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: Leeds’ Raphina on Liverpool, Man Utd list
There could be a tug of war between Liverpool and Manchester United this summer for Leeds United winger Raphinha, according to Sportitalia journalist Gianluigi Longari.
Longari believes that there are a long list of clubs keen to secure Raphinha’s signature, but that Premier League sides Liverpool and United lead the way.
United may feel they have the upper hand because of Bruno Fernandes, who played with Raphinha at Sporting CP. They’ll hope Fernandes can help lure his former teammate to Old Trafford.
Liverpool have made their interest clear but may not have the budget to make a bid given their tight purse strings. Leeds, who don’t want to let go of a player they only signed last summer, will no doubt ask for much more than the £17 million they spent to obtain his services.
It is also unclear where Raphinha would fit into Liverpool’s system. He can play either flank but he mainly operates on the right, where Mohamed Salah has thrived for Jurgen Klopp.
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13.24 GMT: Jose Mourinho‘s future at Tottenham depends on his ability to change from his combative past, writes James Olley.
These are challenging times for the Tottenham Hotspur manager, who has long been miscast as a Machiavellian manipulator. He is mischievous and often calculated, of that there is no doubt, but those who know him best describe a capricious individual prone to violent emotional mood swings.
Mourinho faces Tottenham decision day Several years ago during a private conversation, one of his most famous former players once described to me the contrast between Guus Hiddink and Mourinho during their respective tenures at Chelsea by making two hand gestures. The first was with his hand out in front, palm facing flat to the floor, motioning from left to right to signify calm waters. For Mourinho, he drew waves as high and low as his arms would allow.
Following an 11-month hiatus from the game after being sacked by Manchester United, Mourinho insisted when he arrived at Spurs in November 2019 that he was a different man; a more mellow, measured character who no longer relished conflict no matter how contrived. Anyone versed in his career knows his time at a club follows a specific pattern which never completes a fourth season: improve, excel, push to breaking point, civil war, acrimonious exit.
You know we’ve reached a dangerous stage of the cycle when the blame game starts.
12.59 GMT: Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is available for nothing this summer and the 33-year-old is still a top player.
Frank Leboeuf says Barcelona would be a mid-table team without Lionel Messi in the squad.
12.12 GMT: RB Leipzig defender Angelino said Pep Guardiola “killed” his confidence during their time together at Manchester City.
Angelino has become an important member of Julian Nagelsmann’s side as Leipzig look to win their first-ever Bundesliga title. The 24-year-old recently joined on a long-term contract after two impressive loan spells at the club. Leipzig parted with €18m and Angelino has contributed eight goals as well as 11 assists in 31 appearances across all competitions from his position as left wing back.
“There is a big difference [between Guardiola and Nagelsmann]: One gave me the confidence and played me and the other didn’t,” Angelino told reporters on Wednesday. “[Guardiola] killed me. Confidence is everything for me.”
Angelino joined Leipzig from City on an initial loan in January 2020 after only starting in four of a possible 24 Premier League matches in the 2019-2020 season. Ahead of the last term, he had returned from an impressive loan spell with PSV Eindhoven, but said he felt he never had a chance under Guardiola to prove his worth.
“I was judged for preseason. And then I didn’t get a chance for a few months. It’s hard to play one game every two months,” he said. “On the hand I learned a lot from Pep but on the other hand I did not play as much as I wanted.”
11.31 GMT: Liverpool could move for Torino defender Gleison Bremer in the summer, says Tuttosport.
The club signed centre-backs Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies in January but Kabak is only on loan at Liverpool and manager Jurgen Klopp may be looking to add another defender to his squad with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all injured.
Bremer, 23, could leave Torino this summer, as the club are 17th in Serie A.
10.26 GMT: Former Barcelona defender Jeremy Mathieu believes fellow Frenchman Antoine Griezmann made a mistake when he left Atletico Madrid for €120m to sign for Barcelona in 2019.
“Griezmann is not at the level that he was at Atletico Madrid,” Mathieu told RAC1. “I personally think he made a mistake to sign for Barca. At Atletico, he was an important player and I don’t know if he is at Barcelona.”
ESPN FC’s Alejandro Moreno answers the toughest question in football at the moment.
09.50 GMT: PSG sporting director Leonardo has been speaking about the future of Kylian Mbappe.
With his contract expiring in 2022, Mbappe has been linked with a big-money move to Real Madrid or Liverpool. But PSG want him to pen new terms.
“We are in talks with Kylian Mbappe and advancing,” Leonardo told France Bleu. “We are arriving at decision time soon. Dialogue is good. We are also on the right track with Neymar. However, it is not signed just yet.”
