Barcelona ready €100m plus Coutinho bid for Neymar as they send delegation to Paris for talks | Anthony S Casey Singapore

The Liga champions are preparing to table an official offer for PSG’s consideration as they aim to bring the Brazilian back to Camp Nou

Barcelona have sent a delegation including technical manager Eric Abidal to France for talks with Paris Saint-Germain over a deal for Neymar.

As reported by RAC1 and confirmed to Goal by sources close to the talks, Abidal, along with board member Javier Bordas, and Andre Cury, a specialist in the Brazilian market, have flown to Paris to begin negotiations.

Barca, as confirmed by Goal, were planning to initiate talks with the Ligue 1 champions and will make an opening offer in the region of €100 million (£93m/$104m), plus Philippe Coutinho.

The Catalans need to offload the Brazilian from their wage bill and had been actively offering him to the Premier League prior to the transfer window closing in England.

PSG, meanwhile, are determined to receive as much money as possible for a player they signed for €222m (£200m/$249m) back in 2017, while they also want right-back Nelson Semedo included in any potential deal.

Sources have told Goal that they would consider an offer that includes both Coutinho, Semedo and a cash payment of around €50m (£47m/$57m).

They would, however, prefer to sell the Brazilian to Real Madridwho are planning a €100m+ offer of their own, with the relationship between the Parisians and Barca strained after Neymar’s initial decision to leave Spain.

Speculation has been rife that the former Santos star has been searching for a way out of Paris, with his relationship with the club and their supporters appearing to be at an all-time low.

The forward, who didn’t feature for the club over pre-season, was absent from the Trophee des Champions win over Rennes, while he was also missing from the Ligue 1 opening-weekend victory over Nimes.

Indeed, PSG supporters made their feelings clear as they sang songs and held up banners in protest against the Brazilian’s presence in Paris.

“Son of a bitch” was heard being chanted by some of the home fans in the stands at Parc des Princes, while there were also banners calling for the 27-year-old to “Get out” of the club.

The Ligue 1 side’s sporting director Leonardo confirmed on August 10 that there had been talks over Neymar’s exit and that they were “more advanced” than previously but that no deal had been agreed.

It remains to be seen if a transfer can be finalised before the transfer window closes in Spain on September 2 but it’s certain to be an intriguing battle as Barca and Madrid go head-to-head.

Football: Tottenham, Arsenal splash cash on Premier League deadline day – CNA | Anthony S Casey Singapore

LONDON: Tottenham led the way on a busy final day of the Premier League transfer window with deals for Giovani lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon, while Arsenal strengthened their defence with the signings of Kieran Tierney and David Luiz.

Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku’s prolonged transfer to Inter Milan was also completed after the clubs reportedly agreed on a deal that could rise to €80 million (£74 million, US$90 million).

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has been under pressure from manager Mauricio Pochettino to build on the progress made on and off the field as Tottenham moved into a new 62,000-capacity stadium and reached the Champions League final last season.

After the club record signing of French international midfielder Tanguy Ndombele, the signings of Lo Celso and Sessegnon add some much-needed depth to a Spurs squad that had previously gone 18 months without a new recruit.

Argentine international midfielder Lo Celso has joined on a season-long loan deal from Real Betis with an option to make the transfer permanent next summer.

England under-21 international Sessegnon joins from Fulham in a £25 million deal that could rise to £30 million in performance related add-ons on a six-year contract.

“I think it is the right time for me to come here,” said Sessegnon. “It’s a young, eager, exciting team for me to join and I think this team is not far off winning big things in the future.”

However, a sensational swoop for Juventus’ Paulo Dybala broke down leaving Spurs short on support for Harry Kane up front.


Arsenal were badly in need of defensive recruits to shore up a backline that conceded 51 Premier League goals last season to miss out on Champions League football for a third straight year.

The Londoners long-standing interest in Tierney was finally given the green light when the payment structure of a £25-million move was agreed with Celtic.

