Transfer talk: Stoke sign Egyptian teenager from Al Ahly; Divock Origi to fight for his place at Liverpool

AS Roma manager says Greek defender Kostas Manolas not for sale; Franck Ribery welcomes Carlo Ancelotti at Bayern Munich; Inter Milan tell Napoli hands off Mauro Icardi.

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has made his first signing of the summer. Carl Recine / Action Images
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Stoke City

Highly regarded Egyptian teenager Ramadan Sobhi became Stoke City manager Mark Hughes's first signing of the summer on Monday, joining for a £5 million (Dh24m) which could rise to £6m (Dh29m).

The 19-year-old winger, who already has been capped six times at senior level, joins from Egyptian giants Al Ahly and is expected to fly out to join his new teammates on their pre-season tour of the United States.

“We are absolutely delighted to have signed a player of Ramadan’s undoubted quality and potential,” Stoke chief executive Tony Scholes told the club website.

"He's a special young talent who is excited about the prospect of making an impact in the Premier League and we're looking forward to giving him that platform."

Sobhi, who made his professional debut at 16 and was capped for the first time a year later, helped Al Ahly win a series of domestic honours, including the 2015/16 Egyptian league title under the guidance of former Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham manager Martin Jol.

Sobhi is the latest Egyptian star to try his luck in the Premier League, after former striker Mido played for Spurs, while Hull City winger Ahmed Elmohamady is a current example.

AS Roma

AS Roma coach Luciano Spalletti has warned a trio of Premier League giants off the scent of Greek defender Kostas Manolas.

Manolas, 25, is a target for some of the "best clubs in Europe" but specifically Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea, according to the player's agent.

But Spalletti, speaking ahead of Roma’s first full training session in Boston on Sunday, said the 25-year-old centre-back was happy in the Italian capital and would not be moving.

“Manolas is a good footballer, like there are many good footballers, so it’s only normal his name has come up in the transfer market – indeed it is inevitable,” Spalletti said in comments reported on the club’s official website.

“But his intentions are clear, so there are no issues. Why not talk instead about the problem of writing about issues that are not there? Manolas will stay with us.”


Striker Divock Origi does not fear competition for places at Liverpool and the striker said he is ready to fight for a first-team spot after the club brought in several players during the summer.

Origi, who initially struggled to break into the starting line-up, impressed last season and scoring 10 goals in 33 appearances.

But his form was disrupted by an ankle injury he sustained in April.

“We are at a big club and that is one of the challenges of being at a big club – that is what pushes you to go higher,” the 21-year-old striker told the club’s website.

Manager Jurgen Klopp has added seven players, including midfielders Marko Grujic and Giorginio Wijnaldum, and forward Sadio Mane, to his squad.

“We have to push each other and support each other so we can achieve that. It’s the reason I came to Liverpool, to have challenges,” Origi said.

“We all have qualities but we have to unite together and show we can do great things together.”

Bayern Munich

Franck Ribery has welcomed the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti as Bayern Munich's new manager, saying he will "finally feel faith again" under the Italian.

Ancelotti took over the Bayern reins after Pep Guardiola ended his three-year tenure in charge of the German giants to join Manchester City this summer.

And Ribery, 33, who joined Bayern in 2007, is enjoying working under the former Real Madrid, Chelsea and AC Milan manager.

The France international told Kicker magazine: "I finally feel faith again under Ancelotti. It just comes down to things like faith, respect and closeness and that helps me give not just 100 per cent but 150 per cent, and then I eat grass for the coach.

“I need people like him, [former Bayern manager’s] Jupp Heynckes or Ottmar Hitzfeld. Ancelotti knows how to manage his players. I’m pleased he is here because he’s just the right man for us.”

Injury restricted Ribery to just 13 Bundesliga appearances last season, although even when he was fit, he only found himself in the starting XI six times.

The Frenchman, who was voted Uefa’s Best Player in Europe in 2013, has made over 200 appearances in the Bundesliga and scored 70 goals.

Inter Milan

Inter Milan on Monday said captain Mauro Icardi is not for sale amid reports Napoli have tabled a generous offer – including a future role in a film – for the Argentine striker.

Icardi, who scored 16 goals in 33 league games last season, is a reported target for Arsenal as well as Serie A runners-up Napoli, who are expected to sell star striker Gonzalo Higuain to Juventus this week.

Icardi’s wife Wanda Nara, who is also his agent, has been listening to offers for the 23-year-old club captain amid Inter’s refusal to renegotiate his contract.

Napoli would be Icardi’s favoured destination, especially if Higuain, as widely expected, quits the club for league-and-cup champions Juventus.

A report in Corriere dello Sport even suggested Icardi had been promised a five-year deal worth €5.5 million (Dh22m) a season, a €100m buyout clause and a future role in a film directed by Napoli's film-producing owner Aurelio De Laurentiis.


Serbia left winger Filip Kostic has joined Bundesliga club Hamburg from relegated Stuttgart.

Hamburg said Kostic, who has played nine times for Serbia, joined on a five-year deal but no financial details were given.

Kostic, 23, was one of Stuttgart’s better players last season, scoring five league goals.

Hamburg has also strengthened their squad with the signing of 20-year-old Croatia midfielder Alen Halilovic from Barcelona this month.

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