The summer transfer window is approaching, and there’s plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings and goings and, of course, done deals!
TOP STORY: Dest to Chelsea if Azpilicueta leaves
Chelsea are interested in acquiring Barcelona and United States international defender Sergino Dest, according to Sport.
The 21-year-old Barça right-back — who has been sidelined with a hamstring injury since March — has been identified by Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel as a potential reinforcement amid the Blaugrana‘s interest to sign Cesar Azpilicueta on a free transfer.
Xavi Hernandez’s side is keen on bringing in Azpilicueta, but the Blues currently have the option to extend his stay by one more season. However, they would be willing to let him go if Dest arrives to Stamford Bridge.
Barcelona are also eyeing Marcos Alonso as they continue their search for a future replacement for Jordi Alba, and that could see both Alonso and Azpilcueta head to the Camp Nou in a straight swap deal for Dest.
Should a deal fail to be agreed, Chelsea could table a bid for Dest, with a fee in excess of €20 million required to land him.
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21.56 BST: Barcelona will sign Valencia’s Carlos Soler if Frenkie de Jong joins Manchester United, reports Sport. The 25-year-old Spain midfielder’s contract has a year left to run, and Valencia will move him on for a transfer fee of around €35m if he does not sign a new deal with the cash-strapped club — Goncalo Guedes and Jose Gaya are seen as alternative players who could bring in funds if Soler stays. Barcelona will only sign Soler if De Jong leaves, as they want a pivot in the role of Sergio Busquets, with AS Monaco’s Aurelien Tchouameni, Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi and Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Ruben Neves seen as possible candidates for the position.
21.26 BST: West Ham United manager David Moyes wants to bring in an English midfielder in the summer, looking at Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips and Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse, reports the Sun. Aston Villa and Manchester United have both been linked with Phillips, who could be available for far lower than the £50m transfer fee offered by the Hammers in January if Leeds are relegated.
20.53 BST: In an interview with Sky Sport Italia, SC Freiburg winger Vincenzo Grifo admitted that he could be tempted by a move to Serie A.
“I’m Italian, at home we speak Italian, even with my daughter and my parents, at my house in Germany we eat Italian, I love all of Italy,” he’ said. “I am very happy in Freiburg but in the future you never know what will happen, first these two important matches are missing including the German Cup final which is very important, then the holidays and then, if there is the possibility I will think about Serie A.”
20.20 BST: Southampton are weighing up a loan move for 19-year-old Manchester City striker Liam Delap, according to the Sun. They are keen on bringing Armando Broja back from Chelsea again, with the Albania international impressing on loan this season, but are aware of competition from West Ham United, leading them to also look elsewhere.
19.47 BST: Nice are among the clubs vying to sign St. Etienne winger Denis Bouanga in the summer transfer window, reports Le10 Sport. He is currently embroiled in a relegation battle, but the Gabon international has plenty of interest from inside France and abroad, with one year remaining on his contract.
19.30 BST: Aston Villa and Barcelona have announced that the loan arrangement that’s taken Philippe Coutinho back to the Premier League has been made permanent. Villa have declined to disclose the transfer fee, although they confirmed that the 29-year-old Brazil attacker has signed a contract through 2026, while the Blaugrana announced that they received a €20m fee to sanction Coutinho’s departure.
Aston Villa is delighted to announce the permanent signing of Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona for an undisclosed fee! 🙌
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) May 12, 2022
19.14 BST: Manchester United are set to offer Alejandro Garnacho new terms after he won the club’s young-player-of-the-year award, scored twice in their FA Youth Cup win and broke through into the first team, reports the Mail. The Madrid-born 17-year-old has also been called up to the Argentina national team and only signed his first professional contract last July.
18.41 BST: Atalanta and Atletico Madrid are both interested in signing Aston Villa right-back Matty Cash, according to Nicolo Schira. The Poland international has made 37 appearances across all competitions this season, recording three goals and four assists.
18.08 BST: Declan Rice is expected to reject West Ham United’s latest contract offer, but the club continue to insist he is not leaving in the summer transfer window, sources told ESPN’s James Olley. The 23-year-old England midfielder has turned down multiple extensions that would make him the highest-paid player in club history on £200,000 a week. Read the full story.
