The transfer window may have slammed shut, but that doesn’t mean the rumour mill has shut down! Speculation over summer moves is heating up so check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.
TOP STORY: Barcelona still in Alaba mix
Barcelona are still in with a solid chance of signing Bayern Munich defender David Alaba in the summer, Sport reports.
Alaba will be leaving Munich at the end of the season on a free transfer, but his next destination is still very much up in the air. Sources told ESPN’s Julien Laurens that Real Madrid already have a verbal financial agreement with the player but that Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are all after him.
Chelsea and Liverpool are pushing the hardest regardless of Madrid’s confidence in winning the race. However, with Alaba’s agent Pini Zahavi having a close relationship with Barca presidential candidate Joan Laporta, the latter being elected could open up the door for Ronald Koeman’s side. Though their well-documented financial problems may cause some issues when it comes to offering him a wage deal.
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15.04 GMT: Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti played a huge part in the development of a young Adrien Rabiot from their time together at Paris Saint-Germain, and the two could be reunited next season at Goodison Park, sources told ESPN’s Julien Laurens. Ancelotti is keen to strengthen his midfield and Rabiot’s profile is what he is looking for as an upgrade on Andre Gomes.
Rabiot, 25, can play anywhere across midfield but is a great box-to-box player with qualities that could suit the Premier League’s more physical nature. It is not clear yet if Juventus would let the French midfielder leave in the summer.
This season has been difficult for him under Andrea Pirlo with some under-par performances, while he was red carded during the 2-2 draw at Roma.
14.33 GMT: Bild reports that RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate could be on his way to Liverpool in the summer.
Leipzig have already let centre-back Dayot Upamecano depart for Bayern Munich for his €42.5m release clause and now could be forced to allow his defensive partner follow.
Bild says that the 21-year-old Konate has a clause in his contract which could see him leave for €45m, with Chelsea and Manchester United also interested.
Liverpool’s interest will depend on their decision to sign Schalke’s Ozan Kabak permanently after his loan spell ends. If they don’t, then Konate could be on Jurgen Klopp’s agenda.
13.51 GMT: Sevilla’s Jules Kounde has been linked with a €70m move away from the club this summer, with Manchester United, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain all keen.
Kounde, 22, is one of the best young defenders in Europe and Sevilla are aware they won’t be able to keep him for long. Indeed, Feyenoord’s Marcos Senesi is reportedly being lined up as his replacement, with Sevilla CEO Jose Maria Cruz telling La Razon of Kounde’s future: “The difference this season is that we have not made a big sale, but we will have to do it throughout this year if we want to build a great squad again. Once the season is over we will surely have offers for the players and that decision will have to be made.”
13.00 GMT: What’s the issue at Barcelona?
Stewart Robson pinpoints the key areas Barca need to strengthen in order to rediscover their old form.
11.58 GMT: Mundo Deportivo reports that Man United made a €150m offer to sign Barcelona’s Ansu Fati in the summer.
Fati, 18, has come through the ranks to become a key player in the Barca first team and the Spain international has been tipped to replace Lionel Messi long-term. However, given the financial uncertainty at Camp Nou, United decided to try and take advantage of the situation.
The paper reports Barca also turned down offers for youngsters Pedri and Francisco Trincao.
Bayern Munich reportedly made a €40m move for Pedri, while Barca rejected upwards of €60m for Trincao from an unnamed suitor according to his agent Jorge Mendes.
11.26 GMT: Real Madrid ruled out signing Erling Haaland two years ago, Marca reports, because they were focused on the Brazilian market instead, preferring to target Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes.
Haaland was available for €8m when he was playing for Norway’s Molde aged 18.
According to the newspaper, Madrid considered a move before deciding against it — and Haaland joined FC Salzburg in January 2019 before Borussia Dortmund paid €20m to sign him a year later.
The in-form striker, who has scored eight Champions League goals this season, including a brace against Sevilla in midweek, has now become a Madrid target once again. “At the Bernabeu they know Borussia Dortmund aren’t thinking about selling,” Marca added, “but if they do, Florentino Perez will be the first to know.”
Barcelona also have their sights on Haaland, according to Mundo Deportivo, and scouted him extensively before opting not to pursue him before he moved to Dortmund. Indeed, a month later, they signed Martin Braithwaite from Leganes for €18m.
In addition to bringing defender Eric Garcia back from Manchester City on a free transfer this summer, Barca will prioritise signing a striker and Norway international Haaland is “The Desired One” after his brace against Sevilla in the Champions League in midweek.
Barca are currently without a president but the report claims sporting director, Ramon Planes, and all three candidates for the presidency, feel the signing of a striker is essential.
Money is a problem, however. Other options include Inter Milan duo Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku, who would also command big transfer fees, with Lyon’s Memphis Depay and Man City’s Sergio Aguero, both out of contract in the summer, low-cost alternatives.
Haaland reportedly has a €75m release clause which comes into effect in 2022.
10.44 GMT: Dortmund striker Erling Haaland can basically pick his next destination.
Archie Rhind-Tutt delves into the latest surrounding Erling Haaland’s future at Borussia Dortmund.
