Sport

Lionel Messi a FREE AGENT, Alderweireld set to leave Tottenham, Chelsea Haaland transfer update – latest news

LIONEL MESSI is now officially a free agent after his Barcelona contract expired on July 1.

Elsewhere, Toby Alderweireld is set to leave Tottenham while we've an important update on Sergio Ramos.

And Erling Haaland remains a summer transfer target for Chelsea.

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Follow ALL of the latest news and updates below…

  • Joshua Jones

    GOOD MORNING FOOTBALL FANS

    Italy will face Spain in the first Euro 2020 semi-final at Wembley after both sides were victorious last night.

    The Spanish edged a tight penalty shoot-out 3-1 against Switzerland after a 1-1 draw in normal time that stayed the same throughout extra-time.

    And in Munich, Italy beat Belgium 2-1 in an enthralling encounter.

    Elsewhere, Harry Maguire reckons Jadon Sancho will be a stunning success for Manchester United — despite his frustrating Euro 2020.

    Borussia Dortmund and the Red Devils have agreed a £73MILLION deal for the winger, who has played in Germany for four years after leaving Manchester City.

    Old Trafford skipper Maguire, preparing for tonight’s quarter-final against Ukraine in Rome, said: “When he does sign, I’m sure he’s going to have a great career for United and be a big part of us being successful in the future.

    “Jadon’s a top player. He has exceptional talent even though he is still really young, although he has played so many games.

    “We’ve got some exceptional talent in his position in this England team so Jadon will bide his time, be patient and be ready when his opportunity comes.

    “I’ve been really impressed with the way he has been working in training. He’s really putting a shift in day in day out. He has some great talent. He is scoring goals in the five-a-sides and so on. He’s a great lad.”

    Brighton have signed ex-England U17 international Jeremy Sarmiento from Portuguese giants Benfica.

    The 19-year-old wonderkid has joined the Seagulls on a two-year deal after rejecting offers from Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

    Leeds have signed Jack Harrison from Manchester City, the club has confirmed.

    Harrison, 24, has signed for an undisclosed fee – believed to be in the region of £10million – and agreed a three-year deal.

    Brian Kidd has left Manchester City after 12 years there as a coach.

    He has served three managers in Roberto Mancini, Manuel Pellegrini and Pep Guardiola, helping City lift Premier League crowns since 2011.

    But with his reduced influence on the first team he felt it was time to leave at the age of 71. City have offered new roles to the Mancunian, which have been left open.

    And finally, Arsenal have reportedly been linked with a shock move to snap up free agent Sergio Ramos.

    It had been expected that the 35-year-old was to sign for Paris Saint-Germain after running his contract down at Real Madrid.

    The Spanish defender is claimed to have already agreed a two-year deal with Les Parisiens. But according to Goal, no deal has yet been done between Ramos and the Ligue 1 outfit.

    And they have stated that Mikel Arteta has asked to be kept informed of any developments regarding the four-time Champions League winner’s future.

  • William Pugh

    'GREAT TALENT'

    Harry Maguire reckons Jadon Sancho will be a stunning success for Manchester United — despite his frustrating Euro 2020.

    Borussia Dortmund and the Red Devils have agreed a £73MILLION deal for the winger, who has played in Germany for four years after leaving Manchester City.

    Old Trafford skipper Maguire, preparing for tonight’s quarter-final against Ukraine in Rome, said: “When he does sign, I’m sure he’s going to have a great career for United and be a big part of us being successful in the future.

    “Jadon’s a top player. He has exceptional talent even though he is still really young, although he has played so many games.

    “We’ve got some exceptional talent in his position in this England team so Jadon will bide his time, be patient and be ready when his opportunity comes.

    “I’ve been really impressed with the way he has been working in training. He’s really putting a shift in day in day out. He has some great talent. He is scoring goals in the five-a-sides and so on. He’s a great lad.”

  • William Pugh

    BRIGHT IDEA

    Brighton have signed ex-England U17 international Jeremy Sarmiento from Portuguese giants Benfica.

    The 19-year-old wonderkid has joined the Seagulls on a two-year deal after rejecting offers from Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

    The attacking midfielder was a free agent after his contract with the Portuguese giants expired.

    Former Charlton rookie Sarmiento moved to Portugal from the Addicks in 2018.

    He was previously linked to Manchester City, before heading to Lisbon to continue his football education.

    However, after finding first team opportunities hard to come by in Lisbon, Sarmiento has returned to England where he will link up with Graham Potter's men.

