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Transfer Rater: Todibo to Liverpool

Football Whispers
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Transfer Talk: Arsenal lead race for Mario Gotze, Chelsea eye Daniele Rugani

The transfer window is open, and Transfer Talk has the latest rumours making the rounds. Follow live with our daily blog throughout the summer.

TOP STORY: Arsenal lead race for Gotze

Arsenal are the front runners to sign Mario Gotze from Borussia Dortmund, according to the Daily Mirror.

The Gunners will be joined by Everton, West Ham, Newcastle and Leicester to battle for the 26-year-old, who decided the World Cup final four years ago.

Gotze's career has stagnated since then, but a move to the Premier League could reinvigorate the former Bayern Munich midfielder, with an £18 million fee likely to be enough to convince Dortmund to sell.

LIVE BLOG

19:00 BST: Well all appears quiet on the transfer front as the football world turns toward Spain and Portugal, so that will be all for TT tonight. But come join us in our live chat!

18:10 BST: Hannover striker Niclas Fullkrug is in talks to join Borussia Monchengladbach, according to Bild, despite Premier League interest from Leicester, Newcastle and Watford.

17:25 BST: He may be with Switzerland in Russia, but Arsenal have just announced Granit Xhaka has signed a new long-term contract.

17.10 BST: DONE DEAL! Juventus have completed a €7.5m deal to sign 21-year-old Italian striker Andrea Favilli, who is coming off a knee injury suffered with second-tier Ascoli. Still to be determined is where Juve will loan him next season, with reports listing Chievo as a top candidate.

16.40 BST: DONE DEAL! Watford have a new full-back as they've locked up Spaniard Marc Navarro from Espanyol on a five-year deal in a deal worth a reported €2m.

16.10 BST: One of the factors behind Cristiano Ronaldo's desire to leave Real Madrid appears to have been settled, with multiple reports saying a deal has been struck to pay an €18.8 million fine in his tax evasion case. But for transfer purposes, there still remains that little matter of a new contract for the 33-year-old.

14.50 BST: Liverpool's apparent pursuit of Ajax's Hakim Ziyech is reportedly under threat. According to Portuguese paper Correio da Manha (via Sport Witness), Benfica, Roma, Lyon and Borussia Dortmund are also all interested in the midfielder.

14.20 BST: Well, this would be fun if it happened... According to Marca, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu was contacted regarding the possibility of Neymar returning to Barcelona! Can you imagine...

13.50 BST: DONE DEAL! Celtic have announced the signing of striker Odsonne Edouard from Paris Saint-Germain! The 20-year-old moves to Parkhead after singing a four-year deal.

13.25 BST: DONE DEAL! Santos have announced that they have agreed a deal to sell 17-year-old forward Rodrygo to Real Madrid! The Brazilian teenager will move to the Bernabeu in the summer of 2019 for a deal that sources tell ESPN Brasil will cost the European champions a total of €54m.

13.00 BST: DONE DEAL! Manchester City's young full-back Angelino has joined PSV Eindhoven, moving for a fee of around £5m after signing a five-year contract. The 21-year-old Spaniard spent last season on loan at NAC Breda, and looks delighted to be returning to the Netherlands.

12.30 BST: David Luiz has had a tough time of it at chelsea over the past few months. If he doesn't want to wait and see if a new manager will give him more game time next season, then he may not have to go far to find a new club. Le10Sport in France reports that Arsenal are interested in the Brazilian defender.  

12.00 BST: The latest player to trot out the 'focused on World Cup, not club future is Toby Alderweireld, who was again asked about his Tottenham Hotspur future on Friday while in Russia with the Belgium squad amid persistent links with Manchester United.

"I have no problem with that because I'm 100 per cent focused on Belgium," Alderweireld said. "It's a dream come true to play at a World Cup. So I'm focused on the World Cup, that's all. There's nothing else on my mind,"

11.30 BST: Former Real Madrid player and coach Jorge Valdano believes Neymar is the heir to Cristiano Ronaldo and he understands why the club have long pursued him.

Ronaldo, 33, has won the Ballon d'Or five times and the Champions League four times during his nine seasons at Madrid but appears set on trying to force an exit from the club -- although sources have told ESPN FC that a new contract offer could resolve the situation. But Madrid president Florentino Perez is reportedly more interested in pushing forward a €350 million deal to finally land Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain.

"I must say that Neymar has what it takes to play for Real Madrid," Valdano told L'Equipe. "For me, he's the closest heir to Cristiano Ronaldo. It seems to me to be a legitimate aspiration to invest in a player of his talent who is going to reach his peak in the next five years."

11.05 BST: More Old Trafford-related news now -- Anthony Martial's agent dropped a bombshell on Wednesday by saying that his client wants to leave Manchester United

The Times reports today that United are determined to keep hold of the France international -- though he is not in Didier Deschamps World Cup squad.

Martial's contract expires at the end of next season, but United have the option extend that deal by a further year.

10.45 BST: Manchester United have already made a couple of new signings this summer in Fred and Diogo Dalot, but jose Mourinho will also be looking to shift out a few players as he refreshes his squad.

To that end, Metro reports that United defender Chris Smalling could be on his way to West Ham United, with the London club monitoring the situation. A Smalling exit would leave a nice slot in the squad open for, say, Toby Alderweireld to step into.

