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Transfer news and rumours: Browne to Tottenham, Gruda to Villa, Tchatchoua battle

Transfer news and rumours: Browne to Tottenham, Gruda to Villa, Tchatchoua battle
© Reuters
Sports Mole rounds up the latest transfer news and rumours, including Rico Browne to Tottenham Hotspur, Brajan Gruda to Aston Villa and Jackson Tchatchoua's future.

Tottenham Hotspur have reportedly rekindled their interest in signing a highly-rated defensive prospect following his exit from Birmingham City.

The Lilywhites are understood to have been running the rule over 20-year-old Rico Browne, who officially became a free agent when his Blues deal expired at the start of July.

Browne, who had been on the books at St Andrew's since 2016, is said to have rejected the chance to sign a new Birmingham contract, and according to Football Insider, Tottenham are now back in for him.

The North London giants reportedly took Browne on trial and were keen to add him to their academy ranks, but the 6ft 2in defender turned down the chance to join the Lilywhites.

However, now that Browne is a free agent, Tottenham are apparently ready to try again, although they face competition from both West Ham United and Brighton & Hove Albion to capture the centre-back.

Browne never made a first-team appearance for Birmingham and spent the 2023-24 season on loan with National League North side Rushall Olympic, scoring once and providing two assists in 18 games.

Aston Villa 'among leading contenders' for Bundesliga starlet

Mainz 05's Brajan Gruda in action with Bayer Leverkusen's Alejandro Grimaldo and Jonas Hofmann on May 25, 2024© Reuters

Sticking with the Second City theme, Aston Villa are reportedly among the leading contenders to prise 20-year-old Mainz 05 winger Brajan Gruda away from the Bundesliga.

The 2004-born attacker enjoyed his breakthrough campaign in the German top flight last term, having a direct hand in seven goals in 28 matches, four of his own and three assists.

Gruda, who is also a Germany Under-21 international, still has two years left to run on his contract with Mainz, but his form in 2023-24 has unsurprisingly led to a host of transfer interest.

According to German outlet Sport Bild, as many as six clubs have registered their interest in signing Gruda, but Aston Villa are said to be the most well-positioned of all Premier League teams.

As well as providing Gruda with the chance to play in the Champions League, the Lions would be able to offer him regular minutes, which neither Bayern Munich nor Liverpool may be able to promise.

However, RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen are providing stiff competition, as are Newcastle United, but the Magpies will not be playing any form of European football next season.

Hellas Verona's Michael Folorunsho, Lorenzo Montipo and Jackson Tchatchoua react in February 2024© Reuters

Everton, West Ham United 'battling' for Serie A right-back

At the other end of the field, Hellas Verona right-back Jackson Tchatchoua is supposedly attracting serious interest from a pair of Premier League parties.

The 22-year-old began his career in Belgium before transferring to the Serie A side on loan for the 2023-24 campaign, where he conjured up two assists from 27 games in all tournaments.

Tchatchoua's loan deal was made permanent for a paltry €3m (£2.5m) at the start of the month, as the Cameroon international committed the next three years of his career to Hellas Verona.

However, Football Insider claims that both Everton and West Ham United have taken a liking to the defender, as both are in the market for a new right-back ahead of the 2024-25 campaigns.

Hellas Verona will be expected to push for a significant profit on the £2.5m that they paid to sign Tchatchoua permanently if the Premier League duo are to firm up their interest, but a deal should still be within West Ham and Everton's price ranges.

The 22-year-old's versatility is also believed to be a key factor in both teams' pursuit of his signature, as he is competent on the right and left-hand sides as an out-and-out full-back, wing-back or winger.

Leeds United to re-sign former goalkeeper?

Alex Cairns in action for Fleetwood Town in September 2020© Reuters

Finally, Leeds United's search for goalkeeping reinforcements could reportedly lead them back to an old flame in the shape of 31-year-old Alex Cairns.

The Englishman came through the Whites' youth academy and signed his first professional contract in 2011, but he only ever made one senior appearance for Leeds in a 5-0 Championship loss to Blackpool in 2011.

Cairns left for Chesterfield in 2015 and has since represented Rotherham United, Fleetwood Town, Hartlepool United and Salford City, signing a two-year contract with the latter in 2023 after a successful loan spell.

While Cairns is therefore not due to become a free agent until 2025, Football Insider reports that Leeds have 'made a move' to bring the 31-year-old back to Elland Road this summer.

Daniel Farke's side are apparently set to approach Salford City with an official bid for the goalkeeper, who is being head-hunted to help Leeds hit the requirement of home-grown players.

A space has opened up for Cairns to rejoin the Whites, who have sold fellow goalkeeper Kristoffer Klaesson to Polish outfit Rakow Czestochowa.

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3Aston Villa00000000
4Brentford00000000
5Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton00000000
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10Ipswich TownIpswich00000000
11Leicester CityLeicester00000000
12Liverpool00000000
13Manchester CityMan City00000000
14Manchester UnitedMan Utd00000000
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle00000000
16Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest00000000
17Southampton00000000
18Tottenham HotspurSpurs00000000
19West Ham UnitedWest Ham00000000
20Wolverhampton WanderersWolves00000000


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