- MAN UNITED STILL LOOKING TO RAID AJAX
- ARSENAL COULD LAND TIELEMANS
- EVERTON SEND OUT ONYANGO ON LOAN
- DYBALA OVER THE MOON IN ROMA
Manchester United have completed the signing of Argentina defender Lisandro Martinez from Ajax in a deal worth up to 67m euros (£57m). United manager Erik ten Hag was keen to be reunited with the 24-year-old, who he signed for Ajax in 2019. He joins the club on a five-year contract which keeps him at Old Trafford until 2027, with the option of a further year.
Martinez made 120 appearances for Ajax after moving from Argentinian side Defensa y Justicia for £6.3m in 2019 and also played for Newell’s Old Boys. He has won seven caps for Argentina since making his senior debut in March 2019 and played once in the country’s successful Copa America campaign in 2021.
Man Utd’s Tunisia international Hannibal Mejbri looks set to join a Championship club on loan, with Birmingham, West Brom, Millwall and Middlesbrough all interested in signing the youngster. The 19-year-old, who made two Premier League appearances last season, featured under Erik ten Hag for the first time against Crystal Palace on United’s pre-season tour of Australia on Tuesday.
However, there has been interest from abroad, with Braga and two clubs in Spain also keen on the midfielder. A decision on where he’ll be playing this coming season is expected early next week.
THE MAN UNITED OVERPRICE CURSE
Ajax have dramatically upped their asking price for in-demand winger Antony in a bid to stave off interest from Manchester United. New Red Devils manager Erik ten Hag is interested in bringing the Brazilian star to Old Trafford this summer But the Dutch side have raised their fee demand from £68m to £84m to underline he is not for sale. Ten Hag has already made three signings as he looks to overhaul his squad after a hugely disappointing season. Two of those have been from Holland, defender Lisandro Martinez from Ajax, his former employers, and left-back Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord.
Juventus have identified Alvaro Morata as the missing piece to complete a new-look front line. The Serie A side will turn to Martial or Werner if that deal collapses; Juventus wanted Martial in January before the Frenchman’s move to Sevilla. RB Leipzig also want Chelsea forward Werner.
Meanwhile, Paul Pogba has suffered a torn meniscus in a training session only two weeks into his Juventus return. The injury will force him out of the rest of Juve’s pre-season games and he is likely to miss their Serie A opener against Sassuolo on August 15.
ARSENAL COULD GET TIELEMANS
Arsenal have been offered the opportunity to sign long-term target Youri Tielemans this summer, as long as they are willing to part ways with Bernd Leno as part of the deal. Leicester City are keen on the German shot-stopper as they look to replace Kasper Schmeichel, whose future with the club is uncertain. After the signing of Matt Turner, it soon became apparent that Leno is surplus to requirements at Arsenal.
BARCA/CHELSEA TUG OF WAR NOT OVER YET
Barcelona believe they have beaten Chelsea to the signing of highly-rated Sevilla defender Jules Kounde after agreeing on a deal worth £46million plus add-ons. The Spanish club seems to have gotten their man, dealing a huge blow to Chelsea and manager Thomas Tuchel.
Kounde had been one of Tuchel’s top defensive targets but the player now appears bound for Barcelona, triggering fury among club officials at Stamford Bridge. Kounde is set to become the latest player to join Xavi’s Barcelona, despite their financial issues. Chelsea have since moved to block Marcos Alonso’s transfer to the Catalan giants in response to Barca snatching the 23-year-old star.
According to reports, the Blues are also reluctant to allow fellow defender Cesar Azpilicueta to complete his move to the Nou Camp in what is becoming an increasingly fractious and complicated set of negotiations. It comes after Barcelona swooped for Kounde even after Chelsea had seen their offer accepted.
Chelsea have now switched focus on Inter Milan’s Denzel Dumfries after frustration in their bid to sign Sevilla’s Jules Kounde. The Blues’ bid fell slightly short of Kounde’s asking price and were reluctant to go further for the 23-year-old who Thomas Tuchel was initially unsure about. Chelsea have missed out on key targets with Bayern Munich beating them in the race for Matthijs de Ligt and after Manchester City blocked their £45million approach for Nathan Ake.
WESTHAM ACTIVE IN THE MARKET TOO
PSG made a late attempt to sign Gianluca Scamacca from Sassuolo. However, the player and his representatives had already given their word to West Ham United that he would sign for them. AC Milan, Inter Milan, Borussia Dortmund and two unnamed Premier League clubs were also interested in signing Scamacca in this transfer window.
Earlier this month, Sassuolo CEO Giovanni Carnevali revealed PSG had made a bid worth close to €40m for Scamacca.
Everton’s Tyler Onyango has joined Burton Albion on a season-long loan move. The promising midfielder who has a Kenyan parent signed a new three-year contract at Goodison Park before making the temporary switch to the League One club. Onyango could make his debut for Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s team when they face Wycombe for their League One opener on Saturday.
Born to a Kenyan father and an English mother, Onyango joined the Everton Academy at the age of eight and made his senior debut at the age of 17 in an FA Cup tie against Sheffield Wednesday in January 2021. He played three times off the bench in the Premier League last season after overcoming a long-term ankle injury
Everton have also completed the loan signing of defender Ruben Vinagre from Sporting Lisbon. The left-sided player, who spent a few seasons at Wolves, is Frank Lampard’s second summer signing after the free transfer of James Tarkowski. “It’s a dream come true to join a big club like Everton,” Vinagre said. “The opportunity to work with very good players and a very good coach in Frank Lampard made me excited to sign.
“The manager is a football legend. Everybody knows him and the opportunity to work with and learn from him and someone like Ashley Cole – one of football’s best left-backs – is very big for me.”
Burnley boss Vincent Kompany says Maxwell Cornet will be integrated into the matchday squad if he is still at the club next week. The Ivory Coast striker is attracting interest from a number of Premier League clubs but a transfer has yet to materialize ahead of Burnley’s season-opener against Huddersfield on Friday night. Cornet is training with the club but will not be considered against the Terriers due to his physical condition.
DYBALA EPIC WELCOME
In Roma, Paulo Dybala received a warm and thrilling welcome from Roma supporters as 8,000 fans made their voices heard at an all-action unveiling at the Square Colosseum on Tuesday evening. Fans filled the streets in the Italian capital as the club unveiled their latest signing after beating Inter Milan and Napoli to the signing of the Argentina international, who did his trademark celebration upon his unveiling on a free transfer.
The Argentine striker sold more shirts than Christiano Ronaldo at Juventus in his first 24 hours as a Roma player. After thanking fans for the massive welcome he received at his presentation ceremony, Dybala sat down on the steps outside the Palazzo Della Civilta Italiana and soaked in the atmosphere as fans sang the club’s anthem in wild celebration.