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Liverpool join Real Madrid in race for Bayern’s Alaba

The transfer window is now open in most leagues across the world, and speculation is heating up about potential deals. Check out the latest gossip below and see all official moves here.

TOP STORY: Liverpool join race for Bayern’s Alaba

Liverpool are one of five clubs — including Real Madrid — who have been in contact with David Alaba‘s agent over a potential deal for the Bayern Munich star, according to The Guardian.

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While Real Madrid are the frontrunners in the race to secure Alaba’s signature for free once his contract expires in 2021, it’s certainly worth noting that the Reds have thrown their name in the hat, with Jurgen Klopp well aware of what the 28-year-old defender brings to the table.

It’s all but certain Alaba won’t be staying in Munich beyond the summer as he hasn’t been able to agree a new deal, but Real Madrid have offered him “a long-term contract, believed to be four or five years, hoping to convince him to sign for them ahead of a host of other top clubs who are also interested.”

LIVE BLOG

10.16 GMT: Milan are on fire but key trio Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Hakan Calhanoglu are nearing free agency. Gab Marcotti on what the Italian giants should do.

Milan have a huge call to make as three key players all become free agents at the end of the 2020-21 season. Gianluigi Donnarumma, Hakan Calhanoglu and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are in the last six months of their contracts, and for the latter pair, as of Jan. 1 they can sign with any club outside Italy for next season.

It’s an unprecedented situation: league-leading teams don’t let three of their most important players all get within six months of free agency, and yet there are reasons why Milan find themselves in this situation. The fact that Donnarumma (21), Calhanoglu (26) and Ibrahimovic (39) are all at different stages of their careers makes each an interesting case study of the myriad factors a club must weigh up.

10.01 GMT: Beijing Guoan have appointed former West Bromwich Albion manager Slaven Bilic as their new head coach on a two-year contract to replace Bruno Genesio, the Chinese Super League (CSL) club said on Wednesday.

Beijing made the announcement on social media and said they had decided not to renew the contract of Frenchman Genesio, who guided them to third in the CSL and the quarterfinals of the Asian Champions League.

Bilic returns to management less than a month since he was sacked by English Premier League side West Brom following a poor start to the 2020-21 season in which they claimed seven points in 13 games.

The 52-year-old has vast coaching experience across the world, having managed Lokomotiv Moscow, Besiktas, West Ham United, Al Ittihad and West Brom after a spell with the Croatia national team.

09.32 GMT: One to watch, but reports in Turkey claim that Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has agreed a three-and-a-half year deal with Fenerbahce.

The 32-year-old entered the final six months of his £350,000-a-week contract in January and is free to negotiate directly with overseas clubs.

MLS sides D.C. United and LA Galaxy have been linked with a move for Ozil, while sources told ESPN that David Beckham‘s Inter Miami were also among a host of other clubs in multiple countries monitoring the situation.

Ozil has not played for Arsenal since March 7 and was left out of the club’s Premier League and Europa League squads by manager Mikel Arteta.

09.02 GMT: Leicester winger Demarai Gray has held initial talks with Marseille about a free transfer in the summer, says The Daily Mail.

Gray, 24, has a contract which expires in 2021 and has been linked with a move to Southampton.

The report claims: “Benfica and Monaco are also thought to be interested in Gray, who has been with Leicester since 2016.”

08.30 GMT: ICYMI – Manchester City are closely monitoring Sergio Ramos’ situation at Real Madrid with an eye to signing him as a free agent this summer, multiple sources have told ESPN.

The Madrid captain is yet to renew his contract at the Bernabeu, which expires on June 30, and has been free to negotiate with other clubs since Jan. 1.

City are aware that a deal would be complicated but are looking to reinforce their defence ahead of next season.

Sources told ESPN that Pep Guardiola is a fan of Ramos and would be keen on a deal for the veteran centre-back.

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1:46

Steve Cherundolo explains why he’s optimistic Jadon Sancho will soon be back to his best for Dortmund.

PAPER TALK (by Harry Kettle)

No Man United contact over Goncalves

Record is reporting that Manchester United have not yet made contact with Sporting CP over a deal for Pedro Goncalves.

The man known as ‘Pote’ has been attracting a great deal of attention as he’s a similar style of central midfielder to Bruno Fernandes, who United brought to Old Trafford from Sporting for around €80m in January 2020.

Previous reports had indicated that United had already made the first steps towards signing Pote, but it appears that isn’t the case.

Sokratis to leave Gunners?

Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos could be the next man to leave the Emirates, Fabrizio Romano reports.

William Saliba (Nice) and Sead Kolasinac (Schalke) have both left the club on separate loan deals over the course of the last few days, and it appears that manager Mikel Arteta isn’t planning on stopping there.

Arteta recognises that he needs to make wholesale changes if the Gunners are to find success in the second half of the season, and with Serie A side Genoa asking after Sokratis, it’s looking increasingly likely that the 32-year-old Greece international will be the next one to go.

Tap-ins

Sky Germany is reporting that Bayern Munich are set to lock teenage sensation Jamal Musiala down to a new contract. The playmaker has a deal that keeps him with the Bundesliga champions until at least 2022, but on his 18th birthday next month, that will be extended to ensure he remains in Munich until 2025.

– On-loan defender Diego Laxalt could be available to Celtic in a cut-price deal this summer, Sky Italy reports. Laxalt made his way to Glasgow on Deadline Day back in October with Celtic and his parent club AC Milan failing to come to terms on an ‘option to buy’ clause. Now, however, after he was initially valued at £9m, Milan could be willing to drop their asking price to around £7m or lower in the name of moving him on.

– Barcelona are interested in pursuing a deal for Leicester City youngster Sidnei Tavares, The Sun reports. The 19-year-old, who is the cousin of former Manchester United star Nani, will see his contract come to an end with the Foxes during the summer. Alas, the Spanish giants are hoping that a decent fee put forward this month will lure him to Camp Nou — but if it doesn’t work, there is reported to be a gentleman’s agreement in place with Barca at the front of the queue if he doesn’t re-sign with Leicester.



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