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Transfer Talk: Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane set for shock exit

The transfer window for Europe's biggest clubs is closed, but click here for all the deals. Transfer Talk will continue to scour the world's media and set correspondents loose to see what's on the agenda for the summer.

TOP STORY: Varane pondering shock Real Madrid exit

Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane has reportedly stunned bosses at the Bernabeu, with L'Equipe claiming that the Frenchman is considering leaving the Spanish giants.

Varane has been in the Spanish capital for eight seasons after signing for the club as an 18-year-old from Ligue 1 side Lens in 2011, and with 16 trophies under his belt at Los Blancos, it is believed that the 25-year-old could be on the lookout for a fresh challenge.

Signing the centre-back wouldn't be cheap, though. Varane has more than three years left on his Real Madrid contract, and he has a nine-figure release clause in the deal, which means any move for the World Cup winner would surely eclipse the highest fee paid for a defender, when Liverpool signed Virgil van Dijk from Southampton for around £75 million.

Manchester United, who have held long-term interest in the defender, are front of the queue.

LIVE BLOG

23.03 GMT: That's going to bring Tuesday's live edition of Transfer Talk to a close. Thanks very much for joining us, and be sure to check back in a few short hours when we return with the latest gossip pulled from Wednesday's back pages.

21.26 GMT: After benching Thibaut Courtois in his first match back in the Real Madrid dugout, could Zinedine Zidane want to bring in David De Gea to be Los Blancos' No. 1? The Sun reports that the Belgian keeper has rejected the chance to move to Manchester United in a swap deal with De Gea, and that if Courtois is forced out of Madrid just one year after joining, his preferred destination would be Paris Saint-Germain.

19.49 GMT: Dani Alves has agreed to extend his stay at Paris Saint-Germain for at least one more season, sources close to the player have confirmed to ESPN FC.

18.12 GMT: With Manchester City, Manchester United and Real Madrid all interested in Paulo Dybala, Juventus have set their asking price for any summer move at €120m, the Metro cites Corriere dello Sport as reporting.

16.35 GMT: England under-17 World Cup winner Curtis Anderson is set to join United Soccer League Championship side Charlotte Independence from Manchester City, sources have told ESPN FC.

The 18-year-old goalkeeper has not made a first-team appearance for the Premier League champions, who have international goalkeepers Ederson, Claudio Bravo and Are Muric ahead of him.

Championship side Preston North End were also interested in Anderson but he has opted to move to the United States in search of first team football. He was the No. 1 for England when they won the U17 World Cup in 2017 with a 5-2 victory over Spain and made a significant contribution to England's success at the last-16 stage when he saved a penalty and scored one himself in a shootout victory over Japan.

City teammates Phil Foden and Joel Latibeaudiere were also in the England team that were successful in India, while ex-City winger Jadon Sancho, who has since moved to Borussia Dortmund, played in the early stages of the tournament before being recalled by the Bundesliga club.

16.03 GMT: Well this was interesting.

15.55 GMT: River Plate are considering a move for out-of-favour Roma midfielder Javier Pastore as a replacement for the injury Juan Fernando Quintero, according to TNT Sports.

Quintero has suffered a cruciate ligament injury which will keep him out for up to nine months, and River are looking at replacements.

Pastore joined Roma from PSG in the summer, but has failed to impress despite being signed by former sporting director Monchi on a long-term deal with a high salary.

15.16 GMT: See below where is says about Denis Suarez failing to impress Arsenal manager Unai Emery? Well, A Bola claim that Gelson Martins is back on the Gunners' radar.

Martins moved on loan from Atletico Madrid to Monaco in January, but a summer move could be on the cards with Newcastle also reportedly keen.

14.37 GMT: Eden Hazard would be forgiven for courting a summer move to Real Madrid given the Blues' form recently. But he's keeping his cards close to his chest for a change.

"I'm not working on that right now," Hazard told VTM News from Belgium's training camp on Tuesday, when asked about a move to Real. "I want to shine with Chelsea for a few months and try to win the Europa League. This week I think about the Red Devils [Belgium, not Man United] and then back to Chelsea. Then we'll see."

13.58 GMT: Tuttosport claim that Roma's Nicolo Zaniolo can add another club to the list of interested parties this summer. AC Milan and Juventus know all about the 19-year-old, Real Madrid reportedly want him to secure the future of their midfield for years to come.

But Manchester City are also now in the running. £50m and he's yours.

13.29 GMT: David Ospina wants to leave Arsenal this summer, the Colombia goalkeeper's father told Radio CRC.

Ospina is on loan at Napoli from the Gunners and collapsed on the pitch after suffering a head injury this weekend. But his father Hernan claimed his son doesn't want to return to London once his loan expires.

"We are waiting for the conditions to be reached for the signing of Napoli from Arsenal," he said. "He is happy to play at Napoli and that's what he wants. Even the club has sent positive signals. It gives us a lot of joy because even children are happy to live in a city like Naples."

12.34 GMT: Bundesliga club TSG Hoffenheim have announced the appointment of 46-year-old Alfred Schreuder as their new coach for the coming season. The Ajax assistant coach returns to Hoffenheim where he worked as an assistant from 2015-18. Nagelsmann is set to join Leipzig this summer, of course.

We are thrilled to confirm that Alfred #Schreuder will be our new head coach! Hoffenheim's former assistant coach returns to the club from @AFCAjax in the summer and signs a contract through 2022.

12.22 GMT: Alex Pato has had a weird career to date but the striker is only 29 and is now prepared to take a pay cut to join Sao Paulo back in his homeland, say ESPN sources.

