Welcome to the timesofmalta.com football transfer blog. With the World Cup coming to a close clubs will be stepping up their efforts to try and strengthen their squad ahead of the upcoming season. Stay with us to follow all the latest news.

8.45pm That's it for tonight thank you everyone for staying with us and we will be back tomorrow. Good night.

8.30pm The Serie A transfer window has closed, with Genoa leaving Achraf Lazaar behind and reports Milan rejected Quincy Promes on loan from Spartak Moscow.

The deadline passed at 19.00 with a flurry of late activity.

However, some deals were not done, above all Newcastle United full-back Lazaar.

He flew out to have a medical with Genoa and terms were agreed, but it’s reported that the Grifone pulled out at the last minute and decided not to go through with it.

8.15pm Juventus have taken Luka Markovic on loan from Crotone, but he’ll join the Primavera or the B-team.

The 18-year-old forward signed for the Squali in March, having left FK Cukaricki the previous month.

Today it has been confirmed that the Bianconeri have taken him on loan, but he won’t be a first team signing.

Markovic will join the Primavera squad or the new B team which will compete in Serie C.

Juve have also signed a goalkeeper, Franco Israel, from Club Nacional on a permanent transfer.

8.05pm Cagliari have officially signed defender Ragnar Klavan from Liverpool, just getting the paperwork sorted before the transfer deadline.

The Isolani agreed a deal to buy the centre-back for around €2m - €1.3m up-front with €700,000 in potential bonuses - and he took his medical this afternoon.

It was a race against time for the Estonia international, but Cagliari registered the contract with the Lega Serie A just 10 minutes before the deadline.

He signed a two-year contract with option for a third.

8pm Lazio have officially sent versatile winger Mattia Sprocati on loan to Parma.

The 25-year-old can play on the left, right or even as a support striker.

It is a return to the Stadio Tardini, as he was already on the Parma books in their youth team up to the club’s bankruptcy in 2015.

In recent seasons, he played for Pro Vercelli and Salernitana, before the €2.5m transfer to Lazio in July.

Eager for more regular playing time, Sprocati has been sent out on loan to newly-promoted Parma.

7.50pm Bologna have closed the door for Mattia Destro’s Sampdoria move, as talks for Genoa’s Gianluca Lapadula broke down.

The three clubs were looking to do a deadline day deal which would have seen Destro move to the Blucerchiati on loan.

Lapadula would then have moved to the Stadio Dall’Ara as a replacement, but it appears there just wasn’t enough time to get a deal done.

7.45pm Cagliari have signed Jherson Vergara outright from Milan, before immediately loaning him out to Olbia.

The Colombian joined the Rossoneri in 2013 for €2m, but never actually made a competitive appearance for them.

Today it was confirmed that he has moved to Cagliari on a permanent transfer, before an immediate loan move to Serie C.

7.38pm Frosinone have officially signed 19-year-old Uruguayan forward Joaquin Ardaiz from FC Chiasso.

The striker joined Swiss outfit Chiasso from Tanque Sisley after his loan spell at Royal Antwerp.

He then immediately signed a loan deal with Frosinone, including an option to buy.

The contract was registered with the Lega Serie A less than an hour before the transfer deadline.

7.30pm Some news from the Maltese transfer market. Tarxien Rainbows have completed the signing of defender Daniel Zerafa.

For Zerafa this will be his third stint with the Rainbows and arrives after playing for Ħamrun Spartans last season.

The Rainbows have also signed Dario Zampa, formerly of Sirens, St Andrews and Pietà Hotspurs.

7.20pm Fiorentina midfielder Riccardo Saponara is on the verge of joining Sampdoria on a €2m loan with a €9m option to buy.

The 26-year-old joined the Viola in January 2017 on an initial loan deal, which was made permanent that summer.

The former Italian Under-21 international made 20 appearances in all competitions, but is now set to move to the Blucerchiati.

Sky Italia reports that a €2m loan has been agreed, with a €9m option to buy at the end of the season.

7.15pm Parma club manager Alessandro Lucarelli confirms “we’re waiting for a response” from Inter forward Yann Karamoh.

The French Under-21 international has an offer to join the Ducali on loan, but with just over an hour to the transfer deadline a deal hasn’t been concluded.

