Chelsea have been given a boost in their pursuit of an Ajax defender, while two clubs are in the hunt for Torino star Andrea Belotti, according to Wednesday’s European papers.
REAL MADRID TO RIVAL BARCELONA FOR COUTINHO
Reports in Spain suggest Real Madrid are hoping to beat Barcelona for in-demand Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho.
Reports on Tuesday suggested the Brazil star had already agreed terms on a move to Barcelona this summer, with Liverpool naming their price for the player here.
However, Spanish media outlet Dario Gol claims Real Madrid are also keen on a move for Coutinho and WILL pay Liverpool their asking price should Barcelona fail to match those terms.
The report suggests with Barcelona also chasing deals for Hector Bellerin and Marco Verratti, they could be forced to abandon their efforts to sign Coutinho due to the expense involved in signing all three, and especially when Lionel Messi is close to finalising a record-breaking new contract at the Nou Camp.
With Liverpool unlikely to bow to pressure to lower their asking price for Coutinho, that ould leave Real Madrid as frontrunners to sign the Brazilian should he follow through with his reported desire to quit Anfield this summer.
THREE-WAY TUSSLE ON FOR BENFICA STAR
Manchester United, Manchester City and Bayern Munich are set to lock horns this summer over a deal for Benfica defender Nelson Semedo.
United had previously been linked with a deal for his team-mate Victor Lindelof, but it’s now claimed they have switched their attention to Semedo, who has impressed for the Portuguese giants this season.
The right-back has been watched by their scouts on a number of occasions this season and O Jogo claims Jose Mourinho is waying up a summer move.
However, the Portugal international is also being monitored by Pep Guardiola as the Man City boss looks to freshen up his defence, while Bayern also see Semedo as a long-term replacement for the Philipp Lahm, who is due to retire this summer.
However, the Portuguese paper claim it is advantage City in the race to sign the player.
They claim City chief executive Txiki Begiristain was present at Tuesday evening’s Champions League clash in Turin between Juventus and Monaco, where he met up with Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira.
Suggestions are that a potential deal for Semedo, 23, was discussed.
AND THE REST
Napoli are very close to agreeing an extension with converted winger Dries Mertens. The Belgium star has been tipped up as a target for Manchester United (Calciomercato)
Watford are interested in Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen. Vermaelen, 31, is currently on loan at Roma, although injuries have restricted him to just 11 appearances this season. He is under contract at Barcelona until 2019 (Sport)
Alvaro Morata has refused mammoth €35million-a-year wages from China – but the Spain striker will also snub a move to Chelsea in favour of staying at Real Madrid (Marca)
AC Milan are set to step up their pursuit of Atalanta star Alejandro Gomez (Corriere dello Sport)
Paris Saint-Germain have denied speculation which claims they have reached an agreement with Real Madrid centre-back Pepe over a free transfer move this summer (Le Parisien)
Marco Verratti will snub all advances from Manchester United, Chelsea, Barcelona and Juventus this summer in favour of staying at PSG, claims his agent (Le 10 Sport)
Barcelona have sounded out Sevilla winger Vitolo over a summer transfer. The 27-year-old has also been linked with a move to Atletico Madrid and Manchester City (Mundo Deportivo)
Everton remain favourites to sign Malaga striker Sandro Ramirez despite Liverpool, Tottenham, Southampton, Stoke City and Newcastle also thought to be among his suitors (AS)
Ajax have told starlet Davinson Sanchez that he can leave the club, with Chelsea and Barcelona interested in the defender (Mundo Deportivo)
Torino’s sporting director Gianluca Petrachi has arrived at Casa Milan to have a meeting with Mirabelli, possibly about star striker Andrea Belotti (MilanNews.it)
Inter are interested in signing Belotti and the Serie A giants are reported to have already made contact to sign the Italian hit-man in the summer (Calciomerato.com)