The January transfer window might seem like a distant memory, but that doesn’t mean the rumour mill has shut down! Speculation over summer moves is heating up, so check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.
TOP STORY: Liverpool could turn to Sancho if Salah leaves
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp could make a move for Jadon Sancho if Mohamed Salah were to leave the club this summer, reports Bild.
Reports in recent months have suggested that Salah could move on from Anfield this summer, possibly to Spain to seek a new challenge, and Sancho’s performances for Borussia Dortmund haven’t gone unnoticed by the Reds’ boss. In turn, Klopp is keen to refresh his forward line after they’ve misfired on numerous occasions this season.
However, Liverpool’s recent financial losses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic would make any move for Sancho unlikely. Yet if they were to raise funds by allowing Salah to leave, then they would be in a position to bid for the 21-year-old.
Sancho is said to be available for much less than the €120 million transfer Dortmund held out for from Manchester United last summer. United are once again interested in the winger.
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15.29 BST: Manchester City have had 17-year-old Rochdale midfielder Ethan Brierley training with them, reports the Daily Telegraph.
Brierly impressed after making his debut for the Rochdale first team, and signed professional terms with the club in November.
He has made eight appearances this season for the League One side, who are in the midst of a relegation battle with the club only outside the bottom three on goal difference.
Brierley’s performances led to his invitation to train at the Etihad Campus with City’s development teams, where he has said to have impressed the Premier League leaders.
14.37 BST: Salzburg coach Jesse March has agreed personal terms with RB Leipzig over filling their managerial vacancy, German outlet kicker reports.
Marsch, a former United State international as a player, has reportedly accepted the offer to join the Bundesliga club if they can agree a compensation package with Salzburg, where he has a contract until 2022.
The 47-year-old previously managed Montreal Impact and New York Red Bulls in MLS, and was Ralf Rangnick’s assistant at Leipzig for a year before taking charge of Salzburg in 2019. He won the Austrian league title in his first season in charge, and has them top of the regular-season table this term.
Leipzig are recruiting a new coach for next season following Tuesday’s announcement that Julian Nagelsmann will leave to join Bayern Munich this summer.
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14.04 BST: Liverpool are set to continue their chase for RB Leipzig centre-back Ibrahima Konate despite posting a pre-tax loss of £46m earlier this week, according to the Daily Mail.
Earlier this year it was reported that Jurgen Klopp’s side were closing in on a £40m deal for the French defender, with last season’s Premier League champions prepared to trigger the buyout clause for the 21-year-old.
But despite the financial hit the club has suffered this year, with Liverpool losing approximately £120m due to COVID-19, plans to sign Konate will go ahead.
Divock Origi and xherdan Shaqiri are expected to among those leaving the club this summer as Klopp’s side try to raise funds to pursue their top transfer targets.
13.24 BST: Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman says he has “no interest” in reports suggesting Paris Saint-Germain have offered Lionel Messi a three-year contract.
Messi’s contract expires in June and sources have told ESPN the Barca’s new president Joan Laporta is also working on a new three-year deal for the forward.
Koeman said in a news conference on Wednesday that he hopes Messi stays at Camp Nou but called on the focus to remain on the pitch, where Barca have the chance to move top of La Liga if they beat Granada on Thursday. However, the Dutch coach did confirm work is underway with regards to summer signings when he asked if Barca would bring in a new striker ahead of next season.
Erling Haaland and Neymar are among the names that have been linked with the Blaugrana, although gross debt of nearly €1.2 billion could complicate any big-name arrivals.
“As a coach, you always want to improve the team, but it depends on the club’s financial position,” Koeman added. “The president can say what is possible or not. We’re speaking about it, but the final decision is always in the club’s hands.
“As the coach, with [sporting director Ramon] Planes and [general manager Mateu] Alemany, we decide what’s needed in terms of improving the team, but the money side of things is down to the president.”
12.39 BST: Arsenal are yet to open contract talks with David Luiz, whose deal expires this summer, according to the London Evening Standard.
Luiz, 34, has missed the past month with a knee injury, and has returned to training ahead of Thursday’s Europa League semifinal first leg against Villarreal with the hope of earning a new deal with the Gunners.
The Brazilian defender has several options, according to the Standard, and being at a club which can help him make the transition from playing to coaching is also likely to affect his decision.
11.30 BST: Lucas Torreira‘s father, Ricardo, believes it’s highly unlikely his son will join Boca Juniors this summer.
The Uruguay midfielder, who is on loan at Atletico Madrid from Arsenal, recently declared his wish to leave Europe and join Boca to be closer to home.
Torreira, 25, recently returned to Madrid after being granted compassionate leave after losing his mother.
“It’s going to be very difficult for Lucas to arrive at Boca,” Ricardo Torreira said. “There has not been any movement regarding this situation. It was a desire but it’s become an inconvenience for Boca.”
Torreira joined Arsenal in the summer of 2018 from Sampdoria for a reported €30m. He has made 26 appearances for Atletico since arriving at the club in the summer on loan. Torreira has a contract with Arsenal until June 2023.
10.37 BST: Dani Ceballos has admitted that La Liga suits him better than the Premier League, and hinted that he would favour a return to boyhood club Real Betis when his Arsenal loan spell ends this summer.
