Joe Hart would take pay cut to join Liverpool, Juve in for James Rodriguez

The ESPN FC crew answer your tweets on Joe Hart’s future, West Ham’s struggles, Celtic’s UCL chances and much more.

The summer transfer window is beginning to swing shut. Transfer Talk has its finger on the pulse for the latest gossip ahead of deadline day. Follow our live blog below, and see the latest deals here.

TOP STORY: Hart would take pay cut to join Liverpool

Joe Hart‘s time at Manchester City appears to be over after Pep Guardiola sealed the signing of Claudio Bravo from Barcelona on Thursday, and the England No. 1’s options appear to be limited after Everton boss Ronald Koeman said he had no interest in signing him.

According to The Sun, Hart is trying to tempt Liverpool to make an offer for his services and is prepared to take a “huge pay cut” on his £150,000 weekly wage to seal a move to Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp, who brought in Loris Karius to compete with Simon Mignolet this summer, has apparently shown no interest yet — but Hart hopes he can sway the German.


16.44 BST: Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has predicted that the club will have “a very quiet week, not surrounded by helicopters” as transfer deadline day approaches.

Mourinho said he was “more than happy” with the squad he has after United completed big transfer deals earlier in the summer.

16.15 BST: DONE DEAL Southampton have brought in ex-Arsenal and Manchester City goalkeeper Stuart Taylor on a one-year contract.

The former Arsenal and Manchester City stopper has agreed a one-year deal with the club, providing back-up to goalkeepers Fraser Forster and Alex McCarthy.


16.05 BST: Hull boss Mike Phelan has been saying for a while that he needs new faces but, despite the club being linked with Tottenham’s Ryan Mason, he told a news conference: “Nobody yet has come in the building. We have not signed any new players but we are in talks with two or three new players. We are pursuing those interests, but at the moment nothing has been delivered.”

15.58 BST: DONE DEAL Bournemouth striker Tokelo Rantie has joined Turkish club Genclerbirligi. The South African, who joined the Cherries in 2013, made three Premier League appearances for them last season.

15.25 BST: DONE DEAL Oleksandr Zinchenko is off on loan to PSV Eindhoven:

15.21 BST: Things are afoot in Milan — a few views from the airport:

15.16 BST: Norwich City manager Alex Neil has said the club are close to signing Benfica forward Nelson Oliveira, telling a news conference: “He has good attributes which suit us. We’re hoping to complete a permanent deal in the next day or so.”

15.00 BST: DONE DEAL Barcelona defender Douglas is off to Sporting Gijon on loan:

�� Agreement with Sporting Gijón for loan of Douglas #FCBlive

– FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) 26 August 2016

14.24 BST: DONE DEAL Granada have completed their second signing of the day — and an impressive one it is too. Andreas Pereira has joined on loan from Manchester United.

He follows Barcelona’s Sergi Samper into the club, the defensive midfielder joining on a season-long loan.

14.22 BST: Jose Mourinho was asked about Bastian Schweinsteiger at his prematch news conference on Friday.

When asked if the former Germany international could return to the United side, he said: “I think it’s very difficult to happen. I’m not saying it’s impossible. I’m saying it’s very difficult. We have a decision completely made about [Paul] Pogba, [Ander] Herrera, [Morgan] Schneiderlin, [Marouane] Fellaini and Michael Carrick. We have five players for two positions. It’s very difficult that an opportunity will arrive.”

14.10 BST: Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernandez hopes a deal for Valencia striker Paco Alcacer can be done in the coming days.

He said: “We’re very interested in Paco. We’re working on it, but we can’t say more at the moment.”

Robert said it will be “Alcacer or no one” but added: “I am always optimistic and I work with the aim of getting things done, but it’s not easy because it’s difficult to come to Barca.”

13.56 BST: DONE DEAL Salvatore Sirigu has joined Sevilla on a season-long loan from Paris Saint-Germain, ending his search for a new club.

Sirigu, 29, was firmly established as the French champions’ starting goalkeeper until the arrival of Kevin Trapp last summer.

13.54 BST: Could Aston Villa defender Micah Richards be on his way to Turkey? The Birmingham Mail thinks so, reporting that Trabzonspor could do a deal for him within the next 48 hours.

13.50 BST: There has been no shortage of managers bemoaning the “crazy” transfer market of late — and here’s another one.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte told his pre-weekend news conference: “With this market, it’s very difficult. I have some targets. These targets will be very difficult to buy. This market is very crazy, and now we are seeing that it’s very difficult to reach our targets.”