  • William Pugh

    JACK'S THE LAD

    Leeds have signed Jack Harrison from Manchester City, the club has confirmed.

    Harrison, 24, has signed for an undisclosed fee – believed to be in the region of £10million – and agreed a three-year deal.

    Leeds announced the news on Twitter, with Harrison finally making a permanent move to Elland Road after spending the previous three years on loan in West Yorkshire.

    Leeds said: "As part of his loan deal last season, an option was put in place for Leeds to sign Harrison on a permanent deal for an undisclosed fee, which has now been activated.

    "Harrison has put pen to paper on a three-year deal at Elland Road, running until the summer of 2024."

    Harrison has made 128 appearances in all competitions for Leeds and impressed last season with eight goals and eight assists in the Premier League.

  • William Pugh

    NO KIDDING

    Brian Kidd has left Manchester City after 12 years there as a coach.

    He has served three managers in Roberto Mancini, Manuel Pellegrini and Pep Guardiola, helping City lift Premier League crowns since 2011.

    But with his reduced influence on the first team he felt it was time to leave at the age of 71. City have offered new roles to the Mancunian, which have been left open.

    A European Cup winner with United in 1968, he served both Manchester clubs as player and coach.

    Kidd said: “It has been a privilege to be part of such an exciting chapter in this club’s history. What an honour it has been to witness the evolution of the club.”

    Guardiola added: “Brian Kidd is a legend in this country. He has been so important to me during my time at the club.”

  • William Pugh

    PITCHING IN

    Wales star Gareth Bale will have his Real Madrid bosses tearing their hair out in frustration again, after announcing new plans to indulge his passion for golf.

    The superstar, who has been accused by Real fans and officials of caring about golf more than he does about football, is throwing his weight behind his country’s national Open later this month.

    The Wales Open will be re-named the Cazoo Open supported by Gareth Bale when it returns to Celtic Manor – home of the 2010 Ryder Cup – from July 22-25.

    Bale has persuaded his management company, ICM Stellar Sports, to become joint sponsors with car retailers Cazoo, and is expected to tee it up at the Pro-Am leading into the event.

    Bale commented: ”After watching the coverage last year we decided we wanted to play a part in the development of golf in Wales. We want to make golf in Wales bigger and we believe that this event can play a big role in that.

    "We want to make it a real spectacle. And hopefully, we can get more people watching, and grow the game in Wales.”

  • William Pugh

    POWER SERGE

    Arsenal have reportedly been linked with a shock move to snap up free agent Sergio Ramos.

    It had been expected that the 35-year-old was to sign for Paris Saint-Germain after running his contract down at Real Madrid.

    The Spanish defender is claimed to have already agreed a two-year deal with Les Parisiens. But according to Goal, no deal has yet been done between Ramos and the Ligue 1 outfit.

    And they have stated that Mikel Arteta has asked to be kept informed of any developments regarding the four-time Champions League winner's future.

    The North London giants are also believed to face English competition from Chelsea in the race to secure Ramos' services.

    Meanwhile Manchester City have been linked, though the player is said to have reservations about a move to the City. A switch to PSG is still understood to be Ramos' priority as he looks to prolong his career at the highest level.

  • William Pugh

    RAF RIDE

    Rafa Benitez's Everton announcement was reportedly delayed as he was forced to self-isolate after meeting the club’s owners on a luxury yacht in Sardinia.

    The Athletic claims Benitez held crunch talks with Everton owner Farhad Moshiri and associate Alisher Usmanov off the coast of the Mediterranean island last month.

    It’s said that Benitez used the opportunity to ‘talk his way into the job’, with the meeting set up by super-agent Kia Joorabchian.

    However, the former Liverpool boss was then forced to remain at his Wirral home in isolation before providing several negative coronavirus tests.

    It was only then Benitez was able to continue negotiations over items including his contract and backroom staff.

    The ex-Newcastle United man was then finally able to be confirmed by the Toffees on Wednesday.

  • William Pugh

    BAG A BARGAIN

    Valerien Ismael has made Alex Mowatt his first signing for West Brom – even though his former Barnsley skipper admits his French gaffer scares the s*** out of him.

    Albion paid Barnsley £2million in compensation to land Ismael last week as they ended their search for Sam Allardyce's replacement.

    But they clawed back a substantial chunk of that cash by reuniting Ismael with his trusted captain for free.

