Barcelona want Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah as marquee summer signing
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: Barca planning Salah swoop
Barcelona are looking to make Liverpool star Mohamed Salah their priority for the summer after landing a sponsorship deal with Spotify, writes The Mirror.
The Blaugrana are keen to make an impact signing in a bid to get back into contention for the LaLiga title against Real Madrid next season, and they have moved the 29-year-old winger to the top of their shortlist.
Salah will have just one year left on his deal at Anfield in the summer, and despite recent reports that his intention was to stay with Jurgen Klopp’s side, there has still been no announcement over a new deal. The sticking point thus far is that Liverpool have not been able to agree on personal terms with the Egypt international’s representatives.
Salah has remained one of Klopp’s best players this season, contributing to 35 goals in 31 Premier League appearances, but it looks as though Barcelona will try to persuade him to Camp Nou if an agreement is not reached by the end of the season.
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09.55 BST: Real Madrid have reached a preliminary agreement with Antonio Rudiger for the Chelsea centre-back to move to the Bernabeu on a free transfer this summer, sources have told ESPN.
The club and the Germany international’s representatives are still working on aspects of the deal, but Rudiger, 29, is now on track to sign for Madrid on a four-year contract, sources said.
ESPN reported last week that Madrid were looking at the possibility of signing Rudiger — having distanced themselves from a deal earlier in the season — after club executives were impressed by his performances in their Champions League quarterfinal tie with Chelsea.
09.19 BST: Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that Antonio Rudiger has informed him of his desire to leave the club at the end of the season.
ESPN reported on Saturday that the 29-year-old had rejected a new deal in excess of £200,000-a-week with Real Madrid keen to sign the defender this summer.
When asked about Rudiger’s situation on Sunday, Tuchel told Sky Sports: “Toni, the media is on it. The situation is that he wants to leave the club. He informed me of this is in a private talk.
“We gave everything — me and the club — but we could not fight anymore because of the actions. Without the sanctions we would at least be able to carry on fighting, but out hands are tied. We don’t take it personally. It is his decision.
“He is a key figure and will stay that way until the end of the season. But it is disappointing. We will miss him a lot. He gives courage in the dressing room. The kind everyone is afraid of, but the kind to play 50-55 games at an outstanding level. He is a top defender in the last one and a half years for me. We then need to find another solution.”
08.34 BST: Betis winger Joaquin has declared he will play for another season at the club after lifting the Copa del Rey title.
The Andalusian club beat Valencia on penalties on Saturday in Sevillle to win the Copa del Rey — Joaquin’s second Copa title with Betis and the third Copa of his career, having also won it with Valencia.
Joaquin, 40, has made 201 appearances since returning to Betis in 2015 but his deal expires this summer.
“I don’t know if I’m going to ruin other plans that I have but I’m sorry. I will continue playing for another year,” he said.
08.00 BST: Gabriel Jesus says it’s “not the time” to talk about his Manchester City future, but admits he would like to play more regularly.
The Brazil forward has been linked with summer moves to Arsenal and Juventus after finding opportunities hard to come by at the Etihad Stadium.
But asked about his plans after scoring four times in the 5-1 win over Watford on Saturday, the 25-year-old chose to remain tight-lipped.
“I think it’s not time to think about this,” said Jesus. “I think you expect me to say this, but it’s true, it is, this is no time to think about this. Now is the best moment of the season. I want to enjoy, to keep focused on my team, with my teammates to fight for the Premier League.”
Shaka Hislop says Gabriel Jesus should swap Manchester City for Arsenal if Mikel Arteta’s rumoured interest is true.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)
– Manuel Neuer is set to extend his contract with Bayern Munich by two years, writes Nicolo Schira. The 36-year-old goalkeeper has been in talks with the Bundesliga in recent weeks, and the latest report suggests he has decided on signing an extension until the summer of 2024. He has made 37 appearances this season, having joined the club from Schalke 04 in 2011.
– Aston Villa are keen to complete a double swoop from Ligue 1 side Marseille, according to Ekrem Konur. The Premier League club are reported to be interested in Boubacar Kamara and Duje Caleta-Car, who have both been linked with exits following this season. Kamara, 22, will be out of contract at the end of the season, with the midfielder linked to Manchester United in January.
– The race for the signature of Paulo Dybala now looks to be between just two clubs, reports Calciomercato. The 28-year-old forward had been locked in contract negotiations with Juventus throughout this season, but after it was recently reported that he was set to leave the Bianconeri, his next destination looks to be either Internazionale or Atletico Madrid.
– AC Milan want to confirm the signing of Divock Origi by the end of the month, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. The 27-year-old striker scored after coming on as a substitute as Liverpool beat Everton 2-0 in the Premier League on Sunday. After advanced negotiations took place between his representatives and the Serie A side recently, it looks as though Milan are set to win the race for his signature. Origi will leave on a free transfer with his contract coming to an end at Anfield this summer.
– Real Betis are looking to secure a deal to sign Isco on a free transfer, writes Marca. The Verdiblancos are prepared to make the 30-year-old attacking midfielder one of the highest-paid players in the squad should he make the switch from the Santiago Bernabeu, with his contract set to expire in the summer. Isco has made just three starts in LaLiga this season for Carlo Ancelotti’s presumptive champions.