The coronavirus pandemic has made the transfer market uncertain — and you can find out when the windows open here — but here are the rumours floating around Europe’s big leagues and beyond.
TOP STORY: Man United expect Sancho battle with Real and Barca
Manchester United are keen to wrap up a deal for Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho as they’re aware competition will increase for him next summer, says the Daily Mirror.
Sancho’s protracted negotiations over a potential €120 million move have officially become a transfer saga, with United growing frustrated by Dortmund’s conduct, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.
Dortmund are adamant that the forward is not going anywhere this summer, and extended his contract by a year until 2023 a few months ago.
The report states that “La Liga rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona will enter the race for him next year. That would leave United battling it out in a bidding war with Spanish giants for Sancho — unless they up their offer this summer and meet Dortmund’s valuation.”
Though it also suggests that talk of interest could be “a ploy by Dortmund to force their hand and pressure them into bidding what the German club want this summer.”
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22.48 BST: Antonee Robinson was on the verge of joining AC Milan in January only for the move to collapse, but now Sky Sports reports that Wigan’s 23-year-old left-back is attracting attention from Everton and Fulham in addition to Sheffield United, who’ve been linked with the United States international for weeks.
22.01 BST: Torino have agreed a €3m fee with AC Milan for 27-year-old left-back Ricardo Rodriguez, who is set to sign a four-year contract at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino, according to Sky Sport Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio.
21.14 BST: Twenty-year-old Manchester United winger Tahith Chong is expected to fly to Germany in the next 48 hours to complete a season-long loan move to Werder Bremen, according to Sky Sports.
20.27 BST: Emerson Palmieri remains the favourite to become Inter’s starting left wing-back next season, but if Antonio Conte is unable to prize his former charge from Chelsea, he could turn to 21-year-old Vitaliy Mykolenko of Dynamo Kiev, according to Corriere dello Sport.
19.40 BST: Jan Vertonghen‘s Tottenham Hotspur career is officially over, after eight years, with the 33-year-old free agent penning a three-year contract at Portuguese giants Benfica.
✍️ Bem-vindo, @JanVertonghen! #PeloBenfica pic.twitter.com/gG9CrW2svU
— SL Benfica (@SLBenfica) August 14, 2020
18.53 BST: Russian Premier League club Rubin Kazan have announced the signing of 23-year-old South Korea international midfielder Hwang In-Beom on a three-year contract from Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
❗️ Officially: Hwang In-beom to Rubin
We signed a three-year contract with the 23-year-old midfielder from @WhitecapsFC and the South Korean National Team Hwang In-beom. He’ll join us after all the final paperwork.
👉 https://t.co/99ErCyVlak pic.twitter.com/tWjw42fZod
— FC Rubin Kazan (@fcrk_en) August 14, 2020
18.06 BST: Sources have confirmed to ESPN’s Stephan Uersfeld a report from Bild that states that the deal between Hertha Berlin and Schalke 044 to take United States international Weston McKennie to the German capital is off. Hertha were prepared to pay €20m while Schalke held out for €25m, and when taking into account the 21-year-old’s wages over the course of the contract, it would’ve been a €40m outlay. In addition, McKennie is said to prefer a move to the Premier League, where Southampton, Leicester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers all are said to be interested in the midfielder.
17.19 BST: Paulo Dybala has two years remaining on his contract, and if Juventus are unable to agree to terms on a new deal, they may be forced to explore selling him, according to Tuttosport. The report states that if Juve were to part with the 26-year-old forward, their priority would be to send him to Manchester United in exchange for Paul Pogba, who is said to be a favourite of new manager Andrea Pirlo. Real Madrid are also interested, but because they’re not in a position to spend heavily, an alternative operation could potentially see them offer one of Isco or Marco Asensio in exchange. Manchester City are also reportedly monitoring the situation as they prepare for life without Sergio Aguero, whose contract at the Etihad expires next summer.
16.32 BST: Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has said that the club are unable to make signings but remains adamant Jadon Sancho will not join Manchester United this summer.
