TOP STORY: Man United eye Schmeichel move
Manchester United are used to having a top class goalkeeper called ‘Schmeichel’ as their No. 1, but instead of Peter, it’s his son Kasper who is now attracting attention.
Peter Schmeichel was a legend at the club in the ’90s, but Kasper Schmeichel is a quality player in his own right and helped Leicester to an incredible Premier League title in 2015-16.
The Sun claims that United have grown tired of David De Gea‘s poor form and are looking to bridge the gap until Dean Henderson is experienced enough to take over in a few years by signing the 33-year-old Schmeichel.
United have watched Atletico Madrid‘s highly-rated Jan Oblak, but the 27-year-old has a release clause of €120 million. Schmeichel would be considerably cheaper AND the prospect of a United goalkeeping shirt with the name ‘Schmeichel’ on the back again is tantalising.
17.21 BST: Manchester United will be informed if Borussia Dortmund make a formal offer for Memphis Depay in the summer transfer window, according to the Manchester Evening News.
Depay, 26, had a frustrating 18 months at Old Trafford following a £26.3m move from PSV Eindhoven, making just one start under Jose Mourinho before his move to Lyon in January 2017.
With United targeting Jadon Sancho, a move by Dortmund for Depay could indicate that they’re getting ready to sell the England international.
16.16 BST: Manchester United should buy Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish this summer, according to former player Ryan Giggs.
Sancho has long been top of United’s radar as have Grealish although recent reports have said the club’s interest has cooled in Grealish as the Sancho deal looks more likely.
“Two good players,” the Wales coach told the Webby and O’Neill YouTube channel. “I think the thing with Grealish is he’s obviously used to the Premier League and doesn’t need to adapt to it so that’s good. For me from the outside, it looks like he’s got the mentality to come to this place and not bother him. Certain players can get overawed.
“Also, the good thing this year is he’s got 10 goals [in all competitions] and got into double figures so that would be one question mark I would have had with him: does he score enough goals? To get to double figures with no penalties for Villa is impressive.
“Sancho is quick, direct but also an intelligent player. What I like about him is when he gets into those areas with the final ball, he doesn’t panic. A lot of quick wide players sometimes do but he picks out the right pass. He’s someone who can counter-attack if we’re going to play that but also if a team are going to sit back, he can beat players and make things happen. They are two signings that may be available and if we’re able to get them, I would go and get them.”
15.30 BST: Belenenses’ teenage goalkeeper Ricardo van der Laan is on the radar of both Arsenal and Liverpool, says O Jogo.
The 17-year-old has impressed in Portugal and has made the breakthrough into the club’s Under-23 team. The senior team only just avoided relegation from Liga NOS this season.
A Portugal U18 international, the goalkeeper was released by Benfica last year and Belenenses pounced. But now there is a chance he could leave for England.
14.47 BST: Manchester United are ready to rival Real Madrid and Bayern Leverkusen for the signature of ‘the next Raphael Varane’ — Monaco centre-back Benoit Badiashile.
Badiashile, 19, made 20 first-team appearances for Monaco this season and, at 6-foot-4, is an imposing force at the back.
The France U19 international has been in talks with Leverkusen, who made a €15m bid, but TF1 reports that United are keen and a €30m offer would see him move on.
14.21 BST: Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has said midfielder Arthur Melo is facing disciplinary action after showing a “lack of respect” towards the club after refusing to return to training.
The Catalan club agreed to sell Arthur to Juventus for €72m in July with Miralem Pjanic arriving from the Turin club once the season is completed. However, Arthur failed to report to Barcelona for training on June 27 after a week off and remains in Brazil.
“He has decided not to return because he believes his chapter at Barca has ended,” Bartomeu told Diario Sport when asked about Arthur.
“It is his decision. No one has given him permission. I assume what has happened is that he has gone to Brazil and wants to extend his holidays. That has forced us to open disciplinary proceedings against him because he has to play with Barca until the season is completed. In this case in the Champions League, just like Pjanic.
“It was an agreement between the clubs. What he has done is a lack of respect to his teammates because the team wants to do well in the Champions League and also to the club. It is unjustifiable and totally incomprehensible.”
