LIVE Transfer Talk: Barcelona eye Arsenal’s Gabriel to bolster backline

LIVE Transfer Talk: Barcelona eye Arsenal's Gabriel to bolster backline
Arsenal defender Gabriel Magalhaes is on Barcelona’s radar. David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

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: Barcelona eye Gunners’ Gabriel

Arsenal central defender Gabriel Magalhaes has been attracting admiring glances from Barcelona, and could leave the Gunners this summer, according to Diario Sport.

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Gabriel joined the North London club for around €30 million from Lille in 2020 and has been a regular under Mikel Arteta, forming a solid defensive partnership with Ben White this season.

Barca boss Xavi Hernandez has pressed his employers to make a move for the 24-year-old as he wants a left-footed defender and looks to prepare for the expected departures of Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti.

Arsenal are said to be open to the move as they freshen up their own defensive options, but they have listed three players they would like to see come in the opposite direction as part of any deal.

Forward Memphis Depay, goalkeeper Neto and midfielder Riqui Puig are all on the list, with Depay the preferred option, a player that would add strength to what is currently a limited strikeforce following the departure of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

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LIVE BLOG

10.00 BST: Bayern Munich are in the final stages of completing a move for Ajax midfielder Ryan Gravenberch, according to Nicolo Schira.

The Bundesliga giants are set to pay a transfer fee of €31m plus add-ons, while Gravenberch’s contract will run until 2027 and be worth a net total of €4.5m-per-year with add-ons.

09.31 BST: In conversation with Sport Bild, Ridle Baku has admitted that he could be open to leaving Wolfsburg in the summer.

“I’ve been playing in the Bundesliga for a long time,” said the 24-year-old right-back. “It makes you think about where you might want to play in the future. I’m open. Going abroad is also an option for me. “The Premier League is always present. Spain and Italy maybe. These are leagues where you could imagine playing.”

Though, he did also add: “I’m tied to the club for the time being.”

20.58 BST: As Lazio prepare for the summer transfer window, manager Maurizio Sarri is looking to bring in players that he is familiar with, as reported by Gazzetta dello Sport.

The first name listed is Lyon loanee Emerson Palmieri, who Lazio hope to sign on loan from his parent club Chelsea with the option to make the deal permanent.

Everton’s Allan, Internazionale’s Matias Vecino and Napoli’s Dries Mertens are also mentioned. Finally, there is interest in Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek but that move could only materialise if Sergej Milinkovic-Savic departs.

20.19 BST: AC Milan are monitoring 20-year-old Parma midfielder Adrian Bernabe, according to Calciomercato.

The former youth player of Barcelona and Manchester City has scored five goals in 13 Serie B matches and caught the Rossoneri’s attention, with their scouts going to watch him.

No formal offer has been made to the club or player yet, with Parma keen on keeping hold of the Spaniard.

19.50 BST: With Antonio Conte looking to strengthen the heart of his defence, Nicolo Schira reports that Tottenham Hotspur are monitoring RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol.

Tottenham scouts are said to have watched his recent games, and they will likely be impressed as the Croatia international has helped his defence keep two clean sheets in his last three Bundesliga matches.

19.26 BST: As confirmed on the club’s official channels, Gianluca Scamacca has signed a contract extension to keep him with Sassuolo until 2026.

Scamacca, 23, has been linked with some of the biggest clubs in Italy and Europe, with his 13 Serie A goals so far this term unlikely to cool any interest.

Sassuolo will be hoping the new contract helps to keep the Italy international longer, or at least strengthen their negotiating position when it is time for him to leave.

19.04 BST: Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur want to sign West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone in the summer transfer window, reports Sky Sports.

The 29-year-old will be a free agent when his contract ends in June and is keen to return to the Premier League, having turned down a contract extension offer from the Baggies, with Southampton another club interested.

18.35 BST: Manchester City are willing to pay the €60m release clause required to bring in Mikel Merino from Real Sociedad, according to Ekrem Konur.

The former Newcastle United midfielder has become a key man for Sociedad in LaLiga, making 36 appearances across all competitions this season, scoring four goals and assisting another four.

18.12 BST: As confirmed on the club’s official channels, FC Cincinnati have signed 25-year-old midfielder Obinna Nwobodo from Turkish Super Lig side Goztepe in a deal that runs through 2024, with the option for another year.

The Nigerian joins as a Designated Player and will occupy an international roster slot.

17.28 BST: Everton may be embroiled in a Premier League relegation battle, but TEAMtalk suggest this hasn’t stopped them looking to the summer transfer window, linking the Toffees with Benfica winger Everton Soares.

