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LIVE Transfer Talk: Chelsea turn to Bayer Leverkusen defender Tapsoba after Fofana bids rejected

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How did it go so wrong for Chelsea in Leeds humiliation? (0:56)

Janusz Michallik feels Chelsea are severely lacking in attacking options and need to strengthen immediately in that area. (0:56)

The summer transfer window is racing toward the Sept. 1 deadline, and there's plenty of gossip swirling about who's moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Chelsea turn to Tapsoba after Fofana bids rejected

Chelsea are looking for a new centre-back and have turned their attention to Bayer Leverkusen's Edmond Tapsoba, says Sky Germany.

Tapsoba, 23, joined Bayer Leverkusen back in 2019 and the Burkina Faso has impressed in the Bundesliga, attracting interest from some of Europe's top clubs.

Chelsea's first choice is Leicester City defender Wesley Fofana but their third bid of £70m was declined and sources have told ESPN that an offer in excess of £80m is needed.

The Blues have already signed Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli for £34m, to replace Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen who left on free transfers for Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively. Chelsea youngster Trevoh Chalobah is also set to move out on loan in order to get regular game-time, with RB Leipzig, Spurs, Roma and Inter Milan keen.

Tapsoba still has another four years left on his contract, but would come a lot cheaper than Fofana and Chelsea might now be forced to look at other options.

- Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, more (U.S.)

LIVE BLOG

21.40 BST: Abdou Diallo has rejected a move to AC Milan, reports L'Equipe.

The 26-year-old centre-back was highlighted as a defensive reinforcement by the Serie A champions this summer, but the latest indicates that he wasn't convinced by the project that he was offered by the San Siro hierarchy.

The Senegal international made 12 appearances in Ligue 1 for Paris Saint-Germain last season.

21.10 BST: Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will only leave the Estadio Olimpico if a top European club comes calling, writes Gazzetta dello Sport.

The Biancocelesti are reported to have received an offer during the current transfer window for the 27-year-old, who has also been linked with Manchester United, but there is optimism from the Serie A side that he will remain with them beyond this summer.

The Serbia international has featured in both of Lazio's opening Serie A clashes this season, securing an assist in their 2-1 win over Bologna on the opening day.

20.47 BST: Serge Aurier looks set to return to the Premier League, having agreed a deal to join Nottingham Forest, according to Foot Mercato.

The 29-year-old former Tottenham Hotspur right-back has been a free agent since his contract expired with Villarreal in the summer, but it looks as though he has finally decided his next destination. It is reported that full agreement has been reached over terms, with the Ivory Coast international set to undergo his medical before the move can be announced.

20.19 BST: Despite reports indicating that Real Madrid are looking for a transfer fee for Mariano Diaz, Marca understands that the club are willing to let him go on a free transfer.

A number of teams in LaLiga are reported to have approached Carlo Ancelotti's side for the 29-year-old striker, who has been reluctant to go in search of a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu.

19.43 BST: AC Milan are continuing talks as they look to reward Sandro Tonali with an improved contract, reports Gianluca Di Marzio.

The Rossoneri have proposed a five-year deal to the 22-year-old midfielder who would extend his stay at the San Siro until 2027, and it is reported that discussions are now in their final stages.

Tonali has been linked with clubs in the Premier League this summer, and it looks as though the Serie A champions are keen to ward off any potential suitors.

19.12 BST: After Georginio Wijnaldum sustained a broken tibia for Roma in training, the Serie A club have identified Mady Camara as a short-term alternative, reveals Calciomercato.

Jose Mourinho's side are keen to land the 25-year-old Olympiacos midfielder on a season-long loan deal that includes a permanent option clause, and it is understood that talks are already at an advanced stage.

18.36 BST: Wolves are looking to complete a double swoop of Sasa Kalajdzic and Victor Nelsson before the transfer window closes, reports the Mail.

Talks are already ongoing with Stuttgart as they continue to discuss a £15m deal for Kalajdzic, the 25-year-old striker, while they are also looking to sign 23-year-old Nelsson of Galatasaray as a replacement for Nottingham Forest-linked Willy Boly.

18.07 BST: Inigo Martinez is continuing to hold off from new contract talks with Athletic Bilbao with eyes on a move to Barcelona, writes Sport.

Manager Xavi Hernandez is reported to have identified the 31-year-old centre-back as a key target this summer, but after a €20m offer was refuted, the Blaugrana are planning to return for him in January when a pre-contract agreement can be signed.

17.33 BST: Any potential move involving Memphis Depay to Juventus is now off, according to Fabrizio Romano.

While talks were understood to be progressing well last week with Barcelona and the 28-year-old forward, the latest indicates that the Bianconeri have instead prioritised their budget on moves for Marseille striker Arkadiusz Milik, and Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Leandro Paredes.

