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.
TOP STORY: Spurs have option to keep Bale on loan
Tottenham may be able to extend Gareth Bale‘s loan from Real Madrid for another year this summer, reports the Daily Mail.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy made sure Spurs had a first refusal clause in the Wales international’s loan when he joined last year, allowing the possibility for a return after his current deal comes to an end. However, the arrangement does require Bale to agree to rejoin the club again, something that may not have been likely a few weeks ago.
The report says Levy will present the opportunity of re-signing the 31-year-old winger to Tottenham’s new manager when the club eventually replaces Jose Mourinho.
It looks unlikely Bale will play a part for Real Madrid next season, with the Spanish club needing to offload his wages from their books amid the financial crisis. Tottenham are reportedly paying £240,000-a-week of Bale’s salary at Madrid and the same terms would be agreed if he stayed on.
A run of impressive performances, most recently a hat trick in a win against Sheffield United on Sunday, and game time under interim manager Ryan Mason may have convinced Bale to return to London again next year.
The move would cost Tottenham another £12 million in wages, but it would present a cheaper option than signing a direct replacement this summer.
– Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ (U.S. only)
– ESPN+ viewer’s guide: Bundesliga, Serie A, MLS, FA Cup and more
14.25 BST: Javi Martinez will leave Bayern Munich at the end of the season after nine years, the German club have announced.
#FCBayern and @Javi8martinez are saying ‘goodbye and thank you’ from the bottom of their hearts after nine very successful years together. #GraciasJavi ❤️ #MiaSanMia
— 🏆🏆🏆FC Bayern English🏆🏆🏆 (@FCBayernEN) May 4, 2021
“I’m very proud and happy to have been part of the Bayern family for nine years. I’d like to thank this great club and especially our fans — you have made Munich my home!” Martínez told the club website.
“I’ll never forget these nine years. From the very first day, I felt the ‘Mia san mia’ and the special nature of Bayern. I lived for this club, always gave everything for it, and am very happy about the many titles we won together. Bayern and its fans will forever be in my heart. Muchas gracias, dankeschön, servus – see you again.”
14.15 BST: Jose Mourinho has made a surprise return to football after being announced as the new Roma manager.
Mourinho was recently sacked as manager of Tottenham but has made a quick return, the Serie A club confirmed on Tuesday.
The club are delighted to announce an agreement has been reached with Jose Mourinho for him to become our new head coach ahead of the 2021-22 season.
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) May 4, 2021
It will be Mourinho’s second spell in Serie A, after he spent two seasons at Inter Milan before leaving to join Real Madrid in 2010.
Roma announced earlier this week that manager Paulo Fonseca will leave the club at the end of the season. The news comes two days ahead of Roma’s Europa League semifinal second-leg against Manchester United, a game in which they trail 6-2 on aggregate.
13.59 BST: Manchester United are eyeing a move for Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane but Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly is a backup option, reports Gazzetta dello Sport.
Koulibaly, 29, is one of the top defenders in Europe but Napoli had been asking around €100m to sign him. Now that figure could be as low as €50m, both United and Liverpool are keen.
Manchester City are also mentioned but after spending a combined €113m on Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake last summer they are set for centre-backs.
13.15 BST: Tottenham have some interesting options to eventually replace Jose Mourinho as manager.
Gab Marcotti has some doubts that either Rafael Benitez or Ralf Rangnick are the right fit for Tottenham’s managerial position.
12.34 BST: Arsenal winger Katie McCabe has signed a new long-term contract.
McCabe, 25, has 12 assists and four goals in 24 games this season and the Republic of Ireland captain has been key to the club’s success.
“I’m absolutely delighted,” she told the club website. “I love this club and I feel like we’re in a really good place and that we’re ready to push on. I’m delighted it got done and now I’m ready to kick on and help this club win more trophies.
“It’s been amazing ever since I joined the club. There’s been ups and downs along the way, but I feel like I’m in a really good place with the team that we’ve got, the players we’ve got and all the staff behind the scenes. I’m really happy to commit my future.”
12.22 BST: Cristiano Ronaldo was 12 years old when he joined Sporting Lisbon’s academy in 1997 and now he wants to return to the club to end his career, says Sportmediaset.
Ronaldo made his Sporting debut in the 2002-03 campaign at the age of 17 and went on to become one of the world’s best players. Now, after a glittering career with Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus, the 36-year-old is now thinking about his next move, having grown tired of life in Turin.
Man United and Real Madrid don’t have the money to bring him back this summer, so Ronaldo is reportedly ready to see out his contract until 2022 and move ‘home’ to Lisbon for free.
Italian journalist Claudio Raimondi claimed: “He wants to end the cycle at Juventus and then play two years for Sporting.”
11.31 BST: Barcelona have sounded out a possible move for Flamengo’s Gerson but have not reached an agreement to sign the midfielder, sources have told ESPN Brasil.
A report in Spain on Monday suggested Barca had struck a deal to bring the former Roma man back to Europe. However, sources said that while the Catalan club have made contract with Gerson through an intermediary, a move to Camp Nou is not imminent.
Gerson, 23, came through at Fluminense before joining Roma in 2016. After three years in Italy, including a loan spell with Fiorentina, he returned to Brazil with Flamengo in 2019.
10.49 BST: Lyon forward Memphis Depay spent last week house hunting in Barcelona, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Depay, 27, is out of contract in the summer and is set to leave Lyon on a free transfer. Barca tried to sign him last year at the request of coach Ronald Koeman but could not make the deal work financially.
Koeman remains interested in bringing Depay to Camp Nou at the end of the season, although the report says Barca insist “nothing is closed” with the Netherlands international.
