The winter transfer window is closed, but now it’s time to look ahead to the summer! Here are the new rumours floating around Europe’s big leagues and beyond.
TOP STORY: Barcelona might do U-turn on Coutinho
Despite reports in England stating that Barcelona are willing to part with Philippe Coutinho should any cash-plus-player offers come forward, Spanish outlet Sport claims the Catalan club is still considering the option to include the Brazil international in their squad plans for next term.
Barcelona have made no secret of the fact that they have spoken with a number of interested Premier League clubs concerning the midfielder, with a €90 million price tag reportedly set as the asking price.
Manager Quique Setien is said to be exploring a number of options amid the coronavirus pandemic. But Sport’s report says it is unlikely Barcelona will manage to sell Coutinho for a figure equal to or greater than their asking price, meaning the 27-year-old’s future could yet remain at the Nou Camp.
The outlet also says Setien thinks that Coutinho adds a dynamic element to Barcelona’s game in midfield and can work as a creative player who fits in with the club’s playing style.
13.17 BST: Newcastle’s prospective new owners have made former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino their No. 1 target if they successfully takeover the club, Sky Sports have reported.
Paperwork is being finalised for the sale after an agreement was found last week between Mike Ashley and PCP Capital Partners, the Saudi-backed consortium.
Despite experience Premier League boss Steve Bruce still in charge at the club, the prospective new owners reportedly want a new high-profile manager in the hot seat for next season.
Sky Sports report that the new consortium would be willing to pay Pochettino £19 million a year to take charge of the club.
12.30 BST: Could Juventus cancel striker Gonzalo Higuain’s contract? ESPN FC’s Gab Marcotti weighs in.
11.42 BST: Tottenham Hotspur are open to selling midfielder Tanguy Ndombele this summer if an acceptable offer is tabled, according to French news outlet TF1.
The France international and his coach Jose Mourinho have a difficult relationship, which has led the 23-year-old to consider a move away from Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Spurs will reportedly not stand in Ndombele’s way if the right offer comes in and Juventus, as well as Barcelona, are listed as having asked after the former Lyon man.
PSG chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi is also a fan of the player, although sporting director Leonardo is said to prefer other options.
10.50 BST: DONE DEAL!
Watford have completed the signing of French midfielder Pape Gueye from Ligue 2 side Le Havre AC.
The 21-year-old’s contract at the French club is set to expire at the end of the season, so he has signed a 5-year deal with Watford and will join the Premier League club in July.
09.58 BST: Newcastle United could soon have one of the biggest transfer budgets in football if their proposed Saudi Arabian takeover is completed, but ESPN FC’s Frank Leboeuf is not sure that the world’s top players will immediately start arriving in Tyneside.
09.25 BST: Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic promised at the weekend to sign one international talent and one international star player in the upcoming transfer window. And, according to a fresh report in Sport Bild, the Bosnian still wants to sign Manchester City’s Leroy Sane.
The outlet reported that the sporting director and Bayern coach Hansi Flick disagreed on making a move for Sane in the past, but things have now changed following a 30-minute long phone conversation between the Manchester City star and Flick, who had previously been sceptical.
The Bayern coach, however, reportedly liked what he heard and could now imagine signing Sane as the club continues to plan its future.
08.42 BST: Valencia right-back Alessandro Florenzi says he does not know which club he will play for next season.
Florenzi, 29, joined Valencia in January on loan from Roma for the remainder of the season, with no purchase option included in the deal.
Tied to the Serie A club until June 2023, Florenzi was quoted as saying in Superdeporte: “It’s not clear if FIFA will allow loan contracts to be extended or not. In theory my contract with Valencia ends on June 30 and I don’t know what decision they will take or if they will extend it until the league is completed.”
After making 18 league appearances for Roma this season, the Italy international moved to Valencia in search of more playing time to boosts his chances of playing at Euro 2020.
Lorenzi, who has made three league appearances for Valencia, is expected to return to Roma this summer but only temporarily with the Giallorossi set to put him on the transfer list.
08.00 BST: Mesut Ozil‘s future at Arsenal looks increasingly uncertain with the club yet to offer an extension on his contract which expires in 2021, sources have told ESPN.
Ozil was informed he could leave the Gunners last summer as relations soured with former Arsenal boss Unai Emery but the midfielder enjoyed a renaissance under Mikel Arteta, starting all 10 Premier League games since the Spaniard took charge in December.
However, it is understood that revival has not led to a change in stance from the club’s hierarchy, who are yet to open talks over prolonging Ozil’s stay in north London– heightening the possibility he could either leave either at the end of this season or on a free transfer once his existing deal expires.
PAPER TALK (by Shaun Reynolds): Bayern confident in poaching teenage talent Hepburn away from Celtic
— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) April 29, 2020
The 16-year-old Celtic winger, who still has another year left to run on his youth registration with the Hoops, is believed to have rejected a professional contract with Neil Lennon’s side — much to their frustration.
German giants Bayern are now reportedly closing in on securing the teenager’s services, with the Bundesliga club confident an agreement can be reached this summer.
Dalbert and Biraghi are caught in the middle
Fiorentina will look to purchase Dalbert from Inter Milan this summer after being impressed by the left-back’s efforts while on loan this season, but permanent contract negotiations are likely to hit stumbling blocks, suggests Calciomercato.
That’s because Cristiano Biraghi, currently on loan at Inter Milan from Fiorentina, was effectively part of a loan swap when Dalbert joined La Viola temporarily last summer. The Italian outlet says Fiorentina and Inter were due to meet this month to discuss the future of both players, but that meeting had to be canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The report adds that Fiorentina’s wish to buy Dalbert outright from Inter Milan will be made easier should Inter chief Antonio Conte choose to add Biraghi to his squad. Both clubs are expected to reopen negotiations in the coming months, with all scenarios reportedly still open to negotiations.
— Southampton are open to selling out-of-favour Norway winger Mohamed Elyounoussi this summer, and are likely to demand at least £8m for his signature from interested clubs. Celtic are one club interested in the 25-year-old, with Real Sociedad also keen to lure Elyounoussi away from St Mary’s.
— AC Milan are hunting for a new goalkeeper after confirming Pepe Reina is unlikely to be part of the club’s plans next season. A report by Calciomercato says Reina’s €3m-per-year contract at the San Siro is taking too much out of Inter boss Conte’s wage budget.