LIVE Transfer Talk – Real Madrid eye AC Milan’s Rafael Leao after Kylian Mbappe snub
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 eye Leao after Mbappe snub
After seeing Kylian Mbappe pledge his future to Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid are now looking at AC Milan‘s Rafael Leao as a new scoring option.
Gazzetta dello Sport have suggested that the Portugal international, fresh from winning the Scudetto, has already received an offer from the LaLiga champions.
Real Madrid are ready to spend €120 million to sign the 22-year-old, who recorded 14 goals and 12 assists in 42 matches across all competitions this season for the Rossoneri.
That sum could still prove not to be enough, as the attacker’s release clause is reported to be €150m. And , not only do Milan want to keep Leao, they also want to offer him a new contract that will run until 2026 — his current deal culminates in 2024.
Having won their first league title since 2010-11, Milan will not want to see their team broken up, especially with midfielder Franck Kessie set to leave for Barcelona on a free transfer in the summer. Therefore, the San Siro side are ready to make a large financial effort to ensure they keep Sandro Tonali, Fikayo Tomori and Pierre Kalulu, as well as Leao.
Madrid, who will face Liverpool in the Champions League final on Saturday, have also been linked with a move for AS Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni. Sources have told ESPN that Madrid will offer a five-year deal with a transfer fee of around €80m.
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15.22 BST: Manchester United CEO Richard Arnold has called on fans to have patience with new manager Erik ten Hag, insisting that “success will not be achieved overnight.”
Ten Hag officially took over on Monday after a season which saw United finish sixth in the Premier League and drop out of the Champions League.
Arnold has admitted results on the pitch fell well below the expectation level at Old Trafford but ahead of Ten Hag’s first summer in charge, he says the Dutchman will need time to turn things around.
“Suffice to say we are not happy with where we are in terms of performance on the pitch,” Arnold said. “We understand fans are frustrated and want to see change and improvement and I can assure you that we share that frustration very intensely within the club.
“We also feel confidence that change is coming because of the action being taken to drive long-term success. The appointment of Erik ten Hag was the most visible example of that action and the most important. Success won’t be achieved overnight but we are determined to get there.”
14.44 BST: Martin Braithwaite has ruled out a move away from Barcelona this summer in search of more playing time.
Braithwaite, 30, has a contract with Barca until June 2024 and is determined to stay put, despite the Catalan club looking to find the striker another club and him only making four official appearances, all in LaLiga this season.
Currently on international duty with Denmark, Braithwaite said: “To leave Barca? It’s not something that I’m thinking about. I still have two years left at Barcelona. In football you never know what can happen but I’m calm in that respect. I will work hard in preseason and see what happens.”
Meanwhile, Miralem Pjanic says he is still hopeful of succeeding at Barcelona.
Pjanic, 32, has a contract with Barca until June 2024 and is a reported target of Italian side Napoli. But the Bosnia and Herzegovina midfielder will return to Camp Nou next month once his one-season loan spell at Besiktas is completed and try and impress new boss Xavi.
“Barcelona means a lot to me,” Pjanic told La Repubblica. “It was a dream (to play for Barca) that I had as a boy. I’m very proud of my career: Metz, Lyon, Roma and Juve. I spent nine years in Italy, the most important ones of my career. I love Italian football and I follow it. For the time being, I see myself staying at Barcelona two more years and completing my contract there. We will see.”
Pjanic joined Barca from Juventus in the summer of 2020 in a €60m transfer that saw Arthur move the other was for €72m, but hardly featured in his first season at the club. He started only 13 times in the 2020-21 campaign before his loan move to Turkey, where he has played 26 official games.
14.00 BST: Will Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s career be over after his eight-month injury absence?
Stewart Robson and Alexis Nunes debate Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s future after the veteran striker was ruled out for up to eight months with injury.
13.21 BST: Arsenal are closing on a move for Atletico Madrid striker Alvaro Morata, says Sport.
Morata, 29, has been on loan at Juventus for the past year with the Italian club having an option to sign him permanently for €35m this summer. He has scored 12 goals in 48 games this season.
With his contract expiring in 2023, the Spain international could move on for around €30m and the former Chelsea striker may be keen to try and boost his reputation back in the Premier League.
13.03 BST: Bayer Leverkusen striker Patrik Schick has extended his contract at the club until 2027.
🚨✍️ 2027 ✍️🚨 pic.twitter.com/GxIX3O0PbJ
— Bayer 04 Leverkusen (@bayer04_en) May 26, 2022
12.55 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.
12.26 BST: Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah will stay at the club beyond this summer and is the verge of signing a new contract, says The Athletic.
Nketiah, 22, is out of contract next month and looked set to leave on a free transfer. But the England U21 international has had a run in the first-team lately and has five goals in his last seven Premier League appearances.
