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: Bayern coy over Sule’s future
Bayern Munich executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says that Germany international Niklas Sule could stay at the Bundesliga champions, but only under certain conditions, reports Bild.
The centre-back’s contract comes to an end in the summer of 2022, meaning he’ll be allowed to leave Bayern for free at the end of next season if a deal is not reached.
The situation mirrors that of Sule’s defensive partner, David Alaba, who confirmed last week that he would be exiting the Allianz Arena after failing to agree to a new contract as well.
“If we find a solution, we are generally ready to extend the contract, but that will only be possible under certain conditions,” Rummenigge said. “Talks are now being held, then we’ll see what results they will lead to. We’ll look at it seriously and calmly until the summer.”
According to German outlet AZ, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel is one of those considering a move for Sule who, at 25, could fast become one of the most in-demand centre-backs on the market.
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– Notebook: Mourinho’s future, why Utd passed on Upamecano
21.32 GMT: Atlanta United FC have announced the signing of 19-year-old holding midfielder Franco Ibarra from Argentinos Juniors.
Welcome our newest addition 🙌
Franco Ibarra is ready to represent the badge 🔴⚫️
DETAILS: https://t.co/rzeCBU3O9H pic.twitter.com/dqzLAzdLhZ
— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) February 22, 2021
20.15 GMT: The Manchester Evening News writes that Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson will look to leave move on this summer if he’s not anointed the club’s No. 1 ahead of David De Gea, having internally voiced his frustration over a lack of opportunities this season, while Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United are all said to be interested in the 23-year-old England international.
18.58 GMT: Sergio Aguero is out of contract in the summer, and considering his lengthy injury list of late, Manchester City are in no rush to sign him to a new deal, according to the Mirror. The report suggests that the 32-year-old Argentina forward is of interest to Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Internazionale, although he’s yet to receive a formal offer from any them.
17.41 GMT: As Real Madrid continue to flirt with the prospect of signing both Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund and Kylian Mbappe from Paris Saint-Germain this summer, AS has broken down just how much that would cost Los Blancos: €92m a year in wages and €50m a year in amortised transfer fees for a total of €852m over the life of six-year contracts.
16.24 GMT: Matt Doherty‘s future at Tottenham is uncertain with manager Jose Mourinho harbouring doubts over the defender’s ability to be a success at the club, sources have told ESPN’s James Olley.
Spurs signed the 29-year-old from Wolves for a fee in the region of £15m in August but Mourinho is considering making the right-back available for transfer this summer unless his form improves.
Doherty has started just nine Premier League games this season and only two since the turn of the year, the first ending with a 90th-minute red card against Leeds and the second initially as a makeshift left wing-back in defeat to champions Liverpool.
Mourinho could be heard berating Doherty throughout that game and sources have told ESPN there is further frustration behind the scenes at the Republic of Ireland international’s lack of progress.
Doherty signed a four-year contract last summer and is not ready to give up on his Spurs career. However, he will need opportunities to revive his fortunes and despite being without Serge Aurier due to a foot injury against West Ham on Sunday, Mourinho opted to start youngster Japhet Tanganga at right-back, only introducing Doherty at half-time.
15.57 GMT: Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho could well remain at the club beyond the end of the season, despite last summer’s long-running transfer saga which ultimately ended in Manchester United failing to sign him.
The England international began the season in poor form but is now back to his best and has clocked up five goals and 10 assists in the Bundesliga since the turn of the year. He was man of the match in Saturday’s 4-0 win over Schalke (stream the replay on ESPN+ in the U.S.), and even wore the captain’s armband for the final few minutes.
“There was some pressure on him after all that transfer talk,” Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke told Sport1. “As a club, you can either go after the player and make it clear [you don’t like what you see], or you remain positive towards the player and comfort him. [Head coach] Edin [Terzic] did the latter. He talked a lot. Jadon in the last few weeks has shown his unbelievable quality again. We are delighted he’s playing for us.”
