A report in Bild claims new Bayern boss Pep Guardiola is planning to test the Spanish club’s resolve to hang on to the German international, who has still not renewed his contract with Los Blancos.
Ozil, who joined Madrid in August 2010 from Werder Bremen for a fee believed to have been around the €15m mark, has gone on to make over 100 appearances and is a player they are desperate to keep hold of.
However, Guardiola is believed to want to link him up with Thiago Alcantara as he seeks to bolster his midfield for the start of the new season, and it is understood he intends to discover if Ozil is prepared to return to the Bundesliga.
Just as it looked as if Marquinhos was on the verge of a move to Paris Saint-Germain, reports in the Brazilian Press claim he is holding out for Barcelona.
The Roma youngster was said to be ‘not very far away’ from a switch to the French champions on Saturday.
But media outlets in his home country claim that the centre back is not keen on Laurent Blanc’s men and would rather wait for a transfer to Camp Nou.
PSG were reported to have had a €30m bid accepted from the Giallorossi, whilst the Blaugrana have had their €25m bid rejected.
The hierarchy at Stadio Olimpico are resigned to the fact they will lose the 19-year-old and are expecting an improved offer from Tito Vilanova’s men soon.
Over the next few days Madrid Coach Carlo Ancelotti and his assistant Zinedine Zidane are likely to assess their squad before the start of next season to determine which players will be leaving the Santiago Bernabeu.
Reports in Spain suggest Albiol could be one of the candidates and Benitez is understood to be keen to take him to the Stadio San Paolo.
Albiol has been with Los Blancos four years following his €15m arrival from Valencia and was a first choice under Manuel Pellegrini. However, when Jose Mourinho took over from the Chilean he struggled to get into the starting line-up and has been a bit-part player ever since.
Nonetheless, it will not deter former Liverpool manager Benitez, who could ask his club to meet Madrid’s €8m valuation of the 27-year-old.
The Basques want to cover the loss of Illarramendi to Real Madrid as soon as possible and are reported to have opened talks with Barca for the Mexican international, who does not figure in Tito Vilanova’s plans for the new season.
The Catalans are understood to want to send the 23-year-old out on loan, but the player has grown tired of waiting for a permanent role in Vilanova’s first team and would prefer a permanent transfer to another La Liga club.
It is a view shared by La Real, where the coaching staff believe he would be the ideal man to step into Illarramendi’s shoes, being similar in style to recent arrival Haris Seferovic but occupying a more central midfield role.
The clubs are believed to have spoken about Dos Santos two days ago and will try to broker a deal that would see him move to Anoeta for a fee of around €3m, with the Basques hopeful the presence in their ranks of fellow Mexican Carlos Vela might sway discussions in their favour.
Catania winger Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gomez is still an option for Atletico Madrid.
The Spanish outfit appeared to have been put off by the Serie A club’s asking price of €8m, but reports in Italy claim a deal could still be agreed if Catania would lower their asking price.
Atleti boss Diego Simeone is keen to bring Gomez [pictured, right] to the Vicente Calderon after having him under his orders when in charge at Argentine outfit San Lorenzo, and the player is believed to be open to a move to the Spanish capital.
Gomez, who joined Catania from San Lorenzo in July 2010 and has made over 100 appearances for the Rossazzurri, is undestood to have been the subject of interest from Inter this summer.
However, Catania President Antonino Pulvirenti is only willing to transfer him to a foreign team, with clubs from Russia having checked upon his availability.
Julio Baptista’s future at Malaga is in doubt unless he is prepared to take a substantial pay cut.
The Brazilian international is now the best paid player at the club following the departures of Joaquin, Martin Demichelis, Jeremy Toulalan, Santi Cazorla and Nacho Monreal, and has been linked with a move back to his native country with Internacional de Porto Alegre.
However, with Malaga’s new austerity policy now in place Los Blanquiazules will be looking to offload him unless they can come to an agreement with the 31-year-old, something new boss Bernd Schuster said this week he is hopeful can happen.
“I don’t know if we can arrive at a solution so that Julio stays. If we are talking about him as a footballer then I prefer he remains here as I know what he’s capable of.
“If he stays free of injury and gets some luck then he would be an important cog in our team as he possesses a lot of quality and is a model professional,” commented the German.