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Blog - Transfer Talk

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Prem clubs 'Loic-o' for Remy, Rodriguez news times two

The ESPN FC panel discuss which team has made the best transfer moves so far.

Transfer season is the time of year that just keeps giving to football fans. In that spirit, away we go with the latest club gossip, rumours, news, moves and speculation from teams around the globe.

22.55 BST: As today's live transfer talk nears its end, the next edition is already being worked upon as we bring you the latest rumours from the newspapers. Before that, looks like another deal is about to be rubber-stamped...

22.45 BST: As reported earlier, ESPN FC sources have confirmed Liverpool are set to sell striker Fabio Borini to Sunderland in a deal that could ultimately be worth 14 million pounds.

22.30 BST: Could Tottenham be about to make their first signing of the summer transfer window? John Percy, Midlands football reporter for the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph, has tweeted that Spurs are "on the verge of signing Swansea defender Ben Davies for 10 million pounds."

21.55 BST: Does the arrival of Luis at Chelsea make them title contenders?

21.24 BST: DONE DEAL - West Brom have signed Nigeria international Brown Ideye from Dynamo Kiev for a club-record transfer fee.

Head coach Alan Irvine said on the club's official website: "Brown is a quality striker and I'm looking forward to working with him. He's a strong, quick, powerful player who likes to get in behind defences and has plenty of Champions League and international experience."

20.59 BST: Well, now, this is quite the mooted fee. Fabio Borini heading from Liverpool to Sunderland but this time for a permanent stay...

20.42 BST: Could Didier Drogba be heading back to Chelsea? Sky Sports seem to think so. One to watch.

20.22 BST: DONE DEAL - Queens Park Rangers midfielder Samba Diakite has joined Saudi Arabian side Al Ittihad on a season-long loan, the Premier League club have announced.

19.58 BST: Here's John Cross on why Szczesny needs Ospina at Arsenal.

19.28 BST: Would Loic Remy be a success at Liverpool? He's not quite at the level of the departed Luis Suarez.

19.00 BST: And here's Chelsea's new man penning his three-year contract.

18.35 BST: DONE DEAL - Chelsea have completed the signing of left-back Filipe Luis from Atletico Madrid. Full story.

18.13 BST: Yevhen Konoplyanka, formerly a target of Liverpool, has been linked with a move to West Ham. However, Sky is reporting that the Hammers have had an offer turned down for the winger.

17.49 BST: Sporting Kansas City captain Matt Besler has said he would prefer to remain in Kansas City and the club has no intention of selling the U.S. national team defender unless the transfer fee is significant, according to sources. Full story.

17.30 BST Arsenal have opened preliminary talks with Southampton over a move for Morgan Schneiderlin, according to Goal.com. Arsene Wenger has made a new defensive midfielder his priority transfer target since clinching the signings of Alexis Sanchez and Mathieu Debuchy, and is believed to be growing frustrated in his efforts to sign Real Madrid's Sami Khedira.

Schneiderlin has been closely trailed by the Gunners over the last two seasons but Southampton are likely to play hardball with Arsenal for the France international as they have already lost Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert this summer, as well as former manager Mauricio Pochettino.

17.22 BST Lyon have announced the signing of 19-year-old South Korean striker Kim Shin on a two-year contract following a trial period.

Lyon's head of recruitment Florian Maurice said: "He is a player that Korean officials had recommended to me, and comes from a club in Jeonbuk Hyundai that we have good relations with. He is very comfortable with the technical level. I think he can play second striker for us.''

17.16 BST The London Evening Standard says that New York Red Bulls star Tim Cahill could be in line for a shock return to the Premier League. The former Everton man, who scored one of the goals of the World Cup for Australia against Netherlands, is being eyed up by both Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers. 

17.06 BST Udinese have confirmed on their official website that they have signed Brazilian midfielder Guilherme from Corinthians for an undisclosed fee. The 23-year-old joined Corinthians in 2012, scoring six goals in 48 competitive matches. Udinese also confirmed ex-Inter man Marco Davide Faraoni will return to the club following a loan spell at Watford.

