Football transfer rumours: Liverpool join the race for Frenkie de Jong?

Wesley Fofana may be sulking in the stands and missing the odd training session at Leicester as he holds out for a move but Chelsea are currently still no closer to reaching an agreement to sign him, which has prompted the west London club to cast around elsewhere. And one potential central defensive alternative is scapegoating’s Harry Maguire. According to the Evening Standard, Maguire is no longer seen as indispensable by the Manchester United manager, Erik ten Hag, and could be tempted by a move before the transfer window closes on Wednesday.

The decades-long Frenkie de Jong saga has been a study in who might be the most ineptly-run megaclub in Europe, out of potential buyers Manchester United and putative sellers Barcelona, but what’s this? Liverpool are now thinking of stealing in with a cheeky bid of their own for the Dutch midfielder. Futbol Total reports that Liverpool have slapped in a bid of £53m plus £7m in add-ons for De Jong. This, in turn, would free up Barcelona to pursue Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva before deadline day, though City’s chief executive, Ferran Soriano, says such a move is not a goer.

Manchester United may have better luck with their pursuit of the Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, who has dropped down the pecking order at St James’ Park since the arrival of Nick Pope.

The south coast could be calling for Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles, for whom Bournemouth and Southampton are tussling. Talk is that a loan deal with an option to buy would be the likeliest deal. West Ham have also been linked with the player, mind, and may be more focused in their hunt for a midfielder now that Lyon have rebuffed their £42m bid for the Brazilian Lucas Paquetá.

Over in Serie A, Juventus are closing in on the signing of the Poland striker Arkadiusz Milik from Marseille, on a year’s loan with an option to buy, having seen their pursuit of Barcelona’s Memphis Depay falter over the forward’s wage demands. And Sampdoria are sniffing around Harry Winks but the murmurs are that the Spurs midfielder is happy enough to stay put in north London.

Wednesday’s daily dose of Nottingham Forest news has them linked with a couple of Ivory Coast internationals: Serge Aurier, who is available on a free after leaving Villarreal, and the Wolves defender Willy Boly. Wolves have apparently knocked back a £1m bid for Boly, who has only a year remaining on his contract, but Forest may persist, as they do these days. For Wolves’s part, Bruno Lage is hoping to bring the £20m-valued Galatasaray defender Victor Nelsson to Molineux. Nelsson might be joined by Stuttgart’s Austrian striker Sasa Kalajdzic, for whom Wolves are looking to get a £15m deal over the line.

And finally … RB Leipzig, Tottenham, Aston Villa, Roma and Internazionale are all jostling over a possible loan deal for the Chelsea defender Trevoh Chalobah.