LIVE Transfer Talk: Bayern eye Ronaldo as Lewandowski replacement

The summer transfer window is here, and there’s plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings and goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Bayern’s plan if Lewandowski leaves? Cristiano Ronaldo.

Bayern Munich plan to replace Robert Lewandowski with Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo if the Poland international leaves this summer, according to a report by AS.

Lewandowski has long been linked with a €40 million move to Barcelona, who made an opening bid earlier this week. The striker has a strong desire to leave Bayern and give himself a new challenge this summer and it appears Ronaldo has a similar mindset at Old Trafford, as it is becoming clearer that he wants to leave.

With Manchester City and Liverpool having signed Erling Haaland and Darwin Nunez respectively, Ronaldo is losing faith that he can win titles with the Red Devils. He doesn’t want to waste his final years at the elite level and fail to add to the achievements from throughout his career, while Bayern will fight for the Bundesliga crown again and be one of the main candidates to win the Champions League.

The Portugal international’s future could see him move to Bavaria, something that would be seen as a major coup for the Bundesliga champions and likely neutralise the blow of losing Lewandowski. After signing Sadio Mane from Liverpool, having Ronaldo join the likes of Thomas Muller, Kingsley Coman, Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry would certainly leave them with plenty of attacking options.

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09.29 BST: Manchester United and Ralf Rangnick agreed to cut ties at the end of the season in part because of Erik ten Hag’s reluctance to work with the German in his proposed consultancy role, sources have told ESPN.

Rangnick spent the second half of last season as interim manager at Old Trafford and was due to take up a two-year consultancy position starting this summer.

But just a week after the end of the campaign, United announced Rangnick would make a clean break from the club and focus fully on his role as manager of the Austria national team.

Sources told ESPN that United instigated the termination of the agreement in consultation with Ten Hag, although Rangnick was already unhappy at not being granted a formal handover with the new manager.

09.15 BST: Real Madrid are tracking Botafogo teenager Matheus Nascimento, Diario AS reports in its frontpage story on Friday, calling him “a No. 9 for the future.”

The 18-year-old forward made his debut for Botafogo’s first team last September and featured as a late substitute in their 3-2 win at Internacional last weekend.

According to the newspaper, Matheus has been identified by Madrid’s chief scout Juni Calafat — who was responsible for bringing Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo to the Bernabeu — and would initially join the club’s reserve team, Castilla.

08.44 BST: Marcelo and Dani Alves are not targets for Real Valladolid, Diario AS reports, despite reports that originated in Brazil linking the veteran full-backs with moves to the newly promoted LaLiga side.

Both players are available on free transfers after leaving Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively this summer.

Valladolid — whose president and majority shareholder is Ronaldo Nazario — are looking to strengthen ahead of their return to the First Division this season but, according to AS, the club are now focused on trimming down a 27-man first-team squad before they can look to bring players in.

Brazil’s UOL Esporte had claimed that uniting the pair was a “personal project” of Ronaldo’s, with Marcelo keen to remain close to Madrid — with his son Enzo playing at Real Madrid’s academy — and Dani Alves looking for a club to give him a chance of making Brazil’s World Cup squad.

08.00 BST: Chelsea have identified outgoing Liverpool transfer supremo Michael Edwards as the leading candidate to become sporting director at Stamford Bridge, sources have told ESPN, following confirmation that senior executive Marina Granovskaia will leave the club later this summer.

Edwards, who joined Liverpool from Tottenham to become head of performance and analysis at Anfield in November 2011, played a key role in the hiring of Jurgen Klopp as manager in 2015 during his time as technical director before overseeing the low-budget recruitment of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Andy Robertson and others following his promotion to the sporting director position in 2016.

But after announcing his intention to quit his role at Anfield last November, Edwards is due to leave Liverpool when his contract expires this summer, with Julian Ward having already been installed as his replacement.

And having built a reputation as one of the most well-connected transfer negotiators in the game, sources have told ESPN that the new Chelsea regime, led by co-owner, and LA Dodgers co-owner, Todd Boehly, want Edwards to head up the club’s plans to restructure the technical department following the completion of the takeover from former owner Roman Abramovich earlier this month.



Gab and Juls debate how Thomas Tuchel would utilise Raheem Sterling if he joins Chelsea from Man City.

PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)

Sky Sports have reported that Chelsea are interested in Juventus centre-back Matthijs de Ligt, who reportedly has a €120m release clause. This comes with the Blues looking for defensive reinforcements after Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen joined Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively on free transfers.

– With Juventus looking to sign Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, Tuttosport report how I Bianconeri plan to raise the €40m needed. Merih Demiral is likely to join Atalanta permanently, Pietro Beruatto will join Pisa, Cremonese want Luca Zanimacchia but face competition from Parma, Rolando Mandragora is getting closer to joining Fiorentina, while Matteo Brunori could join Palermo permanently. And De Ligt’s possible departure to Chelsea only makes the need to sign Koulibaly more urgent.

Paris Saint-Germain have started discussions with Lens regarding a possible transfer for Seko Fofana, as reported by L’Equipe. The Ivory Coast international is one of many midfielders who have been linked with PSG in recent weeks, as the Ligue 1 champions see that as an area that is important to strengthen during the transfer window.

– Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele‘s future remains uncertain with his contract expiring at the end of the month and Marca have offered an insight into his situation. Things have reportedly stalled with Barcelona as they wait to see if they can secure the financial deals they have been negotiating. Furthermore, Chelsea could move for the Frenchman even if they sign Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, Angel Di Maria‘s departure from Paris Saint-Germain means there is a spot Dembele could fill in Paris, while he is still on Bayern Munich’s shortlist despite their interest having waned slightly in recent days.

Marseille are set to make a financial push to permanently sign William Saliba from Arsenal, reports Foot Mercato, following the centre-back’s impressive campaign on loan. It is even hinted that they could be willing to offer €40m for the Frenchman, while Pablo Longoria’s negotiating skills are expected to be put to the test.

– Roma will hold talks with midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo at the end of the transfer window if he is still with the club, reports Sky Sports Italia. His current deal runs out in 2024 and there have been discussions about a possible move to Tottenham Hotspur, though no offer or real negotiations.

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