Ruben Dias is on the verge of leaving Benfica.

The Portugal international is wanted by Pep Guardiola's Manchester City.

Could he help City dethrone Premier League champions Liverpool?

 

TOP STORY – DIAS SET FOR CITY

Benfica defender Ruben Dias will join Manchester City, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.

Pep Guardiola has been eyeing defensive reinforcements following Nathan Ake's arrival from Bournemouth, and now Dias is set to swap Benfica for City.

As part of the deal, veteran centre-back Nicolas Otamendi will move in the opposite direction.

 

ROUND-UP

- Marca says Barcelona rejected a €150million offer for teenage sensation Ansu Fati from an unnamed club. Manchester United have been linked previously.

Sergino Dest will travel to Camp Nou to complete his move to Barca, reports RAC1. The Ajax full-back is also wanted by Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

Milan and Roma are both interested in signing Norwich City right-back Max Aarons, says Sky Sports. The Englishman has previously been linked to Barca and Bayern.

- According to Sportitalia, West Ham are in talks with Serie A holders Juventus for defender Daniele Rugani.

- Lyon want €50million (£46m) for in-demand star Houssem Aouar amid interest from Arsenal, claims RMC Sport. Paris Saint-Germain, City and Chelsea have also been linked.

Will Manchester City finally land Kalidou Koulibaly?

Pep Guardiola's City want defensive reinforcements and Napoli centre-back Koulibaly is reportedly at the top of the list.

If they are unsuccessful, Sevilla's Jules Kounde is next on the list.

 

TOP STORY – CITY NOT GIVING UP KOULIBALY

Manchester City are still in talks with Napoli to sign star defender Kalidou Koulibaly, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.

City have been tipped to sign Koulibaly, who has also been linked to Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.

However, City are yet to reach an agreement with Napoli and Sevilla's Jules Kounde is the "backup option" but a bid has already been turned down.

 

ROUND-UP

- Romano says Wolves will complete the signing of Barcelona full-back Nelson Semedo on Monday. It comes as Barca eye Ajax defender Sergino Dest or Real Betis' Emerson to replace Semedo. Norwich City's Max Aarons has also been linked.

Milan have made Fiorentina's Nikola Milenkovic their number one defensive target ahead of Celtic centre-back Kristoffer Ajer, reports the Daily Record.

- Calciomercato claims Juventus are eyeing Real Madrid full-back Marcelo. The Brazilian has been repeatedly linked with a Cristiano Ronaldo reunion in Turin.

- The Telegraph says PSG are interested in Tottenham's Dele Alli. Out of favour under Jose Mourinho, Spurs are reportedly targeting Manchester United's Jesse Lingard as a replacement.

Roma remain interested in Napoli's Arkadiusz Milik but Madrid outcast Luka Jovic has emerged as 'Plan B', according to Calciomercato.

Leeds United are out of the race to sign Dinamo Zagreb sensation Josko Gvardiol, reports Romano. Wanted by Marcelo Bielsa, the Croatian teenager is now set for Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig.

Liverpool and Wolves could be involved in another deal, while Arsenal's shortlist reportedly includes four players.

Premier League champions Liverpool confirmed the signing of Diogo Jota from Wolves on Saturday, with Ki-Jana Hoever heading in the opposite direction.

But the business between the clubs may not end there.

 

TOP STORY – WOLVES TARGET OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN

Wolves are eyeing a move for Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, according to the Mirror.

The report comes after Liverpool signed star midfielder Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich earlier this week.

Oxlade-Chamberlain arrived at Anfield from Arsenal in 2017, and made 43 appearances in all competitions in 2019-20.

ROUND-UP

- Arsenal could strengthen further. The Express reports the Premier League club have Lyon star Houssem Aouar, Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey, Dijon goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson and Brentford shot-stopper David Raya on their shortlist.

- Staying in the Premier League and Goal reports Atletico Madrid attacker Thomas Lemar has interest from two clubs in England's top flight. Arsenal, Wolves and Everton have been linked with Lemar previously.