16.56 BST Liverpool forward Iago Aspas is set to complete a loan move to Sevilla after passing a medical with the Europa League champions. The 26-year-old will be officially presented at the Primera Division side's Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium on Monday, with the two clubs agreeing a season-long loan deal earlier this week. Read the full story here

16.50 BST Paris Saint-Germain have stepped up their pursuit of a new right-back by bidding five million euros plus Clement Chantome for Toulouse's highly-rated full-back Serge Aurier, according to le10sport.com. With Christophe Jallet destined for a move to Lyon, Laurent Blanc is targeting a new right-back ahead of the new season and has identified the Ivory Coast international as the ideal candidate.

Toulouse are expected to reject PSG's opening offer however, with club president Olivier Sadran rumoured to be holding out for nine million euros plus Chantome. Juventus defender Stephan Lichtsteiner remains an alternative target for the Parisians. 

16.40 BST Porto are preparing to take another La Liga youngster on loan, with AS reporting that the Portuguese side are negotiating terms for out-of-favour Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro. Barcelona winger Cristian Tello finalised a loan move to the Estadio do Dragao yesterday and it now appears that Casemiro will also be wearing the blue and white stripes next season.  

16.28 BST Reports in Italy suggest that Netherlands defender Stefan De Vrij is edging closer to a move to Lazio. Feyenoord were initially reluctant to sell the 24-year-old centre-back -- having already lost Bruno Martins Indi, Daryl Janmaat and Graziano Pelle in this summer window -- but the Eredivisie side consider the Biancocelesti's eight million euro offer to be too good to refuse. 

16.17 BST Talksport says that Roma have emerged as the latest contenders to sign Manchester United target Yevhen Konoplyanka. The Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk winger was on the verge of joining Liverpool in January while West Ham have already registered an interest in the summer transfer window. Konoplyanka, 24, has made 36 appearances for Ukraine, scoring eight goals. 

16.10 BST Alvaro Morata is expected to complete his transfer from Real Madrid to Juventus within the next 24 hours. Read details of his move here

16.05 BST Want another James Rodriguez update? Well, you're in luck as Goal.com says Isco could be the man to make way at the Santiago Bernabeu this summer as Real Madrid edge closer to snapping up the Colombia star.

That news could be music to the ears of Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and his Milan counterpart Filippo Inzaghi who are both rumoured to be keeping tabs on the 22-year-old's situation.

Isco could be the player to make way for James Rodriguez at Real Madrid, with Liverpool and Milan both interested.
 

15.50 BST Arturo Vidal has spoken. Read what the Juventus and Chile star has to say on his future here

15.43 BST Argentina's World Cup left-back Marcos Rojo has revealed that he is in no rush to make a decision over his future. The 24-year-old's impressive performances in Brazil caught the eye of suitors from around Europe with Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United all linked. The Express say that it would take a bid in the region of 12 million pounds to prise him away from Sporting Lisbon.

"We still do not know what my future will be," he told an Argentine radio station. "For now I intend to return to Sporting on the 30th [of July], and then we'll see."

15.30 BST Juventus have emerged as the favourites to sign wantaway Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku after the Blues admitted they do not want to sell him to a Premier League rival. The Daily Star says that Chelsea have turned down a 19 million pound bid from Liverpool for the Belgium international while Everton manager Roberto Martinez is reluctant to splash all of his transfer kitty on one player. 

Mirko Vucinic and Fabio Quagliarella have already departed the Juventus Stadium this summer and new coach Massimiliano Allegri could turn his attentions to Lukaku should the club fail to wrap up a deal for Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata

15.22 BST Serie A newboys Empoli have announced on their official website that Massimo Maccarone has joined the club on a two-year deal. The 34-year-old striker, who was once Middlesbrough's record signing, arrives at the Stadio Carlo Castellani on a free transfer after terminating his Sampdoria contract by mutual consent. 

15.15 BST Sevilla are set to sign 14-year-old defensive midfielder Noah Leeds up to their youth academy. Leeds hails from Brooklyn, United States, and was spotted by the Liga side while on holiday in Spain this summer. Read the full story here

15.05 BST Mundo Deportivo says that Olympiakos are currently leading the race to sign Barcelona forward Bojan. The La Masia graduate has failed to fulfil his potential at Roma, Milan and Ajax in the past three seasons but Barcelona remain hopeful that he can rediscover his form with another loan spell.

Stoke City and Deportivo La Coruna have also registered an interest in the 23-year-old but the player is leaning towards the Greek champions who can offer the prospect of Champions League football.