No, that isn’t an error, Everton want Everton. The club are aware that they could lose Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, so are looking to the 26-year-old Brazilian who shares their name as a possible replacement. Could be a bit confusing though.

17.00 BST: Ryan Sessegnon delivers an instinctive one-word answer when asked how he would sum up his time at Tottenham Hotspur: “Rollercoaster… I don’t even know where to begin.”

Since the defender joined Spurs in a £25 million move from Fulham in August 2019, he has experienced four different permanent managers, one caretaker, persistent injury problems and a loan spell in Germany during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. That combination would be a tough challenge for anyone, let alone a 21-year-old looking to establish himself in the Premier League, and Sessegnon realised he needed help.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with ESPN, Sessegnon is admirably candid about sourcing his own psychologist for sessions over Zoom after yet another fitness setback, a thigh problem that curtailed his progress on loan at Bundesliga club Hoffenheim during the 2020-21 season.

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Ryan Sessegnon says Antonio Conte is a perfectionist who inspires his players to work to the best of their ability.

16.15 BST: Granit Xhaka has said he was close to leaving Arsenal after he was booed off and clashed with his own supporters during a Premier League match against Crystal Palace in 2019.

Arsenal were pegged back in a 2-2 draw against Palace at the Emirates Stadium and when Xhaka was substituted in the second half, he was met with jeers from Arsenal fans for taking time to come off the pitch. The midfielder then removed his shirt when storming off the pitch and appeared to swear at his own supporters, as well as waving his arms taunting fans to boo louder and cupping his ear.

Xhaka was subsequently stripped of the club captaincy and has revealed he was ready to leave the north London club following the incident.

“My bags were packed. The passports were out,” he told the Players’ Tribune. “I was done with Arsenal. Finished. There was a contract on the table from another club, and all I had to do was sign. I had talked with my wife, Leonita, and we had decided to leave.”

15.53 BST: Barcelona president Joan Laporta played down the club’s need to sign a superstar in attack this summer by saying they already have the “best” in the world in Ansu Fati, who is closing in on a return from injury.

Sources have told ESPN that Barca want to bolster their squad with a striker ahead of next season, with Erling Haaland and Robert Lewandowski both targets, but Laporta says he finds the links amusing.

“It makes me laugh when they tell me we’re going to sign one forward or another when we already have the best: Ansu Fati,” he said at an event on Tuesday. “It’s admirable how he’s recovered from his latest injury and we’re all desperate for him to return and demonstrate his talent.”

Ansu, 19, has had a tough time with injuries since 2020. He returned from 11 months out with a meniscus problem last September, scoring on his comeback against Levante, but has suffered knee and hamstring problems since.

After managing five goals in 10 games, a hamstring injury ruled him out for three months in January, but he is now back in training and close to making a return to competitive football once again.

“I can’t wait to be back,” Ansu said Tuesday. “The team has improved a lot. The change of coach [Ronald Koeman to Xavi Hernandez] has been very good for us. The players have a more hard-working mentality and you can see that in the results.

“I am working hard and hope to be back with the team soon. I don’t know when, I will see how I feel day to day and decide with the boss and the fitness coaches.”

15.05 BST: Spanish midfielder David Silva is expected to sign a one-year contract extension with Real Sociedad, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Silva, 36, joined the LaLiga outfit in the summer of 2020 and has made 28 appearances in all competitions for the Basque outfit this season. The former Manchester City star becomes a free agent this summer, but he is reportedly keen to continue playing for another campaign.

Real Sociedad are willing to offer Silva a one-year contract extension but want the player to accept a salary cut.

14.22 BST: Manchester United’s negotiations with Erik ten Hag are at “an advanced stage,” sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson, with the framework of a deal in place for him to become the new manager at Old Trafford.

Sources on both sides of the negotiations insist a formal agreement has not yet been signed, but the expectation is that Ten Hag will be announced as the next permanent boss, possibly before the end of April.

ESPN reported last week United were set to finalise the appointment, and Ten Hag has been keen to ensure he will be given the best chance of success, and has raised questions during talks about the club’s structure, recruitment process and how much money will be available to strengthen the squad.

However, sources close to the 52-year-old have stressed he has never demanded full control over signings and insist he is happy to have a veto over new players along with the recruitment department, which is in line with the power granted to previous managers Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Sources added that Ten Hag is satisfied with the plans for his role in the club’s future, and is ready to sign a three-year contract with the option of an extra year.

