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Transfer news live: Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United announcement latest, plus Kylian Mbappe updates


August 30, 2021 at 2:15 PM EDT

Dominic Calvert-Lewin withdraws from England squad through injury

Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin has withdrawn from the England squad for the upcoming international break through a thigh strain.

The 24-year-old picked up the injury during the Toffees’ 2-0 win over Brighton at the Amex on Saturday where he was on the scoresheet from the penalty spot.

Calvert-Lewin will miss England’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Hungary, Andorra and Poland

Abdiaziz Rashid

August 30, 2021 at 1:47 PM EDT

Leeds United close in on £25m Dan James signing from Manchester United

Leeds United are very close to a permanent deal for Manchester United winger Dan James for an initial £25 million plus add-ons.

The Athletic reported on Sunday that his current club were ready to listen to offers for James. A transfer has moved swiftly on Monday and Leeds are nearing his signing ahead of Tuesday’s deadline. James is travelling to Leeds tonight, with a fee agreed and deal done pending a medical.

Leeds previously came within a whisker of signing James from Swansea in January 2019, when the player had completed a medical, only for the deal to fall through on deadline. It is believed that Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa remains an admirer of the Welsh winger and would like his club to sign James before Tuesday night’s deadline.

August 30, 2021 at 1:31 PM EDT

Norwich complete loan move for Schalke centre-back Ozan Kabak

Norwich City have confirmed that Schalke centre-back Ozan Kabak will join the club on a season-long loan with the option to buy for €13 million (£11 million).

Kabak has 12 caps for Turkey and spent the second half of last season on loan at Liverpool, making 13 appearances, including four in the Champions League.

Liverpool opted against taking their option to make the deal permanent for £18 million during last season, as well as Schalke’s later suggestion of a cut-price £8.5 million fee.

August 30, 2021 at 12:54 PM EDT

West Ham not pursuing Nicolas Tagliafico

West Ham are understood to not be pursuing the signing of Nicolas Tagliafico this summer.

Reports have suggested West Ham have agreed a fee to sign the Ajax left-back before the window closes. But The Athletic understands this is not the case.

He is believed to have been offered to the club by multiple agents.

David OrnsteinDavid Ornstein·Football Writer

August 30, 2021 at 12:51 PM EDT

Birmingham agree deal in principle for Watford’s Troy Deeney

Watford have agreed a deal in principle with Birmingham City for Troy Deeney to join the Championship side on a free transfer, as reported by the The Athletic’s Adam Leventhal.

It’s understood the final details of his severance deal from Watford are being finalised and plans are in place for the striker to have a medical with his new club.

Deeney has been at Vicarage Road since 2010 and has scored 140 goals in 419 appearances, but the club announced on Thursday that they were working to find an amicable solution to allow the 33-year-old play regular football having fallen down the pecking order at the Premier League club.

August 30, 2021 at 12:38 PM EDT

Sheffield United sign Conor Hourihane on season-long loan from Aston Villa

Sheffield United have finally made a second summer signing after Conor Hourihane joined on loan from Aston Villa.

The 30-year-old passed his medical on Monday afternoon and will join up with his new team-mates after returning from international duty with the Republic of Ireland next week.

On signing, Hourihane said: “I’m delighted to be here and cannot wait to get started. I’ve played against Sheffield United a few times and it is an exciting club to be involved in. The manager here has a great reputation in the Championship, his Fulham team beat us in a play-off final a couple of years ago and I’m looking forward to working with him.”

August 30, 2021 at 12:26 PM EDT

Crystal Palace turn attentions to Edouard after failing to agree Nketiah deal

Crystal Palace have turned to Odsonne Edouard after failing to agree a deal for Eddie Nketiah.

The Athletic understands Palace have been unable to reach an agreement for Nketiah. As reported last week, the south London club were eyeing up a deal worth £10 million for the striker. But Arsenal wanted to achieve a price of around £20 million.

Arsenal were willing to reduce their asking price to around £15 million but Palace were reluctant to meet that.

August 30, 2021 at 12:15 PM EDT

Chelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko rejoins AC Milan on two-year loan deal

Chelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko has returned to AC Milan on a two-year loan deal with an option to buy.