17.35 BST: Juventus believe they have made Paul Pogba an offer that makes them the favourites to sign the midfielder when his Manchester United contract ends this summer, according to the Mirror. They have offered wages of £160,000 a week plus a substantial bonus package and signing-on fee, which should make it a lucrative deal. Paris Saint-Germain are also said to have made an approach, while Real Madrid have long been in the picture.
17.00 BST: Borussia Dortmund are in advanced talks to sign Ajax striker Sebastien Haller, reports Ekrem Konur. This comes after it was confirmed that a deal has been agreed for talismanic front man Erling Haaland to join Manchester City ahead of the 2022-23 campaign. Dortmund have also announced the signing of Karim Adeyemi from FC Salzburg.
16.23 BST: Former Barcelona striker Luis Suarez has denied playing an active role in the club’s €160m signing of Philippe Coutinho in 2018.
Diario Sport claimed this week Suarez phoned former Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu to encourage him to sign his former Liverpool teammate, adding that he even invited him around to his house to show him videos. The story has since been taken down.
“Hi everyone, I wanted to DENY this FAKE news,” Suarez wrote in a post on his Instagram story. “That ‘supposed CALL’ never existed, nor did [Bartomeu] go to my house to see any VIDEO, nor there was a call about anything.
“What is clear is that when I was asked about a TEAMMATE that I had [at Liverpool], OBVIOUSLY I am going to speak well of him accordingly. There is always a lot of news and you have to stay away from it, but in this case I CANNOT let it pass! One thing is to report and inform, which is ACCEPTED, but LYING? NO, NOT THAT!”
Suarez and Coutinho played alongside each other at Anfield and rekindled their relationship at Barcelona, becoming neighbours in the beach town of Castelldefels just down the coast from the Catalan city.
Both have since left the club. Suarez has spent the last two seasons at Atletico Madrid, while Coutinho is currently on loan at Aston Villa. Sources have told ESPN his move to Premier League club is likely to be made permanent for a fee in the region of €20m.
15.35 BST: Pep Guardiola has backed Erling Haaland to “adapt quickly” to his style of football at Manchester City, sending a warning to the rest of the Premier League by insisting City will be even better with the 21-year-old up front.
Haaland will move to the Etihad Stadium in the summer after City agreed to trigger the €60m release clause in his contract at Borussia Dortmund.
“Big congratulations to the club, he is signed for the next years,” Guardiola said after Wednesday’s 5-1 win over Wolves. “He is a young talented player, I’m very pleased he decided to come and join us. Next season we are going to work together and hopefully he can settle.
“We will help him to settle as soon as possible in terms of Manchester and a house. I am pretty sure he is going to adapt quickly to the way we want to play.”
– Dawson: The inside story of how Man City signed Haaland
14.43 BST: Giorgio Chiellini has confirmed he will leave Juventus at the end of the season, with sources telling ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle that the veteran Italy international defedner could be on his way to Major League Soccer.
The 37-year-old, who is third on Juventus’ all-time appearances list behind Alessandro Del Piero and Gianluigi Buffon, made the announcement after his side lost 4-2 to Inter Milan in Wednesday’s Coppa Italia final.
“I give way to the youngsters, as next year I will not be here,” he told Sport Mediaset. “On Monday I will say goodbye to my stadium, and Fiorentina will be my last match. I say goodbye with joy to this team, of which I will be the biggest fan, because Juve will always stay with me.”
Chiellini joined Juve in 2004 from Livorno, going on to win nine league titles and five Italian Cups during his time in Turin. He was also one of Italy’s key players as they won the European Championship last summer.
However, he does not appear to be hanging up his boots just yet. Sources have confirmed to ESPN that Los Angeles FC have made an offer to Chiellini to join the MLS club this summer.
