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Wednesday’s transfer news: Dybala in United talks, Arsenal want Tierney on top of Pepe signing, Spurs and Chelsea latest

All the biggest transfer news, reports and done deals from Wednesday 31 July

Jack de Menezes
Wednesday 31 July 2019 16:05
Transfer deadline day summer 2019: The deals done so far

Follow the latest updates with our transfer live blog as Manchester United and Arsenal enter the final week of the summer window looking to make big moves that could send out a major statement. The Gunners are closing in on a club-record deal for Lille winger Nicolas Pepe that is expected to be announced today, but they have not yet dropped their interest in Celtic’s Kieran Tierney either.

United meanwhile have entered talks with Juventus about a swap deal involving Paulo Dybala and Romelu Lukaku, with the Argentine’s agent already in England to hold negotiations with the Premier League club. Gareth Bale meanwhile continues to be trapped at Real Madrid, with the club now claiming that he is “not fit enough to play” despite blocking his move to China last week.

Bayern Munich’s pursuit of Leroy Sane has hit a stumbling block, with club chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge admitting that he doesn’t know why manager Niko Kovac is “very confident” of signing the Manchester City winger, while Newcastle United goalkeeper Freddie Woodman is attracting interest from Arsenal and Celtic. Follow the live updates below.

The summer transfer window closes at 5pm on Wednesday 8 August for all Premier League and Championship clubs, with teams in League One, League Two and across Europe able to sign new players until 11pm on Monday 2 September.


Welcome to The Independent's transfer live blog where we'll bring you all the latest done deals, rumours and updates throughout the summer window as we head into the final week before next Wednesday's deadline day.

Jack de Menezes31 July 2019 07:29

Arsenal are expected to complete the club-record signing of Nicolas Pepe today.

The Lille winger arrived in London on Tuesday to undergo a medical with the club and agree personal terms ahead of a £72m move, and it's understood that everything went smoothly between the two parties as footage emerged overnight of the Ivory Coast international in full Arsenal kit, ready for today's announcement.

The move is perhaps not the one that Arsenal fans will have expected at the start of the summer, but it will go a long way to appeasing their frustrations that the club are being left behind by their rivals.

We'll bring you all the details around the move as soon as it's announced.

Jack de Menezes31 July 2019 07:48

Arsenal are also still keen on signing Kieran Tierney from Celtic before next Wednesday's deadline.

Despite the club agreeing to pay £72m for Pepe, the club have managed to agree a deal spread over five years, meaning they still have something of a transfer budget this summer.

And according to the Daily Mail, what is left in the transfer kitty will be allocated in full towards the deal to sign Scotland full-back Tierney.

Jack de Menezes31 July 2019 08:17

Manchester United have opened discussions with Juventus over a move for their out-of-favour striker Paulo Dybala.

But the talks are far from simple, as the Italian club are keen on signing Romelu Lukaku in return in what could prove a straight swap deal.

Tottenham have been keen on Dybala this summer, but United look to be in pole position for the Argentine striker after it emerged late last night that his agent had already travelled to England for talks with the Manchester club.

Nothing is agree yet, but given how open United were to selling Lukaku to Inter Milan, the move makes sense for Ed Woodward and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Jack de Menezes31 July 2019 08:24

However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was not about to give the game away in their pursuit of Dybala.

After United beat Kristiansund in their pre-season friendly last night, the United manager was quizzed about the latest updates in negotiations.

But he chose to remain coy on the matter, given that executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is handling talks.

He said: “I’m not here to talk about rumours about other teams’ players. We’re working on one or two cases. It’s 10 days or so before we start the league and hopefully we can announce a fresh face or two."

Jack de Menezes31 July 2019 08:55

But The Independent can confirm that talks between the two clubs are very much ongoing, and that United are keen on signing Dybala - who himself is looking to leave Juventus after losing his place in the starting XI to Cristiano Ronaldo last year.

Northern football correspondent Mark Critchley has the latest:

Jack de Menezes31 July 2019 09:16

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has not been one to be afraid of calling out the club publicly when it comes to their transfer business.

That had looked to have changed following the club-record signing of Tanguy Ndombele this summer, but the follow-up transfers have not arrived and when asked about this yesterday, Pochettino seemed somewhat annoyed by the lack of progress.

Speaking after the victory over Real Madrid in Munich, Pochettino said: "I am not in charge and I know nothing about the situation of my players.

"I am only coaching them and trying to get the best from them. Sell, buy players, sign contract, not sign contract - I think it is not in my hands, it's in the club's hands and (chairman) Daniel Levy.

"The club need to change my title and description. Of course I am the boss deciding the strategic play, but in another area I don't know. Today, I feel like I am the coach."

Here's the full story:

Jack de Menezes31 July 2019 09:41

The latest twist in the Gareth Bale saga has come from manager Zinedine Zidane.

The Frenchman kicked it all off when he publicly announced that he hoped to see Bale sold sooner rather than later, only for the club hierarchy to pull the plug on a lucrative move to Chinese side Jiangsu Suning as they were not satisfied with the transfer fee.

Bale's response was one of fury, after being forced out of the club only to be told he couldn't leave, and he did not travel with the rest of the team for their pre-season friendly against Spurs yesterday in Munich.

However, Zidane has now claimed that the decision for Bale not to travel was due to him "not being fit enough", and that it had nothing to do with the 'will he-won't he' saga that is playing out in Madrid.

Jack de Menezes31 July 2019 10:07

Manchester United are being linked in France with a move for Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti.

According to LeSport10, the five-month injury lay-off for Eric Bailly will spark United into action in the transfer market for a centre-back.

However, as they have not reached a breakthrough in negotiations for Leicester City's Harry Maguire, the French newspaper reports that Barcelona's out-of-favour defender has grabbed United's interest.

The report does add that United are yet to move for the 25-year-old though, who previously interested Arsenal earlier this summer.

Jack de Menezes31 July 2019 10:31

Neymar's return to Barcelona will not be happening this summer.

Spanish newspaper Marca reports that PSG have vetoed any transfer back to the Nou Camp due to the bad blood that still remains between the two.

Barca were furious with PSG's approach two years ago to take the Brazilian to the French capital, which lead to a firm reposte from the Ligue 1 side that they would not be bullied by the Catalans.

That bad relationship remains in place, and Marca claims that while PSG are open to Neymar leaving the club this summer, they will block any approach from Barcelona.

However, it is highly unlikely that Barca can afford Neymar due to their €107, signing of Antoine Griezmann, unless they agree to let a substantial collection of players move in the opposite direction.

Jack de Menezes31 July 2019 10:57

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