- Manchester City are reportedly close to signing a centre-back. AS reports the Premier League giants are close to sealing a deal for Sevilla's Jules Kounde, a 21-year-old who is a France youth international.

- Arturo Vidal is finally set to get his move to Inter. Fabrizio Romano reports Inter have agreed a €1million fee with Barcelona for the midfielder, while he also says veteran defender Diego Godin will join Cagliari next week.

- After almost signing Daniel James in 2019, Leeds United could be set for another move for the attacker. The Sun reports Leeds are planning a move for James, who joined Manchester United in 2019.

- Staying at Old Trafford and another exit is expected. The Sun says the Red Devils are looking for a new club for Sergio Romero with the goalkeeper upset about missing last month's Europa League semi-final loss to Sevilla.

Manchester United have allowed highly rated midfield prospect James Garner to join Watford on loan for the 2020-21 season.

Garner, 19, is among United's most promising young players and heads to Vicarage Road in search of greater exposure to first-team football.

A technical midfielder who can play in deep-lying or advanced roles, Garner made his debut for the United senior side in February 2019 and featured six times – including three Europa League starts – last term.

Garner has long been earmarked as a potential first-team player for United, with boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer speaking glowingly of him on several occasions.

A regular at various youth levels for England, including captaining their Under-17s, Garner also skippered United's Under-23s in 2020-21 and was recently named their Player of the Year.

Although Watford – relegated to the Championship in July – lost Abdoulaye Doucoure during pre-season, Garner joins a club stacked with experienced midfield options, including Etienne Capoue, Nathaniel Chalobah, Tom Cleverley, Will Hughes and Roberto Pereyra.

Liverpool and Manchester United could be set for another transfer battle.

The Premier League rivals were both reportedly interested in Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who is set for a move to Anfield.

Now it seems they could be targeting the same player once more.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL, MAN UTD TARGET SARR

Liverpool have enquired about Watford star Ismaila Sarr, according to the Daily Mail.

It reports Watford want at least £36million for the 22-year-old forward, who scored five goals and provided four assists in 28 Premier League games last season.

Meanwhile, The Independent says Manchester United are looking at Sarr as they continue to be frustrated in their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho.

 

ROUND-UP

- What is next for Luis Suarez? Goal reports Roma striker Edin Dzeko is set to join Juventus on a two-year deal, dashing Barcelona forward Suarez's hopes of heading to the Serie A champions. Fabrizio Romano says Atletico Madrid are considering a move for Suarez, while he also claims Napoli's Arkadiusz Milik is getting closer to a Roma switch.

- Gareth Bale's return to Tottenham is almost done. Sky Sports reports the Real Madrid attacker will fly to London from Spain on Friday after completing a medical, returning to Spurs after leaving for the LaLiga giants in 2013.

- Staying at Tottenham and The Sun claims Spurs had a transfer enquiry for forward Danny Ings rejected by Southampton. Ings enjoyed a prolific 2019-20 season, scoring 22 Premier League goals.

- After a difficult first season at Real Madrid, Luka Jovic is apparently considering his options. According to Marca, the Serbian forward is studying a temporary loan move from the LaLiga champions.

- At Madrid's rivals, Barcelona, more movement is also expected. Mundo Deportivo reports Ronald Koeman wants Ajax full-back Sergino Dest if Nelson Semedo leaves the club.

- Could Chelsea's spending spree continue? The Independent reports West Ham star Declan Rice is yet to decide whether to push for a move to Stamford Bridge, where the likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech and Thiago Silva are new arrivals.

Neil Warnock has tested positive for COVID-19, Middlesbrough have confirmed.

The Championship club released a brief statement on Thursday saying their veteran manager will spend a period of time in isolation in line with United Kingdom government guidelines.

"Neil is in good spirits and we look forward to welcoming him back after his period in isolation," the statement added.

Warnock took over at the Riverside Stadium in June and four wins from eight matches preserved their Championship status.

The 71-year-old committed to staying on for the 2020-21 campaign and Boro's Championship season started with a 1-0 defeat to Watford last Friday.

