Blog - Transfer Talk, Clubs, Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Story, Transfers

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: De Bruyne pondering Madrid move?

Belgian magazine Sport/Foot reports that Kevin De Bruyne is considering his future at Manchester City and is in fact exploring a move to Real Madrid.

With City facing a potential suspension from European football after having been adjudged to have violated Financial Fair Play rules, the Belgian title suggests that De Bruyne isn’t keen on waiting for European nights to return to the Etihad, and instead fancies a move, with the Bernabeu his preferred destination.

De Bruyne would cost Real around €150 million.

City are objecting to UEFA’s suspension and if they can get it overturned, or at least delayed for another year, it might have a knock-on effect on De Bruyne’s long-term plans and keep him in Manchester.

De Bruyne’s attacking capabilities would certainly make him a welcome addition to Real Madrid’s midfield.


22.54 GMT: That’s all for today’s edition of Transfer Talk. Please check back in a few hours for more updates and transfer news. Thanks and be safe.

21.41 GMT: ESPN FC correspondent Julien Laurens ponders Bayer Munich star Corentin Tolisso‘s possible move to Serie A giants Inter Milan.

20.23 GMT: Julien Laurens has tabbed AZ Alkmaar’s Myron Boadu as the ideal replacement for the prolific Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at Arsenal.

19.20 GMT: Barcelona will now listen to offers for Nelson Semedo a year after rejecting all proposals for the Portuguese full-back last summer, reports Sport.

Semedo, whose contract runs until the end of the 2021-2022 season and is a hot commodity after taking a step forward this campaign, will likely be sold to free up funds elsewhere at the club, according to the outlet.

18.30 GMT: Manchester United may have found a suitor for Paul Pogba, according to Tuttosport, who have a report out that Juventus are prepared to offer the Old Trafford club Paulo Dybala or Miralem Pjanic plus £50-60 million to bring the France midfielder back to Turin.

17.45 GMT: For all the talk about Kylian Mbappe moving to Real Madrid in the summer, ESPN FC’s Julien Laurens reports that Paris Saint-Germain are doing their best to convince the young striker to sign a new contract at the Parc des Princes.

17.02 GMT: Barcelona have convinced striker Lautaro Martinez to join them in the summer, and now need to agree a deal with Inter Milan, according to Sport.

The Catalan-based daily reports that Argentina international Martinez has become Barca’s top transfer target and has been given assurances he will have a place in the starting XI ahead of Luis Suarez if he moves.

The 22-year-old’s contract at Inter reportedly contains a €111m release clause.

Martinez has scored 16 goals in 31 appearances in a breakout second season at Inter, as well as a hat trick for his country in a 4-0 friendly win over Mexico back in September.

16.23 GMT: Borussia Dortmund forward Jadon Sancho would jump at the chance to join Manchester United, according to former Old Trafford striker Dimitar Berbatov.

Sources have told ESPN that United are leading the chase for the England international, who turned 20 this week, but Dortmund are still anticipating competition from Premier League rivals Liverpool and Chelsea

“This week there’s been a lot of talk about Jadon Sancho moving to Manchester United, in his case, because he’s English and Man United are in for you, I don’t think he will think twice about moving there,” Berbatov told Betfair.

“I have said it before, he has the quality, the pace, the goals and the assists to play for them, I’m sure he would like to continue in the national team as well and Gareth Southgate will watch him more if he is playing in the Premier League.

“For me, if they get him he is going to be a great addition but I’m curious to see how they would line up. United have: Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Daniel James, Mason Greenwood and possibly Sancho next season, even though you want that competition for young players it could be tricky to see them all playing at the same time.

“If he is going to move somewhere else, he needs to know that he is going to play regularly, there is no point going somewhere else and not playing as much as you want. Ultimately, it is down to you, when you get the chance to show you can play, you have to take it and show what you can do.”