    Mowatt allowed his contract to run down to become a free agent this summer – one year after Millwall had a £1million-plus bid to sign the 26-year-old rejected by the Tykes.

    However, Mowatt jumped at the chance to work with Ismael after the West Brom boss made him an offer he couldn't refuse.

    Mowatt said: “I have really enjoyed working with him. Training is intense and he doesn’t take any c**p from the lads. Players respect the gaffer – he’s a big scary lad.”

  • William Pugh

    LONDON CALLING

    Arsenal are closing in on the signing of Nuno Tavares with the Benfica left-back on his way to England to complete his move.

    The 21-year-old is believed to have agreed a contract until 2026 in North London in a deal worth £7million plus add-ons.

    Tavares has been identified to provide competition for Kieren Tierney, with Bukayo Saka and Granit Xhaka deputising in the Scotsman's absence during the 2020-21 campaign.

    And his move is expected to be confirmed imminently with the Portugal youth international jetting off from Lisbon to the United Kingdom.

    His agent Rafael Santos posted a snap of him on Instagram alongside the defender on Friday before taking off.

    Gunners fans have already tracked down his flight, with the player to become Arsenal's first signing of the summer.

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Rafael Santos (@rafa_prodigyplayers)

  • William Pugh

    TOBY OR NOT TO BE – EXCLUSIVE

    Tottenham are ready to grant former Manchester United target Toby Alderweireld a dream move back to the Low Countries – but not for a low fee.

    The Belgium defender, 32, wants to quit Spurs for either his homeland or Holland. He is believed to have told the North Londoners this before they appointed Nuno Espirito Santo as boss this week.

    The club are ready to listen to offers for Alderweireld as new boss Nuno and recently appointed recruitment guru Fabio Paratici plan to kick off the new era in N17 with a defensive shake-up.

    The former Ajax and Atletico ace has two years remaining on his current £100,000-a-week contract. Getting him off the wage bill would free up some much-needed cash for Spurs as they look to bring in new signings this summer.

    But they will not let their former Ajax and Atletico ace – who has two years remaining on his contract – and are thought to want a transfer fee of around £25million for him.

    Alderweireld has made no secret of his desire to finish his career in Belgium or the Netherlands. His hometown club Royal Antwerp, Club Brugge, PSV Eindhoven and Ajax are all said to be interested in him.

  • William Pugh

    SILVA LINING

    Manchester United target Andre Silva has signed for RB Leipzig from Eintracht Frankfurt after completing his medical.

    The German giants unveiled their new £30million striker, 25, on Friday.

    Silva is reportedly set to earn a whopping £4.3m a season, according to SB Nation.

    Before this latest development, United were said to be leading the race to sign the prolific Portuguese.

    His 28 goals in just 32 games last season had caught the attention of United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

    But Silva had a quiet Euro 2020, failing to score a single goal in the tournament as Portugal crashed out in the last-16 at the hands of Belgium.

  • William Pugh

    RECORD NUMBERS

    Betfair have received nearly £5million worth of bets on England to bring football home this summer.

    The bookmaker has received a record sum from punters backing the Three Lions to win Euro 2020. Betfair have already taken more than double the number of bets they did during the last World Cup in 2018.

    And the Three Lions are the current 15/8 favourites to lift the trophy, making this their best chance of winning a major tournament since 1966.

    England's next hurdle is Ukraine in the quarter-finals, with Gareth Southgate's men priced as odds-on favourites to progress.

    Betfair spokesperson Sam Rosbottom: “We’ve seen a record sum of almost £5 million bet on England winning Euro 2020 which suggests confidence in football coming home is at an all-time high.

    "England are already hot tournament favourites heading into their quarter final clash with Ukraine and the odds indicate this is now their best chance of major tournament success since 1966.”

  • William Pugh

    GO IF YOU STAY

    Arsenal have offered Reiss Nelson a new contract with a view to loaning out the Olympiacos target.

    England Under-21 striker Nelson has two years left on his current deal but not broken through under Mikel Arteta.

    And CBS Sports' James Benge claims the Gunners want the 21-year-old Londoner to develop his senior experience elsewhere.

    Hertha Berlin wanted Nelson on loan early in 2020-21 after his impressive temporary spell with Hoffenheim two years earlier.

    But he was keen to forge a way into Arteta's plans as the Spaniard struggled to revive Arsenal. Now, though, the academy product might have to accept the only way he can progress with the Gunners is to spend time away.