14.55 BST Could Andrea Pirlo follow Antonio Conte in leaving Juventus this summer? Italian journalist Tancredi Palmeri says that Galatasaray have contacted the Italian champions regarding their midfield maestro but Juventus are not keen on selling. Former Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has recently taken charge of the Turkish side and has reportedly identified Pirlo as the man to fire his side to glory.

14.45 BST USA international Matt Besler has indicated that he wants to stay at Sporting Kansas City, despite interest from across the Atlantic. Reports had linked the 27-year-old defender with Sunderland and Fulham but the player's agent told The Kansas City Star that his client is in talks with the MLS side over a new long-term contract. 

14.35 BST Ligue 1 side Lorient are in talks with Freiburg over the signing of former Manchester City midfielder Gelson Fernandes. L'Equipe says that the Switzerland international is negotiating terms with Les Merlus and could sign a four-year contract.

It could be a case of one in, one out at Stade du Moustoir, with L'Equipe also reporting that former Arsenal striker Jeremie Aliadiere is set for a 400,000 euro move to Qatari side Umm Salal. 

14.20 BST Norwich City manager Neil Adams has warned teams off poaching the club's most prized assets, claiming it would take a 'mouthwatering' offer to convince him to sell. Nathan Redmond and Leroy Fer have both been linked with transfers away from Carrow Road but Adams insists that he will not roll over to the Premier League elite. 

"There will be plenty of bids and we will knock them all back as best we can," Adams told the Eastern Daily Press. "If an offer comes in that is many, many millions and is mouthwatering we have to be ready if we lose that player.

14.10 BST Palermo chairman Maurizio Zamparini has announced that he expects his club to be competing for a place in Europe next season despite the Rosanero recently clinching promotion from Serie B. And the Sicilian outfit have today confirmed that they have signed promising Sweden midfielder Robin Quaison for an undisclosed fee, fending off interest from the likes of Leeds, Ajax and Hellas Verona.

14.00 BST Ligue 1 side Reims have confirmed the signing of Cameroon international Benjamin Moukandjo. The 25-year-old forward, who appeared in all three of the Indomitable Lions' group games at the World Cup, joins on a free transfer after his contract expired at Nancy. 

13.48 BST Valencia have joined Arsenal in the race to sign Colombia's World Cup goalkeeper David Ospina, according to L'Equipe. Arsene Wenger is targeting a reliable deputy to Wojciech Szczesny following Lukasz Fabianski's departure to Swansea but faces competition from the La Liga club for the shotstopper's signature. Ospina is valued at around four million pounds by his club Nice. 

13.37 BST Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has named his 25-man squad for the club's pre-season tour of USA. New signings Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera are part of the travelling party but there is no space for Anderson, Bebe, Patrice Evra and Javier Hernandez. Make of that what you will. 

13.29 BST Could Roma be on the verge of another big signing? Fresh from landing Argentine winger Juan Iturbe, Il Tempo reports that the Giallorossi are now exploring a deal for wantaway Bayern Munich star Xherdan Shaqiri. The Switzerland playmaker is desperate for regular first team football and is believed to be open to the prospect of joining Rudi Garcia's exciting project.

However, the dilemma for Roma is that they must first raise more funds and Adem Ljajic could be the man to be sacrificed, with Schalke interested in the former Fiorentina forward. An alternative for Roma is to include Mehdi Benatia in a swap deal but Garcia is reluctant to allow the Moroccan defender to leave. 

13.15 BST Valencia defender Jeremy Mathieu has pleaded with the club to allow him to fulfil his dream move to Barcelona. The French defender has made over 100 appearances for Los Che during his five-year spell and he hopes that the club can reward his commitment by accepting a bid from "the biggest club in the world".

Barcelona are believed to have offered 15 million euros plus Ibrahim Afellay for the 30-year-old but Valencia are refusing to budge from their 20 million euro valuation -- the price required to activate Mathieu's release clause.

"I don't hide that for me this is a gigantic step forward in all aspects, and it's a reward for all the work and effort I've put in, and it's a unique opportunity that I think every footballer would like to have," he expressed to the club in a statement

"During all these years I tried to give my best, showed my professionalism and my love for the club on every moment, but I think now is the time to take a step forward in my career and end this cycle with a club that I'll always have in my heart. I'll always be thankful to this club, no matter what."

12.52 BST Alvaro Morata is due in Turin on Friday evening to undergo a medical before signing for Serie A champions Juventus. The Real Madrid forward has been the Bianconeri's number one transfer target all summer, and they now appear close to completing a deal for the 21-year-old, according to reports in Italy.

