Euro Paper Talk: Atletico Madrid prepare new deal for Man Utd target Lucas Hernandez
By Matt Gault, Football Whispers
Last Updated: 08/09/18 11:10am
The summer transfer window may be closed but the rumour mill remains active as clubs plot January moves and reassess their strategies for next summer.
Our friends at Football Whispers have scoured the European media to pick out the best stories from across the continent.
Barcelona kept their No 7 shirt free for Antoine Griezmann over the summer, with the La Liga champions confident they were going to land the France international from Atletico Madrid. Griezmann was heavily linked with a switch to the Camp Nou before deciding to extend his stay at Atleti. Barca ultimately handed Philippe Coutinho the No 7 jersey ahead of the 2018/19 after failing to lure Griezmann away from the Spanish capital. (Marca)
Meanwhile, Atletico are keen to ward off interest in Lucas Hernandez by tying the defender down to a new contract with a release clause of €150m (£134m). The 22-year-old played an important part in France's triumphant World Cup campaign and has in recent weeks emerged as a Manchester United transfer target. (AS)
Barcelona are leading the race for Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong. The 21-year-old is one of the hottest properties in European football and is currently valued at €50m (£45m). However, while the Catalans are keen to land the Dutchman, they will likely face competition from Europe's top clubs, with Manchester City, Roma, Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham Hotspur all said to have expressed interest. (Mundo Deportivo)
Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos has admitted to growing frustrated at the club under Zinedine Zidane last season. The 22-year-old, who is set for a more prominent role at the Champions League holders under the Frenchman's successor, Julen Lopetegui, said he would have left the Bernabeu had Zizou remained in charge. (Radio Marca)
Juventus' Paulo Dybala was forced to withdraw from the Argentina squad ahead of their friendly with Guatemala due to 'personal problems.' Interim head coach Lionel Scaloni confirmed Dybala's absence. (Corriere dello Sport)
Genoa president Enrico Preziosi has confirmed Napoli made an offer for goalkeeper Mattia Perin before he joined Juventus. Perin joined Juve following Gianluigi Buffon's departure to Paris Saint-Germain but, according to his former club's chief, could have joined Napoli had they submitted their offer earlier. (Radio Marte)
Fiorentina are preparing a lucrative new contract offer for Giovanni Simeone. The 23-year-old striker is one of the most sought-after talents in Italian football and, although his current deal runs until 2022, the player is demanding a salary of €2m (£1.8m) plus bonuses. If Fiorentina meet his demands, it would make El Cholito the highest-paid player at the club ahead of Federico Chiesa. (Calciomercato)
Kevin Prince-Boateng has revealed he decided to represent Ghana over Germany because he "wasn't wanted" The 31-year-old was born and raised in Germany and represented them to U21 level until switching allegiances to the African nation. His half-brother Jerome won the World Cup with Germany in 2014.
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"There was no room for me there [in the German national team]," the Sassuolo midfielder said. "Because I always say what I think. Back then, a guy like me wasn't wanted. I wanted to play for my country to represent who I am, and that's why I chose to play for Ghana. I'm happy because it enabled me to discover my origins." (Gazzetta dello Sport)
Alen Halilovic has fallen out of favour at AC Milan having only joined the Serie A giants in the summer. The 22-year-old was not in the matchday squad for last weekend's victory over Roma. The Croatian left Barcelona in 2016 having failed to make a La Liga appearance for Barca. (Gazzetta dello Sport)
Bordeaux have confirmed summer signing Toma Basic was accidentally omitted from the club's Europa League squad. The 21-year-old Croatian midfielder joined Les Girondins from Hajduk Split in August but was not submitted along with the French club's other players in advance of Monday's deadline. (L'Equipe)
Antoine Griezmann admits it was hard to turn down Barcelona but is settled at Atletico. "It's hard to say no to clubs like Barca but, really, I'm fine here," he said. "It's my home and I want to do something great." (L'Equipe)
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