Newcastle United are planning a move for out-of-favour Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Julian Draxler, with the Germany international's price tag believed to be in the range of £25million (€29.5m).

Draxler, 28, has spent the past six seasons with the French giants, but his last campaign was mostly from a bench role, with 13 of his 18 Ligue 1 appearances coming as a substitute.

He also had two separate injuries that forced him to miss over a month each time, but with 58 senior caps for Germany and a World Cup right around the corner, he could be a savvy purchase for a club desperate for a marquee signing.

 

TOP STORY – NEWCASTLE ENQUIRE ABOUT VERY AVAILABLE DRAXLER

According to French publication Le 10 Sport, Draxler is on Paris Saint-Germain director of football Luis Campos' "blacklist" of players who have no future at the club.

The report says he has been asked to find a way out, and with a relatively low price tag – around half the £40m demanded by Lyon in Newcastle's reported pursuit of Lucas Paqueta – the stars could be aligning for the Magpies to land an established international on a cheaper deal.

Draxler was left out of PSG's pre-season squad for the recent tour of Japan, indicating he already has one foot out the door, but it remains to be seen if Newcastle will be his landing spot.

ROUND-UP

Chelsea are reportedly willing to part ways with Timo Werner, with Foot Mercato claiming the forward was included in an offer to former club RB Leipzig  in exchange for defender Nordi Mukiele, who appears to be PSG-bound.

– Sport believes Chelsea will block Barcelona moves for Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso due to the Spanish club's chase of Blues target Jules Kounde.

– The Guardian is reporting that Gianluca Scamacca will have his medical this week before confirming a £35.5m move from Sassuolo to West Ham.

– According to Calciomercato, Milan have increased their bid for Club Brugge midfielder Charles de Ketelaere to €32m, and are also trying to secure a move for Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech.

Barcelona have told Memphis Depay to find a new club after Robert Lewandowski's arrival, according to AS.

Alessandro Florenzi has talked up Milan's plans to retain the Serie A title, with the club seeking a 20th league crown that would see them add a second star to their badge.

The San Siro side have had a single gold star on their crest since 1979, following their 10th Scudetti win, and last season's triumph took their overall tally to 19 – with only Juventus winning more.

Milan have won just two league titles since the turn of the millennia, however, and have not successfully retained the league since three consecutive title-winning seasons from 1991-92 to 1993-94.

Florenzi, who joined on loan from Roma last year before making his switch permanent in June, is keen for that to change as he outlined the club's plans to retain the title in the forthcoming campaign.

"So many teams have improved. We deservedly won last year and we want to repeat that. It won’t be easy – everyone will play at their best to beat the reigning champions," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"We must not make predications, otherwise we won't get anywhere. We’ll start with Udinese, then think about one match at a time.

"In the league we want to try to earn the second star. We have to have big goals and dream big. 

"In the Champions League we want to improve on last year. Many weren't ready, not qualitatively but mentally."

Florenzi also highlighted what he felt was the key to Milan's success last season, where they pipped arch-rivals Inter to the crown on the final day of the season.

"There was team spirit, 26 players pushing on the same side," he explained. "We weren't the strongest but the strongest don't always win. Everything went right and we overcame adversity all together."

Milan are confident of concluding a deal to sign promising Club Brugge forward Charles de Ketelaere, according to technical director Paolo Maldini.

Stefano Pioli's men are in the market for attacking reinforcements after winning their first Serie A title since 2010-11 last season, with Brugge duo Noa Lang and De Ketelaere both reported targets.

De Ketelaere, who scored 18 goals in all competitions last season and has won eight senior caps for Belgium since his 2020 debut, has been strongly linked to both the Rossoneri and Premier League side Leeds United.

Earlier this month, Brugge head coach Carl Hoefkens insisted the forward would only be allowed to leave "at the right time".

But Milan appear to be closing in on the 21-year-old's signature after Maldini joined Rossoneri director of football Frederic Massara in Belgium for negotiations, after which the legendary defender expressed his confidence a deal would be done.

Asked how talks were progressing by Tuttomercato, Maldini responded: "Good. There is confidence."

Pioli's men could be set to make two additions to their squad after Lille president Oliver Letang revealed midfielder Renato Sanches was likely to depart for either Milan or Paris Saint-Germain.

Lille midfielder Renato Sanches will join either Paris Saint-Germain or Milan, according to Les Dogues president Oliver Letang.

Sanches has been heavily linked with a move to the French capital as he enters the final 12 months of his contract, but Letang insisted at the end of June that the Ligue 1 champions had made no contact.