“We’re waiting for a response from the player,” Lucarelli confirmed to calciomercato.it.

“We’ll see what happens at the end of the market, we’re neither optimistic or pessimistic. We’re waiting.”

7pm Simone Zaza has returned to Serie A by completing his transfer from Valencia to Torino for a total €14m.

The striker had been on the verge of a move to Sampdoria, but instead turned towards the Granata.

It’s a €2m loan with €12m obligation to buy in June 2019.

Zaza will reportedly earn €1.5m per year, on a par with new teammate Andrea Belotti.

6.50pm Udinese appear to have failed in a move for Palermo midfielder Mato Jajalo.

The 30-year-old has spent five seasons with the Rosanero, but the Sicilian club are keen to get him off the wage bill ahead of their second season in Serie B.

It appeared the Zebrette would offer an escape route, but Tuttomercatoweb is now reporting that a transfer fee couldn’t be agreed.

The deal appears to be dead in the water, and Palermo will now look at foreign options to sell.

6.30pm Arsenal have officially confirmed that Stephy Mavididi has signed for Juventus, where he’ll join the B team.

Reports emerged late last night that the English Under-21 international was set for a move to Italy, and it has today been confirmed that he’ll continue his career in Turin.

“Stephy Mavididi has signed for Juventus on a permanent transfer,” the Gunners confirmed on their official website.

“The 20-year-old forward will initially join the Italian side's 'B' team. Stephy has previously spent time on loan at Preston North End, and also had two spells at Charlton Athletic, where he spent the second half of last season."

6.15pm Inter midfielder Joao Mario is in negotiations with Rubin Kazan, who suddenly leapfrogged Real Betis and Sevilla.

The Portugal international returned from his loan spell at West Ham United, but is not part of Luciano Spalletti’s plans.

According to Calciomercato.com and La Gazzetta dello Sport, the latest favourites to sign him are Rubin Kazan.

They are prepared to pay €18m for Joao Mario, whereas Betis and Sevilla were only offering a loan deal with option to buy.

6pm Milan technical director Leonardo confirmed there was never a negotiation for Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

Despite the director making it clear that the Rossoneri couldn’t afford the Serbian, he was nonetheless repeatedly linked with a move.

Some outlets speculated on a €40m loan with an option to buy next summer, but there were never any real talks.

“There was never a negotiation,” Leonardo said in today’s Press conference, as the club presented Diego Laxalt and Samu Castillejo.

“I talked to his agent, Mateja Kerman, but we’ve had a relationship for many years. There was never a negotiation, partly because we knew it was something that isn’t feasible right now."

5.45pm Roma old boys Gervinho and Salih Ucan have officially joined Serie A new boys Parma and Empoli respectively.

Gervinho arrives from Chinese side Hebei China Fortune on a three-year contract after terminating his contract early.

The Cote d’Ivoire winger scored 17 goals in 71 Serie A appearances for the Giallorossi during a two-and-a-half year spell at the Olimpico.

Empoli, meanwhile, bring in Ucan, who played just 10 times for the Lupi between 2014 and 2016.

5.30pm Emiliano Rigoni has officially joined Atalanta, on loan with option to buy from Zenit St Petersburg.

The deal is believed to be worth €1m for the loan with a €15m option that can be activated in June 2019.

“I already had the opportunity to come here many years ago, it finally happened at the end and I am very happy,” the 25-year-old Argentina international told Sky Sport Italia last night.

5.20pm Sampdoria have officially signed defender Lorenzo Tonelli from Napoli on a season-long loan.

Lega Serie A’s website confirmed Tonelli’s contract had been deposited by Samp, while Transfermarkt notes they have paid €500,000 to take him for the season.

Previous reports suggest the Blucerchiati have included an option to buy for the 28-year-old, who played just nine times in two seasons with Napoli.

5.05pm New signing Tiemoue Bakayoko believes he’ll be more suited to Serie A and Milan than Chelsea, but Gennaro Gattuso has a similar “passion” to Antonio Conte.

“I learned a lot and worked very hard in the Premier League, but I think I might be more suited to Italian football and am very happy that Milan called me,” said the France international.