13.45 BST: MLS players can thrive in Europe’s top leagues. Bayern’s Alphonso Davies is proof.
Taylor Twellman speaks to Alphonso Davies, Taylor Booth and Chris Richards about their journeys from MLS to Bayern Munich.
12.48 BST: Former Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino says he regrets saying in the past that he would rather work in his farm in Argentina than coach Barcelona because “in life you never know what can happen.”
Pochettino was asked in 2018 about the possibility of coaching Barcelona, having managed city rivals Espanyol, and gave a very dismissive answer.
“It was never my intention to disrespect Barcelona,” Pochettino told El Pais. “You can say things a different way. “I made a name for myself at Espanyol. But I’m not arrogant and I didn’t like to make a declaration like I did.
“Perhaps now I wouldn’t do so because in life you never know what can happen. A rumour was spreading because I met with [Barcelona president Josep Maria] Bartomeu in a bar as we both took our children to the same school and we spoke for five minutes. That generated a rumour that I wanted to drastically end it.”
12.11 BST: Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has spoken about all things transfers to Sport …
On a €111m move for Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez, he said: “Barca had spoken to Inter regarding Lautaro for several weeks but the conversations have been halted by mutual agreement with Inter. The [coronavirus pandemic] situation does not encourage us to make big investments.”
On a move for PSG’s Neymar: “In this current situation, it’s nonviable. PSG doesn’t want to sell, it’s normal because he is one of the best players in the world. Last summer we were very eager and we tried but this summer there will be no try. The situation is what it is. From March to June we have stopped receiving €200m … hence we have to review what investments are essential and which one can wait.”
On selling academy star Ansu Fati: “We have not received formal offers but there has been interest from a few clubs. Barca’s response has always been a ‘no’. Ansu is not for sale. He is essential for the future of this club. There are not many players like him and Barca cannot sell him even if it would be a financial solution for the club in times of a pandemic. At no time have we considered selling him. On the contrary, what we must do is help him continue to grow and renew his contract for the future so that he can play here all of his life. I haven’t spoken to him personally but I have spoken to people in his entourage and reiterated that regardless of what offers arrive, the club has no intention to sit down and negotiate with anyone.”
11.34 BST: The Watford firesale continues as striker Ismaila Sarr is being linked with Crystal Palace by the Sun.
Sarr, 22, is expected to leave the relegated club, while Palace are on the lookout for a replacement for winger Wilfried Zaha as the 27-year-old revealed he wants to move on this summer.
Palace are willing to part with £40m for Sarr, but that may well depend on how much they get for Zaha. Everton and Arsenal remain keen on him.
11.12 BST: Arsenal really need their captain to sign a new contract.
Craig Burley believes Arsenal must go all-out to keep Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the Emirates next season.
10.50 BST: Dani Ceballos says he will soon sit down with Real Madrid to discuss his future.
The Spanish midfielder, who ended his loan spell at Arsenal in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Chelsea to lift the FA Cup, has made 37 appearances in all competitions this campaign.
Ceballos told Cadena Ser radio: “It’s a satisfaction to have won the FA Cup. I’m thrilled to end the season with a title. Real Madrid have remained close to me throughout the season, not just now. I’m grateful for that. I spoke to the Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, who has congratulated me for the title.
“From today, I am a Real Madrid player and I’m happy about that. Real Madrid have an important game against Manchester City and from then on, I will talk to the club and discuss my future. It’s clear that Real Madrid have great players. They have won the most important title this season, which is La Liga. I need to talk to the club and will do so after [Real Madrid’s game] against [Manchester] City and evaluate what is best for me. Next year there’s the European Championship and the Olympics and I want to enjoy football, to be happy and play a minimum of 35 games, that is my aim.”
Ceballos, 23, is tied to Los Blancos until June 2023.
10.07 BST: Barcelona are open to selling Ivan Rakitic to his former club Sevilla, according to Mundo Deportivo.
The Croatian midfielder joined Barca from Sevilla in the summer of 2014 and is tied to the Catalan outfit until June 2021. A reported target of PSG, Rakitic has been placed on the transfer list in the past two windows.
