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Transfer Rumor Roundup: Fabregas to Real Madrid, Barbosa to Man United

Japan U-23 v Brazil U-23 - International Friendly

GOIANIA, BRAZIL - JULY 30: Gabriel Barbosa #9 of Brazil celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the international friendly match between Japan and Brazil at the Estadio Serra Dourada on July 30, 2016 in Goiania, Brazil. (Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images)

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Cesc Fabregas has been linked with a move to Real Madrid by Spanish outlet Sport.

Fabregas, 29, was left on the bench by new Chelsea boss Antonio Conte on Monday and did not come on as a sub in Chelsea’s 2-1 win over West Ham United. Conte told reporters after the game that he is happy with Fabregas but the former Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder surely won’t stick around at Stamford Bridge long if he’s going to be a squad player.

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Against West Ham in his opening PL game in charge, Conte lined up with N’Golo Kante as the lone holding player and Nemanja Matic and Oscar ahead of him in a 4-1-4-1 formation.

Under Jose Mourinho he initially flourished on his return to the PL in 2014, bagging 18 assists in Chelsea’s 2014-15 PL title-winning season but his form dropped off remarkably during that campaign and that hangover lasted throughout most of last season as Chelsea finished in 10th and Mourinho lost his job. Fabregas had previously been linked with a move to Manchester United to link up with Mourinho again but with United signing Paul Pogba and already possessing a bloated midfield, it seems unlikely they’d add Fabregas.

As for Real Madrid, with Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Casemiro and Isco around, Fabregas could find it tough to get a spot in Zinedine Zidane’s team but the report states Fabregas has reached out to Florentio Perez about a possible move. Maybe he’s better off staying at Chelsea and waiting for his chance under Conte...

Manchester United have emerged as the new favorites to land Brazilian striker Gabriel Barbosa.

The 19-year-old striker was said to be closing in on a move to Leicester City last week but the Sun is reporting that Mourinho will pay $39 million to land the Santos striker. Barbosa has emerged as a star of the Rio Olympics as the host nation have qualified for the semifinals of the tournament.

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Nicknamed “Gabigol” in his homeland, the likes of Bayern Munich, Juventus, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid want to sign Barbosa but per the report he is keen to join United. He has scored 56 goals in 152 games for Santos in the past three years and has been dubbed the new Neymar in Brazil.

With Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney around, United do have a wealth of attacking talents but Zlatan is only on a one-year deal, plus Rashford and Martial will be mainly used out wide and Rooney as a secondary striker.

After Paul Pogba, Eric Bailly, Henrik Mkhitaryan and Zlatan arrived this summer already, if Mourinho pulls off this bid for Gabigol it could be one of the greatest -- and most expensive -- transfer windows for any club ever.

A potential outgoing at Old Trafford could be Italian international right back Matteo Darmian.

Sky Sports is reporting that both AS Roma and Napoli is interested in signing the 26-year-old. Darmian arrived at the Red Devils from Torino last summer in a $16.5 million deal but has fallen behind Antonio Valencia and Timothy Fosu-Mensah in the pecking order at Old Trafford.

Although Darmian can also play at left back, it is unlikely that Mourinho will want three right backs in his side, hence why rumors about Darmian departing are cropping up. With two Serie A teams interested, maybe a loan deal can be arranged for this season with a permanent deal in the making for next summer.

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