Arsenal keen on Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko
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: Man City’s Zinchenko to Arsenal?
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is reported to see the versatile 25-year-old as a midfielder in his plans, and looks set to enquire about a possible switch from the Etihad Stadium to the Emirates.
Having made just 10 starts in the Premier League last season, the Ukraine international has seen less playing time as Pep Guardiola has utilised Joao Cancelo on the left side of defence, but he could be a key player should he move to the Gunners.
It is understood that Zinchenko has maintained that he would like to stay at City and fight for his place, but his good relationship with Arteta developed while working together when the Spaniard was assistant manager at City and could see him open to a north London move.
15.24 BST: Gareth Bale and Angel Di Maria have both been offered to Atletico Madrid as potential free transfers this summer, sources have confirmed to ESPN, but the LaLiga club have turned down the chance to sign either player.
Bale, 32, will leave Real Madrid after nine years at the club when his contract expires in June, while Di Maria, 34, is leaving Paris Saint-Germain when his deal runs out.
The Spanish radio station COPE first reported on Monday that Bale’s representatives had offered him to Atletico, saying the discussion had taken place in a meeting with the club’s sporting director Andrea Berta. Sources told ESPN that Atletico appreciated the offer but felt the finances involved in such a deal would make it difficult to justify, given Bale’s age. If they were to strengthen their attack, they would prefer to focus their efforts on a player who could contribute to the team over a longer period of time.
Di Maria has also been linked with Juventus. “I’m calm. There’s time, I have to think,” he told ESPN on Saturday. “It isn’t just my decision, I’ll always think about my family and then about me. I’ll decide what’s best for everyone.”
14.42 BST: Barcelona will tell more than 10 players that they are free to leave the club this summer as Xavi Hernandez plans to overhaul the squad following a trophyless season at Camp Nou, sources told ESPN.
However, sources add it will not be easy to relocate many of the unwanted players due to their reluctance to leave and their high salaries.
Xavi has already confirmed conversations with Riqui Puig, Oscar Mingueza, Martin Braithwaite and Samuel Umtiti in which he informed them they are not part of his long-term plans. Clement Lenglet, Ferran Jutgla, loanees Luuk de Jong and Adama Traore and those returning from loans elsewhere, such as Francisco Trincao and Miralem Pjanic, are also likely to be invited to leave.
There is also uncertainty surrounding the futures of Ousmane Dembele and Dani Alves, who are both out of contract next month, while sources add that Barca’s financial situation could force them to listen to big offers for Memphis Depay and Frenkie de Jong.
14.00 BST: Where would Neymar go if he left PSG?
Julien Laurens and Gab Marcotti discuss Neymar’s future amid reports that PSG want him to leave.
13.23 BST: A number of Premier League clubs are eyeing up a summer move for Braga centre-back David Carmo, sources have told ESPN.
The 22-year-old is highly rated in Portugal and has been called up to Fernando Santos’ squad for their Nations League games against Spain, Switzerland and Czech Republic in June.
Sources told ESPN that a bid of around €25m would secure a move away from Braga for the 6-foot-5 defender, with a number of English clubs having already registered their interest.
13.14 BST: Borussia Dortmund have completed the free transfer of Manchester City forward Jayden Braaf on a three-year deal.
— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) May 27, 2022
The club have also announced the signing of Alex Meyer from SSV Jahn Regensburg on a contract until 2024.
13.03 BST: AC Milan forward Rafael Leao says he has his “feet firmly on the ground” amid reports Real Madrid want to sign him after their failure to acquire Kylian Mbappe.
Leao, 22, joined Milan in the summer of 2019 from Lille and managed 11 goals and 10 assists in 34 league appearances to help Milan clinch the Scudetto this season.
Real Madrid are, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, reportedly lining a €120m bid to sign the Portugal international, who is under contract with the Rossoneri until June 2024 and has a €150m release clause.
However, AC Milan director Paolo Maldini declared this week that Leao “is untouchable” and won’t be allowed to leave.
Asked about Maldini’s remarks, Leao, who is on international duty with Portugal, said in A Bola on Friday: “Untouchable? I am happy with these words. I’m at Milan. I feel at home. I have two more years on my contract but right now my focus is on the national team.”
