The summer transfer window is approaching, 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: Cristiano Ronaldo exploring options for Man United exit
The Manchester United star does not feel like he is part of Erik ten Hag’s plans going forward, the report says, with the former Ajax boss keen on establishing a style at Old Trafford that presses aggressively from the front.
The 37-year-old forward’s agent, Jorge Mendes, is now understood to be searching for potential offers around Europe, with two clubs having expressed interest his services.
Roma are one of the clubs reported to have opened talks for Ronaldo, with the Serie A side hopeful of using manager Jose Mourinho’s influence in the deal. Meanwhile, Sporting CP are also hopeful of setting up a reunion with Ronaldo, who came through the Portuguese side’s youth system before leaving for Manchester United in 2003.
The Portugal international finished the 2021/22 campaign as the Red Devils’ top scorer last season, with 24 goals in 37 appearances.
12.37 BST: Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel would like to replace Romelu Lukaku with Robert Lewandowski, but there are significant obstacles to completing both deals, sources told ESPN’s James Olley.
Lukaku is keen on rejoining Inter Milan and endured a disappointing first season back at Stamford Bridge — with eight goals in 26 Premier League games — after leaving the Serie A club for €115 million last summer.
Sources told ESPN that talks took place between Lukaku and the club in recent days, during which Chelsea signalled their willingness to allow the Belgian striker to leave the club. However, the Blues want to recoup the vast majority of the club-record fee they paid just a year earlier, while Inter are short on cash and would prefer a loan deal.
Chelsea had originally been asking for around €20m-€25m to lend Lukaku for just one season in an effort to offset any depreciation in his transfer value given he turns 30 next year. However, they are now willing to accept a significantly lower fee and talks are continuing — it is as yet undecided whether any agreement will include an option or obligation to make the move permanent, or how his £300,000-a-week wages will be paid.
Simultaneously, Chelsea are seeking a striker of their own to reshape their attack. Tuchel has long been an admirer of Lewandowski, who has confirmed his intention to leave Bayern Munich, and believes he would thrive in the Premier League despite turning 34 in August. The Poland international has been heavily linked with a €40m move to Barcelona, with reports in Spain this week suggesting he has verbally agreed a deal but a lack of funds is holding things up.
Several rivals are looking to pounce on any uncertainty, with Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United among the clubs linked with Lewandowski. Sources told ESPN that Tuchel has encouraged Chelsea to enter the running if there is any chance a deal can be done.
11.55 BST: Arsenal have had a €30m bid for Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez rejected, The Athletic reports.
Argentina international Martinez is the latest player in Arsenal’s sights after signing attacking midfielder Fabio Vieira from Porto and young striker Marquinhos from Sao Paulo this week, while they are continuing their pursuit of Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus.
Martinez, a left-sided centre-back, would add more options Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta’s defence as well as some trophy-winning pedigree to his squad: the 24-year-old has won two Eredivisie titles at Ajax and was part of Argentina’s Copa America-winning squad last summer.
11.09 BST: Tottenham Hotspur are set to make Djed Spence their fourth signing of the summer as newly-promoted Nottingham Forest have given up on their attempts to bring him in permanently, according to the Northern Echo.
Spence, 21, spent last season on loan at Forest and helped them return to the top flight for the first time since 1999 via the playoffs. However, with the wing-back’s parent club Middlesbrough wanting a £20m fee for him, Forest have admitted defeat in their bid to bring him back to The City Ground.
That means Spurs, who have been long-standing interest in Spence, are now favourites to sign him and continue their summer rebuild as they prepare for next season’s Champions League campaign.
The Londoners signed midfielder Yves Bissouma from Brighton on Friday, having already brought in winger Ivan Perisic and goalkeeper Fraser Forster earlier in the window.
10.23 BST: Mauricio Pochettino is the top target to take over at Athletic Club if Ricardo Barkala is elected as the club’s new president later this month, sources told ESPN’s Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens.
