Manchester United have reportedly tabled a €60million bid for Ajax winger Antony.

Antony's agent has been trying to secure a move to United and the Premier League since the Eredivisie season ended, according to Goal.

The Brazilian is coming off a season where he tallied eight goals and four assists in 23 league games, as well as another two goals and four assists in seven Champions League fixtures, showing he has what it takes at the highest level.

 

TOP STORY – RED DEVILS MAKE BIG-MONEY MOVE FOR AJAX'S ANTONY

Goal's report says the back-to-back Eredivisie champions are determined to hold onto Antony for another season, and with three years still remaining on his contract, Ajax are in control of the negotiations.

United's offer has fallen well below Ajax's acceptable figure, which is said to be €80m, although the discussions are ongoing.

The Old Trafford club are also linked with Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans, according to The Sun, as well as Napoli striker and hot commodity Victor Osimhen, who ESPN claims is fetching a price north of €100m.

 

ROUND-UP

– Portuguese publication A Bola claims Chelsea are preparing a £38m for Sporting midfielder Matheus Nunes.

– According to The Mirror, Everton have no plans to sell Dominic Calvert-Lewin after cashing in on Richarlison.

Arsenal are looking to sell seven players, including Nicolas Pepe and Bernd Leno, to fund further moves in this transfer window, per The Sun.

– According to Foot Mercato, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Sevilla and Napoli are all competing for Nice's 22-year-old French centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo.

– Fabrizio Romano is reporting that Brentford have secured a €22m deal for Bologna's 20-year-old Scottish left-back Aaron Hickey.

With his departure from Manchester United on the horizon, Paul Pogba had been free to discuss his future with other clubs since January.

Failing to ever really match his then world-record price tag with performances on the pitch, the World Cup winner's next destination always seemed limited to a few options.

Reports suggest a return to Serie A and Juventus is imminent.

 

TOP STORY – POGBA SET FOR FOUR-YEAR DEAL AT JUVENTUS

Paul Pogba is expected to complete medical in Turin this weekend to open the path for a free transfer to Juventus, according to Sky Sports.

Leaving Manchester United at the end of June upon the expiry of his contract, the move to Juve would see him return to the club where he spent four years and established his reputation.

Upon completion of his medical, the 29-year-old is reportedly set to sign a four-year deal with the club.

This comes after Pogba turned down what was reported to be a 3.5 per cent increase on his wages at Manchester United.

 

ROUND-UP

- Bayern Munich have reached a verbal agreement with Juve's Matthijs de Ligt amid interest from Chelsea, according to Sport1.

- Tottenham are keen on signing Villarreal's Pau Torres despite the impending arrival of Clement Lenglet, the Mirror is reporting.

- Newcastle United are willing to meet Bayer Leverkusen's asking price for Moussa Diaby, per the Telegraph.

- New Paris Saint-Germain boss Christophe Galtier hopes Neymar can stay at the club amid speculation over his future, The Sun is reporting.

Mainz will push ahead with plans to face Newcastle United in a pre-season friendly despite backlash from their supporters.

Newcastle will face German clubs Mainz and 1860 Munich in Austria ahead of the 2022-23 season.

But the scheduled matches have not been welcomed by supporters of those clubs due to the identity of Newcastle's owners.

The consortium that bought Newcastle last October includes Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), which owns 80 per cent of the club.

Saudi Arabia's human rights record is of major concern, along with its role in the war in Yemen.

But Mainz insist they cannot afford to cancel the Newcastle friendly, both because of the need to prepare for the Bundesliga season and due to contractual obligations.

"A friendly against a big English club is first of all a really good test for us," said chairman Stefan Hofmann in a statement in which Mainz confirmed they had held further talks with Newcastle and would plan to meet with fans. "It's also important for our team’s pre-season preparations.

"After weighing up our options and not having an appropriate alternative opponent of this standard available, we agreed to play this game.

"We didn't expect the reaction we got from some fans. We respect them and regret that these concerns have arisen because it's our responsibility to start the new season as one big unit together with our fans."

