John Stones is part of a £85m defensive reshuffle at Manchester City, while Leicester’s N’Golo Kante has a new admirer in Liverpool, according to Monday’s papers.
GUARDIOLA TO BUILD NEW CITY DEFENCE
The Manchester Evening News have reported that Pep Guardiola has planned a ‘drastic overhaul’ of his Manchester City back-line with the double signing of Athletic Bilbao’s Aymeric Laporte and Everton’s John Stones for a combined fee of £85m.
With Martin Demichelis recently released and captain Vincent Kompany’s ongoing injury problems, it leaves the Spaniard heading into the new season with Nicolas Otamendi, Jason Denayer and Eliaquim Mangala as his main centre-back options. The report also mentions that the latter could be sold to help fund moves for the two highly-rated defenders.
Laporte was said to have been given a deadline to join Manchester City but with his release clause reportedly set at £39m, the Citizens are thought to be confident about landing one of their primary transfer targets.
Manchester City were supposedly given a boost in their pursuit of Stones after he recently rejected a move to join Guardiola’s former side Barcelona. However, last season’s League Cup winners will have to wait until after Euro 2016 to complete any deal for the 22-year-old.
RACE HOTS UP FOR KANTE
Reports emerged over the weekend that Manchester United were ready to meet the £22m release clause which is N’Golo Kante’s Leicester City contract, but now they face fresh competition from Liverpool, according to the Daily Star.
Premier League rivals Arsenal and Chelsea have also been strongly linked with the combative French midfielder, alongside Ligue 1 champions PSG who are set to appoint Unai Emery as their new manager.
The report claims that Leicester have had more enquiries made for the 25-year-old than for Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy put together, and Jurgen Klopp ‘would love’ to steal the former Caens man away from under the noses of the strong competition.
AND THE REST
Juventus forward Alvaro Morata wants to return to Real Madrid, but the 23-year-old Spain international would be open to signing for Manchester United or Chelsea rather than Arsenal or Paris St-Germain (AS)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 34, has promised to reveal the next club he will play for “soon” amid continued speculation about a move to Manchester United (Daily Express)
Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez, 25, has not ruled out a move to Premier League rivals Arsenal (Get French Football, via Daily Express)
Jorge Sampaoli will take over as Sevilla’s new coach after Unai Emery confirmed his departure from the Europa League champions (Marca)
Former Nantes midfielder Jordan Veretout, 23, wants to leave relegated Aston Villa this summer – with several clubs from the top leagues in Europe keen to sign him (L’Equipe, via Birmingham Mail)
England midfielder Eric Dier, 22, fancies the Euro 2016 game against Wales on Thursday to be more like a Premier League match than an international (Guardian)
England manager Roy Hodgson has been told to drop Tottenham striker Harry Kane, 22, by senior figures in the Three Lions’ camp (Sun)
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic texted Dimitri Payet, 29, saying “you have nothing to prove, you are the best player there” before the Hammers midfielder scored France’s winner against Romania on Friday (Daily Mail)