On the growing interest from other clubs, Leao added: “I am very happy, but my feet are firmly on the ground. It is a source of pride to work with players with a lot of experience. As for my development, I left Sporting [CP] when I was young and went to Lille. People may not know it, but Ligue 1 is a strong league. I evolved. Then I took an important step with Milan. Two years didn’t go as I wanted, but now I’m more mature and confident, this season went as I wanted. I hope to achieve great things in the future. I want to be a reference player in my club and in the national team.”
12.41 BST: Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo says his club are still waiting to hear from Juventus regarding Alvaro Morata‘s future.
The Spain international completed his second season on loan at Juventus from Atletico. Juve have an option to make Morata’s stay permanent for €35m but have not, according to Atletico, made a decision on whether to sign the 29-year-old forward this summer.
Asked about Morata, who is under contract with Atletico until June 2023, Cerezo said: “It depends on Juventus, it depends on them. You must ask them. They have not communicated anything to us.”
12.22 BST: Ousmane Dembele‘s agent says the Barcelona forward will make a decision on his future when the time is right with his contract at Camp Nou set to expire next month.
Moussa Sissoko has been negotiating a renewal with Barca but has also held talks in parallel with other clubs across Europe.
However, despite reports earlier this week suggesting Dembele would sign for Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer, Sissoko insists nothing has been decided yet.
“Ousmane’s future is still open and we’re not going to enter into endless speculation,” Sissoko said in a statement on Friday. “We are and have always been respectful with all clubs and will continue in the same way as the process continues. When the moment comes to make a decision, Ousmane will consider the best option for his future.”
Barca told Dembele, 25, to leave the club in January due to his refusal to agree a new deal but he opted to stay and played his way back into Xavi Hernandez’s plans, ending the season with the most assists in LaLiga (13).
Xavi has always expressed a desire to keep the Frenchman at the club. PSG, Chelsea and Bayern Munich are among the other sides who have been linked with him.
11.55 BST: Manchester United are set to test Barcelona’s resolve over Frenkie de Jong despite doubts over whether they are the midfielder’s first choice if he leaves Camp Nou, sources told ESPN.
United want a midfielder this summer and De Jong, who worked under Erik ten Hag at Ajax during the pair’s time at Ajax, is one of the names under consideration.
Despite playing a key role at Barcelona last season, there’s a feeling at Old Trafford that the LaLiga giants may have to offload the Netherlands international to fund their summer transfer business. Sources told ESPN that De Jong would have to be convinced to join United, particularly after they dropped out of the Champions League, but a move has not been completely ruled out.
Intermediaries working on behalf of Barcelona have tried to find potential suitors for the 25-year-old and although Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich have asked to be kept informed, United’s interest is the strongest.
Sources told ESPN that Manchester City are distancing themselves from De Jong, instead choosing to focus on Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips as a replacement for Fernandinho, who will leave the club this summer.
Julien Laurens and Gemma Soler explain why Frenkie de Jong moving to Manchester United makes a lot of sense.
11.02 BST: Paris Saint-Germain have made Neymar available for transfer this summer, sources tell ESPN, with the club seeking a new direction following Kylian Mbappe‘s surprise contract extension.
PSG’s stance marks another U-turn at the club, following on from Mbappe’s decision to stay when he looked certain to leave for Real Madrid on a free transfer. Neymar signed a new contract at the club last year and it has three years to run, but PSG are hoping to offload him this summer.
Neymar, 30, is in Qatar with some of PSG’s sponsors and said this week that he wants to stay at PSG but the Ligue 1 champions want to generate transfer funds to shape their squad. The Brazil international joined PSG for a world record €222m from Barcelona in 2017 but has featured in only 50% of the club’s matches since joining, amid a recurring run of injuries.
Neymar’s sizeable salary, which costs PSG around €35m a year, may prove a stumbling block in the event of any interested clubs coming forward to make an offer, but Chelsea have a long-standing interest in the forward.
10.35 BST: Tottenham are keen to sign Inter Milan defender Alessandro Bastoni, according to Football Insider.
Bastoni, 23, is one of Inter’s top young players and the club are struggling financially so may need to move him on for around €70m.
