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Liverpool up the ante in Lemar chase, Mbappé spills beans in blue, and today's transfer gossip

We’ll level with you: if you’re an Arsenal fan, today’s gossip column might not be your bag.

Image: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

‘IT’S MIND-BOGGLING. WHEN average players are going for £30-40m, it makes you scratch your head’ – Roy Keane on this summer’s transfer window.

And so, without further adieu, here are the good, the bad, and the unlikely football moves being talked about today…

Liverpool seem hellbent on rubbing salt into poor old Arsenal’s wounds; the Reds have bid €80 million plus Divock Origi on loan for Thomas Lemar, a longstanding subject of Arsenal’s affection – this according to L’Équipe.

The French publication reports of Liverpool’s offer to Monaco: ‘After making an offer of 72 million euros plus 8 million in bonus to buy the three-year contract of Thomas Lemar (21 years), the Reds returned to the charge Monday with a new offer of Transfer of 80 million, 50 payable from this summer, 30 next summer, plus the loan from the Belgian international Divock Origi.’

Liverpool are now said to be awaiting a response from Vadim Vasilyev, Monaco’s vice president.

It would also be remiss not to include this rather astounding detective work from keen-eyed Reds, who were rumoured to have crashed a flight-tracking website earlier today.

But back to Monaco for a moment, and Kylian Mbappé’s much-mooted move to PSG now seems imminent; reports from Paris today suggest the French teen sensation has completed a medical with his hometown club.

Indeed, speaking with Le Parisien while on international duty with the young striker, PSG midfielder Adrien Rabiot said of the purported move: “He told me that his PSG move should be made official on Tuesday. Obviously, it is very good news for the club. Kylian is a young player, already mature, comfortable as part of a team, with huge potential and he also comes from Paris. This last factor is not a trivial matter for PSG.”

Monaco, menawhile, have completed the signing of Stevan Jovetic from Inter, meaning he’ll now forge one of the most stylish strike partnerships in world football with the resplendent-again Radamel Falcao.

Back in England, and there are conflicting reports with regards to Alexis Sanchez potentially joining Manchester City, with The Mirror reporting City have offered Raheem Sterling in a part-exchange deal, but others claiming City are interested in a cash-only deal.

One man who seems most certainly interested in either is Sanchez himself, though Arsenal seem willing to allow him to leave next season for zilch than hand him over to supposed rivals City three games into a potentially disastrous campaign. T13 in Chile, meanwhile, claim the 28-year-old has requested to be released from international training on Wednesday afternoon ‘in order to carry out personal procedures,’ just 24 hours before Chile face Paraguay at the Monumental.

But fear not, Arsenal fans. The Telegraph’s James Ducker says the Gunners have joined ‘the race’ to sign Jonny Evans from West Brom. Every cloud, and all that.

Transfer guru Peter O’Rourke writes of Everton’s interest in Fernando Llorente on ESPN FC, with Ronald Koeman supposedly eyeing the physical Basque striker as a potential replacement for Romelu Lukaku. Chelsea have been interested in the former Athletic Bilbao and Juventus striker for some time, but have a backlog of forgotten strikers to banish before they make their move.

Speaking of whom, Diego Costa is set for a £41m return to Atlético Madrid according to Simon Johnson in the Evening Standard – this following what Johnson describes as a ‘breakthrough in talks’ between the two clubs.

Costa has been on highly unofficial leave in his native Brazil for the past six weeks, openly ignoring Chelsea’s instructions to return to training.

Finally, as soon as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain traverses London, Chelsea are expected to sign Ross Barkley for something in the region of £30m according to Mailsport. Danny Drinkwater is also supposedly on his way to the Bridge. These homegrown quotas are a dose.

Retro deal of the day

A last-minute snag in personal terms wasn’t enough to keep legendary Nigerian winger Finidi George away from Ipswich Town in August 2001.

The 30-year-old former Champions League winner with Ajax arrived at Portman Road from Real Mallorca for £3.1m – roughly £378 million in today’s market. George had actually been training with Ipswich for two weeks prior to the deal’s confirmation, and had been considered an Ipswich player until it emerged he hadn’t actually signed for the club.

Soccer - FA Barclaycard Premiership - Ipswich Town v Aston Villa Source: EMPICS Sport

“Finidi George is a world class player,” said George Burley of his new signing.

He endured a torrid time in East Anglia, frequently underwhelming as Ipswich were relegated just a season after mounting a challenge for Champions League qualification. He was released in 2003.

Roy Keane gives his thoughts on a crazy-money transfer window

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