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: Could captaincy keep Mbappe at PSG?
The contract saga surrounding Kylian Mbappe continues to rumble on as the days on his deal count down.
L’Equipe reports that Paris Saint-Germain are willing to offer Mbappe the club captaincy in an attempt to keep the 23-year-old forward at the Parc des Princes beyond June 30. The development comes as the France international confirmed on Sunday that he was still undecided on his future.
The former AS Monaco player has scored 15 goals and added 10 assists in 26 Ligue 1 appearances this season. Few performances have been better than the two legs of the Champions League round of 16 tie against Real Madrid, though his side capitulated in the closing stages and were knocked out at the Bernabeu.
However, it is Los Blancos themselves who are most heavily linked with Mbappe, eyeing a move to strengthen their forward line for the future. His ability to speak Spanish and talks of a dream move to LaLiga have also added fuel to the fire of a potential move to the Bernabeu.
If Mbappe was to stay, he would take over the captaincy from Marquinhos. The 27-year-old Brazil international has spent nine years in the French capital, and is one of the club’s longest-serving players, but the change of captaincy would be a show of faith in Mbappe and a final attempt to keep him in Paris.
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22.22 BST: Right, then. That’s another edition of Transfer Talk in the books. Check back later for the next live blog to take us through Tuesday!
21.38 BST: Bear with us on this one, but there’s a two-pronged update involving Manchester United. Their hopeful next manager, Ajax boss Erik ten Hag, is apparently lining up his plans and wants Ajax defender Jurrien Timber to join him at Old Trafford.
Despite being previously linked to a move to Manchester City, the De Telegraaf Podcast revealed that Ten Hag, who is the favourite to replace interim manager Ralf Rangnick at the end of the season, has identified the 20-year-old defender as an important transfer to strengthen the United defence.
Timber, the Netherlands international who can play both right-back or centre-back, has been a key part of Ten Hag’s Ajax side, with 24 starts out of 28 Eredivisie games.
20.59 BST: Time for a done deal (kinda!) as defender Matty Cash has signed a new five-year deal with Aston Villa.
The Athletic writes that Villa manager Steven Gerrard has been impressed with the 24-year-old right-back, who was the club’s player of the month for March, with three goals and four assists so far this season.
So how does this fit in TT? Well, it ends any speculation around the future of the Polish international following interest from Atletico Madrid, who are looking to replace Kieran Trippier following his exit in January.
20.30 BST: Juventus are also looking ahead to next season, with reports suggesting the Serie A giants are looking to sign Nice midfielder Khephren Thuram ahead of rivals Inter Milan.
According to Tuttosport the Serie A sides, who faced off in the Derby d’Italia on Sunday, sent scouts to watch the Italian-born 21-year-old in a 1-1 draw with Rennes. Despite losing 1-0 to Inter, Juventus are seemingly ahead in the race to sign the son of former Bianconeri and Parma defender Lilian Thuram, who has three goals and two assists in his 29 appearances for Les Aiglons in Ligue 1.
20.00 BST: TT isn’t just for teams looking to bring players in; it’s also for clubs as they try to retain key players and news comes on Monday that Manchester United are looking to extend the contracts of defender Luke Shaw and midfielder Fred until 2025.
Following Bruno Fernandes’ new deal that keeps him at Old Trafford until 2027 and with several players facing uncertain futures, Ekrem Konur reveals that Manchester United are preparing for talks with Shaw, 26, and Fred, 29, to keep them at the club as they continue to rebuild during a continuing search for a new manager.
19.30 BST: Is a top star at Bayern Munich contemplating a move? According to Goal, Serge Gnabry is rethinking his future following interest from top European clubs.
The 26-year-old winger has been transformed following his move from Arsenal in 2017. Goal reports that Real Madrid, Liverpool and Juventus are all showing interest in the German international, whose contract expires in 2023 and with no signsof a new deal being negotiated.
19.00 BST: Is a superstar on the move? According to Spanish newspaper Diario AS, Real Madrid are hoping to offload Eden Hazard on a loan deal before the World Cup.
The 31-year-old recently underwent successful surgery to have a plate removed in his right calf, which will rule him out for the rest of the season. Diario AS reports that Los Blancos hope a loan spell will allow the midfielder to return to full fitness and regain his place in the Belgium World Cup squad.