Mainz board member Christian Heidel added: "From a footballing perspective, we can't afford to miss out on this friendly.

"A one-sided cancellation of the fixture, as has been demanded by some fans, is not feasible, because were we to not honour our contractual obligations, this could have serious legal and economic consequences for us, and so we're going to stand by the contractual agreement."

Mainz coach Bo Svensson had already addressed the concerns, saying as reported by Bild: "On the one hand, I can understand the arguments.

"[But] whenever it comes to football, things get very inflated and become huge issues."

Referring to the PIF's shares in Disney, Svensson added: "How far are we going? Will we then also forego Disney films with our children?"

1860 coach Michael Kollner said to db24: "You always have to be a bit careful when conducting a moral discussion. I find that difficult. You can find something in everyone.

"We haven't done everything right in the past either – and teams are still playing against us in preparation.

"Newcastle was bought by someone with the money he has. I don't know if we are always entitled to evaluate things – especially in times when we have completely different issues in Europe.

"Unity looks different. I'm responsible for the sport – and I'm glad we got this test match."

Sven Botman is hoping to help Newcastle United in their goal to "get to the top" after finalising his move from Lille.

Newcastle confirmed earlier this week a deal, worth a reported upfront cost of £31.8million (€37m), had been reached with Lille to sign the central defender.

That transfer was made official on Friday, with the ambitious Premier League club seeing off interest from a number of other teams, including Serie A champions Milan.

Netherlands Under-21 international Botman becomes Newcastle's third signing of the window following the permanent capture of Matt Targett and the arrival of Nick Pope.

Eddie Howe's side continue to be linked with an array of other players, and Botman is confident he has made the right choice in moving to St James' Park.

"I'm really happy – delighted – and I can't wait to start this new adventure," Botman, who penned a five-year contract, told Newcastle's official website. 

"This is the best day of my life, to sign a contract with Newcastle United. It's a day I've worked hard for and I'm very excited.

"Newcastle had a long-term plan to get to the top, for both me and for the club, and they play in the Premier League which is the best league in Europe. 

"The whole package is just perfect. I'm looking forward now to meeting the fans and also my new team-mates."

Newcastle may reportedly pay up to £35m for Botman, which would make him their third-most expensive signing behind Bruno Guimaraes and Joelinton (both £40m).

Botman won the Ligue 1 title during his two years with Lille, having previously emerged through Ajax's youth system without making a competitive senior appearance.

"I'm delighted Sven is joining us. He is technically very good, physically very good and has a great attitude," Newcastle boss Howe added.

"At 22, he already has solid experience at the top level but he is at a great age to grow with this team. 

"I am looking forward to getting to work with him and seeing him with his new team-mates."

Newcastle begin their 2022-23 Premier League season at home against newly promoted Nottingham Forest on August 6.

Hugo Ekitike may end up staying at Reims in this transfer window as he waits on a move to Real Madrid or Barcelona.

Newcastle United have long since agreed a deal with Reims for the forward, but the transfer has not progressed further.

Reports have suggested the demands of Ekitike's agent have put off Newcastle, while the 20-year-old has continued to be linked to other clubs.

And Oscar Garcia, the Reims coach, revealed on Friday the player is in no hurry to leave.

Wantaway Reims stars are said to have a July 10 deadline to secure moves, and with purported interest from Madrid subsequently dismissed, Ekitike's short-term future could still be in Ligue 1.

Garcia told a news conference: "He told me that he wanted to stay, but if Real Madrid or Barcelona arrive...

"I feel Hugo is calm. I spoke with him. He will have no problem staying at the club – and neither will I."

 

Ekitike scored 10 goals and assisted three more in the league last season, contributing a goal involvement every 98 minutes on average.

Attempting only 31 shots, his conversion rate of 32.3 per cent was the second-best among players with 20 or more attempts across Europe, far outperforming his expected goals total of 7.0.

As well as Newcastle and Madrid, Ekitike has been linked with Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain.

Sven Botman considered Newcastle United "a little better" than Milan as he weighed up his transfer options, settling on a "dream" Premier League move.

