West Ham respond to record bid as Newcastle and Aston Villa open talks over defender deals

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The 3AddedMinutes take on the latest transfer speculation with news from West Ham United, Manchester City, Newcastle United and Aston Villa.

The summer transfer window is open for business and there are a whole host of deals making progress as clubs across the Premier League continue to strengthen their squads ahead of the new season.

There are a number of ongoing transfer sagas with the futures of the likes of Declan Rice, Mason Mount and James Maddison dominating the headlines on a daily basis. Naturally, one of that trio is involved in this piece because it really wouldn’t be an up-to-date transfer update if one of them wasn’t involved.

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So without further ado, here’s our take on three of the latest transfer stories across the Premier League.

Hammers reject new offer for Rice

West Ham United are standing firm on their demands for Declan Rice after reportedly rejecting a big money offer from Manchester City.

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The England star gave little away on what could lie ahead for him this summer in the aftermath of the Hammers Europa Conference League Final win against Fiorentina as speculation over a possible move to Arsenal or City continued to dominate the headlines.

Speaking just minutes after lifting the trophy, he told BT Sport: “I love this club, I love playing for this club. There hasn’t been nothing yet, so my focus is on playing for West Ham, enjoying tonight and seeing what happens. I’m captain of this club, I absolutely love it to pieces and cannot speak highly enough of this place so let’s just see what happens. Let’s just wait and see. Who knows.”

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Arsenal have been unsuccessful with a number of bids in recent weeks and Sky Sports have now reported West Ham have also rejected an offer believed to be worth an initial payment of around £80 million from City. Sources have also suggested talks with both Arsenal and City are ongoing and are ‘reaching the final stages’ as the Hammers remain adamant their captain will only depart if they receive an offer in excess of £100 million.

The 3AM Verdict: Fair play to West Ham on this one. They know the value of Rice to them and there is no doubt the England star is one of the most talented midfielders in the Premier League. For the Hammers, it is not the cost of losing him that is important but just how much it would cost to replace not only his ability, but perhaps more importantly, his influence on the club.

Magpies open talks over Saints move

Newcastle United have reportedly made progress on a second summer deal as they move closer to finalising the signing of AC Milan midfielder Sandro Tonali.

Southampton full-back Tino Livramento. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)Southampton full-back Tino Livramento. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Southampton full-back Tino Livramento. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images) | Getty Images

The Italy Under-21s captain has agreed personal terms and has undergone a medical with the Magpies, with an announcement of the deal expected over the coming days. And with one deal approaching a successful conclusion, Newcastle are now working on another after opening talks over a possible move for Southampton full-back Tino Livramento.

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The 20-year-old defender made just two appearances for the Saints last season before a serious knee injury prematurely ended his campaign - but that has not stopped the Magpies firming up their interest according to The Telegraph. Talks over a potential £15 million move are said to be underway, with United winger Ryan Fraser said to be heading to the south coast as part of the deal.

The 3AM Verdict: Southampton will have to offload players as they deal with the financial impact of relegation from the Premier League. Despite the reported presence of Ryan Fraser in the deal, a £15m offer still feels some way shy of Livramento’s value and this one could run for a while. However, Newcastle’s interest is genuine and he would be a good fit for their squad, providing quality competition and cover for Kieran Trippier as Eddie Howe’s side prepare for the Champions League.

Villa boss Emery looks for reunion with defender

Aston Villa are looking to secure an ambitious deal for Villarreal and Spain centre-back Pau Torres, according to reports.

Ruben Uria, a journalist with Spanish newspaper Sport, has claimed Villa are ‘very interested’ in the centre-back and are ready to make an offer worth around £29 million to see off interest from elsewhere and land their main defensive target.

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Pau Torres would cost Aston Villa in excess of £50 million due to a release clause in his Villarreal contract.Pau Torres would cost Aston Villa in excess of £50 million due to a release clause in his Villarreal contract.
Pau Torres would cost Aston Villa in excess of £50 million due to a release clause in his Villarreal contract. | Getty Images

Torres has become one of the most consistent defenders in La Liga in recent years and produced possibly his best period of form during Unai Emery’s reign at Villarreal. The duo helped the club reach the semi-final of the Champions League in 2022, 12 months after they lifted the Europa League with a penalty shoot-out win against Manchester United.

The 3AM Verdict: Torres has been exceptional in recent seasons and he looks ready-made for life in the Premier League. His previous relationship with Unai Emery will work heavily in Villa’s favour and he would improve their defence significantly. However, the reported offer will surely fall short of Villarreal’s valuation so there will be work to do on this deal before it even approaches a successful conclusion.

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