18.30 BST: As they look to finish up the season following the weekend’s disappointing 4-1 defeat at home to RB Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund are turning their attention to next year and appear close to signing young centre-back Nico Schlotterbeck.
Sky Sports Germany reports that a secret meeting was held three weeks ago between the 22-year-old and Dortmund bosses, with both parties interested in securing a move. However, negotiations are still ongoing as SC Freiburg want more than the proposed €20m for transfer fees.
18.00 BST: Fiorentina are looking to secure a permanent move for striker Krzysztof Piatek, who’s on loan from Bundesliga club Hertha BSC. According to Calciomercato, if the Serie A side are to move forward with the deal for the 26-year-old forward, they would be hoping for Hertha BSC to significantly lower the asking price of €15m.
17.38 BST: AS Monaco are monitoring the situation of Nail Moutha-Sebtaoui, according to L’Equipe.
The 16-year-old Anderlecht defender has caught the attention of clubs across Europe this season with his performances that have seen him feature for Belgium at youth international level, and it looks as though the Ligue 1 side are ready to battle with Juventus for his signature.
17.01 BST: Premier League clubs Newcastle, West Ham, Leeds, Crystal Palace and Southampton are all interested in signing FC Koln defender Timo Hubers, reports the Daily Mail.
The 25-year-old will enter the final year of his contract at the end of this season, but he could be available to sign for £6m.
16.35 BST: If Marcus Rashford ever needed his deteriorating situation with Manchester United and England to be put into sharp focus, he surely got that in the space of 24 hours this weekend.
On Friday, the 24-year-old saw England’s route to World Cup glory in Qatar mapped out following the draw, but he was not part of Gareth Southgate’s squad for the most recent international break.
On Saturday, his faltering United career hit another low point as he was only named among the substitutes for the game against Leicester City despite being the only fit striker in the squad.
Sources have told ESPN’s Mark Ogden that United want him to sign a new contract to replace his present deal, which runs until June 2024 if the club trigger the option of a further 12 months next year. However, Rashford may yet decide that United aren’t delivering for him, and the club’s next full-time manager might regard him as a problem he can do without.
So where does Rashford go from here?
– Ogden: Rashford’s career is at a crossroads. Something needs to change
15.47 BST: Jurgen Klopp played down reports that Mohamed Salah is set to commit his long-term future to the club ahead of Tuesday’s first leg of Liverpool’s Champions League quarterfinal at Benfica.
Salah is close to agreeing a contract which would see him finish his career at Anfield, according to a report in the Sunday Mirror.
Salah’s existing contract runs out in June 2023 and the 29-year-old previously said he wants to extend his stay at Liverpool but claimed his future “is not in my hands.”
When asked about the situation at a news conference on Monday, Liverpool manager Klopp replied: “The decisive parties are talking to each other and that’s all I need.”
14.59 BST: Brentford manager Thomas Frank says he is hopeful of keeping Christian Eriksen on the club’s books for next season.
Eriksen’s unlikely return to football since suffering a cardiac arrest while playing for Denmark last summer continued on Saturday when he scored in Brentford’s 4-1 win at Chelsea.
The Daily Mail reports that Manchester United and Eriksen’s former club Tottenham Hotspur are monitoring the 30-year-old’s situation, with his short-term contract at Brentford due to expire at the end of the season.
“In any footballer’s decision to move clubs there are a lot of aspects,” Frank said. “It will be the same for Christian.
“To be fair, I know Christian quite well and one thing he’s good at is just enjoying the moment. And I think he’s enjoying it even more. So we are not thinking too much of what is going to happen in two or three months’ time. I’m just very pleased he’s playing for us. It’s no secret that I want him to continue next season.
“I know Christian is enjoying his football and really enjoying being back. I know I will have to answer these questions until the end of the season, so let’s see what will happen.”
– Hamilton: Eriksen inspires Brentford as Chelsea’s season plunged into doubt
14.15 BST: The sporting director of Spain’s football federation (RFEF), Jose Francisco Molina, has said that no one has been contacted as a potential candidate to replace Luis Enrique after the World Cup in Qatar.
