Vecino: The coronavirus pandemic has made the summer transfer window uncertain, but here are the rumours floating around Europe’s big leagues and beyond.
TOP STORY: Spurs lead the chase to sign Vecino
Tottenham Hotspur have been approached about the potential signing of Inter Milan’s Matias Vecino for £18 million, reports the Daily Star.
The player first came up in talks between the two clubs when Christian Eriksen moved to the Italian capital in January, though the move failed to materialise. Since then, other clubs have registered their interest, but Spurs are now weighing up whether to make a move.
Jose Mourinho is said to be a huge admirer of the Uruguay international and is keen to sign the 28-year-old. The Spurs boss is keen to add steel to his midfield with Eric Dier expected to spend more time in defence.
23.00 BST: That will do it for the latest edition of our LIVE Transfer Talk blog. We hoped you enjoyed following along with us and remind you to check back shortly for the latest transfer rumours, reports and completed deals. Goodnight!
22.32 BST: Arsenal to swap Henrik Mkhitaryan and €13 million for Roma’s Justin Kluivert?
No chance, says Gazzetta dello Sport, who claim that the cash-strapped Italian side would only move the winger for around €40 million in cash. The 21-year-old Kluivert has three years remaining on his contract in Rome but has been linked with a move away, as Roma look to put a dent in their debts which reportedly total €250m! Roma still are interested in acquiring Mkhitaryan on a permanent basis but do not see the proposed swap plus cash deal for Kluivert as an adequate deal. Read also: sprained ankle and how to wrap it
Barcelona and Arsenal have been rumoured to be interested in the Dutch Under-21 international, who this season has produced seven goals and provided two assists. With the future’s of attackers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette uncertain, Arsenal could be in the market for a wide player like Kluivert come the end of the season.
21.49 BST: Bayer Leverkusen, Juventus and Chelsea to battle over ‘next Cristiano Ronaldo?’
German outlet Kicker have listed the three clubs as the favourites to sign Brazilian prodigy Kaio Jorge. The Santos forward, 18, has scored just one senior goal to date but has been at star at various underage levels for Brazil, notably scoring five goals as Brazil won the Under-17 World Cup last year.
The 18-year-old Jorge has the same agent, Giuliano Bertolucci, as former Blues David Luiz and Oscar, which could help the Blues in negotiations. Dubbed the ‘next Cristiano Ronaldo’ in Brazil, Santos reportedly have slapped a €60 million price on the Brazilian wonder kid.
21.01 BST: Is Leighton Baines’ time at Everton coming to an end?
Apparently not just yet, as according to reports in England, the Merseyside side club have offered the 35-year-old left-back a one-year extension to keep him at the club a little bit longer. Baines, who has made 390 appearances for the Toffees since arriving from Wigan in 2007, has been a backup to Lucas Digne much of this season but has still made quite an impression on new boss Carlo Ancelotti.
“He shows a fantastic attitude in training and games, he’s really important for us. He’s still a good player, but also he has the experience and personality for the squad.”
20.24 BST: It is no secret that Wolves love Portuguese players… The club currently features eight in the first team, thanks in large to the connections of manager Nuno Espírito Santo, and even more importantly super agent Jorge Mendes.
Portuguese outlet O Jogo hints that there could be more Portuguese players on the way to the Molineux this summer, with Wolves linked with a €25 million raid of Sporting Lisbon. The report suggests that Wolves are hot on the trail of on loan Sporting defensive midfielder Joao Palhinha, as well as highly-rated youngster Rodrigo Fernandes.
Palhinha, 24, has impressed on loan this season at Braga, while the 19-year-old Fernandes, is one viewed as a very bright midfield talent and also is a Mendes client. Palhina is expected to cost around €15m, while Sporting are asking for between €10-12m for Fernandes.
19.40 BST: Chelsea aren’t the only ones eyeing a possible alternative to Jadon Sancho as clubs continue to line up for the Borrusia Dortmund winger.
Manchester United, who have also expressed an interest in signing the 20-year-old, have identified teenage Argentine winger Thiago Almada as a possible alternative, according to the Manchester Evening News.
Nineteen-year-old Almada is attracting significant attention around Europe after impressing for Velez Sarsfield in the Argentinian league
Wales’ David Brooks and Rabbi Matondo are also reportedly being considered.
