The winter transfer window is closed, but now it’s time to look ahead to the summer! Here are the new rumours floating around following the Jan. 31 deadline day.
TOP STORY: Man City eye Gnabry as Bayern swoop for Sane
Manchester City are ready to let Leroy Sane join Bayern Munich for around £100m this summer, but they want a player in return.
Gnabry would be a perfect replacement for Sane in a player-plus-cash deal, but the one sticking point could be the outcome of City’s appeal against their two-year suspension from the Champions League. If they fail, Gnabry may not want to move and they’ll have to turn to other targets.
Leon Bailey (remember him?) is one winger who could be keen. Having dropped off the radar somewhat in recent years, the Jamaica international may be available for around £25m from Bayer Leverkusen this summer as the club look to move him on.
21.06 GMT: It’s been a whole 19 days since Borussia Dortmund signed Emre Can on loan from Juventus with an obligation to buy, but the Black and Yellow have already triggered their purchase option, keeping the 26-year-old midfielder at the Westfalenstadion until 2024.
Emre 2024 pic.twitter.com/mAr9QBcBm5
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) February 18, 2020
19.39 GMT: Goal writes that Chelsea – along with Barcelona, Manchester United and Real Madrid — are monitoring 16-year-old Birmingham City midfielder Jude Bellingham, who’s reportedly valued at £50m. However, any move for the England U17 international could complicate the West London club’s attempts to sign Faustino Anjorin — said to be one of the Chelsea academy’s most promising prospects — to a senior contract, with the 18-year-old midfielder possessing a similar profile to Bellingham.
18.12 GMT: Having not played for Stoke in nearly three years, the Potters’ record signing Giannelli Imbula is on the verge of a transfer to Lokomotiv Moscow, according to the Mail.
16.45 GMT: He may not be a known European player, but Inter Miami’s signing of Mexico midfielder Rodolfo Pizarro from Monterrey could be just as important for MLS as Chicharito’s arrival at LA Galaxy, writes Tom Marshall.
16.00 GMT: Paul Pogba expects to leave Manchester United this summer but the club are determined that he will not be sold in a cut-price deal, sources have told ESPN.
Pogba was keen to leave Old Trafford last summer but was convinced to stay for at least another season by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The France international believes he will be allowed to move at the end of the campaign with Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, or former club Juventus, his preferred destinations.
However, United insist privately they will not be put on the back foot during any negotiations and are prepared to stick to their valuation of more than £150m.
Pogba has 18 months left on the contract he signed when he joined from Juventus for a then world record fee of £89.3m in 2016 and United also hold an option to extend it until June 2022.
15.58 GMT: West Ham spent around £22m on Jarrod Bowen in January but manager David Moyes has explained why the striker hasn’t played yet.
Bowen, 23, scored 16 goals in 29 Championship appearances for Hull this season but has yet to make his Hammers debut.
“I have been pleased with what I have seen from Jarrod at the moment,” Moyes told a news conference. “He’s come in and settled in very quickly, he’s looked very sharp in training. He’s obviously had loads of games [for Hull], it’s not as if he’s short of match practice or match fitness in any way so I have been pleased.
“But I am also wary of putting the boys in too quickly. I have had lots of boys from the Championship in the past and I think it’s important that you put them in at the right time, the right moments, at the right time and we will just take our time and see when it’s right for Jarrod.”
15.02 GMT: Quite sensibly, Borussia Dortmund are starting the process of finding a replacement for winger Jadon Sancho.
Sancho, 19, looks set to move on for around £120m this summer to one of Europe’s top clubs. But Dortmund are looking for the next diamond in the rough and have cast eyes on Werder Bremen winger Milot Rashica, according to Deichstube.
Rashica, 23, is under contract with Werder until 2022 and reportedly has a release clause for clubs outside Germany of €38m. Though that won’t help Dortmund land him of course.
14.30 GMT: Real Madrid beat Barcelona and Manchester City to the €30m signing of teen sensation Reinier Jesus from Flamengo in January and today the 18-year-old was presented at the Bernabeu.
“Today is a very happy day for me, the day I fulfil a childhood dream,” he said. “I want to be a part of the history of this great club…
“It was an incredible moment to get this news, my father called me on the phone, I was in an important tournament, the Club World Cup, I didn’t know what to do, I started to cry, Real Madrid showing interest, in Brazil Real Madrid are something enormous. Its always been my team.”
