Football transfer rumours: Kyle Walker to join Bayern Munich?

Forget the Middle East, it’s the far east where the headline makers are gathering in this hot edition of the Rumour Mill. After Japan cruised into the last 16 of the Women’s World Cup on Wednesday morning, attention turned to a Tokyo friendly between Bayern Munich and Manchester City. Sure, it’s sort of fun to see two of Europe’s elite going through the motions on the pitch but the real action is off it.

Let’s go direct and start with the player whose future impacts both teams: Kyle Walker. Bayern want the 33-year-old England speedster to head to Bavaria; City believe Manchester is where he belongs. Reports suggest the defender has reached a verbal agreement but the clubs are yet to agree on a fee.

We do know one thing: Pep Guardiola is doing a far better job of fuelling the gossip than his Bayern counterpart Thomas Tuchel and, of course, that’s the lifeblood of this bloated nonsense which keeps us swishing our phones manically at this time of year. “Kyle is incredibly important for us. He has specific qualities that are so difficult to find out wide. I don’t know what’s going to happen,” teased Guardiola. “Both clubs are in touch. We will fight for him like I’m sure Bayern will. I don’t know how it will finish.” Which is far better than Tuchel’s frosty “no comment”.

At least Tuchel was prepared to wax on about Bayern’s latest bid (third if you’re counting) for Tottenham’s Harry Kane. We’re joking of course. He said nothing. Spurs are in the far east, too, with Ange Postecoglou’s team – including Kane – taking on Lion City Sailors in a friendly in the Singapore National Stadium.

But the real story lies back at home where – intrigue klaxon – Bayern chief executive Jan-Christian Dreesen and technical director Marco Neppe have stayed behind to broker the £100m deal that will definitely put an end to the Kane saga once and for all. Well, until Daniel Levy rejects it out of hand and they have to come up with another one.

As brought to you by Ben Fisher, Southampton have rejected Liverpool’s opening bid for Roméo Lavia. Saints want a £50m package for the teenage midfielder but the Reds are thought to have only offered £35m plus add-ons. Lavia played in Southampton’s 3-2 friendly loss to Bournemouth on Tuesday night and “looked distracted” according to some people who weren’t there but know the right lingo.

If the Lavia deal doesn’t go through, Jürgen Klopp has another target for his shiny new Liverpool midfield revamp. That would be Fluminense’s Brazilian midfielder André, who could become the third André to grace Anfield after Andre Wisdom and, erm, Pete Andre, who was spotted in the crowd once according to Rumour Mill sources. A fee of £21.5m has been plucked out of the air although, slight problem, Fluminense insist they won’t let him go until the Brazilian Serie A season finishes in December.

Oh, and staying at Liverpool, footage has emerged of Jordan Henderson strolling about on the Anfield pitch filming what many believe is a “goodbye” video. The Reds skipper is set to link up with former teammate Steven Gerrard at Saudi Pro League club Al-Ettifaq and has some explaining to do. A 30-second TikTok video will surely address any issues.

Henderson’s exit along with that of Fabinho could have paved the way for a move for Sofyan Amrabat. But Morocco’s deepest lying of deep midfielders has supposedly snubbed Liverpool in favour of Manchester United. His Italian club, Fiorentina, want £25m for the 26-year-old, who helped the Atlas Lions reach the last four of the World Cup.

Staying in the north and Everton are believed to be leading the race for Leeds attacker Wilfried Gnonto. Toffees boss Sean Dyche loves big, physical players so that makes sense. A fee of £20m has been quoted for the 5ft 7in (in cuban heels) Italian. Leeds, meanwhile, are closing in on a move for Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow.

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