Bakayoko, 27, moved to Chelsea from Monaco in 2017 for £40 million, making him the club’s second most expensive signing at the time, after Fernando Torres.

The one-time France international went on to make 29 Premier League appearances in his first season in London, with the club finishing a disappointing fifth under Antonio Conte.

August 30, 2021 at 11:06 AM EDT

Impact of quarantine made Cavani and others decide not to travel

Edinson Cavani’s decision to stay with Manchester United over the international break came as the club were concerned over the amount of matches the Uruguayan would have missed playing for his country.

So, Cavani had a re-think and Laurie Whitwell’s piece below details why other players are having similar changes of heart.

Ahmed Shooble


Red list internationals: The impact of quarantine made Cavani and others decide not to travel

August 30, 2021 at 10:14 AM EDT

Bayern announce Marcel Sabitzer signing

Bayern Munich have signed RB Leipzig captain Marcel Sabitzer for €15 million plus add-ons.

The Austrian midfielder is the German champions’ third buy of the summer from RB, who have seen head coach Julian Nagelsmann and French defender Dayot Upamecano depart to Munich this year.

Sabitzer, who supported Bayern growing up, is earmarked to supplement Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich in the centre, but can be deployed in multiple positions.

Ahmed Shooble

August 30, 2021 at 9:26 AM EDT

Brighton near signing of Slavia Prague’s Abdullah Sima

Ahmed Shooble

August 30, 2021 at 9:24 AM EDT

Nathan Patterson set to stay at Rangers

Nathan Patterson looks set to remain at Rangers beyond this transfer window after Everton indicated they will not return with a third, higher offer.

Everton are understood to have submitted a second bid of £8 million plus add-ons earlier this week but the Ibrox club value the 19-year-old at significantly more.

Rafa Benitez is in the market for a right back before the window closes and has switched his attention to Arsenal utility man Ainsley Maitland-Niles, whose appeal is helped by his versatility.

Ahmed Shooble

August 30, 2021 at 9:21 AM EDT

Maitland-Niles: “All I wanna do is go where I’m wanted”

Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles has taken to social media to vent his frustrations over a potential move.

The 24-year-old posted on his Instagram story “All I wanna do is go where I’m wanted and where I’m gonna play” and mentioned the club’s account.

The Athletic revealed earlier today that Everton are in talks with Arsenal over securing Maitland-Niles on a season-long loan.

Ahmed Shooble

August 30, 2021 at 9:09 AM EDT

Atletico still prepared to loan out Saul Niguez but struggling to source replacement

Atletico Madrid are still prepared to let Saul Niguez leave on loan before the transfer window closes but they are struggling to source a suitable replacement, The Athletic’s David Ornstein understands.

The 26-year-old midfielder had previously been linked with Chelsea but Atletico say there’s no further development on his situation, and if that doesn’t change today or tomorrow he will be staying at the club.

Ahmed Shooble

August 30, 2021 at 8:48 AM EDT

Tottenham reporter Jack Pitt-Brooke: “Aurier’s future remains up in the air”

The big question at Tottenham over the last two days of the transfer window concerns Serge Aurier.

Spurs have been trying to find a new club for their maverick right-back all summer but they have not been able to. Moussa Sissoko has been sold to Watford, Tanguy Ndombele will stay at Tottenham, but Aurier’s future remains up in the air.

If Aurier does go then Spurs will bring in a new specialist right-back, and they have been working on signing Emerson Royal from Barcelona. But as of Monday lunchtime, nothing is imminent, in or out.

Ahmed Shooble

August 30, 2021 at 7:57 AM EDT

Thierry Henry permanently joins Belgium’s coaching staff

Thierry Henry has extended his stay with Belgium and will be working with the country until after the 2022 World Cup.

Henry is now a permanent member of Roberto Martinez’s staff. The former Arsenal striker had joined up with Martinez and Belgium for Euro 2020, but is now set to be part of the team until after December 2022, when the Qatar World Cup takes place.