“I’ve lived my dream and I’ve loved every single minute of it,” said Tierney of leaving his boyhood club. “Now I just feel was the right time to take a step on. I feel this is a great opportunity for me.”

Arsenal then secured some much-needed cover at centre-back in an £8 million deal for Luiz.

“David has huge experience and I look forward to working with him again. He is a well known player and adds to our defensive strength,” said Arsenal boss Unai Emery.

The Gunners clawed back that deadline day spend after agreeing a £35 million deal to sell Nigerian international striker Alex Iwobi to Everton.

Iwobi is Everton’s seventh signing of the summer following goalkeeper Jonas Lossl, right-back Djibril Sidibe, midfielders Andre Gomes, Fabian Delph and Jean-Philippe Gbamin, and striker Moise Kean.

Manchester City and Liverpool are expected to battle for the Premier League title once more, but were not busy on deadline day.

City brought in veteran goalkeeper Scott Carson on loan from Derby as back-up to Ederson and Claudio Bravo after the signings of Rodri, Angelino and Joao Cancelo earlier in the window.

Liverpool made just three low-key additions in teenagers Sepp van den Berg and Harvey Elliott and back-up goalkeeper Adrian over the course of the summer.

Outside the top six, Watford broke their transfer record to bring in Senegal international Ismaïla Sarr for a reported €35 million from Rennes.

Wilfried Zaha’s hopes of a move from Crystal Palace were snubbed as Everton could not match the London club’s asking price.

“It’s been well documented that he wanted to leave, but it has not worked out for him,” admitted Palace manager Roy Hodgson.

Brighton bolstered their midfield options with the loan signing of Australian international Aaron Mooy.

Former England international Andy Carroll returned to Newcastle on a free transfer from West Ham, while the Magpies also secured Swedish defender Emil Krafth.

Leicester are also set to use some of the £80 million they received from Manchester United for Harry Maguire on Sampdoria midfielder Dennis Praet for €20 million.

And Burnley secured the services of Danny Drinkwater on loan from Chelsea until January.

Source: AFP/de


Broadcasting revenue landscape – big money in the “big five” leagues | Anthony S Casey Singapore

Although broadcasting issues do not make the news on a daily basis, they have become the heart and soul of football today – for global audiences broadcast is the technology that allows them to follow the game without boundaries, while for football clubs it has become a vital revenue source in their operations. In this article, the KPMG Football Benchmark team looks at the broadcasting rights landscape of Europe’s five biggest championships.

The amount clubs cash in from broadcasting varies to a great extent. There are big differences between the leagues – as the EPL boast the most lucrative TV rights deals, its clubs can also register higher revenues compared to other leagues’ clubs. West Bromwich Albion, for example, who finished last in the 2017/18 season, saw broadcasting revenue that would have made them the 5th top broadcasting earner in LaLiga in that season, meaning that in Spain only Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla were able to collect more from broadcasting.

The differences are also remarkable between top and smaller clubs of the same championship. That difference is smaller in England, due to a more equal distribution system: in the 2017/18 season top broadcasting earners Liverpool made more than twice the amount taken in by Stoke, who collected the lowest TV revenues in that year. That gap is significantly bigger in Spain (Real Madrid cashing in six times more than Leganés), and even bigger in Italy (Juventus collecting almost 10 times more than Crotone) in the same year.

On the other hand, considering the proportion of TV rights revenues in a club’s total operating revenue mix, we can see that smaller clubs are more dependent on that revenue stream than bigger clubs – a case in point is Spanish side Eibar, who recorded an astonishing 90% dependence on broadcasting revenues in 2017/18. Understandably, smaller clubs have limited chances for lucrative sponsorship deals, high matchday or commercial income, or for participation in international tournaments, which, in turn, could positively affect all those revenue sources, beyond the core income from UEFA.