Meanwhile, Ralf Rangnick has been told it is imperative Manchester United qualify for Europe next season even if they miss out on a place in the Champions League, sources have told ESPN.

Defeat at Everton on Saturday left United seventh in the table, six points behind Tottenham in fourth, with seven games to play. It has raised the possibility that Rangnick could look to use the remaining games to rotate his squad and play youngsters from the academy but sources have told ESPN that during meetings with the board, Rangnick has been reminded that securing European football for next season is important for the club’s finances — even if it’s via the Europa League or Europa Conference League.

United reported matchday revenue of £34.6m in their latest quarterly results, a period during which eight games were played in front of a capacity crowd at Old Trafford. There is also commercial revenue attached to playing in UEFA competitions.

– Man United keep or dump? Ronaldo, Pogba, Rashford all face uncertain futures

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Julien Laurens labels Manchester United’s performance against Everton as “pathetic.”

13.36 BST: Pep Guardiola said Manchester City will “play for Fernandinho” against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday after the midfielder caused a shock in his prematch news conference by announcing his decision to leave the club.

Fernandinho, 36, told reporters on Tuesday he will not be extending his contract at the Etihad Stadium and plans to leave the club and return to Brazil in the summer. Asked moments later about the revelation, Guardiola said he had no idea about his captain’s decision but said the team will be doing everything in Madrid to take another step towards the Champions League final in Paris in May and give Fernandinho a fitting send-off.

“Oh,” Guardiola said after being told about Fernandinho’s decision. “I didn’t know it. You gave me the news. I didn’t know it.

“He’s so important for me, but I will talk to him. Maybe [director of football] Txiki [Begiristain] knows it and didn’t tell me. It’s a surprise for me — I didn’t know it.

“We are going to play tomorrow for him. We are going to try to play tomorrow for him and give him the best farewell moment, reaching again the semifinals of the Champions League then after try to go through again.”

Speaking earlier at a news conference at the City Football Academy, Fernandinho was asked about his future after nearly 10 years in Manchester. He has been restricted to 23 appearances in all competitions this season and asked whether he would like to sign a new deal at the Etihad, replied: “I don’t think so. I want to play. I will go back to Brazil. I decided with my family, which is the most important thing for me.”

12.49 BST: Barcelona met with Sergi Roberto’s agent, Josep Maria Orobitg, on Tuesday to discuss the player’s future beyond the end of the season, according to Diario Sport.

Roberto, 30, is out of contract in the summer and there has been no breakthrough in talks to extend his stay at Camp Nou. Coach Xavi Hernandez has said he would like him to stay, but president Joan Laporta has suggested he was disappointed the midfielder turned down a previous offer at a time when other squad members were accepting pay cuts.

Sport say negotiations with Orobitg could continue in the coming days and say this week will be “key” in deciding what comes next for Roberto, who has made 316 appearances for the club after coming through the academy.

Sources close to the player have previously told Sport there have been approaches from other clubs, including Atletico Madrid and sides in Italy and England.

12.05 BST: Antonio Conte is pushing Tottenham to make Dejan Kulusevski’s loan move from Juventus permanent at the end of the season, sources have told ESPN’s James Olley.

Spurs signed the Sweden international in January on an initial 18-month deal worth €10m with an option for a permanent transfer set at €30m.

Kulusevski has made a huge impact at Spurs having registered three goals and six assists in 11 Premier League appearances, forming a key part of Conte’s three-man attack alongside Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min. Conte has long been an admirer of the 21-year-old with sources telling ESPN he was keen on signing the winger during his Inter Milan tenure and the forward is said to have settled in quickly at the north London club.

Spurs are already committed to making centre-back Cristian Romero’s loan move from Atalanta permanent at the end of the season for a fixed €55m fee and signing Kulusevski in addition would represent a significant outlay before pursuing fresh targets. But ESPN sources claim Spurs have a mandatory obligation to sign Kulusevski on a permanent deal in 2023 for a higher price if he plays in 50% of Tottenham’s Premier League games next season, which is almost certain assuming he stays clear of injury given his importance to the team, and Conte is keen to resolve any uncertainty over the player’s situation.

– Sessegnon interview: Spurs career finally taking off under Conte

11.18 BST: Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric hinted that he is close to signing a new contract at the Bernabeu.

Modric, 36, is out of contract in the summer, but he showed how he is still a key player for Los Blancos in the second leg of their Champions League quarterfinal against Chelsea on Tuesday. The Croatia captain’s sublime assist for Rodrygo sparked Madrid’s comeback from 3-0 down on the night to progress in 5-4 on aggregate after extra time.

