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Silly Season: Kovacic Heading to Real Madrid

There are about two weeks left in the transfer window for the major European soccer leagues. Silly Season has been anything but boring this summer and here are some of the latest transfers and rumors as teams head into the new season.

Real Madrid is in the final stages of signing Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic from Inter Milan. Kovacic is considered to be one of the most talented young players in Europe, and will reportedly cost Real Madrid around $35 million. The team released a statement about the transfer on their website

Sky Sports reports that Nicolas Otamendi is on his way to Manchester City from Valencia. The 27-year-old Argentine international is in Manchester to go through the medical examination before the transfer can be finalized. Sky Sports reports that Otamendi will sign a five-year contract with City. The central defender has 25 caps for Argentina and will reportedly cost €45 million.

Sky Sport’s Spanish soccer expert Guillem Balague told Sky Sports News HQ that “Valencia said that Otamendi has a €50m buy-out clause, but they managed to find common ground at €45m and there are no loan arrangements attached and it has no relation, either, to any money owed for Alvaro Negredo.”

Gazzetta Dello Sport reports that Serie A side Bologna has struck a deal with Helsingborgs IF for Swedish U-21 international Emil Krafth. The promising right back was part of the U-21 Swedish team that won the U-21 European Championship earlier this summer.

Helsingborg has financial troubles, so selling Krafth would certainly help. Krafth, 21, has four caps for the Swedish national team. Gazzetta Dello Sport writes that Krafth is in Bologna for a medical exam before the transfer can be finalized.

Newcastle is closing in on signing Marseille winger Florian Thauvin, according to Get French Football. The 22-year-old Frenchman is said to cost Newcastle €17 million along with sending Remy Cabella the other way on a loan deal.

GFF reports that Newcastle will offer Thauvin a six-year contract and that they player will travel to Newcastle to discuss the deal.

The Daily Mail reports that Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been given the green light to leave Paris Saint-Germain. The story says that the club is willing to let Ibrahimovic go at a cut-rate price as the Swedish star has a very high salary. Manchester United and Arsenal are rumored to be interested in Ibrahimovic’s services.  

Ibrahimovic, 33, is in his last year of his deal with PSG. He’s missed the two opening league games for PSG with a knee injury but is said to return to action this weekend.

Premier League newcomers Watford has signed attacking midfielder Alessandro Diamanti on a season-long loan from Chinese side Guangzho Evergrande. The 32-year-old Italian has played in the Premier League in the past for West Ham United, spending the 2009-2010 season with the Hammers.

Diamanti has 17 caps for the Italian national team and is Watford’s 12th signing of the season.

Olympique Lyon has signed central defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa from AS Roma. The 26-year-old Frenchman only spent one season at Roma and will now move back to France.

“As a player, everyone wants to discover abroad,” he told L’Equipe. “In England I discovered new staff and also the impact of physical work, although my experience there did not totally work.

“In Rome it went better for me, I played a lot and I learned a lot with the coach Rudi Garcia. I hope to share my experience with my new teammates at OL.”

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