LIVE Transfer Talk – Man United keen on Villarreal’s Pau Torres in backline shake-up
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 United want Torres to boost ailing defence
United were linked with the 25-year-old last summer before eventually securing the €48 million signing of Raphael Varane from Real Madrid. But with the France international missing a number of games through injury this season, the club have now decided on acquiring another centre-back when the transfer window opens.
It is understood that the Red Devils will look to move on both Eric Bailly and Phil Jones in the summer to help make room for the addition of a new defender, with Torres jumping to the top of the Old Trafford hierarchy’s shortlist.
The Spain international is reported to have a release clause in his contract of €60m, and while he is open to leaving his boyhood club at the end of the season, he is currently focused on his side’s run in the Champions League, with Villarreal set to meet Liverpool in the first leg of the semifinals on April 27.
16.12 BST: ICYMI — Real Madrid are assessing the possibility of signing Antonio Rudiger on a free transfer, sources have told ESPN, after being impressed with the defender’s performances in their Champions League quarterfinal with Chelsea.
The centre-back — whose Stamford Bridge contract expires on June 30 — was first named as a potential Madrid target earlier this season.
At that point, sources ruled out a move telling ESPN that the links emerged after Rudiger’s representatives offered him to Madrid, rather than a genuine interest from the LaLiga club.
The situation has now changed and multiple sources have told ESPN that Rudiger’s name is back on the agenda as a possible defensive reinforcement this summer.
15.27 BST: Speaking of players staying at their clubs…
Fabrizio Romano reports that Tottenham don’t plan to let Harry Kane leave this summer. The 28-year-old wanted to quit last year but Spurs held out for an £150m offer that never came.
Kane has 22 goals in 44 games this season but the key to his happiness will surely be whether or not Spurs make it into the Champions League.
If they fail, he could try and force an exit again.
14.45 BST: Lionel Messi is not considering leaving PSG this summer, says Mundo Deportivo.
Messi, 34, left Barcelona on a free transfer over the summer — after financial problems prevented them from registering his new contract — and moved to Paris, but has hit just eight goals in 29 games so far.
The Argentina international has been linked with a return to Camp Nou, as well as with various MLS clubs, but the report claims he is surprised by talk over his future as he has no plans to leave the French side.
14.04 BST: Marca seems to think that Man City will part with striker Gabriel Jesus if Barcelona offer €30m.
Jesus, 25, has seven goals in 33 games this season and his contract expires in 2023.
City are aiming to sign Erling Haaland from Dortmund this summer, which may push the Brazil international further down the pecking order, while Barcelona are keen to bring in a central striker on the cheap given their financial issues.
13.15 BST: Is USMNT goalkeeper Zack Steffen‘s time at Man City coming to an end?
Kasey Keller explains why he believes that a loan move away from Manchester City could be beneficial to Zack Steffen’s career.
12.41 BST: Bayern Munich midfielder Marcel Sabitzer is attracting interest from Arsenal and Atlético Madrid, says Bild.
Sabitzer, 28, only signed last summer from RB Leipzig but he has managed only eight starts in all competitions.
The Austria international is one of the players Bayern are ready to let go this summer, but the club would want to get around €20m.
11.49 BST: Freiburg defender Nico Schlotterbeck is on the verge of joining Dortmund, says Sky Germany.
Schlotterbeck, 22, is a highly rated young centre-back and has reportedly agreed terms on a deal worth €4.5m-a-year until 2027.
Dortmund will pay around €25m to bring in the Germany international, while they have already agreed to sign his international teammate Niklas Sule on a free transfer from Bayern Munich ahead of next season.
11.14 BST: Change is coming at Man United as The Athletic reports that the club’s two leading scouts have left
Chief scout Jim Lawlor and Marcel Bout, the head of global scouting, have both departed after criticism of the club’s transfer policy over recent years.
In a statement, United said: “Jim Lawlor has decided to step down from his role as Chief Scout in the Summer after 16 years with the club. During that time, Jim played a key role in the development of multiple trophy-winning Manchester United teams and was an important source of guidance to Sir Alex Ferguson and each of the managers who have followed him. Jim leaves the club with our warmest thanks for his significant contribution and our very best wishes for the future.
“Marcel Bout has departed from his role as Head of Global Scouting after eight years with the club. A respected figure within and outside of Manchester United, Marcel has played an important part as an assistant coach and in the strengthening of our scouting capabilities in recent years. Marcel leaves the club with our warmest thanks for his significant contribution and our very best wishes for the future.”
10.36 BST: Borussia Dortmund midfielder Julian Brandt says he is focused on his future at the club and has no desire to leave yet.
Brandt, 25, has seven goals and eight assists from 27 Bundesliga games this season but has been linked with a move away from the Westfalenstadion, with his contract expiring in 2024.
