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Football rumours from the media

Where is Thibaut Courtois?

With deadline day and the start of the new season fast approaching Chelsea have reportedly been left scrambling to buy a new keeper. According to the Daily Telegraph wantaway goalie Thibaut Courtois has attempted to force his exit by going absent without leave. The Belgian failed to report for training on Monday amid speculation that he may be targeted by Real Madrid. New boss Maurizio Sarri is said to have hoped to talk to the 26-year-old, who had been on an extended break after the World Cup. Stoke’s Jack Butland is the number one target, The Sun says, while Sevilla’s Sergio Rico has also been tipped as a potential replacement.

What the papers say

In a dramatic development the Daily Mail reports Paul Pogba’s agent is attempting to engineer a transfer to Barcelona. Mino Raiola is said to have had detailed discussion with the Spanish giants, while Manchester United have reportedly already turned down one offer for the £89million midfielder. Barcelona are said to have proposed a package of £44.6million cash and players Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes.

United have made a take it or leave it offer of up to £40million for Toby Alderweireld, the Daily Mirror reports. Jose Mourinho’s hopes to secure Leicester’s Harry Maguire were knocked after the Foxes refused to sell, the paper says. Now the Reds are have have dug in with a final bid to land Tottenham’s Belgium defender, although Spurs are reported to be driving a hard bargain with Alderweireld valued at £55million. According to the paper his value will fall to £25million in six months time, which could give decision-makers the incentive to sell.

Speculation over a Premier League move for Nabil Fekir grew on Monday as he refused to rule out leaving Lyon before the end of the transfer window. The creative forward has been linked with a summer move across the Channel, with both Liverpool and Chelsea reported to be interested. The Sun says the 25-year-old has been left out of Lyon’s squad to face the Blues on Tuesday, fuelling speculation a bid could be on the cards. Liverpool reportedly pulled the plug on a deal the France international in June worth £49million with £4.8million in add-ons.

Danny Welbeck has been told he will not see regular play next season, reports say (PA)

Arsenal are ready to listen to offers for Danny Welbeck, the Evening Standard reports. Unai Emery has told the England forward he will not get regular play this season and he would be competing to start on the left wing with Alex Iwobi. With one year left on his £115,000-a-week contract, selling Welbeck could help Arsenal recoup some of the £70million they have spent over the summer. The 27-year-old has been linked with Turkish side Besiktas, but is said to want to stay in England.

Social media round-up

Players to watch

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic: Manchester United are preparing a bid for the £138m-rated, 23-year-old Lazio midfielder, according to Calcio Mercato.

Peter Crouch: Burnley could make a £500,000 bid for Stoke’s former England striker, 37, The Sun reports.

Filip Benkovic: Leicester have reportedly held talks over a £13m move for the Dinamo Zagreb defender.


From Belfast Telegraph