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Transfer Talk: Karim Benzema could follow Cristiano Ronaldo out of Real Madrid

After he is unveiled as a Juventus player following his move from Real Madrid, ESPN takes a look at how Cristiano Ronaldo's move to Turin unfolded.

The transfer window is open, and Transfer Talk has the latest rumours making the rounds. Follow along with our daily blog throughout the summer.

Benzema could follow Ronaldo out of Madrid

Karim Benzema's future at Real Madrid is the latest to be thrown into question, according to a report in AS, with Harry Kane, Robert Lewandowski and Edinson Cavani being named as potential candidates to Cristiano Ronaldo -- and they would take the Frenchman's position.

Benzema has won the Champions League four times since joining Madrid from Lyon in 2009 but his goal return in recent seasons has come in for criticism. In nine years he has only hit the 20-goal mark on two occasions in La Liga, with an all-time low of five last term, and Ronaldo's exit for Juventus leaves him vulnerable, according to AS.

They say that his role as Ronaldo's foil was his saving grace but the spotlight will intensify without his goals to win games for Madrid almost single-handedly and he is likely to find himself on the bench.

Benzema could be offered an escape route by Napoli, where he would be reunited with former Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti, but AS say the Frenchman, who has a contract until 2021, has no intentions of changing clubs this summer.


23.00 BST: That will do it for another day with our Transfer Talk live blog. Remember to check back in a couple of hours as we again pluck the latest rumours, links and completed deals from papers and outlets around the world. Goodnight!

22.57 BST: Could Arsenal be in line to make a shock move for a World Cup winner?

Arsenal have been linked with Sevilla and France defensive midfielder Steven N'Zonzi in recent weeks but now are being linked with a surprising move for one of his French teammates.

France and Monaco full-back Djibril Sidibe is the aforementioned player being linked with a move to the Emirates. According to French outlet L'Equipe (via Sport Witness),  Arsenal have "started to be attentive' to signing the 25-year-old full-back. 

Unai Emery and Arsenal have already signed five players this summer, focussing mostly on revamping the club's defence. Could Sidibe be the next piece to the puzzle ?

22.44 BST: Crystal Palace reportedly have their eyes on Sassuolo striker Khouma Babacar.

The 25-year-old Senegal international just permanently moved from Fiorentina to Sassuolo two weeks ago but could already be on the move again.

The Mirror claims that the Eagles are "finalising" a move for the striker with Sassuolo set to cash in immediately on the player.

22.28 BST: Everton are making some real noise in the transfer window. Already linked with Colombian World Cup star Yerry Mina, Sky Sports are reporting they are now in "advanced talks" for Bordeaux winger Malcolm.

The 21-year-old Brazilian has been a hot name in the transfer window and has been linked with clubs like Arsenal and Tottenham.

Malcolm would be a major and surprising coup for the Toffees who are in need of a refresh after a very disappointing season.

22.07 BST: With Fulham hoping to purchase Aleksandar Mitrovic outright from Newcastle, Rafa Benitez and Co. are shopping for a centre-forward to potentially replace the big Serbian and provide the attack a focal point.

The latest name, would seem a perfect fit in terms of body type and style: Salomon Rondon

The 6'2 West Brom man is the classic back-to-goal centre-forward that Benitez wants and could be available after the Baggies were relegated to the Championship.

According to the Telegraph, the Magpies have already had one loan offer rejected, as West Brom say they will only part with the Venezuelan striker if his £16.5 million purchase clause is activated.

Newcastle are a bit strapped for cash so it would seem Rondon might be out of their price range, unless West Brom changes its stance on a loan deal that is.

21.47 BST: Petr Cech back to Chelsea?  

The Daily Mail claim that Arsenal have offered Chelsea a chance to bring the goalkeeper back to Stamford Bridge.

With speculation Thibaut Courtois is set for a move to Real Madrid, Chelsea could be in need of a goalkeeper with Leicester City's Kasper Schmeichel and AC Milan's Gianluigi Donnarumma also linked to the Blues.

From Chelsea to Arsenal and back to Chelsea again, that'd be a real transfer oddity if Cech does return to the Bridge.

