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: Chelsea, PSG monitoring Donnarumma situation at Milan
Donnarumma is yet to agree to a new contract with the Rossoneri, despite his current deal ending in the summer, and Chelsea, along with Paris Saint-Germain, are keeping tabs on the ongoing discussions between Donnarumma’s representatives and Milan officials.
He is widely expected to stay at San Siro, but Donnarumma’s agent Mino Raiola believes the 22-year-old can earn more elsewhere. It’s been reported that Donnarumma is seeking around €10.5 million a year in his next contract, which is too much for Milan.
As yet, there has been no breakthrough over a new deal, and Chelsea are contemplating a move, although it remains to be seen who would take the No. 1 shirt between Donnarumma and new signing Edouard Mendy, with Kepa Arrizabalaga expected to leave the club.
Sources told ESPN that PSG sporting director Leonardo is targeting out of contract players for next season and Donnarumma could replace Keylor Navas as first choice.
20.36 GMT: Ashley Young’s move to Inter has reinvigorated his career and put him in contention for England’s Euro 2020 squad.
The Irish Mirror claims that the soon-to-be 36-year-old is set to return to England and boyhood club Watford, regardless of whether they are playing in the Premier League or the Championship. Out of contract with Serie A leaders Inter at the end of the season, Young is reportedly to keen to rejoin the Hornets where he played in the academy between 1995-2003 and the first team between 2003-07.
19.59 GMT: Real Betis have been linked with young Cruz Azul goalkeeper Sebastian Jurado.
Medio Tiempo say the 23-year-old is in the sights of the Seville club, who currently have 37 year-old Claudio Bravo and the inconsistent Joel Robles to pick from at the position. The Mexico Under-23 international was impressive last season as the No. 1 for La Maquina and could be the next Mexican talent to land at the Benito Villamarín Stadium — joining Andres Guardado and Diego Llanez.
19.06 GMT: AZ Alkmaar striker Myron Boadu remains on the radar of Spanish side Sevilla, claims Estadio Deportivo.
The Dutch international, 20, has scored 11 goals this season and was previously linked with Sevilla last summer. Valued at €15 million, Boadu has been capped once for Holland, and scored on that debut against Estomia.
18.21 GMT: D.C. United are close to resigning forward Lucas Rodriguez, according to the Washington Post’s Steven Goff.
It is not clear yet whether the Argentine, who scored seven goals in 2019 for United on loan from Estudiantes, would rejoin the club on a loan or a permanent transfer. D.C. tried to bring Rodriguez back last season but were unable to agree to a deal with Estudiantes for the player.
17.42 GMT: Burnley, Sheffield United and Brighton are among the clubs monitoring Celtic centre-back Jack Hendry, according to the Daily Mail.
The 25-year-old Scot has starred while on loan this season at Belgian outfit K.V. Oostende, attracting interest from the Premier League. Standing six-foot-four, the ball-playing central defender could be in-demand this summer, with Burnley unsure of James Tarkowski’s future and Brighton fighting to keep Ben White at Elland Road.
17.00 GMT: It’s fair to say it’s been a bad 14 months for Barcelona.
Look back at the key moments for Josep Maria Bartomeu and Barcelona over a tumultuous last 14 months.
16.31 GMT: Corriere dello Sport claims Manchester United are trying to land either striker Lautaro Martinez or defender Milan Skriniar from Inter Milan on the basis that the Italian club recently missed a bonus payment in the €74m transfer for Romelu Lukaku done in 2019.
Any missed payment could activate a clause in the deal which would require the full outstanding figure — which reportedly stands at over €50m — to be paid by March 31.
United are reportedly willing to wipe out the remaining money owed to them for Lukaku, as Inter’s owners Suning are in talks over the sale of the club, but only if they get a chance to sign Martinez or Skriniar.
Corriere dello Sport insists that the Premier League club are not hopeful this strategy will work, however.
16.11 GMT: Gareth Bale wants his £600,000-a-week contract at Real Madrid paid up even if he leaves the club this summer, says the Daily Mirror.
Bale, 31, is on loan at former club Tottenham — who are reportedly paying half his wages — and scored twice in the 4-0 win over Burnley at the weekend.
The report reads: “Bale is open to staying in North London next season when he will be in the final 12 months of his contract in Madrid. But the star is not planning to make a decision on his future until the end of the domestic season. And Bale will refuse to take a pay-cut in the final year of his deal with the Spanish club. It means Real would have to heavily subsidise his salary again if he returns on loan to Tottenham. Or Bale would need a significant pay-off to leave permanently should Tottenham try to sign him outright.”
15.42 GMT: Blackburn defender Derrick Williams is set to sign for LA Galaxy, says the Lancashire Telegraph.
Williams, 28, underwent surgery at the end of 2020 and is set to miss the start of the 2021 MLS season which begins on April 17.
The Republic of Ireland international has reportedly “courted interest from LA Galaxy and fellow MLS side DC United within the last year, while Championship side Swansea City also looked at Williams in the summer.”
15.00 GMT: Manchester United are second in the Premier League but is that enough for them?
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has already warned supporters they should not expect a lavish spending spree in the summer to help bridge the gap with Manchester City.