    It's claimed German clubs, as well as long-term admirers Olympiacos, are again keen on the Arsenal academy product.

     

  • William Pugh

    RASH IT THROUGH

    Manchester United look to have FINALLY got the transfer of Jadon Sancho over the line.

    And Old Trafford favourite Marcus Rashford may just have proved instrumental in making it happen.

    The two players, both on international duty with England at the Euros, appear to have a bromance in full blossom. According to The Athletic, Sancho texted his mate to try and get his dream move to United done.

    The 21-year-old wrote: "Can you ask Ed to pay the money please?"

    But it took almost a year later for it to look like it's finally happening as United held on to get their man for cheaper. The Premier League giants will pay £73million for the former Manchester City youth player.

    SunSport revealed last month that the England star had already agreed personal terms with the Red Devils, worth £350,000-a-week. And Rashford will be delighted he will get to share the changing room with his great friend.

  • William Pugh

    BELE FLOP

    Manchester United have reportedly ended their long drawn-out pursuit of Barcelona star Ousmane Dembele.

    Spanish publication Sport claim the Red Devils were prepared to pay £43million prior to the Frenchman's injury setback at Euro 2020.

    The 24-year-old was forced to leave France's squad prior to their exit to Switzerland after he suffered a knee problem against Hungary. Les Bleus had only brought on the winger as a substitute earlier in the second-half before he was struck down with his latest injury.

    SunSport previously reported that Dembele is set to go under the knife to repair the damaged bicep femoris muscle in his right leg.

    And the former Borussia Dortmund ace could be kept out for as much as four months which would see him return to action in October.

    As a result, United will now have to reconsider their options having been linked with a move for Dembele for the last few transfer windows. The Red Devils were close to signing the France international last summer only for a deal to collapse at a late stage.

  • William Pugh

    GUNNERS ON THE BERGE

    Arsenal are keeping a close eye on Sheffield United ace Sander Berge with a view to bolstering their midfield ranks ahead of Granit Xhaka's possible departure.

    But the Gunners are facing a transfer tug-of-war for the Blades ace with Napoli, Lazio and Liverpool reportedly after his signature.

    The Sheffield Star claims the Norway international midfielder is among the names on the club's 'for sale' list following the arrival of new manager Slaviska Jankovic.

    Bramall Lane chiefs are thought to be eager to boost funds following the club’s drop from the Premier League. And Berge, 23, who is reportedly unenthusiastic about the prospect of playing in the Championship, is believed to have a £35million release clause in his contract.

    Arsenal, who finished eighth last term, are looking to strengthen their midfield options with wantaway star Xhaka heavily linked with a move to Roma.

    Earlier this month it was reported the North London giants had a £17.2m bid for Berge rejected by Bramall Lane officials. However, the Star claims a concrete bid for the Norwegian is yet to be put forward.

  • William Pugh

    DOUBLE TROUBLE

    David De Gea and Dean Henderson’s futures are in doubt now Manchester United have secured the services of four goalkeepers.

    The club have signed Tom Heaton on a three-year deal and extended Lee Grant’s stay by a year meaning the club are now overloaded in that department.

    It is clearly a move in preparation for the departure of one of their first-team keepers who shared goalkeeping duties between them last season. Neither De Gea, 30, or Henderson, 24, want to play second fiddle to the other next season.

    Now the Red Devils will wait to see if there are offers for either. De Gea lost his Premier League first team place for a time towards the end of last season.

    Henderson did not fully grasp his opportunity with De Gea returning at the end and taking his place in the Europa League Final.

    But he was poor as United drew 1-1 with Villarreal and lost on penalties with De Gea not getting nearing one of the 11 spot-kicks he faced and then crucially missed his own.

  • William Pugh

    WHAT A BAUM-MER

    Manchester United look set to miss out on target Christoph Baumgartner after he pledged his future to Hoffenheim.

    The Red Devils have been keeping tabs on the Austrian since January as they look to bolster their midfield ahead of the new Premier League campaign.

    But their pursuit of the 21-year-old will have to put on hold until at least next season, according to Buli News. The youngster's contract expires in 2025 and he has no plans of changing that in the coming years.

    Baumgartner reckons staying put at the Rhian-Neckar Arena is the best thing for his career right now. When asked about his future, he said: "My clear plan is to play for Hoffenheim next season.

    "I definitely extended my contract in March with the intention to play here next season.

    "I believe I have the biggest opportunity to develop further here. For me, that means playing consistently at a high level with more room for improvement."