Barkala has already persuaded former Barcelona sporting director Ramon Planes to join his project, which he hopes would persuade Pochettino to accept the job. Planes and Pochettino previously worked together at Espanyol and Tottenham and remain close.
Sources told ESPN’s Julien Laurens earlier this week that Pochettino will leave his role as Paris Saint-Germain coach after just 18 months in the job, which removes one hurdle for Barkala.
Athletic’s members will vote in a new president on June 24, with Barkala one of three candidates running in the election. Jon Uriarte is the favourite. The third candidate is Inaki Arechabaleta, who reports suggest will look to bring in Marcelo Bielsa as coach if he is elected.
Former Athletic coach Marcelino left the club at the end of the season after leading them to eighth place in LaLiga, missing out on Europe on the final day of the campaign. He cited the uncertainty regarding his future due to the upcoming election as the reason for his departure.
– Notebook: The inside stories from around the world
09.39 BST: Barcelona have held ‘positive talks’ with Gavi‘s agent over a new contract but, according to Mundo Deportivo, the deal is not imminent.
Gavi, 17, is keen to remain at the Camp Nou beyond his current contract which expires in June 2023. The Spain midfielder’s contract extension is a priority for Barca with club president Joan Laporta stating this week that “we obviously want Gavi to stay.”
No agreement has been reached between the sides on the duration of the contract while the biggest hurdle remains the player’s wages. Further talks are expected to take place later this month.
09.00 BST: Bayern Munich have reached an agreement to sign Sadio Mane from Liverpool and end his six-year spell at Anfield, sources have told ESPN.
The Senegal international’s future at Liverpool had been in serious doubt since forward Darwin Nunez joined the Premier League side from Benfica in a club-record deal worth up to €100 million.
A person familiar with the situation said on Friday that Liverpool have agreed a fee with the Bundesliga champions in a total package worth €41 million ($42.9m).
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss details of the deal, which has not yet been completed.
Liverpool will receive €32m ($33.5m) up front for Mane, with a further €6m ($6.3m) due when he meets a specified appearance clause and an additional €3m ($3.15m) based on individual and team achievements.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)
– Marseille are potentially looking for a goalkeeper following uncertainty around Steve Mandanda‘s future, according to Foot Mercato. The 37-year-old is considering retirement this summer, though the Ligue 1 side are yet to be informed of his final decision, and they are keen to ensure they are not left searching for a replacement on short notice. Mandanda made 18 appearances for Marseille last season.
– Juventus will have to pay a fee of up to €20 million if they want to sign Filip Kostic, but they may opt to wait for the decision of Angel Di Maria, according to Calciomercato. Massimiliano Allegri’s side are reported to be keen on landing a winger this summer, and the latest reports indicate that the 29-year-old Serbia international has made the Bianconeri his first choice.
– Real Madrid are prepared to allow Alvaro Odriozola to leave this summer, writes Sport. The 26-year-old right-back spent last season on loan at Fiorentina, and despite Carlo Ancelotti viewing him as a potential replacement for Dani Carvajal, the LaLiga champions are prepared to assess other options if all parties would be in favour of him staying in Florence. Odriozola made 25 Serie A appearances last season.
– Everton have identified Watford forward Emmanuel Dennis as a potential replacement for Richarlison, reports the Daily Mail. The 24-year-old forward contributed to 16 goals in 33 Premier League appearances last season for the Hornets, and it could be possible to sign him for £20m after Watford were relegated. The move could depend on whether Tottenham Hotspur make an approach for Richarlison, having recently been linked with him.
– Fiorentina are in negotiations with Real Madrid regarding a loan move for Luka Jovic, reveals Fabrizio Romano. The Santiago Bernabeu hierarchy are looking to move on the 24-year-old striker this summer, after he made just a single start in LaLiga last season. It is reported that he is open to moving to the Serie A club, though the Viola have requested that Real Madrid cover a proportion of his wages.