The January transfer window might seem like a distant memory, but that doesn’t mean the rumour mill has shut down! Speculation over summer moves is heating up, so check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.
TOP STORY: Could Lukaku be coming back to Chelsea?
Chelsea are keen to sign a new centre-forward this summer, with Erling Haaland their top target. But, according to The Sun, there is a growing acceptance that a deal for the Borussia Dortmund striker will be too difficult with so many of Europe’s top clubs competing for his signature.
That has led them to focus more effort on re-signing Lukaku, who first joined them as a teenager in 2011 but spent two of his three seasons at the club out on loan.
Now 27 years old, Lukaku is thriving at Inter, and Chelsea are reportedly prepared to go after his signing this summer in a £90m deal.
Meanwhile, Chelsea are considering allowing Tammy Abraham to leave Stamford Bridge for £40m, according to the Telegraph. The Blues are willing to listen to bids for the 23-year-old striker’s services, who appears to have been frozen out by boss Thomas Tuchel. Abraham has played just three minutes of football under Tuchel since mid-February.
Abraham has come through the club’s academy and even though he’s their top scorer in all competitions this season, his departure would bolster the transfer kitty for the summer window. The England striker himself would be loathe to leave the club for which he has spent so much time, but he must surely be considering his options given his lack of game time under Tuchel.
09.00 BST: U.S. coach Jesse Marsch has been appointed the new RB Leipzig manager after he leaves defending Austrian champions FC Salzburg.
Marsch, 47, will replace Julian Nagelsmann who will join Bundesliga defending champions Bayern Munich next season after signing a five-year-contract.
Marsch previously worked as an assistant at Leipzig for the 2018-19 campaign but left to manage Salzburg.
During his first season in charge of Salzburg, Marsch led them to a league and cup double. They are six points clear in the Austrian Bundesliga championship round.
With Marsch’s arrival, five of the Bundesliga top seven clubs — Bayern, Leipzig, Wolfsburg, Frankfurt, Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach — will have a new man in the dugout for the 2021-22 season.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Nick Judd)
– Everton have joined the race to sign Juventus‘ 23-year-old defender Merih Demiral, according to Calciomercato. Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo is looking to freshen up his back line and Demiral could be one of the first players to leave the club in the summer. The Turkish defender is also keen on Everton, who are said to be willing to spend £22m-£27m to land his signature.
– Real Madrid are looking for defensive reinforcements and they’re considering Sevilla FC centre-back Jules Kounde, according to AS. With Sergio Ramos‘ contract situation yet to be resolved and Raphael Varane‘s future unclear, Madrid have placed Kounde at the top of their summer wish list. Kounde’s consistency and level of performance sees him climb ahead of Villarreal‘s Pau Torres in Madrid’s thinking. Kounde, 22, has a €90m release clause, but Madrid are more likely to offer €50-60m and send a player in the opposite direction.
– Agent Jorge Mendes has made contact with Tottenham Hotspur over a potential switch for Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Nuno Espirito Santo to take over following Jose Mourinho’s sacking, according to the Sun. Mendes is also looking to bring in ex-Benfica boss Bruno Lage as Nuno’s replacement. Nuno’s existing contract runs until 2023 but there is a sense that he wants to move on and test himself on the European stage on a regular basis. Nuno is also said to be open to a return to La Liga, where he managed Valencia. Meanwhile, Fabrizio Romano believes Spurs are setting up a meeting with Ajax Amsterdam coach Erik Ten Hag.
– Newcastle United, Norwich City and Rangers are all said to be chasing Vitesse defender Danilho Doekhi, according to the Telegraph. The 22-year-old centre-back has impressed for the Dutch side in the Eredivisie, playing 18 games in his third season for the club. Doekhi is entering the final year of his contract and is said to be targeting a new challenge abroad.
– Ajax had already been monitoring Toby Alderweireld‘s progress, but now they’re targeting Spurs teammate Davinson Sanchez too, according to Vietbal24. Tottenham are looking to strengthen their own backline this summer, which could mean exits for both 32-year-old Alderweireld and 24-year-old Sanchez. Both players have already played for Ajax, but Sanchez could be the trickier of the two to sign; his contract runs until 2024, and he is keen to force his way back into the London side’s plans.