LIVE Transfer Talk: Arsenal plan improved bid for Lyon’s Aouar

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The coronavirus pandemic has made the transfer market uncertain — and you can find out when the windows open and close here — but here are the rumours floating around Europe’s big leagues and beyond.

Click here to check out all the latest major completed transfers across Europe.

TOP STORY: Arsenal to get three more years of Auba

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is set to end speculation over his future at Arsenal by signing a three-year contract “imminently,” according to The Athletic.

The Gabon international striker has less than 12 months remaining on his current contract, signed when he joined the club in January 2018.

The new three-year deal will see the player become Arsenal’s highest-paid player, earning a reported £250,000 a week.

Arsenal have been in talks with their club captain over a new deal since the summer of 2019, but neither the player nor the club could agree on a new deal.

Aubameyang has been key to manager Mikel Arteta’s plans, with the Spaniard even calling him the squad’s “most important player.” The Athletic reports says that Arteta has been “instrumental” in getting the player to sign a new contract.

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LIVE BLOG

11.54 BST: Alexandre Lacazette is expected to seek clarification over his role in the Arsenal team amid growing speculation the club will allow him to leave for around £40 million this summer, sources have told ESPN’s James Olley.

The 29-year-old has two years remaining on his contract but has been linked with a move away from Emirates Stadium, most notably in a deal to sign Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey.

Atletico and Juventus have explored the possibility of signing Lacazette but have been told they would have to pay close to £40m to secure his services, a fee neither club have as yet shown any willingness to match.

11.25 BST: AC Milan’s new signing Sandro Tonali gives the club a glimpse of their bright new dawn, ESPN’s Tor-Kristian Karlsen writes in his latest column.

Tonali joined Milan on loan from Brescia with the option to make the deal permanent at the end of 12-month loan.

The 20-year-old will wear the number eight shirt for Milan famously worn by current Napoli manager Gennaro Gattuso.

Karlsen writes: “On top of being an exquisite flair player, he’s also relatively powerful. Courtesy of his well-developed upper body strength and excellent balance, he’s hard to knock off the ball. He’s also got a superb right foot.”

10.56 BST: Arsenal could lose long serving-player Hector Bellerin to Paris Saint-Germain, reports The Independent.

PSG are leading the race for the right-back with the French champions already making contact with the player’s representatives, with Arsenal reportedly willing to sell for a fee of around £35m.

The Parisians are a number of clubs trying to sign Bellerin with Europa League winners Sevilla also said to be interested.

The 25-year-old has spent nine years in North London since joining from Barcelona in 2011, and his former club are another linked with interest.

10.32 BST: Watford will not stand in the way of Troy Deeney if he wishes to leave the club, according to the Daily Mail.

The 32-year-old striker has been a Watford player for over a decade having joined from Walsall in 2010.

Deeney sees himself as a Premier League player, and relegated Watford are willing to listen to offers for the striker.

Brighton and newly promoted West Bromwich Albion have already expressed interest in the player.

09.55 BST: Bayern Munich and David Alaba continue to be miles apart in their assessment of the Austria international’s value, kicker reports.

Under contract until 2021, the 28-year-old has yet to sign a new contract and could leave the club in the next months if no agreement can be reached.

And while Sport Bild reported on Wednesday that Alaba wants an annual salary of €20m, kicker said on Thursday the player’s representative have demanded a total salary of €125m over the duration of a five-year deal.

Bayern have reportedly offered Alaba an annual salary of €11m, which could go up to €16m with bonus payments and no other club has so far been in touch with the Champions League winners.

“We have not been contacted by anyone,” Bayern president Herbert Hainer told kicker, adding he believed the club’s offer on Alaba’s table “is fair and competitive.”

09.30 BST: Cagliari president Tommaso Giulini has been unable to reach an agreement with Inter Milan to retain Radja Nainggolan.

“It didn’t go well,” Giulini told Sky Italia after his meetting with Inter sporting director Piero Aussilio in Milan to discuss Nainggolan’s future. “The player will remain in Milan. I think it’s going to be impossible for [Cagliari coach Eusebio] Di Francesco to have him. They want to keep him. We have a good rapport with Radja.”

Nainggolan joined Cagliari on a season-long loan from Inter Milan last summer. Cagliari would like to hold onto the Belgium midfielder, who scored six goals and set up six more in 26 league appearances for the Sardinian outfit.

Nainggolan, 32, spent four years at Cagliari earlier from 2010. He joined Inter from Roma in the summer of 2018 and is tied to the Nerazzurri for a further two seasons.

08.59 BST: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has taken a dig at the spending power of Chelsea and Manchester City and said some clubs are owned by “countries” and “oligarchs.”

The Premier League champions have only signed Kostas Tsimikas from Olympiakos this summer and have struggled in their pursuit of Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara.

Chelsea have spent big with the arrivals of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell and Hakim Ziyech while City have completed big-money deals for Nathan Ake and Ferran Torres.

“We live in a world at the moment with a lot of uncertainty,” Klopp told BBC Radio 5 Live. “For some clubs it seems less important how uncertain the future is. Owned by countries, owned by oligarchs, that’s the truth. We are a different kind of club. We got to the Champions League final two years ago, we won it last year.