17.08 BST: Leicester City have already begun scouting for potential alternatives for Wesley Fofana, reveals Foot Mercato.

It is reported that the Foxes believe that the 21-year-old defender's move to Chelsea is accelerating, and they have already begun preparations by beginning to create a shortlist from players in the Premier League and Ligue 1. Sources told ESPN on Thursday that Brendan Rodgers' side were continuing to demand a world-record fee to part ways with him.

16.42 BST: Will Leeds United make any more moves this summer? Manager Jesse Marsch isn't ruling it out.

""How likely it is, that's dependent on how things play out and what their availability is," he said. "We don't have a surplus of money to bring in a huge transfer, but we've done a good job of analysing players who are of interest to us."

Leeds have done their work already in this window, welcoming U.S. internationals Tyler Adams and Brenden Aaronson to Elland Road, as well as Luis Sinisterra, Darko Gyabi, Rasmus Kristensen, Joel Robles and Marc Roca to a squad that narrowly avoided relegation last season. That said, they could benefit from more help up front, with just Patrick Bamford and Rodrigo in the squad from a goalscoring perspective.

(For more on Leeds' remarkable turnaround and Marsch's magic, check out Tom Hamilton's feature.)

16.06 BST: With talk of Manchester United's interest in Ajax forward Antony intensifying, ESPN's Stewart Robson had some thoughts on that move.

15.24 BST: Premier League clubs have broken their spending record in a summer transfer window with the deadline still a week away, according to analysis from finance company Deloitte.

According to Deloitte, top flight clubs have spent £1.5 billion this summer which exceeds the previous record of £1.4bn in 2017.

It also surpasses the £1.4bn that was spent by clubs in the whole of last season.

The all-time Premier League spending record stands at £1.86bn for the entire season which was set in 2017-18.

"The record levels of spending that we've seen in this summer transfer window so far provides a sign that the business models of Premier League clubs are rebounding post-COVID," said Chris Wood, assistant director in Deloitte's Sports Business Group. "While this is encouraging, the importance of clubs establishing responsible and sustainable spending policies cannot be overstated."

15.00 BST: Do Liverpool need to play Trent Alexander-Arnold on the wing instead of at right-back?

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Is Ansu Fati ready to become a regular starter for Barcelona?

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14.32 BST: Manchester United have made a bid to sign Bayern Munich defender Benjamin Pavard, says L'Equipe.

Pavard, 26, has been linked with the likes of Chelsea, Juventus and Atletico Madrid in recent months as his future in Munich has been unclear.

But the France international has reportedly decided to stay put and United's offer has been turned down.

14.15 BST: Alexandra Popp has committed her future to Wolfsburg, signing a new three-year contract.

Popp, 31, scored six times at Euro 2022 as Germany lost to England in the final, finishing as joint-top scorer with England's Beth Mead.

The Germany striker has been with Frauen Bundesliga champions Wolfsburg since 2012 and has lifted 18 domestic and three European titles during her career to date.

"I'm very pleased to be held in such high esteem and I'm extremely happy at VfL Wolfsburg," she told the club website. "When I look back on the last few years, it's clear I'm at the best club in Germany. I can also see the outstanding quality in our team. It's great fun for me to perform with these girls on and off the pitch and to fight for more silverware."

14.01 BST: Real Madrid winger Marco Asensio is the subject of interest from Manchester United, according to Relevo.

Asensio, 26, scored 12 goals in 42 games last season and is now reportedly being tracked by a host of top clubs from England and Italy.

United are set to make a €30m bid to sign the Spain international but manager Carlo Ancelotti wants him to stay and contribute this season.

13.21 BST: Tottenham Hotspur defender Sergio Reguilon is on the radar of Lazio, according to Gianluca De Marzio.

Reguilon, 25, is out of favour under Antonio Conte at Spurs but Lazio are keen to do a deal for the Spanish full-back.

Nottingham Forest have also been linked, while a loan move where Reguilon's salary is covered in full would be considered.

12.47 BST: Probably a bit far-fetched but given Liverpool's start to the season, perhaps not...

The Daily Express claims that Liverpool might accelerate their plans to sign midfielder Jude Bellingham after reports that Borussia Dortmund are interested in Naby Keita.

Bellingham, 19, is arguably the best young midfielder in Europe and Dortmund won't let him go for less than €120m, but after two draws and a defeat to start their Premier League season, the Reds are considering going big on a bid before the deadline on Sept 1.

