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Jul 24, 2014

Spurs look to Sociedad star

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno discusses Manuel Pellegrini's recent comments regarding Manchester City's transfer plans.

With most clubs' preseasons well under way, the rumour mill has cranked up a gear as teams across the globe look to plug holes in their squads. As always, Transfer Talk is here to guide you through the murky waters of the transfer window...

Top picks: Paris Saint-Germain's plans to sign Angel Di Maria could be scuppered due to Financial Fair Play regulations, Tottenham are preparing a fresh bid for Antoine Griezmann after their initial 15 million euro offer was turned down by Real Sociedad, and Liverpool could complete the signings of Loic Remy and Javier Manquillo within the next 24 hours.

22.59 BST: That's your lot right now, join us again for more very soon.

22.45 BST: Could Angel Di Maria be on his way to Paris? Julien Laurens brings us the latest on ESPN FC TV. Watch

22.40 BST: Jose Mourinho says Didier Drogba is on his way back to Chelsea. "We want to win matches and win titles, and Didier is one of the best strikers in Europe, who is still very adapted to the needs of the Premier League, and we are thinking about it in a non-emotional way," said Mourinho. "If you bring him back, it is not because he is Didier or scored the most important goal in the history of Chelsea, or because I read I need an assistant, no. 

"If I bring him back and the decision has to be made soon, because I want to close the dressing-room door, it is because as a player he has certain qualities to make the team stronger. Mr Abramovich does not speak a lot. But as you can imagine, he is very intelligent and he feels that people belong to the club. We feel that Didier belongs to us."

22.13 BST: Some transfer news from a coach. Jorge Luis Pinto of Costa Rica will be hot property as he has quit his post and is now free to join club or country. Read more

21.59 BST: Divock Origi is travelling to Boston for a medical with Liverpool, according to Sky Sports News. Looks like they will tie up the deal for QPR striker Loic Remy and then loan Origi back to Lille for next season.

21.32 BST: Asamoah Gyan is staying in the UAE for a while longer.

20.45 BST: Roma have completed the signing of defender Davide Astori from Cagliari a few days after he signed a contract extension. "The club announces it has sold Davide Astori to AS Roma on a one-year loan with the right to redemption," a statement on Cagliari's official website read. Read more

20.07 BST: Former U.S. starlet Freddy Adu is in talks to join Jagodina of Serbia. The club publicised his visit on Thursday before their Europa League match against Cluj, and said they hope to sign the journeyman midfielder on Friday. Other reports have tied the 25-year-old to AEL Limassol of Cyprus.

19.24 BST: Left-back Patrick Van Aanholt being linked with Sunderland. He said this on his Chelsea future last week: "Where I play next year? I do not know yet. At least not at Chelsea. I'm done here."

18.28 BST: Asked why the Luis Suarez had been allowed to leave Liverpool this summer, owner John W Henry told NBC: "I felt we needed more depth [in the squad]. Last year, we needed more depth, and we're playing a lot more games this year. It was time for Luis and time for the club to make a break. He brought so much to the team, but I think that we brought a lot to Luis. I think you'll still see a very explosive offence [attack]." Read more

18.08 BST: Wales international Jack Collison wants to prove himself during a pre-season spell at QPR - with a move to Loftus Road of interest to the former West Ham midfielder. "Hopefully I can start getting involved in some games and start showing people what I can offer them," he said. "If I come here and do well then you never know what can happen but I'm also just trying to get myself fit." Read more

17.58 BST

17.35 BST Muhamed Besic is the latest player to prosper from a successful World Cup campaign, with Everton agreeing a deal with Ferencvaros for the 21-year-old. 

The Toffees have released a statement on their official website which says that the Bosnia midfielder has travelled with the squad to Bangkok but will not feature in Sunday's game against Leicester as he continues to build up his fitness levels following his return from Brazil.

Everton coach Roberto Martinez said: "The next few days will allow Mo to meet the players, but more importantly it is an opportunity for him to get into optimum condition ahead of the new season."

17.23 BST Italy international Lorenzo Insigne insists that he is happy at Napoli despite speculation linking him with a move to the Premier League. 

Arsenal and Chelsea are among several clubs interested in the 23-year-old attacker but Insigne says that his main focus is helping the Partenopei to win a first Serie A title in 25 years. 