21.21 BST: -- DONE DEAL -- Liverpool have signed talented youngster Rhian Brewster to a long-term contract extension.

The 18-year-old is one of the leading young talents at Anfield and is best known for winning the Golden Boot (eight goals) at last year's 2017 World Cup with England.

20.52 BST: Club America could be set to add another attacking player.

Injuries to Jeremy Menez and Cecilio Dominguez leave Las Aguilas short of options up front and the 12-time Liga MX winners are likely to add a player in that area of the field.

Speaking with ESPN AM, club chairman Santiago Banos hinted that America might have more business yet to complete.

"There's still a chance. We want to sign somebody, if it comes to pass, who might be able to perform in the entire attacking portion of the team, who could play on the left, who could play on the right, behind the nine or in a partnership with another central forward", said Banos on Tuesday.

With expectations always sky-high at America, expect America to bring in some proven attacker before the window closes.

20.31 BST: -- DONE DEAL -- Brighton have signed Lille central midfielder Yves Bissouma on a five-year deal.

The 21-year-old Mali international played 24 times last season at the Ligue 1 side.

20.09 BST: -- DONE DEAL -- Saint-Etienne have confirmed the signing of Tunisia international Wahbi Khazri from Sunderland.

Khazri played last season at fellow Ligue 1 club Rennes.

19.44 BST: An update on Alisson to Liverpool. According to Sky, the Reds have made a €70 million bid for the Brazilian goalkeeper with no fee agreed upon yet between the clubs.

Liverpool are desperate to replace Loris Karius after the German's disastrous Champions League final and have had Roma's Alisson at the top of their list from the beginning.

There's more to come on this one we're sure.

19.18 BST: -- DONE DEAL -- The Portland Timbers have made a late addition to strengthen their roster both now and potentially for the future by signing Argentine midfielder Tomas Conechny on loan.

The deal includes a purchase option for the Timbers, who acquired the Argentina Under-20 international from Argentine giants San Lorenzo.

Full story.

18.43 BST: Is Aleksandr Golovin headed to Chelsea?

Not yet anyways. On Tuesday, CSKA Moscow president Yevgeny Giner shot down rumours that a deal had been completed for the 22-year-old starlet.

Giner told the following: "In order not to ruin Sasha [Golovin], we must let him go. But we have no solution for today. When we receive an offer, we always try to negotiate openly."

"Chelsea? We have no secret agreement with them. The question of his transition to another club will be decided, I think, in the next couple of days."

It sounds as if the Russia star will be on the move soon but to where remains a huge question mark.

18.06 BST: Does Marko Arnautovic have a place under Manuel Pellegrini at West Ham?

Rumours are again swirling that West Ham are listening to offers for the Austrian hitman. 

UK radio station talkSPORT suggest that Man United and Roma would be the frontrunners if West Ham decide to sell Arnautovic.

17.32 BST: -- DONE DEAL(S) -- Frank Lampard and Derby County have signed two highly-rated youngsters on loan.

The Rams have announced they have signed midfielder Mason Mount from Chelsea and forward Harry Wilson from Liverpool on season-long loans.

The 19-year-old Mount has starred for England at youth level and scored nine goals on loan last season in Holland at Vitesse.

Wilson, meanwhile, is rated as one of Liverpool's top young talents and scored seven times in 13 games last season on loan at Championship side Hull.

Two shrewd signings by Lamps and Derby.

16:58 BST: Atletico Madrid are close to confirming the signings of Gelson Martins and Nikola Kalinic, according to Mundo Deportivo.

16:38 BST: The Elliott hedge fund which has now taken control of AC Milan are planning an overhaul of the club, which could see Antonio Conte come in as a replacement for Gennaro Gattuso as manager, according to Sport Mediaset .

16:17 BST: Venezuela defensive midfielder Christian Makoun, 18, has passed a medical ahead of a move to Juventus, according to Gianluca Di Marzio

16:01 BST: Tuttosport claim Manchester City and Barcelona are interested in Miralem Pjanic -- but Juventus would only accept a bid of around €90 million.

15:47 BST: Real Madrid could finalise a deal to sign Thibaut Courtois by the end of Tuesday, according to Cadena COPE.

