The transfer window for Europe’s biggest clubs is closed, but click here for all the deals. Transfer Talk will continue to scour the world’s media and set correspondents loose to see what’s on the agenda for the summer.
TOP STORY: Pogba set to leave Man United?
Just when you thought you were out of rumours about Paul Pogba leaving Manchester United, they drag you back in.
One might have thought that an upturn in form, coupled with Jose Mourinho’s departure and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s arrival, would lead to Pogba finally being happy in Manchester.
Not so, says AS, which makes the massive claim that the France midfielder wants to leave this summer after three seasons at Old Trafford.
AS reports that “his agent, Mino Raiola, a specialist in hard bargaining, is already working on finding his client a new club.” And, of course, Real Madrid and Juventus are ahead of the chasing pack.
Real would appear to be Pogba’s first choice, given his recent comments, but Juve are working out how they can afford to bring him back. Welcome to the saga of the summer, folks.
11.25 GMT: Arsenal are reported to be interested in Charlton midfielder Joe Aribo, but Football London says the League One playoff contenders remain hopeful that he could yet agree a new contract.
11.02 GMT: L’Equipe claims PSV’s 17-year-old Belgian sensation Heritier Deyonge could join Lyon rather than PSG. The full-back has impressed at youth level and is expected to make the step up this summer.
10.35 GMT: Benfica want to increase the release clause in Joao Felix’s contract in order to fend off interest from a number of clubs, president Luis Filipe Vieira has said.
Felix, who has been compared to Cristiano Ronaldo, was promoted to Benfica’s first team in the summer and has been linked with Manchester United, Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid.
“Right now we are not interested in selling Joao Felix, and soon we will increase his release clause,” Vieira told Tuttosport. “He is one of the best products to have emerged from Portuguese football since Cristiano Ronaldo.”
10.07 GMT: Barcelona are optimistic that they will win the race to sign Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt this summer, sources close to the club have told ESPN FC, and Sport claims they have a plan to tempt the Dutch club into a sale.
Barca are reportedly willing to loan 19-year-old French defender Jean-Clair Todibo next season as part of a €60m offer that would see De Ligt arrive.
The report mentions a fee of €85m but, given that Philippe Coutinho cost €160m when he was sold to Barcelona, they might want to consider saving up a bit more cash.
09.25 GMT: A Bola reports that Benfica are interested in Inter Milan defender Joao Miranda. The Brazilian has not signed a contract extension with Inter and becomes a free agent in the summer.
Benfica have reportedly joined the race to sign the 34-year-old, also a reported target for Monaco. But A Bola says, Miranda wants to continue to play in Europe for a few more years before returning to Brazil to play for Flamengo.
09.12 GMT: PSG are still looking for a few new faces and Il Mattino reckons Napoli’s Allan, who would cost around €75m, remains a target.
08.40 GMT: Confronted with a report in the Sun which said Jadon Sancho‘s agent, Emeka Obasi, had met Manchester United representatives, Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc told Bild: “I have no knowledge of that. And it’s not relevant.”
Dortmund’s stance has been they won’t sell Sancho this summer, but an offer in the €130m region could break their resistance.
PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd): Zidane closes door on Asensio move
In a setback to Jurgen Klopp’s plans, the Mirror reports that returning Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane appears to have squashed any chance of Liverpool — or anyone else — signing midfielder Marco Asensio.
Asensio had been out of form under previous Madrid bosses Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari, with the club seeming keen to offload the 23-year-old, but Zidane appears to get the best out of him and has said he sees him as “fundamental to the team.”
Asensio won two Champions League trophies under Zidane and played the full 90 minutes of the second game of the coach’s return against Celta Vigo.
De Ligt to Camp Nou?
Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt has been linked with top clubs on an almost daily basis, and now it looks as though his future is closer to being concluded.
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is travelling to Holland to seal a deal for the 19-year-old centre-back, according to The Sun.
The news will disappoint Liverpool, who had been looking to partner De Ligt with his compatriot Virgil van Dijk at Anfield.
Barca have reportedly made a bid of £51 million, having already added Frenkie de Jong to their ranks in January.
Bartomeu had previously said that De Ligt was on manager Ernesto Valverde’s wish list, saying the Netherlands international’s name was “on the table.”
– Juventus are reportedly contemplating replacing their entire back line.
With Alex Sandro expected to leave in the summer, Marcelo remains the preferred replacement at left-back. However, Juve are also eyeing up moves for Alex Grimaldo and Emerson Palmieri, according to Calciomercato.