REAL MADRID OFFER NEWCASTLE DUO AS PART OF SISSOKO DEALReal Madrid may offer Newcastle two young players – probably Mariano Diaz, 23, and Marcos Llorente, 21 – on season-long loans as part of a deal for France midfielder Moussa Sissoko, 26.
It was first reported on Tuesday morning that Real had emerged as favourites to land the French midfielder, who had previously been linked with Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, PSG and Borussia Dortmund.
But it’s claimed the £35m-rated midfielder has now set his heart on a move to Spain and Real will try to grease the wheels – and reduce Newcastle’s asking price – by offering them two players, according to reports in The Guardian.
Under Mike Ashley’s ownership, Newcastle have resisted loan moves and part exchanges but having started last season in charge of Real Madrid, Rafael Benitez may be keen to add two youthful talents he knows well to his squad.
While Mariano, a powerful 23-year-old striker who scored against Chelsea in a pre-season tournament last week, could fill a vacancy in attack, Llorente is a 21-year-old former Spain youth playmaker. Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is said to have particularly high hopes for Mariano, who scored 30 goals in 40 B team appearances last season, but feels he needs to go out on loan to gain experience.
PESCARA END BALOTELLI PURSUIT
Italian club Pescara have ended their pursuit of Liverpool misfit Mario Balotelli.
The 25-year-old striker is expected to leave Merseyside this summer after being told by manager Jurgen Klopp he has no future at Anfield.
Balotelli spent last season on loan at AC Milan but scored just once in 20 Serie A appearances during a forgettable, injury-hampered, spell.
However another trip to Italy had been suggested, with newly-promoted Serie A side Pescara, Sampdoria and Inter Milan all linked with a move for Balotelli this summer, as well as Turkish club Besiktas.
However Pescara’s club president Daniele Sebastiani has now insisted the forward is no longer among their targets.
He told Sport Mediaset: “I know that his is the name that would get the most attention but Mario is a great player and I think that the last thing he would do would be to come and play at Pescara or Crotone.
“We don’t need to buy figurines just to make somebody happy. We’re working behind the scenes on finding players with the right profile for Pescara.
“We’re running our own transfer market and if we want to do anything, we need to be patient.”
AND THE REST
Diafra Sakho is primed to complete a £15m move from West Ham United to West Bromwich Albion that will finally allow Saido Berahino to depart The Hawthorns. Berahino, who has wanted to leave West Brom since the summer of last year, is expected to join Stoke City or Crystal Palace (The Guardian)
Chelsea are willing to offer Loic Remy plus £65m for Romelu Lukaku (Daily Mail)
Pep Guardiola has not given up on signing Barcelona keeper Marc Andre ter Stegen after the German keeper called for clear the air talks at the Camp Nou (Daily Mail)
Baba Rahman claims he left Chelsea on loan after being told he was too attack-minded by new manager Antonio Conte (Daily Mail)
Manchester United defender Matteo Darmian is relishing competition for places at the club and has no intention of leaving this summer despite reports linking him (Daily Mail)
Stoke would consider losing one of Joselu, 26, Mame Diouf, 28, or Peter Crouch, 35, if West Bromwich Albion want a player exchange for Saido Berahino, 22. (Stoke Sentinel)
Jurgen Klopp has reassessed his transfer plans and is prepared to go back into the market to solve the problems with Liverpool’s defence (Daily Mail)
Leeds United have rejected a transfer request from highly-rated left back Charlie Taylor, who is wanted by Middlesbrough, Burnley and West Bromwich Albion (Daily Mail)
Aston Villa midfielder Carlos Sanchez is attracting interest from Fiorentina (Daily Mail)
Brighton and Hove Albion have agreed a club-record fee with Tottenham Hotspur for Alex Pritchard (Daily Mail)
Chelsea midfielder Jordan Houghton is joining Doncaster Rovers on loan (Daily Mail)
Manchester City are fighting to keep highly-rated teenager Tosin Adarabioyo amid lingering fears over his contractual situation (Daily Mail)
Manchester City are confident of tying up a deal to sign Palmeiras forward Gabriel Jesus (Daily Mail)
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola will step up his attempts to reach a compromise over £50m-rated Everton defender John Stones, who he rates as his No.1 target (Daily Mirror)
Diego Costa has been urged to quit Chelsea for Atletico Madrid – by former team-mate Filipe Luis (Daily Mirror)
Swansea are confident of sealing a deal for Spain international Fernando Llorente (Daily Mirror)
Mark Hughes wants to step up his bid to sign Robin van Persie from Fenerbahce this week (Daily Mirror)
Sunderland boss David Moyes is targeting a £5m move for Croatia international defender Domagoj Vida (Daily Mirror)
Southampton are primed to make a £6m move for Anderlecht midfielder Steven Defour (The Sun)
West Ham will consider a £7m move for Mario Gomez (The Sun)
Hull City have not given up in their pursuit of Chris Coleman and are hopeful that the Football Association of Wales will allow them to speak to their manager on the basis that he would be interested in the job (Daily Telegraph)
Celtic’s Scott Allan will travel to Rotherham tomorrow to put pen to paper on a season long loan deal (Daily Record)
Arsenal and Liverpool both look like missing out on Jese Rodriguez after Real Madrid agreed a £21m fee with Paris Saint-Germain (Daily Express)