13.37 BST: Sky Sports reports that Hull City have agreed a fee for Spurs midfielder Ryan Mason.

13.07 BST: DONE DEAL Brighton have completed the signing of Blackburn defender Shane Duffy on a four-year contract. The 24-year-old will be available to face Newcastle on Saturday.

Chris Hughton told Brighton’s official website: “I’m delighted that our perseverance has finally paid off and we’ve completed the signing of Shane; he’s an excellent addition for us. 

“He has a lot of experience for his age, having played in the Premier League, Championship, Europa League and international football for Ireland. He’s a very good defender.”

12.59 BST: DONE DEAL Arsenal forward Takuma Asano has joined German club Stuttgart on season-long loan, the Gunners have confirmed.

Asano, 21, joined Arsenal from Sanfrecce Hiroshima earlier in the summer.

12.41 BST: West Ham expect to complete the signing of Simone Zaza from Juventus later on Friday.

Manager Slaven Bilic confirmed that the 25-year-old Italy striker has agreed personal terms and told a news conference: “It looks very likely to happen and should happen today.”

12.33 BST: DONE DEAL Confirmation of an addition for Fulham:

12.29 BST: Zlatan Ibrahimovic was “on the radar” of former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson many times, the Scotsman’s former assistant Mike Phelan has said.

Phelan, the caretaker manager of Hull — who face United on Saturday and have also taken six points from two games — was assistant to Ferguson between 2008 and 2013.

12.10 BST: DONE DEAL League One Walsall have signed defender Kevin Toner from Aston Villa on loan.

BREAKING | Kevin Toner joins on loan from @AVFCOfficial

11.39 BST:  DONE DEAL La Liga side Granada have confirmed the arrival of Barcelona midfielder Sergi Samper on a one-year loan deal.

Samper trained with Granada on Friday and the Andalusian club said in a statement that he could go straight into Paco Jemez’s squad for Sunday’s game against Las Palmas.

11.24 BST: West Ham’s Reece Oxford, a reported target for Manchester United and Manchester City, could be sent on loan this season.

Slaven Bilic said: “Probably one or two of the young players will go out on loan, now we are out of Europe. [Martin] Samuelsen and [Josh] Cullen have already gone.

[Reece] Oxford or [Reece] Burke — one of them will probably stay here with us and one will go out on loan.”

11.06 BST: Chelsea are in talks to sign Marcos Alonso from Fiorentina, according to reports in Italy. 

10.56 BST: Brighton are poised to sign Blackburn’s Republic of Ireland international Shane Duffy in a £4.5m deal, sources have told ESPN FC. His replacement at Ewood Park will be Watford’s Tommi Hoban who will arrive on a season-long loan.

10.40 BST: Reports in Brazil say Crystal Palace want to sign Lucas Lima from Santos but their move for the 26-year-old playmaker was rejected.

Crystal Palace made an approach for Santos playmaker Lucas Lima but got turned down, say reports in Brazil

10.18 BST: Real Madrid’s La Liga game against Celta Vigo this weekend could decide James Rodriguez‘s future at the club.

AS claims the Colombian does not want to leave but if he is an unused substitute in their first home fixture of the season he could change his mind.

10.03 BST: Sunderland have lodged a bid for Sevilla’s defensive midfielder Vicente Iborra, David Moyes has confirmed.

The 28-year-old joined Sevilla from Levante in 2013 and helped them to win three consecutive Europa League titles.

09.52 BST: A bidding war could soon start for Arsenal’s Serge Gnabry, according to Schalke chief executive Christian Heidel.

The 21-year-old winger’s efforts for Germany during the 2016 Olympics in Brazil have not gone unnoticed, with Heidel saying: “All Bundesliga clubs except Bayern are looking at him.”

09.40 BST: Cristiano Ronaldo says he wants to play for Real Madrid for another decade and retire when he is 41 years old. 

Marca recently reported that Madrid will look to extend the forward’s contract, which is due to expire in June 2018, for at least two further seasons and Ronaldo said: “That’s what I want.

“I’m in the best club in the world and I want to finish in this club at 41. Now I need to be calm but I’m aim is to extend my contract and stay in the club that I like the most.”

09.24 BST: Arsene Wenger is giving his prematch news conference, and as well as team news there’s plenty of transfer talk too. Our man Mattias Karen is on the scene.

09.15 BST: Juan Mata will stay at Manchester United this season following talks with Jose Mourinho about his role at the club.

There has been a lot of speculation about the Spaniard’s future following the Portuguese coach’s arrival at Old Trafford, for it was Mourinho who sold him to United from Chelsea in 2014.

