Aaron Ramsey

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Transfer Rumor Roundup: Arsenal to sign Saliba, and more

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The Premier League transfer window continues to rumble on, with new signings announced every day as some major dominoes get set to fall. Here’s some of the latest transfer rumors from around the Premier League.

[READ: Trippier completes transfer to Atletico Madrid]


Arsenal wins race to sign Saliba, could add more pieces soon

One of the top young defenders in France is reportedly heading to Arsenal, continuing a pipeline that was constant between France and the London club during the Arsene Wenger reign.

The BBC reports that Arsenal has beaten Tottenham for the signature of St. Etienne centerback William Saliba. The 18-year-old defender will join for a reported fee of $35.5 million, paid in installments. The report also states that Saliba won’t actually be in Arsenal’s first team until 2020, as he is to spend the next season in Ligue 1 back with St. Etienne.

After a year playing in the reserves, Saliba made his Ligue 1 debut this past season and went on to feature 16 times, including 13 starts. Saliba is currently in Washington D.C. as ASSE prepares to face Montpellier and then either Bordeaux or Marseille.

Also related to Arsenal, the BBC report states Arsenal is in the lead to sign Real Madrid and Spain Under-21 champion midfielder Dani Ceballos, who would be a replacement for Aaron Ramsey. Ceballos had an outstanding summer but despite his strong play, he’s not in Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane’s plans.


Rose expected to depart Tottenham

Tottenham is likely losing two of its fullbacks this summer, after Kieran Trippier completed a move to Atletico Madrid and Danny Rose was left off Tottenham’s traveling squad to East Asia for preseason training.

Tottenham announced in a statement on its website that Rose, along with Vincent Janssen and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, “have been granted additional time off in order to explore prospective opportunities with other clubs.”

Even though he’s 29-years old, Rose should still have a few good years left in the tank, and he should help another team at a key position, left back, where many clubs struggle. It’s unclear yet where Rose could go, but with two years left on his contract, it will take a decent transfer fee to convince Tottenham to let him depart.

Reports: Arsenal to spend big for Pepe, Tierney

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If the latest reports are to be believed, Arsenal’s transfer budget is actually much bigger than expected.

In a pair of reports, Arsenal is looking at paying as much as around $120 million in transfer fees to sign Lille attacker Nicolas Pepe and Celtic left back Kieran Tierney. L’equipe states that Arsenal has made a $90 million offer for Pepe, while Sky Sports reports Arsenal has made a bid of $31.4 million to Celtic for Tierney.

[READ: Premier League friendly roundup]

If true, it would certainly be an upgrade at left back for Arsenal. Tierney, at 22-years of age, is one of the top young left backs in Europe and if not for Andy Robertson, would be playing a lot more for the Scotland National Team. Regarding Pepe, he’s had a strong last couple of seasons with Lille, including scoring 22 goals with 11 assists in Ligue 1 last season.

However, Pepe really struggled with the Ivory Coast National Team at the Africa Cup of Nations, perhaps due to exhaustion and a lack of gas in the tank. In addition, his position as a forward and winger isn’t exactly a position of need for the Gunners. Arsenal currently has Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Alex Iwobi, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and even Reiss Nelson.

Last summer, Arsenal was able to bring in the vast majority of its signings by July 11. Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Bernd Leno and Stephan Lichtsteiner all signed early.

This summer, it’s only signed academy players and 18-year-old Gabriel Martinelli so far, with the necessary signings now late to arrive for preseason training. Arsenal certainly needs a replacement for Aaron Ramsey, David Ospina/Petr Cech, and Lichtsteiner.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs all interested in Real Madrid’s Ceballos, and more

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After collecting the European Under-21 Championship with Spain, Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos has a huge decision to make this summer. Where is he going next.

Not in Zinedine Zidane’s first team plans despite an outstanding summer so far, in which he was named to the All-Tournament Team, Ceballos is now being chased by many of Europe’s biggest clubs. This includes Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal, according to Spanish publication Marca.

[READ: Man City activates Rodrigo release clause]

The publication speculates that since Tottenham has a good relationship with Real Madrid due to previous deals and that Christian Eriksen could leave this summer, Ceballos, 22, would be a natural replacement. In addition, the report states Real Madrid would want to have a buy-back clause in the contract, should Ceballos blossom into a legit star while in the Premier League.

The playmaking midfielder could also be a boost to Unai Emery at Arsenal, and help fill one of the spots vacated by Aaron Ramsey, or provide a boost in depth to Liverpool, which is looking to overtake Manchester City in the league table for the upcoming season. In the meantime, Ceballos is on vacation to rest after the U-21 Championship, while his Real Madrid teammates head to Montreal, Canada to begin preseason training.

Here are some more transfer stories from around the Premier League and Europe

(more…)

De Ligt reportedly makes his choice: Juventus

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It takes time for a team to come together, but the stars are aligning to lead Cristiano Ronaldo into a high-profile UEFA Champions League match-up with his former team.

Indeed, Real Madrid and Juventus have had momentous summers already, and Juve’s looks set to become even better with the capture of soccer’s most talked-about transfer teen.

[ MORE: Torres retires ]

Matthijs de Ligt has been linked with Barcelona, Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain, and Manchester City amongst others, but the 19-year-old Ajax man now reportedly has his sights set on Turin.

Sky Sports is reporting that De Ligt will become Maurizio Sarri’s first signing at Juventus, joining additions Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey.

The towering Dutch center back chipped in seven goals in 55 appearances last season, scoring against both Juve and Spurs in the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League.

Juve won the scudetto by 11 points last season, and it’s hard to believe in anyone coming much closer than that next season unless Mario Mandzukic, Ronaldo, and Miralem Pjanic all hit a wall while Rodrigo Betancur, Moise Kean, and De Light (assuming the move happens) all fail to take another step in their careers. Oh, and Joao Cancelo, Paulo Dybala, Alex Sandro, Blaise Matuidi…

Report: Juventus now in the hunt for de Ligt with PSG stalling

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According to a number of reports including Italian journalist Gianluca di Marzio and Dutch paper De Telegraaf, young Ajax defender Mattijas de Ligt is in talks with Juventus and is closing in on a lucrative deal with the Italian champions.

Di Marzio reports that Juventus has stepped into the lead as talks with Paris Saint-Germain have stalled, and the Italian side is offering a massive contract worth between $17 and $23 million, which would make him the second-highest paid player in Serie A behind Cristiano Ronaldo.

De Telegraaf echoes the numbers Di Marzio reported, saying that de Ligt would cost Juventus just a hair under $80 million. At Juventus, de Ligt would have the chance to hone his craft alongside veterans Giorginio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci, a fantastic developmental opportunity for the teen.

De Ligt is currently on vacation in Miami after completing Nations League duty with the Netherlands senior team where the 19-year-old helped his country take second in the inaugural edition of the competition. De Ligt saw his stock soar as Ajax reached the Champions League semifinals, taking down powerhouse sides in Real Madrid and Juventus along the way.

The Dutch teen is considered one of the premiere young defensive prospects in the world and was rumored to have interested Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, but with agent Mino Raiola known for his ability to dig up massive contracts, it sounds as if the Juventus offer was too beefy to pass up.

Juventus has been active in the transfer market this summer, although their two biggest signings to this point have come via free transfers. The club has secured former Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey on a massive contract and is reportedly on the verge of signing Adrien Rabiot from PSG. A splash for de Ligt would solidify Juventus as one of the early Champions League favorites with an aging defense now boosted by young talent plus a midfield bursting with big names and Cristiano Ronaldo leading the attack.