Lille defender Botman is expected to complete his move to Newcastle on Friday, with a deal in principle announced earlier this week.

That reported £31.8million (€37m) agreement brought to an end a long-running saga, with the centre-back the subject of interest from both Newcastle and Milan.

Botman discussed the merits of signing for both clubs following a January window in which neither could convince Lille to sell.

Milan initially seemed favourites to finally land their man following the 2021-22 season, but they could not match Newcastle's offer.

And Botman explained to De Telegraaf: "Newcastle's great project and the chance to play in the Premier League were two decisive aspects in making a decision.

"Milan had also given me good feelings, but Newcastle more so; they seemed a little better.

"I've been dreaming of the Premier League all my life and now this dream comes true."

Botman revealed he was concerned after missing out on a January transfer, believing such opportunities "only pass once".

But he was ultimately pleased to stick around, face Chelsea in the Champions League and depart Lille "in the right way", still joining Newcastle.

Joelinton has urged Newcastle United coach Eddie Howe to get on the phone to Neymar and sign the Paris Saint-Germain superstar.

With Kylian Mbappe now the main man at PSG, having renewed his contract in France, Neymar has been linked with a move away from the club.

And Newcastle, with the world's richest football club owners in Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, are in theory one of very few potential suitors who could afford the sport's most expensive player.

The Magpies already have two Brazilians, too, in Joelinton and Bruno Guimaraes.

After Thiago Silva told Globo that Neymar "has to go to Chelsea", Joelinton, speaking to Brazilian podcast Cast FC, said: "We can get him a spot. Sure, in any team in the world.

"If he comes, it will be... I can't explain it. The man is an idol. He's huge in world football.

"So, the invitation is done: Ney, if you are listening to this, you can come. I'll run to you all the time. [The ball] will come easy."

Newcastle already have a tricky winger in Allan Saint-Maximin, but Joelinton did not hesitate in offering away his team-mate's number 10 shirt.

"His quality, the visibility... if we have the chance, I hope," the forward-turned-midfielder said. "Coach, call him. The number 10 shirt is there waiting for him.

"I'll send a message to Bruno. Bruno has his contact; he can send a message inviting Ney to play there."

Sven Botman is belatedly leaving Lille to sign for Newcastle United in a reported £31.8million (€37m) transfer.

Botman had been linked to both big-spending Premier League side Newcastle and Serie A champions Milan since January.

The defender discussed "very concrete" interest from both clubs, describing a "good project" at Newcastle, only for Lille to reject the Magpies' advances in the middle of the season.

Newcastle and Milan appeared to be frustrated at the start of this transfer window, too, with Lille demanding a significant fee for a player determined to leave Ligue 1.

But Eddie Howe's Newcastle forged a breakthrough late last week and agreed a deal that has now been confirmed following a medical on Tyneside.

The Magpies on Tuesday revealed that the formalities of the transfer are set to be concluded this week, with the 22-year then officially becoming a Newcastle player.

Botman, a former Ajax academy graduate who won Ligue 1 in his first season in France, has agreed terms to put pen to paper a five-year contract at St James' Park.

Following the signings of Matt Targett and Nick Pope, Botman would appear likely to come into Howe's team ahead of Dan Burn, another powerful, left-footed centre-back who was signed in his stead in January.

Burn won 4.3 aerial duels and made 6.1 clearances and 0.9 blocks per 90 minutes after signing from Brighton and Hove Albion for £13m, beating Botman's marks for the 2021-22 season in each metric (2.3, 4.5, 0.8).

But Howe will hope Botman can be key to Newcastle's development into a more possession-focused side; he completed 53.4 passes per 90 with Lille to Burn's 28.6 at Newcastle.

Newcastle United have launched their third kit for the 2022-23 season, with the strip bearing a significant resemblance to that worn by Saudi Arabia's national team.

The Magpies' alternate kit uses a base colour of white but then has green trim, with the neckline, badges and main sponsor all appearing in the secondary colour.