The following chart shows the top and the bottom broadcasting revenue earners in three major leagues, and the share of their TV rights in their total revenues.

English Premier League sets the benchmark 

Distribution of broadcasting revenues was the key issue and motivation behind the formation of the Premier League itself in the early 1990s. Earlier, TV rights’ income was distributed across the domestic leagues, whereas top clubs wanted to form an elite league, which could sell its own rights and share income only among member clubs.

Since 1992, when the breakaway Premier League’s inaugural season started, EPL’s TV rights’ revenues grew at an astonishing pace. The total income from domestic and international TV rights for the first cycle (GBP 254 million in 1992-1997) had grown 10 times by the 5th cycle (GBP 2.4 billion in 2007-2010). The latest (2016-2019) period ended with a total income of GBP 8.5 billion, and the league will cash in GBP 9.2 billion in the new 3-year cycle (2019-2022).

While overall income is rising, the value of domestic rights for the upcoming three EPL seasons has dropped from GBP 5.4 billion to 5 billion, despite 32 more matches being sold than in the previous period (200 vs 168). According to analysts, the decrease is rather a correction in the market, due to an inflated growth in the past several years. On the other hand, international broadcasting revenues for the 2019-2022 cycle should see an almost 35% growth (from GBP 3.1 billion in the previous broadcasting period to 4.2 billion).

In the new 3-year domestic TV deal Sky Sports will broadcast 128 live matches and BT Sport will show the rest: 52 matches. For the first time, an internet streaming service will also be joining in – Amazon Prime will live-stream two full rounds of fixtures (20 matches a season) in December online. Also, this will be the first season in England, when an entire round of matches will be broadcast live domestically. Amazon’s move is considered a major step in transforming the broadcasting landscape – it broke the traditional duopoly of Sky and BT on EPL rights.

Distributions of international TV rights have also changed. The English Premier League is the most-watched sports league in the world, followed in over 200 countries by TV audiences of some 4.7 billion people. To serve them, the Premier League runs a dedicated ‘s production arm, operated by IMG Productions, producing all content for its international television partners.

Overseas revenues had been shared equally among the EPL clubs since 1992, when that income was negligible. However, as football has become a global entertainment product, the significance of international TV rights has become evident. As a consequence, the “big six” clubs have recently been demanding a greater share of the income, claiming that they are the drawing card for global audiences. According to a compromise among the 20 EPL clubs a year ago, from 2019-20, the current level of revenue from overseas TV rights sales (GBP 3.3 bn) will still be shared equally, while any increase on top of that will be distributed according to their league position in the given season.

The GBP 4.2 billion overseas broadcast rights revenue for the 2019-2022 cycle is 46 % of the total broadcasting revenue. As international revenues are set to grow, in the next distribution cycle (2022-2025) the EPL is likely to see its overseas broadcasting income surpass its domestic rights for the first time.

But matching the EPL is not easy 

The English Premier League’s financial supremacy is largely due to its success in securing lucrative broadcasting deals since its formation. The EPL has always sold its media rights collectively, enjoying stronger bargaining power, and also on a “no single buyer” basis, creating a competitive environment. Interestingly, major peer leagues followed suit, but with quite a delay: La Liga clubs sold their rights individually and switched to the collective model only in 2015; the German Bundesliga introduced the no-single buyer rule, initiated by the German competition watchdog, only ahead of the 2017/18 to 2020/21 cycle. The EPL’s equal distribution principle, which benefits smaller clubs, has also become common among the major leagues in the past several years.

The Premier League is by far the most successful football league in selling domestic TV rights. The income they can realize from broadcasting on a single match is almost triple what the major leagues can achieve.

The EPL’s dominance is also palpable on the international media market. If we compare the latest contracted international TV rights revenues per season, the EPL is the only championship to cash in more than EUR 1 billion in a season (EUR 1.582 billion), followed by LaLiga (EUR 897 million), Serie A (371 million), Bundesliga (EUR 240 million) and Ligue 1, with only EUR 80 million.