– Schoenfeld: The rise of Sancho, soccer’s next superstar

15.40 GMT: With football almost entirely suspended across the globe (with only a handful of countries, including Belarus and Honduras, boldly bucking the trend) and a date for its resumption yet to be set, it is likely that many players’ contract will expire before the end of the season. Mark Ogden breaks down what this could mean to ESPN’s Alexis Nunes.  

14.53 GMT: Manchester United target Jude Bellingham would be “a nice fit” at Old Trafford, according to the teen sensation’s former youth coach.

Sources have told ESPN that United and Borussia Dortmund are both chasing the 16-year-old midfielder, who has broken into the first team at Championship club Birmingham City this season.

“Man United, it might be a nice fit for Jude, with a rejuvenated team, talk of Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish going over there,” Sam Manoochehri, an ex-youth development coach at Birmingham City, told the Daily Mirror. “But Dortmund would also suit, the recent profile of players that have come through that system, the likes of Jadon Sancho. Jude would fit that mould too.

“And look at what’s going on at Chelsea now. A lot of good young players in that team. Billy Gilmour the most recent one to impress, he is now shining on the big stage.

“However Jude has got to make sure that his next move, is to a club where he plays. If not, I don’t think there is any problem with him staying at Birmingham.

“He’s got to where he is at the minute coming through the whole Birmingham City program so there should be no rush to move on.”

14.07 GMT: Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici has predicted that an NBA-style draft system could be adopted by football in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

Leagues and tournaments across Europe have been suspended or postponed because of the outbreak and several clubs have expressed concern about what the economic fallout will be as they face losing millions on TV deals, competition prize money and ticket sales.

“There will be lots of trades, a situation that will bring football closer to the NBA,” Paratici told TuttoSport.

He added: “It’s also likely that some of the clubs, for example in Germany, may benefit from the overall situation of crisis as they have a more solid economy than others.”

Ogden: FIFA must extend transfer window to save football from imploding

13.22 GMT: With the future of star striker and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang the subject of much speculation — with Barcelona and Manchester United both linked with interest in the Gabon international — ESPN FC’s Julien Laurens predicts a pivotal moment approaching for Arsenal.

12.41 GMT: Reigning MLS MVP Carlos Vela has opened up about how he agreed to join Barcelona early last year, but the move was held up by LAFC wanting to keep hold of their star Mexican forward.

Vela’s potential move to the Catalan side was reported back in January 2019 and the 31-year-old was keen to go.

“Barca set up a scenario of [going there for] four months at that time and I accepted it because it was a very good opportunity,” Vela said in the new edition of GQ Mexico magazine. “I wasn’t going to say, ‘Oh, I want two years, and if not, I’m not going.’

“They said four months and I’d have gone for four [months]. But LAFC did not make it easy for me to leave, although it is understandable. In the end, they seek the best for themselves and everyone else does too. I tried, it didn’t come off and there’s no problem because I am more than happy here.”

11.55 GMT: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola wants to replace centre-back John Stones with Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci, the Daily Star reports.

Guardiola admitted in January that England international Stones, 25, still has work to do to fulfil his potential, while in October the pair had an argument on the bench when Stones was not ready to come on as a substitute when required.

The Daily Star reports that Guardiola has identified Italy international Bonucci, 32, as the man to replace stones and form a defensive partnership with Aymeric Laporte.

Stones’ contract is due to expire in June 2022, and so far there has been no discussion over a new deal.

11.12 GMT: Bruno Fernandes‘ Manchester United career could hardly have got off to a better start. Since joining from Sporting Lisbon at the end of January, the Portugal midfielder has put in several game-changing performances, was named the Premier League’s Player of the Month for February and is yet to be on the losing side in nine games for his new club.

Meanwhile, injured club-record signing Paul Pogba has not played since Dec. 26 as speculation surrounding his future continues. ESPN FC’s Mark Ogden asks if the France midfielder is already yesterday’s man at Old Trafford.

