Welcome to the Times of Malta football transfer blog.
With the 2019-20 football campaign just weeks away, clubs around the European continent will be stepping up their efforts to try and strengthen their squad ahead of the upcoming season...
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8.45pm Joao Miranda is reportedly close to a deal with Inter’s sister club Jiangsu Suning, who have overtaken Monaco in the race.
The 34-year-old Brazilian is not part of Coach Antonio Conte’s plans, as confirmed when the tactician spoke individually about every defender at his disposal during a Press conference, never mentioning Miranda’s name,
Monaco had been the favourites for his signature, while a return to Brazil was also a possibility.
8.30pm Federico Di Francesco is expected to undergo his medical with SPAL tomorrow after just one season at Sassuolo.
The 25-year-old winger is the son of Sampdoria Coach Eusebio Di Francesco, but a Serie A regular in his own right.
He earned a €7m move from Bologna to Sassuolo last summer, although performances did not fit in with expectations.
8.15pm Fiorentina director Daniele Pradè ruled out Mario Balotelli and Rafinha, while warning Federico Chiesa “must understand our needs.”
The Viola are rebuilding with new patron Rocco Commisso, who ended a 17-year rule from the Della Valle family.
Chiesa is pushing for a move to Juventus this summer and Pradè was once again forced to slam the door on his ambitions.
8pm Genoa are interested in Milan and Argentina midfielder Lucas Biglia, according to Sportitalia.
It’s reported Genoa are ready to give Biglia a new chance to shine in Serie A.
He impressed at Lazio and made the move to Milan for €19.2m two summers ago.
The 33-year-old has struggled to make an impact at San Siro and could move on.
7.45pm Nicolas Pepe’s agents met with Napoli today, but there are reports the Lille winger has agreed terms with Liverpool and two other clubs too.
Napoli Coach Carlo Ancelotti confirmed in a Press conference that he met with Pepe’s agents, who were staying at the team hotel during this pre-season training retreat.
However, CalcioNapoli24.it claim Pepe has agreed basic terms with Napoli, Liverpool and two other Premier League clubs, believed to include Manchester United.
7.30pm Monaco are interested in signing Fiorentina striker Giovanni Simeone, according to reports, after their Andre Silva move stalled.
The Ligue 1 outfit had brought in Andre Silva for a medical only to change the terms of the agreement and send him back to Milan.
Their search for a striker in Serie A continues and La Nazione newspaper, along with Footmercato in France, maintain their next target is Fiorentina’s Simeone.
7.15pm Former England and Tottenham striker Darren Bent announces his retirement from football at the age of 35.
6.45pm Birkirkara have announced the signing of Edison Luis Dos Santos who has signed a one-year contract with an option for another season with our club.
Edison, also known as Tarabai, is well-known in Maltese football as he is described as one of the best foreign players that have played in Malta in the last years.
The striker has scored no less than 76 goals in 98 matches with his former Maltese club, Hibernians between 2011 and 2016. He had also played for Vittoriosa Stars in his first season in Malta in the 2010-2011 campaign.
In between of his successful years with Hibs, Tarabai has also played for Kecskemeti TE of Hungary in the first part of season 2012-2012 and for Seoul E-Land of Korea in 2015.
Following his departure from Malta, he returned to Seoul E-Land in season 2016 before moving to Al Batin in Saudia Arabia where he spent the rest of season 2016-2017 and the following season.
In the last season, he was playing with Al Raed FC in the Saudi Professional League.
6.30pm Arsenal have announced their second signing of the season in William Saliba, who will be joining the Gunners from Ligue 1 side St Etienne.
6.15pm Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reiterated to Ed Woodward that he wants Manchester United to sign Harry Maguire as a matter of urgency, according to Sky sources.
United’s executive vice-chairman Woodward missed the club’s pre-season tour of Australia and the Far East to work on the deal, and Sky Sports News understands it is now up to Woodward to get the deal done.
Maguire is happy at the King Power Stadium but would like to move to United if a deal can be agreed.
6pm Milan left-back Theo Hernandez is expected to miss the rest of preseason but should be available for the opening Serie A matchday.
Hernandez was substituted during Milan’s 1-0 defeat to Bayern Munich on Tuesday evening, going off with an ankle problem.
Although a serious injury was quickly ruled out, Corriere dello Sport warns the Rossoneri are taking no chances over the 21-year-old.
As a result, the newspaper does not foresee him playing again before the new Serie A season starts on the weekend of August 24-25.
5.30pm Carlo Ancelotti confirmed that Napoli are in talks for Nicolas Pepe, while denying Arkadiusz Milik would leave if Mauro Icardi arrived.
The coach revealed details of the club's transfer strategy when asked about Lille winger Pepe’s agents visiting the training camp.
“They were in our hotel. I said hello, as I did with all the agents who came here. Obviously, we are interested in Pepe, his agents are here and there’s no point hiding that. Negotiations are in progress and we’ll see what happens."
5pm Aston Villa have announced the signing of Manchester City’s Douglas Luiz, subject to a work permit.
Sky Sports News is reporting that they will pay a fee of £15m for the Brazilian.
He is Villa's 10th summer signing.
4.30pm Arsenal have announced the signing of midfielder Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid.
The 22-year-old has joined on a season-long loan.
"I knew I had the confidence of the coach, which was very important for me from the start,” the 22-year-old told the club’s website.
“I was aware of the responsibility that wearing this shirt entails and it was a tremendously proud moment when I decided to join Arsenal."
4pm A development to the Muchardi-Cisotti swap deal, we have learnt that there is no connection between the transfers of Muchardi to Mosta and Cisotti to Sliema Wanderers.
Sources have told Times of Malta that Muchardi's move to Mosta has already been finalised while Cisotti is currently holding personal terms talks with Sliema Wanderers.