Reinier very emotional, in tears towards the end of his press conference as he talks about his family… pic.twitter.com/v8DMlEVytK
— Alex Kirkland (@alexkirkland) February 18, 2020
Reinier will play for the Castilla side before eventually graduating to the senior team and on comparisons to Brazil legend Kaka, he said: “Kaka is a hero for me, I always watched him play. I have characteristics of getting into the box, finishing, playing one-twos, touching the ball a lot. I’m grateful to Kaka, I shared some moments with him when he told me a few things to improve.”
Real chairman Florentino Perez added: “One of our main strategies is the search for talent wherever it is. That’s why we keep bringing in young players with extraordinary quality and undeniable potential for the future. Players who can be the big stars of tomorrow.”
“Reinier, now you’re a Real Madrid player, the team you always used to choose in video games… They tell me your father showed you videos of Zidane hoping that one day you would be playing at Real Madrid, and without doubt that helped you make your dream come true.”
14.16 GMT: It’s hard to imagine Giorgio Chiellini not playing at Juventus, so it’s a good thing that he’s set to pen a new contract.
Chiellini, 35, has been in Turin since 2005 and, despite his recent long-term injury, Goal claims that a new deal for a further 12 months is just a formality.
13.28 GMT: Tottenham will be back in the transfer market in the summer, probably to buy a backup striker given the recent injuries to Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane, but there’s a report that says they also want Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips.
Manchester United have been linked with Phillips before and now Football Insider claims that Spurs are ready to bid £20m for the 24-year-old.
12.51 GMT: Inter forward Lautaro Martinez has been on these pages a lot recently, with Barcelona and Real Madrid vying for his signature.
Both teenagers have impressed after being thrust into action this season and that has not gone unnoticed by the Premier League champions elect.
11.50 GMT: Tottenham may wish they had signed another forward in January as Son Heung-Min is set to have surgery after suffering a fractured arm, the club have announced.
The news will come as a huge blow to the club, who are already without striker Harry Kane until April due a hamstring injury.
11.47 GMT: The war between Paul Pogba‘s agent Mino Raiola and Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer doesn’t appear to be stopping any time soon.
Raiola appeared on TalkSPORT on Tuesday to defend his right to talk about his player after Solskjaer said on Friday that Pogba “is our player, not Mino’s.”
“I thought what Solskjaer said was out of line,” Raiola said. “I’ve been asked something about if he would like Italy and I am only just answering as Mino Raiola. Am I not allowed to do that?”
The interview was the second time in as many days that Raiola has called the United manager out. On Monday, less than 20 minutes before United’s game against Chelsea kicked off, the agent posted a series of tweets lambasting Solskjaer for his earlier comments.
And on Tuesday, Raiola responded to accusations that he was creating divisions in the club with his comments about Pogba.
“I have not created any culture of division. I don’t need to explain myself here. The only person I need to explain myself to is my players,” he added. “I have no problem with Manchester United. There is no division between me and Manchester United. Ole already snapped out at me two times on other occasions but that’s all up to him.”
11.30 GMT: Rapid Vienna midfielder Melih Ibrahimoglu has attracted interest from Roma and Chelsea, says Calciomercato.
Ibrahimoglu, 19, has a contract which expires in 2021 and the Austrian could be available for as little as €3.5m.
10.34 GMT: Brazilian side Botafogo are closing on the signing of former Barcelona and Man City midfielder Yaya Toure, having recently landed Japan legend Keisuke Honda.
Botafogo president Nelson Mufarrej told Globoesporte about signing Toure, after the Ivorian ended his contract with Chinese side Qingdao Huanghai: “We are looking at this calmly, we are thinking, there is a lot of financial engineering to be done.
“We do not spend it, it is all loaned. There is not an effective investment to buy the player. It will be wages that we can pay. There is no big pay, but there is effective distribution of what he can bring through sponsorship. It is a way to dilute the salary. That is creativity. We were creative and we created that way. It worked with Honda and it could work with another player.”
10.09 GMT: Nicholas Pepe cost Arsenal a cool £72m, but he’s starting to show his skills now.
09.38 GMT: Luis Figo wins the ‘stating the obvious award’ for today as he says Real Madrid should sign Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe.