The Bundesliga club have been hit hard by the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic but Watzke said the club are confident Sancho will remain for the 2020-21 campaign.
Sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson that the England international is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s top target but United failed to meet an arbitrary Aug. 10 deadline to make a €120m bid for the forward before he joined up with Dortmund’s preseason squad.
“With losses expected to be over €40m for last term, it’s a fact that there is no more money left for transfer fee,” Watzke told dpa ahead of the release for BVB’s financial numbers for 2019-20. “If you lose €4m for every match played without fans, and we do that, you must not be a prophet to calculate which direction it’s headed. We definitely can’t make any more big leaps.
“Sancho staying at BVB is set in stone. We will not discuss the details. But what I can emphasis: If Michael Zorc, who is a Westphalian just like me, talks about a definite decision, then it’s definite. There is no room for interpretation.”
16.02 BST: Liverpool have been linked with Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago, as his contract expires in 2021 and he wants to leave, but is the Spain international the type of player that would thrive under Jurgen Klopp?
ESPN FC’s Steve Nicol would see Thiago potentially being a squad player for Liverpool next season.
15.17 BST: Oh look, Inter Milan are being linked with a move for a former Antonio Conte player.
N’Golo Kante is the man this time, with Chelsea embarking on a summer transfer spree, incredibly there might not be room for one of the world’s best midfielders.
Conte is keen to bring him to Italy, says Gazzetta dello Sport, as the former Chelsea boss certainly knows how impressive he is first hand.
14.45 BST: Toronto FC forward Jordan Perruzza is attracting plenty of interest from Europe, sources have told ESPN’s Tom Hamilton.
The 19-year-old Canadian is on Toronto’s books, but is yet to sign a MLS contract. He holds an EU passport and is on the radar of a number of European clubs with a loan plus option to buy the most likely outcome.
Perruzza has scored 17 goals in 28 games for Toronto’s second team in the United Soccer League and has interest from Portsmouth, Brentford, Watford, QPR and Middlesbrough. A couple of German clubs are also interested, while Italian trio Benevento, Empoli and Brescia are also keen, sources said.
There has also been plenty of interest from Premier League sides looking to bring him over for a trial, but the current quarantine rules would see Perruzza spending three to four weeks in the UK just to undertake a trial, so a loan with option to buy is possible.
14.23 BST: There has been plenty of talk surrounding Vasco da Gama teenager Talles Magno and a potential move to Liverpool, but the Evening Standard reports that they are not interested.
Magno, 18, has been dubbed ‘the next Neymar‘ and won the World Cup with Brazil U17s in 2019. However, Liverpool are not willing to pay his €50m release clause, or negotiate near the €25m that the Brazilian club want.
14.00 BST: Cristiano Ronaldo surely isn’t thinking about leaving Juventus, is he?
Julien Laurens and Gab Marcotti react to Cristiano Ronaldo’s agent reportedly exploring interest in the star.
13.17 BST: ICYMI – Montreal Impact centre-back Luis Binks will join Italian Serie A side Bologna in 2021.
Binks, 18, will stay at Montreal on loan until Dec. 31, 2020. The two clubs are owned by Canadian businessman Joey Saputo.
“We had an opportunity to see his quality last winter during his first four games with the Impact and more recently in Florida, and we’re excited for him to join us,” Walter Sabatini, Bologna FC and Montreal Impact global sporting director, said in a statement. “This transfer once again demonstrates the synergy between the two clubs and the new philosophy in place in Montreal.”
12.29 BST: Sky Sport Italia says that AC Milan are in talks to sign Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic.
Milan are looking to include Lucas Paqueta, who has only been at the club since January 2019, as part of the deal, but Fiorentina want €40m in full.
12.08 BST: Reports in Spain that Dani Ceballos will return to Real Madrid this summer came as a surprise to those familiar with his frosty relationship with coach Zinedine Zidane, sources have told ESPN’s Alex Kirkland and Rodrigo Faez.