09.57 GMT: Manchester United did not attempt to rival Bayern Munich’s move for Dayot Upamecano because of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s desire to sign a left-footed centre-back, sources told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.
Bayern announced they will sign Upamecano from RB Leipzig at the end of the season after agreeing to pay his €42.5m ($51m) release clause.
Sources told ESPN that the 22-year-old was of interest to United, particularly because of the release clause in his contract, but his representatives had already been informed of Solskjaer’s prerequisites before Bayern sealed the deal.
09.24 GMT: Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy wants to wait until the end of the season before determining Jose Mourinho‘s fate as head coach, sources told ESPN’s James Olley.
Speculation in the media in England and Portugal has grown over Mourinho’s position as Spurs slumped to ninth in the Premier League table following four defeats in their last five matches.
Sources told ESPN that reports in Portugal claiming it would cost Tottenham around £30m to sack Mourinho now are “broadly accurate,” since he has a contract without a break clause until the summer of 2023, but it is not just the financial situation that is buying the 58-year-old time.
09.01 GMT: Manchester City have not opened transfer talks with Lionel Messi and will wait for him to decide his Barcelona future before considering formal negotiations, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.
City chiefs have been angered by reports the club have already tabled an offer to Messi ahead of a possible free transfer move to the Etihad Stadium in the summer.
Messi, who has won the Ballon d’Or six times, is free to leave Camp Nou at the end of the season as his contract expires and City, as well as Paris Saint-Germain, are among the clubs interested.
Messi has been free to talk to clubs outside Spain since January but sources have told ESPN he has not yet made a decision on where he will play next season and his representatives have not held talks over potential moves.
Sources have told ESPN that City will wait to see what Messi decides before making any potential move at the end of the season.
08.30 GMT: Thomas Tuchel has said he wants Christian Pulisic to stay at Chelsea but admitted “no decisions” have yet been taken over the club’s summer plans.
The USMNT international has started only in the FA Cup fifth-round win at Barnsley on Feb. 11 during Tuchel’s six-game tenure.
Pulisic is a doubt for Saturday’s Premier League trip to Southampton, and although the 22-year-old has also recently missed Chelsea’s victory at Sheffield United due to personal reasons, a lack of game time has fuelled speculation he could leave the club this summer.
However, when asked at a news conference whether the forward still had a future at Stamford Bridge, Tuchel replied: “Yes, today, clearly yes, but it is not only my point of view. We have to see. For me, clearly yes because Chelsea bought Christian for a reason, for his quality, for his potential, and it is our job to bring out the best in him.
“He proved in many weeks that he has the level to be a Chelsea regular player, to have a big impact in this club. It’s a challenge now to hold this level, to improve and to maintain the level and keep improving.”
ESPN FC’s Craig Burley on how Mbappe and Neymar, under Mauricio Pochettino’s management, finally make PSG a European contender.
PAPER TALK (by Harry Kettle)
Bernat close to PSG extension
Paris Saint-Germain star Juan Bernat is close to agreeing to a new contract with the French champions, RMC Sport reports.
The 27-year-old defender has been out since September with ligament damage and could see his spell in Ligue 1 come to an end at the end of the campaign when his deal expires, but the two parties have been in talks for a few months at this stage. The reported extension would ensure, in principle, that he will remain in the French capital until at least 2026.
However, Mundo Deportivo says that PSG’s offer is just to stop him from moving to Barcelona for free in the summer.
Barca are keen to let Junior Firpo leave and bring in a new left-back to compete with Jordi Alba next season, with Spain international Bernat a potential low-cost option. However, according to Mundo, sporting director Leonardo will move to tie the former Bayern Munich defender down to prevent Barca from picking him up for a free.
Mkhitaryan’s Roma talks stall
Calciomercato is reporting that Henrikh Mkhitaryan‘s contract talks with Roma have hit a stumbling block.
The former Arsenal player is said to be happy at the Italian club and would prefer to stay there, but his agent is insisting that the team listen to offers for his client.
The Armenia international could take up an option to extend his contract by another year, ensuring he doesn’t leave on a free during the summer, but that has yet to come to fruition.
– Atlanta United has reached an agreement with Velez Sarsfield from Argentina to acquire defender Lautaro Giannetti, sources told ESPN Argentina. Giannetti, who played in Velez under Atlanta United’s new coach Gabriel Heinze, is the second defensive addition for the MLS team after the signing of Venezuela international Ronald Hernandez.
– Lille look set to tussle it out with Rangers over the signing of Zambia forward Fashion Sakala, says The Daily Record. Sakala, 23, is with KV Oostende in Belgium and is clearly a wanted man, but if Rangers were hoping that this would be a one-horse race, they were sadly mistaken as Lille are ready to “ramp up” their efforts in the weeks to come.
– West Ham United have entered into the race to sign Bournemouth wonderkid Ajani Burchall, Football Insider reports. Arsenal are also in the mix to secure the 16-year-old winger’s signature after Burchall rejected a scholarship deal to stay with the Cherries, but now the Hammers are ready to make their move after closely monitoring his situation.