Cristiano Ronaldo may make Real Madrid return this summer
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: Real weighing Ronaldo return
The 37-year-old striker has recently been linked with an exit from Old Trafford with Erik ten Hag planning a squad rebuild, and with Manchester United looking unlikely to qualify for the Champions League, they could now be set to lose Ronaldo despite his contract running until 2023.
The former Los Blancos star has remained in impressive form this season with 23 goals from 35 appearances, and it is reported that it hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Santiago Bernabeu hierarchy. Ronaldo has caught the attention of club officials who are now looking to set up a LaLiga return for the Portugal international, who made the same move back in June 2009 for a then world-record fee of £80 million.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side were crowned champions on Saturday as Real Madrid secured the LaLiga title after a comfortable 4-0 victory over Espanyol, and it looks as though they are already making preparations to retain the crown next season.
11.25 BST: Manchester United would have beaten Borussia Dortmund to the signing of Erling Haaland if the German club had not inserted a release clause into the transfer, Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has claimed.
Haaland has scored 61 goals in 65 Bundesliga appearances since joining Dortmund from Salzburg in January 2020, and has become one of the most sought-after players in world football.
The 21-year-old has been linked with a number of Europe’s top clubs, but recent reports suggest that Manchester City, rather than United, is his most likely destination.
“We gave Erling Haaland a release clause… otherwise he would have gone to Manchester United,” Watzke told 10:09 Talk.
Haaland is set to announce a decision over his future soon, with a move to City likely if they trigger the €75m release clause in his contract.
“He has a decision to make, it will come eventually,” Watzke added. “But I’m sure we’ll find the new Haaland. We need the new Haaland.”
10.39 BST: West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice says he is not letting the constant transfer speculation surrounding his future affect him.
Rice is regularly linked with interest from Manchester City, Manchester United and his boyhood club Chelsea, but Hammers boss David Moyes has said on a regular basis that the England international is not available for transfer.
Rice told Sky ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash with London rivals Arsenal: “I feel like playing well comes with speculation. I’ve had two or three top seasons with West Ham and the top clubs around the country are always going to be watching. It’s not just me, it’s the same for every player.
“I think it’s important not to get too carried away with that. We’ve had a good season with West Ham and there have been big games I’ve had to play in so I feel like my focus has always been on that. If I thought about other things, I’d get carried away and that wouldn’t be fair on the team or the manager.
“I can’t help speculation, even with the numbers that get talked about. I get battered for it all the time on social media, but I can’t help that. I can help by going on the pitch and performing as best as I can.
“They [West Ham teammates] wind me up all the time. It’s crazy to speak about to be honest, so I just kind of block it out and do what I do best and that’s play football.”
09.52 BST: Gareth Bale was absent from Real Madrid’s LaLiga title celebrations on Saturday, blaming a “bad back spasm” for his failure to attend their decisive 4-0 win over Espanyol at the Santiago Bernabeu (stream the replay on ESPN+ in the U.S.).
Bale, whose Real Madrid contract expires in June, was left out of the matchday squad. Unlike other first-team players who were not involved — such as the injured David Alaba, Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic and the suspended Eder Militao and Nacho Fernandez — the Wales forward did not attend the game.
He was not present as club captains Marcelo and Benzema were handed the LaLiga trophy, before celebrating with the squad and coaching staff on the Bernabeu pitch. The team then took an open-top bus to the Cibeles fountain in the centre of the city where Madrid traditionally celebrate trophy wins.
“So disappointed that I’m not able to be part of the celebrations this evening due to a bad back spasm but really proud of the team for winning the title! Enjoy tonight boys!” Bale, 32, tweeted later on Saturday evening, when the festivities were drawing to a close.
09.00 BST: Wolves are preparing for life after Ruben Neves as they have sounded out agents and contacts over replacements for the midfielder, sources told ESPN’s Tom Hamilton and Rob Dawson.
Clubs have sent out wanted lists to top agents, and Wolves’ list includes a replacement for their 25-year-old midfielder. Manchester United have been offered the option to bid for Neves, according to ESPN sources, but there is firm interest from clubs in LaLiga and others in the Premier League as well.
Wolves are also in the running for a forward this summer, but finding someone to step into the sizeable shoes of Neves is top of their list. ESPN sources say there is desire on both Neves and agent Jorge Mendes’ part to move the player this summer.
Neves had been linked with moves to Barcelona and Arsenal, but has stayed put this season under Bruno Lage. He has made 28 appearances in the Premier League, contributing four goals and two assists.
He has been sidelined since mid-March with a knee injury, and is contracted to Wolves through to 2024.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)
– Napoli will demand a fee of £85m this summer if they are to agree to part ways with sought-after striker Victor Osimhen, according to Ekrem Konur. The 23-year-old has caught the attention of clubs across Europe this season with his form that has produced 17 goals in 29 games, and there looks to be a competition for his signature with many weighing up moves for new forward options.
– Ten Hag wants to make Tyrell Malacia his first signing in the summer, reports The Mirror. The Ajax Amsterdam coach is making switch to Manchester United at the end of the season, and having already scouted the 22-year-old Feyenoord left-back, it looks as though he will look to tempt him to the Premier League. It is reported that a fee of £20m will be required to secure his services.
– Benfica are looking to sign 25-year-old winger David Neres, reveals Nicolo Schira. Neres is reported to be keen to join the Liga NOS side having moved to Shakhtar Donetsk in January before the season was disrupted by Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine. He had previously made just five starts for Ajax before the turn of the new year, scoring four times from another 16 appearances off the bench.
– Barcelona are looking to take advantage of Kenan Yildiz‘s contract situation, reports Mundo Deportivo. The 16-year-old midfielder will be out of contract with Bayern Munich in the summer, and despite the Bundesliga club wanting to sign him to a new deal, it now looks as though the Blaugrana will look to secure him on a free transfer when his deal expires.
– AC Milan are closing in on a move for Renato Sanches, writes Calciomercato. The Serie A team have been in negotiations with Lille over a deal for the 24-year-old midfielder since January, having made a late attempt to sign him during the winter transfer window. After initial progress slowed with regards to personal terms, it is now reported that the Portugal international wants to make the switch to the San Siro and will accept a lower salary than his representatives requested in January.