LIVE Transfer Talk – FA Cup champs Leicester seek new deal for Youri Tielemans



Youri Tielemans’ goal secured a first-ever FA Cup triumph for Leicester City. Matt Childs – Pool/Getty Images

The January transfer window might seem like a distant memory, 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: Leicester seek new deal for Tielemans

Leicester City are opening negotiations to renew the contract of breakout star Youri Tielemans, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.

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The 24-year-old has been instrumental in Leicester’s recent success, most recently his thunderous strike against Chelsea to secure a 1-0 victory at Wembley and the Foxes’ first FA Cup in their history (stream the replay on ESPN+ in the U.S.).

The Belgium international has featured in every league game this season for Brendan Rodgers’ side, scoring 10 goals. He has also been a key figure in for his national team, featuring 37 times since his senior debut in 2016.

With a potential good showing at the upcoming European Championship, Tielemans is likely to attract attention from Europe’s top clubs during the tournament, with former suitors Manchester United potentially re-igniting their interest.

The midfielder signed a four-year contract with Leicester when he joined them in a £40.5 million transfer in 2019 from AS Monaco, following a successful initial loan spell at the King Power Stadium.

Romano additionally mentioned Leicester’s intent to keep hold of Wesley Fofana. The 20-year-old has had a breakout season at the King Power since joining from Saint-Etienne last year.

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Youri Tielemans breaks the deadlock in the FA Cup final with this peach of a goal in the second half.

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21.59 BST: Internazionale need some backup for Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez, but amid the financial hardships they face, there’s precious little money to spend on transfer fees. So, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, the Nerazzurri could be set to turn to pending free agent Olivier Giroud of Chelsea, who they nearly signed in January 2020, or Edin Dzeko, whose €7.5m annual wages are said to be a thorn in the side of AS Roma.

21.12 BST: CBS Sports reports that United States right-back Reggie Cannon is “99%” certain to leave Boavista this summer, having joined the club from FC Dallas in September, as the Portuguese club are said to be unable to afford to keep the 22-year-old beyond this season. Serie A outfit Spezia are reportedly interested, as well as teams in in France, Germany and England.

20.25 BST: Bayern Munich could be ready to pounce on Internazionale right-back Achraf Hakimi, according to Mundo Deportivo. The newly crowned champions of Serie A in a perilous financial position, having yet to pay Real Madrid the transfer fee for the 22-year-old who joined last summer, and Hakimi could find himself among a potential exodus of players as Inter aim to balance the books.

19.38 BST: Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano writes that Willian is expected to leave Arsenal this summer, just one year after joining from Chelsea on a free transfer. The 32-year-old Brazil attacker is said to have interest from clubs around Europe and in MLS.

18.51 BST: There are still some details to be ironed out, but L’Equipe reports that 27-year-old Lyon forward and pending free agent Memphis Depay is closing in on a move to Barcelona this summer.

18.04 BST: The Mirror reports that Paul Pogba’s wage demands are proving a stumbling block in keeping him at Manchester United.

The newspaper claims that the World Cup winner has started talks over a new deal at Old Trafford but his agent Mino Raiola wants his client to earn in excess of £400,000 a week. As a result, the club are reportedly conflicted on the decision whether to keep the midfielder and have told manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that they will not be held to ransom over Pogba’s future.

Pogba will find it difficult to join another club this summer with La Liga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while former side Juventus could miss out on the Champions League next season.

17.17 BST: Raul Gonzalez has said “it’s not the time to talk about the future” but admitted he’s “a club man” amid speculation linking the Real Madrid legend with taking over from Zinedine Zidane as first-team coach (see 09.49 BST).

Raul, 43, is currently in charge of Madrid’s B-team Castilla, whose season ended on Sunday when they were knocked out of the playoffs for promotion to Spain’s Second Divison by UD Ibiza.

“I’m a club employee, this is my home, where I want to be, where I feel like I belong,” Raul said in his post-match news conference. “This isn’t the moment to talk about anyone’s future… Now is the moment to evaluate everything. There will be time to talk about the future of everyone who’s been involved in Castilla.”

Zidane has refused to commit to staying on at Madrid — despite having a year left on his contract — and Raul is seen by many as his natural successor.

“When I decided three or four years ago to become a coach, and do my coaching badges, it was to be able to be at my home, my club, and learn in the best way,” Raul said. “I’m having experiences I never imagined, I’m really enjoying it a lot… I’m a club man, I’m working, I’m happy at my home, and I hope to continue.”

