The January transfer window may 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: Kane open to exit but Spurs stand firm
The Athletic’s David Ornstein has claimed that striker Harry Kane is keen to leave Tottenham Hotspur in search of trophies.
Kane, 27, has a contract that runs until 2024, so Spurs are in a strong negotiating position, but the England captain has not won a major trophy at the club — with sixth-placed Spurs sitting 23 points behind leaders Manchester City in the Premier League and facing them in the Carabao Cup final (live on ESPN+, April 25 @ 11 a.m. ET). City and Real Madrid have been linked with Kane in the past but a deal would cost a lot to put together.
“I speak to a lot of people in football and the consensus is Harry Kane would like to leave Tottenham, but he cannot say that publicly,” Ornstein told Sky Sports. “He’s the captain of Spurs and is very committed when he plays for the club, but he wants to go and win trophies.
“He’s said that publicly and made it incredibly clear that he wants to be winning multiple trophies, the biggest in football. It doesn’t look like he’ll be able to do that at Tottenham, so I think he would be open to a transfer.
“However, that is incredibly unlikely because [Tottenham chairman] Daniel Levy would want an astonishingly high figure for Kane, well in excess of £120 million according to reports. Levy wouldn’t want to sell to a rival and things will come to a crunch at some point because if Kane wants to go, he will have to express that. Do I see Kane leaving Spurs this summer? There may be a will from his side, and a will from interested clubs, but I don’t think it will happen.”
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11.04 GMT: Fred‘s failings reflect Manchester United’s lack of quality and result in FA Cup exit at Leicester, writes Rob Dawson.
Many of United’s players will represent their countries over the next two weeks, rather than getting the rest Solskjaer might feel they need, after which United return to action in pursuit of Champions League qualification and the silverware that has eluded their manager despite reaching the late rounds of a cup competition several times.
“We’ve got the Europa League and Premier League to concentrate on,” Solskjaer said. “Yes, we would’ve liked to go to Wembley [in the FA Cup], but now all the focus is on the games we do have. We’re in a good position in the league and we want to keep improving.”
Second place in the league would enable Solskjaer to argue that progress has been made, regardless of what happens in the remaining rounds of the Europa League. For that is where the overriding ambition lies for the 48-year-old: Premier League glory is his aim, and it is his job over the summer to decide who of his players are up to it and who are not.
10.33 GMT: Lionel Messi has still not received any offers from other clubs to leave Barcelona this summer and will wait until the end of the season before deciding on his future, sources have told ESPN.
Messi, 33, is out of contract in June and has been free to negotiate with other teams since January but sources say his only focus is on helping Barca be successful this season.
Rumours continue to emerge almost daily linking him with Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain but he’s isolated himself from the speculation and will wait until he’s spoken with the new Barca president, Joan Laporta, before even beginning to evaluate his future.
Messi’s father and agent, Jorge, remains in Argentina and still hasn’t finalised a date to fly to Barcelona, despite reports suggesting he is already in Spain or has plans to fly to Europe to listen to the different possible offers.
Man City tried to sign Messi last summer when he told Barca he wanted to leave and ESPN reported in February that both the Premier League leaders and PSG continue to follow his situation at Camp Nou. However, several sources consulted by ESPN have assured that Messi has not received any offer from either club yet and that there’s no proposal to renew from Barca, either.
10.02 GMT: Is there trouble brewing at Arsenal?
Janusz Michallik is disappointed with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s contribution to Arsenal’s match vs. West Ham.
09.24 GMT: Lionel Messi will return to Newell’s one day, according to club coach German ‘El Mono’ Burgos.
Messi, 33, played for Newell’s youth teams before joining Barcelona in 2000 and the Argentina legend becomes a free agent this summer, though is most likely to move to Manchester City or PSG.
“I believe in him and that he can give more,” the former Atletico Madrid assistant coach, who took over Newell’s earlier this month, told La Capital. “I don’t think he will leave Barcelona because it is his home just as Newell’s is and I think at some point he will come here.
“If Diego Maradona played here, Messi will also want to play in the first division with Newell’s. I believe that will happen some day.”
He said, laughing: “I hope it’s soon.”