Mbappe, 21, has scored 23 goals in 27 games across all competitions this season and is valued at around €250m. But there have been suggestions that the France World Cup winner is ready to move on this summer.
“Age doesn’t mean anything when you have all these qualities,” Figo told RMC Sport at the Laureus Sports Awards in Berlin. “The important thing is that he continues to be passionate about this sport, that he continues to improve, to want to be better every day. That is the way he will achieve everything he wants.
“Mbappe is a young player, one of the best in the world, one of the most expensive too. He is in a team that has no financial problems, I do not know if it will be possible to sign him. But he would be a great signing for Real Madrid.”
09.03 GMT: Paul Pogba‘s brother, Mathias, is a bit of a regular on Spanish TV given he plays for CD Manchego in the Tercera Division. But of course people only want to ask him about Paul.
“Everyone knows that Paul wants to leave Manchester United, he wants to play Champions League football and win titles,” Mathias told El Chiringuito TV. “We all know that won’t happen at United. We will see what happens this summer.”
Barca have selected the Denmark international to replace injured Ousmane Dembele after La Liga gave the Catalan club authorisation to make an emergency signing. They will pay Braithwaite’s €20m release clause and the 28-year-old will put pen to paper on a contract until June 2023.
Braithwaite joined Leganes on loan in January 2019 from Middlesbrough before the La Liga outfit acquired his sporting rights in the summer. The former Toulouse forward has scored six goals and set up one more in 24 league appearances for Leganes this season.
08.00 GMT: Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare has been tracked by Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea but his manager Christophe Galtier told L’Equipe: “There is a situation at the club that I do not comment on. In seasons, there can be tension between a player and his club. We’ll settle this internally and find a solution.
Soumare, 20, turned down the chance to join Newcastle in January, with Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and AC Milan also interested. But he was left out of Lille’s game against Marseille on Sunday, suggesting a move is not long in coming.
PAPER TALK (by Rich Edwards)
Smalling may spurn Roma for Spurs, Everton
Manchester United’s Chris Smalling, currently on loan at Roma, may be set for a return to the Premier League — but not to Old Trafford.
According to Corriere dello Sport, the English defender may head to Everton or Tottenham should his Serie A stint conclude in the summer.
Roma’s chances of qualifying for Champions League are growing slimmer each matchday, which has now prompted Smalling — who has apparently grown smitten with the Eternal City — to look at options back home.
Smalling has been a solid contributor to the Giallorossi and is reportedly even willing to take a slight wage cut, but Roma will be hard pressed to keep him for the reported transfer fee of €20 million if they can’t count on top-flight European revenues.
Such as it is, Smalling’s agent has now been in touch with the folks at North London and Goodison Park, who could see that pricetag as a reasonable one for a veteran defender.
Chelsea’s Pasalic set to join Atalanta
He has hardly been a regular sight at Stamford Bridge but now it looks like Chelsea fans will never get the chance to see Mario Pasalic in competitive action. The Guardian reports that the Croatian will be off in the summer, with Atalanta set to snap him up for £12.5m.
Pasalic moved to Chelsea in 2014 from Hadjuk Split but has been a ghost in West London ever since, spending time on loan at Elche, Monaco, Milan and Spartak Moscow. He joined Atalanta on loan initially in 2018, with the Guardian now reporting that that move is now set to become a permanent switch.
Big clubs circle for Milinkovic-Savic
The 24-year-old Serbian has a contract that runs until 2024, but that hasn’t put off those clubs prepared to spend big on a player who has been a standout performer for Lazio this season.
– Thomas Partey has revealed that his agent is in talks with Atletico Madrid over a contract renewal — with the Spanish club keen ward off potential suitors. His deal comes to an end in June 2023 but Partey has confirmed that his agent is already in talks after recent transfer speculation, though Marca reports that the player only has eyes for Atletico.
– Inter are looking to invest in youth — with Pescara full-back Gabriele Zappa the latest to attract the attention of the Italian giants. Zappa has been in flying form this season and Inter CEO Beppe Marotta, along with sporting director Piero Ausilio, having had their head turned by the Pescara youngster. If that deal comes to fruition, then it would be quite some homecoming, with Inter having sold him to Pescara last year. Calciomercato reports that they inserted a €4m buy back clause in his contract — which might prove to be a wise piece of business if he makes the return trip. The 20-year-old has made 12 appearances in all competitions for his new club this season.