Milan are the other European side interested in the 24-year-old, with reports suggesting the Rossoneri have a €15million deal in place with Lille should they fail to agree a transfer with PSG.

Letang, speaking at a news conference on Wednesday to welcome Guinea forward Mohamed Bayo to Lille, confirmed Sanches will leave, though he remains unsure to which club yet.

"Renato has two very good possibilities, two very big clubs," he told reporters. "If he is still with us, it is because we have not reached an agreement with the clubs concerned.

"Renato is going to leave, to which club I don't know. I will keep the nature of these discussions confidential. It will be Paris or Milan."

PSG have already brought in Hugo Ekitike and Vitinha as the first signings of former Lille coach Christophe Galtier's tenure.

Sanches would provide another creative presence in midfield for Galtier's side, having created the most chances of any Lille player during his three league campaigns at the club (88 – since 2019-20).

Last season, the Portugal international also led the Lille charts for assists (five – level with Burak Yilmaz) and ranked third for successful passes in the opposition half (724).

Sanches will be hoping a move to either Milan or PSG will boost his hopes of featuring at the World Cup in Qatar for Portugal in November.

West Ham are reportedly confident they will be able to land 20-year-old Lille midfielder Amadou Onana after increasing their bid for the Belgium international.

Onana, who made his senior international debut on June 3 against the Netherlands in Nations League action, enjoyed a terrific first season in Ligue 1 after leaving Hamburg in Bundesliga 2 for a £6million fee.

The defensive midfielder totalled 41 club appearances in the season, including eight games in the Champions League, but the Hammers may face some competition for his signature from within the Premier League.

 

TOP STORY – WEST HAM SET SIGHTS ON LILLE'S BIG BELGIAN YOUNGSTER

According to The Athletic, West Ham had a £25million bid rejected by the French club, but the Evening Standard claims that the English side are confident an increased bid of £30m plus add-ons will get the job done.

However, The Athletic's report states that there is also interest in Onana coming from Arsenal, Liverpool and Newcastle United, which could throw a wrench in West Ham's plans.

West Ham appear to still have plenty of business to take care of, with the Evening Standard also linking them with a £30m move for 20-year-old Chelsea striker Armando Broja, as well as trying to convince Jesse Lingard to return after a successful loan stint in the latter half of the 2020-2021 season.

 

ROUND-UP

– According to Sport, Barcelona are trying to attach Memphis Depay to their offer for Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde after not meeting the €65m asking price, while Marca claims Chelsea have already agreed to personal terms with him and have offered Sevilla €55m.

– AS is reporting that Atletico Madrid have enquired with Cristiano Ronaldo's representatives about the superstar's interest in joining the club.

Leeds United and West Ham are said to be competing for £34m Rennes striker Martin Terrier, according to L'Equipe.

– Calciomercato claims Paris Saint-Germain have been offering Georginio Wijnaldum to Roma and Milan in an effort to move him on from the club, despite arriving on a free transfer 12 months ago.

– Fabrizio Romano claims Manchester City have a bid ready to go for 23-year-old Brighton fullback Marc Cucurella to replace the outgoing Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Milan midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko was stopped by officers and held at gunpoint earlier this month in what police have described as "a misunderstanding".

The Frenchman was halted by armed officers on July 3 and video footage showed him being searched.

The club officially have refused to comment on the matter, but did confirm that it was the 27-year-old captured on video.

A statement from Milan Police released to the outlet CNN on Monday confirmed that they had stopped the wrong man, while stressing their actions were legal and that Bakayoko had not sought to take any action.

"With reference to the video released today, related to a police check carried out against the Milan player Tiemoue Bakayoko, we underline that the check -- occurred during an operation whose context justified the adoption of the highest security measures, also for self-protection purposes -- was carried out in a manner that was absolutely consistent with the situation of danger," a police statement said.

"Once the person was identified and his being unrelated to the facts had been clarified, the police duties resumed regularly, without any kind of complaint on behalf of the person involved.

"It was a misunderstanding, but colleagues behaved correctly."

Bakayoko is beginning the second year of a two-season loan spell at San Siro from Chelsea.

Milan boss Stefano Pioli is eager to entrench himself as a club legend, ahead of his side's Serie A title defence.

The Rossoneri only lost one league game from January to claim their first Scudetto since 2011, beating out arch-rivals Inter on the final day of the season.

It was a redemptive achievement for the 56-year-old, who was only hired on an interim basis after Marco Giampaolo's dismissal in October 2019.