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16.29 BST: Barcelona are in talks with Villarreal over the transfer of defender Emerson on a permanent deal this summer, Mundo Deportivo reports.

Emerson, 22, has spent this season on loan with La Liga side Real Betis, but Europa League finalists Villarreal are close to signing him for around €24m.

Betis are interested in keeping him for another season but Barca want to make the most of the opportunity to bring in money for the player.

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15.42 BST: Ronald Koeman hopes to stay on as Barcelona coach next season with further talks planned with president Joan Laporta for the end of the season.

Koeman and Laporta met at a restaurant in Barcelona earlier this week to discuss the recent downturn in results. With two games to go in La Liga, Barca’s title hopes have faded following just one win in their last four games. Sources told ESPN’s Moises Llorens and Sam Marsden earlier in the week there are growing doubts among the board over Koeman’s future, although a lack of credible alternatives could see him kept on.

“I can’t explain much,” Koeman said in a news conference on Saturday when asked what he spoke about with Laporta. “We talked about the team, the season and recent results. We’ve arranged to meet again after the season.”

Pressed on whether he came out of Thursday’s meeting believing he will fulfil the second year of his contract, Koeman stressed a desire to stay but acknowledged Laporta will have the final word.

“The end of the season is the right moment to speak, above all for the club,” he added. “I want to stay; I am happy and I see a lot of room to improve things. It’s a path that doesn’t end this season.

“In my opinion, there are a lot of positives. You can’t say two weeks ago everything is perfect and now it’s all terrible. That’s not fair. [Laporta] will have the final say but I am relaxed.”

– Lowe: Atletico close in on title, but Real Madrid still lurk

14.48 BST: Liverpool will not take up the option to sign centre-back Ozan Kabak permanently following his loan spell, The Sun on Sunday reports.

Kabak moved to Anfield in January to help the club during a defensive injury crisis, but the Turkey international has failed to impress with his performances.

Liverpool have turned down the chance to sign the defender for an £18m transfer fee. He will therefore return to Schalke, who endured relegation from the Bundesliga this season.

13.55 BST: Paris Saint-Germain are keeping an eye on Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski as a back-up option if Kylian Mbappe leaves the club, according to L’Equipe.

Mbappe could be interested in a move away from the French capital following PSG’s disappointing campaign which has seen them dumped out of the Champions League as well as being on the brink of missing out on the league title to Lille. L’Equipe claims that Mauricio Pochettino’s side have put Lewandowski at their top of their list of alternatives.

The Poland international, whose existing deal runs out in 2023, equalled Gerd Muller’s 49-year-old record on Saturday by scoring his 40th goal in a single Bundesliga season in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Freiburg (stream the replay on ESPN+ in the U.S.). He has one more opportunity to set a new record next weekend, when Bayern host Augsburg in their final game of the season.

13.12 BST: Cristiano Ronaldo‘s agent may have ruled out the prospect of his client joining boyhood club Sporting Lisbon this summer but, with Juventus in danger of missing out on the Champions League, the two of them must be assessing the forward’s options. So where could he go?

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Gab Marcotti outlines all the potential scenarios surrounding where Cristiano Ronaldo might play next season.

12.25 BST: Werder Bremen has fired Florian Kohfeldt as coach and reappointed Thomas Schaaf in his place in a last-ditch effort to avoid Bundesliga relegation.

Bremen, which dropped into the demotion zone Saturday with a loss at Augsburg, said Sunday that the 60-year-old Schaaf is returning for its final Bundesliga game against Borussia Monchengladbach and two potential relegation playoff games.

Bremen could face automatic relegation next Saturday if Cologne beats already relegated Schalke. Cologne is just a point behind Bremen, which currently occupies the two-legged playoff place against the team that finishes third in the second division. The winner will play in the Bundesliga next season.

Bremen could yet escape the relegation zone altogether with a draw against Gladbach, depending on Arminia Bielefeld’s result at Stuttgart. Bielefeld is a point ahead of Bremen, which has a better goal difference than its two relegation rivals.

– Bundesliga on ESPN+: Stream LIVE games and replays (U.S. only)

11.38 BST: Lille centre-back Sven Botman, who has been linked with interest from Liverpool and Tottenham, has said that he has “dreamed” about playing in one of Europe’s top leagues.

Botman, 21, has formed a key part of the Lille defence which has conceded only 22 goals in 36 Ligue 1 games this season, putting the club on the cusp of their first championship in 10 years.