Alexandre Lacazette will depart the club when his contract expires, while the Gunners are targeting another central striker in the transfer window.
12.14 BST: On loan Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Francisco Trincao is pushing for Barcelona to let him return to his homeland with Sporting CP this summer, according to various reports.
Diario Sport and Record, among others, say the Portugal international wants to move to Sporting on an initial loan, although Barca would rather a permanent transfer.
Wolves have an option to make Trincao’s stay in the Midlands permanent at the end of the season for €30m, although they appear unlikely to take it up. Though Sport suggests they will have to pay a €6m penalty fee if they don’t.
Trincao, 22, joined Barca from Braga for around €25m in 2020. He made 42 appearances in his first season at Camp Nou before joining Wolves, where he’s played 30 times this year, scoring three goals.
12.00 BST: The exodus at Manchester City is continuing as they announced on Thursday that defender Lucy Bronze will leave the club at the end of her contract this summer.
Georgia Stanway, Caroline Weir and Karima Benameur Taieb have also said that they will leave the club this summer.
It has been reported by the Telegraph that Bronze has been looking at a move to the National Women’s Soccer League in the United States.
Bronze, 30, joined City for the first time in 2014 for a three-year stint during which she won the Women’s Super League title, the Conti Cup and the FA Cup.
11.30 BST: Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni is closing on an €80m move to Real Madrid.
Julien Laurens reports on Real Madrid closing in on the signing of Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni.
10.43 BST: Barcelona will only listen to offers for Frenkie de Jong if the midfielder’s departure opens the door to signing either Robert Lewandowski or Bernardo Silva, according to Mundo Deportivo.
ESPN has reported that both Manchester City and Manchester United have shown an interest in De Jong. Barca coach Xavi has said he wants the Netherlands international to stay but conceded the club’s financial situation could dictate how they approach things this summer.
President Joan Laporta, meanwhile, has claimed “painful sales” will not be necessary if a number of financial operations he’s working off fall into place before June 30. However, even so, Mundo Deportivo suggest Barca will be prepared let De Jong leave if it’s essential to the signings of Bayern Munich striker Lewandowski or Man City midfielder Silva.
Lewandowski has already revealed his desire to leave Germany this summer, with Xavi confirming he is an “option” for Barcelona. ends
Meanwhile, Barcelona striker Ferran Jutgla has told Diario Sport the club want to move him on at the end of the season, with various reports suggesting he is close to signing for Belgian side Club Brugge.
Jutlga, 23, has scored 19 goals for the B team this campaign and impressed when called up for first team duty by Xavi Hernandez earlier in the season. He netted two goals, one in the Copa del Rey and one in LaLiga.
However, the January signings of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ferran Torres, saw him drop down to the B team and he has not featured since. Barca are now ready to cash in on his good form and hope to raise around €5m for a player they signed on a free transfer from rivals Espanyol last summer.
Jutgla, who scored for Catalonia in their 6-0 friendly win over Jamaica on Wednesday, has also drawn interest from several top flight teams in Spain, including Villarreal, but Brugge’s participation in the Champions League is thought to have swung the deal.
10.21 BST: Brazilian forward Vinicius Junior says he is close to renewing his contract with Real Madrid.
Vinicius, 21, has been pivotal for Madrid this season, scoring 21 goals and setting up 15 more in 52 games in all competitions. The Brazil international has a contract with Los Blancos until June 2024 but is expected to sign an improved deal.
“They’ve asked about many times but I’m happy here and close to renewing my contract,” Vinicius said. “I’m very happy. I’m in the best club in the world and I don’t want to leave. I want to be here a long time, just like players like Marcelo, Karim (Benzema), Luka (Modric). Those players have made a beautiful history here and I want to continue like them.”
09.56 BST: Weeks ahead of his move to Manchester City, forward Julian Alvarez scored six goals for River Plate in a 8-1 Copa Libertadores thrashing of Alianza Lima on Wednesday night.
Alvarez, 22, netted three before the half and three after in River’s final Group F match of South America’s continental club competition to tie Juan Carlos Sanchez’s record for goals in a Libertadores game set in in 1985 while playing for Bolivian side Blooming.
The Premier League champions signed Alvarez to a five-and-a-half year deal from River in January for a fee of €17m, but remained on loan with the Argentine club ahead of joining City this summer. He is expected to take part in the U.S. preseason tour for Pep Guardiola’s side in July along with fellow new signing Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund.
09.11 BST: Jesse Lingard is in talks with West Ham over a free transfer to the London Stadium, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.
Lingard is set to leave Manchester United when his contract expires at the end of June. Sources have told ESPN that West Ham made contact with the 29-year-old’s representatives following the conclusion of the Premier League season on Sunday and negotiations are now under way.