The Spanish LaLiga is also entering into a new 3-year broadcasting cycle in 2019-20, with Spanish telecommunications giant Telefonica outbidding its main rival Mediapro for the majority of broadcast rights. The deal is expected to raise EUR 3.4 billion in revenues, an almost 30 % rise, compared to the previous TV rights cycle. League president Javier Tebas expressed his intention to shrink the financial gap between LaLiga and England’s Premier League: he expects the two leagues to be practically equal within 10 years.

At the same time, La Liga begins a new 5-year deal with Mediapro on its international rights. The deal extension will bring LaLiga an additional EUR 4.485 billion in revenue, also a marking a 30 % increase on the previous 3-season cycle.

The German Bundesliga’s current 4-year broadcast rights deals, which started in the 2017/18 season, are to secure revenues of EUR 4.6 billion, an 85% growth compared to the previous cycle. Matches are broadcast live on Sky Germany (263 matches), Eurosport (40) and ZDF (3), while streaming platform DAZN holds highlight rights.

Although a new cycle is still two seasons away, Bundesliga CEO Christian Seifert questioned the “no-single buyer” rule, as he believes the possibility of monopoly on football fixtures could better help to increase revenues. In the meantime, DAZN signalled its interest in adding live games to its current portfolio in the next cycle.

While Bundesliga’s domestic TV rights revenues grow spectacularly, current international deals bring in only EUR 720 million (240 million per season), the second lowest amount per season after the French Ligue 1.

Italy’s Serie A is starting the second year of their current (2018-2021) cycle. Satellite broadcaster Sky Italia is showing 266 live matches, streaming platform DAZN broadcasts 114 games, while national TV channel RAI is televising only highlights. Sky and DAZN (owned by UK-based Perform Group) outbid Italy’s biggest commercial broadcaster Mediaset.

The value of domestic rights decreased in the current cycle by 9% compared to the previous one, from EUR 3.2 to 2.92 billion – a painful turn, especially as Italian clubs are traditionally heavily dependent on broadcasting revenues. In the meantime, revenues from international rights more than doubled in the current season.

France’s Ligue 1 is entering the last season of their current 4-year (2016-20) domestic cycle, while most deals for the next 4-year period (2020-24) have already been settled.  Spanish group Mediapro won the main “lots” auctioned, with BeIN Sports securing the remaining packages. In contrast, Canal +, which had traditionally been the broadcaster of the French championship since 1984, have not been awarded any lot.

Contracts for the upcoming four seasons guarantee a massive, 59 % growth in revenues (from EUR 2.9 billion to 4.6 billion). However, Ligue 1 remains the least attractive among the “big five” leagues overseas, as the international TV rights revenues are almost 20 times smaller than those of the Premier League.

Roma Eyes Bond Sale, Joining Soccer Rivals Juventus, Inter Milan – Bloomberg | Anthony S Casey Singapore

A match between AS Roma and Cagliari.

A match between AS Roma and Cagliari. Photographer: Andreas Solaro/AFP via Getty Images

Ed Woodward misses Manchester United tour for first time to work on transfers | Anthony S Casey Singapore

Lukaku has not featured in any of United’s three matches on tour
Lukaku has not featured in any of United’s three matches on tourIMAGINECHINA/REX

Manchester United have told Inter Milan to hurry up and produce the money that the Premier League club want for Romelu Lukaku.

Inter have been interested in signing the United forward since Antonio Conte replaced Luciano Spalletti as coach almost eight weeks ago, but the Italian side are yet to meet the £80 million asking price.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the United manager, is adamant that he needs a replacement for Lukaku, 26, should the Belgium striker depart, and is mindful that time is running out for him to sign a new forward. The Premier League transfer window shuts two weeks on Thursday and unless Inter come up with the money soon, they will miss out on Lukaku because United need to start negotiations.