Ceballos has spent two seasons on loan at Arsenal from Real Madrid since 2019, and still has two years left on his contract at the Bernabeu.
“I’ve had a bad time (this season) because I didn’t have the consistency I had last year,” the 24-year-old told Zero Wave radio ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League semifinal with Villarreal. “But these last 5-6 games I’ve played at a good level… To be honest I like La Liga a lot more. The Premier League is more complete but with my style La Liga is much better for me. Another loan would be difficult from both sides, for Real Madrid and for me,”
Ceballos said when asked about his future. “I’m about to turn 25 in August and I have to settle at a club where I feel important, that’s what I’ll look for… I have a lot of affection for Betis, I’m a Betis fan, I watch every Betis game, Pellegrini is a really good coach who I like.”
09.41 BST: Ahead of Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League semifinal first-leg against Manchester City on Wednesday, Neymar has reiterated that he is close to committing his long-term future with the club.
“We are in talks with PSG,” he said. “There is nothing pressing. Everything is nearly sorted. I feel at ease. I feel truly very happy here at PSG. “Concerning the fans, that is what I can’t wait for the most, for them to back in the stadium. I hope that they support all the players, that they will be there to encourage us.”
Neymar is about to enter into the final year of the contract he signed when he made his world-record €222m move to PSG from Barcelona in 2017. Sources told ESPN’s Julien Laurens in February that the 29-year-old has provisionally agreed a four-year extension.
08.50 BST: Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has no interest in the vacancy at Tottenham Hotspur, Sky reports.
Spurs missed out on Julian Nagelsmann as Jose Mourinho’s replacement after it was announced on Tuesday that the RB Leipzig coach would be joining Bayern Munich this summer.
Rodgers is one of those linked with renewed interest from the London club, along with England manager Gareth Southgate, Belgium coach Roberto Martinez and former Leipzig and Stuttgart coach Ralf Rangnick.
However, with Leicester preparing for next month’s FA Cup final and closing in on a place in next season’s Champions League, Rodgers reportedly has no desire to leave the club.
08.00 BST: Former Socceroos forward Scott McDonald has signing for Western Sydney Wanderers, his third A-League club in two seasons, until the end of the current campaign.
McDonald, 37, parted ways with Brisbane Roar last week after scoring nine goals in 23 games, 15 months on from his similarly hasty departure from Western United.
Carl Robinson’s Wanderers could lose players — including striker Mitch Duke — to Socceroos or Olyroos duties later in the season and McDonald, who had a long career overseas with the likes of Celtic, Middlesbrough and Motherwell, adds goal-scoring experience.
The eighth-placed Wanderers are in the midst of a six-game winless streak, losing their past two, to be two points adrift of the the top six.
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PAPER GOSSIP (by Nick Judd)
– Arsenal “are keen” to sign Borussia Dortmund midfielder Julian Brandt, according to Bild. The Gunners expressed their interest in the 24-year-old in January and now Dortmund could be willing to listen to offers for the German midfielder. With Mikel Arteta possibly missing out on Martin Odegaard, who is likely to return to Real Madrid at the end of the campaign, Arsenal are on the lookout for a replacement. Brandt has struggled for form this season and could be available for about £20m.
– The Telegraph reports that Manchester United are plotting to sign one or more of Erling Haaland, Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish. Haaland remains a top target for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who worked with the 20-year-old at Molde. Haaland has scored 82 goals in 83 games at Dortmund and FC Salzburg. United also remain interested in Sancho, whom they failed to sign last summer, and Grealish, who remains in top form for Aston Villa.
– Tottenham Hotspur are keeping tabs on Celtic defensive midfielder Ismaila Soro, according to the Daily Mail. The 22-year-old joined the Hoops from Isreali side Bnei Yehuda for £2.7m in January 2020 but hardly played under Neil Lennon. However, Tottenham believe the Ivory Coast-born Soro has the talent to provide cover for their midfield, and with Spurs having a restricted transfer budget this summer, Soro would fit within their transfer funds. Spurs are also said to be considering Fulham centre-back Joachim Andersen.
– Arsenal look set to face disappointment when it comes to their pursuit of Martin Odegaard at the end of the season, with AS suggesting Zinedine Zidane wants the Norwegian midfielder back at Real Madrid and part of the first team next season. Zidane sees the 22-year-old as a potential long-term replacement for Luka Modric, and he would also bring down the average age of the side. The Madrid boss is hoping he can persuade Odegaard to return to the Bernabeu with a view to pushing Modric for a starting place.
– Barcelona are considering moves for Villarreal’s 21-year-old goalkeeper Marc Vidal, according to Sport, and Juventus central defender Matthijs de Ligt, reports The beach bar. Vidal’s contract at Villarreal is up in June, and Barca are one of several clubs eyeing the rising star. The Blaugrana are prepared to let Pedro Neto move this summer, but Vidal would still face competition from Inaki Pena and Arnau Tenas for the backup slot to Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Meanwhile, after missing out on De Ligt to Juve two years ago, Barca are hoping to persuade the 21-year-old former Ajax Amsterdam defender to move to the Camp Nou in the summer.