manager last week, the Mail says, but the former England boss rejected the chance. Now the Magpies appear focused on recruiting Steve Bruce from Sheffield Wednesday, it adds.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has warned Paul Pogba that Manchester United will not be pressured into selling him, according to the Telegraph. “We are Man United, we don’t have to sell players,” Solskjaer reportedly said.
Roma want Tottenham’s £25million-rated centre-back Toby Alderweireld, says the Mirror. The Italians are hunting two new defenders and have approached Spurs but are understood not to have made a formal offer. Alderweireld is available at that bargain price only until July 26, when a clause in his contract expires. Roma are reportedly the only club to have expressed an interest in the 30-year-old Belgium international, who has just 12 months left on his contract.
Players to watch
Daniel Sturridge: The former Liverpool player may currently be without a club, but at least he has been reunited with his stolen dog, the Guardian reports. The 29-year-old posted a video on Instagram on Tuesday showing a broken glass door, which he said was where thieves broke in and took his dog as well as a number of bags from his Los Angeles home.
Dani Ceballos: Tottenham are stepping up their bid to land Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos on loan. the Daily Star reports.
Manchester United are still in the hunt for a centre-back and have made an enquiry with Fiorentina for Nikola Milenkovic.
The Red Devils have shown interest in the 21-year-old defender previously and have made another approach for him this week, according to Gianluca di Marzio.
United reportedly made a bid for Milenkovic in January but their €40 million offer was turned down with the Italian outfit holding out for €50m.
Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer’s side have returned to training without a new centre-back which was thought to be the top priority this summer.
Advances for the likes of Mathijs de Ligt, Issa Diop and Harry Maguire have so far been unsuccessful but in Milenkovic they face a real possibility of prying him away from La Viola.
However, the Serbian has been growing in stature in recent months and has attracted interest from other clubs too though no concrete links have been made.
Coach Jose Luis Sierra has strengthened his imprint on fallen Saudi Professional League giants Al Ittihad after surprise one-season deals were completed for familiar faces Luis Jimenez and Emiliano Vecchio.
Clubs in the Kingdom have, to date, been more circumspect in this summer’s transfer window, following 2018’s landmark $173.9 million splurge. This conservative approach continued on Wednesday when the Tigers announced their first foreign additions as they attempt to drastically improve on last term’s lengthy flirtation with relegation.
Vecchio, 30, has joined up with Sierra for the fourth time in his career. The Argentine forward first worked under him in Chile with Union Espanola and Colo-Colo, before briefly combining at Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club in 2018/19 prior to the tactician’s October dismissal.
Experienced fellow Chilean Jimenez, 35, will add some craft alongside resident playmaker – and close friend – Carlos Villanueva. The ex-Inter Milan conductor played for several sides in the Middle East from 2011-18, prior to an enjoyable homecoming at Palestino.
Brazilian forward Romarinho, Morocco internationals Manuel da Costa and Karim El Ahmadi and Serbia centre forward Aleksandar Prijovic currently round out their seven-player non-Saudi quota.
Cape Verde winger Garry Rodrigues is expected to imminently depart for Turkish giants Fenerbahce on loan. He cost €9m in January when purchased from fierce Istanbul neighbours Galatasaray.