“We became Premier League champions last season by being the club we are. We cannot change it overnight and say: ‘Now we want to behave like Chelsea.’ They are signing a lot of players. That can be an advantage, but that means they have to fit together.

“You cannot bring in the 11 best players in the world and just hope a week later they play the best football. It’s about working on the training ground. That will probably be an advantage for us. We’ve worked quite a while with each other.”

Klopp was also critical when the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned City’s two-year ban from European competition in July.

08.27 BST: Wednesday was a big day for transfers in the Women’s Super League, with both Manchester City and Manchester United announcing top international players.

First City unveiled Alex Greenwood, the 27-year-old England full-back and former United captain who recently won the Champions League with Lyon.

Then United revealed not one but two new recruits, two-time USWNT World Cup winners Tobin Heath and Christen Press, on one-year deals.

08.00 BST: Manchester United’s hopes of landing Jadon Sancho before the transfer deadline have been boosted after progress was made on issues surrounding wages and agent fees, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.

United have been struggling to get over the two major stumbling blocks — separate from agreeing a fee with Borussia Dortmund — but negotiations have taken a step forward.

Sancho is keen to move to Old Trafford before the Oct. 5 deadline and a deal now hinges on United finding a compromise with Dortmund over his price tag. The German side value Sancho at €120m — a fee United believe is “unrealistic” during a global pandemic.

However, the England winger is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s top summer target and the club are prepared to offer a structured deal — including installments and bonus payments — that would have an overall value close to Dortmund’s asking price.

PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd): Real willing to split Bale’s wages?

Real Madrid are reportedly so keen to facilitate Gareth Bale’s exit that the Spanish giants are willing to pay half of his salary.

That’s according to the Daily Telegraph, which reports that the forward’s salary remains a stumbling block to his departure to the extent that Los Blancos officials are now prepared to cover some of that salary to ensure he leaves.

Moreover, they’re also willing to accept just £22m for Bale in a bid to get him off their books, a decision that has alerted a number of Premier League clubs.

However, a source close to Bale told ESPN’s Alex Kirkland that such an option wouldnot be on the table for any club that wanting to sign the Wales international.

Bale was injured as he returned to the Spanish capital after the international break, which appears to be the final straw for Madrid who refuse to pay up the remaining £30.2m that constitutes the last two years of Bale’s contract.

Madrid are keen to cut their wage bill and, after having sold James Rodriguez to Everton, they’re now looking to reduce it further by enabling Bale to leave.

Arsenal to bid again for Lyon’s Aouar

Arsenal are preparing a new bid for Lyon star Houssem Aouar, according to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano.

The Gunners have made Aouar a priority this summer but have seen their initial bid of £31.2 million turned down by the French club. Now the north London side are in talks with the player’s agent ahead of an improved bid.

Lyon have made it clear that they’re unwilling to sell the player for less than £54.5m, or get involved in a swap deal after sporting director Juninho revealed that they rejected Arsenal’s proposal to include 21-year-old Matteo Guendouzi in any deal.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will need to trim his squad before he can dream of meeting Lyon’s asking price, and he has four or five players — including Emilio Martinez, Rob Holding and Lucas Torreira — that have been linked with a move away from the Emirates Stadium.

Suarez considers next move as Juve try and pounce

Luis Suarez‘s move to Juventus isn’t as cut and dried as it appears. This is according to Sport, which suggest the Uruguay international is taking extra time to ensure he gets this, potentially his final move, right.

Suarez is said to be still weighing up the move, but while reports in Italy say the deal is close to being done, Sport think otherwise.

The Spanish title believe Suarez is considering several other options as he decides where to finish his career, even suggesting he has “doubts” over a move to Turin.

As a result, Juve continue to assess their own options, with Alvaro Morata next on the list. Indeed, Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has expressed his own interest in Suarez, if he was to lose Morata.

Tap-ins

– Leicester City are negotiating with Saint-Etienne over the transfer of defender Wesley Fofana, according to Talksport’s Alex Crook. The Foxes have been linked with the teenager for the majority of the summer and now the two clubs are trying to agree on a fee. The 19-year-old could cost up to £20m. Fofana’s development has been overseen by former Leicester boss Claude Puel, while his recent social media activity, in which he followed Leicester City on both his Instagram and Twitter accounts, has added further fuel to the rumours.

Gonzalo Higuain is closing in on a move to Inter Miami, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. David Beckham‘s franchise has already signed Blase Matuidi, and Higuain could be about to follow suit if the player’s agent, also his brother, can agree a salary with the MLS club. Moreover, Higuain is hoping to agree on a severance package from Juve that will enable him to move and the club to get his salary off the pay roll. Higuain’s brother Federico already plays in America for D.C. United.

Paris Saint-Germain are considering a deal for Arsenal’s aforementioned Guendouzi that would see German ace Julian Draxler move in the other direction, reports L’Equipe. PSG have long-courted Guendouzi ever since he left the club as a youngster to join Lorient in 2014. And now, he remains on their wanted list.

Aston Villa are set to make a third bid for Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, according to the Daily Mail. The Gunners are believed to be holding out for £20m for the Argentine, and they’re expecting Villa to improve on their last bid, believed to be in the region of £15m. Martinez has rejected a new contract at the Emirates, which has boosted Villa’s hopes of luring the keeper to Birmingham.