 Pato has just left Chinese club Tianjin Tianhai and is looking to get his form back at Sao Paulo, where he starred between 2014-16 on loan.

11.42 GMT: Barcelona have set a meeting to discuss Malcom's future at the end of March, say Mundo Deportivo. Presumably that's going to be a short meeting, then we'll see the Brazil winger up for sale this summer. 

11.02 GMT: Jose Mourinho knows a thing or two about signing expensive players, but he believes that if PSG star Kylian Mbappe were to be sold now then he would be worth more than the €222m that Neymar cost back in 2017.

"For a player like Mbappe, when you speak about the future, you don't need to say what he's going to be like in five years' time, in 10 years' time," Mourinho told beIN Sports. "Just focus on now. He's absolutely incredible.

"I think going by his age and [and considering] the age of Cristiano, of Messi, [both] over 30, Neymar is 27... when you go to the market level and age is also a factor, I think he's the most valuable player in the world.

"In a hypothetical transfer, he's the most expensive player in football now. In terms of his qualities, [he is] unbelievable. One word is enough. It means everything."

10.13 GMT: It's been Real Madrid rumour central since Zinedine Zidane arrived back in town and despite the above which says the club might be losing one of its top defenders, OK Diario reckon that PSG midfielder Adrien Rabiot is on the way.

A long-term replacement for Luka Modric, is how the deal is billed, while the Frenchman may be 'free' but comes with a €15m signing bonus.

09.39 GMT: Barcelona are watching 19-year-old Danish striker Andreas Skov Olsen, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The winger has been in the  FC Nordsjaellan side for the past two years and is also a Denmark U21 international. 

09.04 GMT: Benfica´s rising star Joao Felix says he is not getting carried away by rumours linking him with top European clubs.

Felix, 19, is a reported target of Manchester United, Juventus and Real Madrid and has scored 10 goals and set up five more in 18 league appearances. The midfielder has a €120m release clause, but is trying to remain calm over a future move at this point.

"I'm not worried whatsoever about my value in the market, the transfer windows," Felix said during a sponsorship event, as reported in Record. "I only focus on playing, that's what I'm here for, the rest I leave it to the (Benfica) president. How much am I worth? Two million is fine. I'm going through the best time in my life but everything has happened so fast. I haven't really stopped to think about it. I remain humble. I'm happy at Benfica, people like that I'm here and I'm also happy here."

Asked about being likened to Cristiano Ronado, he said: "At the end of my career we shall see. I've always liked Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar."

08.30 GMT: FC Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas says he intends to end his career at the club, with the former Spain captain confirming he will sign a new deal this week until June 2021.

Casillas joined Porto from Real Madrid in the summer of 2015 and has kept 71 clean sheets in 149 appearances for the Dragoes. His contract ends this summer.

"Since I've arrived in Portugal, (FC Porto president) Pinto da Costa has treated me so well," Casillas told Movistar+ ."This week I'm going to renew my contract with Porto that will see me remain at the club until I'm 40. I'm 38 now so I will probably end my career at FC Porto."

PAPER TALK (By James Capps)

Underwhelmed Unai to send Suarez packing

Arsenal are set to send loanee Denis Suarez back to Barcelona, with boss Unai Emery already drawing up a short list of potential replacements, says the Sun.

The Spaniard has struggled to adapt to the physical side of the English game following his temporary switch in January, with the Barca academy product yet to start a game while struggling to make an impact in his half-dozen substitute appearances for the Gunners.

The Arsenal hierarchy are unlikely to convert the 25-year-old's loan move into an £18 million permanent deal, with sources in the report claiming that PSG midfielder Christopher Nkunku is their preferred target in the summer.

The French youth international impressed Emery during his managerial tenure at Le Parc des Princes and is set to be available again for a move across the Channel in a few months after the north Londoners failed in an attempt to sign the 21-year-old on loan in January.

Euro trio in quest for Kante signature

With Chelsea's push toward a top-four finish being dealt a huge blow following a 2-0 defeat by Everton on Sunday, it appears that the European elite are circling around Stamford Bridge's prized assets.

Reports linking Eden Hazard with a move to the Bernabeu continue to rumble on, but Calciomercato are reporting that as many as three of the continent's biggest hitters are interested in signing French midfield enforcer N'Golo Kante.

The 27-year-old has four years remaining on his contract in west London, but with the club's chances of securing Champions League football in serious jeopardy, Juventus, PSG and Real Madrid are keen to take advantage. Chelsea would be reluctant to sell, however, with the club facing a lengthy transfer ban, which means any replacement for Kante would have to come from within the current ranks.

Tap-ins

-- Arsenal's protracted search for a new director of football looks set to continue after former Gunners winger Marc Overmars extended his contract at Ajax. The Dutchman spent three years of his playing career in north London, but The Telegraph says the 45-year-old has decided to face the "many challenges" he has ahead of him in Amsterdam.

-- Former Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has revealed his desire to return to La Liga despite recently signing a contract extension with Portuguese giants Porto, according to Marca. The 37-year-old was speaking at an official La Liga event and said to those in attendance: "I would love to return to La Liga. My Real Madrid and Spain careers are in the past."

-- The Sun claims that Manchester United are considering sending midfielder Andreas Pereira out on loan next season, but only if the Brazilian agrees to a long-term contract extension. The academy graduate triggered a 12-month add-on at Old Trafford last week, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is prepared to let him leave on temporary basis to gain first-team experience. Leicester City are believed to be a potential domestic destination for the 23-year-old.

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