Despite that, Depay is said to be excited at the prospect of moving to Barcelona and was in the city last Wednesday, along with several family members, to view properties.
Koeman has made it clear he wants to add another forward to his squad this summer, although sources suggest the interest in Depay is linked to the coach’s future. However, with the Copa del Rey already won and Barca cutting the gap on leaders Atletico Madrid from 13 points to two, Koeman has done his chances of fulfilling the second year of his contract no harm.
10.13 BST: Eden Hazard moved to Real Madrid for €100m from Chelsea in 2019 but hasn’t impressed.
ESPN FC’s Sid Lowe reports on Eden Hazard being projected to start vs. Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League.
09.54 BST: Manchester United have joined Tottenham and West Ham in the race to sign West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, sources have told ESPN’s Mark Ogden, with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer preparing for the likely departure of former No. 1 David de Gea this summer.
Johnstone, 28, spent nine years at Old Trafford having progressed through the club’s academy before joining West Brom in a £6.5m transfer in 2018.
And with United keen to sign a proven Premier League keeper to challenge Dean Henderson for the No. 1 shirt next season, Johnstone has emerged as Solskjaer’s favoured option to replace De Gea, who sources have told ESPN is unlikely to accept a role as a No. 2 next season.
Although sources have said that West Brom value Johnstone, whose contract expires in 2022, at £18m, an undisclosed sell-on clause in the deal which took the keeper to The Hawthorns ensures that United would be able to reduce their outlay on re-signing the player, who failed to make a first-team appearance during his time at Old Trafford due to seven loan spells away from the club.
Sources have told ESPN that West Ham are favourites to sign Johnstone due to manager David Moyes — who worked with Johnstone at United — being prepared to offer him regular football at the London Stadium.
09.32 BST: Lucas Vazquez is close to agreeing a new three-year deal at Real Madrid, Diario AS reports, after turning down a surprise approach from local rivals Atletico.
Vazquez, a winger who has impressed at right-back this season while filling in for the injured Dani Carvajal, is out of contract at the Bernabeu this summer.
According to AS, the 29-year-old “appreciated [the Atletico offer] but didn’t even consider it because of his “Madridismo” [Real Madrid fandom].”
The newspaper claims that an agreement is close after Real Madrid increased their initial €3.5m-a-year offer to €5m, but if talks break down, AC Milan are the most likely alternative, having presented “a serious offer.”
Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain have both also been linked with the winger this season.
08.47 BST: Real Sociedad have extended the contract of promising young forward Jon Karrikaburu until June 2026 amid reported interest from Barcelona.
Karrikaburu has yet to make his debut with the first team but has shone this season with the club’s reserves and youth teams. The Spanish striker has netted 24 goals this season and has already attracted the attention of several clubs. Mundo Deportivo reported last month that Barca have been monitoring the 18-year-old’s progress.
Karrikaburu started the season playing for Sociedad’s third team but was promoted to the reserves where he is working under Xabi Alonso.
He has put pen to paper on a three-year contract extension and his release clause, which was set at €30m, has now doubled.
08.00 BST: Borussia Dortmund would let England international Jadon Sancho leave the club for €100m, sources have told ESPN’s Stephan Uersfeld.
Sancho was tipped to leave Dortmund last summer but a deal never materialised as Dortmund were reluctant to let him leave for under €120m and interested clubs, such as Manchester United, were unwilling to pay that much.
However, as the summer transfer window approaches, Dortmund have re-evaluated their previous valuation and reduced it to €100m.
Sources have told ESPN that there isn’t a deadline this summer as to when a deal must be completed by. The 21-year-old is under contract at the Westfalenstadion until 2023.
Craig Burley reacts to reports Chelsea are prepared to let Tammy Abraham go in the summer transfer window.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Luke Thrower)
– West Ham United will not be able to sign Tammy Abraham this summer if Chelsea demand a reported £40m transfer fee for the striker, according to Sky Sports. David Moyes confirmed in his news conference before the Hammers’ win against Burnley on Monday night that the 23-year-old would be out of the club’s range and they would be unlikely to sign one player for that much. Abraham has not started a Premier League game for Thomas Tuchel’s side since February, leading to discussions over his future.
– Federico Bernardeschi is set to leave Juventus, with the Italian side looking to move the midfielder on this summer if possible. Calciomercato reports that the 27-year-old will definitely leave when his contract expires at the end of next season, but the club plan to make him available this summer — as either part of a swap or for a fee before he can leave for nothing. The Italy international joined in 2017 for £36m from fellow Serie A side Fiorentina but has only lasted a full game four times this season.
– AS Roma and Internazionale are set to face off for the signature of Cagliari midfielder Nahitan Nandez, according to Calciomercato. The 25-year-old is reportedly admired by Inter boss Antonio Conte, who tried to sign the Uruguay international in both recent windows. Roma are also interested in the midfielder, having made contact with his agent, but talks between the clubs have not yet begun. Cagliari have a €35m release clause in the player’s contract, which runs until 2024, and are holding out for the full instalment instead of negotiating.
– Bayern Munich are favourites to sign Aston Villa youngster Carney Chukwuemeka, says Football Insider. The 17-year-old is highly rated, with Liverpool and Manchester City also battling for his signature. The central midfielder is yet to make his Premier League debut for Villa, with whom he signed a three-year professional contract as soon as he turned 17.
– Tottenham have registered their interest in signing Norwich full-back Max Aarons this summer. Football Insider reports that the Canaries are willing to let the 21-year-old leave if a £30m bid is put in during the upcoming window following a gentleman’s agreement with the player to stay last year following relegation.