He told a press conference ahead of the new season: "I've always said that I'm flattered by possible interest from big clubs, but I feel good here. I love this jersey and I want to win things with Napoli.

"I hope to be able to do that this season. I want to win with the club that is in my heart. The aim is to do good things in the Champions League and to challenge for the title.

Lorenzo Insigne has dismissed reports of a move to the Premier League, insisting that he is happy at Napoli.

17.14 BST Gus Poyet has revealed his frustration at the lack of new faces at Sunderland this summer, claiming that he is desperate to sign more players.

The Black Cats boss has been thwarted in his attempts to sign priority target Fabio Borini -- due to the player's willingness to stay and fight for a place at Liverpool -- and has only added Billy Jones, Jordi Gomez and Costel Pantilimon to his squad.

"You're expecting to do a couple of deals, but they're not happening," Poyet told The Sunderland Echo. "People say don't be anxious or nervous.

"I think there will be at least one in by tomorrow and I hope at the weekend we can have three in. But the word I'm saying is 'hope'. It's a matter of time, but, as the days go past, that becomes difficult.

"We are waiting, we are desperate to do something in the next few days because we are going to Portugal and we need to have as many players as possible in place by the time we get there." 

17.06 BST The Daily Star says that Arsenal are plotting a surprise swoop for Manchester United forgotten man Nani

The Portuguese winger could be part of a mass exodus from the Red Devils following the arrival of Dutch coach Louis van Gaal and it is speculated that Arsene Wenger could offer nine million pounds to secure his services. 

16.57 BST Former Chelsea striker Demba Ba says that Marko Marin could join him at Besiktas this summer.

The 25-year-old attacking midfielder spent last season on loan at Seville and he is eyeing up another move away from Stamford Bridge after being told that he does not feature in Jose Mourinho's plans for the upcoming campaign.

"Marin called me after my transfer to Besiktas," Ba is quoted as saying in The Metro. "He told me Besiktas were also interested in him and that he would like to play alongside me.

"Chelsea are probably going to loan him out again, so this is definitely something that could happen. It would be an advantage for me as we have trained together and would help the settling in process."

16.45 BST Juventus have confirmed that Icelandic defender Hordur Magnusson has been loaned out to newly-promoted Serie A side Cesena.

An official statement on the Juventus website read: "The 21-year-old defender, who spent the last campaign on a co-ownership deal with Spezia, will continue his development at the Stadio Dino Manuzzi after Juventus purchased the remaining 50 per cent of his registration rights." 

16.35 BST DONE DEAL! Hannover have announced that Turkish midfielder Ceyhun Gulselam has joined the club on a free transfer following the expiry of his Galatasaray contract earlier this summer.

The 26-year-old midfielder, who can also operate at centre-half, joins on a two-year deal after spending three seasons in Istanbul.

"With Ceyhun Gulselam we have undertaken for the six (defensive midfield) position a player who brings the experience of over 100 top-flight games in Turkey," sporting director Dirk Dufner told the club's official website.

"He also played for the Turkish national team and for Galatasaray in the Champions League."

16.25 BST Roma coach Rudi Garcia is exploring the possibility of bringing Tottenham defender Vlad Chiriches to the Italian capital. 

The 24-year-old Romanian has struggled to claim a regular role at White Hart Lane and Sky Sports says Roma are hoping to negotiate a deal lower than the 7.5 million pounds that Spurs paid Steaua Bucharest last summer. 

16.15 BST Montpellier have announced the signing of Swiss defender Dylan Gissi on a three-year deal. The 23-year-old joins for an undisclosed fee from Argentine side Olimpo. 

16.05 BST Inter have set their sights on signing versatile Colombia international Eder Alvarez Balanta.

The Nerazzuri are reported to have a made a bid of seven million euros for the highly-rated 21-year-old though River Plate have told the suitors that they will have to come up with eight million euros. PSV are also believed to be interested. 

15.50 BST More now on Frank Lampard's move to New York City FC...

15.45 BST DONE DEAL! Ladies and gentleman, New York City FC are pleased to announce that Frank Lampard has signed for the club. Chelsea's all-time leading goalscorer becomes the second international name to join the new MLS franchise following the arrival of 2010 World Cup winner David Villa. 