This could include Keita, who has fallen down the pecking order at Anfield, in an effort to lower the overall transfer fee and help Dortmund with a readymade replacement.

12.23 BST: Real Sociedad have joined in the race to sign Edinson Cavani, according to COPE.

The Basque outfit are looking to find a replacement for Sweden striker Alexander Isak, who is set to join Newcastle United in a €70m transfer.

Cavani, 35, is a free agent after his contract with Manchester United expired earlier this summer. The Uruguay forward has been a target of Valencia and Villarreal, while Cavani arrived in Madrid last weekend with his family to try and seal a move to Spain.

12.00 BST: Newcastle are ready to spend €70m to sign Real Sociedad striker Alexander Isak.

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Hislop loves the options Isak opens up for Newcastle

Shaka Hislop says the signing of Alexander Isak will give Eddie Howe strength in depth in his Newcastle attack.

11.31 BST: Manchester United are focused on signing Antony from Ajax before the transfer window closes but remain interested in bringing in a goalkeeper and a right-back ahead of the deadline, sources have told ESPN.

Ajax have been informed that United have not ended their pursuit of Antony despite seeing an €80m bid rejected.

The Dutch side have made it clear they are under no pressure to let him go after raising around €130m already this summer, but sources have told ESPN they have communicated to United they will consider offers of around €100m for the Brazilian winger because of his desire to move to Old Trafford.

Sources have told ESPN that signing a forward is Erik ten Hag's priority before next week's deadline and that if a fee for Antony cannot be agreed, they will step up interest in Cody Gakpo, Christian Pulisic and Marcus Thuram.

PSV Eindhoven asked that any talks over Gakpo were delayed until after their Champions League qualifier with Rangers on Wednesday, while there has been no encouragement from Chelsea that they would be willing to let Pulisic join a Premier League rival.

United are also still in the hunt for a back-up goalkeeper after interest in Borussia Monchengladbach's Yann Sommer and Eintracht Frankfurt's Kevin Trapp came to nothing. Low-cost options including Martin Dubravka at Newcastle and Tim Krul at Norwich are being considered.

Ten Hag is also keen to secure a right-back to compete with Diogo Dalot -- particularly if Crystal Palace firm up interest in Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

10.42 BST: Barcelona have agreed to loan defender Samuel Umtiti to Lecce for the remainder of the season, the club announced on Thursday.

The Serie A club secured the arrival of the experienced centre-back, which does not include an option to keep Umtiti permanently at the end of the season.

Barcelona are desperate to lower their wage bill in order to register defender Jules Kounde, who joined the club earlier this month from Sevilla.

However, Umtiti's move to Italy is unlikely to help Barcelona in that respect with the LaLiga giants reportedly set to pay his wages in full.

Lecce will reportedly pay a fee to Barcelona that will vary depending on the number of performances Umtiti makes this season.

10.28 BST: Celta Vigo midfielder Denis Suarez has revealed he is only allowed to train with the team when the fans show up at training.

The LaLiga club are keen to offload Suarez in this transfer window. According to club executives, the player has turned down all offers presented to him this summer which Suarez claims he has never received.

Suarez, who is one of the highest-paid players at Celta and is under contract until June 2024, has been training separately from the rest of the squad

He posted photographs on social media in which he is seen training with the other players, along with a message directed at the fans that said: "I wish you were every day at the training ground. When you show up it's the only day that I'm allowed to train with the team all the time.....coincidences of life."

09.53 BST: Leicester City are continuing to demand a world-record fee for Wesley Fofana as the defender trains away from the first-team squad amid Chelsea's ongoing interest, sources have told ESPN's James Olley.

Chelsea have made three offers for Fofana, the third of which was worth £70m and was instantly rejected by Leicester on Tuesday.

Leicester value the 21-year-old at the same level as Harry Maguire, who left the club in 2019 to join Manchester United for £80m -- a figure which still stands as the highest-ever paid for a defender.

Fofana was left out of Leicester's 2-1 home defeat to Southampton last weekend with manager Brendan Rodgers admitting the Frenchman was not in the right state of mind to play.

He is now training with the club's Under-23s and Rodgers said he is seeking a quick resolution to the situation after weeks of speculation.

"Of course if it happens, the sooner the better, because it might allow us to do some work [in the transfer market]," he said. Chelsea are now weighing up whether to improve their overall offer or modify the terms so a greater chunk of the proposed £70m is paid up front rather than in add-ons.

Fofana is Thomas Tuchel's top defensive target and sources have told ESPN he is keen to make a fourth offer before next Thursday's transfer deadline.

