Sport

Liverpool worried Coutinho will take Barca transfer plight to papers

Coutinho to speak out over Liverpool exit

With rumours abounding that Barcelona are readying a fourth bid for Philippe Coutinho of £138 million, there are fears inside Liverpool that the playmaker is prepared to go public in his efforts to leave.

It was assumed Barcelona would attempt to persuade the Liverpool delegation to sell Coutinho at Thursday’s Champions League draw, and they believe the Brazilian’s absence from the Reds lineup is helping their cause.

And the Daily Mail says Liverpool had hoped that securing a place in the Champions League group stage might convince Coutinho to change his mind but the 25-year-old is still adamant he wants to go.

The concern now for Liverpool is that if they reject Barcelona’s latest offer, Coutinho will take the nuclear option of talking to the press about his frustrations.
LIVE BLOG:

09.51 BST: Manchester City are no longer in the hunt for Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe, according to their director of football Txiki Begiristain. “We are out of the race,” he said. “It is impossible to do it with the timing remaining.” That leaves Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid to fight it out then…

09.43 BST: Just in case you somehow managed to miss Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s return to Manchester United yesterday, the striker has just posted a video on his Twitter account reminding us all that he’s back “to finish what he started” at Old Trafford…

09.27 BST: Juventus have agreed personal terms with Schalke defender Benedikt Howedes, according to the Germany international’s agent. “Juve want it, Benedikt Howedes wants it, we have an agreement in principle. Schalke now also must want it,” he said. Full story.

09.09 BST: We’ve our first DONE DEAL of the day, with West Brom having just announced the signing of Scotland international Oliver Burke from RB Leipzig… The Baggies are reported to be paying up to £15 million for the winger.

09.02 BST: Will it be third time lucky for Manchester City with Jonny Evans? City will certainly be hoping so, with The Times claiming that they are returning to West Brom with a third bid of more than £25 million for the former Manchester United defender, having so far seen two offers knocked back by the Baggies.

08.45 BST: While Serge Aurier looks set to depart Paris Saint-Germain, Fabinho could be due to arrive at the club, with L’Equipe stating that they remain interested in the Monaco man, who is also still keen to make the move. Monaco, however, are reluctant to sell the 23-year-old, who could cost PSG up to €60 million.

08.31 BST: Having already added Davinson Sanchez to their ranks, Tottenham are close to securing another defender, with the The Sun claiming that Paris Saint-Germain’s Serge Aurier has undergone his medical ahead of his £23 million move to White Hart Lane.

08.20 BST: Arsenal have offered Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain a new contract of £180,000-a-week in order to secure his future, the Daily Telegraph reports, though Chelsea are apparently growing increasingly optimistic of signing the England international for £35 million.

08.05 BST: Good morning all and welcome back to Transfer Talk. First up, it’s United States youth international Cameron Carter-Vickers, who is set to join Championship club Sheffield United on a season-long loan from Tottenham, sources have told ESPN FC. Full story.
Juventus eye Cahill

Juventus are lining up Gary Cahill as a replacement for the departed Leonardo Bonucci, with doubts looming over his starting place at Chelsea this season.

The 31-year-old was appointed club captain in the summer, but saw red just 14 minutes into the opening day defeat to Burnley and subsequently missed the win at Tottenham through suspension.

In a development that would cap off a miserable start to the season for Cahill, the Sun reports that he could now lose his place in Antonio Conte’s first XI to Antonio Rudiger, who has made an impressive adjustment to the pace of the Premier League.

That may open the door for a shock move to Juventus, who rebuffed Chelsea’s advances last summer when Bonucci was Conte’s No. 1 target. It remains to be seen whether the Blues will be amenable to this mooted move.
Ibrahimovic takes pay cut

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s return to Manchester United dominates Friday’s back pages after the announcement of his new contract with a bizarre Twitter graphic of him shaking hands with the red devil.

Ibrahimovic has revealed that he received several enticing offers before committing to another year at Old Trafford, where he says he intends to “finish what I started.”

But the Sun reveals one interesting detail from the deal. Ibrahimovic has reportedly taken an enormous 50 percent pay cut. The 35-year-old was on £367,000-a-week last season, but will earn around half that amount over the next 12 months.

He will still be in line to pick up several lucrative bonuses, however, should he hit the ground running when he returns from his knee injury.
Tap-ins

– Meanwhile, City haven’t given up on Alexis Sanchez, despite the clock ticking on a potential transfer. According to the Daily Mail, Pep Guardiola is still hopeful Arsenal will soften their stance, but is prepared to wait until next summer to sign the Chilean on a free transfer when his contract expires.

– With Chelsea reportedly snubbing Atletico Madrid officials at the Champions League draw, AC Milan have emerged as leading contenders for Diego Costa’s signature. The Express claims the Serie A giants, who have already spent close to £200m, would need to stump up another £40m or so to meet Chelsea’s asking price.

– West Brom are preparing to splash the cash as they look set to beat Crystal Palace to the £15m signing of RB Leipzig winger Oliver Burke, according to Sky Sports. Tottenham defender Kevin Wimmer is another target, while the Baggies are also believed to be in talks with Arsenal left-back Kieran Gibbs.

– Apparently Manchester City aren’t sure if they’ve signed enough full-backs this summer as Espanyol’s Aaron Martin is linked with an £18m move, says the Sun. The Spanish side are thought to want closer to £35m for the 20-year-old, who would provide competition for Benjamin Mendy on the left flank.

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