The 32-year-old was reluctant to leave Barca in January, but now he wants to end his professional career at Sevilla and Barca are willing to grant him that wish at a price. Barca have no intention to allow the player to leave for free and are willing to accept a fee in the region of €10m.
09.55 BST: Watford striker Troy Deeney is on the radar of Tottenham, according to the Daily Mail.
Deeney, 32, was relegated with the club this season but has shown he can play at the highest level and Spurs are looking for a reliable backup to Harry Kane.
Tottenham will also have been impressed at how much Deeney hates rivals Arsenal.
09.24 BST: AC Milan sporting director Paolo Maldini said that he sees Zlatan Ibrahimovic as a part of the club for next season.
After struggling in the first half of the season, Milan have lost only twice since Ibrahimovic’s arrival in January from MLS side LA Galaxy. However, the 38-year-old’s contract expires at the end of the season and it will be up to the club directors to negotiate an extension.
“We have created something this season which needs continuity. Zlatan is part of this project,” club legend Maldini said. “It won’t be any easy negotiation but we want to move forward with him. In attack with him we feel content, then there are Ante Rebic and Rafael Leao as well as other young players who can grow exponentially with him. That is our line.”
09.00 BST: Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi only signed a new contract earlier this year, having been repeatedly linked with a move to Bayern Munich. But now Manchester United are reportedly interested.
Hudson-Odoi, 19, has slipped down the pecking order at Chelsea and the Manchester Evening News reports that United are keen.
However, with Willian and Pedro departing Stamford Bridge for free this summer, the Blues won’t let another winger go cheaply.
Steve Nicol doesn’t see David Alaba leaving a rising Bayern Munich team for Pep Guardiola’s Man City.
PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd)
PSG prepare £27m for Liverpool target Alcantara
The fee is believed to be Bayern’s asking price for the 29-year-old, while Thiago is keen to try his hand somewhere new after seven successful years in the Bavarian metropolis.
Thiago has been heavily linked with Jurgen Klopp’s side for some time as the Reds look to strengthen their midfield, but PSG’s offer could see Les Parisiens get the upper hand in the chase for the seven-time Bundesliga champion.
Liverpool may have cooled their interest due to the emergence of Curtis Jones and the improvement of Naby Keita. Thiago has one year left on his contract, and PSG appear happier to pay a premium in an effort to rebuild their side.
Barca and Juve return for another swap deal
The coronavirus pandemic has forced many clubs to think outside of the box in an effort to refresh their playing squads without parting with hefty fees, and Barcelona and Juventus could be about to embark on their third swap deal of the year, according to Calciomercato.
Rakitic has one year left on his contract at Barcelona and the Catalan club are keen to sell him this year, while they see Uruguayan Bentancur as a potential replacement for Sergio Busquets.
Barca would have to pay €30m to make the deal happen.
Mayoral could be first Madrid player to leave
Mayoral has been on loan at Levante this season but Madrid are hoping to recoup around €20m for the striker as he heads to Italy.
Madrid are planning their own spending spree and so any money in the bank will be helpful, while Lazio are hoping Mayoral can challenge Ciro Immobile in attack and offer greater strength in depth.
Immobile won the European Golden Boot this season, but Lazio need more options going forward.
Madrid will have first refusal and so will be able to re-sign the forward if they want to, but more important for them right now is getting money in to help them strengthen. As well as Mayoral, they’re also looking to bring in another €20m for left-back Sergio Reguilon as well.
– AC Milan are in the market for a new right-back and Sky Sport Italy is reporting that they’re targeting Tottenham Hotspur‘s Serge Aurier. Discussions are believed to have started between the two clubs but the Rossoneri will have to part with between €12m and €15m to secure the Frenchman. Milan are also keeping tabs on Barcelona’s Emerson Royal and PSV Eindhoven‘s Denzel Dumfries.
– Manchester City defender Eric Garcia has reportedly made it clear that he wants to return to his former club Barcelona, according to Sport. The Spanish title is suggesting that the move is only “a matter of time,” and that an agreement could be reached at the end of this year’s Champions League campaign. Garcia is integral to Pep Guardiola’s defence but the young Spaniard seems intent on battling for a place at Camp Nou.