- Players to watch in the final week of the transfer window

09.16 BST: Mariano Diaz has accepted that he should leave Real Madrid this summer, Diario AS reports, but there's a difference of opinion with the club over how to make that happen -- with the player wanting to leave for free, and Madrid expecting a transfer fee.

Mariano, 29, has barely featured for Madrid since rejoining from Lyon in 2018, making eleven LaLiga starts in four years.

The forward turned down moves to Benfica and Rayo Vallecano in recent summers, while his annual salary of around €10m before tax has also been a major obstacle.

According to AS, Mariano would prefer to stay in LaLiga, but the finances make that difficult -- although a deal similar to the one that saw Luka Jovic join Fiorentina for free, with Madrid entitled to a percentage of a future sale, could be considered.

08.39 BST: Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe is set to join Nice on a season-long loan, sources have told ESPN's James Olley.

The 27-year-old is expected to travel to France to undergo a medical after the two clubs agreed a deal, which does not include an obligation or option to make the transfer permanent.

Pepe's departure is a reflection of his minimal impact since making a club-record £72m move from Lille in 2019.

The winger has scored 27 goals in 112 appearances but started just five games last season as manager Mikel Arteta preferred Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe among others in Arsenal's wide positions.

Pepe has two years remaining on his current contract and his situation will be reviewed next summer.

08.00 BST: Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola continues to leave the door open for Bernardo Silva to join Barcelona despite the remote chances of a move to Camp Nou materialising for the midfielder this month.

Guardiola mischievously quipped that Silva is fond of Barcelona and said that while he wants him to stay he does not want unhappy players at City.

"I'm no one to tell Barca to forget about [signing] Bernardo," Guardiola said in a news conference after City drew 3-3 with Barca at Camp Nou in a friendly on Wednesday. "We want him to stay with us, but I don't want anyone who's not happy. The first thing would be for the clubs to come to an agreement, but there has been no offer for him in these last two years.

"I don't want him to go, he's a superlative player and a great person... and there are only seven or eight days left [in the window] and we would have to turn to the transfer market. I want him to stay. That said, it is true Bernardo likes Barcelona a lot."

Seated alongside Guardiola, Barca coach Xavi Hernandez was asked if he would like to sign Silva.

"Who doesn't like Bernardo Silva?" he replied. "And [Kevin] De Bruyne, [Erling] Haaland, what a team... but [Bernardo] is a very important player for City, someone who makes the difference. I love how he plays because there are very players like him, but [a move] depends on City."

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PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)

- Manchester United are getting closer to signing one of their top targets this summer, with the Premier League club closing in on Ajax star Antony, according to The Athletic. The 22-year-old winger's agents are in London and looking to secure their client a move to Old Trafford, with the latest suggesting that both clubs are discussing a €94m deal. Sources previously told ESPN that Ajax were only considering a financial package worth closer to €100m following an initial €80m bid from United. Sources also added that United had not given up on signing the Brazilian, partly because he has made it known to Ajax he wants to move to Old Trafford. It is reported that Manchester United have since cooled their interest in their alternative option in PSV Eindhoven's Cody Gakpo amid their optimism of signing Antony.

- Talks between Manchester United and Newcastle United are ongoing over a deal for goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, reports Sky Sports. The Red Devils are keen to add competition for David de Gea this season, and after the Magpies acquired Nick Pope, they could be prepared to part ways with the 33-year-old Slovakia international.

- Newcastle have identified Conor Gallagher as a key loan target before the transfer window closes, according to the Telegraph. With sources telling ESPN that Newcastle will sign Real Sociedad striker Alexander Isak for €70m, Eddie Howe's side will turn now attention to the 22-year-old Chelsea midfielder. Gallagher impressed while on loan at Crystal Palace last season with eight goals and three assists in 34 Premier League appearances.

- The race for Ainsley Maitland-Niles is heating up with Southampton now keen to sign the Arsenal man, according to Fabrizio Romano. The Saints are interested in landing the 24-year-old defender on a loan deal that includes an option to make the move permanent, and the Gunners are looking to offload him this summer. Maitland-Niles has also been on the radar of West Ham United who could be set to contest for his signature.

- Mauro Icardi is in talks with Galatasaray as the Paris Saint-Germain striker looks to gain regular minutes, reports Foot Mercato. The Argentina international would join the Turkish side on a loan deal that includes a permanent option.

- Atletico Madrid have no plans to move on Renan Lodi, reveals Fabrizio Romano. The left-back was on the radar of Manchester City this summer, and after Nottingham Forest made an enquiry to Diego Simeone's side, it looks as though they have once again waved away the interest from the Premier League. Lodi, 24, made 29 appearances in LaLiga last season.