Friday’s transfer rumor roundup: Benteke & Liverpool, Okazaki & Leicester, Newcastle in France (again)

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Friday could be a big day for sealed deals in the Premier League, with Dimitri Payet finishing his move to West Ham United and Petr Cech reportedly set for a medical at the Emirates Stadium.

The gossip is flowing as well as this week nears its end.

The Daily Mirror is reporting that Liverpool is prepared to offer about $40 million to pry Christian Benteke away from Aston Villa, though why they’d just not meet his reported $49 million release clause seems a bit odd.

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Newcastle is said to be preparing its bid for 20-year-old Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has starred for Anderlecht and in demand of Portuguese powers Benfica and Porto as well. He has 36 goals in 69 league games for the Belgian side, and one goal in 14 caps for Serbia. The cost? Around $20 million. The Magpies are also going to keep bidding on Florian Thauvin despite a rejected $17 million bid.

Leicester City is said to be going in for Mainz attacker Shinji Okazaki for about $11 million, but the Bundesliga club replied, “There is no transfer contract agreed in terms of Shinji Okazaki. I am not out to make any further statement at this point in time.” A bid is still expected, says Sky Sports.

Mundo Deportivo says Barcelona would like to snag Arda Turan away from Atletico Madrid. He’s said he wants to go the Premier League, and Barca can’t use any purchased players until their transfer ban ends in January, but hey guys gossip.

Galatsaray have publicly admitted interest in Arsenal striker and Inter Milan loan flop Lukas Podolski.

Yehven Konoplyanka is going to White Hart Lane, according to Eurosport.