09.24 GMT: Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans has given a strong hint that he could extend his stay with the Foxes.
The Sun reports that the Belgium international is in talks with the club over a new contract to replace his current deal, which expires in 2023.
Tielemans, 23, has been a key player ever since he arrived from Monaco in 2019, initially on loan in the January transfer window before sealing a £40m transfer that summer.
“Why not?” Tielemans said when asked if he could achieve his career ambitions at Leicester. “This is a club where you have the best environment you can have, especially with the new training ground. “The people around you just want the best from you. It’s brilliant to be here and I really like it here. You can’t predict the future or whether we are ready to win trophies but everything around the club and inside the club is already in place to produce success.”
08.43 GMT: Former Barcelona star Andres Iniesta believes Spanish winger Pedri is in the “ideal place” to develop his potential.
Since joining Barca from Las Palmas last summer, Pedri has scored three goals and set up four more in 36 appearances in all competitions.
The 18-year-old’s contract reportedly contains a €400m release clause but it only runs until the end of next season, meaning Barca may soon have to offer him a new deal.
“It’s clear that Pedri has a lot of potential,” Iniesta said. “I think he is in the ideal place to continue to grow, to continue to exploit his virtues.
“I wish him the best and the important thing is that he is calm, that people leave him alone because he is young and has everything ahead of him….he has a great future at Barcelona.”
08.00 GMT: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said he is still in touch with Erling Haaland and refused to rule out the possibility of bringing the striker to Manchester United in the future.
Solskjaer, who worked with Haaland at Molde, missed out on the Norway international when he chose to sign for Borussia Dortmund from FC Salzburg in January 2020.
However, Dortmund are facing a battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League after slipping off the pace in the Bundesliga, raising the possibility Haaland could be allowed to leave as early as this summer.
“When you have had kids and players through as a coach, you follow them and I keep in touch with Erling,” Solskjaer said at a news conference on Wednesday.
“It’s great to see him become the player he has become and [how] he works to improve all the time. He’s a Dortmund player — we just wish him well there and let’s see what life will bring later on.”
Jurgen Klinsmann explains how crucial it is for Jose Mourinho to have the backing of all his Tottenham players.
PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd)
Spurs eye Pope if Lloris bolts for PSG
There has been plenty of talk of Paris Saint-Germain’s interest in Tottenham Hotspur keeper Hugo Lloris, and now the Daily Mail suggests Spurs are planning a move for Burnley’s Nick Pope as a replacement.
Pope, 28, is expected to be Jose Mourinho’s top target should Lloris leave north London this summer.
Lloris, Tottenham’s club captain, is available on a free transfer in 2022, which is why the club might consider letting him go at the end of this season instead. PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino is also keen to be reunited with his former keeper.
Pope’s contract would cost in the region of £30m as, since joining the Clarets from Charlton in 2016, he has become one of most consistent performers in the Premier League.
River Plate’s Santos wanted by MLS sides
River Plate striker Santos Borre is be wanted by three Major League Soccer clubs, according to Argentine outlet TyC Sports.
Borre has become a key player for Marcelo Gallardo but with his contract ending in June, clubs are beginning to circle for his services. Along with Minnesota United FC and Toronto FC, either one of New York City FC or New York Red Bulls are also said to be in the mix.
Copa Libertadores champions Palmeiras are also interested in tempting Borre away from the Estadio Monumental.
River Plate could use money raised from the deals of outgoing players Santiago Sosa and Ignacio Fernandez in order to fund an extension for Borre, but it is believed the MLS clubs are able to offer more favourable contracts.
– AS Roma are considering making Borja Mayoral‘s loan from Real Madrid permanent, according to Calciomercato. The Spain forward joined Roma on a two-year deal for €2m but he can move outright this summer for €15m. If Roma decide to wait until next season, the price raises to €20m.
– Napoli and AS Monaco are interested in signing Valencia winger Goncalo Guedes, reports Calciomercato. The 24-year-old Portugal winger is contracted to the Spanish club until 2023, but that hasn’t deterred his would-be suitors. The news follows rumours earlier in the week that West Ham United were also looking into signing Guedes, with David Moyes keen to deliver a marquee signing for next season.
Meanwhile, Monaco are also interested in Valencia’s Kang-In Lee, according to Le10 Sport. They’re not alone in their admiration, with Lyon, Stade Rennes and Nice also monitoring his progress.
– Is Luciano Acosta on his way back to MLS? According to the Washington Post’s Stephen Goff, the ex-DC United winger is nearing a move to FC Cincinnati. The Argentine has played at Liga MX side Atlas since last year, but due to D.C. still having Acosta’s MLS rights, all three teams would need to work out the details.