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The Guardian - page 75

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Football transfer rumours: Chelsea beat Arsenal to Mauro Icardi?

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Today’s rumours are wholesome

The Mill is perfectly positioned to profit handsomely in this post-facts era – and if you don’t agree, you’re just wrong – so it was with a start that we awoke to discover that Manchester United chose a good night to bury their … umm … good news and confirmed everything we have ever posited on these pages about their new charge.

Where does that leave us? It probably leaves us goggle-eyed over the future of Mauro Icardi, the most obvious remaining candidate to move for Silly Money after a tortuous saga over the next three weeks. Arsenal have been the Internazionale forward’s most committed suitors and still appear to see Olivier Giroud as bait, but the wildly gesticulating, healthily coiffured figure you see galloping over the horizon in last-ditch pursuit is Antonio Conte with Chelsea scheming over a £50m bid to ruin the Gunners’ summer and make themselves feel better after failing to land Romelu Lukaku.

Related: Crystal Palace reject Everton’s £18m bid for Yannick Bolasie

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Crystal Palace reject Everton’s £18m bid for Yannick Bolasie

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• Ronald Koeman makes DR Congo forward his top transfer priority
• Palace holding out for a fee closer to £30m for Bolasie

Crystal Palace have rejected a bid of £18m from Everton for forward Yannick Bolasie, with the south Londoners holding out for a fee closer to £30m.

Ronald Koeman has been searching for additions to his squad since succeeding Roberto Martínez as manager in June but so far has only signed the midfielder Idrissa Gueye for £7.1m from Aston Villa and the Holland goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg this summer.

Related: Paul Pogba passes medical before Manchester United move

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Liverpool yet to receive improved bids for striker Christian Benteke

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• Belgium striker linked with Crystal Palace, West Ham and Everton
• Agent keen to ‘reach a resolution’ over Benteke’s future

Christian Benteke’s agent has confirmed Liverpool have yet to receive any new offers for the Belgium striker but is hopeful of resolving his future before the end of the transfer window.

Benteke, who signed from Aston Villa last summer for £32.5m, has yet to feature for Liverpool in pre-season having fallen behind Daniel Sturridge, Danny Ings, Divock Origi, Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino in the pecking order at Anfield. Last week, manager Jürgen Klopp said he will not allow the 25-year-old to be a “present” for potential suitors, with Crystal Palace having seen a £25m bid rejected last month.

Related: Liverpool hopes bloom after brushing aside bumbling Barcelona 4-0

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Everton’s Muhamed Besic ruled out for six months with knee injury

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• Besic limped off 12 minutes into Wayne Rooney’s testimonial on Wednesday
• Everton midfielder struggled with hamstring injuries last season

Everton’s Muhamed Besic has confirmed he will be ruled out for six months with a knee injury sustained during Wayne Rooney’s testimonial on Wednesday. The Bosnia international was carried off 12 minutes after coming on at Old Trafford and replaced by the Everton youngster Tom Davies.

Related: Everton expected to improve offer for Swansea’s Ashley Williams

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Everton expected to improve offer for Swansea’s Ashley Williams

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• Swansea turned down £10m bid for defender
• Wales captain open to move to Merseyside

Everton are expected to test Swansea City’s resolve to keep Ashley Williams with an improved offer for the Wales defender.

The Goodison Park club were hopeful of signing the 31-year-old for £10m earlier this week only for Swansea to announce they had “turned down the offer currently on the table”. Williams, who is believed to be open to a move to Merseyside, has two years on his contract and remains a target for the new Everton manager, Ronald Koeman.

Related: Roberto Martínez appointed as new Belgium head coach

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic dovetails with United captain in Rooney testimonial

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• Manchester United 0-0 Everton
• José Mourinho refuses to speak about protracted pursuit of Pogba

It was Wayne Rooney’s night and so José Mourinho took a back seat for his first home game as Manchester United manager – arriving without fanfare, leaving without a press conference – but the other big name arrival at Old Trafford this summer made his presence felt on an otherwise tame testimonial against Everton. “I think every big player can work with other big players,” said Zlatan Ibrahimovic before kick-off. First impressions at Old Trafford suggest that was not simply another tribute to the United captain.

