Football transfer rumours: PSG in for Liverpool's James Milner?

Today’s tittle tattle is hanging on until Doomsday

Here’s some grim news for anyone who fancies a quiet life. Newcastle’s slow-burning takeover saga could be about to conclude, with the Dubai-based billionaire Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan reportedly set to be on the verge of releasing them from their Mike Ashley-shaped yoke. He is a half-brother of the Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour, and Newcastle are yet to deny that a deal is afoot, offering nothing more than a “no comment”. Just remember to log out of Twitter, and perhaps all of the internet, when we are all discussing their duopoly at the top of the league in five years’ time.

Meanwhile, who can possibly beat a good homecoming? Paul Pogba certainly enjoyed it when, in that Stormzy-orchestrated big reveal, he returned to the place – one of the places – he knows and loves back in August 2016. A shame it hasn’t worked out so well, then, but the Manchester United midfielder might have a convenient escape valve at hand. What about another magnificent return, but this time to Juventus? It could be a goer: the Old Lady would consider offering Paulo Dybala and Alex Sandro, two players who could help speed Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s deep clean up a bit, in return for their former hero. That could be enough to pip a procrastinating Real Madrid to the prize.

Real could do with getting shot of Gareth Bale before another big name comes in, but that might prove tricky. Everyone knows they’re making eyes at Eden Hazard, but Christian Eriksen – who only has a year left on his Spurs contract – is also setting their tongues wagging. Swap deal with Spurs for Bale, in a continuation of our returning-legend theme? It looks unlikely but presumably something will have to clear the logjam.

A player Real and United would both like is the outstanding Napoli centre-back, Kalidou Koulibaly. But Carlo Ancelotti has scotched that one: the Serie A club’s boss has said he will stay for another season, unless somebody ponies up around £132m. United might turn their attention to the more affordable young Benfica defender Rúben Dias.

It hasn’t worked yet with Neymar, so who would Paris Saint-Germain like to bring them that elusive Champions League prize? It’s James Milner, of course: a report claims Thomas Tuchel would love the versatile Liverpool veteran to come and teach his lads a thing or two about European success once his contract has run down after the Champions League final. Filipe Luís, the burly Atletico Madrid full-back, could be enlisted to add further steel.

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Where are Manchester City in all this early transfer posturing? They’re locked in a dark room with Leroy Sané, apparently, and no one is leaving until he’s agreed to sign a new deal rather than join Bayern Munich. But Sane knows he isn’t one of Pep Guardiola’s go-to guys these days and the sense is that he would like to try his luck anew as a main man in Bavaria. Could Sané and Callum Hudson-Odoi, whose Chelsea future remains unclear, become the new Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery?

Grim news for Everton, meanwhile, with West Ham reported to have bid £18m for André Gomes, the Barcelona midfielder who pulled the strings on loan at Goodison last season. Marco Silva is desperate to get his man nailed down permanently so needs to show his hand – with Spurs also waiting in the wings to snaffle up the Portugal star. Mauricio Pochettino is an admirer, although he is strongly in for the Real Betis schemer Giovani Lo Celso, who could cost a princely £52m.