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Stuff that matters

Disrespect. It’s something the Mill knows all too well. Despite our years in the transfer gossip game, we are rarely (never) given our dues as a “Tier 1 Source”. That’s despite a hit-rate we’re going to assume is at least around the 20% mark. So we have some sympathy for Antonio Conte, who has bristled at Bayern Munich’s very public overtures towards Harry Kane.

“I don’t like to speak about players from another club,” the Tottenham manager said. “I think maybe it’s a bit disrespectful.” Having lost Robert Lewandowski, Bayern manager Julian Nagelsmann is not hiding his admiration for “one of the best centre-forwards” as he aims to play Kane alongside Sadio Mané and Leroy Sané up front. As for Conte, he still needs to find somewhere to park Tanguy Ndombele this season, with Galatasaray the latest potential loan destination.

Another guy who simply cannot stop talking is the Barcelona president, Joan Laporta. Having signed, or tried to sign, pretty much everyone else this summer, Laporta has turned back to Lionel Messi. “I would hope that the Messi chapter isn’t over,” he told ESPN. “On a personal level, I think I owe him.” Barça are still trying to muscle in on Chelsea’s move for Jules Koundé, and still planning to bundle Frenkie de Jong on a flight to Manchester. As for United, they are considering a Mill regular, Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, as an alternative.

United are also stepping up their interest in Inter’s flying Dutch wing-back, Denzel Dumfries, and keeping tabs on highly-rated Salzburg striker Benjamin Sesko, who is also on Newcastle’s radar. The Mags are in the market for a new winger, with PSG’s Julian Draxler, Burnley’s Dwight McNeil and Rennes’ Khamaldeen Sulemana on Eddie Howe’s longlist. Newcastle are also interested in Harvey Barnes, who Leicester value at a faintly absurd £50m. Brendan Rodgers also has to fend off interest in Kasper Schmeichel, with Nice offering a cushy gig on the French Riviera.

Sticking with keepers, and Fulham are looking at two of them. Personal terms are agreed with Arsenal outcast Bernd Leno, but the Gunners have turned down a £7m initial offer so Marco Silva is keeping his options open and could instead turn to Barça understudy Neto. Fulham are poised to bring the former Newcastle defender Kevin Mbabu back to the Premier League, and are chasing down Shakhtar forward Manor Solomon. The Burnley winger Maxwel Cornet is also on Silva’s shortlist, but Fulham face a fight from Nottingham Forest.

The new top-flight season is getting uncomfortably close now, with Arsenal’s dispiriting Friday night defeat at Crystal Palace only 11 days away. The Gunners are the summer’s biggest spenders so far, and could still make a move for Lyon playmaker Lucas Paquetà, while Nuno Tavares is likely to be loaned out to Atalanta. Over at Liverpool, Jürgen Klopp has insisted their main transfer business is done – but that won’t stop Juventus sniffing around Roberto Firmino, with a £20m bid reportedly on the table.

Still want more? Well, José Mourinho wants to bring Eric Bailly to Roma, and left-back Brandon Williams could also leave Old Trafford with Brighton pondering a £15m bid. That could clear the way for Manchester City to finally sign Marc Cucurella, while the defending champions have turned down a £16m offer from Southampton for Liam Delap, son of Rory. Having secured a deal for striker Gianluca Scammaca, West Ham could return to Serie A for Napoli playmaker Piotr Zielinski.

Let’s end with some ghosts of summers past. Everton are planning to dump Dele Alli before the dreaded add-ons kick in; Chelsea are prepared to let Romelu Lukaku stay on loan at Inter for the next two seasons; and forgotten Aston Villa forward Wesley has joined Levante on loan. Finally, Atlético Madrid are prepared to sell Antoine Griezmann in order to sign Cristiano Ronaldo, a player we almost got through an entire Mill without mentioning.