The transfer window is open, and Transfer Talk has the latest rumours making the rounds. Follow live with our daily blog throughout the summer.
TOP STORY: Barca players want Thiago return
After five years apart, many of Barcelona’s senior players feel the time is right to be reunited with Thiago Alcantara, according to Catalan outlet Sport.
With Andres Iniesta having left the club, and the Blaugrana believing that Philippe Coutinho could be more dangerous as a forward than a midfielder, Thiago becomes an intriguing proposition for the Spanish champions.
The 27-year-old doesn’t stand to feature in incoming Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac’s plans, and the German champions reportedly will entertain offers this summer. The report states that they’ll expect to receive €80 million for the midfielder Pep Guardiola recruited when he moved to Bavaria in 2013, though that fee could well be negotiated down to €50 million.
Having spent more than eight years with Barcelona, Thiago remains close with several of the club’s biggest stars, including Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto. And it’s said that several of the Blaugrana‘s key figures have spoken to club president Josep Maria Bartomeu about bringing Thiago back.
11.00 BST: Paris Saint-Germain playmaker Javier Pastore is unaware of reported talks between the French champions and Premier League club West Ham United, a source close to the Argentina international told ESPN FC.
Pastore, 28, is at a crossroads in his PSG career after a disappointing seventh season at Parc des Princes, which garnered four goals and six assists from 25 Ligue 1 appearances. A loan move to Inter Milan collapsed in January, which contributed towards him failing to make his country’s World Cup squad for this summer’s event in Russia.
The source said Interest from West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini is news to the former Palermo man, who has not heard anything yet. But while Pastore is not yet in talks with the Hammers, nor any other Premier League clubs, that could change this summer.
10.30 BST: Nothing gets the transfer rumour mill grinding like a kit launch, and Riyad Mahrez‘s presence at the photoshoot for Leicester City’s 2018-19 outfit has got Foxes fans hoping the Algerian will remain at the club.
The BBC reported on Thursday that Manchester City are close to paying out about £60 million for Mahrez and £42m for Napoli’s Jorginho, with both deals possibly completed as soon as the end of next week.
But this footage of Mahrez happily juggling away in the blue of Leicester might suggest differently…
— Leicester City (@LCFC) June 1, 2018
10.00 BST: Egypt’s World Cup squad all about Mohamed Salah, you know. Another player looking to bounce back from late-season disappointment is winger Ramadan Sobhi, who was relegated from the Premier League with Stoke City. Sources have told ESPN FC that Huddersfield are in talks to bring him back to the top flight.
09.30 BST: A recap on a couple of Manchester United stories that ESPN FC brought you yesterday:
United are interested in signing Gareth Bale this summer but have been given no indication Real Madrid are willing to sell, sources have told ESPN FC. Sources close to United have insisted the club are always in the market to buy the best players in the world — of which they consider Bale to be one. But they are keen to avoid a protracted transfer saga and will only seriously consider a move if they are given encouragement by Real Madrid or Bale’s representatives.
United are in talks with Juventus over the sale of Matteo Darmian but the clubs are yet to agree a fee, sources have told ESPN FC. The Italian champions are keen to bring Darmian back to Serie A three years after he left Torino for Old Trafford. Jose Mourinho has said he wants to keep the 28-year-old in his squad. But after Darmian made just five Premier League starts last season, sources said the player is open to a move. United would like to recoup as much of the £12.7 million they paid Torino in 2015, and sources said Juventus have not yet met their valuation.
09.00 BST: If Tottenham fans didn’t have enough to worry about with manager Mauricio Pochettino not exactly shutting down links with the Real Madrid job, it appears Christian Eriksen‘s agent is also talking up the possibility of a move elsewhere.
The playmaker has long been linked with Barcelona, but agent Martin Schoots says that there are others looking at the Denmark international.
“The only thing I can say is that concerning the interest of several clubs in Christian is that we prefer not to comment,” Schoots said in the Evening Standard. “Christian wants to focus completely on the World Cup – just as he did before on qualifying for the Champions League with Spurs.
“But becoming a father for the first time very soon, there is even something bigger at the moment he is giving his attention to.”
PAPER TALK: Villa set £40m asking price for Grealish
With Aston Villa set for another season in the Championship following their promotion playoff final defeat to Fulham, owner Tony Xia has sanctioned the sale of 22-year-old Jack Grealish, the Star reports. But he won’t come cheap.
The report states that the England U21 international will cost interested clubs £40m. While that number may put some off, some of the Premier League’s more affluent clubs could be willing to do business at that price, especially if the Villans can be persuaded to come down from that number, if only slightly.
The Star reports that Tottenham and West Ham are interested in bringing Grealish to London. And in recent days, Manchester United have also been credited with a desire to sign Villa’s No. 10.
Terry to join Lampard at Derby
Just a day after Frank Lampard was introduced as the new Derby County manager, the Star is reporting that former Chelsea teammate John Terry will leave Aston Villa for Championship rivals Rams.
The report states that the 37-year-old former Chelsea and England captain has already agreed to a deal to play for his former vice-captain with the Blues. And it’s expected he’ll take a wage cut to move to Pride Park.
Derby are looking to trim their wage bill this summer, and with the club’s highest earners making roughly half of the £60,000 a week Terry pulled down at Villa Park, he’s sure to earn less in his second season in England’s second division.
– Manchester United look to have wrapped up a deal for Fred, according to the Mail, who reports that the Red Devils have reached an agreement of £52.2m including add-ons, and that the Brazilian will undergo a medical next week.
– Sky Italia journalist Mario Giunta has tweeted that Juventus have wrapped up their deal to sign Emre Can on a free transfer, and that the former Liverpool midfielder will undergo a medical next week.
– Sporting are actively looking to sell midfielder William Carvalho, preferably to a Premier League club, and Sky Sports reports that Everton are interested in the 26-year-old Portugal international.
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