LIVE Transfer Talk – Man Utd Barcelona discuss Frenkie de Jong despite his desire for Camp Nou stay
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 Utd, Barcelona in De Jong talks
While a deal is not close for the Dutchman, he is on a list of midfielders that United are looking at bringing in to help strengthen new manager Erik ten Hag’s squad.
The report comes after Wednesday’s announcement that Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard will be leaving Old Trafford. Nonetheless, there would be significant obstacles to overcome if De Jong’s transfer was to materialise, notably a fee and the will of the player.
Speaking to ESPN Netherlands’ Pascal Kamperman on Tuesday, De Jong said he hoped to stay at Camp Nou, calling Barcelona his “dream club.”
“I’ve never regretted my choice despite the fact that I had hoped for more in terms of prizes than I’ve achieved so far,” de Jong said. “But I have never regretted my choice.
“What I’m saying, there is absolutely nothing of an agreement or anything official … At the moment there is no question of it at all. Not that I know of in any case. Or they must not have told me, but I don’t think so.”
De Jong is a player that Ten Hag rates highly after they worked together at Ajax Amsterdam, winning the 2018-19 Eredivisie title as well as reaching the Champions League semifinal.
18.00 BST: Burnley captain Ben Mee is set to leave this summer ahead following interest from various Premier League sides, reports The Athletic.
The 32-year-old, who is out of contract this summer and yet to agree to a new deal, has made over 340 appearances in his 11 years with the Clarets, arriving from Manchester City on loan in 2011, which was made permanent in January 2012.
The experienced defender is expected to leave Turf Moor alongside centre-back partner James Tarkowski, as Aston Villa and Everton look to lead the race to keep the Englishman in the Premier League following final day relegation.
17.20 BST: Newcastle United have had a €30m offer plus up to €5m in add-ons accepted for Hugo Ekitike, according to The Guardian.
The 19-year-old striker, who Borussia Dortmund reportedly targeted as a potential Erling Haaland replacement, is set to join the Magpies following a final agreement to the terms of a proposed five-year contract.
Ekitike, a France under-20 international, has nine goals and three assists in 22 games for the Ligue 1 side this season, as Eddie Howe looks to bring in more goals whilst lowering the average age of his squad this summer transfer window.
16.19 BST: Could Gareth Bale really go from playing in LaLiga and the Champions League with Real Madrid to the Championship with hometown club Cardiff City?
Shaka Hislop sees a return to Wales as the ideal move for Gareth Bale after his Real Madrid exit.
15.42 BST: Barcelona could turn their attention to Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku if they can’t pull off a deal to sign Robert Lewandowski, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Bayern Munich forward Lewandowski is Barca’s first choice to strengthen their attack. He has made it clear he wants to leave the Bundesliga club this summer, but if Bayern don’t let him go, Barca will have to look elsewhere.
Lukaku only returned to Chelsea last summer but is likely to be allowed to leave after failing to feature regularly under Thomas Tuchel. Barca coach Xavi Hernandez wants to add a No.9 to the squad and is said to be a fan of Lukaku, who is five years younger than Lewandowski.
Bayern are also eyeing the Belgium international as a possible replacement for Lewandowski, should he join Barca, while Inter Milan are also keen to re-sign the player they sold for €100 million last summer.
The Daily Mail reports that Lukaku is prepared to take a pay cut worth millions if it would ease his return to Italy on loan from Chelsea.
Lukaku, 29, is a fan favourite at the San Siro, where he scored 64 times in 95 appearances and helped them win the Serie A title in his final season at the club.
14.58 BST: Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini, who retired from international duty on Wednesday, has neither confirmed nor denied reports that he will be moving to MLS.
Sources have told ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle that Chiellini is set to sign for LAFC after his contract with Juventus expired this month following 425 appearances for the club.
When asked about his potential future in California, Chiellini told reporters: “We shall see. I don’t know. I will return to Turin and then go on holiday. I will decide in the next few weeks.”
