The January transfer window may 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: Man City see Haaland as Aguero replacement
Manchester City are keen to sign Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund as a replacement for Sergio Aguero, according to Bild.
Aguero has been in and out of the City side because of injury and it looks as though his time at the club could come to an end when his contract expires this summer. As a result, City boss Pep Guardiola would reportedly like to replace the Argentine striker with the 20-year-old Norwegian.
However, City aren’t alone in their interest in Haaland. Real Madrid are also planning for the future and are after a long-term replacement for Karim Benzema, while Manchester United have also been linked. Bild suggests that Haaland would be tempted by Madrid, and possibly City, and that both options would be more preferable to Bayern Munich or Chelsea, who have also been named as suitors.
The striker has a contract with Dortmund until June 2024 but Bild reports that he has a release clause of €100m which comes into effect in 2022.
When Haaland leaves depends on the club’s end to the season. If they can improve their fifth-place spot in the Bundesliga and qualify for the Champions League, Haaland could be tempted to stay until 2022. If not, it’s likely he’ll look to depart this summer.
– Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ (U.S. only)
– ESPN+ viewer’s guide: Bundesliga, Serie A, MLS, FA Cup and more
09.32 GMT: Jose Mourinho has admitted “everything is in Real Madrid’s hands” regarding Gareth Bale‘s future at Tottenham Hotspur.
Spurs re-signed the 31-year-old on a season-long loan in September as part of an agreement that was not thought to have included an option or obligation to buy this summer.
Bale has endured a difficult time upon his return to north London – seven years after joining Real in a then world-record £85.3m move — but a recent upturn in form continuing with two goals and an assist in Sunday’s 4-0 win over Burnley has fuelled speculation over the length of his stay.
“In relation to that, you should contact your colleagues in Madrid and they should ask [Real boss Zinedine] Zidane because he is a Real Madrid player,” Mourinho said.
“He is not a Tottenham player. So Real Madrid has everything in their hands. They have the player, they have a player with one year of contract. They have the power in their hands. You know, I just have a player on loan and I’m trying to take the best out of the player for Tottenham Hotspur with all the respect to Real Madrid.
“It is the same with [Carlos] Vinicius [on loan from Benfica]. We try to take care of the players we have on loan, for us, but also for the respect we have for the club that loaned us the player. If you want to know anything about Gareth’s future, I think you should ask your colleagues in Madrid to ask Zizou.”
08.52 GMT: Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland remains Real Madrid’s top priority this summer, according to Carousel.
Despite Real Madrid working on reducing players’ wages as a consequence of seeing their revenue cut by €300m annually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, club executives know the team has to bring in reinforcements.
The Norway international has scored 43 goals in 45 games for the Bundesliga side since arriving from FC Salzburg in January 2020 and ABC claim his signing this summer would cost approximately €150m, at least €50m less than the acquisition of Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe, another target of The whites.
Real Madrid reportedly have €125m put aside to bring in a top player this summer and between Mbappe and Haaland, the latter remains the most feasible option.
08.30 GMT: AC Milan sporting director Frederic Massara says he is hopeful that the club will soon celebrate the contract renewals of goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu.
The two players, whose contracts expire in June, are targets of some of the top clubs in Europe. Chelsea have joined PSG in the race to sign Italy international Donnarumma, while Juventus and Manchester United are reportedly monitoring Turkey international Calhanoglu.
“We speak to Calhanoglu every day at Milanello,” Massara told Sky Italy. “We are in talks with the [Calhanoglu and Donnarumma’s] agents of the players whose contracts expire in order to reach an agreement. At this time of crisis, we have to thank the club for their efforts to find an agreement that we hope to soon celebrate.”
PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd)
Juventus want Lyon midfielder Aouar
Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo is looking for a top young midfielder for next season and Lyon star Houssem Aouar tops his wishlist, according to Calciomercato.
Aouar, 22, has been tracked by a number of clubs in the last two seasons, including Manchester City, Arsenal and, of course, Juventus. The Bianconeri have been heavily linked with the Frenchman before and they missed out on his signature last summer.
Juve were impressed by Aouar after he helped Lyon dump them out of the Champions League last season, and they were reportedly prepared to offer three players in an effort to get him.
Lyon rejected their advances, but Juve will look to try again when the window opens — though they will face a lot of competition, including from Arsenal who look likely to return with a bigger bid than the €35m that was rejected last summer.
Liverpool target Mendes addition
Liverpool could reignite their interest in Sporting Lisbon defender Nuno mendes, according to The Game.
The Portugal outlet believes Liverpool, who saw a bid of €30m for the full-back rejected last summer, could have better luck this time around.
Mendes has been in good form for Sporting, who are currently top of the Portuguese league, which has prompted the league leaders to hand him to a new deal. However, such is the club’s financial predicament that they could be forced to raise funds by moving players on, including Mendes.
Mendes had a release clause of €70m written into his new contract, but Sporting could accept a lower fee in an effort to raise some much-needed funds.
As well as Liverpool, the giants of Juventus, Real Madrid and AC Milan are all tracking the 18-year-old defender.
– Arsenal are looking to replace Hector Bellerin with a more dynamic defender and Brighton &Hove Albion’s Tariq Lamptey is among Mikel Arteta’s options, according to Fabrizio Romano on the Here We Go podcast. Romano says Lamptey is a target for the Gunners this summer, but that there are a number of other clubs also considering him as an option.
– Sporting Lisbon are looking are looking to make Joao Mario’s loan move from Inter Milan permanent in the summer, according to Record. Sporting have raced to the top of the Primeira Liga and Mario has more than played his part, which has prompted Sporting president Frederico Varandas to make “an important investment” to keep the player. It’s clear Mario has no future under Antonio Conte, but Sporting may need to work out how they can afford to offer him similar wages to the €3m he gets annually at San Siro.