Luis Enrique has a contract until the end of the year with the RFEF and has not indicated whether he will continue in charge after the World Cup is over.
The former Barcelona manager could return to coach a club. The Spaniard is among the candidates Manchester United are reportedly considering as a replacement for Ralf Ragnick.
Asked if the Spanish FA have initiated contacts with other coaches to replace Luis Enrique, Molina said (https://twitter.com/ellarguero/status/1510011819464826882?s=20&t=S5iSzGxPcR-qO136-Lmt5w): “We haven’t spoken to other coaches. “Not at all. We are delighted with Luis Enrique as our national team coach. He is delighted to be the national team coach.
“We hope that this [union] will continue like this. We have agreed to go to the World Cup and then decide what we want to do after the tournament.”
13.24 BST: Atletico Madrid are monitoring the situations of both Marcos Alonso and Sergi Roberto with an eye to bringing them in this summer, multiple sources have told ESPN’s Alex Kirkland and Rodrigo Faez.
Chelsea left-back Alonso, 31, has been on coach Diego Simeone’s agenda for years. The uncertainty around the club’s ownership complicates his situation, but his contract expires in 2023, and Chelsea may prefer a negotiated departure this summer rather than losing him for free a year later.
Sergi Roberto, 30, would be a more straightforward option, with his Barcelona deal up this summer. The versatile midfielder is not ruling out continuing at Camp Nou, sources said, but there has been no progress on an extension.
Atletico signed Reinildo Mandava and Daniel Wass in January, but the club would like to further strengthen a defence which has been shakier than usual this season — conceding 37 league goals — this summer.
The top-level experience of Alonso and Sergi Roberto would be seen as a major plus, although sources said other clubs — including Arsenal — are also keen on the Barcelona player.
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12.39 BST: Aston Villa are ready to pay the £60m transfer fee that Leeds United want for Kalvin Phillips, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Villa boss Steven Gerrard has identified defensive midfield as a critical area for improvement in his first team, and wants Phillips to come in the summer.
The 26-year-old, who has a contract with Leeds that runs until 2024, has previously been a target for Villa, when Dean Smith took them back up to the Premier League via the playoffs in 2019.
Since then, Phillips has estanlished himself as one of Leeds and England’s key players, although he has missed much of this season through injury.
11.52 BST: Juventus vice-president Pavel Nedved believes Paulo Dybala will have an important role at his next club.
Despite months of negotiations regarding a possible contract extension, Dybala has not signed a new deal with Juventus and will leave this summer when his current contract expires.
“The decision not to renew his contract has nothing to do with Dybala as a player,” Nedved said. “He has always been important and will continue to be at his next club. “We are happy with how Paulo is behaving, as a professional.”
The Argentina international has scored 110 goals in 280 appearances since joining Juve from Palermo in the summer of 2015.
As to who will replace the departed Dybala next season, Nedved said: “Our ideas are clear. We have an optimum player in [Federico] Chiesa, who is injured. We will all think about how to organise our attack later.”
Dybala, 28, is a reported target of Barcelona while Inter Milan are also among the clubs keen to acquire his services.
” I haven’t asked myself that question,” Nedved said. “Actually, I would avoid it!”
11.06 BST: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said Ajax manager Erik ten Hag could be a strong candidate to succeed him.
Ten Hag is also among a handful of names linked to the top job at Manchester United as interim manager Ralf Rangnick’s tenure is set to conclude at the end of the campaign. Sources have told ESPN that Ten Hag has held talks over the role at Old Trafford.
Guardiola joined City in 2016 and has a contract until the end of next season. He said in January he might make a decision on his future this summer.
“Could Erik ten Hag be here at City? Definitely. I think he could be the one,” Guardiola said. “For the way he approaches the game, definitely.”
Guardiola worked with Ten Hag at Bundesliga club Bayern Munich for two seasons when Ten Hag was in charge of the second team.
The 52-year-old was appointed by Ajax during the 2017-18 campaign and led them to the Dutch league title in 2019 and 2021, as well as the Champions League semifinals in 2019.
10.19 BST: Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo says he wants to stay at Camp Nou amid interest from Premier League sides Manchester United and Liverpool.