The 37-year-old played his 117th and final match for Italy in Wednesday’s 3-0 loss to Argentina at Wembley, the stadium where he captained his country to victory in the European Championship final last summer.
Shaka Hislop expects the 37-year-old Giorgio Chiellini to struggle should he move to MLS.
14.14 BST: Samuel Umtiti has offers to return to France this summer, with Nice among the clubs interested in the defender if he rescinds his contract with Barcelona, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Umtiti has hardly featured during the last four seasons due to various injury problems and reports suggest he could finally be prepared to leave Barca having been resistant in the past. Nice are one of the clubs in his homeland said to be keen on signing him, although apparently they would only be able to do so if he first terminated his deal at Camp Nou.
Umtiti only signed a new contract at Barca in January — extending his terms until 2026 but agreeing to earn a lower monthly salary — but is not part of coach Xavi Hernandez’s plans. Ronald Araujo, Gerard Pique, Eric Garcia, Clement Lenglet and incoming Chelsea centre-back Andreas Christensen are all ahead of him in the pecking order, so if he wants to play regular football he will have to leave this summer.
13.32 BST: Paul Pogba has left Manchester United after six years, over the course of which both he and the club underachieved. ESPN’s Mark Ogden thinks that both sides could have done more to make the world-record transfer work.
Mark Ogden describes Paul Pogba’s second spell at Manchester United as a “huge disappointment”.
13.00 BST: Real Madrid have signed Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger on a free transfer.
The Germany international, 29, has agreed a four-year contract at the Bernabeu, and will join when his deal at the Premier League club expires on June 30.
Rudiger spent five seasons at Chelsea — winning the FA Cup in 2018, the Europa League in 2019 and the Champions League in 2021 — but rejected the club’s offer of a contract extension.
Madrid were impressed by the centre-back’s performances in their Champions League quarterfinal tie in April, when Rudiger scored in a 3-2 second leg win at the Bernabeu which saw Chelsea eliminated 5-4 on aggregate.
The LaLiga club had been contacted by the defender’s representatives earlier in the season, but ruled out a move at that point due to the likely costs involved.
Their position changed after the Champions League second leg, and a deal was concluded swiftly, with Rudiger’s desire to play for Madrid and a drop in his wage demands viewed as key.
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) June 2, 2022
12.41 BST: Real Madrid midfielder Eduardo Camavinga says he has spoken to France teammate Aurelien Tchouameni about his possible move to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Camavinga, 19, joined Madrid for €30m from Rennes in a deadline day deal last summer — and the LaLiga club are now looking to raid Ligue 1 for another young talent in discussions with AS Monaco over Tchouameni.
“He’s a player I know from the National Team,” Camavinga — who is currently on duty with France under-21s, while Tchouameni is with the senior side — told Marca on Thursday. “I hope he comes to Madrid. I don’t know exactly how the situation is, but I’ve spoken to him. We’ll see what happens in the next few days.”
ESPN has reported that Madrid have agreed a five-year contract with Tchouameni, but talks are ongoing with his club Monaco over a transfer fee, while Paris Saint-Germain are also keen on a move for the midfielder.
11.58 BST: Paulo Dybala says he has not made a decision regarding his future amid reports that he has turned down offers from Newcastle, Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, the departing Juventus forward wants to remain in Serie A and join Inter Milan.
Dybala, who came off the bench and scored in Argentina’s 3-0 win over Italy in Wednesday’s Finalissima match at Wembley, said (https://www.tuttomercatoweb.com/serie-a/tmw-dybala-lautaro-e-un-fenomeno-futuro-non-ho-deciso-ci-pensa-il-mio-agente-1690104) after the game: “I’m focused on the national team. I must think with a cool head about my future. I have not decided anything, my agent will take care of it.”
Dybala, 28, was not offered a contract extension to remain at Juve and will leave the Turin giants after seven seasons at the club.