10.15 BST: Gareth Bale is happy at Real Madrid and keen to work under new head coach Julen Lopetegui rather than seek a move back to the Premier League, a source has told ESPN FC. Bale, who scored twice after coming on as a substitute in the Champions League final last month, had put his future with Madrid in doubt by revealing he would seek assurances over his role in the team.

Manchester United are long-term admirers and remain interested in a move for the former Tottenham player. They will be at the front of any queue this summer should Madrid sanction his sale. But following the resignation of coach Zinedine Zidane in the wake of the club's third successive Champions League triumph, a source close to Bale has told ESPN FC that he is ready to grasp the opportunity of proving himself to Lopetegui, who was unveiled by Madrid on Thursday after his dismissal as Spain coach on Wednesday.

10.00 BST: Someone who isn't having such a good World Cup so far is Ilkay Gundogan. The Germany midfielder, along with Mesut Ozil, continues to face jeers from his own fans and criticism in his homeland for being pictured with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last month.

However, that hasn't stopped the Manchester City being targeted by Barcelona this summer as a replacement for the departed Andres Iniesta, according to The Sun.

09.30 BST: Russian players are so hot right now after their stunning 5-0 victory over Saudi Arabia in Thursday's World Cup opener, 

CSKA Moscow midfielder Aleksandr Golovin, who scored the final of those goals in second-half injury time, says he is flattered by reported interest from Juventus.

"For now I want to focus on the World Cup and Russia," the 22-year-old said. "I am honoured and pleased by interest from Juventus, but I want to have a great World Cup."

09.10 BST: Antoine Griezmann's bold move to channel his inner LeBron James by announcing he would be staying at Atletico Madrid a TV special entitled "The Decision" has put a few noses out of joint.

The France forward has since explained that he chose to remain in Madrid after receiving assurances that Atletico would invest heavily this summe rin an attempt to win the Champions League final in their own backyard next season.

"I want to win the Champions League," Griezmann said. "We have lacked something to win things. It seems like bad luck, but it's not bad luck. We have lacked something. To always be second or third... if they [Atletico board] bring teammates we can win the Champions League... They are doing everything possible for the team to keep improving. Making a huge effort to reinforce, and [that is why] I want to stay."

08.50 BST: Julen Lopetegeui is having quite a week. Let's recap:

Monday: He's Spain manager
Tuesday: He's appointed by Real Madrid
Wednesday: He's fired by Spain
Thursday: He's unveiled at the Bernabeu:
Friday: He'll have a meeting with Jorge Mendes about a potential summer move for Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea (if El Transistor is to be believed).

08.25 BST: Marseille are talking to Nice and agent Mino Raiola over a move for Mario Balotelli, according to RMC.

The 27-year-old former Manchester City and Liverpool forward is out of contract at the end of this month, although it remains to be seen how Patrick Vieira's arrival as head coach will affect the Italian's future.

08.00 BST: BELGIUM STAR HAZARD BREAKS SILENCE ON LA LIGA TRANSFER LINKS! That's right, Thorgan Hazard has suggested to L'Equipe there is substance behind rumours that he could join Valencia. The Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder has been linked to the Spanish side as he prepares for Belgium's World Cup campaign alongside elder brother Eden.

"If you have seen it, it's not for nothing, but I don't want to talk about that for the moment," he said. "I'm thinking about the World Cup and afterwards, we'll see. I also have a contract with Monchengladbach."

PAPER TALK: Chelsea want Rugani despite uncertainty over Conte future

Chelsea are pushing ahead with plans to sign Daniele Rugani from Juventus.

The Blues want the Italy international regardless of Antonio Conte's future as manager, as potential replacement Maurizio Sarri is also a fan of the 24-year-old, the Mirror says.

A £26m offer could tempt the Old Lady, with Chelsea eyeing reinforcements at the back with David Luiz tipped to leave.

Rugani struck up a fine relationship with former Napoli boss Sarri during his loan spell with Empoli, and the two could now be reunited at Stamford Bridge this summer.

Inter draft Dembele plan

Mousa Dembele could end up at Inter Milan for a year before heading to China, reports Gianluca Di Marzio.

The Tottenham star is looking for one last big-money contract at 30 years old and with just one year remaining on his contract.

The Nerazzurri have an elaborate plan to boost their midfield without further deepening their Financial Fair Play problems. Inter would take Dembele to the San Siro for a season before sending the Belgian to sister club Jiangsu Suning.

Tap-ins

- Juventus could make a shock move for Patrick Van Aanholt with the possibility of Alex Sandro leaving, sources tell ESPN FC. The Brazilian has been linked with Manchester United, and should Juve receive the right fee, they would sanction the move and bid £25m for the Dutch international, claims the Sun.

- Roma appear to have opened the door to selling Alisson by making an enquiry to Paris Saint-Germain for Alphonse Areola. Corriere dello Sport believes Napoli are also keen on the French goalkeeper, with the Giallorossi likely to pocket €75m for their Brazilian No.1.

- Leicester are lining up a move for Solomon Kvirkvelia to further boost their back line. The Mirror claims that Claude Puel now wants the 6-foot-5 Lokomotiv Moscow star, who could partner Jonny Evans at the back after his £3.5m move from West Brom. If Leicester sign the Georgia international it could spell the end for Wes Morgan, who has just one year remaining on his deal.

- Scottish midfielder Liam Henderson is on Fiorentina's radar after an impressive spell at Bari, according to reports in Italy. The 22-year-old contributed two goals and as many assists after moving from Celtic, and could now make the step up to Serie A.

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