15.35 BST Jordan Larsson, son of Swedish legend Henrik, is set to follow in his father's footsteps by signing for Swedish side Helsingborg.

Aftonbladet says the 17-year-old attacking midfielder, who is known for his powerful left foot, will move to the Swedish top-flight club from Hogaborgs-- the same move that Henrik made back in 1992.

15.25 BST Fulham striker Hugo Rodallega has issued a come-and-get-me plea to River Plate.

The 28-year-old Colombian is desperate to leave Craven Cottage following the club's relegation from the Premier League and is keen on a move to Argentina where he could replace Deportivo and Southampton target Teofilo Gutierrez. 

"I do not think it's easy to negotiate my transfer, but I'm straining to play at River Plate. I would love to play on that team," he expressed in an interview with TyCSports.

15.14 BST ESPN blogger Sid Lowe has given his verdict on Barcelona's signing of 30-year-old French defender Jeremy Mathieu. Take a look...

15.07 BST Former World Player of the Year Ronaldinho has hinted that he could have played his last game for Atletico Mineiro. The Brazilian side, nicknamed Galo, won their first Recopa Sudamericana yesterday with a thrilling 5-3 extra-time aggregate win over Lanus.

Ronaldinho, who has been linked with the likes of Boca and Besiktas, posted the following message on his Twitter page: "This partnership worked very well! Galo will always be in my heart!"

14.55 BST Gazzetta dello Sport says that Inter have tied up an agreement to take troubled Southampton striker Pablo Daniel Osvaldo on loan with view to a permanent transfer.

Ronald Koeman admitted that the player would not be donning the Saints jersey this season following a training ground bust-up with Jose Fonte in January before his failure to report to pre-season training on time. 

Osvaldo spent the second half of last season on loan at Juventus where he helped the Bianconeri to a third successive Scudetto

14.45 BST DONE DEAL! Chelsea have confirmed that Brazilian starlet Lucas Piazon has joined Eintracht Frankfurt on a season-long loan. The 20-year-old forward spent last season in the Netherlands with Vitesse Arnhem, contributing an impressive 11 goals in 29 league appearances.

14.35 BST Milan coach Filippo Inzaghi has been rebuffed in his attempts to sign Paris Saint-Germain winger Ezequiel Lavezzi, according to Sky Sport Italia.

The former Napoli winger has been linked with a move away from the French capital this summer -- especially amid rumours of Angel Di Maria's potential arrival at the Parc des Princes -- but the French champions reportedly have no intention of selling him.

14.20 BST Barcelona have confirmed that Jeremy Mathieu has successfully completed his medical at the club ahead of his 20 million euro switch from Valencia. 

14.10 BST DONE DEAL! Swansea City have have completed their fifth summer signing with the arrival of pacey Ecuador winger Jefferson Montero

The 24-year-old has penned a four-year deal at the Liberty Stadium following his move from Mexican top-flight outfit Morelia for an undisclosed fee and joins fellow newcomers Gylfi Sigurdsson, Bafetimbi Gomis, Marvin Emnes and Stephen Kingsley at the Welsh club.

13.50 BST Surely Barcelona can't be thinking about signing another centre-back? Just 24 hours after announcing the transfer of Jeremy Mathieu from Valencia, Spanish radio Cadena SER claims that the Catalan side have now made a 40 million euro bid for Marquinhos.

Paris Saint-Germain are believed to be open to the possibility of selling the talented Brazilian defender as the funds would facilitate a move for Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria and allow the club to adhere to Financial Fair Play regulations. 

Spanish radio claims that Barcelona have made a 40 million euro bid for Paris Saint-Germain defender Marquinhos.

13.35 BST TWO loan deals have been confirmed in England this afternoon, with Tottenham youngster and Gareth Bale lookalike Kenneth McEvoy joining Peterborough on a season-long loan while Watford have acquired Republic of Ireland international Keith Andrews from Bolton for the same duration. 

13.25 BST It's been a quiet day on Transfer Talk so far today but here are some moves we expect to be completed in the next 24 hours:

Frank Lampard has landed in New York and should put pen to paper with new MLS franchise New York City, West Brom should unveil Costa Rica full-back Cristian Gamboa after agreeing a 1.8 million pound fee with Rosenborg, and Liverpool should announce the 8.5 million signing of France forward Loic Remy after he successfully completed his medical in Boston.