There is confidence on all sides that a deal can be agreed although there remains interest from other Premier League clubs and Italian giants AC Milan and Juventus. Sources have told ESPN that Newcastle, who were keen to land Lingard on loan in January, have distanced themselves from a move this summer and are instead focusing on other targets.
Lingard is one of David Moyes’ top targets at West Ham this summer after an impressive loan spell at the London Stadium during the second half of the 2020-21 season, scoring nine goals in 16 games to help West Ham to a sixth-place finish in the Premier League. His form also earned a recall to the England squad and he was named in Gareth Southgate’s provisional group for Euro 2020.
Lingard has missed out on a place in the latest squad after a frustrating season at Man United but sources have told ESPN he is hopeful that a run of regular first-team football at the start of next season will be enough to force his way back in ahead of the 2022 World Cup, which starts in Qatar in November. Lingard played a key role for Southgate during England’s run to the World Cup semifinals in 2018.
08.34 BST: Central Coast Mariners prospect Garang Kuol earned lavish praise from Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez after coming off the bench for the A-Leagues All Stars in their spirited 3-2 loss against the Catalan giants.
After lighting up Accor Stadium in front of 70,000 fans in an All Stars side coached by Dwight Yorke, 17-year-old Kuol returns to the normality of school on Monday morning.
He has scored four goals across nine substitute appearances for the Mariners and while he didn’t get on the scoresheet, he looked at home against a Barcelona side that contained the likes of Sergio Busquets and Dani Alves.
“[A-League All-Stars coach] Dwight Yorke told me he was 16 or 17… it was a big surprise,” Xavi said. “He was very fast and we conceded two or three chances because of him. He’s a great player and he has a great future, he is a talent that is obvious.”
Kuol is following the trail blazed by older brother Alou, who left the Mariners last year to join Bundesliga side Stuttgart.
“That’s just an honour, isn’t it? To have a player like Xavi talking about me,” Kuol said. “I was watching him back then when he was dominating with [Andres] Iniesta. I swapped shirts with [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang and, yeah, life goes on.”
08.00 BST: Mohamed Salah has confirmed he will not leave Liverpool this summer, giving the club a major boost ahead of Saturday’s Champions League final against Real Madrid.
The 29-year-old is out of contract at Anfield at the end of next season and has yet to commit to a new deal with Jurgen Klopp’s team. Uncertainty over the Egypt international’s future had led to speculation that Salah could leave Liverpool in order to avoid his departure as a free agent a year later.
Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain have both been linked with the former Chelsea and AS Roma forward due to his failure to agree new terms at Liverpool. But although he stopped short of saying he would sign a new deal at Anfield, Salah has now said that he will see out the final year of his contract.
“I am just focused on the team and don’t want to talk about my contract,” Salah said at Liverpool’s pre-Champions League media conference. “But I am staying next season for sure, that’s for sure.
“In my mind, I don’t focus about the contract at the moment. I don’t want to be selfish. I said two months ago, it’s all about the team now. It’s a really important week for us, so I am just focused on the team. I want to win the Champions League again.”
Gab and Juls discuss reports linking Ousmane Dembele with a move to Bayern Munich.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)
– Newcastle United are hoping to sign Atletico Madrid pair Renan Lodi and Yannick Carrasco, according to Marca. Having previously signed Kieran Trippier from the Spanish giants in January, the Magpies would need to spend around €40m to sign left-back Lodi and €60m for winger Carrasco. Juventus are also interested in Lodi, but Newcastle have greater financial strength.
– The ongoing saga between Barcelona and Ousmane Dembele continues, but Diario Sport have suggested there is a chance the Frenchman could stay at Camp Nou. With the winger’s contract ending this summer, it is suggested that small agreements have been made in negotiations but that there hasn’t been any movement from either side in the more major factors.
– Brenden Aaronson has landed in England to complete a medical and sign a contract for his move from FC Salzburg to Leeds United, according to MLSsoccer.com. A source with knowledge of the negotiations had told ESPN the deal for the United States midfielder’s transfer would be worth $29.5m, with the former side Philadelphia Union receiving $5.3m.
– Foot Mercato have suggested that Marseille and Lyon are among the clubs that have made attempts to sign Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah, who will be a free agent this summer if he does not renew. However, the Daily Mail reports that Nketiah will remain with the Gunners. Nketiah scored 10 goals across all competitions for Arsenal, who will be playing in the Europa League next season.
– MLSsoccer.com have reported that Venezia and USMNT midfielder Gianluca Busio has a relegation clause in his contract that will allow him to leave. This has come into play after Venezia finished bottom of Serie A, with other clubs from the Italian top tier, the Bundesliga, LaLiga and elsewhere showing interest. It is expected that Busio will take up the option to temporarily leave but nothing is certain yet.