“I started in some important games at Chelsea and think I gained experience that will serve me well in the future. It didn’t all go positively, but I am very motivated for this new adventure.

“Milan won so much on an international level and in terms of history. I wouldn’t want to be at any other club.”

4.50pm Claudio Ranieri will reportedly become Sporting CP’s next coach – and the Italian could take John Terry with him.

According to A Bola, presidential favourite Madeira Rodrigues has already struck an agreement with Ranieri to take over if he – as expected – wins Sporting’s election on September 8.

The former Juventus, Roma and Inter boss is currently out of work after leaving French club Nantes at the end of last season.

The newspaper adds the Premier League winner could be followed to Lisbon by Terry, whom he coached at Chelsea.

The 37-year-old is a free agent, having departed Aston Villa in May, but would be holidaying in the Portuguese holiday resort of the Algarve.

4.30pm Former Roma midfielder Salih Ucan is on the verge of signing for Serie A new boys Empoli.

Goal.com cites confirmation of a loan with an option to buy from Fenerbahce sporting director Damien Comolli, while Gianluca Di Marzio’s website reports the Turk will have a medical on Friday.

Salih spent two seasons with Roma between 2014 and 2016 but played just 10 times for the Giallorossi.

Nonetheless, the 24-year-old achieved his personal best at Swiss side Sion last term, scoring twice and assisting four goals in 20 appearances.

4.20pm Torino have signed Roberto Soriano from Villarreal and sent Afriyie Acquah to Empoli.

Soriano arrives on loan for €1m with a €14m option to buy, while Transfermarkt reports Acquah has joined Empoli for €900,000.

The Italian scored 11 goals in 73 appearances for Villarreal, who paid Sampdoria €13.75m to sign him in 2016.

Initially a central midfielder, he tended to play out on the left for the Yellow Submarine and has eight caps for the Azzurri.

Acquah, meanwhile, played 79 times for Toro in three seasons but without ever holding down a first-team place.

4.05pm Atalanta are close to swapping winger Marco D’Alessandro with Udinese left-back Ali Adnan.

According to Gianluca Di Marzio’s website, the exchange deal is in the final stages.

Adnan joined Udinese in the summer of 2015 and has gone on to play 70 times for the Zebrette.

The 24-year-old, who was once labelled the ‘Asian Gareth Bale’, should swap clubs with D’Alessandro, who played 16 times in Serie A for Benevento last season.

3.45pm Real Madrid have reported Inter to FIFA over their pursuit of midfielder Luka Modric.

A FIFA spokesperson confirmed to Press Association Sport that football's world governing body had received a complaint from the Spanish club regarding the Serie A side's attempt to sign Croatia international Modric.

Given that the Italian transfer window closes on Friday evening, it appears certain that Inter will not succeed in their mission to lure Modric away from the Bernabeu.

3.30pm Sampdoria could go back in for Bologna’s Mattia Destro after Simone Zaza reportedly chose to join Torino.

Samp had agreed a €14m fee with Valencia for Zaza, but Sky Sport Italia claims the Italy striker has said ‘yes’ to Toro after all.

Presumably, the Granata would have at least matched the Ligurians’ bid of €2m up front and €12m next summer.

Furthermore, transfer expert Matteo Pedrosi expects Samp to go back in for Destro, who was first linked on Thursday.

The 27-year-old scored just six Serie A goals for Bologna last season but was sidelined by a hand injury and has eight Italy caps.

3.15pm Frosinone have completed the signing of Costa Rica winger Joel Campbell from Arsenal.

A statement on Frosinone’s official website confirms Campbell has put pen to paper on a three-year contract with the Serie A new boys.

The 26-year-old joined Arsenal in 2011 but went on to make just 40 appearances for the Gunners, spending the majority of his spell out on loan at Lorient, Real Betis, Olympiakos, Villarreal and Sporting CP.

3pm Sevilla are reportedly close to replacing Roma new boy Steven Nzonzi with team-mate Maxime Gonalons.

According to Gianluca Di Marzio’s website and Estadio Deportivo, negotiations for Gonalons have accelerated in the last few hours.

He is expected to join Sevilla on a season-long loan, although the sources believe they are still hopeful of including an option to buy.