Tuttosport says Morata and his agent Juanma Lopez have received assurances from new Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri in a telephone conversation that he wants the player as much as his predecessor Antonio Conte did and Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the deal will be worth 18 million euros, although Juventus will not have to pay that fee until next summer.

Should Real decide in future that they want Morata back, they would have to pay twice that price to secure his services.

Alvaro Morata will undergo his Juventus medical this evening ahead of his proposed 18 million euro move from Real Madrid.

12.43 BST Despite confirming the signing of Mathieu Debuchy yesterday, Arsenal are reportedly still in the market for another full-back. French journalist Mohamed Bouhafsi says the Gunners have made a bid to take Atletico Madrid right-back Javier Manquillo on loan, with Marseille and Liverpool also interested in the 20-year-old. Could that spell the end for West Ham target Carl Jenkinson?

12.34 BST Cardiff City have accepted a bid from Queens Park Rangers for 22-year-old centre-back Steven Caulker but the player is considering his options before putting pen to paper. Hoops manager Harry Redknapp is hopeful of securing a deal for the defender, who would play alongside new signing Rio Ferdinand. 

"He's got a couple of other clubs interested in him but I think he feels if he was playing with Rio, it could help him get back into the England team," Redknapp is quoted as saying by the BBC.

12.24 BST Reports in Italy claim that Milan are interested in bringing out-of-favour Paris Saint-Germain Ezequiel Lavezzi back to Italy. The former Napoli winger is highly rated by new Rossoneri coach Filippo Inzaghi who is desperate to inject some pace into his side. Torino's Alessio Cerci and Roma misfit Adem Ljajic have also been touted as potential candidates while Milan could pursue a move for Zenit left-back Domenico Criscito if Juventus move for Ignazio Abate

12.15 BST Spartak Moscow have completed the signing of Russia captain Roman Shirokov on a free transfer. The 33-year-old midfielder joins from fierce rivals Zenit St Petersburg, where he won two Russian Premier League titles. Following a reported feud with Zenit management, he was loaned to FC Krasnodar for the latter half of last season.

12.07 BST L'Equipe says that James Rodriguez will be officially announced as a Real Madrid player on Monday and will not join up with Monaco for the club's pre-season tour. It is speculated that the deal will be in the region of 90 million euros, with the Ligue 1 side reinvesting a third of the funds in Benfica forward Rodrigo

11.58 BST Spanish youth international Ivan Calero has penned a two-year contract with Derby County following his release from Atletico Madrid earlier this summer. Calero, who featured for Spain's Under-17s, Under-18s, Under-19s and Under-20s teams, scoring six goals in 15 games, joins the Rams after impressing on trial.

"He is a young player with an excellent pedigree and we are really pleased that he sees his future at Derby County," manager Steve McClaren told the club's website.

11.49 BST Is he, isn't he? The speculation surrounding Yaya Toure's decision whether to leave or stay at Manchester City is heating up. The Daily Star says that the Ivory Coast international has snubbed a shock move to city rivals Manchester United as he is holding out for a move to Paris Saint-Germain. However, Sky Sports journalist Amy Lewis says that the player has no intention to leave the English champions after amending his relationship with the club. 

11.38 BST The Sun says that West Ham are preparing a five million pound bid for Arsenal right-back Carl Jenkinson. The 22-year-old has struggled to establish himself in the Gunners starting line-up since moving from Charlton in 2011 and looks destined for the bench again next season following the signing of Mathieu Debuchy. 

Swansea and Sunderland are also interested in Jenkinson but West Ham are believed to be in poll position as he is keen to stay in London. Jenkinson's potential arrival could pave the exit for Guy Demel, who is a target for newly-promoted Leicester City.

11.30 BST Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has confirmed that he will not return to Atletico Madrid on Twitter by thanking the club and its fans for three wonderful seasons. The 22-year-old now looks set to stay at Chelsea where he will challenge Petr Cech for the No.1 spot.

11.20 BST Chelsea striker Demba Ba has completed his move to Besiktas, the Turkish club have announced on their official website. Besiktas claim the deal for the 29-year-old Senegal striker is worth six million euros. Ba arrived in Istanbul on Wednesday to undergo a medical and pose with the number nine jersey he will wear next season.