Watzke’s comments come as The Athletic reports that United have cooled their interest in Sancho, and are instead prioritising a centre-back and a striker in the summer transfer window, although a fresh effort to sign him has not been completely ruled out.
– Bundesliga on ESPN+: Stream LIVE games and replays (U.S. only)
15.12 GMT: Is it already time for Liverpool to move Thiago Alcantara out of the club? Shaka Hislop and Nedum Onuoha answer that question and others from ESPN FC viewers.
14.09 GMT: Barcelona have intensified their interest in Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak as they look to bring in a new striker this summer, sources have told ESPN’s Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens.
Martin Braithwaite has been Barca’s only No. 9 since September, when they sold Luis Suarez to Atletico Madrid in a deal that could be worth up to €11m.
Financial restraints and the lack of a president have prevented a replacement coming in so far, despite coach Ronald Koeman’s pleas for Lyon’s Memphis Depay, but the club hope it will be possible to turn to the transfer market at the end of the season.
Isak, 21, is a player who has been on the club’s radar for a while and his performances since moving to Spain in 2019 have impressed Barca scouts, who believe similarities between Real Sociedad and Barca’s playing styles would ease his adaption.
The Sweden international has built on an impressive debut season with La Real, which included a brace against Real Madrid, by scoring 12 goals in 20 La Liga appearances this term.
He has a contract until 2024 in San Sebastian and his release clause is €70m, although Borussia Dortmund have a buy-back option worth €30m, with Cadena Ser reporting they could look to use that if they sell Erling Haaland.
13.15 GMT: Two unnamed Premier League clubs and a Bundesliga side are keen on Sevilla’s Bryan Gil, Cadena Ser reports, with the 20-year-old winger enjoying a sensational season on loan at Eibar.
According to the radio station, Gil’s release clause at Sevilla is just €35m, an inviting fee for one of La Liga’s most promising young players.
Sevilla sporting director Monchi is aware of the interest, however, and is keen to agree a new contract — Gil’s current deal runs until 2023 — which would include a clause that better reflects his value.
Earlier this month, Barcelona scout German Vaya publicly urged the club to make a move for Gil before other top clubs became interested.
12.28 GMT: Mikel Arteta may be slowly building a new side at Arsenal, but what will they need to do before they can consider themselves among the Premier League’s elite clubs once more?
Janusz Michallik still believes Mikel Arteta can succeed at Arsenal but several changes need to be made.
11.39 GMT: Barcelona presidential hopeful Toni Frexia says he’s closed an agreement that could help the club sign Kylian Mbappe or Erling Haaland this summer if he’s elected.
Barca’s financial problems have been well documented, with gross debt rising to nearly €1.2 billion. But Frexia says he’s agreed on a deal to sell 49% of Barca corporate — which is made up of four sections: Barca Innovation Hub, Barca Licence & Merchandising, Barca Studios and Barca Academies — for €250m.
Freixa, who is the outsider going into the March 7 elections, behind Joan Laporta and Victor Font, says that money would then be re-invested into improving the team.
“[The €250m] will be invested in three star players, two attackers and a defender,” Freixa told RAC1 on Monday. “The message is that Barca will have the competitive team that they have to have and that the supporters want. I’m talking in real terms; we will have the most competitive squad for next season.”
Freixa said he didn’t want to talk about specific names but, perhaps unrealistically, suggested it could even be possible to sign Paris Saint-Germain’s Mbappe and Borussia Dortmund’s Haaland.
“We won’t speak about players until they’re signed, because it’s not a good strategy and other clubs could ruin negotiations,” he said. “But it’s absolutely possible [to sign Mbappe and Haaland]. It’s what Barca must do. Bring in players who can make the difference.”
Where are Manchester United heading this season? 🤔
And what needs to be done to ensure a genuine title challenge next season?
Paul Scholes gives a lot of reasons to be optimistic 🔴 pic.twitter.com/27yNCtIKrg
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 21, 2021
10.43 GMT: Manchester United need to sign a “dominant” new centre-back to partner club captain Harry Maguire if they are to mount a sustained Premier League title challenge, according to former United midfielder Paul Scholes.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side regained second place in the table following Sunday’s 3-1 win over Newcastle United, but they are still 10 points behind Manchester City having conceded more than twice the number of league goals (32) as the leaders (15) this season.