Saudi Arabia's national team wear a home kit comprising very similar characteristics.

The club were purchased last October by a consortium that included Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), which became the majority shareholder.

The Premier League received "assurances" there was no Saudi-state involvement in Newcastle, even though the country's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman – also known as 'MBS' – is the PIF's chairman.

Saudi Arabia's human rights record led to many urging authorities to block the purchase, with it seen by critics as a classic case of "sportswashing", but the deal went through regardless.

Images of the new kit were leaked in May and saw Newcastle attract significant criticism, bringing about fresh questions about the detachment of Newcastle and the Saudi state.

However, the criticism and backlash seemingly did not put the club off releasing the strip anyway and Newcastle's official statement features no reference to the controversial likeness.

It is not the first time Newcastle have worn green, having done so as recently as 2019-20. It also featured on their third jersey in 2014-15.

England goalkeeper Nick Pope has secured his Premier League future by joining Newcastle United after suffering the pain of relegation with Burnley.

Pope, 30, has reportedly cost Newcastle around £10million and is expected to replace Martin Dubravka as Eddie Howe's number one.

The former Charlton Athletic player has signed a four-year contract at Newcastle and becomes the Magpies' second confirmed deal of the close season, after Matt Targett's loan move last term was made permanent.

Pope, capped eight times by England, continued to impress at Burnley even as the Clarets headed for the Championship. It was inevitable he would leave after they went down, given his desire to play at the World Cup later this year.

Among goalkeepers with at least 10 appearances in the 2021-22 Premier League, Pope had the fourth best save percentage (71.69 per cent).

He managed nine clean sheets from 36 appearances, which was more shut-outs than Manchester United's David de Gea (eight from 38 games) and West Ham's Lukasz Fabianski (eight from 37 games).

While at Burnley, where he spent six seasons, he was named in the 2019-20 Premier League team of the year after keeping 15 clean sheets, which was bettered only by Manchester City's Ederson.

Head coach Howe said: "Nick is an exceptional Premier League and international level goalkeeper, so I'm very pleased to be adding strong competition to a very important position.

"There has been a lot of interest in him from other clubs this summer, so I'd like to thank our owners and everyone behind the scenes for getting us ahead of the competition.

"I'm delighted he is joining us as we prepare for the exciting challenge ahead."

Pope is relishing the challenge, with Newcastle having enjoyed a revival in the second half of the season following an influx of transfer funds from the club's new Saudi owners.

From looking like relegation fodder, Newcastle raced up the table to finish in 11th place, while Burnley ended up 18th in the 20-team table.

Pope said Newcastle had been "taking good steps in the right direction in the recent past".

"This club maybe underperformed in the past a little and would like to perform better. The ambitions are there to go to the next level," Pope added in an interview on the club's website.

"It's something for myself that's really exciting to be a part of."

Newcastle confirmed the long-anticipated arrival of sporting director Dan Ashworth in May, after he left Brighton and Hove Albion, and have been strongly linked in recent weeks with Lille defender Sven Botman and Reims forward Hugo Ekitike.

Barcelona's much-publicised financial difficulties are creating unwanted kind of leverage in the transfer market.

The Blaugrana have been linked to the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Mohamed Salah, but via a free transfer, circumventing the need for an initial outlay.

Reports suggest one of their transfer targets this off-season appears to be unattainable, though.

TOP STORY – SEVILLA STIFLE KOUNDE MOVE TO BARCELONA

Barcelona's reported interest in Jules Kounde will face a stumbling block in the form of Sevilla, according to Marca.

The Andalusian club have set a €60million price for Kounde, reportedly knowing that interest from Premier League clubs will meet that benchmark and effectively price Barcelona out of the market.

In addition, Sevilla would want to close the deal quickly, forcing Barcelona into cash-flow difficulty if they were to meet the demands for Kounde.

Barcelona are unwilling to pay the €60m despite sourcing fresh funds, with a reported need to primarily balance this year's budget.

ROUND-UP

Arsenal and Newcastle United are keen on Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz, whose contract runs out in 2023, according to Corriere dello Sport.