David de Gea to sign record six-year, £117m deal with Manchester United | Anthony S Casey Singapore

Worth his weight in gold: David de Gea has been player of the year at United four times in the last six seasons
Worth his weight in gold: David de Gea has been player of the year at United four times in the last six seasonsQUALITY SPORT IMAGES

David de Gea’s new Manchester United contract, which he is expected to sign before the Premier League season starts on August 9, is six years in length and worth about £117m. The Spain international will become the best-paid goalkeeper in the world when he agrees the deal within the next couple of weeks.

De Gea, 28, had lucrative offers from Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus but has decided to stay at Old Trafford for a number of reasons. First, he wants to repay the United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for keeping faith with him towards the end of last season. The Spaniard endured one of the worst runs of form in his career, making a number of high-profile mistakes, including a costly one.

Spurs v Juventus. Kane v Ronaldo | Anthony S Casey Singapore

Spurs v Juventus. Kane v Ronaldo | Anthony S Casey Singapore

Spurs v Juventus 2. Kane v Ronaldo | Anthony S Casey Singapore


Kieran Trippier passes Atletico Madrid medical ahead of £21.7m move from Tottenham | Anthony S Casey Singapore

Kieran Trippier is nearing a move to Atletico Madrid

Kieran Trippier is nearing a move to Atletico Madrid

Kieran Trippier has passed a medical with Atletico Madrid ahead of his move from Tottenham, Sky Sports News understands.

The Spanish club have agreed a £21.7m (€24m) fee for the England international, with the deal set to be announced on Wednesday evening.

Spurs were offered the chance to sign striker Angel Correa during negotiations but have instead opted for a straight cash deal.

Angel Correa was offered to Tottenham
Angel Correa was offered to Tottenham

Sky Sports News revealed last week Trippier was also on Bayern Munich’s shortlist, while Spurs’ other right-back, Serge Aurier, is available for transfer this summer.

Marseille’s Hiroki Sakai is the type of player Tottenham want to bring in to replace Trippier and Aurier, Sky Sports News understands.

The Good Morning Transfers verdict

Trippier’s impending move was discussed on Sky Sports News‘ weekday morning show, Good Morning Transfers – with the panel of the opinion that the move would be good for player, club and even England.

“It’s great business for Tottenham,” said Sky Sports‘ Mark McAdam. “He’s been a loyal servant to the club. It takes a lot of character to go abroad, learn a different language, put yourself in a different environment. What an opportunity to work under Diego Simeone, too.”

The Good Morning Transfers panel discuss Kieran Trippier’s potential move to Atletico Madrid after a £21.7m fee was agreed for his services

Follow the Summer Transfer Window on Sky Sports

Sky Sports News is home to three new shows dedicated to bringing you the very latest news from this summer’s transfer market.

Start your day with Good Morning Transfers at 9am as our team of reporters and pundits bring you the latest news and insight. Transfer Talk then follows at midday, delivering the biggest stories that matter to you. And join us at 7pm for the definitive round-up of the day’s news with The Transfer Show.

And as well as tuning into Sky Sports News, don’t miss a thing with our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.

There’s also the Transfer Talk Podcast, the daily UK, Regional and European Paper Talk, plus features across and the Sky Sports app.

Is Man United target Harry Maguire really the world’s best defender? | Anthony S Casey Singapore

Harry Maguire has played in a World Cup semifinal and become one of the most highly rated defenders in the Premier League, but even his most ardent supporters would struggle to argue that he is the very best at his position.

Yet if Leicester get their way and force Manchester United to pay in excess of £80 million, the 26-year-old will become the most expensive defender in the world. That would eclipse the £75m that Liverpool paid for Virgil van Dijk — not only the world’s best defender but the favourite to win the Ballon d’Or this year.

All this for a player Leicester signed from relegated Hull City for an initial £12m just two years ago.