13.10 BST DONE DEAL! Rayo Vallecano have agreed to take Swansea attacking midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo on a season-long loan.

The 22-year-old was signed from Real Betis by former coach Michael Laudrup last summer but after failing to impress during Garry Monk's spell at the club, he has been told that he is now surplus to requirements at the Liberty Stadium. 

13.00 BST Roma appear to have pipped fierce rivals Lazio to the signing of Cagliari defender Davide Astori in one of the most bizarre stories of the transfer window, according to gianlucadimarzio.com.

Lazio had reportedly agreed a five million euro deal plus a further one million in add-ons for the Italian centre-back yesterday before he then signed a three-year contract extension with Cagliari later in the day.

However, in a strange twist of events, Roma director of football Walter Sabatini then contacted Cagliari and agreed a two million euro loan deal for Astori with the potential to buy him outright for six million. 

12.47 BST European football journalist Graham Hunter has given his insight on Xavi's contract saga at Barcelona, explaining how the player is at a crossroads regarding his footballing future. Read his article here.

12.35 BST Hull City boss Steve Bruce is refusing to surrender in his pursuit of Andy Robertson despite seeing a fourth bid of 2.5 million pounds rejected by Dundee United.

The Dundee Courier reports that Bruce is still in negotiations with the Scottish side for the talented left-back and hopes to finalise a deal before Friday's registration deadline for Hull's Europa League third qualifying round tie against Slovakian side AS Trencin next Thursday.

The Hull Daily Mail says Bruce is also eyeing up a five million pound deal to sign Rennes centre-back Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik while he has warned clubs off making an approach for the club's Player of the Year Curtis Davies.

"Curtis won't be going anywhere. He'll be with us when the season gets under way, that's for sure," Bruce insisted.

12.20 BST The Daily Express says that Arsenal have contacted Hoffenheim regarding the signing of Brazilian playmaker Roberto Firmino. Inter were keen to take the 22-year-old on loan but the Bundesliga side would only accept a large cash sale -- and one higher than the eight million pounds Arsenal are prepared to pay. 

Firmino was the fourth-highest scorer in the German top flight last term with 16 goals and there are suspicions that Arsene Wenger could turn him into a striker as Arsenal are already well equipped with attacking midfield options. 

12.10 BST Reports in Australia suggest that Socceroos full-back Ivan Franjic is on the verge of a move to Russian side Torpedo Moscow. 

Torpedo president Alexander Tukmanov was quoted by Russian agency R-Sport today, saying that "almost all of the agreements regarding the transfer" have been reached with his A-League club Brisbane Roar.

12.01 BST Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is plotting an audacious swoop for Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane as he looks to take advantage of the Frenchman's unhappiness at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Kurt Zouma is likely to stay at Chelsea next season and fight for a starting place in defence -- despite talk of a season-long loan spell -- but The Independent claims that Mourinho is also targeting Varane who is reportedly unhappy at Los Blancos because his wages are significantly lower than many of his team-mates.

11.52 BST A host of major European clubs have been put on alert after Porto slashed their valuation for Colombia striker Jackson Martinez. The 27-year-old has been heavily linked with a move away from Portugal this summer but a reported 35 million pound price tag has been putting suitors off.

However, The Daily Express says that the Dragons are now demanding just 16 million pounds for his signature, which could ignite a bidding war between the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Milan and Roma. 

11.40 BST Keylor Navas has all but completed his transfer from Levante to Real Madrid, according to the front page of today's AS. The Costa Rica goalkeeper is expected to move to the Santiago Bernabeu on a five-year contract after Los Blancos activated his ten million euro release clause.

11.32 BST One transfer that may have slipped under your radar last night was Valencia's capture of Rodrigo on a one-year loan from Benfica. The 23-year-old striker fired 18 goals during Benfica's Treble-winning campaign last season and joins former teammate Andre Gomes at the Mestalla.