An immediate rapport between Ibrahimovic and Rooney was the most promising aspect of a United performance that showed the rigidity of the Louis Van Gaal era will not disappear at a stroke. The pair may have a combined age of 64 but their touch, quality and understanding was evident in United’s final outing before Sunday’s Community Shield against Leicester City. “I see no problems, only success,” Ibrahimovic had added. “I said many years ago the perfect partner for a striker is Wayne Rooney. He works not only for himself but for the striker and the whole team. I’m absolutely happy to be one of the guys beside him.”

Related: Zlatan Ibrahimovic and José Mourinho will make Manchester United winners | Hernán Crespo

Related: Wayne Rooney detects return of the ‘old’ Manchester United this season

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Roberto Martínez appointed as Belgium manager

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• Former Everton manager to succeed Marc Wilmots
• Catalan has been out of work since Goodison Park sacking

Roberto Martínez has been appointed as Belgium’s new manager. The Spaniard’s appointment was announced on the official Twitter account of the Belgian Football Association on Wednesday night.

Martínez, 43, has been out of work since he was sacked by Everton in May after three years at Goodison Park. He will replace Marc Wilmots, who lost his job after Belgium were eliminated from Euro 2016 at the quarter-final stage.

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Roberto Martínez appointed as new Belgium head coach

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• Former Everton manager to succeed Marc Wilmots
• Martínez has been out of work since leaving Goodison Park

Roberto Martínez has been appointed as Belgium’s new head coach. The Catalan’s appointment was announced on the official Twitter account of the Belgian Football Association on Wednesday night.

Martínez, 43, has been out of work since he was sacked by Everton in May after three years at Goodison Park. He will be officially presented at a news conference on Thursday afternoon and replaces Marc Wilmots, who lost his job after Belgium were eliminated from Euro 2016 at the quarter-final stage.

Related: Premier League 2016-17 preview No6: Everton

Our new head coach: Roberto Martínez ! #welcomeRoberto #tousensemble pic.twitter.com/3JiQYAeYI1

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Premier League 2016-17 preview No6: Everton

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Everton look strong off the field but Ronald Koeman needs to strengthen an imbalanced squad before improvements should be expected on it

“Everything will be fine,” Ronald Koeman replied when asked why Everton had not signed one outfield player less than three weeks before the start of the Premier League season. The calm assurance was based not on his experience at Southampton – where Koeman’s first campaign began with a player exodus and ended in seventh place – but the rebuilding work commenced by Farhad Moshiri. Fundamental change is under way at Goodison Park but the new manager’s confidence will carry weight only when it emerges from behind the scenes.

This summer provides the first test of the British-Iranian billionaire’s intentions for Everton after he acquired an initial 49.9% stake in February. The club’s major shareholder has stayed in the background while the chairman, Bill Kenwright, remains front-of-house, but the early indications are of an investor with long-term aims and genuine ambition.

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Swansea City reject Everton’s bid for captain Ashley Williams

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• Welsh side insist they are not looking to sell the 31-year-old
• Gylfi Sigurdsson agrees new four-year deal with Swansea

Swansea enjoyed a successful day of business as they tied Gylfi Sigurdsson to a new four-year deal and then rejected a bid from Everton for Ashley Williams.

Related: Diafra Sakho ready for £15m move from West Ham to West Bromwich Albion

Related: Real Madrid to offer Newcastle loan players to seal Moussa Sissoko deal

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Everton sign Idrissa Gueye from Aston Villa for £7.1m on four-year deal

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• Midfielder is Ronald Koeman’s first outfield signing
• Everton triggered Gueye’s buyout clause at Villa

Ronald Koeman has signed his first outfield player as Everton manager after Idrissa Gueye joined from Aston Villa. Everton triggered the Senegal midfielder’s £7.1m buyout clause last week and the 26-year-old has agreed a four-year deal.

Related: Everton to sign Ashley Williams from Swansea after £10m deal agreed

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