“They are missing a real dominant centre back, you look back at the history of the teams that win leagues they have real leaders in the back four,” Scholes told BT Sport. “Maguire could be but he needs someone next to him that can dominate. I don’t think we are far off, the attacking play, the midfield play, Paul Pogba is looking better, Fred and [Scott] McTominay.
“We have a young [Mason] Greenwood coming of age, the more games he plays the more star quality he will bring, this lad could be a real superstar. There’s goals in the team and I just think a real dominant centre-half with authority could take United to that next level.”
– Dawson: United fringe players fighting for their future
09.58 GMT: Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has played down talk of defender Ezri Konsa leaving Villa Park for either Liverpool or Tottenham.
Last week, 23-year-old Konsa was linked with interest from the Premier League champions and Spurs, but Smith says those reports won’t unsettle the former England U21 international.
“He certainly won’t get distracted,” Smith said. “I’m not sure Ezri reads any newspapers but he’s probably seen it online I would have thought, somewhere.
“But, I’ll certainly give him a little bit of a ribbing about it and I’m sure the lads have already!”
Konsa has made 21 Premier League appearances for eighth-placed Villa this season, scoring two goals. The team’s goal difference of +11 is the best in the league outside of the top six.
09.00 GMT: Real Madrid forward Vinicius Jr. says he will turn down any offers regarding a loan move away from the Bernabeu.
The Brazil international has started in 15 of his 29 appearances for Los Blancos this season, scoring three goals and set up three more.
Asked if he would consider a loan spell away from Madrid in search of regular playing time, he told TNT Sports. “No. I’m always focused on wanting to be at Real Madrid, being with the best players, learning alongside the best players.
“I’m 20 years old and it seems as though I’ve played for many years but I’m only at the beginning of my career. I’m learning a lot from the players that are here, those that play in my position. I want to stay at Real Madrid forever.”
PAPER TALK (by Danny Lewis)
Man City won’t listen to De Bruyne offers
Manchester City will not be listening to any offers for their talismanic midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, according to Fabrizio Romano.
• Barnwell’s best moves: 100-51 | 50-1
• Summer transfer grades
• Latest completed major transfers
The journalist has stated that City see the 29-year-old as “100% untouchable” in the upcoming window.
This comes with the club feeling confident that they can come to an agreement for the Belgian to extend his current contract, which comes to an end in 2023.
The midfielder made his first start since returning from injury during City’s 1-0 victory over Arsenal on Sunday.
Neuhaus ‘relaxed about the future’
Borussia Monchengladbach’s Florian Neuhaus has enjoyed an impressive season, which has seen him catch the eye of supporters and clubs alike, as ESPN wrote earlier this month.
Bayern Munich and a plethora of big names have been linked with the 23-year-old midfielder.
However, as the Germany international told Kicker, he is not thinking too much about transfers just yet.
He told the German outlet: “It’s really not a big issue for me now. I play for Borussia, I have a contract and we as a club are still pursuing very big goals this season. I can’t say what will happen in the summer at the moment.
“I’m also very relaxed about the future. Borussia is a club where I was able to develop excellently and where everything is there. I know what I have about Borussia.”
– Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl admitted to Sky Sports Deutschland that he has spoken with prospective managers. This follows the news that Marco Rose will be moving to Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season.
– Former Arsenal striker Yaya Sanogo has agreed to sign for Championship outfit Huddersfield Town, as has been reported by Football Insider. The 28-year-old is currently a free agent, having left Toulouse upon the culmination of his contract last summer.
– Jorge Sampaoli is set to sign a contract to become manager of Marseille, as has been reported by Fabrizio Romano. This comes after Andre Villas-Boas resigned due to disagreements around transfer policy, which he openly criticised in a press conference. Romano added that former Juventus and Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri was also approached regarding the role, but turned it down.