A round-up of the latest football transfer stories, including Liverpool’s interest in a Manchester United target, and Arsenal’s bid for a Portugal under-21 star.
English Premier League club Liverpool are set to battle Manchester United for the signature of Brazilian midfielder Roberto Firmino, according to British media reports.
Firmino, 23, has been at German club Hoffenheim since 2011, although his agent recently revealed his client “will go to England” this summer.
The move to the Premier League is widely expected to be with United, although the Daily Mirror is reporting that Liverpool will attempt to hijack the deal.
Brazil international Firmino is currently in Chile for the Copa America, so any move will not be finalised until the end of his nation’s campaign.
Reports claim a deal could be reached for the midfielder for a fee of £13 million (Dh75.8m), although Hoffenheim are keen to hold out for nearer the £20m mark.
Another story concerning Manchester United appears in the London Metro, with Valencia defender Nicolas Otamendi dropping new hints that he wants to secure an exit from the Primera Liga club.
Otamendi, 27, has been heavily linked with a move to United as manager Louis van Gaal looks to acquire a top-level centre-back.
And the defender, who is with the Argentina national team in Chile for the Copa America, has made some cryptic remarks regarding his Valencia future.
“I’ve spoken with my agent and Valencia know what I want,” Otamendi said.
“Therefore, every word my agent has said has obviously been with my permission and he has full permission to talk to who he wants.
“For now, like I said, my head is only with the national team so I can perform at my very best when I play. It’s a unique moment to savour.
“I spoke to the President and my agent and they know my desires very well, but for now I’ve told my agent that my head is [with Argentina] and left him to it.”
Arsenal have lodged a bid for Sporting Lisbon's highly-rated midfielder William Carvalho, The Sun is reporting.
Carvalho, 23, is regarded as one of the finest talents in European football, and he offered a glimpse of his ability during Portugal’s victory over England in the Under-21 European Championships on Thursday.
It appears Arsenal have wasted little time in trying to secure Carvalho's services, with The Sun claiming a bid of £28.5m has been made.
The offer is £8.5m short of Carvalho’s buyout clause, and Sporting are expected to hold out for the clause to be triggered.
Indeed, should Arsenal’s initial offer be rejected, they may meet the figure in various add-ons.
Given Carvalho’s potential, it would be unlikely if Arsenal are unopposed in their attempts, with Manchester United, Manchester City, and Real Madrid all previously linked with the midfielder.
Primera Liga club Atletico Madrid have reportedly offered Chelsea centre-back Toby Alderweireld in exchange for full-back Felipe Luis.
Brazilian Luis only left Atletico for Chelsea last summer in a £20m deal, but has found game time hard to come by given the form and consistency of Cesar Azpilicueta.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the Spanish club want to take Luis back to the Vicente Calderon and are prepared to offer Alderweireld as part of the deal.
Alderweireld spent last season on-loan at Southampton, and enjoyed a successful campaign with Ronald Koeman’s side.
Liverpool and Manchester United aren’t the only fierce rivals battling over a player; Tottenham have reportedly joined Arsenal in the race to sign Monaco midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia.
Kondogbia, 22, showed what he is capable of in helping Monaco eliminate Arsenal from the Uefa Champions League last season, and interest is though to be high in the midfielder.
Arsenal have long been linked with a move, and according to the Daily Mail, rivals Tottenham are now keen to take Kondogbia to north London.
The French midfielder will not go cheap, however, with Monaco quoting interested clubs £25m.
Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund are remaining hopeful Ilkay Gundogan will stay at the club, despite the midfielder’s pleas to leave.
Gundogan, 24, has one year left on his existing contract, and has made his decision to leave public following a poor season by Dortmund’s recent standards.
The Germany midfielder has been heavily linked with Manchester United, while Barcelona, Arsenal, and Manchester City are also reportedly interested.
However, Dortmund have revealed there is a possibility Gundogan will stay.
"Maybe there is still a chance that he has a rethink," Dortmund general manager Hans-Joachim Watzke told German newspaper WAZ. "We are in talks and Ilkay is a decent lad."
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @NatSportUAE