– Premier League fixtures 2019-20 in full
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– When does the transfer window close?

Sources have told ESPN FC that, while United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is determined to sign Maguire as quickly as possible to reinforce his porous defence at Old Trafford, the two clubs are still some distance apart in terms of their valuation.

United, who initially offered £40m for Maguire last month, are now prepared to pay closer to £70m to get their man, but Leicester’s starting point is £80m and some reports suggest they are even ready to hold out for £90m.

Yet for all of Maguire’s ability as a commanding centre-back, a player with an aerial threat in both boxes and one who can play the long and short game, it would signal a new, eye-watering benchmark in an already over-heated transfer market.

Leicester are smart operators when it comes to selling players. They banked £60m when selling Riyad Mahrez to Manchester City 12 months ago and also forced Chelsea to hand over £35m for midfielder Danny Drinkwater in 2017. The Foxes hierarchy know that United, having seemingly missed out on Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt, are short on alternative options for a proven, commanding defender, so they are quite rightly putting the squeeze on the club’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

Woodward, an investment banker with JP Morgan prior to working for United, knows all about market forces and it is unfortunate for him and his club that they are now on the wrong end of the spike in transfer fees. But City were also forced to pay over the odds when they paid £50m to sign Kyle Walker from Tottenham two years ago, making him the world’s most expensive full-back at the time, while Liverpool’s wisdom was questioned when they paid £75m for Southampton’s Van Dijk 18 months ago.

City and Liverpool would now both argue that they were justified in breaking transfer records to sign Walker and Van Dijk, and United must now decide whether Maguire is likely to prove as smart a long-term investment as those two, even if the costs seem alarmingly high.

United’s history, certainly since Sir Alex Ferguson’s time in charge, is littered with examples of expensive signings which ultimately proved to be sound investments.

Gary Pallister (£2.3m), Roy Keane (£3.75m), Ruud van Nistelrooy (£19m) and Rio Ferdinand (£30m) all became British record signings when they moved to United, while Wayne Rooney was the world’s most expensive teenager when he completed a £27m move from Everton in 2004.

All of the above left Old Trafford having more than justified their huge transfer fees, with each of them proving that the initial outlay was excellent value in the long term.

However, United’s sense of value has deserted them since Ferguson retired in 2013, with those in charge too often knowing the price of something rather than the value.

Which is why they are now in a difficult position with Maguire. Is it another case of having to pay vastly over the odds for a player who will never live up to the pricetag? Or is Maguire a modern-day version of Pallister or Ferdinand, two defenders whose fees were questioned at the time, but who ultimately made the cost of the transfers look cheap?

One thing for certain is that Maguire is not the best defender in the world. True, Van Dijk wasn’t either when he traded Southampton for Liverpool, but the Dutchman now has few rivals for that title after a sensational 18 months at Anfield. His £75m fee now looks to be a bargain and Liverpool could double it right now if they were foolish enough to consider selling.

It would be naive for United to expect Maguire to follow the same path so quickly. But he is better than what they have and would improve United, so the price is the price and they have to accept that market forces have left them having to break the world-record transfer fee for a defender.

Harvey Elliott: Liverpool to sign Premier League’s youngest player from Fulham | Anthony S Casey Singapore

Real and PSG had been interested in signing Elliott, who will now join Liverpool
Real and PSG had been interested in signing Elliott, who will now join LiverpoolSTEVE BARDENS/GETTY IMAGES

Liverpool are set to sign 16-year-old Fulham midfielder Harvey Elliott, the youngest player to feature in the Premier League.

Elliott, an England Under-17 player, has rejected a scholarship at Fulham and has been courted by Europe’s heavyweights, including Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig.

However, Liverpool look to have won the race to recruit him and will have to negotiate a hefty compensation package with the Championship side.

Elliott cannot sign a professional contract until he turns 17 next April but is regarded as one of the most promising teenagers in the country.