This was followed by Milan's chief football officer Zvonimir Boban effectively falling on his sword to keep Pioli at the club in March 2020, with Milan's form improving as Ivan Gazidis negotiated Ralf Rangnick's potential hire.

Pioli is seeking to emulate the club's coaching greats and believes cultivating a diverse squad has been key, as Milan look to restore their status among the best in European football.

"You can see many legends on the walls of Milanello and the opportunity to get there is exciting," the Italian coach said at a fan event.

"The secret is to try to do the best from day one and have the courage to grow day by day. Only after that, one can decide his targets. It's fundamental to identify the path."

"I began my coaching career in 1999 and now I am more focused on priorities. Multicultural dressing rooms are so nice, we must accept everyone's diversity and group with differences. Players become stronger by knowing each other."

The Rossoneri will have their first pre-season run out on Saturday, with a fixture away to Koln.

After last season's disappointing Champions League exit at the hands of Villarreal, Bayern Munich are on the verge of transforming their team in one transfer window.

Sadio Mane and Ryan Gravenberch are potentially transformative signings for Bayern, and they apparently are not done just yet.

According to reports, Gravenberch's international team-mate is doing to what he can to force a move to Sabener Strasse.

 

TOP STORY – DE LIGT BAYERN'S TOP TARGET

Bayern Munich are reportedly edging closer to securing the signature of wantaway Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt, according to Bild.

De Ligt is reportedly willing to lower his wage demands in order to help force through a move, after a gap in expectations between the two clubs over the initial offer.

Bayern's proposal to the Bianconeri was reportedly €70million with an extra €10m in bonuses, with the latter looking at €80m as a base to any package.

De Ligt's move to lower wage expectations gives the reigning Bundesliga champions added leverage over Juventus, who after Paulo Dybala's departure, would not want to see another star run down their contract.

 

ROUND-UP

– Chelsea are now targeting PSG centre-back Presnel Kimpembe after almost securing Kalidou Koulibaly's signature, The Guardian reports.

– Meanwhile, Mason Mount is seeking to begin negotiations with the Blues over a new long-term deal, per The Athletic

– Ousmane Dembele is set to sign a new two-year contract with Barcelona after his previous deal expired, Sport is reporting.

– Charles de Ketelaere prefers a move to Milan despite interest from Leeds United for the Club Brugge striker, according to Fabrizio Romano.

 

Samu Castillejo has become Gennaro Gattuso's first signing as Valencia head coach after completing his move from Milan.

The forward, who made just five appearances for the Rossoneri last season, has put pen to paper on a three-year deal at the Mestalla.

Castillejo is Los Che's first arrival since the appointment of Gattuso, who is only the third Italian to manage the club after Claudio Ranieri and Cesare Prandelli.

The pair reunite having worked together during Castillejo's first season at Milan in 2018-19.

 

The Spaniard featured regularly during his first three campaigns at San Siro; racking up 108 appearances across all competitions and scoring 10 goals.

However, the 27-year-old struggled for playing time last term under Stefano Pioli. Indeed, he started just once for the Rossoneri, with his final appearance coming as a substitute in a 1-0 defeat by Napoli last December.

He will be hoping to reignite his career upon returning to LaLiga, in which Valencia finished ninth last season.

Castillejo played 125 times across spells with Malaga and Villarreal in the Spanish top flight between 2014 and 2018, scoring 10 goals.

 

Lazio have completed the signing of former Milan skipper Alessio Romagnoli on a free transfer.

The defender departed Milan after his contract expired at the end of last season, having captained the Rossoneri to their first Scudetto in 11 years.

Romagnoli, who is a lifelong Lazio supporter despite having spent his youth career with rivals Roma, has put pen to paper on a five-year deal with the Biancocelesti.

The 27-year-old is Maurizio Sarri's fifth signing of this window after Marcos Antonio, Mattia Zacagni, Matteo Cancellieri and Nicolo Casale.

The Italy international will certainly bring plenty of experience to the heart of defence for Lazio, who are aiming to improve on their fifth-place finish in Serie A last season.

Romagnoli made 246 appearances for Milan in all competitions after arriving from Roma in 2015, scoring 10 goals.

The centre-back took over the captain's armband in 2019 following Leonardo Bonucci's return to Juventus, but made just 19 appearances last term and left the Rossoneri after failing to agree terms over a new deal at San Siro.

Yacine Adli "always" had Milan in his mind while spending last season on loan at former club Bordeaux, and he arrives in Serie A with high expectations of what he could achieve.