13.56 BST: Tottenham Hotspur host Arsenal later on Thursday in a north London derby that will have a big say on which of the two clubs will qualify for next season’s Champions League. As ESPN’s James Olley writes, that will also have a major effect on each side’s summer transfer plans:
“Securing Champions League football would also give a palpable advantage when trying to attract new players. For example, both Arsenal and Spurs hold an interest in signing Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans but part of his motivation is to play on Europe’s biggest club stage and that may be a decisive factor in choosing his next move…
“… Manchester City’s £51m signing of Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund takes the most obvious suitor for striker Harry Kane out of the running, but the England captain will likely still need convincing that Spurs can challenge for major honours. Another year out of the Champions League when he turns 29 next month could play on his mind…
“… The Gunners have decisions of their own to make over Eddie Nketiah, Alexandre Lacazette and Mohamed Elneny, three players out of contract this summer, with Arteta keen to finalise plans once the precise requirements for next season are known. They will need squad depth however, having already streamlined significantly. A forward, a winger and a central midfielder are their primary targets, although other positions are being monitored.”
– Olley: Arsenal and Spurs’ UCL showdown could define their futures
13.03 BST: “Marcelo wants to continue” at Real Madrid, Marca’s front page headline said on Thursday, but the club haven’t made any move to discuss a contract extension with their captain.
The left-back, 34, became the most decorated player in Real Madrid history with 24 trophies when he lifted the LaLiga title last month.
It had been widely assumed that Marcelo would leave the Santiago Bernabeu when his contract expires on June 30, but he surprised reporters during trophy celebrations by saying “I don’t want it to end here… I want to stay.”
According to Marca, Madrid executives are waiting for the season to end before making any definitive decisions, but while they’re aware that the Brazilian would like to sign a one-year extension, it would be “very difficult” for that to happen.
#LaPortada Marcelo quiere seguir 🗞️ pic.twitter.com/Tbqn6ife9k
— MARCA (@marca) May 11, 2022
12.17 BST: Declan Rice has been offered an eight-year contract by West Ham United worth £200,000 a week but is set to reject it, according to The Sun.
The England midfielder has been a target for some of the Premier League’s biggest clubs, with Manchester United now seemingly leading the race to sign him, and so he does not want to commit the majority of his career to the Hammers.
West Ham insist that they do not want Rice, 23, to leave and would want a nine-figure transfer fee to be offered before they even consider letting him go.
– Ogden: Man United clear to sign Rice, but would he want to join?
11.25 BST: Manchester United are monitoring midfielder Frenkie de Jong‘s situation at Barcelona as they look to bolster their midfield this summer, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.
Erik ten Hag knows the 25-year-old from their time together at Ajax. However, sources have told ESPN that Ten Hag is not a particular pull for De Jong, and there is an acceptance at Old Trafford that it would be a difficult deal to get over the line.
United are in the market for a central midfielder and have been alerted to the possibility Barcelona may need to offload De Jong to fund other summer business.
Sources have told ESPN that De Jong’s preference is to stay at Barcelona, but if he was told he was surplus to requirements at Camp Nou he would prefer to join a club where he would play Champions League football. United already know they will not qualify for next season’s competition after a disappointing campaign in the Premier League.
Sources have told ESPN that Manchester City are among a host of other clubs to have shown interest in the Netherlands international.
Gab and Juls debate whether Frenkie de Jong could reunite with Erik ten Hag at Man United.
10.32 BST: Juventus vice-president Pavel Nedved admitted Paulo Dybala‘s contract renewal demands were “very high.”
Despite months of negotiations, the Turin club decided last month not to offer the Argentine forward a new contract, with his current deal expiring this summer. Dybala, 28, will leave Juve after seven seasons at the club.
“It’s not easy to say what went wrong with his renewal,” Nedved said. “We evaluated him on all aspects, both on and off the pitch. His demands were very high and rightly so because he is a strong player. We didn’t feel like it and therefore the roads parted.”
Sources told ESPN’s James Olley last month that four Premier League clubs are among a host of top European sides to have made contact with Dybala’s representatives over a potential free transfer this summer. Arsenal, Manchester United and Newcastle have all asked to be kept informed of the situation while Tottenham made contact some time ago through the club’s managing director of football, Fabio Paratici.
Juve splashed out €70m to sign forward Dusan Vlahovic from Fiorentina in January. Despite the Serbia forward’s recent dry spell of four games without scoring, Nedved is confident Vlahovic will deliver.