The Netherlands international, who came through the academy at Ajax but never played for their first team, told The Athletic: “It is a good compliment when you hear these clubs are interested. I’m lying if I say it’s not interesting me — it’s the first time such big clubs are linked to me — but it was early days because in January I was only at Lille for half a season. It was nice to hear but I was focusing on Lille and I’m still doing this. After the season I will enjoy a vacation and see what happens next.

“If I’m honest, the Premier League is one of the leagues I dreamed about… but also Serie A, La Liga, the Bundesliga. The Premier League is something special. It’s the football I really like and that fits me. The style of play, the emotion; I really like to see the fans with such big emotions in the stands. It is a beautiful competition I really like to watch and did for pretty much all my life.

“I’m not the kind of guy who is already planning for the future. How it’s going with me now, I hope to someday make a good step to a top competition or a big club; that’s my goal. But I’m good at the moment with Lille. I’m really enjoying this year, I’m enjoying playing a lot. I learn a lot and I still have to improve a lot. I’m not complaining about my situation right now, I’m happy at the moment.

“For my ambitions, yes, of course I want to achieve as much as possible. I hope to make a big, beautiful step for me. We’ll have to see in the future if that is possible or not.”

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10.52 BST: Premier League champions Manchester City could rival Arsenal for the signing of Ryan Bertrand this summer, according to the Daily Mail.

Bertrand, 31, will leave Southampton at the end of the season as a free agent after seven years at St Mary’s. The former Chelsea player has been identified by Arsenal as high-quality cover for Kieran Tierney, who is the club’s only recognised left-back.

However, the Mail reports that City could make a move for the 2012 Champions League winner as doubts persist over the long-term reliability of Benjamin Mendy.

09.49 BST: Zinedine Zidane has already told his Real Madrid players that he’ll leave the job this summer, according to Onda Cero.

The radio station reported on Saturday night that the coach informed the squad — after being knocked out of the Champions League by Chelsea, and before their La Liga match against Sevilla last weekend — that he would not be in charge next season.

The French coach has repeatedly refused to commit his future to Madrid, despite having a contract until 2022, although he hinted in a news conference on Saturday that “there are moments when you have to stay, and others when it’s finished and you have to go.”

Former Madrid striker Raul Gonzalez — currently boss of Madrid’s B-team Castilla — has been mentioned as a potential successors along with Massimiliano Allegri, Joachim Low and former Bernabeu coach Carlo Ancelotti. However, Marca reports that Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt are also interested in hiring Raul.

– ESPN+ announces multi-year La Liga rights deal

09.00 BST: Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are all keeping tabs on young Sevilla goalkeeper Alfonso Pastor, Diario AS reports.

The 20-year-old stopper endured a tough first-team debut in Sevilla’s 4-0 home Champions League group stage thrashing to Chelsea in December.

He’s highly-rated, though, and with his contract expiring this June, Spain’s big three are eyeing a free transfer, with Liverpool and Villarreal both also interested, according to the newspaper.

PAPER GOSSIP (by Luke Thrower)

– Manchester City have been given Lionel Messi‘s contract terms, if they wish to sign the forward this summer. The Sun reports that the 33-year-old, whose Barcelona contract expires at the end of the season, is looking for £500,000-a-week after tax. The deal, worth £25m a year, would make the Argentina international the best-paid player in the Premier League. City and Paris Saint-Germain are said to be the only two who could feasibly afford the forward.

Eduardo Camavinga is still a priority for Real Madrid this summer, according to Marca. The 18-year-old Stade Rennes sensation has been linked with many of Europe’s top clubs this summer, however the Champions League semifinal loss to Chelsea has reportedly forced the hand of the Madrid hierarchy to shake up their midfield. The finances could be a potential issue and the Los Blancos are worried they could be priced out of a move, with Bayern Munich also in the race.

– Everton are willing to listen to offers for Mason Holgate in a bid to raise funds for Kalidou Koulibaly. Football Insider reports that Holgate has not been able to convince Carlo Ancelotti, despite the 24-year-old signing a five-year contract last March. Napoli’s Koulibaly will reportedly be a target at Goodison Park for next season. The 29-year-old has worked with Ancelotti before in his time at the Serie A club back in the 2018-19 season.

– Newcastle United are monitoring Leeds United forward Tyler Roberts, according to Football Insider. The 22-year-old only has a year left on his current deal at Elland Road and is yet to agree an extension with the club. Steve Bruce is said to be weighing up a move for the Wales international. Leeds would reportedly hope to receive a transfer fee of around £10m.



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