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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Transfer Talk: Bale’s struggles at Spurs dampen Real’s hope of future move

The transfer window may have slammed shut, but that doesn’t mean the rumour mill has shut down! Speculation over summer moves are heating up so check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.

TOP STORY: Dortmund to lower Sancho demands for Man United

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Borussia Dortmund have been holding out for around €120 million from any club wishing to sign Jadon Sancho. However, the Bundesliga giants are now willing to drop their demands by €20m in order to get a deal done in the summer, says Bild.

Sancho, 20, has been one of the best young players in Europe over the past few seasons and, despite a dip in form this year, is still attracting attention from the top clubs on the continent — notably Manchester United.

Bild reports that Dortmund need to cover losses of €75m caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and that moving Sancho on for €100m would cover that and allow them some extra cash to sign a replacement.

It remains to be seen if United are willing to spend that much on one player, especially with the emerging talent of Amad Diallo on the books already, but Dortmund are plotting their next move and could land either Lyon‘s Memphis Depay or PSV forward Donyell Malen.

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09.33 GMT: Las Palmas striker Jese Rodriguez has no doubt in his mind that former Paris Saint-Germain teammate Kylian Mbappe will play for Real Madrid one day.

Mbappe, whose contract with PSG expires in 2022, has been a reported target of Jese’s former club, Real Madrid, for several years.

“Mbappe is very eager to go to Real Madrid and I’m certain he will play there one day,” Jese, who was released by PSG in December, said to COPE: “His idol is Cristiano [Ronaldo] and he started watching him while he was at Madrid.”

08.54 GMT: Ajax’s record signing Sebastien Haller was mistakenly left off their Europa League list, the club have confirmed.

Haller joined Ajax from West Ham United in January in a club-record €22.5m deal and made his debut against PSV Eindhoven, where his introduction at half-time helped turn a 2-0 deficit into a 2-2 draw.

Clubs competing in the Europa League round of 32 submitted their final squads, which consists of up to 25 players, on Wednesday, but Haller was not included in Ajax’s list.

“It is indeed true that Haller is not on our Europa League list of players,” an Ajax spokesperson told ESPN NL. “We are working with the KNVB and UEFA to find out where things went wrong.”

It is not clear whether the error was caused by Ajax, the Dutch FA or UEFA but if the club are at fault, they will not be able to amend the situation.

08.30 GMT: Sergio Aguero is reportedly delighted amid speculation he could join Barcelona this summer, according to El Larguero.

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The Manchester City star becomes a free agent in June and the report claims he is eager to move to Camp Nou.

A Barcelona presidential candidate has already contacted Aguero’s entourage to discuss the possibility of the 32-year-old’s signing this summer.

Aguero’s arrival could hold the key for Barcelona captain Lionel Messi to remain at the club. A reported target of Paris Saint-Germain, Messi has yet to sign a contract extension with Barca, with his deal ending this summer.

If successful, Aguero would return to La Liga 10 years after leaving Atletico Madrid in a €45m transfer to Man City, where he became the club’s leading scorer of all-time.

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ESPN FC’s Steve Nicol says you can’t blame Gareth Bale for not performing when the Spurs side around him is so bad.

PAPER TALK (by Dannis Lewis)

Bale’s struggles worry Real Madrid over future move

Real Madrid may have dealt with the problem of Gareth Bale momentarily by sending him on loan to Tottenham, but they are already concerned about what to do with him in the summer, reports Marca.

The Wales international has not performed as will have been hoped back at Spurs, which Los Blancos are aware will make things harder for them as they look to move him on permanently.

This is not helped by Bale’s large wages and it being unlikely that he will accept a cut to move to a different club.

Ighalo to join Saudi Arabian side

Fabrizio Romano has confirmed that Odion Ighalo will join Al-Shabab now that his loan move to Manchester United has come to an end.

The Nigerian found minutes hard to come by at Old Trafford since the addition of Edinson Cavani and is keen to reignite his career elsewhere, despite the move to United being a personal dream for him.

However, rather than returning to Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua, the striker will head to Saudi Arabia instead.

Celtic’s Harper set for MLS move

Celtic teenager Cameron Harper will leave the club to join Major League Soccer side New York Red Bulls, reports The Herald.

It is reported that a fee has already been agreed between the two clubs to sign Harper. There have been discussions over a pre-contract agreement, but NYRB want the forward to join them as soon as possible.

Tap Ins

Martin Braithwaite refused to move from Barcelona to West Bromwich Albion in January, reports Sport. It is stated that an approach was made to bring him to the Hawthorns on an initial loan spell with an option to sign him permanently. However, having previously turned down advances from West Ham United, the Dane once again nixed the idea of leaving.

– Would Newcastle United winger Miguel Almiron be keen on playing for River Plate? The Paraguay star said it would be a “dream” to don the red sash of Los Millionarios. Speaking with Versus Radio in his native country, the Magpies’ record-signing mentioned that he grew up with the notion of joining the Buenos Aires-based side at some point in his career.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by WCT staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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