Borussia Dortmund are set to sign Ajax striker Sebastian Haller, per ESPN.

Real Madrid have stepped up their interest in Raheem Sterling with his future in Manchester City uncertain, the Mirror reports.

Chelsea are considering signing 29-year-old Lens full-back Jonathan Clauss, Goal is reporting.

Tottenham are reportedly looking to swoop in with an offer for Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus, who has been a key target this transfer period for rivals Arsenal.

Just days ago stories were written about Arsenal feeling "cautiously optimistic" about their chances of landing the 25-year-old Brazilian, despite their reported bid of £30million falling well below City's £50m asking price.

That move is now in jeopardy thanks to Tottenham's involvement, with the club able to offer Champions League football to the striker who has scored 20 Champions League goals across City's past five European campaigns (38 games).

 

TOP STORY – SPURS SWOOP IN WITH OFFER OF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FOOTBALL

There is no doubt about Jesus' ability to perform at the highest level, scoring at least seven goals in each of his Premier League seasons since arriving as a 19-year-old. He has also added more creativity to his game, with 21 Premier League assists in his past three campaigns compared to 10 from his first three with City.

The Mirror reports another aspect of his game that Spurs boss Antonio Conte values is his willingness to play out wide on a wing, which means he could still complement star Harry Kane if their formation only calls for one striker.

It is not mentioned whether Tottenham are willing to meet City's asking price, but a second serious bidder will mean Arsenal's desire to land him for a much smaller figure is likely no longer possible.

 

ROUND-UP

– Chelsea will loan striker Romelu Lukaku back to Inter for a fee of at least £8.5m, according to the Daily Mail.

– The Athletic is reporting that Raheem Sterling has been asking friends about life in west London after Fabrizio Romano revealed Chelsea had a £21.5m bid turned down for the City winger.

– Fabrizio Romano claims Manchester United are preparing another bid for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, but if Barcelona will not bring their asking price down, the Old Trafford club are prepared to pivot to Wolves' Ruben Neves.

– According to Sport, Bayern Munich are demanding €50m from Barcelona for Robert Lewandowski, while the Spanish club are currently offering €40m plus performance bonuses.

Newcastle United have been told by Bayer Leverkusen that 22-year-old French winger Moussa Diaby will cost €50m, according to The Sun.

Milan's Serie A triumph played out amid a tumultuous boardroom backdrop.

And the Rossoneri's notoriously thrifty project could now test Paolo Maldini's patience, with the need to bolster their squad for domestic and continental competitions not yet being met.

The Italian champions reportedly losing out on long-desired targets could potentially bring the subject of Maldini's future to the fore again.

TOP STORY – MILAN TO LOSE OUT ON SANCHES, BOTMAN

Milan look set to miss out on the signings of Lille pair Renato Sanches and Sven Botman, according to Calciomercato.

Although the Rossoneri had agreed personal terms with Sanches several months ago, Paris Saint-Germain are set to double Milan's offer to Lille of €15million.

They face a similar dynamic with defender Botman, who also agreed personal terms with Milan, as fellow long-term suitors Newcastle United attempt to swoop.

With Maldini and right-hand-man Ricky Massara's contracts to expire at the end of the month, these failings will likely create inconvenient tension.

ROUND-UP

– Chelsea are interested in signing Manchester City and England forward Raheem Sterling, according to Fabrizio Romano.

– Meanwhile, The Sun is reporting the Blues are set to sign Ousmane Dembele, but the winger will demand a starting spot instead of a squad role.

– Manchester United are hoping Barcelona reduce their asking price for Frenkie de Jong, per The Athletic.

– Liverpool are bracing for the eventual departure of Mohamed Salah as contract renewal talks stall, the Mirror reports.

Arsenal are set to make their first big splash of this transfer period with the signing of 22-year-old Porto midfielder Fabio Vieira.

The Gunners have been linked with various big names – including Raheem Sterling, Youri Tielemans and Christopher Nkunku – but have struggled to get deals over the line for players that could be considered key signings.