19.03 BST: ESPN FC’s James Olley explains why Philippe Coutinho could be just the sort of player Chelsea need should their bid for Jadon Sancho fall through.
James Olley believes that despite being second choice, Coutinho could be the sort of player Chelsea need.
18.36 BST: Arsenal are considering holding onto striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for another year if no club reaches their asking price this summer, according to the Sun.
Following the departure of Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck on free transfers the club declared that players must be sold rather than allowed to run down their contracts.
However, with the transfer market suffering as a result of the coronavirus pandemic this policy could be relaxed for Aubameyang who has just a year left on his contract.
Manager Mikel Arteta hasn’t made a secret of the fact he would like to keep the Golden Boot winner at the club but so far Aubameyang has rejected any offers to stay.
The 30-year-old has aspirations of playing in the Champions League and with Arsenal sitting in ninth place, it seems unlikely that he will be able to do this with the North London club.
17.47 BST: Barcelona’s hopes of re-signing Neymar have hit a snag with Paris Saint-Germain only interested in cash, not players, according to Diario Sport.
Barca had hoped to tempt PSG to let the Brazil international return to Camp Nou by offering some of the French players — such as Samuel Umtiti and Ousmane Dembele — as makeweights.
However, Diario Sport report PSG are not interested in any of Barca’s players and are demanding €175m for Neymar.
The deal is not dead yet, but it’s complicated, and Barca will not re-visit it until they have a clearer picture of how their financial situation looks in a post-coronavirus world.
17.09 BST: Barcelona’s Sergi Roberto is drawing interest from Manchester City, according to Mundo Deportivo.
The two clubs have discussed a possible swap deal involving right-backs Nelson Semedo and Joao Cancelo, but the Catalan newspaper says Roberto’s name has also come up during negotiations.
Roberto, 28, came through as a midfielder but has played at right-back for the last three seasons and his versatility could interest City coach Pep Guardiola, who handed him his Barca debut.
The report claims Barca would be open to letting him leave but only if City are prepared to pay cash. They are not interested in an exchange deal as they need money to fund moves for their other targets, like Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez.
16.26 BST: A source close to Philippe Coutinho has told ESPN that Bayern Munich have still not communicated a decision on the Brazil international’s future beyond the end of this month.
Coutinho’s loan ends on June 30 and the German champions won’t take up an option to make the deal permanent for €120m.
However, they could look to extend the loan to ensure Coutinho’s available for the latter stages of the Champions League, which UEFA hope will be played in August.
Coutinho, 27, is running again following ankle surgery in April. He hopes to be available for Bayern’s final Bundesliga games, with the season set to end before July, when the loan expires.
What happens beyond then remains unknown for the former Liverpool playmaker.
His agent, Kia Joorabchian, revealed earlier this week that he would like to return to the Premier League if possible.
15.41 BST: Manchester United are keen to sign Birmingham City midfielder Jude Bellingham but sources have told ESPN that United will need to present Birmingham with guaranteed cash if they are to succeed in signing the teenager.
The 16-year-old has been assured that he will have a place in the first team should he join United rather than playing with the under-18s or U23s.
Privately, Birmingham accept they will have to cash in on Bellingham as they look to ease their financial problems but the Championship side want a large chunk of the fee up front.
United would prefer to offer a structured deal made up of a smaller down payment and a series of bonus linked to future success.
However, if they are to hold off competition from clubs like Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal who are also interested in Bellingham, United will have to adapt their offer.
14.31 BST: Juventus are seriously interested in Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele, according to Mundo Deportivo.
However, the Italian champions would only be willing to take the France forward on loan due to his injury history.
He is currently sidelined until August following surgery on a ruptured tendon, the latest in a string of injuries he’s suffered since moving to Barcelona for €105m in 2017.
Barca and Juventus have various fronts open, so it remains to be seen how Dembele would fit into any potential deal.
The Catalans are keen on midfielder Miralem Pjanic, while Juventus like Arthur Melo, although the Brazilian has said in public he wants to remain at Camp Nou.
13.34 BST: Atletico Madrid have confirmed that Diego Simeone’s number two German ‘Mono’ Burgos will leave the club at the end of this season.
Burgos, 51 — who has been part of Simeone’s staff since 2011 — wants to pursue a head coach position elsewhere.
His replacement has not been formally announced but sources have told ESPN former Arsenal defender Nelson Vivas, who has been at the club since 2018, will step up.