11.22 BST Laurent Blanc has admitted UEFA's Financial Fair Play sanctions are hampering Paris Saint-Germain's squad-building plans, while they could yet scupper the French champions' move for Angel Di Maria. Read the full story here

11.15 BST The Daily Mail says Tottenham are prepared to use either Lewis Holtby or Michael Dawson as a makeweight to bring Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar to the club. 

Mauricio Pochettino is looking for a new leader to stabilise the Spurs defence and has identified the Netherlands centre-back as a potential target.

However, Southampton are also interested in signing Vlaar to replace the seemingly Liverpool-bound Dejan Lovren while the 29-year-old has been further linked with a reunion with Louis van Gaal at Manchester United. 

Tottenham are the latest club to express an interest in signing Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar.

11.05 BST Roberto Martinez has told talkSPORT he expects Everton to finalise deals for 'three or four' players in the next few days. Anderlecht youngster David Henen is expected to be named as one new recruit at Goodison Park while Bosnia international midfielder Muhamed Besic could be another. 

Martinez has expressed a need to increase his squad size to cope with the rigours of Europa League football next season but he refused to confirm whether Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku would be making a return. 

"The youngsters have done terrific and are showing the good work we are doing in the academy at Finch Farm, but there are areas that need to be strengthened and over the next few days we are going to get the three, four players we need just to finalise the squad facing the huge demands with European football ahead of us," Martinez said.

"Rom fits in really, really well at Goodison, We created a fantastic bond with the player and the player with the fans and that is something that we would love to extend."

10.55 BST Japan international Hiroshi Kiyotake looks set to switch Nurnberg for Hannover, according to German newspaper BILD.

The 24-year-old, who appeared for the Blue Samurai at the World Cup, was strongly linked to West Ham and Hamburg this summer but now looks set to join Die Roten for a fee of 4.3 million euros following Nurnberg's relegation from the Bundesliga.

BILD also reports that Chelsea's Brazilian starlet Lucas Piazon is heading to Eintracht Frankfurt on loan after impressing in a similar capacity for Vitesse last season. 

10.45 BST Juventus forward Carlos Tevez believes the Bianconeri will still be successful even without Antonio Conte, but says the club must keep hold of "champion" midfielder Arturo Vidal this summer. Read the full story here.

10.40 BST The Mirror says that Arsene Wenger could turn down the option to buy a defensive midfielder this summer and instead deploy Jack Wilshere in an anchorman role. Arsenal have been frustrated in their efforts to sign a holding midfielder this summer, failing in attempts to lure Sami Khedira, Lars Bender and Morgan Schneiderlin to the Emirates.

Wenger could instead decide to splash the cash elsewhere and The Mirror claims he is eyeing up moves for unsettled Shakhar Donetsk forward Douglas Costa and wantaway Juventus wideman Mauricio Isla who could both be available on the cheap. 

Costa's arrival could pave the exit for Joel Campbell, with Sunderland interested in taking the Costa Rica international on loan should they fail to lure Fabio Borini to the Stadium of Light. 

10.30 BST Sunderland manager Gus Poyet insists that the club are not interested in signing Marseille midfielder Morgan Amalfitano, despite offloading Ignacio Scocco to Newell's Old Boys. 

The 29-year-old, who impressed on loan at West Bromwich Albion last season, is a rumoured transfer target for Crystal Palace but Poyet has ruled his side out of the race. 

"Right now, I will say there is not a real interest in Amalfitano," he told The Sunderland Echo. "I followed him when he was at Lorient before he went to Marseille, so I know the player from four years ago. But in that position, we're looking for a second striker -- which will hopefully be Fabio Borini -- and pace, whereas Morgan has more ability on the ball."

10.20 BST Could Pascal Chimbonda be on the verge of a return to English football? The former Wigan, Tottenham and Sunderland full-back, who was part of France's 2006 World Cup squad, is currently on trial at Macclesfield. Who would have guessed it? 

10.15 BST England one-cap wonder Frazier Campbell is expected to complete a transfer to Crystal Palace today. The 26-year-old striker will move to the Eagles -- his sixth different Premier League club -- on a three-year contract after Palace agreed a fee in the region of 800,000 pounds with Cardiff City following their relegation. 

10.07 BST Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has turned his attentions to signing Chelsea full-back Ryan Bertrand after missing out on Ben Davies to Tottenham. The Reds boss is desperate to sign a left-back this summer and is hoping to steal the Frenchman away from Stamford Bridge for a cut-price fee.

