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Football rumours: Bale out possible as Real Madrid focus on Raheem Sterling

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What the papers say

England hero Raheem Sterling is attracting interest from Real Madrid, according to The Athletic. The 26-year-old has put himself in the spotlight with his performances at Euro 2020, and the Spanish giants are at the head of the queue for his signature. Sterling is said to be open to offers, but Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola wants the winger to stay at the Etihad Stadium.

Gareth Bale is set to retire from club football next summer before a possible last hurrah with Wales at the 2022 World Cup, the Daily Mirror reports. Bale, who turns 32 next week, has a year left on his contract with Real Madrid and will return to Los Blancos for the coming season having finished his loan spell back at Tottenham. Bale fell out of favour with manager Zinedine Zidane at Real but is determined to play out the final year of his contract with the club under Carlo Ancelotti.

Antoine Griezmann could be on his way to Chelsea as Barcelona look to save funds in order to offer Lionel Messi a new contract, the Daily Star reports. The paper claims Messi wants to stay at the Nou Camp but is currently unable to sign his deal under LaLiga salary cap rules.

Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion – Premier League – Emirates Stadium

Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe is a target for Aston Villa (Frank Augstein/PA)

Aston Villa are still keen to sign Arsenal midfielder Emile Smith Rowe and may part with a club-record fee to land him, Football Insider reports. Villa are said to have had two bids rejected by the Gunners, the latest worth £30million but are set to table a third offer for the 20-year-old Englishman. Villa paid their club record of £33m rising to £38m only last month to sign Norwich attacker Emiliano Buendia.

Arsenal and Chelsea are interested in Bayer Leverkusen centre-back Edmond Tapsoba, the Metro reports. The Burkina Faso international caught the attention of several leading clubs with a superb campaign with the Bundesliga side last season after moving from Portugal’s Vitoria de Guimaraes. Arsenal have reportedly proposed a £51.4m bid to secure Tapsoba but Chelsea are also in the hunt, while Manchester United have also been linked to the 22-year-old.

Wales v Mexico – International Friendly – Cardiff City Stadium

Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey could be joining Burnley (David Davies/PA)

Wales goalkeeper and free agent Wayne Hennessey could be off to Burnley, according to the Daily Mail. The 34-year-old left Crystal Palace when his contract expired last month. Chelsea and Aston Villa are also said to be interested in the former Wolves stopper.

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Players to watch

Brandon Williams: Southampton are confident of signing the Manchester United defender on loan for the forthcoming season, the Daily Mail says.

Samuel Umtiti: Manchester United and Arsenal are considering moves for the 27-year-old Barcelona centre-back, who reportedly does not fit into manager Ronald Koeman’s plans, according to the Daily Star.