The Frenchman only joined Roma for €5m last summer but made only 12 Serie A appearances in 2017-18 and has since been replaced by countryman Nzonzi.

2.45pm Sampdoria are reportedly working on a deal to sign Napoli defender Lorenzo Tonelli.

According to Calciomercato.com, Tonelli is a prime target for Samp boss Marco Giampaolo, who worked with the stopper at Empoli.

However, the website warns Napoli are playing hardball over the 28-year-old, demanding an obligation to buy for the Blucerchiati if they take him on loan.

Alternatively, Il Secolo XI claims a permanent transfer would set Samp back €7m – a fee they deem ‘excessive’.

2.25pm Champions League participants Schalke 04 on Friday signed Morocco defender Hamza Mendyl from French club OSC Lille on a five-year contract, boosting their back line a week before the start of the Bundesliga season.

The 20-year-old left back was part of Morocco's World Cup squad in June but did not feature in their three group matches in Russia.

He has earned 13 caps for his country and played 13 Ligue 1 matches after joining Lille in 2016 as a teenager.

"He offers a lot of what we want from that position," said Schalke coach Domenico Tedesco. "Athleticism, power, robust strength in attack. We look forward to joining him in his own talent's development."

2.15pm Former Milan, Roma and Juventus striker Marco Borriello is reportedly a deadline-day option for Napoli.

According to Tuttosport, Napoli want Udinese’s Kevin Lasagna but accept only a huge offer would tempt the Zebrette into selling up.

Consequently, Borriello would have cropped up on the Partenopei’s radar, given his willingness to end his career at the San Paolo and status as a free agent after leaving SPAL.

The 36-year-old, who scored 16 Serie A goals for Cagliari just two seasons ago, also has seven Italy caps.

2pm SPAL have announced the signing of midfielder Simone Missiroli from Sassuolo on a three-year contract.

The deal was confirmed in a statement on SPAL’s official website, although a fee remains undisclosed.

Missiroli spent seven seasons at Sassuolo, helping establish them as a Serie A side in his 197 appearances.

The 32-year-old, who began his career down south with Reggina, represented Italy twice at Under-20 level.

1.50pm Arsenal striker Stephy Mavididi has passed a medical and agreed personal terms on a move to Juventus.

Mavididi, who has never made a senior appearance for Arsenal, has previously spent time on loan at Charlton and Preston. He has represented England at U17, U18, U19 and U20 level.

1.45pm Udinese have signed defender William Troost-Ekong from Turkish side Bursaspor.

Lega Serie A confirmed on Friday that Udinese had deposited Troost-Ekong’s contract, making him a Zebrette player.

The 24-year-old was born in Netherlands but plays his international football for Nigeria, whom he has represented on 24 occasions.

He spent last season with Bursaspor, scoring twice in 34 League appearances, and joins Udinese for a reported €3.3m.

1.30pm Celtic have announced that Australia international, Daniel Arzani, has joined the club on a two-year loan deal from Manchester City, subject to international clearance.

The 19-year-old, who played for his country at the World Cup in Russia, made the move from Melbourne City to Manchester City, but will now spend the next two years at Celtic Park.

1.15pm Sampdoria have reportedly agreed a €14m fee with Valencia for Italy striker Simone Zaza.

Zaza seemed to be closing in on a switch to Torino, but Sky Sport Italia and Sportitalia claims Samp have dived in with a bid of €2m up front and €14m next year.

Sky adds the Blucerchiati have offered the former Juventus attacker a four-year contract ahead of Friday’s 19:00 BST deadline.

The 27-yer-old joined Valencia i

1pm Milan have officially signed winger Samu Castillejo from Villarreal, with Carlos Bacca going back in the opposite direction.

However, a statement on Milan’s official website confirms the pair have exchanged clubs permanently as opposed to loans with obligations to buy.

Castillejo is a left-footed right winger, who spent three seasons with Villarreal, scoring 11 goals and assisting 15 in 127 appearances.

The Rossoneri have also announced that the 23-year-old will be the final player to turf up at San Siro this summer and will be unveiled on Friday afternoon alongside Diego Laxalt and Tiemoue Bakayoko.

