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Football transfer rumours: Cristiano Ronaldo not heading to Barcelona?

The silly season is really upon us now since word got around on Thursday that quixotic transfer strategists fancy pairing Cristiano Ronaldo with Lionel Messi at Barcelona.

However, a dampener has been put on those who want the old rivals drawn together in the style of Robert De Niro and Al Pacino in Heat. Reports out of Spain on Friday morning apparently suggest Ronaldo wants to stay and see out his project at Juventus, with Andrea Pirlo as the dashing new man in charge. Shame.

Their eyes may be on the Champions League prize in Lisbon but Manchester City are in the market for a midfielder. In a shock move, to use boilerplate transfer market parlance, Pep Guardiola likes the cut of the jib of Harry Winks at Tottenham to potentially add another ball player to his ranks .

There has also been a City link with Thiago Alcântara – possibly firming up with Liverpool, however – who Bayern Munich are ready to sell for £27m. And there may well be interest in Juventus’ Paulo Dybala, who, like last summer, is up for sale at the serial Serie A champions. Two other players to be shown the Juventus door are Gonzalo Higuaín and Sami Khedira, and both are open to offers.

Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano)

Liverpool are in contact with Bayern Münich for Thiago Alcantara. The player would love to join and Klopp wants him (still working also for Wijnaldum to sign a new contract).
Bayern want no less than €30m to sell Thiago. It’s up to Liverpool now... 🔴 #LFC #Bayern #Thiago

After Atlético’s exit from the Champions League to RB Leipzig, the time has come to talk of the future of Jan Oblak, who has left the door open for a move, with Chelsea the expected destination, and Atlético closing on a deal for Eibar keeper Marko Dmitrovic as a replacement.

Chelsea, though, have a rival for another of their major targets, Leicester left-back Ben Chilwell, available for a hefty £80m, a price that doesn’t seem to have put off Manchester United. That may fly in the face of talk that United have suspended all other business with the aim of getting their signing of Jadon Sancho completed, which would be a blessed relief to everybody. However. Borussia Dortmund do not seem ready to play ball on that one, and are ready to wait until next year when Real Madrid and Barcelona might come calling. United may meanwhile raise some funds by cashing in £20m on Chris Smalling, ready to take a pay cut to make his stay at Roma a more permanent one.

Another Chelsea target is Declan Rice, lately seen breaking bread with Mr Chelsea himself (and Aston Villa assistant manager), John Terry, but West Ham are not ready to let Rice go for a price as low as £80m. And Sergio Reguilón remains on the list, too, as a cheaper alternative to Chilwell. Reguilón is also a target for Arsenal but their lack of Champions League football means the Real Madrid left-back, on loan at Sevilla and set to face Manchester United in the Europa League on Sunday, favours a move to west London. Chelsea have a spare berth handy with Emerson Palmieri set to join Antonio Conte’s collection of Premier League veterans at Internazionale.

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Talking of Arsenal and veterans, don’t be too surprised to see Willian sign a deal at the Emirates any moment now. A move for Atlético’s Thomas Partey however seems destined to fail now that Juventus are circling.

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