Tottenham have made the left-sided centre-back their first-choice defender to land this summer, with RB Leipzig’s Josco Gvardiol and Villarreal’s Pau Torres also on their radar.
10.08 BST: Fabrizio Romano reports that Man City winger Jayden Braaf will sign a contract with Borussia Dortmund.
Braaf, 19, has been compared in style to Jadon Sancho, who also made the move to Dortmund from City in 2017 before joining Man United for €85m last summer.
Dortmund will land themselves a bargain as Braaf is a free agent after having his contract cancelled, despite having one year left on it.
“I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone at Manchester City for the confidence and support they have shown in me over the years,” he wrote on Instagram. “I have grown both personally and professionally and would not be where I am today without their guidance. To my teammates, the academy staff, and the fans, thank you!”
09.47 BST: PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino says he only found out that Kylian Mbappe was staying at the club half an hour before the player renewed his contract.
Mbappe, 23, had an offer to join Real Madrid on a free transfer this summer, but signed a new three-year deal with PSG.
“I officially found out that Kylian would continue [with us] when the president told me half an hour before, in my locker room,” Pochettino said. “And unofficially, I was following the media reports that said he was staying. A certain secrecy is fine because it was a very personal matter, and the decision was taken at the last moment. Well, I wouldn’t say I was surprised [of Mbappe’s decision.] We trusted in what was being said that he hadn’t decided, that he was open. The decision was made at the last minute.”
Asked if Mbappe made the right decision, Pochettino said: “I don’t know if he made the right one as these are personal decisions. For PSG and the French league, it is very beneficial. And it is a disappointment for a club like Real Madrid.”
Pochettino also spoke about his own future, amid reports that he could leave after failing to guide PSG to Champions League glory. Sporting Lisbon’s Ruben Amorim is among the candidates reportedly being considered by PSG to replace him this summer.
“As I’ve said before, I’m 100% here,” Pochettino said. “I have one year left on my contract and I hope to continue. The challenges are there. Being in a club like PSG it’s something that always motivates any coach. We’ve won all the titles that my predecessors won. The only title we haven’t won is the only title missing at the club, that no one has won here and the one we are yet to win in its more than 50-year history which is the Champions League.
“We are ambitious, we can fight for titles. It’s obviously a big disappointment not to win the Champions League because year after year the desire grows more with the fans. But I think in the one and a half years that I’ve been here, we know the club well. Now with the experience that we have, we can contribute. Having the opportunity to have another year here gives us the opportunity not only to win domestically but also the Champions League, which is a challenge that motivates us a lot.”
Meanwhile, PSG right-back Achraf Hakimi sent a consolation message to Real Madrid president Florentino Perez after the Spanish club’s failure to sign Mbappe.
Hakimi, who came through Real Madrid’s academy, was asked on Spanish TV show La Resistencia to send a message to Perez and he said: “A lot of encouragement and I hope you go for another big signing and good luck on Saturday [Real Madrid take on Liverpool in the Champions League final on Saturday in Paris.]”
09.36 BST: Barcelona are set to launch a final offensive to sign Chelsea pair Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso, according to Mundo Deportivo.
The Spain internationals have no intention of remaining with the London club next season, with both hopeful of returning to LaLiga. Both their contracts expire in June 2023 and Barca remain hopeful the new Chelsea owners will be open to negotiate their departures this summer for an affordable transfer fee.
Alonso was close to joining Barcelona on loan in January 2021 but the deal did not materialise.
09.01 BST: Sevilla have reached a preliminary agreement with Aston Villa for the transfer of Brazilian centre-back Diego Carlos, subject to a medical, the Spanish club announced.
The LaLiga club has not revealed the fee that the Premier League side will pay for the Brazil international, but local reports claim it will be around €30m.
“Sevilla FC wants to thank the player for the work carried out throughout these years at the club and wishes him the best of luck in his new professional stage,” the club said.
Diego Carlos, 29, was under contract with Sevilla until June 2024. He scored seven goals and made 136 appearances for Sevilla after arriving at the Andalusian club from Nantes in the summer of 2019. He won the 2020 Europa League title with Sevilla and in the same year he helped Brazil win gold at the 2020 Olympics.
08.43 BST: AS Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni‘s transfer to Real Madrid has been held up due to a tax issue, multiple sources have confirmed ESPN.
