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.
Manchester United have been linked with various centre-backs in previous months, with Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane and Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic among them.
And now, Foot Mercato has added Wesley Fofana to the mix for United, even though the 20-year-old Frenchman only joined Leicester City for around £30 million in October.
Despite his age, Fofana has been a mainstay in Brendan Rodgers’ defence, playing 29 games across all competitions as they sit third in the Premier League and await their FA Cup semifinal against Southampton on Sunday (stream live at 1:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+ in the U.S.).
Having spent £80m to bring Harry Maguire in from Leicester in 2019, the report suggests that United would have to pay a similarly hefty fee in order to land Fofana this term.
While United have spending power, using that sort of sum on another centre-back might not be something they choose to do because of the financial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their position will also be hindered further if Leicester are able to hang on to the Champions League place they currently hold.
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12.26 BST: Inter Milan signed Real Madrid full-back Achraf Hakimi for around €40m in the summer, but he has been linked with a move away already as the club are suffering financial woes.
Hakimi, 22, has impressed in Serie A but Arsenal are interested as ESPN sources have been told that right-back Hector Bellerin is likely to leave.
However, the Algeria international told La Repubblica: “The team that attracted me the most was Inter and I saw it as a growth project. I am honoured to be one of the testimonials for the new club logo. I like it, as it looks to the future, a future we can build together. I hope to stay at this club for a long time and I’m very happy.”
11.41 BST: Negotiations for Manchester City defender Eric Garcia to join Barcelona this summer took a step back this week after the Catalan club reneged on their original offer, sources have told ESPN’s Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens.
Barca first agreed on personal terms with Garcia, who’s out of contract in the summer, last October. However, they failed to agree a fee with City. The same personal terms were offered again in January, but with no president at the helm, Barca were unable to complete the signing.
Since then, Joan Laporta has been elected as the club’s new president and Garcia remains a target for next season. The Spain international is available for free and is keen to return to Barca, the club he left for City in 2017.
Following an internal audit on the club’s financial situation, though, Laporta’s board have changed the terms on offer to Garcia, lowering the base wage and including several performance-related add-ons to make up his salary.
Barca representatives met with Garcia’s camp earlier this week to try and finalise a pre-contract agreement but there’s some resentment that the terms have been changed. Despite that, Barca remain hopeful that a deal can be reached soon, although there are a number of other clubs monitoring the situation closely.
11.15 BST: Erling Haaland has been left in a tricky position by Borussia Dortmund’s Champions League exit and poor Bundesliga form, according to Diario AS — with the forward keen to join Real Madrid this summer, while the club are focused on “Operation Mbappe” instead.
The newspaper describes Haaland’s situation as “a maze that’s hard to find a way out of” with the 20-year-old likely to try to force a departure from Dortmund in search of Champions League football next season, even if that means having to pick a less preferable destination than his No. 1 choice: Madrid.
AS reports that Madrid’s “ideal situation” would be to wait to land Haaland when his €75m release clause kicks in in 2022 after signing PSG star Kylian Mbappe this year — if the Norway international can be persuaded to spend another year at Dortmund, and a season outside of Europe’s premier club competition.
10.34 BST: Manchester United’s Paul Pogba has hit out at former manager Jose Mourinho.
Craig Burley shares his thoughts on Paul Pogba’s recent criticism of Jose Mourinho’s management style.
10.02 BST: The Daily Mirror claims that Manchester City are ready to open talks with Phil Foden over a new £100,000-a-week contract.
Foden, 20, has scored 13 goals this season and the England midfielder is quickly becoming one of the best players in the Premier League.
The report reads: “City are understood to be keen to reward Foden’s impressive form with a contract extension to replace the last deal he signed in December 2018, which was worth £30,000-a-week.”
09.41 BST: Borussia Dortmund only signed midfielder Jude Bellingham from Birmingham for around £25m over the summer but already they are facing a battle to keep hold of him.
Bellingham, 17, has impressed since getting a chance in the first XI and Eurosport claims that Chelsea are interested.
The England international’s transfer could cost in the region of £100m but he is one of the stars of the future and has previously attracted interest from Man United.
09.00 BST: Barcelona president Joan Laporta is convinced Lionel Messi will stay at the club and said everything is progressing well, although sources have told ESPN he hasn’t yet offered the forward a new contract.
Messi’s existing deal expires in June and he will be free to leave the club if he doesn’t sign new terms.
Laporta, who was elected for a second spell as Barca president in March, has always expressed his desire for Messi to stay at Camp Nou but is holding off on offering him a new contract until an internal audit on the club’s finances has been carried out.
A report on Friday suggested a first offer had been made this week. Sources close to the Catalan club and the player denied that to ESPN, but Laporta demonstrated optimism ahead of this weekend’s Copa del Rey final.
Gab Marcotti says Arsenal can’t count their chickens before taking on former manager Unai Emery and Villarreal.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)
– Arsenal have joined the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea in showing interest in Internazionale starlet Martin Satriano, as has been reported by The Daily Mail. The 20-year-old has been playing for Inter’s Primavera side, contributing eight goals and six assists in 18 games this term. These numbers have made the striker highly sought after, with Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig also keeping an eye on him and Inter possibly having to let him leave due to their current financial situation.
— West Ham United are the frontrunners to sign Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard, with Leicester City having second thoughts, according to Football Insider. The Foxes’ lack of interest follows Kelechi Iheanacho‘s impressive recent form. The Hammers aren’t the only interested party, though, as Arsenal are also keeping tabs on the 23-year-old Frenchman, who could leave Celtic for as little as £8m-£10m due to his contract coming to an end in the summer of 2022.
— He scored the goal that got AS Roma through against Ajax in the Europa League, but Edin Dzeko‘s future in the Italian capital is uncertain, according to Sky Sports Italia. The report says that club and player are waiting until the end of the season to discuss the Bosnia & Herzegovina international’s future, with his contract ending in 2022. If the veteran does leave, Roma are interested in bringing in Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic or Torino star Andrea Belotti in to replace him.
— Wolfsburg are looking to sign 23-year-old Portimonense striker Beto, reports Kicker. The forward has a contract with the Portuguese outfit that has a €40m fixed release clause and lasts until 2023, but the expectation is that Wolfsburg will pay far less than that figure if they bring in the man with 10 Liga goals this term.