Araujo, 23, is out of contract in 2023 and talks between his agents and the club to renew have so far failed to yield an agreement (see Paper Gossip section).
Sources told ESPN in March that Barca’s first offer was worth around €5m annually and that the club remain confident Araujo will eventually renew his terms.
“We are working on it,” the Uruguay international told reporters after Barca beat Sevilla 1-0 on Sunday to move up to second in LaLiga (stream the replay on ESPN+ in the U.S.).
“There are [more] meetings this week and I hope it’s resolved soon because I want to stay at this club for many years.”
ESPN reported last month that Liverpool and United remain interested in Araujo, with the money on the table in England almost double Barca’s initial offer.
Araujo has emerged as a key player at Barca under Xavi Hernandez, be that as a right-back, where he played in the 4-0 Clasico win over Real Madrid recently, or in his more familiar role in the middle of the back four. In total, he’s made 34 appearances across all competitions this season, scoring four goals.
09.33 BST: West Ham United manager David Moyes insists the club have no plans to let midfielder Declan Rice leave the club this summer.
Asked about the prospect of a transfer for the Manchester United and Chelsea target after the Hammers had beaten Everton 2-1 on Sunday to put them three points off the Premier League’s top four, Moyes told Sky: “If I had heard something, I wouldn’t tell you.
“But the best thing to say is that ‘no we’ve not’, and let me tell you, he’s not for sale. So, that may shut down any questions about Declan, but we do expect questions on him because he’s doing so well. “Is he irreplaceable? Well, I had to sell Wayne Rooney early when I was at Everton. I thought Wayne was irreplaceable but what happens in football is you move on. That is what happens in football. “Sometimes things like this do happen but we’ve got no intention of letting that happen at this present time here at West Ham.”
08.30 BST: Ralf Rangnick says the Manchester United board must let the next permanent manager rip up the squad in the summer if they want to challenge Manchester City and Liverpool.
United are in the process of interviewing candidates for the job, including Ajax manager Erik ten Hag and Paris Saint-Germain coach Mauricio Pochettino. Rangnick says he has already advised the board that the new man needs significant backing in the transfer market while also recommending the club sign more “physical players.”
“Both teams of Manchester City and Liverpool, those two teams have been built together and recruited over a period of five or six years, all of them under the premises of how do the coaches want to play,” Rangnick said. “This is what has to happen. That far, I can go right now. I told the board this is what has to happen.
“Whenever the new head coach is clear, it has to be: ‘How does he want to play and what kind of players do we need for that?’ Then we come back to DNA, speed, physicality, tempo — what do we need? This team does not lack technical players; it can do with more physicality.”
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– Juventus have joined Bayern Munich and Manchester United in the race to sign Ajax midfielder Ryan Gravenberch, reports Calciomercato. The 19-year-old has been a regular in the midfield this season, making 27 Eredivisie appearances so far, but with his deal expiring in 2023, a transfer before then is likely.
– Barcelona are set to begin talks with Ousmane Dembele and Ronald Araujo over new contracts, writes Mundo Deportivo. Dembele was set to leave the club in the summer after failing to agree a new contract, but given his recent form, he could be persuaded to stay. As for Araujo, he has a deal until 2023, but has been linked with a move to the Premier League due to his short contract.
– Real Madrid are set to let a number of players leave in the summer to free up space in their squad, according to Marca. The report suggests that Luka Jovic, Jesus Vallejo, Mariano, Takefusa Kubo, Reinier, Alvaro Odriozola and Brahim Diaz are all available for transfer at the end of the season, with the latter four on loan with other clubs and the other three not starting for Los Blancos.
– Barcelona have held talks with Antonio Rudiger over signing him as a free agent once his contract at Chelsea expires, according to Sport. The Germany international is said to want €7 million a year to join the Blaugrana. A number of clubs have also been linked with the 29-year-old, who could join up with Blues teammate Andreas Christensen, who has also been rumoured to join the Catalan club.
– Everton have decided against signing on-loan winger Anwar El Ghazi in the summer, according to Football Insider. The 26-year-old joined the Toffees from Aston Villa on January’s transfer deadline day, making just two appearances since, with Villa now looking to move him on to another club.