LaLiga champions Madrid are prepared to pay around €80m to land Tchouameni, who joined Monaco for €20m from Bordeaux in 2020.
However, the Spanish treasury considers the Principality of Monaco a tax haven and are therefore expected to demand Monaco pay 24% in taxes on top of the €60m profit they stand to make from the deal.
Sources close to the negotiations have told ESPN that the Ligue 1 club hope Madrid will pay the additional money, which is just under €15m, but the Spanish side are resistant to doing so.
A source close to Tchouameni played down the issue, saying everything is progressing “as expected” and that they expect the move to be completed next week.
08.14 BST: Leeds United have signed United States men’s national team star Brenden Aaronson from FC Salzburg, the club announced.
The midfielder has joined the Premier League club for a fee believed to be €27m ($29.5m), sources have told ESPN, and on a contract until 2027.
“It’s an amazing feeling to be here at this historic club, I am really excited for the new season,” Aaronson said. “I think it was around Christmas or January that I could see there was some interest and hearing about Leeds United being interested, it was a huge moment for me and I was super excited.
“I had known a lot about Leeds at that time and what a famous club it is, the fans they have and how dedicated they are, it was just a dream place for me.
“We’re going to have a big next season and I am really excited to be a part of it. I know the team is going to be up for it, so it is going to be an important season. I am not even thinking about my off-season, I am just excited to get back into it!”
08.00 BST: Liverpool forward Sadio Mane will reveal his future plans only after Saturday’s Champions League final against Real Madrid, the Senegal international said on Thursday.
Mane, who joined Liverpool in 2016 and has scored more than 120 goals for the Premier League club, was considering leaving Jurgen Klopp’s side in search of a new challenge, British media reported.
“This question [about my future] I will answer after Champions League [final], if I’m staying or not,” Mane, who has one year remaining on his Liverpool contract, told Sky Sports. “What I want to say now is I am fully focused on the Champions League and winning it, which is far more important for me and the Liverpool fans.
“That is the answer I must give before the final. But come back to me on Saturday and I will give you the best answer you want to hear, for sure. It’s special. I will give you all you want to hear then.”
Julien Laurens is getting tired of Erik ten Hag’s relentless social media appearances since becoming Manchester United’s manager.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)
– Manchester United will table an official offer for RB Leipzig forward Christopher Nkunku next week, according to Sky Sports Germany. Ralf Rangnick recommended the 24-year-old to the Old Trafford hierarchy, but it is understood that Leipzig do not want to move him on this summer. Nkunku is expected to attract plenty of interest when the transfer window opens, having contributed to 33 goals in 34 Bundesliga appearances.
– Southampton are keen on West Ham United defender Ryan Fredericks, reports the Telegraph. With Valentino Livramento sidelined after suffering an ACL injury in April, the Saints are looking to acquire a cover option at right-back this summer. Fredericks, 29, has been strongly linked with an exit from the London Stadium, with Fulham also interested in his services.
– Manchester United are close to reaching an agreement over a contract extension for David de Gea, reveals Ekrem Konur. The 31-year-old goalkeeper was a standout performer for the Red Devils in an overall disappointing season, and it looks as though new boss Erik ten Hag has identified him as one of the players he wants to work with at Old Trafford.
– Internazionale are close to reaching an agreement with AS Roma midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. The Nerazzurri have been in talks with the 33-year-old in recent weeks in a bid to land him on a free transfer, and it looks as though he is prepared to make the switch to San Siro. The Armenia international made 33 appearances for Jose Mourinho’s side last season.
– Tottenham Hotspur are looking to moving on from Harry Winks in the summer, according to the Daily Mail. Newcastle United and Southampton are reported to be keen on acquiring the 26-year-old midfielder, who could be signed for a fee of £25m. Winks has seen reduced playing time since Antonio Conte took charge of the team, and could be prepared to move on in search of regular minutes.
– Juventus and AC Milan are interested in signing Man City striker Gabriel Jesus, according to Calciomercato. With City set to welcome Erling Haaland in the summer, Jesus could be allowed to leave the Etihad Stadium. Arsenal have recently been linked with the 25-year-old forward, but the latest indicates they could have competition from the Serie A sides.