There have also been conversations with former Atletico captain Gabi about taking a coaching role.
“I think I’m ready to lead a team,” Burgos said. “[Simeone] is a friend, we have known each other for a long time, we understand each other. We still have targets to meet: qualifying for the Champions League and our dream of winning the Champions League. I want to leave Atleti as a champion.”
12.46 BST: FC Porto president Pinto da Costa has revealed that the club were in advanced talks with other clubs to transfer players in the value of €150m before the coronavirus pandemic happened.
“I will not say names, but I can say that I already had a €147m agreement for sale. If we had done so, we would not be talking about financial problems. It just needed to be done, everything was done. But the virus appeared, which affected not only Portugal,” he told FC Porto channel.
Clubs have been counting the cost of the coronavirus pandemic and the likelihood of big money transfers this summer is seen to be slim for clubs across Europe.
Possible swap deals are being explored as an option while some players have chosen to add short-term extensions to their contracts so they don’t have to move country in the midst of the ongoing uncertainty.
Paris Saint-Germain are “watching Thomas Partey closely”, says Diario AS.
The Atletico Madrid midfielder’s future has been a source of much speculation in recent weeks, with a €50m release clause making him an attractive option even in the midst of an economic downturn.
PSG are in a stronger financial position than most, and sporting director Leonardo has made a central midfielder a priority, reports in France suggest, with Thomas one of several options being considered.
The Ghana international, 26, is a key man for Diego Simeone and Atletico are keen for him to sign a new deal that would see that release clause doubled.
10.59 BST: Barcelona have enquired about Eric Garcia’s situation at Manchester City as they line up a potential move to bring the defender back to Camp Nou, several sources have told ESPN.
City were quick to knock back Barca’s initial approach. High-ranking executives at the English club have made it clear that the youngster is not for sale.
Pep Guardiola is particularly fond of Garcia and, while City hope to sign a new centre-back this summer, they also want to keep him involved as part of the first-team squad.
However, there is also an acceptance at the club that the uncertainty over Guardiola’s long-term future could become a problem at some point. Players are also in the dark and with two years left on his contract, Garcia is in a strong negotiating position.
This provoked Barca to ask about his availability during recent talks between the two clubs regarding a possible swap deal involving right-backs Nelson Semedo and Joao Cancelo.
10.30 BST: Lille striker Victor Osimhen has been linked with interest from Tottenham. ESPN FC’s Gab Marcotti and Julien Laurens discuss the Nigeria international’s prospects if he were to move to Spurs.
Gab Marcotti and Julien Laurens discuss whether Lille’s Victor Osimhen could leave this summer.
10.03 BST: Martin Odegaard has hinted he would like to remain at Real Sociedad next season.
Odegaard, 21, was loaned to Real Sociedad on a season-long loan last summer, with Real Madrid retaining the option to recall the midfielder or extend the loan for an additional season after the first year.
“We are up there where we want to be, we want to qualify for the Champions League,” Odegaard told a news conference. “We can’t compete with Madrid or Barca, but we can finish third or fourth, that is what our aim is and to qualify for the Champions League. It’s a dream for any player to play in the Champions League and that is what we want to do next season.”
The Norway international, whose contract at Madrid runs until June 2023, has scored four goals, and set up five more in 23 league appearances for Real Sociedad.
09.38 BST: Manchester City were prepared to pay €100m to sign Benfica centre-back Ruben Dias this summer, according to Record.
Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira revealed that his club had negotiated to pocket €200m alone from the sale of two players once the transfer window opened before the coronavirus brought to halt competitions around the world.
“Had it not been for the coronavirus pandemic, Benfica would have sold two players for €200m this summer,” Vieira told Benfica TV, although he did not name the players in question. “Right now, we can’t plan anything.”
09.03 BST: Paris Saint-Germain are interested in signing United States star Sergino Dest as they continue their search for a new right-back, sources have told ESPN.
The Ajax defender, 19, is attracting a lot of interest from big European clubs, including Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Sources told ESPN that PSG are keeping tabs on Dest in case they fail to sign Lazio’s Adam Marusic, and Ajax could ask for a fee of around €20m for the defender.