Ahmed Shooble

August 30, 2021 at 7:40 AM EDT

Nottingham Forest close to signing Braian Ojeda

Nottingham Forest are closing in on the signing of Paraguay Under-23 international Braian Ojeda from Olimpia.

The Athletic understands that reports — which first emerged in Paraguay — are correct, with the Championship club in the final stages of completing a package to sign the 21-year-old on a permanent deal.

The versatile midfielder can operate in a deeper role in front of the back four or as an orthodox midfielder and would become the sixth signing of the summer.

Ahmed Shooble

August 30, 2021 at 7:38 AM EDT

Andre Gray set to join QPR on season-long loan

Andre Gray is set to join Queens Park Rangers on a season-long loan deal from Watford after discussions between the clubs advanced this morning.

It’s understood the terms of the deal have now been agreed in principle and the final touches are being put in place before a medical takes place.

Gray will spend the final year of his Watford contract at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium after falling down the pecking order at Watford with the arrivals of Emmanuel Dennis, Joshua King and Ashley Fletcher, while Joao Pedro is also about to return to action.

Ahmed Shooble

August 30, 2021 at 7:13 AM EDT

Brighton’s Zeqiri set for season-long loan to Augsburg

Brighton’s Swiss forward Andi Zeqiri is moving on loan to Bundesliga club Augsburg for the rest of the season.

It’s a continuation of Brighton’s strategy of loaning out young players on the fringes of Graham Potter’s Premier League plans to enhance their development with regular game time at a good level.

Versatile Swiss international Zeqiri, 22, has made 13 appearances, including nine as a substitute, since arriving from Lausanne in October, but has yet to start a Premier League game.

To find out more about the striker, have a read of Andy Naylor’s piece below.

Ahmed Shooble


Exciting, versatile and ‘born to score goals’ – Zeqiri is brimming with promise

August 30, 2021 at 6:24 AM EDT

Norwich closing in on loan deal for Kabak

Norwich City are closing in on the signing of Schalke centre-back Ozan Kabak.

The 21-year-old centre-back flew into Norwich on Monday morning with a view to completing a season on loan in the Premier League, with Norwich hoping to secure an option to buy the defender at the end of the season. Talks are still ongoing between the two clubs.

For more on Kabak, have a read of Caoimhe O’Neill and Mark Carey’s analysis of the Turkish centre-back’s time at Liverpool below.

Ahmed Shooble


Deceptively quick but keeps it safe in possession: Analysing whether Liverpool should keep Kabak

August 30, 2021 at 6:17 AM EDT

Brighton poised to complete signing of Cucurella from Getafe

Brighton are poised to complete the signing of Getafe left-back Marc Cucurella.

The Athletic understands that the Premier League side have matched the £15 million release clause in Cucurella’s contract.

The 23-year-old is flying to England later today to finalise the formalities. An announcement is likely tomorrow, on the final day of the transfer window.

Cucurella, a silver medalist with Spain at the Tokyo Olympics last month, has been trailed by Brighton throughout the summer.

Ahmed Shooble

August 30, 2021 at 6:14 AM EDT

Cavani not joining Uruguay for international duty

Manchester United fans will be relieved to hear that Edinson Cavani is not joining the Uruguay squad for the World Cup qualifiers in September.

Cavani was called up to represent his country against Peru (September 3), Bolivia (September 5) and Ecuador (September 9).

His decision to stay in Manchester means the striker will be available for United’s next four matches as he will not have to quarantine for 10 days.

Ahmed Shooble

August 30, 2021 at 5:43 AM EDT

Napoli close to agreeing loan deal for Anguissa

Fulham midfielder Andre-Frank Anguissa is close to a loan move to Napoli, The Athletic understands.

The midfielder is currently undergoing a medical at Villa Stuart private medical clinic in Rome ahead of a proposed switch to the Serie A club. It is understood that Napoli have proposed a loan with an option to buy, although Fulham are believed to prefer a sale or at least an obligation to buy.

Anguissa made his intention clear to Fulham that he did not wish to play in the Championship this season, and was left out of the club’s opening game against Middlesbrough as a result.

For more on Anguissa, read Peter Rutzler’s piece on the Cameroonian international below.