15:30 BST: West Ham are among the possible destinations for Barcelona defender Marlon Santos, according to Sport. Hertha Berlin and Fenerbahce are other contenders.

15:18 BST: AS confirm Libertad Digital's report that Zinedine Zidane is returning to Juventus as a director -- but add that the Italian giants will also sign the Frenchman's son, Luca.

15:00 BST: Liverpool are closing in on a deal for Roma goalkeeper Alisson, according to Sky Italia.

14:41 BST: Libertad Digital claim Zinedine Zidane will return to former club Juventus as a sporting director.

14:16 BST: Blackburn Rovers have beaten Tottenham, Manchester United and Liverpool to the signing of Lithuanian teenager Vilius Piliukaitis, according to TEAMtalk .

The 17-year-old is considered the brightest talent in Eastern European football.

13:48 BST: Real Madrid are ready to cut their losses on Theo Hernandez, according to Marca.

13:32 BST: The arrival of Clement Lenglet at Barcelona means only one of Thomas Vermaelen or Yerry Mina will stay for next season, according to Marca

13:15 BST: Atalanta have completed a deal to sign Chelsea's Mario Pasalic on a season-long loan with an obligation to buy for €15 million.

12:56 BST: Lille have concluded an agreement to sign Portuguese international central defender Jose Fonte on a free transfer, according to RMC.

He is expected in north France at the end of July when his post-World Cup holidays have come to an end.

The 34-year-old is expected to sign a one year deal with the option to extend by a further 12 months.

12:46 BST: AS Monaco striker Adama Diakhaby is expected in Huddersfield to undergo a medical shortly, according to Foot Mercato.

12:35 BST: Valencia officials have travelled to Paris as they step up negotiations to sign Goncalo Guedes from PSG, according to Super Deporte.

12:22 BST: Chelsea defender Todd Kane has joined Hull on a one-year loan deal

12:02 BST: Real Sociedad are keen on Barcelona's Jose Arnaiz, who has a €12 million buy-out clause, according to Marca.

11:49 BST: Sassuolo have complete the signing of Medhi Bourabia from Konyaspor, according to Corriere dello Sport.

11:35 BST: Out-of-contract Mexico defender Diego Reyes has three options as he goes about choosing a new club following his spell with Porto, according to ESPN's Ivan Canada. The first is Real Betis in La Liga, the other a club in the Bundesliga and the third is from the Premier League.

The 25-year-old missed out on the World Cup due to a hamstring injury and has previously played on loan at Espanyol and Real Sociedad.

11:21 BST: James Milner is NOT a player that has entered the final 12 months of his current contract.

Sources have told ESPN FC that Milner's Liverpool deal, in fact, expires in the summer of 2020 and that there are currently no talks scheduled between the club and the player's representatives about a new contract.

11:02 BST: Ipswich have completed the signing of Gwion Edwards from Peterborough

10:45 BST: More from Mundo Deportivo. Barcelona are stepping up negotiations with Ajax over the sale of Frenkie de Jong in a bid to speed up the deal.

10:34 BST: Spal have completed the signing of Andrea Petagna from Atalanta, according to Gianluca Di Marzio.

10:17 BST: Tuttosport claim Gonzalo Higuain will be a Chelsea player if they can pay Juventus' €60m asking price.

10:02 BST: Sheffield United's George Long is close to joining Hull, according to Sky Sports.

09:47 BST: A report in Mundo Deportivo claims Adrien Rabiot prefers Lionel Messi over Cristiano Ronaldo and would therefore prefer a move to Barcelona ahead of Juventus.

09:33 BST: Fortuna Dusseldorf sign 26-year-old defender Matthias Zimmermann on a two-year-deal from league rivals VfB Stuttgart and sent attacker Emmanuel Iyoah, 20, on loan to Erzgebirge Aue.

09:16 BST: Former Germany international Benedikt Howedes still without a new club. Surplus to requirements at Schalke 04, the defender will resume team training on Tuesday. But sporting executive Christian Heidel says: "Both sides are interested in Benni making a change. That's no secret."

Howedes spent last season on loan at Juventus, but made just three appearances in Serie A.