Norwich City and Middlesbrough are among the teams selected to welcome back a limited number of fans this week as the EFL continues its pilot programme.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, crowds had not been allowed at professional matches across Britain since football returned in June until Cambridge United were able to facilitate spectators last week.

With fans returning to games in France and certain regions of Germany, the EFL has now confirmed an extension of its scheme, with 10 fixtures initially selected for the coming weekend, although Luton Town have opted out.

Following government guidance, crowds will be capped at a 1,000 capacity with social distancing measures in place. Talks are ongoing over the possibility of higher attendances being allowed after October 1.

Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium will be able to house fans for their game against Bournemouth, while Norwich City versus Preston North End is the only other Championship match with spectators in attendance after Luton, who host Derby County, informed the EFL they would not be involved.

In League One, Charlton Athletic, Blackpool, Shrewsbury Town and Hull City have all been given the green light to host fans.

Forest Green Rovers, Carlisle United and Morecambe are the League Two teams selected, following in the footsteps of Cambridge, Morecambe's visitors.

"It's encouraging that we are in a position to move forward with the next phase of the pilot programme and give a small number of our clubs the opportunity to welcome back up to a 1,000 fans this week," said EFL chairman Rick Parry.

"The health and well-being of supporters and their wider communities remains the priority, but as we showed at Cambridge, social distancing can be applied safely.

"By extending across more EFL clubs, we hope to further demonstrate that the measures developed can allow fans to return in greater numbers from as early as next month."

Real Madrid are prepared to pay to see Gareth Bale exit, while Manchester United have reportedly made progress in their pursuit of Jadon Sancho.

Bale has found himself on the outer in Madrid and has constantly been linked with a move despite being contracted until 2022.

The Welshman's huge salary is reportedly making it hard for the LaLiga champions to move him on, but they may be prepared to pay to see Bale exit.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID WILLING TO PAY HALF OF BALE'S WAGES

Real Madrid would pay half of Bale's salary to see him make a move, according to The Telegraph.

Bale has been linked with a return to the Premier League, with former club Tottenham reportedly interested.

The latest news could pave the way for Bale to finally leave Madrid after seven years at the club.

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United look to have made some progress in their Sancho chase. ESPN reports the Premier League giants have made progress around wages and agent fees, but still need to find a deal with Borussia Dortmund.

- Houssem Aouar is linked with a move from Lyon, with a switch to the Premier League mooted. The Mirror says Arsenal are keen on the midfielder, who is believed to be a target for Manchester City.

- Barcelona are reportedly facing a dilemma. Mundo Deportivo reports the LaLiga giants are weighing up whether to rely on 17-year-old Ansu Fati or sign Lyon star Memphis Depay ahead of 2020-21.

- There seems to be uncertainty over Alexandre Lacazette's future at Arsenal. ESPN claims the forward is seeking clarification over his role at the Premier League club.

- Stephan El Shaarawy could be set for a return to Europe. Telefoot says Paris Saint-Germain are in contact with the Shanghai Shenhua forward's agents and Juventus, former club Roma and Atletico Madrid are also interested.

- While Watford were relegated from the Premier League, Troy Deeney could yet remain in the top flight. The Daily Mail says the forward is set to leave the club to join a Premier League side.

Aston Villa have confirmed the signing of striker Ollie Watkins from Brentford for a reported club-record fee of £28million.

Watkins, who finished level with Aleksandar Mitrovic as the Championship's top scorer on 26 goals last season, has penned a five-year deal at Villa Park.

The transfer fee could potentially rise to £33m with add-ons and it surpasses the £22m Villa spent to sign previous record signing Wesley Moraes from Club Brugge last year.

Dean Smith previously worked with Watkins during his time as Brentford boss and turned to the Englishman after Callum Wilson rejected Villa to join Premier League rivals Newcastle United.

Villa announced the arrival on their official website on Wednesday, and their new signing said: "I am so excited to join Aston Villa and to reunite with Dean Smith.