PSG sporting director Leonardo has not yet made contact with Dest’s agent or with Ajax, sources have told ESPN. However, the U.S national team star is represented by Stellar group, which has good relations with PSG since the arrival of Grzegorz Krychowiak from Sevilla in 2017.
Julien Laurens earmarks Ajax and USMNT’s Sergino Dest as the best replacement for Thomas Meunier at PSG.
08.28 BST: Olivier Giroud has said the effects of the coronavirus pandemic across Europe influenced his decision to sign a contract extension with Chelsea.
The striker almost left the club in January but the Blues’ failure to find a replacement meant Giroud stayed for the final six months of his existing deal. Giroud was rewarded for his professionalism during that turbulent period with a run in the first team after Tammy Abraham suffered an ankle injury, starting Chelsea’s final five matches in all competitions before the pandemic halted the sport.
However, Giroud was still expected to depart at the end of the season with Inter Milan favourites for his signature as talks continued into the spring. Yet in April, Chelsea exercised an option to retain Giroud for the 2020-21 campaign and the striker explained why he agreed to a dramatic late U-turn.
“I simply seized my opportunity and I repaid the faith that the manager had shown in me,” he told the club’s website. “That’s why the club ultimately offered me the chance to continue my time at Chelsea and I accepted immediately because I like it here. I want to keep winning trophies and I want to continue to show the manager that he can count on me.
“Plus, with the whole coronavirus lockdown situation, I didn’t really feel comfortable with the idea of moving abroad and uprooting my family. I think a lot about our quality of life and we have a great setup here. I think a lot about my family now.”
08.00 BST: “Keep an eye on Jadon Sancho” is the advice from the front page of Diario AS on Wednesday, claiming Real Madrid are keen on the England and Borussia Dortmund winger.
“The fantastic relationship between Madrid and Borussia would help an agreement if the three parties sit down for talks” the Spanish newspaper says — while suggesting any deal would take place in 2021, with no big signings expected at the Bernabeu this summer.
Sancho, 20, has 17 goals and 16 assists in the Bundesliga this season, establishing himself as one of Europe’s top young talents alongside teammate Erling Haaland, also linked with Madrid.
AS admits the La Liga giants would face serious competition for Sancho’s signature, with Manchester United thought to be best-placed.PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd): Juve closing in on Houssem Aouar
Juventus are close to making a move for long-term target Houssem Aouar from Lyon, according to L’Equipe.
The Bianconeri were impressed with the midfielder in the first leg of the teams’ Champions League tie, in which he provided an assist, and it is believed he will move from France in the summer with Turin his likely destination.
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The talented youngster reportedly prefers Juve to Manchester City, partly because of City’s exclusion from European action for the next two years. Moreover, he feels he faces less competition in the Juventus midfield than he would at City, and he says he believes he could be joining a younger and more dynamic side alongside the likes of Matthijs de Ligt.
Aouar is expected to cost around €45m or less as a result of the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic driving down his fee from what was expected to be around €70m. Juventus may even explore the option of a two-year loan deal.Barca considering resigning Eric Garcia
Barcelona are monitoring former defender Eric Garcia, and are considering re-signing him from Manchester City, according to ESPN sources.
Garcia was once considered one of the most talented players at Barcelona’s La Masia academy, but he left for Manchester in 2017 at the ripe age of 16.
The Spaniard believed he would progress quicker under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola, but this season he has played six times, including in the Champions League.
Still only 19, Garcia is targeting more first-team starts and even an extension to his contract, which currently ends in 2021. Talks are said to have stalled between club and player, though, which has raised eyebrows at Barca. They’re now keen to re-sign him this year, with City probably hoping to avoid losing him for free next summer.Tap-ins
— Real Madrid are looking to sign 17-year-old centre-back Tanguy Kouassi from Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer, reports Le10Sport. The youngster is available this month and though it has been reported he is keen to sign a professional contract in the French capital, the outlet reports he’s keen for a new adventure away from France. Real Madrid have already been in contact with a view to Kouassi becoming a long-term replacement for 34-year-old Sergio Ramos
— Barcelona are keen to complete the purchase of Gustavo Maia from Sao Paulo having already paid €3.5m for an initial purchase option, according to Eldes Marque. It had not been clear whether Barca would go through with the rest of the transfer, but the player’s agent is confident Maia will move to Camp Nou in the summer. It is believed the 19-year-old has already been taking Spanish lessons and he’s expected to complete his move later this month