Bacca, meanwhile, returns to Villarreal after netting 18 times for them during a loan spell in 2017-18.

12.45pm Torino have signed Ivorian defender Koffi Djidji from French club Nantes on loan with an option to buy.

The deal was confirmed in a statement on Torino’s official website, with President Urbano Cairo praising the 24-year-old’s versatility.

“Kffi Djidji is a centre-back who complements our defence,” noted Cairo.

“During his career he has shown he can play anywhere in a back three, so he also offers versatility.

“Careful and focused in marking, he showed himself to be a very reliable player at Nantes.

“On behalf of the whole club, I’m pleased to give you a warm welcome! As always, Forza Toro!”

12.30pm Milan have officially signed Uruguay left-back Diego Laxalt from Genoa for a reported €18m.

Serie A’s official website confirmed Milan had deposited Laxalt’s contract on Thursday.

The 24-year-old passed his medical 24 hours earlier, and MilanNews reports he began training the following morning.

Laxalt, who began his Serie A career with Inter in 2013, scored eight goals and assisted 12 in 117 appearances for Genoa.

12.20pm Claudio Marchisio has officially terminated his contract with Juventus, bringing an end to his 25 years in Bianconero.

Marchisio’s role at Juve had become increasingly marginalised, and the OId Lady have allowed the midfielder - who turned 32 in January - to find a new club before Friday’s deadline in Italy.

12.05pm Parma have agreed a three-year contract with Gervinho and hope to sign the Hebei China Fortune winger on a free transfer.

Gazzetta dello Sport reports Gervinho will earn €1m a season with Parma and will be allowed to leave on a free transfer in the event of relegation to Serie B.

The newspaper adds the Gialloblu are also working on an agreement with Hebei so he can terminate his contract, which is due to expire on December 31.

It should mark a return to Serie A for the 31-year-old, who scored 17 goals in 71 Serie A appearances for Roma between 2013 and 2016.

12pm Good morning everyone and welcome to the timesofmalta.com transfer blog. Stay with us to follow all the latest news as the Serie A window slams shut later on today.

9pm That's it for today. Thanks for staying with us and we will be back tomorrow.

8.45pm Sassuolo have officially signed Barcelona and Brazil defender Marlon, but the Blaugrana retain a buy-back option.

It was announced this evening after a medical, as the 23-year-old flew in last night.

The figures of the transfer are officially €6m, with another €6m in bonuses owed if he makes 50 appearances for Sassuolo.

Barcelona retain a buy-back option and 50 per cent of any future fee.

Marlon spent last season on loan at Nice and confessed Mario Balotelli recommended the move to Sassuolo.

8.15pm Napoli have signed 17-year-old Greek talent Georgios Vrakas from PAOK Salonika.

The creative midfielder is a star for his country at Under-17 level, scoring three goals in 10 games.

According to freelance reporter Emanuele Giulianelli, who posted a picture of the player signing the contract, a deal was struck this evening.

Vrakas had also been targeted by the likes of Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich.

8pm Roma midfielder Maxime Gonalons is in negotiations for a transfer to Sevilla, claim Sky Sport Italia.

He was already given little playing time last season, but the arrival of fellow Frenchman Steven Nzonzi limited his chances even more.

There had been links with Premier League clubs and also Chievo in Serie A, but it seems as if Gonalons is heading towards Spain.

It’s reported talks are progressing well for a move to Sevilla, where he would effectively replace Nzonzi.

7.30pm Roma are offering €40m for Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey, but the asking price is €50m.

The Serie A transfer window shuts on Friday at 19.00 UK time (18.00 GMT) and there is still time to do one last deal.

Director of sport Monchi’s assistant, Frederic Massara, was spotted at the transfer HQ in Milan this afternoon, suggesting talks are on-going.

According to Mediaset Premium, the player in question is Jamaica international winger Bailey.

An offer of €40m is on the table, whereas Bayer Leverkusen want €50m for the 21-year-old talent.

7pm Claude Puel has laughed off the speculation about his job at Leicester City being under threat.

Reports at the weekend suggested Belgium coach Roberto Martinez was being lined up as a replacement for the Frenchman, who guided the Foxes to ninth place in the Premier League last season.