11.22 BST: Mesut Ozil has no intention of leaving Fenerbahce despite being frozen out of the squad, according to his agent.
Ozil, 33, has not played for the Turkish club since mid-March in the wake of a row about his fitness with coach Ismail Kartal.
Up to that point, the former Germany international had scored nine goals in 22 league appearances in 2021-22, after he initially struggled to adapt following his move from Arsenal in January of last year.
“He’s more mature now, more relaxed in that sense,” Ozil’s agent, Erkut Sogut, told the Daily Mail. “He has two more years on his contract, he wants to stay at Fenerbahce, he doesn’t want to go anywhere.
“He was always on and off. Mesut wants 90 minutes, like any player. The coach didn’t give him that much time, they had an argument and fell out. But he’s professional, he knows what’s happening and he’s not stupid.”
10.38 BST: New Barcelona signing Pablo Torre says he turned down a bigger offer from Real Madrid to push through a transfer to Camp Nou.
Midfielder Torre, 19, will join Barca officially in July after helping Racing Santander return to the Spanish second division this season.
Barca fended off competition from Madrid to seal his signature by offering him a quicker route to the first team and getting Xavi Hernandez to call him personally.
“It all happened so quickly,” Torre told Adri Contreras. “I was with the national team and I had a video call with Xavi, I was very nervous!
“I also spoke with Real Madrid but my dream was to play for Barca. Madrid offered more money, but the important thing for me was the sporting project Barça offered me and the chance to play at Camp Nou.”
Torre will do preseason with Barca’s first team and, if he impresses, will form part of Xavi’s squad next season, with captain Sergio Busquets saying the Catalan side must improve this summer.
“If we want to be competitive, we must strengthen,” Busquets said at a news conference. “We have to have the best team possible, a deep squad packed with quality because the schedule is very demanding.”
With regards to his own future, Busquets, who turns 34 this summer and has a contract with Barca until 2023, says he is likely to make a decision after the World Cup with Spain later this year.
10.11 BST: Manchester United have announced that Juan Mata will leave when his contract expires in June, following Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard in leaving Old Trafford (see 08.52 BST).
Former Chelsea and Valencia midfielder Mata, 34, signed for United in January 2014 for £37m. He made 285 appearances for the club, scoring 51 goals, and won the FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League.
United said in a statement: “Thank you for dedicating eight years of your career to United, Juan. Everyone at the club wishes you all the best for the future.”
09.44 BST: Joao Moutinho is in talks to sign a new contract with Wolverhampton Wanderers, the club announced.
Moutinho, who made 39 appearances in his fourth season at Wolves last term, becomes a free agent this summer. The 35-year-old midfielder, on international duty with Portugal, says he is calm about his future.
“I’ve always worked in the same way, with or without a contract,” Moutinho said on Wednesday. “We had a good season at the club, I’m focused on what I have to do with the national team, which is to do my best to contribute to the success of the team. With time, things will be resolved. I’m just focused on winning these games.”
Meanwhile, The Sun reports that Wolves boss Bruno Lage is interested in bringing Moutinho’s international teammate Joao Palhinha to the club. Palhinha, 26, played alongside Moutinho at Euro 2020, and helped Sporting CP end their long wait for a league title in the 2020-21 season.
The move could be a precursor to the departure from Molineux of Ruben Neves, who has been linked with interest from Manchester United and Arsenal.
08.52 BST: Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard will both leave Manchester United when their contracts expires at the end of June, the club have confirmed.
Pogba will depart Old Trafford on a free transfer for the second time after joining Juventus in 2012.
“I feel privileged to have played for this club,” Pogba said in a statement on his social media accounts. “Many beautiful moments and memories but most importantly an unconditional support from the fans. Thank you Manchester United.”
Pogba returned to the club in 2016 for a then-world-record fee of £89.3m from Juventus and won three trophies in his debut campaign. However, he has failed to find consistency throughout his return to United and faced criticism during his final season.