"To play in a Muslim country and in a new stadium is definitely very exciting," Ba revealed. "I know what my coach Slaven Bilic expects from me, and I am open to all sorts of competition. Since Besiktas fans like hard-working and spirited players, I wiill give everything I've got in order not to disappoint them."

11.13 BST Juventus have confirmed that 31-year-old striker Fabio Quagliarella has made the short trip across town to join Torino in a deal worth 3.5 million euros. The former Italy international struggled for playing time at the Bianconeri last season following the arrivals of Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente, and hopes to reignite his career at the Granata who will be playing in the Europa League next term. 

11.04 BST Almeria have today announced that Brazilian forward Wellington Silva has joined the club on loan from Arsenal. The 21-year-old is yet to make an appearance for the Gunners first team and has spent the past three seasons out on loan in Spain. 

10.56 BST Manchester United target Arturo Vidal has admitted that he is unsure of his future at Juventus next season. Although CEO Beppe Marotta insists that neither Vidal nor Paul Pogba will leave the club this summer, Vidal has hinted otherwise. "I can not tell if my cycle at Juventus is finished," he is quoted as saying in Gazzetta dello Sport. "If I stay, I will continue to work well."

10.49 BST Arsene Wenger has already completed two pieces of impressive transfer business but John Cross believes that the Arsenal manager now faces one of his biggest tests in signing a reliable deputy to Wojciech Szczesny. Read his list of potential candidates here.

10.41 BST Some more Liverpool transfer news now where Mirror journalist David Anderson has tweeted that the club have turned their attentions to signing Loic Remy over Wilfried Bony. The Queens Park Rangers striker can leave Loftus Road for a fee of just eight million pounds to a Champions League club while Swansea forward Bony has a release clause of 19 million.

Anderson also claims that Liverpool hold no interest in defender Micah Richards who is anxious to leave Manchester City following the arrival of Bacary Sagna. 

10:32 BST Sevilla have announced that Iago Aspas has successfully passed his medical this morning. The 27-year-old attacker will join the Europa League holders from Liverpool on a season-long loan.

10.26 BST Southampton have been dealt a blow in the transfer market after River Plate midfielder Leonel Vangioni insisted that he had no intention of leaving the club. New Saints boss Ronald Koeman has already signed Dusan Tadic and Graziano Pelle to accommodate for the losses of Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert but it appears that he will have to look elsewhere to recruit a new left-midfielder. "I am very comfortable at River, so my mind is only focused on my current team," Vangioni told TyC Sports.

10.17 BST Hatem Ben Arfa is heading for the Newcastle exit door after being fined 1,600 pounds for being overweight on his return to pre season training. The Daily Mail says that the French playmaker has not been invited on the club's pre-season tour of Australia and will play in the reserve side.

Alan Pardew is willing to listen to offers for the 27-year-old and London 24 claims that West Ham, Crystal Palace and Queens Park Rangers are all interested in his signature. 

10.05 BST Premier League newboys Leicester City are on the verge of breaking their 14-year-old transfer record by signing Brighton striker Leonardo Ulloa for a fee in the region of seven million pounds, reports the BBC. Foxes boss Nigel Pearson is keen to bolster his strikeforce and believes the 27-year-old Argentine, who bagged 16 goals in all competitions for the Seagulls last season, is the ideal candidate.

The seven million pound fee will eclipse City's previous club record of five million pounds paid for Ade Akinbiyi in 2000.

09.55 BST Atalanta have confirmed on their official website that they have signed defender Giuseppe Biava on a free transfer. The 37-year-old moves to his hometown club after his contract expired at Lazio earlier this summer.

La Dea have also announced that Stefano Lucchini has been sold to Cesena while Alberto Almici and Doudou Mangni have been loaned to Latina. 

09.45 BST Remember Eduardo da Silva? Well, the former Arsenal striker, who recently announced his retirement from international football following Croatia's disappointing World Cup campaign, has signed a contract with Brazilian side Flamengo. 

09.35 BST AS says that Diego Lopez or Sami Khedira could be used as bait as Real Madrid attempt to lure Monaco into selling Colombia's World Cup star James Rodriguez. The Los Blancos hierarchy are desperate to land the 23-year-old and are reportedly prepared to offer 80 million euros plus one of the aforementioned. 

Both Lopez and Khedira have found their future come under threat at the club this transfer window as Real Madrid are hopeful of completing a deal for Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas while midfielder Toni Kroos finalised his transfer yesterday from Bayern Munich.