09:02 BST: Boca Juniors have offered Barcelona €5 million to loan Yerry Mina for 12 months -- with the obligation to buy for €10m, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. Should he agree to join permanently, he would have a €30m release clause inserted into his contract.

08:47 BST: Alessandro Florenzi is set to renew his contract with Roma, despite being contested by some of the club's fans this summer, when his future did not seem so certain.

Meanwhile, rumours persist that Chelsea and Liverpool are fighting it out to sign Alisson Becker, with Roma understood to be targeting Robin Olsen of Copenhagen as a potential replacement.

08:28 BST: Sevilla football director Joaquin Caparros insists his club does not want to sell Arsenal reported target Steven N'Zonzi and the player will only leave if his €40m release clause is met.

Caparros, who congratulated N'Zonzi by sending a message on Twitter saying how proud he and the club is of him, for winning the World Cup with France, said of the 29-year-old midfielder to El Desmarque: "For the time being, we have not received offers for him. But if a team comes along with a very interesting offer for him, we will listen.

"He is a good player and we want him with us. But contracts are contracts. He has two years left on his contract and not two or four or five months.If the player wants (to leave), he knows what the process is at our club to leave." 

08:08 BST: The departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus has opened the door to a more prominent role for Gareth Bale, according to the Guardian, with the forward set to take over as the focus of Real Madrid's attack.

There had been persistent speculation that Bale would leave Madrid, most likely for Manchester United, but he will try to lock down assurances regarding his responsibilities under new coach Julen Lopetegui when the two discuss the matter this week.

Man United target Croatian duo

Croatia may have lost to France on Sunday, but their journey to the World Cup final has caught the eye of Manchester United.

According to the Sun, the Red Devils are lining up a £92 million double swoop for Ivan Perisic and Ante Rebic after being impressed by the pair's performances in Russia.

United were strongly linked with a move for Perisic last year, but the winger eventually opted to sign a new contract at Inter Milan.

It's thought the 29-year-old could be tempted to swap the San Siro for Old Trafford this summer though, along with his compatriot Rebic.

Rebic currently plays for Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt and made headlines in May when he scored twice in the club's German Cup win against Bayern Munich.

United's interest in the Croatian duo has been encouraged by their failure to land Gareth Bale from Real Madrid.

Metro reports that the Welshman is planning to stay at the Bernabeu, having been assured of a key role following Cristiano Ronaldo's departure to Juventus.

Man City priced out of Kovacic deal

Another Real Madrid player who looks set to stay put this summer is midfielder Mateo Kovacic.

According to Sky Sports, Manchester City had lined up a bid for the Croatian following Jorginho's move to Chelsea, only to be quoted an asking price of £80 million.

With City refusing to meet Madrid's valuation, they could turn their attention to Southampton's Mario Lemina.

The 24-year-old joined the Saints from Juventus only last summer in a deal worth £15.4 million, but he would surely jump at the chance to move to the English champions.

Arsenal planning to trim squad

Unai Emery is aiming to cut his Arsenal squad after splashing out £70 million on new players.

Danny Welbeck and David Ospina could be among the most high-profile departures, according to the Telegraph, as they return from the World Cup with their futures up in the air.

With Welbeck entering the final year of his contract, the Gunners may look to cash in on a striker who will otherwise be forced to play back-up to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

It is a similar situation regarding Ospina, who has been pushed further down the pecking order following the arrival of Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen.

Meanwhile, Arsenal remain keen to tie Aaron Ramsey to a new five-year deal, despite negotiations with the Welshman dragging on.


- Newcastle and Celtic will duke it out for Uruguay international Giorgian De Arrascaeta, reports the Sun. The playmaker is valued at around £18 million by Cruzeiro after making two appearances at the World Cup.

- Nikola Kalinic is set to complete his switch from AC Milan to Atletico Madrid, says Football Italia. The striker missed Croatia's run to the World Cup final after he was sent home for reportedly refusing to come on as a sub in the opening game against Nigeria.

- Southampton aren't planning to bring in Liverpool striker Danny Ings, says the Daily Echo. Mark Hughes is in the market for a striker after loaning out Guido Carrillo, but has other targets in mind.


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