09.07 GMT: Zlatan Ibrahimovic says he is no hurry to sign his contract extension with AC Milan.
The Sweden international becomes a free agent this summer but says his rapport with the Italian club is excellent.
Ibrahimovic, 39, who scored his 15th league goal in Sunday’s 3-2 win at Fiorentina, to help the Rossoneri remain in the race for the Serie A title, said after the game on Sky Italia: “The more time that passes, the younger I feel.
Ibrahimovic then joked: “[AC Milan director Paolo] Maldini is putting pressure on me as he wants me to be worthy of this new contract. It’s a joke, everything is under control. We speak a lot; we have a great rapport. We will see what happens, but we are not going to rush it.”
Ibrahimovic’s great form was rewarded as he was named in Sweden’s squad for the first time in five years.
“My desire was to continue to play and be happy, the rest is a bonus, “Ibrahimovic said. “The national team is and it’s an honour to be back after five years. [Sweden coach] Andersson came twice to my house to get me, one of those at home and the other at Milanello. We spoke and we were direct. Then the call came up.”
08.30 GMT: Former Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has revealed that he turned down an approach from Real Madrid while still in charge at the Italian club.
Allegri won five Serie A titles and reached two Champions League finals with Juve. That led to Madrid identifying him as a replacement for Zinedine Zidane, who sensationally ended his first stint in charge at the Bernabeu just days after winning a third consecutive Champions League in 2018.
“When Real Madrid called me three years ago, I had promised to Juventus that I would remain,” Allegri told Sky Sport Italia. That’s the only one I turned down.”
Allegri was fired by Juve a year later, and he has not worked since. When asked if he would return to coach the club again, he said: “It’s impossible to tell, besides, Andrea Pirlo is there now and in my view he’s doing well.
“I don’t know what Juve are missing. They are in the Coppa Italia Final, won the Supercoppa, are fighting for the top four. The Champions League is a bit of a lottery, it can turn on a sixpence.”
Gab Marcotti offers a rather interesting theory about what Erling Haaland’s future might entail.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)
— The race has already begun to sign Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland. According to Sport, Barcelona president Joan Laporta is willing to negotiate the sale of Barca Corporate — which controls several business assets of the club — allowing for a possible influx of over €200m. In addition to that, the club are willing to let two strikers leave, though the two potential departures are not named.
— Juventus may be set to use Mattia De Sciglio to help them sign Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar, reports Tuttosport. The 28-year-old full-back is on loan at Lyon and is keen to stay past the current campaign, having made 21 Ligue 1 appearances so far this term. Juventus will reportedly aim to use De Sciglio as a way of bringing the price down for signing Aouar, with Lyon asking for €40m.
– The Liverpool Echo reports that Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has not told the club that he wants to leave when his contract expires in the summer and, contrary to some reports, the Reds are unaware of a deal with Barcelona having been agreed already.
– Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma has been linked with Liverpool, Man United, Real Madrid and Arsenal but the Mirror indicates there could be a surprise suitor in for the Mali international. The outlet understands that Brendan Rodgers wants to pair Bissouma with Wilfred Ndidi in Leicester’s midfield and is ready to spend between £30m-£45m to make it happen.
— Paris Saint-Germain have already seen young defender Soumaila Coulibaly sign with Borussia Dortmund on a free transfer, and L’Equipe report the French champions now doing their best to keep 18-year-old attacker Nesta Zahui from leaving for another club when his deal ends in the summer of 2021. There are a number of clubs keeping a close eye on the situation, with Sevilla FC, Real Betis, Hoffenheim and Schalke 04 all showing an interest.
— Newcastle United are looking at Accrington Stanley goalkeeper Toby Savin, according to the Sun. Newcastle scout Mick Tait has watched the 19-year-old, who broke into the League One side’s first team this term. Manchester United have also monitored the prospect, though it seems to be the Magpies who are most serious at this stage.
— Independiente defender Alan Franco‘s deal to Atlanta United FC could be back on track, according to AS. The Argentine was set to join the Major League Soccer side but a late swoop from Brazilian club Sao Paulo seemingly sidetracked the bid. Now, Atlanta have gained the advantage again with a price of roughly $2.8m for 50% of the player’s value.