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: Man United to battle Real Madrid for Van de Beek
It seemed certain that Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek would be heading to Real Madrid in the summer for around €55m, but the Spanish giants could have some competition for his signature.
Sources told ESPN in January that Manchester United were interested in the Dutchman, but a move never materialised and reports emerged that Real Madrid had agreed a deal for next summer.
Now Marca reports that United are going to come back in for the 22-year-old, with the understanding that “it will be difficult to sign the Dutch international due to this pre-agreement with Real Madrid, but they will try nonetheless.”
22.40 GMT: Catalan outlet Sport reports that Barcelona intend to fund the refreshing of their squad by raising €130m through sales this summer, and central to meeting that goal will be sanctioning the departure of centre-back Samuel Umtiti. The report suggests that Manchester United may be the club most interested in the 26-year-old France international.
21.23 GMT: Highly touted U.S. youth international Richie Ledezma contract at Dutch powerhouse PSV was set to expire this summer, but the 19-year-old midfielder has signed a new deal that will see him remain in Eindhoven for another two seasons.
??? ???? ???????! ✍️@richydezma -> ②⓪②②
— PSV International (@psveindhoven) March 16, 2020
20.06 GMT: It is “very unlikely” that Paris Saint-Germain right-back Thomas Meunier will remain in the French capital after his contract expires this summer, according to Le10 Sport, and that Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Everton are three clubs said to have interest in the 28-year-old Belgium international.
18.49 GMT: The Mirror reports that North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham are both weighing up moves for 30-year-old Liverpool centre-back Dejan Lovren.
17.32 GMT: Barcelona are in need of a new No. 9 to lighten the load on aging front man Luis Suarez, while Gabriel Jesus‘s path to consistent minutes at Manchester City is blocked by Sergio Aguero. Could the Brazilian make the move to the Camp Nou?
16.15 GMT: Chelsea are targeting AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, but Calciomercato claims the Serie A club has a backup plan.
15.11 GMT: Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata should think about his future.
14.30 GMT: Le10 Sport says that both Leicester and Everton have made bids for Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes.
Gabriel, 22, is also of interest to PSG and Arsenal but it’s pretty clear he’ll be moving on in the summer one way or the other.
13.58 GMT: Il Tempo claims that Roma are quite desperate to sign Manchester United defender Chris Smalling after his loan spell expires this summer and have sent “at least three offers” to Old Trafford in recent weeks.
Smalling, 30, has impressed in Serie A and Roma are front of the queue to land him if they can get United to accept an offer. The defender is reportedly worth €20m, so it doesn’t seem like much of a stretch.
13.07 GMT: Chelsea seem to have decided that Kepa Arrizabalaga isn’t going to be first-choice any more, but will he come back to claim the No. 1 spot as his own?
Martinez, 22, is set to become the long-term replacement for Luis Suarez at Camp Nou after impressing at Inter this season. But the Argentine will have more options as Man City seek a replacement for Sergio Aguero and Chelsea for a central striker to compete with Tammy Abraham.
It helps that he has a release clause, so every club knows what they need to pay. Watch this space.
The 34-year-old defender has found himself on the bench a lot this season and could decide to depart if things don’t improve. Though there is no clue as to where he could go.
Felipe, 22, joined Lazio from his boyhood club Ituano in 2016 and agreed a new contract in March 2018, which expires in 2022.
With Jean-Clair Todibo set to leave Camp Nou, a €20m bid for Felipe could be on the cards.
10.30 GMT: Liverpool could lose Sadio Mane at the end of the season, with Real Madrid reported to be ready to make a £140m bid.
09.36 GMT: Jadon Sancho is 19 years old already so of course there is a ‘next Jadon Sancho’ knocking around … And that player is Manchester City’s 17-year-old youth team winger Jayden Braaf.
Braaf has yet to leave City for Borussia Dortmund, but he is on the radar of Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, who obviously got to know his style quite well while City’s assistant manager.
The Express claims that Arsenal are interested in signing him, as they were in landing Sancho with no success.
09.00 GMT: The Athletic reports that “players out of contract on June 30 will be permitted to sign week-by-week deals should the football season extend beyond that date.”
The coronavirus outbreak has seen most football around the world postponed for the immediate future and there are 69 Premier League players out of contract this summer.
Short-term rolling contracts could be an option to cover the gap but it will reportedly leave agents to negotiate “lucrative bonuses” if their players are deemed important in a late push for honours.
PAPER TALK (by Danny Lewis)
No change of heart from Pogba
Manchester United, and more specifically Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, have made it clear that they will be extending Paul Pogba‘s contract.
However, as per Calciomercato, the World Cup winner still wants to leave Old Trafford, with Juventus, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain all potential options for him to move to.
There are questions to be asked about whether the decision to extend his deal could simply be an aid to their negotiating position as Pogba looks set to leave.
Whatever happens, it is likely we will be hearing a lot more about this move.
Barcelona chasing a quartet of signings
Barcelona are using the coronavirus-imposed break in order to start work on bringing in four players, according to Sport.
They are after a centre-back (who will ideally be left-footed), a full-back, a central midfielder and a goal-scoring striker.
Names are not given for three of those positions, but it is reported the key target is Inter Milan frontman Lautaro Martinez, as they look to bring in somebody who can come in to replace the ageing Luis Suarez.
Napoli eyeing up Andrea Belotti
The Poland international has so far refused to accept a new contract — with his deal coming to an end in the summer of 2021 — which means they are willing to sell him now to avoid losing him for nothing later.
Napoli have compiled a list of players who could replace him, which is topped by Torino striker Belotti, who has scored 15 goals across Serie A and the Europa League this season.
Luka Jovic is also said to be an option, who would cost around €45m after his struggles at Real Madrid.
Deal made could benefit both Real Madrid and PSG
This offers the Spanish giants another option alongside Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, having already impressed those at the Bernabeu.
Meanwhile, the deal also frees up funds and a space in the squad at Parc de Princes, which the Parisians hope to use to bring in AC Milan keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
– Internazionale are weighing up a move for Sassuolo’s Jeremie Boga, as reported by Calciomercato. They are showing an interest in the former Chelsea man, as are Napoli, but Antonio Conte has still yet to decide on whether he feels the move should be completed. The stumbling point at this time is whether it is felt that the 23-year-old will be able to adapt to their system.
– Steve Bruce has admitted that the future of young Newcastle United midfielder Matty Longstaff is a “concern,” as reported by the Mirror. The Magpies are hoping to tie the 19-year-old, and his brother Sean, to new deals, but Longstaff’s situation is perhaps the most concerning as his current deal comes to its culmination in the summer. Therefore, Bruce is keen to tie Newcastle’s No. 43, who has made six Premier League starts this term, down to a new deal.
– Henrikh Mkhitaryan‘s loan move from Arsenal to AS Roma could be made permanent, according to Gazzetta Dello Sport. The Gunners are open to letting the Armenia international leave, but the deal could hinge on how much they are willing to accept for the 31-year-old. He has been limited to just eight Serie A starts and five substitute appearances, but he has scored six goals and assisted three more.