“Dusan got off to a very good start and everyone was thrilled,” Nedved said. “Then, there is not only the weight of the shirt but also natural fatigue. He had already done a lot in Florence, so he’s probably physically tired. But for the way he trains, he should always be on the pitch: he is a man with a lot of will and we are very happy with him. “
Vlahovic scored 20 goals in 24 matches for Fiorentina earlier this season and has netted seven goals in 18 appearances for Juve.
09.38 BST: Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish expressed his hope that he can convince Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher to return to Selhurst Park next season on loan rather than return to his parent club Chelsea.
Gallagher has had a breakout season at Palace, scoring eight goals and five assists in the Premier League and making his full England debut, and he was named Palace’s Player of the Season this week.
The 22-year-old said in March that he was undecided over his future, and Parish hopes he can influence that decision.
“We would love to have him back, I am not going to pretend that is not the case,” he said. “Conor will make his own choices of course, and the club will have something to say about it, but we have enjoyed every minute of having him here this year.
“So if that is all we get of him, and I hope not, he has been a fantastic asset to the club as a player, and as a person as well.”
08.51 BST: Tottenham Hotspur have been monitoring three Everton players who they think could fit the bill for the planned summer overhaul of the squad, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Brazil international forward Richarlison, England defender Ben Godfrey and young winger Anthony Gordon have all been identified as potential recruits for Antonio Conte’s first full season in charge.
Everton’s hopes of avoiding relegation are now looking better as they are 16th in the table with three games left to play, two points above 18th-placed Leeds and with a game in hand.
However, even if Everton do stay up, that may not deter Spurs from making a move for at least one of their key players when the transfer window opens.
08.00 BST: Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus has been in talks with Arsenal about a potential move this summer, according to his agent.
Jesus, 25, has one year left on his deal at the Etihad and refused to rule out a move away from the club following his four-goal performance against Watford last month.
After City announced the signing of Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, Jesus might not be a first-team regular for the club next season and his agent Marcelo Pettinati has said Arsenal are interested in signing him.
“We had talks with Arsenal about Gabriel Jesus,” he told the Guardian on Wednesday. “We like the project — it’s a possibility we’re discussing.
“There are six more clubs interested in Gabriel. He’s focused on the final games with Man City; we’ll see.”
Sources have told ESPN that City’s successful pursuit of Haaland has given Arsenal more encouragement they could pull off a deal for Jesus this summer.
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PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)
– A three-way race between Chelsea, Manchester United, and Paris Saint-Germain is heating up for the signature of Darwin Nunez, writes the Athletic. It is reported that Benfica would be willing to move him on in the summer for the right fee, and that looks to be a figure in the region of £75million. The 22-year-old striker has scored 32 goals from 38 appearances in the Portuguese league and the Champions League this season.
– West Ham United are eyeing a move for Rennes defender Nayef Aguerd, according to the Telegraph. The 26-year-old is reported to be available for a fee in the region of £20m, and with David Moyes keen to add defensive reinforcements this summer, he could make a move for the Ligue 1 star as soon as the transfer window opens.
– Marseille’s move for Mohamed Ali has stalled, reveals Foot Mercato. While the Ligue 1 club have agreed a £12m fee with Angers for the 18-year-old forward, there is still some common ground to be reached over how it will be dispersed over the next few seasons. It is also reported that the player is demanding a higher salary than Marseille were expecting, causing delays in progress over personal terms that has interested sides Real Betis and Eintracht Frankfurt on standby.
– Manchester City are looking for a fee of €60m if they are to part ways with Gabriel Jesus, writes Ekrem Konur. Having secured Erling Haaland, Pep Guardiola’s side could be prepared to move on the 25-year-old forward, with Jesus’ agent confirming on Tuesday there have been talks with Arsenal and six other unidentified clubs. He has scored 13 goals this season from 39 appearances.
– AC Milan are moving closer to landing Alessandro Florenzi on a permanent deal, reveals Nicolo Schira. The 31-year-old full-back has spent this season on loan from AS Roma with the Rossoneri, and reportedly wants to remain at the San Siro. Milan have the option to make his move permanent for a fee of €4.5m, and they are considering offering him a three-year deal until the summer of 2025.