However, Chelsea are reluctant to sell to their Premier League rivals and The Daily Mail says the Blues want in excess of eight million pounds for the 24-year-old. 

There is some positive news for Liverpool on the transfer market front however with Atletico Madrid right-back Javier Manquillo expected to sign on a two-year loan with view to a permanent 4.5 million pound transfer.

09.53 BST Sources have told ESPN that West Bromwich Albion have completed the signing of Costa Rica international full-back Cristian Gamboa for a fee of 1.8 million pounds. 

The 24-year-old impressed for Los Ticos at the World Cup and reportedly turned down a move to Hull City to sign for Alan Irvine's side. 

09.38 BST When Gianluca Di Marzio speaks, people listen. The reputed Italian journalist has broke news of a potentially huge summer transfer, claiming Monaco are close to signing Benfica winger Nicolas Gaitan.

New coach Leonardo Jardim is yet to dip into the transfer market but it seems that he has identified his Portuguese compatriot Gaitan as his first signing-- with rumours of a 45 million euro bid floating around the French press.

Di Marzio also says that Wolfsburg are close to agreeing a deal with Atletico Madrid to take unsettled French midfielder Josuha Guilavogui on loan. 

09.25 BST RMC claims Angel Di Maria has told PSG he wants to join them, but add that UEFA's Financial Fair Play restrictions could scupper the move. The Argentine is determined to leave Real Madrid following the arrivals of James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos but the European champions are demanding a cash deal rather than a loan move.

PSG completed the signing of Ivory Coast full-back Serge Aurier last night on a loan agreement with view to a permanent move -- but Real Madrid are against such a proposition and could instead offer Di Maria to Manchester United for 60 million euros. 

Angel Di Maria's move from Real Madrid to PSG is in jeopardy due to Financial Fair Play regulations.

Griezmann to North London?

Tottenham Hotspur had an initial 15 million-pound bid for French winger Antoine Griezmann turned down, but The Independent says that Mauricio Pochettino's men will return with a bigger offer.

Griezmann, who has long been linked with Arsenal, has been in excellent form for Real Sociedad over the past couple of years and it's rumoured that his release clause sits at around 25 million pounds.

With Spurs sniffing around, it will be interesting to see if Arsene Wenger finally makes his move. Watch this space.

Remy and Manquillo almost there

Liverpool's super-busy transfer window continues, with deals for Loic Remy and Javier Manquillo set to be confirmed within the next 24 hours. 

According to The Mirror, Remy -- who completed a medical on Wednesday night -- will be officially unveiled on Thursday after an 8.5 million-pound bid triggered the much sought-after Queens Park Rangers player's release clause.

After the French striker signs on the dotted line, the Reds will then turn their attention to the 20-year-old rising star Manquillo, who played six times for Spanish champions Atletico Madrid last season, with an initial two-year loan deal mooted to be in the offing.

These will the fifth and sixth signings for Brendan Rodgers' side this summer, with plenty more rumoured to be done. Click here to check out all of Liverpool's transfer movements so far.

Manchester City looking to trim squad

Two players who didn't get to see much game time in Manchester City's run to the title last year could be leaving the Sky Blues.

Football Italia claim that Napoli have made a bid for defensive midfielder Javi Garcia.

Garcia, who arrived at Man City two years ago on a 15.8 million-pound deal, was once considered one of the elite midfielders in Europe, but his development has stalled since leaving Benfica.

Similarly, Matija Nastasic hasn't realised the potential he showed in Manchester City's 2012-13 season -- although injury has played a big part in him being unable to get onto the pitch.

Sky Sports are reporting that Arsenal have joined Inter and Roma in a three-way tussle for the young Serbian's signature.

Tap-ins

- Manchester United flop Bebe has confirmed that he will be leaving Old Trafford -- that's according to The Daily Mail.

- Manchester City's global project has snared another player, with The Herald Sun reporting that Robert Koren is on his way Down Under to join Damien Duff and David Villa at Melbourne City.

- The Mirror thinks that Harry Redknapp is sounding out free agent Samuel Eto'o with a view to signing him on a cut-price deal.