09.20 BST With just over four weeks remaining until the start of the new Premier League season, Liverpool are one of the many sides that are still actively seeking to strengthen their squad. Brendan Rodgers has been busy in the transfer market so far, recruiting Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Emre Can and Lazar Markovic, but The Mirror say that is just the beginning as Liverpool prepare to smash the 100 million pound barrier for the first time in a transfer window. 

After missing out on Alexis Sanchez, the Reds boss is looking to bring in a high-profile name to soften the blow of losing Luis Suarez to Barcelona. Borussia Dortmund winger Marco Reus heads the list while Liverpool could target Juventus duo Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal following the resignation of Antonio Conte earlier this week. 

"Obviously, Luis going gives us the clout to go and spend more and we are getting the right type of player in," Rodgers said. "We certainly won't spend just for the sake of spending. It has to be the sort of player who is going to improve us. But we will definitely be stronger this season - no doubt."

Don't you know he's Loic-o?

Loic Remy has been a regular in our transfer blog and the French national is making headlines once again regarding his next home. Remy had a strong season on loan from Queens Park Rangers to Newcastle last year that's left a couple Prem heavyweights -- Arsenal and Tottenham -- seeking his services for the upcoming season.

Now talkSport are reporting that Harry Redknapp thinks Remy will end up at Arsenal over Tottenham. The QPR chief has little hope of keeping him on his squad.

"I think he really wants to play Champions League football next year somewhere," said Redknapp. "We gave him time off after the World Cup but I think he's really looking to move. I would be surprised if he was at QPR at the start of the year."

Obi Mikel departure in the offing

His agent can deny Prem interest in Sami Khedira until he's blue in the face, but the persistent rumours about Chelsea and Arsenal wanting to bring the German in aren't going away. The Mirror says Chelsea want to add Khedira to an already-impressive (maybe best) list of transfers this season that includes Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa, and that the player they'll cut loose is John Obi Mikel to make way.

If Chelsea have their way and bring Sami Khedira to town, it may well be at the expense of one John Obi Mikel.

Stay tuned on this one. It seems more like a ship coming in to port than one that's already left.

Rodriguez re-signing

No, not that Rodriguez. Switzerland international Ricardo Rodriguez was an impact player for his squad in Brazil too. He was also one of the top left-backs in the Bundesliga last season with Wolfsburg. Bild reports that team manager Klaus Allofs has Rodriguez at the top of his list for new contracts. But so far it hasn't happened, leading some to speculate that top Euro clubs like Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester United may be circling at the gate.

Rodriguez's value has jumped from 8 million to 28 million euros thanks in large part to his tip-top play with club and country and so far no deal has been done. One to keep an eye on for sure.

Summer transfer window roundup

- Premier League: Team-by-team ins and outs
- Transfer Centre: All the done deals
- Marcotti: Mind-boggling transfers
- Delaney: What did we learn on deadline day?
- Horncastle: European transfer grades
- Smith: Transfers more important than the game?
- Macintosh: We worship goals, not balance sheets

Your recurring James Rodriguez update

Yes, that Rodriguez this time. Real Madrid seem "this close" to making it official and will confirm the signing of Colombia World Cup star James Rodriguez "in the coming days," according to a report in Spanish newspaper AS.

Rodriguez, 23, won the Golden Boot in Brazil after scoring six goals in five games to take his nation to the quarterfinals, with his performances attracting the attention of Europe's elite.

Mathieu begging for Barca

Barcelona target Jeremy Mathieu has urged Valencia not to deny him the chance to move to "the biggest club in the world."

Barca have been closely linked with Mathieu as they look to strengthen their defence following the retirement of captain Carles Puyol, but Valencia insist they will only sell the 30-year-old Frenchman if his 20-million-euro release clause is met.

Correa has heart surgery

Angel Correa underwent surgery in New York for a heart problem originally detected in his medical before he signed for Atletico Madrid on May 28.

On Thursday, Matias Lemmens, president of his current club San Lorenzo, said that he would be unable to play for six months. At what should be his future club there is no indication of how long he might be out for, but there is optimism given the player's current state of health.

Dingome off to Belgium

French midfielder Tristan Dingome looks set to sign with Belgian side Mouscron, according to a L'Equipe report. Dingome spent last season on loan from club side Monaco to Le Havre in Ligue 2. Seems Mouscron are keen on former French club men, having already recruited Pierrick Cros from Sochaux for a move to Wallonia.