The pair haven’t seen eye-to-eye in the past, and another season on loan at Arsenal was looking most likely before claims this week that the midfielder will rejoin Madrid for preseason training.
11.27 BST: RB Leipzig are through to the Champions League semifinals and star defender Dayot Upamecano has attracted plenty of attention in the transfer window.
Steve Nicol and Don Hutchison heap praise on Dayot Upamecano’s stellar UCL performance vs. Atletico.
11.02 BST: Chelsea are willing to sell Tiemoue Bakayoko to AC Milan but are aiming to recoup almost all of the £40m they spent to sign the midfielder in 2017, sources have told ESPN’s James Olley.
The 25-year-old has been deemed surplus to requirements as Chelsea look to help finance a summer spending spree that has already seen Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner arrive at the club while talks are set to continue with Bayer Leverkusen over a deal worth at least £70m for Kai Havertz.
Bakayoko has two years remaining on his £100,000-a-week contract.
10.43 BST: News in The Sun that Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks could be on his way to the Etihad Stadium has come as a surprise to Manchester City, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.
City are not looking to add a holding midfielder to their squad this summer with Pep Guardiola and director of football Txiki Begiristain happy with the options in that area — particularly after signing Rodri a year ago.
City have signed Ferran Torres and Nathan Ake in the transfer window and could yet add another centre-back before the deadline, but a defensive midfielder is not on the club’s list of priorities.
10.00 BST: Arsenal have completed the signing of Willian on a free transfer.
🆕 New club. New colours. New beginnings.
👋 Welcome to The Arsenal, @WillianBorges88! 🔴 pic.twitter.com/B7Tl01BXLe
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 14, 2020
09.30 BST: ESPN’s Insider Notebook is out, with some juicy bits of transfer news including:
– Arsenal’s efforts to streamline and improve their operations has extended to an internal investigation into whether they overpaid for £72m club-record signing Nicolas Pepe. Sources have told ESPN’s James Olley that the deal has been re-examined as part of the wider recruitment overhaul which led to the departures of a host of scouts including Francis Cagigao, Brian McDermott and Brian Clark as well as several more senior employees based throughout Europe.
– Barcelona coach Quique Setien will lead the team in Friday’s Champions League quarterfinal against Bayern Munich but the club have already begun sounding out possible replacements, sources have told ESPN’s Samuel Marsden and Moises Llorens.
– It felt inevitable from the moment Jose Mourinho was appointed Tottenham head coach that he would clash with chairman Daniel Levy given their contrasting approaches to the transfer market, yet both are giving ground to make things work so far. Sources have told ESPN’s James Olley that while Levy was excited by the prospect of academy graduates Kyle Walker-Peters and Troy Parrott breaking into the first team next season, Mourinho did not rate either player. Walker-Peters has now left for Southampton and Parrott is already out on a season-long loan at Championship side Millwall.
– A string of Premier League clubs want to sign former Barcelona defender Xavier Mbuyamba, various sources have told ESPN, with Chelsea among those keen to land him.
08.57 BST: This is no way to treat a €126m signing, is it?
Don Hutchison lays into Diego Simeone’s tactics, in particular his decision to leave Joao Felix on the bench to start.
08.39 BST: Benfica are expected to announce the signing of Jan Vertonghen as a free agent later.
Vertonghen underwent a medical in Lisbon on Thursday and is expected to sign a contract with Benfica. The Belgium defender, who made over 300 appearances for Tottenham before his contract expired last month, wass also a target of Napoli, Inter Milan and Roma.
If completed, Vertonghen, 33, will become Benfica’s fourth reinforcement following the arrivals of Pedrinho, Helton Leite and Gilberto. Benfica are also expected to announce the signings of Everton and Luca Waldschmidt.
Tottenham coach Jose Mourinho spoke about Vertonghen’s potential move to Benfica and told Record: “I don’t know if he will become a Benfica player or not but if confirmed, a great gentleman will play in the Portuguese league. He is a great professional, a silent leader and an example of team work.”
