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Rumour reel: Barcelona target Arsenal striker

Frank Monkhouse | 31 July 2017

Sanchez to replace Neymar

Manchester City continued to impress in pre-season with a 3-0 friendly win over Spurs at the weekend. John Stones, Raheem Stirling and Brahim Diaz were all on the scoresheet in a performance Pep Guardiola says proves his side are better than last term.

City also hammered Real Madrid at the International Champions Cup, but were beaten by bitter rivals Man Utd, whetting the appetite of fans for the season ahead. Guardiola still has some business to do in the transfer window, let’s see what’s making news on Monday.

Barca planning for life after Neymar

We can’t think of a better place to start than the Neymar story which is, somehow, gathering pace. We’re no closer to finding out if the Brazilian will be playing his football in Spain or France next season, or wherever his dad tells him to, but there have been no lack of updates on that one over the weekend, and it’s becoming a bit of a circus. Here’s a few bullet points on the Neymar story. Barcelona are unhappy with the way PSG have gone about their business so far, and are considering reporting the Parisians to UEFA for a breach of fair play rules – seemingly for having too much money. If the player does leave, the La Liga giants have lined up Alexis Sanchez as a replacement, spending £35m on the Chilean. Failing that, they’ll go for Antoine Griezmann, who has already said it’s not the right time to leave Atletico Madrid. Did he mean it?

Man Utd to bid £90m for Bale

While that is all going on, Jose Mourinho is keeping his cards close to his chest over at Old Trafford, but he’s expected to make his move this week. It has been a poorly guarded secret that The Special One wants a big name transfer this summer, aimed at boosting his side’s chances of adding the Champions League to the Europa League, and Gareth Bale is now the front-runner. According to some sections of the press, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that the Welshman is falling down the pecking order at Real Madrid, if he admits it or not. Mourinho will offer last season’s Champions League winner a bit of security, slapping down a £90m bid to take him back to England. The 28-year-old attacker has already said he’s happy in Spain, but would listen to what Jose has to say. Sticking with United, and Marouane Fellaini has agreed to sign for Turkish side Galatasaray.

O’Halloran is a Saint again

In Scotland, Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha has managed to offload another of last year’s duds, at least for now. The new gaffer never really took to Michael O’Halloran, and the 26-year-old Glaswegian has been allowed to move back to former club St Johnstone, on loan until January. The Gers paid The Saints £500,000 for O’Halloran last year, but he has struggled to cement a regular place in the starting line-up, and was involved in a number of training ground disagreements with Caixinha. The former Bolton forward will be hoping to impress in Perth and relaunch his career before it’s too late.

Coral’s rumour reel column keeps you up to speed with the transfer news