"I cannot wait to wear the famous claret and blue in the Premier League. I want to do something special here and score some goals."

Smith has also added defender Matty Cash to his squad during the close season and is delighted with this latest capture.

"Ollie has developed into one of the most sought-after strikers in the country and we are looking forward to seeing him show his great qualities in an Aston Villa shirt," he said.

"He is a hugely determined character who has both the ability and personality to succeed at the highest level."

Villa begin their new season with an EFL Cup second-round tie against Burton Albion next Tuesday, before facing Sheffield United in their Premier League opener six days later.

Newcastle United have completed the signing of left-back Jamal Lewis, who was said to be the subject of a rejected Liverpool bid last month.

Lewis, 22, was relegated with Norwich City last season, having impressed in the Championship during the previous campaign.

Liverpool reportedly moved to sign the Northern Ireland international for £10m but had their offer turned away by Norwich.

An asking price of £20m was mooted, yet it is said Newcastle have now signed Lewis for around £15m.

Liverpool subsequently instead brought in Kostas Tsimikas as back-up to Andy Robertson.

Lewis agreed a five-year contract with Newcastle on Tuesday, having missed Northern Ireland's 5-1 defeat to Norway a day earlier amid mounting speculation.

"It was a little bit unexpected but it was something that I was obviously looking forward to when I heard that there was serious interest, so I'm delighted to be here now," Lewis told his new club's official website.

He becomes Newcastle's third signing of the week, following Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser, who both joined from Bournemouth - for £20m and on a free transfer, respectively - on Monday.

Callum Wilson has completed his move to Newcastle United from Bournemouth in a reported £20million deal.

The 28-year-old striker, capped four times by England, has signed a four-year deal with the Magpies ahead of the new Premier League season.

Wilson spent six seasons with the Cherries and scored 67 goals in 187 appearances, but he was unable to prevent them from being relegated into the Championship at the end of the 2019-20 campaign.

Aston Villa were heavily linked with Wilson, who has previously been of interest to Chelsea too.

"From the minute I knew that Newcastle were interested, it was definitely something that appealed to me," he said in quotes published on Newcastle's website.

"It's a massive club with great history. Along the years, they've had great strikers so if I can emulate half of what they've done, I'd like to attempt that.

"I believe in my ability as a player. As a striker I think it's important to set yourself goals long term and short term, and I'm hoping to achieve them.

"With the players around me, I believe we can get the goals we need as team and I want to help contribute to that."

Newcastle broke their transfer record to bring Joelinton to the club in a £40m deal last year, though the Brazilian endured a disappointing debut campaign in the north east, scoring just twice in 38 Premier League games.

Manager Steve Bruce is delighted that Wilson has been added to his attacking options as his team look to improve on their 13th-placed finish last season.

"Callum is somebody I've admired for a long time and I'm delighted to get him," Bruce added.

"He has done fantastically well at Bournemouth and was deservedly playing centre forward for England less than two years ago.

"The club has worked ever so hard to get Callum here and we have beaten off competition from a number of clubs."

Barcelona's chances of landing Inter star Lautaro Martinez could reportedly become clearer this week.

The LaLiga giants remain interested in the Argentina forward, who scored 21 goals for Inter in 2019-20.

Just whether they can get a deal done, however, may become known this week.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA'S CHANCES OF SIGNING MARTINEZ SET TO BECOME CLEARER

Martinez's agents will meet with the leaders of Inter this week to assess his situation, according to Sport.

The report says Barcelona and Inter are in regular contact, but there is a big difference between the clubs.

It says Barca want to pay a maximum of €65million plus a player, while Inter are demanding a minimum of €85m.

Goal reports Barcelona are preparing a final offer for Martinez.

 

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona are seeking a forward with Luis Suarez set to leave. Goal claims Barca and Juventus are negotiating a fee for the 33-year-old Uruguayan, who is said to have agreed to a three-year deal with the Serie A champions.