The attacking midfielder, who turns 22 later this month, officially signed for Milan last August but remained in Ligue 1 for the 2021-22 campaign.

It ended up being a miserable one for Bordeaux, who finished bottom of the table and were then hit with a further demotion to the third tier due to their financial difficulties. The sanction was upheld after an initial appeal.

Adli knew his future was already settled, and with Bordeaux in turmoil, he unsurprisingly had greener pastures in his thoughts for much of the season.

While he was attempting to help Bordeaux dig themselves out of a hole, Milan were fighting – and ultimately won – a Serie A title battle, clinching their first Scudetto in 11 years.

As such, Adli has designs on grand achievements at San Siro.

Speaking to reporters at his official presentation on Monday, Adli said: "[Last season] wasn't an easy one. I always played my best for Bordeaux, I tried to focus on my role in the team there, although I always had Milan in mind – to get here and do my best.

"I've been wanting to arrive here in the best shape possible. I already knew some of my team-mates, but I have to adapt to the new surroundings.

 

"My French team-mates have adapted quickly to the club. I arrive with a different experience and in the team of the Italian champions. I arrive with humility and respect to achieve the greatest goals.

"I followed very closely the Milan games last season, and I saw a strong, tight, collective effort, especially towards the end of the season when no false moves could be made.

"A successful team like Milan can only aspire to [win] the Scudetto. It's not easy because in Italy there is a lot of competition. Once again this year we will try to confirm ourselves as Italian champions, we will try to defend this title in the best possible way."

The Paris Saint-Germain youth product joined Bordeaux in 2019 and developed into one of Ligue 1's most promising young players.

A technically gifted midfielder, Adli is most at home in a creative role, with much of his time on the pitch for Bordeaux spent in a central attacking position behind the striker.

Over the course of his three years with Bordeaux, only nine players (minimum of 1,500 minutes played) averaged more than his 1.6 open-play chances created in Ligue 1.

 

Sixteen bettered Adli's 15 assists over the same period, though seven of those came in the 2021-22 campaign alone, and it should be noted he was a young player in a team who never finished higher than 12th.

Admittedly, his productivity suffered significantly in the second half of 2021-22, managing to set up just one goal after the turn of the year, but again he was in a side who were in free fall as they lost 11 times and won only three games in 2022.

Despite his struggles and those of Bordeaux, Milan appear to have acquired a talent who will provide guaranteed creativity behind the forwards.

As a French attacking midfielder moving to Italy from Bordeaux, Zinedine Zidane was always likely to be mentioned during Adli's presentation, yet it was instead a former Rossoneri attacker he highlighted a particular admiration for thanks to a connection with George Weah.

"I had the chance to train with Timothy Weah [at PSG], and he always advised me to watch Roberto Baggio as an example because I could learn a lot from him – and so I did," Adli said.

"Great champions like him and Zidane are players to look up to but without trying to emulate them because [their status] is unattainable.

"I believe it's important to create your own path and work every day to get better."

Paulo Dybala would be an ideal signing for Serie A champions Milan, according to former Rossoneri striker Hernan Crespo.

Argentina international Dybala's seven-year spell with Juventus officially came to an end on June 30 when his contract expired.

The 28-year-old is not short of potential suitors, with Juve's Italian top-flight rivals Milan, Roma, Napoli and Inter among those reported to hold an interest.

Dybala scored 115 goals in 293 appearances across all competitions for Juventus, and Crespo believes his compatriot's style of play is perfectly suited to Milan.

"He would be an ideal player for Milan. He is precisely the element they are missing," Crespo told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"He guarantees quality to the entire attacking department and can either work with the central striker or two wide players. Finally, he can also finish attacks himself.

"His movement would benefit a centre-forward like Olivier Giroud or Divock Origi, and also a winger like Rafael Leao. 

"I repeat: Dybala is a champion. It is always better to have him on your side than playing against you."

 

Milan finished top of Serie A last season for the first time in 11 years, despite their joint-leading goalscorers in the division – Giroud and Leao – managing just 11 goals each.

The 69 goals they scored across 38 matches was only the fourth-highest tally in the league, 15 fewer than Inter, who finished two points back in second.

Stefano Pioli's side have already moved to strengthen their forward line during the close season with the addition of free agent Origi following his exit from Liverpool.

Junior Messias has also joined on a permanent basis, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic is reportedly in talks over signing a new one-year contract to stay on at San Siro.

Olivier Giroud joked he will treat Zlatan Ibrahimovic to dinner if the Swedish striker agrees to a new contract with Serie A champions Milan.