Sources have told ESPN that Pogba is considering a return to Juventus after turning down interest from Premier League champions Manchester City.
Meanwhile, sources have told ESPN that Lingard could return to West Ham United after he impressed during his loan spell in the 2020-21 campaign. The England international will end his 21-year spell at Old Trafford this summer after winning three major trophies which included in the winning goal in the 2016 FA Cup final.
– O’Hanlon, Ogden: Evaluating Pogba’s Man United career (E+)
08.00 BST: Gareth Bale has thanked Real Madrid for helping him “create moments that will live forever” in an open letter confirming that he is leaving the club after nine years in Spain.
Bale, 32 — who has featured in just seven Madrid games, starting four of them, in an injury-disrupted final season — is out of contract this summer and departs having won five Champions Leagues and three LaLiga titles at the Bernabeu.
The Wales international is on international duty for their upcoming matches this month, including a World Cup qualifying playoff final against Ukraine on Sunday (stream LIVE at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN+ in the U.S.) Sources close to Bale have told ESPN that no decisions will be taken on his future plans until after those games have been played.
“I write this message to say thank you to all my teammates, past and present, my managers, the backroom staff and to the fans that supported me,” Bale wrote in a letter published on social media on Wednesday. “I arrived here nine years ago as a young man who wanted to realise my dream of playing for Real Madrid.
“To wear the pristine white kit, to wear the crest on my chest, to play at the Santiago Bernabeu, to win titles and to be part of what it’s so famous for, to win the Champions League. I can now look back, reflect and say with honesty that this dream became a reality and much, much more.
“To be a part of this club’s history and to achieve what we achieved while I was a Real Madrid player, has been an incredible experience and one I will never forget. I also want to thank president Florentino Perez, [managing director] Jose Angel Sanchez, and the board for giving me the opportunity to play for this club.
“Together we were able to create some moments that will live forever in the history of this club and football. It has been an honour. Thank you! HALA MADRID!”
Meanwhile, Madrid also confirmed Isco’s exit after nine years at the club.
“Real Madrid would like to express its gratitude and affection to Isco, in which he has defended our badge and managed to become the legend of our club,” the club said in a statement.
– Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah wants to stay in the Premier League if he leaves Anfield as a free agent in the summer of 2023, reports The Athletic. There is one year left on the Egyptian’s contract, and as of yet his representatives and the club have been unable to reach an agreement on a renewal. He is committed to staying with Liverpool for the 2022-23 season, but will leave when his contract ends unless he receives a significantly improved offer.
– Real Madrid could be priced out of a move for Aurelien Tchouameni with Paris Saint-Germain willing to offer AS Monaco €100 million for the midfielder, according to Marca. Tchouameni wants to leave Ligue 1 and join Los Blancos but with PSG offering such a large fee, Monaco are unwilling to accept anything below that. Madrid are keen to sign the midfielder but feel such a large fee could impact the club’s stability.
– Newcastle United have reached an agreement with Stade de Reims to sign 19-year-old Hugo Ekitike for €36m with €10m in easily attainable bonuses, reports Foot Mercato. There are still small details to be agreed, but it is expected that the striker will soon be packing his bags to move to the Premier League after an impressive breakthrough campaign in Ligue 1.
– With Henrikh Mkhitaryan‘s contract expiring at the end of June, AS Roma are trying to keep the Armenian but face competition from Internazionale, according to Sky Sports Italia. Roma have offered him €3.5m-per-year with bonuses that could take his earnings up to a potential €4.1m, while Inter have offered a two-year contract worth €4.5m-per-year. They can also give the former Manchester United man the chance to play Champions League football.
– Amid Mkhitaryan’s contract saga, Roma are looking for players who can play in the wide attacking areas and have settled on Bodo/Glimt’s Ola Solbakken, Valencia‘s Goncalo Guedes and Colon‘s Facundo Farias, as reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport. While this doesn’t mean all three will be joining Jose Mourinho’s squad, it is expected that either one or two of them will.