Tonight’s Gossip: Barcelona Step Up Chase For Ex-Madrid Star; Los Blancos Return For Hazard

Barcelona Target Di Maria
Angel Di Maria could go the opposite way to Neymar and become his replacement at Barcelona. They are interested in the Argentine player, although evidently they have other options too because their relationship with Paris Saint-Germain is not the best right now.

There are various factors that could tip the balance in Di Maria’s favour, with Barcelona having attempted to sign him on other occasions.

Barcelona see him as a player with similar characteristics to Neymar, a winger with great quality and someone who can break through rival lines, play on both wings and defend better than Neymar did. 

They have attempted to sign him twice before in the previous two summers. His high salary and the possibility of breaking financial fair play rules blocked it, but the interest was always there and now it is bigger with Neymar gone. 

At 29, although he doesn’t have the explosive youth of Dembele, he does have characteristics which might adept better to the Blaugrana’s game. He has a contract until 2019 with PSG, and wants to leave with Neymar now in his path. 

Real Madrid Return For Hazard
Real wanted to snap up Monaco sensation Kylian Mbappe. But the Ligue 1 champions have spurned their advances.

According to Spanish news outlet Don Balon, their pursuit of Mbappe has not ended. However Zidane is now looking at alternative options.

Don Balon reckon a move for Hazard is firmly on the agenda – and the Belgian is keen on a move to Spain. But despite the speculation, Antonio Conte insists Hazard will not be leaving Stamford Bridge.

He said: “I don’t know anything about this situation. “In the past I read a lot of stories about [Hazard going to] Real Madrid and now there is Barcelona.

In Other News
Barcelona are turning their attention to Tottenham and Denmark attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen, 25, because of Liverpool’s refusal to sell 25-year-old playmaker Philippe Coutinho. (Independent)

Liverpool priced Brazil international Coutinho at 150m euros (£136.5m) during negotiations this week. (Daily Record)

Borussia Dortmund and France forward Ousmane Dembele remains Barcelona’s top target, with the Spanish side set to return with an improved 140m euro (£127m) bid for the 20-year-old. (AS)

If Barcelona fail to sign Dembele or Coutinho, they could pursue 28-year-old Inter Milan and Croatia winger Ivan Perisic, who is a long-term target for Manchester United. (Sport Italia via Football Italia)

PSG have offered 18-year-old forward Kylian Mbappe an annual salary of 18m euros (£16.4m) over five years to convince him to leave Monaco. (L’Equipe – in French)

Mbappe is keen on a move to PSG but no deal has been reached and the transfer may not happen this summer. (ESPN)

Chelsea have yet to return with an improved bid for Leicester midfielder Danny Drinkwater, 27, after the Foxes rejected a £15m offer earlier this summer. (Telegraph)

Midfielder Jack Colback, 27, is set to leave Newcastle after a training ground row with boss Rafael Benitez. (Daily Mail)

Tottenham are in talks to sign Ajax centre-back Davinson Sanchez, 21, for £35m. (Mirror)

Real Madrid and Spain midfielder Isco, 25, now has a release clause of 700m euros (£637m) after signing a four-year deal with the option of a further season. (AS)

Burnley will submit a £15m bid to sign Leeds and New Zealand striker Chris Wood, 25, to replace Andre Gray, who left for Watford this week. (Sun)

Leeds have rejected a £12m offer – believed to be from Burnley – for Wood. (Yorkshire Evening Post)

Leeds have lined up Hamburg striker Pierre-Michel Lasogga, 25, as a possible replacement for Wood. (Bild – in German)

Real Madrid have ended their interest in Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, 25, and Manchester United counterpart David de Gea, 26. (Don Balon via Express)

Swansea will offer £20m for former midfielder Joe Allen, 27, despite Stoke saying the Wales international is not for sale. (Mirror)

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley says he cannot compete financially with the top Premier League clubs so cannot give manager Rafael Benitez enough money to spend in the transfer window. (Sky Sports)

French side Nantes, managed by former Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri, want to take 19-year-old Arsenal midfielder Jeff Reine-Adelaide on loan. (L’Equipe – in French)

West Ham have reached a verbal agreement with Sporting Lisbon and Portugal midfielder William Carvalho, 25, over a proposed move. (Diario de Noticias via Talksport)

West Brom boss Tony Pulis believes the club will soon have five new signings to add to their squad. (Times – subscription required)

Manchester United are close to completing the signing of 19-year-old Oliveirense striker Bruno Amorim, according to the Portuguese club’s director Antonio Jose Leite. (Noticias ao Minuto via Daily Express)

Source: wolexis

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