However, the Telegraph reports Mata will stay put for now but the squad will be reviewed again in January.

08.54 BST: Lyon are in talks with Celta Vigo over the sale of their winger Mathieu Valbuena, according to Le Parisien. The former France international’s salary could prove a stumbling block, however.

08.40 BST: Juventus’ general manager Beppe Marotta is hopeful the Italian champions will sign Blaise Matuidi from Paris Saint-Germain but said there is “zero possibility” of Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez joining. There’s also updates on Chelsea’s Juan Cuadrado and Simone Zaza, who could head to West Ham. Story here.

08.25 BST: Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish has told Tottenham they are wasting their time trying to sign Wilfried Zaha after claiming to reject a £12 million bid for the winger. Story here. 

08.09 BST: While Juventus are confident of completing a deal worth around €30 million to sign Blaise Matuidi, Paris Saint-Germain are adamant that the France international will stay at the club, according to L’Equipe.

07.46 BST: Southampton boss Claude Puel says defender Jose Fonte has now agreed to stay at the club despite interest from Manchester United. Story here.

James house hunting in Turin

Confirmation that James Rodriguez could be set to swap Real Madrid for Juventus has come from an unlikely source. Italian estate agency Proto Group Ltd. have released a statement confirming that they are working on behalf of the Colombia international to help him relocate ahead of a move to join the Italian champions.

AS claims the statement, released on Thursday, reads: “The lawyers of James Rodriguez will be in Turin this afternoon to settle the rental of a villa in the Italian city.” The report adds that Proto Group Ltd. have previously worked on behalf of Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Dani Alves and Gonzalo Higuain.

Alejandro Moreno says that James Rodriguez’s performance at Real Madrid might be due to his relationship with his manager.

The 25-year-old, who has been linked with Manchester United and Chelsea this summer, has featured only fleetingly for Real under Zinedine Zidane. Should he move to Juve, he would cap an impressive summer in the transfer market that has already seen the Serie A side acquire Higuain, Alves, Miralem Pjanic, Medhi Benatia and Marko Pjaca.

Varane declines Mourinho’s double-your-money offer

Such was Jose Mourinho’s desire to bring Raphael Varane to Manchester United this summer that the Sun claims he rang the Real Madrid defender personally and offered to double his wages to a reported £165,000 a week.

According to the report, that was not enough to tempt Varane. The France international snubbed Mourinho’s advances, opting instead to fight for a place in Zidane’s XI with the European champions.

United opted for Villarreal’s Eric Bailly, and that has not worked out too badly so far, with the 22-year-old earning good reviews in his opening games since joining in a deal worth £30 million.

Arsenal set to snap up Perez, Mustafi

It has been a long time coming, but Arsene Wenger looks to have sealed a double swoop to bolster Arsenal’s attacking and defensive options.

The reported purchase of Lucas Perez from Deportivo La Coruna was widely reported in Wednesday’s Transfer Talk, but Wenger oversaw the biggest spending day of his managerial career, according to multiple reports, by adding Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi to the Gunners’ ranks in a deal valued at £35 million.

The ESPN FC crew discuss the rumours that Valencia’s Shkodran Mustafi and Deportivo’s Lucas Perez are set to sign for Arsenal.

It is claimed that both players are now due in London for medicals and to agree to personal terms. The duo would take Arsenal’s summer spending close to £100 million. However, the signings could be offset by some big-name sales before the transfer window closes.


– Manchester United’s hopes of signing Jose Fonte look to be at an end following news the Portugal international has agreed a pay raise in order to remain at Southampton. The Mirror suggested that Fonte held clear-the-air talks with Saints bosses and will get an improved deal taking him from £45,000 per week to £70,000 per week.

– West Bromwich Albion, Hull City, Stoke City and Sunderland are all keen on taking Arsenal’s Calum Chambers on loan, the Daily Mail claimed. In addition, a number of Championship sides and foreign clubs are also interested, but though the 21-year-old is open to a move abroad, Arsenal want him to stay in the Premier League.

– They might be out of the Europa League, but West Ham fans will be heartened to hear that they are closing in on the signing of long-term target Simone Zaza from Juventus. According to the Guardian, a £24 million fee has been agreed on for the 25-year-old Italy international who has also been linked with a move to Wolfsburg.

Wilfried Zaha is the subject of reported interest from Tottenham, but Crystal Palace’s hopes of keeping the winger are not over yet. However, the Mirror reported that to do so they would have to double the 23-year-old’s reported £35,000 per week wages.

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