  • William Pugh

    BEFRIEND IT LIKE BECKHAM

    Victoria Beckham has been crowned England’s ultimate Wag ahead of the Three Lions’ Euro 2020 quarter-final clash with Ukraine.

    Manchester United legend David’s wife has topped the list of the most popular partner just ahead of Coleen Rooney and Abbey Clancey.

    England’s current Wags were allowed to roar on Gareth Southgate’s men during their 2-0 win over Germany at Wembley.

    They included Harry Kane’s missus Katie Goodland, Jordan Pickford’s wife Megan Davison and Harry Maguire’s fiancee Fern Hawkins.

    Yet according to a survey by bettingexpert.com of over 1000 Brits ahead of the game, the partners of former players were more popular.

    And it was England’s most famous Wag – Victoria – who remains the biggest fan-favourite with over half the vote.

    Credit: Getty – Contributor
  • William Pugh

    TAKE A BOU FOXES

    Brendan Rodgers has made his second signing of the week by landing French Under-21 midfielder Boubakary Soumare from French champions Lille.

    The Foxes boss snapped up the highly-rated 22-year-old for a bargain £17million as Soumare entered the final year of his Lille contract.

    Leicester beat off competition from Manchester United, Aston Villa, Everton, Leeds, Newcastle, Wolves and Italian giants AC Milan to secure one of the hottest young midfielders in Europe on a five-year-contract.

    Soumare, who has made over a century of appearances for Lille, says he can’t wait to make his debut for the FA Cup winners.

    He told LCFC.com: “I’m really proud to come to the Premier League and a big club like Leicester. It’s going to really help me to develop my game and progress as a player, so I feel it is the right step for me.

    “Leicester is a very ambitious Club. When they spoke to me about their plans and what they wanted from me, I knew straight away I wanted to come. I really am so proud and honoured to be here and I will give my all for the team and Club to make everyone happy.”

  • William Pugh

    HE THINKS IT'S AL OVER

    Former Manchester United target Toby Alderweireld has reportedly told Tottenham he wants to quit the club this summer.

    The Belgian centre-half joined Spurs in 2015 from Atletico Madrid after impressing before that on loan at Southampton. He has played nearly 200 appearances for the North London side and helped them reach the Champions League final in 2019.

    Now The Athletic claims his time with Spurs may soon be over and that he is searching for a new side. Harry Kane’s future still remains unclear and this latest development will not help new boss Nuno Espirito Santo with his pre-season plans.

    Tottenham have been in the market for a new centre-half and reportedly had a £15.5million offer for Takehiro Tomiyasu rejected by Bologna.

    SunSport exclusively revealed last week that Spurs are confident they will land the Japanese defender this summer.

    The North London club felt their initial bid of £12.9m plus an extra £2.6m in add-ons would be enough to clinch the 22-year-old. But Bologna are holding out for an extra £1.5m for Tomiyasu, taking the price to £17.2m.

    Credit: Getty
  • Kostas Lianos

    HAALAND BOOST

    Borussia Dortmund superstar Erling Haaland is likely to join Chelsea in the summer transfer window.

    That is according to Sport Bild's head of football, Christian Falk, who insists the Blues have a 'big chance' of landing Haaland.

    The west Londoners are looking for a top centre-forward ahead of next season and the Norway international poses as their top target.

    But the 20-year-old has also been linked with the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Barcelona and Real Madrid

    GETTY IMAGES
  • Kostas Lianos

    HEATON REACTS

    Tom Heaton is excited to have returned to Manchester United, the same club where he spent his youth days.

    Heaton told United’s official website: “For me to have the opportunity to come back after spending 13 great years here as a kid, it’s an incredible feeling and I’m really, really excited to get started.

    “I’m just seeing it as a fantastic opportunity as I still feel I’ve got an awful lot to give and I’ve got the bit between my teeth.

    “I’m looking forward to hitting the ground running. I feel in great shape and I’m looking forward to coming in to compete with the other goalkeepers”

  • Kostas Lianos

    LEW-KING OUT

    Chelsea are keeping tabs on Everton star Dominic Calvert-Lewin during the summer transfer window.

    Reports suggest Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has told club director Marina Granovskaia to add Calvert-Lewin to the team's wish list.

    Tuchel is prioritising the signing of a centre-forward with Borussia Dortmund superstar Erling Haaland still posing as his top target.

    However, the German coach is keeping his options open and is 'keen' on the England international

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