“I’m not thinking about a change at the moment. I’m still extremely interested in this club and I don’t think my time here is over,” Brandt told WAZ. “It’s not so important to me what people say, write or think about me, apart from the coach.
“In the media, 35 new players and 35 departures are reported at BVB every summer and winter. I don’t worry too much about that, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. Of course, a lot can happen in life and things can change suddenly but for me there is no reason to change. I feel good in Dortmund and I still have a few plans here.”
09.44 BST: Man United vs. Liverpool was one-way traffic and it was no big surprise based on the two teamsheets.
Stewart Robson picks apart Manchester United’s “embarrassing” defeat against rivals Liverpool.
09.19 BST: Wolves winger Adama Traore is being tracked by Everton, says Football Insider.
Traore, 26, has impressed on loan at Barcelona since moving in January, with two assists in eight games, but the club may not have the funds to sign him permanently in the summer.
As a result, struggling Everton will look to the Spain international as a potential replacement for Richarlison if they stay up.
08.57 BST: Sevilla have extended the contract of goalkeeper Yassine Bono by one year, until June 2025.
Bono, 31, has made 99 appearances for Sevilla and kept 50 clean sheets since joining the Andalusian club from Girona in the summer of 2019.
The Morocco international, who is Sevilla’s first-choice goalkeeper, said: “I’m very happy to continue here, to continue to grow as a player in the group and in this club. We know this is a very ambitious club.
“Sevilla allows me to continue to improve and demands the best of me. That is important for me. There is a family atmosphere without losing the professional aspect, the demanding aims of great clubs.”
08.31 BST: Arsenal defender William Saliba is on the radar of Atletico Madrid, says L’Equipe.
Saliba, 21, joined Arsenal for €30m in 2019 from Saint-Etienne but has yet to play a first-team game and has been out on loan at various clubs since, with this season at Marseille proving the most successful yet.
The centre-back has earned a call-up to the senior France national side and could move on to Atletico this summer, though he has also made it clear he would be happy to stay with Marseille if he can’t break into the Arsenal side.
08.00 BST: Pep Guardiola is remaining tight-lipped about Manchester City’s pursuit of Erling Haaland despite sources telling ESPN that the striker is moving closer to a summer transfer to the Etihad Stadium.
City are ready to trigger the €75m release clause in Haaland’s contract at Borussia Dortmund and are growing increasingly confident they can beat competition from Real Madrid to land him.
Sources have told ESPN that a full agreement on agent fees and wages has not yet been reached but there is an expectation on both sides that a deal will get done.
Guardiola, however, was asked about the 21-year-old at a news conference on Tuesday but gave nothing away.
“No answer to your question,” he said. “No questions. I have no concern about what will happen in this club next season. I don’t know what will happen in the future. For many years I never talk about transfers, especially when we are playing for this season.”
Mark Ogden says Raheem Sterling’s wage demands in addition to his age don’t bode well for a big-money move this summer.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)
– Raheem Sterling will make a decision on his Manchester City future at the end of the season, writes the Mirror. AC Milan have recently been linked with the 27-year-old winger, though contract talks are expected to begin at the end of the season, with Pep Guardiola’s side keen to keep him at the Etihad Stadium.
– Sevilla have decided against making Anthony Martial‘s loan move permanent as they need to lower their salary bill, reports Marca. The 26-year-old has had a mixed spell in LaLiga since joining from Manchester United, and despite belief that he could potentially find form with a second season, his €15m-per-season contract would need to be heavily reduced for a deal to be possible.
– Real Madrid are looking to lock down the future of Vinicius Junior at the Santiago Bernabeu by handing him a new five-year contract, reveals the Here We Go podcast. Recent rumours suggest that Carlo Ancelotti’s side are set for a busy summer once the transfer market opens, but with the 21-year-old impressing this season with 17 goals, it seems as though the LaLiga side have no plans to move him on despite needing to reduce their wage bill to sign Kylian Mbappe on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain.
– Lautaro Martinez wants to stay at Internazionale this summer, according to Cesar Luis Merlo. The 24-year-old striker was on target as Inter defeated rivals AC Milan 3-0 at San Siro on Tuesday. And amid speculation of clubs across Europe plotting a move for the Argentina international in the summer, the report indicates that he has no desire to leave Serie A at the end of the season.
– Benfica are interested in setting up a potential return for Angel Di Maria, says Pedro Almeida. The 34-year-old PSG winger looks almost certain to leave the Parc des Princes at the end of the season, with no sign of any talks taking place regarding a new contract. But despite being available as a free agent, Benfica will look to see whether the Argentina international would be willing to join on a significantly lower salary than the €13.4m-per-season he earns in France.