LIVE Transfer Talk Barcelona coming in with 55m-plus pound bid for Chelsea’s Willian

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ESPN FC’s Shaka Hislop breaks down the latest rumours making the rounds in Transfer Rater, involving Jasper Cillessen, Thibaut Courtois and more.

The transfer window is open, and Transfer Talk has the latest rumours making the rounds. Follow along with our daily blog throughout the summer.

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TOP STORY: Barca bid £55m for Willian

Chelsea winger Willian is the subject of a third bid from Barcelona, according to Sky Sports, with the La Liga title holders reportedly lodging a £55 million bid for the Brazil international.

The 29-year-old blew hot and cold for the Selecao at the World Cup, but his pace was evident throughout and he also showed his willingness to commit to defensive duties, working his way back to recover the ball when the team lost possession.

The playmaker was also arguably one of the best players on the field not named Lionel Messi when Chelsea were eliminated from the Champions League by Barcelona in the round of 16, which was perhaps when he first caught the eye of Camp Nou personnel gurus.

Any move for Willian could have to wait until Barca free up a spot for another player without an EU passport, as La Liga rules limit clubs to just three non-holders and Barcelona have Philippe Coutinho, Arthur, and Yerry Mina taking up those spots. However, Coutinho could qualify for a Portuguese passport through his partner — and his new citizenship could go into effect from this season.

LIVE BLOG

10:07 BST: Marca report Atletico Madrid have agreed a deal to sign Jonny from Celta Vigo, but will look to loan him out for the season — ideally to a Premier League club.

09:49 BST: Tottenham right-back Kieran Trippier’s brilliant World Cup has alerted Real Madrid, who are prepared to bid £50m bid, according to The Sun.

09:33 BST: Borussia Dortmund and Everton are keen on signing £60m-rated Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace, according to the Daily Mail — but they add that Tottenham are not interested.

09.16 BST: Lokomotiv Moscow have made an €8 million bid for Barcelona man Aleix Vidal, with an extra €2m in add-ons, according to Mundo Deportivo. However, the offer is is well below the club’s asking price.

09.00 BST: Atletico Madrid are interested in signing Olivier Giroud from Chelsea, according to Sky Sport Italia. Atletico had appeared on the verge of sealing a deal for Nikola Kalinic, but the report adds that their patience with AC Milan is waning.

PAPER ROUND: Corinthians digging in on Pedrinho

Corinthians will not begin negotiations over midfield jewel Pedrinho for anything less than €50m despite a recent offer of €20m from Ajax, the player’s agent Will Dantas told Globeosporte.

Pedrinho is seen as next in line from the club that sent Malcom, Marquinhos and Willian to Europe for cut-price rates most recently, but “O Timao,” as they are called in Brazil, are playing hardball this time around, per Dantas.

“What happened was [Giuliano] Bertolucci, who has a partnership with us, brought an offer in the area of €20 million from Ajax for Pedrinho. But Corinthians had told me that they only begin negotiating for a price near the buyout clause, which is €50 million, so it wasn’t put forward.”

Dantas said Italian side Udinese, a notorious buyer of young Brazilians, have also logged a bid for the talented 20-year-old. 

Benzema hits back at De Laurentiis swipe

No one knows just where Karim Benzema will end up before the window closes, but one thing is certain: The Real Madrid striker did not take kindly to comments from Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis about links with a move to Napoli.

The Napoli president rubbished reports that they were interested in Benzema and Angel Di Maria among others, calling the two “old men,” while adding reported interest in Radamel Falcao was “totally false.”

And Benzema hit back on Instagram, writing, “Another nutter on the list! No 9s make him lose it,” ostensibly referring to San Paulo exits by Edinson Cavani, Gonzalo Higuain and Fabio Quagliarella in the past decade.

Furthermore, the former France international could really make Di Laurentiis regret his comments at least two times a year if Calciomercato’s report that the 30-year-old is actually on the brink of a move to one of Napoli’s Serie A rivals, AC Milan. Benzema’s representatives have already met with the Rossoneri, with the player already signing off on a move to the San Siro.

Tap-ins

– Everton are readying a £22m offer to Barcelona for Lucas Digne, according to the Mirror. The 25-year-old failed to find a regular place at the Camp Nou, but the report says new boss Marco Silva “feels Digne could be Leighton Baines’ long-term successor at Goodison Park.”

– With Thibaut Courtois’ future at Chelsea uncertain, The Sun is reporting that the Blues are lining up a surprise replacement in Joe Hart. There is clearly no future for Hart at Manchester City, despite his participation in the team’s U.S. tour, and Chelsea are now on alert that they could land him on the cheap for just £5m.

– Everton are closing in on a £40 million move for Watford star Richarlison, sources have told ESPN FC. The two clubs are in advanced talks over a deal for the Brazilian, who has flown back from Watford’s preseason tour of Austria for talks and a medical.



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