Ibrahimovic, who turns 41 in October, officially became a free agent last week after his existing deal at San Siro expired.

Despite his age and fitness issues that restricted him to only 12 starts in all competitions last season, the veteran is reported to have been offered a one-year deal by Milan.

Only Rafael Leao and Giroud (both 14) scored more goals than Ibrahimovic's eight last term, and the latter is hopeful of spending another season with the much-travelled striker.

"When he signs the renewal, I will pay for dinner," Giroud told Tuttomercatoweb. "We want him to sign, but there is obviously no pressure. 

"He is still hungry and he is important for the locker room. I talked a lot with him. He has the same desire to win even at 40."

Giroud's goals helped Milan to a first Scudetto triumph for 11 years in what was the France international's first season at the club after joining from Chelsea.

It was the second domestic league trophy won by Giroud, having previously lifted Ligue 1 win Montpellier in 2011-12.

Milan finished two points ahead of rivals Inter, while Juventus were 16 points adrift in fourth, but World Cup winner Giroud expects both sides to be stronger this coming season.

"Juve and Inter are the teams that have strengthened the most, so it will be a fierce battle between them and us," Giroud said.

Stefano Pioli's side have themselves strengthened, with striker Divock Origi among those to have arrived since Milan lifted the title in May.

The Belgium striker scored 22 goals in 107 Premier League appearances for Liverpool, while only starting 34 of those matches, and Giroud is relishing the additional competition.

"He speaks French, so I did my role as a big brother because it is very important to welcome everyone even if I am going to compete with him," Giroud said.

"I have always said that competition is very important to be strong, to learn and to give your best. It's a good reinforcement."

Milan have confirmed Brazilian forward Junior Messias has joined the club on a permanent basis after impressing during a loan spell with the Rossoneri last season.

Messias moved to Milan on a loan deal with a purchase option in August 2021, going on to score six goals in 32 appearances across all competitions as Stefano Pioli's men ended an 11-year wait for the Serie A title. 

The 31-year-old, who featured in the Italian top flight for Crotone in 2020-21 before they suffered consecutive relegations, only made 17 starts for Milan last term but still contributed to their title success.

Only four Rossoneri players (Oliver Giroud and Rafael Leao with 14, Zlatan Ibrahimovic with eight and Franck Kessie with seven) outscored Messias as Milan spread the goals around.

In a video posted to the club's Twitter account, Messias expressed his delight at extending his stay at San Siro, declaring: "Being at Milan is the greatest thing in life.

"Having reached this point is a source of pride for me, as well as satisfaction. I'm part of a very strong team, at an important club.

"I felt like crying because in my mind, I relived everything I'd been through and I'm experiencing now. I feel great here, it's like I am at home."

The Brazilian has signed a two-year deal with the Serie A champions after they reportedly agreed to pay Crotone an initial fee of €4.5million for his services.

Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo wants to leave Manchester United and is willing to make some allowances to secure the move.

Reports of Ronaldo's transfer request emerged over the weekend, although United are said to be holding firm in their desire to keep the superstar.

That has not stopped the rumours around a potential destination for the Portugal great, though, and he is doing all he can to get the move he wants.

TOP STORY – RONALDO WILLING TO TAKE PAY CUT

The Independent reports Ronaldo is willing to take a "considerable" pay cut in order to move to a Champions League contender.

The forward's desire to win another European crown was widely cited as key to his decision to push for a departure from United, and the report suggests the player is hopeful a reduced salary could entice leading clubs.

Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain, who employ great rival Lionel Messi, are listed as potential suitors.

The Athletic also again reports Chelsea's interest following talk of a meeting between Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes and new Stamford Bridge owner Todd Boehly earlier in the close-season.

The Sun says Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel is reluctant to agree to such a transfer, though, while AS claims Mendes has also met with Barcelona president Joan Laporta.

ROUND-UP

– Corriere dello Sport claims Bayern Munich are looking to bring in Napoli striker Victor Osimhen for a fee in the vicinity of €100million if Robert Lewandowski is to leave.

– According to Fabrizio Romano, Tottenham have agreed to sign 27-year-old Barcelona centre-back Clement Lenglet for a fee of £17.2m.

– The Sun is reporting Arsenal have made a £47m bid for 27-year-old Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

– After loaning Romelu Lukaku to Inter, Chelsea are also weighing up a potential loan move for Hakim Ziyech to Milan, according to The Athletic.

– The Mirror claims United representatives have met with Ajax to discuss a £39.6m offer for defender Lisandro Martinez.

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