Football transfer rumours: Asensio to Manchester United? Maupay to Everton?

There is not long to go until the transfer window “slams shut” for a few months but while summer is still with us, so too is the scent of cash being readied to thrash out last-minute deals. The first whiff we got on Friday morning took us to the London Stadium, where David Moyes is desperate to bring in a midfielder good enough to keep Declan Rice happy at West Ham for another season. The Brazil and Lyon trickster Lucas Paquetá is the target, but they will have to raise an opening bid of £42m to make it a reality. Arsenal and Newcastle also have the hots for the 24-year-old. Moyes recently bemoaned his bad luck in this window and after Club Brugge rejected a £10m bid for experienced Belgium midfielder Hans Vanaken he will have had more reason to feel sorry for himself.

In the most tedious transfer saga this summer, Chelsea are preparing a 1,374th bid for the Leicester centre-back Wesley Fofana. They’re also going to try to snaffle Anthony Gordon from Everton for an improved offer of £60m because the last time they signed a talented young scouse midfielder from Goodison Park it went so well. Isn’t that right, Ross? If Gordon does make the move south, Everton will try to replace him with Brighton’s Neal Maupay.

Sticking with midfielders, Manchester United have been asked by Real Madrid if they want to sign Marco Asensio for £26m. The Spaniard would probably be worth bringing in if it was 2017. But it’s not. In any case United are more focused on bringing in the zippy Brazil winger Antony from Ajax, but they will have to raise their initial bid of £76m to give Erik ten Hag his man. Other United-related fluff links the club with moves for the Bayern Munich right-back Benjamin Pavard, the PSV Eindhoven winger Cody Gakpo and Newcastle’s back-up goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.

Manchester City have laughed off a £59m bid from PSG for Bernardo Silva, though the Premier League champions are likely to be more amenable when Borussia Dortmund come calling with a loan offer for Cole Palmer.

It says here that Liverpool’s pursuit of Jude Bellingham has been boosted by news that the young England midfielder’s employers, Dortmund, like the cut of Naby Keïta’s jib. So a player-plus-cash deal could be on the cards. Mind you, a transfer is unlikely to be thrashed out in this window, which means Jürgen Klopp will have to make do with his limited midfield options for a while longer and find a way to get rid of the training ground witch he keeps banging on about.

Albert Sambi Lokonga may make the move from Arsenal to Roma after José Mourinho was left vexed by an early-season injury to Gini Wijnaldum. Some fluff here says that free agent Serge Aurier is even closer to signing for Nottingham Forest than he was on Thursday, despite the fact they just brought in a much less erratic marauding right-back in Neco Williams.

And Fulham will fight it out with Lazio for the loan signing of Tottenham outcast Sergio Reguilón.