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Gerrard wants Tavernier in Saudi Arabia; Leeds set to lose Aaronson

New Al Ettifaq manager Steven Gerrard is interested in reuniting with Rangers captain James Tavernier, who is also interesting a number of other Saudi Pro League clubs.

Gerrard was appointed as the Saudi side’s new manager on Monday, returning to the dugout less than nine months after being sacked as Aston Villa manager.

He previously enjoyed a successful three-year spell in charge of Rangers, leading the club to the Scottish Premiership title in 2020/21, and one of his key assets during that success was Tavernier.

31-year-old Tavernier has played over 400 games for Rangers in all competitions, but could be offered the chance to reunite with Gerrard as he looks to add some high-profile European experience to his squad.

Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson are two established former teammates of Gerrard who are being targeted, while there’s also interest in luring Gini Wijnaldum away from Paris Saint-Germain on a permanent basis.

Burnley close on double deal

James Trafford

James Trafford in action for Bolton / James Gill – Danehouse/GettyImages

Premier League new boys Burnley have agreed a deal with Manchester City for young goalkeeper James Trafford.

The 20-year-old has proven his talent during an 18-month loan spell with Bolton Wanderers, helping the club reach last season’s League One play-offs before sharing the club’s Young Player of the Year award with Conor Bradley.

A permanent transfer worth £19m has now been agreed with Manchester City, comprising of £14m in guaranteed money plus £5m in performance related add-ons, and Trafford will compete with another former City alumni, Arijanet Muric, for a starting berth.

The Clarets have also agreed a loan deal with Borussia Dortmund for teenage defender Soumaila Coulibaly. Vincent Kompany will have the option of making the move permanent at the end of the season for around £12m.

Leeds to appoint Farke; lose Aaronson

Brenden Aaronson

Brenden Aaronson struggled to make an impact at Leeds / Stu Forster/GettyImages

Former Norwich City manager Daniel Farke will return to the dugout in England after signing a contract at Leeds United.

The Whites were relegated last season after cycling through Jesse Marsch, Javi Gracia and Sam Allardyce, the latter of whom was unable to keep the club afloat after coming in for the final few games of 2022/23.

Leeds’ bid to be promoted from the Championship will take place without American attacking midfielder Brenden Aaronson, who is set to join Union Berlin on loan with an option to buy. The 22-year-old scored just once in 36 Premier League appearances last season, having joined the club for just shy of £25m in May 2022.

AC Milan’s Pulisic contingency plan

Christian Pulisic

AC Milan are interested in Christian Pulisic / Ethan Miller/USSF/GettyImages

AC Milan are interested in signing Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic this summer, but they do have other options in mind should a deal for the American fail to come to fruition.

Samuel Chukwueze and Jesper Lindstrom, of Villarreal and Eintracht Frankfurt respectively, are both on the Rossoneri’s shortlist and could represent good value for money when their weekly pay packet is compared to Pulisic’s.

Milan rewarded Rafael Leao with a new contract recently but are keen to strengthen their forward options after qualifying once more for the Champions League.

Bournemouth among host of teams eyeing Kerkez

Milos Kerkez

Milos Kerkez ahead of AZ Alkmaar’s Europa Conference League semi-final tie with West Ham / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Bournemouth are one of a number of teams keeping tabs on AZ Alkmaar teenager Milos Kerkez.

The 19-year-old has risen to prominence after a superb debut season in AZ’s first team, with his ability on show in the club’s Europa Conference League semi-final tie with West Ham.

The Hammers also hold an interest in Kerkez, along with a number of other clubs, but Bournemouth are ready to open talks in a bid to get a deal over the line. The Cherries hope to make up to half a dozen new signings, providing new manager Andoni Iraola with some fresh firepower for the new season.

Morata on Saudi Arabia radar

Alvaro Morata

Alvaro Morata has plenty of interest / James Gill – Danehouse/GettyImages

Former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Juventus striker Alvaro Morata is the latest high-profile player being targeted by the Saudi Pro League.

The 30-year-old scored 13 La Liga goals for Atletico Madrid last season after spending two years on loan in Italy, and took over as captain of Spain’s national team in March.

A host of European superstars have already taken up the riches on offer in the Middle East, though a number of Italian clubs are also interested in signing Morata this summer – leaving plenty of talking to be done before any deal is agreed.

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