Arsenal will have to make an ‘important’ offer to Atletico Madrid if they are to land winger Thomas Lemar in January, according to reports.
A winger is apparently one of new boss Mikel Arteta’s top targets in January, given the struggles that summer signing Nicolas Pepe has had this season.
Lemar has long been a transfer target for the Gunners, and they were in the race to sign him from Monaco in summer 2018. However, Atletico won the race, signing the French international for £53 million.
However, that interest has apparently not dulled and Arsenal are encouraged to make a bid given that Lemar is not a regular starter in Diego Simeone’s side.
That said, he is under contract until 2023 and Spanish newspaper AS has reported Atletico bosses saying that it would take an important’ offer for them to consider selling the 24-year-old.
It is not known how big a transfer kitty Arteta will be given by the Gunners hierarchy, but given their struggles this season – including leaky defence and under-performing midfield – the new boss may look to make several signings.
The kitty could be boosted if Granit Xhaka leaves in January – Herta Berlin are apparently interested in taking the Swiss midfielder to the Bundesliga.
Italian champions Juventus are planning to make a move to sign Manchester United star David de Gea in January if his contract situation isn’t sorted out.
Spanish international de Gea is out of contract next summer and has so far stalled on signing a new deal at Old Trafford. Talks shave been ongoing for more than a year but a resolution isn’t in sight.
Juventus bosses are aware of this and know that from January de Gea will be able to sign a pre-contract with other clubs.
The Turin-based side have form with this sort of move, having signed Aaron Ramsey from Arsenal and Emre Can from Liverpool for nothing after their deals ran out.
Ligue Un champions Paris St-Germain are also thought to be monitoring the situation. Both clubs could afford the rumoured £350,000 a week de Gea wants.
Real Madrid have had an interest in de Gea for years – almost signing him in 2015 – so could also come in for him.
While United want to keep hold of their keeper, and remain in talks with him and his representatives, they are thought to be lining up a replacement if he does go. Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak is thought to be top of their wish list, but it would take a mighty offer to get Diego Simeone to part with one of his key players.
Spanish giants Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have both had bids for Chelsea star Willian knocked back by the club, according to reports.
Brazilian forward Willian is now in the last 12 months of his contract at Chelsea. While the club could lose him for nothing next summer, they are keen to hold onto him – not least because they are currently serving a 2-window transfer ban so couldn’t sign a replacement.
Chelsea also sold Eden Hazard to Real Madrid last week for £88 million so can’t afford to let another experienced star leave.
Barcelona have a long-standing interest in 31-year-old Willian and tried unsuccessfully to sign him last summer. The Catalan club made three bids for him, the last of £55 million, but Chelsea stood firm and rejected it.
Now Atletico have joined the chase and both have had bids of £35 million rejected, according to Sky Sports News.
Whether either club is preparing make another bid isn’t known. They may not want to pay much more for a player the wrong side of 30 and who they could get for nothing in 12 months’ time.
Chelsea meanwhile are hopeful that Willian will commit his future to the club and sign a new 2-year deal.
European giants Manchester United and Real Madrid are set for a battle to sign £105 million-rated Benfica wonderkid Joao Felix this summer.
Felix has burst onto the scene this year scoring 20 goals and providing 11 assists for Benfica as they marched to the Portuguese league title and the semi-finals of the Europa League.
United are reportedly already in talks with Benfica over a possible deal and are said to be prepared to pay his £105 million release clause.
However, there are plenty Europe’s top clubs also interested in signing Felix. Atletico Madrid have also been watching him and could be lining him up as a replacement for Antoine Griezmann, who is departing for Barcelona.
Atletico’s city rivals Real, as well as Italian Champions Juventus are also interested, as are Liverpool and Manchester City, according to The Mirror.
Benfica have offered Felix a new deal in a bid to get him to stay, but know that if the release clause is met they will have little choice but to sell.
Felix’s agent is Jorge Mendes, who has had a good relationship with United in the past.
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