- Staying at Camp Nou and Marca reports Philippe Coutinho is set to spend 2020-21 at Barca. Coutinho spent 2019-20 on loan at Bayern Munich but the LaLiga club have ruled out another loan move, the report says.

- A player set for a Barcelona exit is Arturo Vidal. Sport Mediaset says Vidal is expected in Milan soon as he prepares to join Inter, where he has agreed a two-year deal with an option for a third.

- Real Madrid, meanwhile, look set to keep Gareth Bale. Mundo Deportivo reports Madrid have not received an offer for Bale, who is contracted until 2022 but has been linked with a move away.

- With Ronald Koeman having left to take over at Barcelona, the Netherlands are looking for a new head coach. Voetbal International reports the players want Henk ten Cate to be the Netherlands' next coach.

- Watford forward Gerard Deulofeu is reportedly wanted by numerous European clubs. The Telegraph reports Milan, Napoli and Sevilla want Deulofeu on loan with an option to buy.

Aston Villa have completed the signing of Matty Cash from Nottingham Forest on a five-year deal.

Cash arrives at Villa Park for an undisclosed fee, with reports suggesting the Premier League side agreed a deal that could rise to £16million.

The 23-year-old started his career as a right-sided attacker but developed into one of the best full-backs in the Championship. 

"Absolutely buzzing to have signed a 5 year deal at Aston Villa. Something I've always dreamed of since I was a young boy to play in the Premier League, it really is a dream come true," Cash, Forest's  2019-20 Player of the Season, wrote on Twitter. 

"I can't wait to meet up with the squad, meet everyone around the club and the supporters!"

Villa boss Dean Smith said: "We are delighted to welcome Matty to Villa and believe we have secured one of England's brightest young prospects.

"He has an excellent playing record for a young player and we believe he will settle in easily and continue his rapid development into a top full-back."

Cash is Villa's first signing ahead of the 2020/21 season.

Manchester United have confirmed goalkeeper Joel Pereira will join Huddersfield Town on loan for the 2020-21 season.

The former Portugal Under-21 international will be embarking on his sixth loan spell away from Old Trafford.

Pereira, 24, joined United from Neuchatel Xamax in Switzerland – the country of his birth – in 2012 and has been highly rated by coaching staff at Old Trafford.

He has previously spent time with Rochdale, Belenenses, Vitoria Setubal, Kortrijk and Hearts, with the latter move regarded as the most successful after he made 20 appearances in the Scottish Premiership.

Despite Pereira being highly thought of at United, he arguably could not have picked a more challenging time to be attempting to break into the senior side.

David de Gea signed a new contract last September, the experienced Sergio Romero has been an ever-dependable understudy and Dean Henderson penned a fresh five-year deal this week after a hugely successful two-season loan at Sheffield United.

Pereira's switch to Huddersfield sees him follow Henderson's example by dropping to a Championship club for first-team football, but he has just one year left on his United contract.

Ovie Ejaria has left Liverpool to join Championship club Reading on a permanent deal.

Ejaria, 22, first joined Reading on loan in January 2019, before spending a full season at the club in 2019-20.

The clubs had an agreement to make the move permanent and that was confirmed on Friday.

Reading are reportedly paying £3million, potentially rising to £3.5m, for Ejaria.

"Naturally, everybody at the club is delighted to have got this transfer over the line and it is a deal our owner, Mr Dai [Yongge], was very keen to see completed as soon as was possible," Reading manager Mark Bowen said.

"Ovie has shown everyone his exceptional quality in the time he has spent here on loan and I'm sure all our supporters are excited to see him continue to impress as a Royal during the course of the next four years."

Ejaria joined Liverpool from Arsenal in 2014 and made eight senior appearances for the Premier League champions before loan spells at Sunderland and Rangers before his move to Reading.

It has been a quiet transfer window for Jurgen Klopp's side so far.

Ejaria, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Andy Lonergan have departed, while Liverpool signed left-back Kostas Tsimikas from Olympiacos.

Liverpool face Arsenal in the Community Shield on Saturday before opening their Premier League campaign against Leeds United on September 12.

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