We've reached the part of the summer where transfer rumors have completely taken over and done away with the real news. One of the biggest ones yet came out on Monday, with Marco Verratti reportedly telling PSG he'd like to leave the club.
Following his client's request, Verratti's agent Donato di Campli met up with PSG sporting director Antero Henrique in Milan. During that meeting, he reportedly told Henrique that Barcelona is interested and would make a €100 million bid for Verratti.
All of this sounds plausible. Verratti has improved rapidly over the past two seasons and is exactly the type of player Barcelona has been missing since Xavi's decline and departure. He has the technical quality and tactical intelligence to play in midfield for the Blaugrana, but would give them more work rate and physicality than any of their current midfielders.
However, it's not clear if Barcelona can afford Verratti. They have the highest wage bill in the world, and that's before they hand Messi a new contract, set to make him the highest-earning player in the world. It's likely that the Blaugrana would have to sell one of their top earners to make this work, unless they have big new sponsorships lined up.
Goal of the day
Michael Bradley's stunner for the USMNT against Mexico.
In the news
Portugal and FC Porto star Andre Silva is having a medical at AC Milan. (@acmilan)
Middlesbrough has hired Garry Monk as their new manager, and he's targeting instant promotion. (Guardian)
Atlanta United star Josef Martinez is back to full fitness, but he's not being rushed. (MLS)
Pepe's replacement at Real Madrid will be Jesus Vallejo, who spent last season on loan in the Bundesliga. (AS)
You should be reading
Emmet Gates on getting caught up in the Turin crush during the Champions League final. (The Set Pieces)
Michael Fahey on Dundalk's journey from near-bankrupcy to European competition. (In Bed With Maradona)
Ricardo Tavares on the need for positional data in soccer analytics. (Stats Bomb)
Fun with transfer rumors
Manchester United are favorites to sign Alvaro Morata. (Mirror)
He'll likely join Benfica center back Victor Lindelof, who should join the Red Devils this week. (Telegraph)
Chelsea is interested in James Rodriguez, but isn't willing to pay Real Madrid's asking price. (Standard)
Young Chelsea star Tammy Abraham is going on loan to Newcastle or Brighton, but he can't decide which. (Chronicle)
Everton is trying to sign Sandro Ramirez from Malaga and Davy Klaassen from Ajax. (Guardian)
Manchester City is stepping up their bid for Alexis Sanchez. (Star)
Grzegorz Krychowiak could be on the move to AC Milan. (Football Italia)
What happened this weekend
The USMNT got a vital point away to Mexico.
The USWNT squeaked out a win over Norway.
Catch up on all the European World Cup qualifiers here. (UEFA)