Ahmed Shooble


Rejected by Reims to a force at Fulham – the rise of Frank Anguissa

August 30, 2021 at 5:27 AM EDT

Swansea reject Fulham bid for Grimes

Fulham have had a £2.5 million bid for Swansea City captain Matt Grimes rejected.

Grimes is out of contract at the end of the season and has been on Fulham’s radar for most of the summer.

It is understood Fulham have made two offers for Grimes, but Swansea’s valuation for the player has yet to be reached. There is no indication as to whether Fulham will return with a third bid for the midfielder but they are aware that Swansea lie in a difficult position considering Grimes’ contract expires next summer.

Ahmed Shooble

August 30, 2021 at 5:10 AM EDT

Ruben Dias signs new six-year contract at Manchester City

Manchester City defender Ruben Dias has signed a new six-year contract, keeping him at the Etihad through until the summer of 2027.

Dias joined the club from Benfica last September, making 44 appearances and won the Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year award last season.

For more on Dias’ rise at Manchester City, have a read of Sam Lee’s piece below!

Ahmed Shooble


Ruben Dias, Player of the Year and a Manchester City captain in all but name

August 30, 2021 at 5:01 AM EDT

Why did Manchester City let Benjamin Mendy play on?

Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy is under police investigation for a number of sexual assault allegations and had been arrested back in November.

So why did the club only suspend the player on Thursday?

The Athletic’s Daniel Taylor explains below.

Ahmed Shooble


Why did Manchester City let Benjamin Mendy play on?

August 30, 2021 at 4:49 AM EDT

Diallo loan move to Feyenoord scuppered by injury

Manchester United winger Amad Diallo’s loan move to Feyenoord looks to be off the cards after the 19-year-old suffered an injury in training.

Speaking to Dutch outlet AD, Feyenoord technical director Frank Arnesen said: “He got injured, it’s cancelled. Too bad, everything was done. I’ve talked a lot with the people at Manchester United, but it’s more sensible to let him recover at that club. It may be a while before he comes back.”

For more on the Ivorian winger, have a read of Laurie Whitwell’s piece below.

Ahmed Shooble


Amad is available on loan, but Manchester United want it to be to the right club with the right way of playing

August 30, 2021 at 4:20 AM EDT

Ronaldo completes medical ahead of Manchester United return

Cristiano Ronaldo has completed his medical ahead of his move back to Manchester United from Juventus.

The Athletic revealed on Friday that Manchester United had reached an agreement over the Portuguese forward, with the fee understood to be €15 million plus €8 million in add-ons.

For more on this remarkable move, have a read of Adam Crafton’s piece below.

Ahmed Shooble


Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United: How the deal was done

August 30, 2021 at 3:47 AM EDT

Chelsea deal for Kounde likely to be off

Chelsea’s pursuit of Sevilla defender Jules Kounde has hit a wall as the Spanish club are not expected to reduce their asking price.

The France international looked certain to be the next arrival at Stamford Bridge following the departure of Kurt Zouma to West Ham for £25.8 million.

To read about this and more, have a read of David Ornstein’s column below.

Ahmed Shooble


Ornstein: Edwards expected to leave Liverpool, Kounde Chelsea deal unlikely, Arsenal lose coach Garry

August 30, 2021 at 3:30 AM EDT

Ornstein: Liverpool sporting director expected to leave after current season

Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards is expected to step down from his role at the end of this season.

Edwards’ current contract at Anfield is set to end next summer and he is believed to have informed the Liverpool hierarchy of his intention to move on, although the situation has yet to be finalised.

To find out more, have a read of David Ornstein’s column below.

Ahmed Shooble


Ornstein: Edwards expected to leave Liverpool, Kounde Chelsea deal unlikely, Arsenal lose coach Garry

August 30, 2021 at 3:24 AM EDT

Wolves complete loan signing of RB Leipzig’s Hwang Hee-chan

Ahmed Shooble

August 30, 2021 at 3:19 AM EDT

Hello and welcome!

Welcome to The Athletic’s live blog on this bank holiday Monday!

We’ll keep you up to date with all the goings-on across the world of football. So just sit back and soak it all in.

Ahmed Shooble