10.24 GMT: Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi admits there are “many question marks” over his future at the club, although he would like to stay.

Mustafi, 27, has been brought back into the first-team picture by manager Mikel Arteta after being frozen out of the squad by previous boss Unai Emery.

“I’ve played more regularly under Mikel Arteta, also in the Premier League. That has really helped me. I feel very good. I understand his style of football, how he likes to play, that really fits me,” the 2014 World Cup-winning Germany international told Sky.

“The way he is at his age, that has really surprised me, I don’t know if after four years, I could be that serious and have a charisma like his to lead a team.

“He is managing that very well. I feel that in this short amount of time I already learned some new things that help my game. “I can imagine continuing to play for him. But we still don’t know about the future. There are still many question marks.”

Mustafi’s contract with the Gunners is due to expire in June 2021.

09.30 GMT: Raul Jimenez has been keeping busy in isolation by doing a Facebook live for his sponsor Bridgestone, and he took the opportunity to state that his future in the Premier League with Wolves does not depend on them qualifying for the Champions League.

“I have a contract until 2023,” said the Mexico striker, who is reportedly a target for Real Madrid. “It’s not that we have to qualify for the Champions League in order to stay. I’m good [here], happy with Wolves, doing important things — me as well as the whole team.

“We’ve been trying our best since the start of last season. We’ve qualified for the Europa League, now we’re fighting for a Champions League spot and it’s the big motivation to keep growing as a player and getting into the Champions League is always a plus that satisfies you and keeps you thinking about big things.”

PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd): Europe’s top clubs chasing Melamed

Bayern Munich have joined Real Madrid, Barcelona and Chelsea in the race to sign Espanyol’s 18-year-old midfielder Nico Melamed, according to Sky Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio.

The youngster has played only once for the Spanish side this season, who themselves have endured a torrid time in La Liga, but it’s his performances for the B team that have put him on the radar of Bayern and co.

Melamed has scored seven goals in 26 appearances and while his existing contract runs until 2023, he would be a bargain at just over £7m. Espanyol are desperately — and understandably — trying to offer him a new deal containing a higher release clause, as they want a bigger return on their prodigy.

Melamed has been called up to the Spanish U19 squad but can also still represent Argentina because of his grandparents.

Bayern step up Ter Stegen talks

Bayern Munich have stepped up talks to sign Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, according to Sport in Spain.

Earlier this week we revealed rumours suggesting that the German giants were considering a move for the Barcelona stopper as a result of stalling talks with existing keeper Manuel Neuer, but Sport are now suggesting that Munich have gone as far as telling him not to sign a contract extension at Camp Nou.

Ter Stegen has been stalling on extending his stay with the Blaugrana and this week’s wage-cut discussions, in which the whole squad has been asked to take a sizeable pay cut as a result of the coronavirus, probably haven’t helped to ease the situation.

All of this is good news for Bayern, who are keen to land Ter Stegen in 2021, which would be a year before his current deal is due to run out. Bayern believe that if they can get Ter Stegen to stall, they’ll be able to get him as a result of Barca fearing he’ll leave on a free in 2022.

The knock-on effect could be a goalkeeping merry-go-round that sees Ter Stegen return to his homeland, and Neuer leave Bayern after an admirable nine-year stint.


– Inter Milan are considering a move for German full-back Benjamin Henrichs, according to Calciomercato. The Monaco defender can play on either side and even in an advanced position, and as well as Inter, the 23-year-old has also been attracting admiring glances from Bayern Munich. The former Bayer Leverkusen defender would cost Inter boss Antonio Conte around €25-30m. 

– More on this morning’s suggestion that Everton are interested in Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes, with Le10Sport suggesting that Carlo Ancelotti has “everything in place” to sign the 22-year-old defender. PSG are also said to be interested, but Ancelotti is confident he can seal the deal for around £30m in the next 10 days. 

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