Vieira, who has made 20 appearances for Portugal Under-21s, was a move that came out of left-field, but those that call the Emirates Stadium home will hope it proves to be a masterstroke.

 

TOP STORY – VIEIRA'S MOVE TO ARSENAL REACHES FINAL STAGES

According to ESPN, a deal in the range of €40million is said to be in place, with Vieira said to be heading to London for his medical on Friday before finalising a five-year deal.

The talented attacking midfielder – who played in both the number-10 role and as a second striker – finished the Primeira Liga season with six goals and 14 assists from 27 appearances. Nobody in Portugal's top division had more assists.

Vieira reportedly had a €50m release clause with Porto, but the club were happy to accept the reduced figure.

It could be the start of a big week for Arsenal, with ESPN also mentioning they are leading the race for Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus in a deal that could be worth up to £50 million.

 

ROUND-UP

– According to The Sun, Liverpool remain interested in Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham, but they will remain patient and not pursue him in this transfer period.

– Inter have turned down a €50m bid from Paris Saint-Germain for Milan Skriniar, holding firm at an asking price of €80m, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Newcastle United target Sven Botman is reportedly favouring Milan if he is to leave Lille, per Football Insider.

– The Telegraph is reporting Southampton have agreed to a deal worth up to £15m for 20-year-old City goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu, while The Athletic claims they are also interested in 18-year-old City midfielder Romeo Lavia.

Fulham and Wolves will reportedly compete for the signature of Sporting midfielder Joao Palhinha, according to 90min.

Manchester City will start their Premier League title defence at West Ham, while Frank Lampard will host his former club Chelsea with Everton on the opening weekend.

City pipped Liverpool to their fourth English top-flight crown under Pep Guardiola and there will be significant interest around their August 7 opener at London Stadium, where new signing Erling Haaland could make his debut after arriving from Borussia Dortmund.

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool will aim to mount another title charge in the 2022-23 campaign and they go to newly promoted Fulham for their first game.

Chelsea eased into third place last term and their first league game of the Todd Boehly era sees them travel to face Blues great Lampard at Everton, who narrowly avoided relegation to maintain their top-flight status.

Manchester United finished in a disappointing sixth last campaign, with a 4-0 thrashing at Brighton and Hove Albion a low point, and they host the Seagulls in what will be Erik ten Hag's first game in charge.

Arsenal will visit Crystal Palace on August 5 as the season's opening game, while promoted side Bournemouth are at home to Aston Villa.

Antonio Conte's Tottenham sneaked into the Champions League last season and open their campaign at home to Southampton, with Nottingham Forest playing their first top-flight fixture in 23 years away at Newcastle United, who climbed out the relegation zone under Eddie Howe in the previous term.

Testing opening for Liverpool, Guardiola faces late Blues clash

Liverpool were in the hunt for an unprecedented quadruple for much of the 2021-22 season, but fell short and ended up with just the EFL Cup and FA Cup crowns to their name.

Klopp's side will be tested in the opening weeks of the season, facing four – United, Chelsea, City and Arsenal – of the traditional 'big six' sides in the first 11 games, alongside a Merseyside derby at Everton on September 9.

The first clash between United and Liverpool will come just three matchdays into the season, with the Reds visiting Old Trafford on August 20.

Liverpool then head Chelsea and Arsenal either side of the late September international break, with champions City travelling to Anfield just a week after the Gunners trip.

Supporters in Manchester will eagerly await October 1 for the first meeting between United and City at Etihad Stadium, while the first north London derby between Tottenham and Arsenal comes on the same day.

The Premier League title race went down to the wire last campaign, and City could face a tough task if it does so again as they host Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea in an enticing clash on the penultimate weekend.

Premier League opening weekend fixtures:

Crystal Palace v Arsenal
Bournemouth v Aston Villa
Everton v Chelsea
Fulham v Liverpool
Leeds United v Wolves
Leicester City v Brentford
Newcastle United v Nottingham Forest
Tottenham v Southampton
Manchester United v Brighton and Hove Albion
West Ham v Manchester City

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.