08.00 BST: Real Madrid are considering selling left-back Sergio Reguilon for €25m this summer but will include a buyback clause in the deal, according to AS.
Reguilon has enjoyed a strong campaign while on loan at Sevilla this season. The 23-year-old has scored three goals and set up four more in 36 appearances, 33 as a starter, to attract interest of big European clubs.
Discussions with Chelsea are already at an advanced stage, sources have told ESPN’s Rodrigo Faez and Alex Kirkland. Arsenal and Napoli are also interested in signing the defender, while Sevilla would also like him to continue at the club beyond this summer. Reguilon’s wish is to return to Real Madrid this summer but according to Diario AS, that will not happen with Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane unable to offer the player regular playing time.
Napoli sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli admitted his club’s interest in Reguilon.
“We want Reguilon on loan but Real Madrid’s demands are high and there is also competition from the Premier League,” he told Cadena Cope radio.
Sid Lowe says Gareth Bale choosing money over playing time is sad to see for football.
PAPER TALK: (by James Capps)
Real desperate to offload Rodriguez, Bale
Real Madrid are set to dramatically lower their asking prices for wantaway pair Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez, according to Sport.
Boss Zinedine Zidane is particularly keen to sell Bale, who continues to be ostracised from the playing squad amid a backdrop of unusual behavior from the 31-year-old, as he watched on from the stands while his side secured the La Liga title last month.
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Sport claims that a fee of just €17m would be enough to prize the former Spurs man away from the Bernabeu, as long as the buyer can compete with the £600,000-a-week wages he picks up with Los Blancos.
Rodriguez, meanwhile, is available for a cut-price €8.5m, and the 29-year-old has reportedly attracted interest from clubs in Serie A and the Premier League.
Pirlo eyes deal for Zapata
Calciomercato claims new Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo has identified Atalanta striker Duvan Zapata as one of his main transfer targets, as the Serie A champions look to rebuild following an underwhelming season in Europe.
The 29-year-old has had an excellent season, notching 18 goals and providing a further seven assists in just 28 appearances in all competitions, including two strikes in his side’s excellent Champions League campaign.
That form hasn’t gone unnoticed by Pirlo, who is hoping to lure the Colombia international to Turin for a fee of around €30m.
Interest in a number of Atalanta players is expected over the coming weeks following their run to the quarterfinals of the Champions League, where they were denied a place in the semis in cruel fashion via a late comeback from Paris Saint-Germain in midweek.
Napoli line up double Roma raid
Napoli are preparing for the departures of two of their key players, with Jose Callejon and Allan set to leave the club in the coming days, and Gazzetta dello Sport claims Gennaro Gattuso’s side have lined up moves for Roma’s Cengiz Under and Jordan Veretout of Fiorentina as their replacements.
Callejon, 33, is departing Naples on a free transfer following the expiry of his contract, while midfielder Allan is close to securing a move to Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton in a deal worth around €25m. A chunk of that fee is set to be spent on Veretout, who enjoyed a successful loan spell in Rome during the 2019-20 season, making 37 appearances in all competitions
Turkey international winger Under, meanwhile, is considered Napoli’s No. 1 target, and they haven’t been put off by Roma’s €30m asking price.
– New Monaco boss Niko Kovac has told a dozen of his players to find new clubs by the end of the summer transfer window on Oct. 5, according to L’Equipe. The most high-profile casualties look set to be Brazilian centre-back Jemerson and winger Keita Balde, who scored just four league goals in the 2019-20 season.
– Sky Sports claims Ligue 2 side Amiens have made a loan move for Celtic outcast Boli Bolingoli. The Belgian recently broke coronavirus rules in Scotland following his side’s win over Hamilton on Aug. 2, with boss Neil Lennon saying it would be “very difficult” to welcome the player back into his squad as a result.
– Championship side Stoke City have reportedly slashed the asking price for their England international goalkeeper, Jack Butland. Sky Sports claims the Potters were looking for at least £30m for the 27-year-old last year, but as the stopper enters the final 12 months of his contract, the price has now been dropped to around £10m.