Transfer Talk: Paris Saint-Germain to raid Barcelona for Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic

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The English transfer window is closed, but the rest of Europe is still open for business, and Transfer Talk has the latest rumours making the rounds. Follow along with our daily blog throughout the summer.

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PSG eye Barcelona midfield swoop

Paris Saint-Germain are in the market for a Barcelona midfielder with Ivan Rakitic or Sergio Busquets in their sights, Sport reports.

PSG have been linked with Manchester United’s Paul Pogba and Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante in recent weeks, but have turned their focus to the Camp Nou duo since the English window closed.

The Ligue 1 champions have asked about the availability of Busquets and Rakitic — but Barca do not want to part with either, having agreed a new deal with Busquets and seen Rakitic sign fresh terms last year.

Reports say Busquets will have a release clause of almost £180 million in his contract, while PSG would have to pay some £112 million to have a chance of signing Busquets.

Dortmund target Barca’s Alcacer

Borussia Dortmund have made signing Barcelona forward Paco Alcacer “their No. 1 priority” according to L’Equipe.

It reports that the No. 9, who joined the Camp Nou outfit in 2016 from Valencia, is on top of Lucien Favre’s wish list. The Black and Yellows are yet to find a replacement for centre-forwards Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (sold to Arsenal) and Michy Batshuayi (returned to Chelsea and now on loan with Valencia), with 18-year-old Alexander Isak the only main striker in the team.

The French outlet are in line with earlier reports from Mundo Deportivo, who suggest that Alcacer is looking to resolve his future as manager Ernesto Valverde does not have the 24-year-old in his plans. The striker was not included in Barcelona’s first La Liga squad and has sparked interest from league rivals Betis and Alaves, with the player’s high wages being a potential obstacle for a possible transfer.

Chelsea’s Loftus-Cheek considering another loan spell

Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek could be tempted to go out on loan again after being left out of the squad for the home win over Arsenal — but the Blues want him to battle for a place, according to the Telegraph.

England international Loftus-Cheek, who spent last season at Crystal Palace, “would be open to moving abroad if Chelsea agreed to loan him out for a second campaign,” with clubs in France, Germany and Spain able to sign players until the end of this month.

But the Telegraph says Chelsea believe the 22-year-old, under contract until 2021, should “fight for his place at least until January,” when the winter window opens and his situation can be evaluated.

It adds that the club’s coaches feel Loftus-Cheek can force his way into coach Maurizio Sarri’s plans, but the player fears he could lose his place in the England squad if he waits too long.

Boro close in on Everton double deal

Why bring in one Everton player when you could sign two? Middlesbrough, early leaders in the Championship, are close to loan agreements for winger Yannick Bolasie and midfielder Mo Besic, the Guardian reports.

Bolasi, who cost Everton £25 million when he joined from Crystal Palace two years ago, is being allowed to move after an injury-disrupted stint at Goodison Park and has held talks with Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis.

The Guardian says the terms of his switch to the Riverside Stadium could include provision for a permanent deal if Boro win promotion.

Meanwhile, a loan for Besic — who was close to joining on a full-time basis earlier this summer — is expected to be finalised soon.


– United States international Cameron Carter-Vickers could be in line for a season-long loan to Swansea, says TalkSport. The 20-year-old had hoped to stay with Tottenham for the Premier League campaign, but it seems he may return to the Championship to ensure more playing time over the course of the season.

– Arsenal could move for teenage Russian defender Igor Diveev after watching him at the COTIF youth tournament in Spain, according to the Mirror.

Centre-half Diveev, 18, who plays for Russian club FC Ufa and is seen as one of the country’s most promising young players, was reportedly watched by Gunners head of recruitment Sven Mislintat at the event.

– Stoke manager Gary Rowett has tabled a £6.5 million offer for Brentford midfielder Ryan Woods, who was linked with Swansea earlier in the summer.

The Telegraph reports that Rowett “is battling to secure a deal for Woods this week,” while the Mail reports that he is also keen on a reunion with his former Derby midfielder Tom Huddlestone and could sign him on loan.

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