Football transfer rumours: Celtic's Moussa Dembélé on his way to Arsenal?

Today’s fluff put the boom boom into my heart

It’s mid-July and we still don’t know if Alexis Sánchez will be staying at Arsenal or leaving. The player may have announced yesterday that he “wants to play in the Champions League” and had “made my decision” but the Sun today say the Chilean “is understood to love the London life” and might even sign a £275,000-a-week contract extension. However thanks to today’s Express we do know who would replace the Chilean if he does end up going: it’s Celtic’s Moussa Dembélé! “Despite insisting Sánchez would be forced to honour the last year of his contract,” they write, “Wenger is well aware losing an asset worth at least £50m would be economic madness.” Madness! The Gunners are about to receive €10m for Wojcech Szczesny, whose move to Juventus is going to be confirmed any day now, but that cash might not be in their bank account for long, what with them “considering making a £45m bid”, according to the Mirror, for the Southampton gossip-magnet Virgil van Dijk.

If the Sun is to be believed – yes, we know – there’s little point in them even making an offer, with the player still “insisting he will only move to Liverpool” and “considering handing in a transfer request to make sure he gets his way”. In other Liverpool-related news, Rafa Benítez “is desperate for new players”, says the Sun, and having already failed to convince the Reds to let Newcastle have the winger Sheyi Ojo on loan for the season, he is going to see if £10m in cash will get him to the north east for good. “Newcastle need to move fast as Middlesbrough are also keen,” reports the Sun, “but the fee is enough to tempt Liverpool to sell the Anfield reserve.”

Tottenham “are preparing another push to sign Everton’s Ross Barkley”, says the Independent. “There is a willingness on all sides to reach an agreement in this transfer window,” they insist, though that being the case they could just get on with actually concluding a move that has been a feature of idle rumour for months now. Spurs will also complete a deal for the Estudiantes right-back Juan Foyth by the end of the week, adds the Mirror.

Milan are “one step away” from signing Álvaro Morata, the Spanish striker courted by both Manchester United and Chelsea this summer, according to the Gazzetta dello Sport. That step, however, is the not insignificant one of agreeing a fee with Real Madrid. At the start of the summer Morata insisted his memories of playing for Juventus were so joyful he could not imagine joining another Serie A club, but the sight of other potential suitors repeatedly failing to stump up enough cash to move Madrid’s money men has clearly convinced him to change his mind. Milan, however, are also interested in signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and are unlikely to actually buy both. They are also trying to tempt Renato Sanches from Bayern Munich, a story the German club have officially confirmed: “We have not come to an agreement yet,” warned the German club’s CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Elsewhere in Milan, Internazionale are said to be close to signing Lazio’s Keita Baldé. This is interesting particularly because it would improve Inter’s options on the wing and thus potentially allow them to sell the Manchester United target Ivan Perisic, who has left the club’s pre-season training camp in order to visit “a trusted dentist” in Croatia.

Chelsea meanwhile are a Milan-sized single step away from signing Danilo, also from Real Madrid, the right-back having “reached an agreement with the Blues over his terms”, according to Globo Esporte via the Express, leaving the clubs to come to an agreement over his fee. The Blues will have to fork out something like £35m to make it happen.