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Manchester United and Real Madrid battle for Paul Pogba; Arsenal want Alexandre Lacazette, reject Sanchez bid

A round-up of the biggest transfer news and rumours doing the rounds on Saturday

Jack de Menezes
Saturday 09 July 2016 10:20 BST
Paul Pogba is wanted by both Manchester United and Real Madrid
Paul Pogba is wanted by both Manchester United and Real Madrid (Getty)

Manchester United look set to face competition in their £100m pursuit of Paul Pogba after Real Madrid entered the race to sign the midfielder, should he decide to leave Juventus this summer.

Pogba has a big decision to make once he returns from international duty with France at Euro 2016, although his attentions will undoubtedly be on Sunday’s final against Portugal as his side have the chance to win another European Championship on home soil.

It was reported on Friday that Pogba has told his close friends that he wants to leave the Serie A champions, paving the way towards a return to Old Trafford after the green light was given to press on with a £100m offer for the 23-year-old.

However, United’s standing as favourites for Pogba’s signature now looks in jeopardy after Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport linked Real with a move for the Frenchman. Real already harbour the two most expensive players in world football among their squad in Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, and it’s claimed that they are willing to break the £86m they spent on the Welshman in order to bring Pogba to Spain.

While United look to try and lure Pogba back to Old Trafford after a four-year absence, rivals Manchester City will press on with their efforts to sign Germany international Leroy Sane, according to the Manchester Evening News.

Summer 2016 Transfer Window - Done deals and rumours

City’s move for the 20-year-old Schalke midfielder was put on hold while he was at Euro 2016, but following Germany’s elimination from the competition in the semi-finals, it’s claimed City will now resume their bid to sign him this summer.

Pep Guardiola has already signed three new players since replacing Manuel Pellegrini in the form of Ilkay Gundogan, Nolito and Oleksandr Zinchenko, although he did refuse to confirm who would feature in his future transfer plans when he faced the media in his first press conference on Friday. Guardiola did however confirm that there will be changes to his squad, with Sane expected to be one of those coming into the squad.

Arsenal are also back in the news after they held talks with Lyon forward Alexandre Lacazette, according to the Daily Mail. The Gunners are in the hunt for a new striker after being turned down by Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy, but conflicting reports over a release clause in his Lacazette’s contract could hold up any negotiations.

Lyon claim that there is no such clause in the France international’s current deal, but widespread reports have suggested that he is available for £34m should Arsenal meet that valuation. The Mail though claims that Lyon will hold out for £42m after insisting they do not need to release the 25-year-old.

Arsenal are also reported to have turned down a £30m offer from Juventus for star forward Alexis Sanchez, with suggestions that the Chile international could be looking for a way out of the club this summer after two years in north London.

Sanchez is currently on holiday after his exploits in helping Chile to win the Copa America, but Italian news outlet Tuttosport claim that Juventus have seen a big-money offer rejected by the Premier League side.

 Alexis Sanchez is on holiday after winning the Copa America with Chile 

West Ham’s search for a striker continues too after they were reported to have reached an agreement with AC Milan over a £26m move for Carlos Bacca, according to Sky Sports. Having been linked with a number of strikers over the past few weeks, West Ham could finally be onto a successful deal, although personal negotiations could yet prove a stumbling block after it was reported by the Daily Mail that the Colombia striker is demanding £120,000-a-week in order to match the club’s current highest earner in Dimitri Payet.

One player who won’t be joining West Ham though is former Arsenal and Manchester United striker Robin van Persie, with The Mirror claiming that the east London club have turned down the chance to bring the Netherlands international back to the Premier League even though he is willing to take a sizeable pay-cut.

West Ham have already seen pursuits of Vardy, Lacazette, Carlos Tevez and Michy Batshuayi fail, but it looks like they will draw the line at launching a bid for Fenerbahce’s Van Persie.

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