Puel said at his press conference on Thursday: “I would be happy for my successor because he would have a good team and a good squad."

6.30pm West Ham will target Nice striker Mario Balotelli in the January transfer window, according to L'Equipe.

Nice boss Patrick Vieira said earlier this month that he expects the Italian striker to leave having gone AWOL, but no club is yet to meet his £8.75million valuation.

Balotelli scored 26 goals across all competitions last season, and he could be set for his third stint in England having previously played for Manchester City and Liverpool.

6.10pm Bordeaux are in negotiations with Rangers over their striker Alfredo Morelos, according to Sky Sports.

It is understood Rangers rejected a initial bid from Bordeaux in excess of £3.75million.

Fenerbahce had a bid in the region of £2.6m turned down for Morelos last month.

5.50pm Former Newcastle winger Remy Cabella has joined Ligue 1 club Saint-Etienne on a permanent deal.

Cabella, who scored seven goals in 28 games during a loan spell last season, has put pen to paper on a four-year deal after leaving Marseille.

The 28-year-old said: "I am very happy to come back to Saint-Etienne, I was looking forward to this moment and finally feel liberated!"

5.30pm Harry Maguire is close to signing a new contract at Leicester City worth £75,000 a week, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The England defender was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United during the summer, but he remained at the King Power Stadium.

It is reported that he is now in advanced talks over improved terms with the Foxes.

5.15pm Manchester City have sent 21-year-old winger Patrick Roberts on loan to City Football Group partner club Girona.

Roberts has spent the past two-and-a-half years at Celtic, winning seven trophies in his time in Scotland.

The England youth international was plagued by injuries last season, limiting him to eight appearances in the Scottish Premiership.

4.30pm New Roma signing Steven Nzonzi insists he and Daniele De Rossi can play together in midfield.

The French international has joined the Giallorossi from Sevilla, and has no concerns over coexisting with the captain.

“I’m a central midfielder, I recover the ball and make the team play,” Nzoni explained.

“I try not to give the ball away, the goal is to do my best. I hope I’ll be ready as soon as possible, the holidays are over and I’m working hard to be in the best possible condition.

“De Rossi? He and Kante are both excellent players, they have experience and have won a lot. I think I can coexist with them.

4pm Manchester City midfielder Oleksandr Zinchenko is in talks with La Liga sides Real Betis and Girona over a possible transfer, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Zinchenko's €18m (£16.1m) move to Wolves fell through last week and agent Poere Guardiola has been exploring options in Spain, although both clubs are likely to only propose a loan switch.

3.35pm Sampdoria president Massimo Ferrero is “sure” that the first weekend of Serie A will be postponed.

A bridge collapsed in Genoa on Tuesday, killing at least 39 people and injuring many more.

The state funeral for the victims is on Saturday, when the league is supposed to start, and that day is also a national day of mourning.

“I’m calling the Presidents so we can say we don’t have to play,” Ferrero confirmed to RMC Sport.

“I’m sure that [Lega Serie A President Gaetano] Miccichè won’t play. I spoke to [Juve general manager Giuseppe] Marotta and he said Juventus won’t play. It’s Saturday, you can’t play on the day of the funerals.

“Regardless of the Lega’s decision, Samp, Genoa and Fiorentina will not play and we hope good sense will prevail.”

3.20pm Bologna have confirmed the signing of Udinese defender Danilo, on loan with a conditional obligation to buy.

The 34-year-old has been a key man for the Zebrette in recent seasons, making 282 appearances since signing from Palmeiras in 2011.

“Bologna FC 1909 announces the signing of the defender Danilo Larangeira on loan from Udinese until June 30 2019, with an obligation to buy if certain conditions are met,” an official statement reads.

“The official presentation will be held in the Press room of the Niccolò Galli technical centre at 16.00.”

3pm Marseille are preparing a €15m (£13.4m) offer for Celtic striker Moussa Dembele after the anticipated transfer of Mario Balotelli fell through, according to L'Equipe.

France U21 international Dembele is under contract until 2020 but Marseille hope to take advantage of Celtic's exit from the Champions League. Valencia striker Simone Zaza is another option for the Ligue 1 club.


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