It is understood that Hibernians are also interested in Cisotti.
3.46pm We're just one hour away from Gżira United's Europa League second qualifying round first leg tie against Ventspils in Latvia.
Coach Giovanni Tedesco has named his starting formation with Hamed Kone, their two-goal hero against Hajduk Split, again leading the attack this afternoon.
3.45pm Cameroon international Clinton Njie has completed his transfer from Marseille to Dynamo Moscow, the Russian Premier League side announced yesterday.
“Clinton Njie to Dynamo!!! Today, the Cameroon forward signed a contract with our club for four years,” Dynamo Moscow wrote on their Twitter account, adding that he will wear the number nine shirt.
The transfer fee has not been made public.
The 25-year-old began his career at Lyon. After an unsuccessful two-year spell at Tottenham Hotspur, he joined Marseille, initially on loan, in 2016.
3.15pm Juventus have decided to keep defender Merih Demiral this summer, according to multiple reports.
Juve were thought to be prepared to sell Demiral if they received an offer of €40m, despite only recently signing him from Sassuolo for €18m.
That led to speculation linking the Turk with moves to Manchester United, Milan and Atletico Madrid.
However, Sportitalia, Gazzetta dello Sport, Corriere dello Sport and Romeo Agresti all write the Bianconeri deem him not for sale.
3pm Sampdoria have reportedly entered the race to sign Inter midfielder Radja Nainggolan.
According to La Repubblica, Samp could sign Nainggolan as a replacement for Dennis Praet, who seems increasingly likely to leave, with Milan, Leicester City and Valencia interested.
The newspaper explains the 31-year-old is on the club’s radar as President Massimo Ferrero wants to give new boss Eusebio Di Francesco ‘a big signing’, while the player wants to stay in Italy.
2.30pm Wolves have asked after Juventus midfielder Sami Khedira, according to Sky Sport Italia, joining Besiktas and MLS clubs.
The 32-year-old Germany international is under contract until June 2021, but is not part of Maurizio Sarri’s plans.
He has been linked with Turkish side Besiktas and several Major League Soccer outfits.
2.10pm More news on Mosta as it is understood that apart from bring in Matias Muchardi, the Blues could add to valuable players in Bosnian forward Edin Murga and young midfielder Jurgen Debono.
Both Murga and Debono are currently training with the Mosta squad and it looks like they could be offered a contract.
For Murga it would be a second spell at Mosta in 2016 and 2017.
On the other hand, Jurgen Debono has long been impressing in the last few seasons when on the books of Naxxar Lions.
1.50pm Aston Villa have agreed a deal worth more than £11m for Club Brugge midfielder Marvelous Nakamba, Sky Sports News is reporting.
Nakamba had been refusing to train with the Belgian side after Villa's first bid was turned down last month.
1.30pm Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly in talks with Juventus over a club-record €90m deal for Juventus forward Paulo Dybala.
The links first surfaced late last night, and The Daily Mail has since leaked more details about the potential transfer.
As per the newspaper, negotiations began ‘around a month ago’ and Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is prepared to splash the cash on the Argentine.
However, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain would also be in the running for the 26-year-old.
1.10pm Former Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen is an advanced talks with Japanese side Vissel Kobe, Sky Sports News is reporting.
He is currently in Japan discussing the details of a two-year deal.
If he joins Kobe he will link up with ex-Arsenal team-mate Lukas Podolski.
12.50pm Everton forward Ademola Lookman has joined RB Leipzig on a five-year contract, the two clubs announced on Thursday, in a deal worth a reported £22.5 million ($28 million).
Lookman, 21, spent the second half of the 2017/18 campaign on loan at the Bundesliga club, registering five goals and four assists in 11 league appearances, but returned to Goodison Park last season.
The England Under-21 international joined Everton from Charlton in 2017, scoring four goals in 48 matches for the club.
12.35pm Former Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi has landed in Argentina to complete his free transfer to Boca Juniors.
De Rossi’s wife snapped her and the 36-year-old boarding a plane to Buenos Aires last night, and he touched down at 10:15 BST this morning.
He was greeted by Boca fans waiting for him at the airport en masse, and he is now free to undergo his medical and sign his contract.
Los Xeneizes mark a lifelong dream for the former Italy international, while his ex-Roma teammate Nicolas Burdisso is their sporting director.
12.15pm Wolves are close to an agreement with Milan over a fee for Patrick Cutrone.
A deal worth £16m plus add-ons is being negotiated by the clubs, Milan were holding out for £23m but are under FFP restrictions and need to recoup funds.
Cutrone is with the Milan squad in the US and is not wanting to rush a decision.
12pm Jordan Ayew has joined Crystal Palace from Swansea City on a three-year deal.
Ayew spent last season on loan at Palace and made 20 appearances in the Premier League.
11.45am Bruno Fernandes is unlikely to join Manchester United this summer, Sky Sports News understands.
The Sporting Lisbon midfielder has been scouted by United, but he is not one of their priority signings.
Fernandes has expressed his desire to move to England, and scored in Sporting’s 2-2 draw with Liverpool on Thursday morning.
However, it is believed most of the speculation linking the Portugal international has been driven from his homeland, rather than Manchester.
11.35am We start off the day with some news involving Mosta and Sliema Wanderers.
In fact the two Premier League clubs are in the finishing touches of a swap deal that will see Matias Muchardi joining Mosta with Juri Cisotti heading into the other direction.
Muchardi has reportedly already trained with the Blues while Cisotti attended his first training session with the Wanderers on Wednesday and is looking to agree personal terms with the Blues this morning before finalising his move.
11.30am Good morning everyone and welcome to our transfer blog. Stay with us to follow all the latest news.
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