Speaking after the match, Modric said: “We’ll keep going year-by-year and see how long I feel well and keep playing at a high level.”

Despite his age, Modric has made 37 appearances for Madrid already this season, registering nine assists and three goals, as well as scoring another three in six matches for his country.

– Olley: Chelsea showed spirit in heart-breaking exit to Real Madrid

10.31 BST: Sevilla are in the race to sign River Plate midfielder Enzo Fernandez, according to Ole.

Fernandez, 21, was promoted to River’s first team in July 2021 and has impressed this year. The Argentina youth international has scored three goals and set up three more in nine appearances in the League Cup for River.

Sevilla, Manchester City and Inter Milan are among the clubs monitoring Fernandez. Fernandez is under contract with River until December 2025 and has a €20m release clause set in his contract.

09.43 BST: Manchester United are set to miss out on a £12m transfer fee for Andreas Pereira, sources have told ESPN’s Mark Ogden, with Brazilian club Flamengo preparing to abandon a deal to sign the midfielder at the end of his season-long loan spell.

Pereira, 26, moved to Flamengo last August with United giving the two-time Copa Libertadores winners an option to sign the Belgium-born Brazil international for a fee rising to £12m based on appearances. But despite making 34 appearances in all competitions for the Rio de Janeiro-based team, sources have told ESPN that Pereira has not done enough to convince Flamengo to complete a permanent move for the midfielder.

Having signed for United as a 15-year-old in 2011 after leaving the youth ranks of PSV Eindhoven, Pereira has struggled to realise his potential in the first-team at Old Trafford. Loan moves to Spanish clubs Granada and Valencia, followed by another temporary move to Serie A with Lazio, have restricted Pereira to just 75 senior appearances for United.

Sources have told ESPN that United are still hopeful that a deal can be done with Flamengo, who may yet be prepared to sign Pereira for a reduced fee.

09.00 BST: Bayern Munich CEO Oliver Kahn has brushed aside reports that Robert Lewandowski could leave the club this summer.

Recent reports claimed Lewandowski, who has one year left in his contract with Bayern, is considering an offer from Barcelona and could leave Bayern in the transfer window.

“We are not crazy,” Kahn said on Tuesday when asked about Lewandowski’s future. “We are talking about a player that scores between 30 and 40 goals for us each season. We will definitely have him with us for another season. We are in contact with his entourage to discuss the future.”

Lewandowski joined Bayern in the summer of 2014 from Borussia Dortmund. The Poland international is the top scorer in the Bundelsiga this season with 32 goals in 29 appearances.

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Stewart Robson says Chelsea played a “perfect” game from a tactical standpoint but had too big of a deficit to overcome vs. Real Madrid.

PAPER GOSSIP (by Nick Judd)

– Gareth Bale will leave Real Madrid on a free transfer this summer and continue playing football, but only if Wales qualify for the World Cup, according to Dragons boss Rob Page. As quoted by the Sun, the Page explained if Bale has a World Cup to prepare for, he’ll find a new club, as its the only tournament missing from his CV. Bale, who was on the bench for Madrid’s Champions League tie against Chelsea on Tuesday, was booed by the Madrid faithful last weekend, and looks set to end his stay in the Spanish capital this summer. Wales are set to face Scotland or Ukraine this summer in the playoff final for the chance to seal a place in Qatar.

– Barcelona are considering a move for VfB Stuttgart left-back Borna Sosa, according to Sport. The Catalan giants want competition for places behind Jordi Alba, and the 24-year-old, who has played 23 games for Stuttgart could fit the bill. Sosa’s Stuttgart contract ends in 2025 but the Croatian has a €25m release clause if the side are relegated.

– AC Milan are exploring new options ahead of the 2022-23 season and they have their eye on a sensational cross-city swoop for Ivan Perisic, according to Rudy Galetti. The 33-year-old’s contract expires next June and Internazionale are yet to extend the Croatian’s existing deal. This uncertainty has prompted Milan’s representatives to make contact with Perisic’s entourage in the hope of strengthening their wide options, and stealing a player from their nearest rivals.

– Vasco da Gama star Andrey Santos is attracting interest from across Europe, with Wolverhampton Wanderers and Barcelona among the clubs trying to sign the highly-rated midfielder. The 17-year-old’s contract is due to expire in August 2023 and despite making only three appearances this season for the Rio de Janeiro side, Globo Esporte reports that Santos could be heading to Europe. AC Milan, AS Monaco and Benfica are also interested, although Vasco are also keen to hang on to their man and offer the Brazilian U20 international a longer deal.

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