Craig Burley still believes Manchester United need a coaching and personnel change to return to elite status.
14.26 GMT: With the COVID-19 pandemic hitting football clubs’ finances around the world, Europe’s top teams are looking to their youth teams rather than to transfers for ways to freshen up.
Our resident scout Tor-Kristian Karlsen reports on some hot prospects under the age of 19 — already first-team regulars, or making an impact in their B/U21 teams — that could have a breakout year in 2021. Including:
ARSENAL: Miguel Azeez, 18, DM
BARCELONA: Ilaix Moriba, 18, CM
DORTMUND: Youssoufa Moukoko, 16, ST
JUVENTUS: Matias Soule, 17, AM
MAN UNITED: Shola Shoretire, 17, AM
PSG: Kays Ruiz-Atil, 18, CM
13.52 GMT: Talking to the BBC last week, Erling Haaland‘s agent Mino Raiola said that the Norwegian wunderkind could only join 10 clubs once he leaves Borussia Dortmund.
But narrowing down the list to just six, German outlet Sport Bild reported on Wednesday, that the 20-year-old attacker is not interested in making a move to Chelsea as he only wants to join an absolutely elite club.
With Bayern Munich also out of the race because of Robert Lewandowski, this would leave six clubs in total: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Liverpool and the two Manchester sides United and City.
However, according to Bild, any club hoping to sign Haaland this summer would have to pray that Dortmund finish outside the Champions League positions. Under contract until 2024, Haaland would otherwise only be available in 2022 when his reported €100m release (some say it’s €75m) clause can be triggered.
“Borussia Dortmund continues to be the right club for him, he still has a job to finish here,” future BVB sporting director Sebastian Kehl told Bild. “We expect him to stay here beyond the summer and become an even better player.”
13.21 GMT: Juventus have announced that they have taken up the option to sign USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie from Schalke for an initial €18.5m ($22m).
McKennie, 22, had been on loan this season where he has impressed and scored five goals in 31 games.
A statement read: “Juventus Football Club S.p.A. has exercised the option right for the definitive acquisition of the registration rights of the player Weston McKennie from FC Gelsenkirchen-Schalke 04 e. V for a consideration of € 18.5m, payable in three years. The consideration may increase up to additional € 6.5m on achieving given conditions over the course of the duration of the contract. Juventus and the player have signed a contract of employment until 30 June 2025.”
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) March 3, 2021
13.04 GMT: Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho was linked with a €120m move to Manchester United over the summer and his form dipped. But now he’s back with a bang in 2021.
Jurgen Klinsmann explains how Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho finally found his form.
12.22 GMT: Arsenal legend Tony Adams has told the club to move on full-backs Hector Bellerin and Cedric Soares.
Bellerin, 25, could leave this summer as part of an agreement with manager Mikel Arteta, sources have told ESPN’s James Olley. The Spain international wanted to quit the Gunners at the end of last season when Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona emerged as serious options, but stayed following heart-to-heart talks with Arteta, whom he has a close relationship with from their playing days at the club.
ESPN can reveal that in discussions last year Arteta asked Bellerin to give the club one more season and in return, they would consider an exit this summer.
Cedric, 29, joined the club on a free transfer in the summer after a loan spell from Southampton and was handed a four-year contract.
“If you’re bringing players in who are a lesser standard, you don’t get someone that’s less than what you’ve got,” Adams told Stadium Astro. “Cedric, is he better than Bellerin? Have you made an improvement there? Take it or leave it.
“Or are you telling me we need two? Get rid of two and get a good one! That would be the opinion that I would have. You always bring in players better than the ones you have got or don’t bring them to the club.”
11.47 GMT: Joan Laporta says Lionel Messi will leave Barcelona this summer if anyone other than him is elected as the club’s new president on Sunday.
Messi, 33, could walk away for nothing in June when his contract expires. He’s not yet decided on his future beyond the end of the season, though, and will listen to the incoming president’s proposal.
However, Laporta, who was previously the president at Camp Nou between 2003 and 2010, warned Barca risk losing their star player if Victor Font or Toni Freixa, the other two candidates for the presidency, are voted in this weekend.
“I’m sure that if someone else wins the election [other than me], Messi won’t stay at the club,” Laporta said in the latest debate between the three candidates. “I have a good relationship with him, there’s a lot of respect. We’ll make him an offer based on the club’s situation. Maybe we can’t compete financially, but Messi’s not ruled by money. He wants to end his career at the highest level possible.”
Laporta was the president when Messi first broke into the Barca team and he told ESPN earlier this year that his personal relationship with the forward gives him the edge over Font and Freixa.
11.03 GMT: Mikel Arteta has said he is “fully focused” on managing Arsenal amid speculation linking him with Barcelona — but admitted talks are yet to begin over a new contract to stay at the Emirates.
Barcelona’s presidential elections are due to take place on March 7 and Joan Laporta — one of three candidates — is reportedly interested in replacing existing boss Ronald Koeman with Arteta should he win the vote.
Arteta, who joined Barca as a player aged 15 before leaving to join Rangers in 2002, told a news conference: “There is always going to be speculation when there are elections in Barcelona, it’s a huge team.
“Obviously I was raised there as a player and there is always going to be links. But I am fully focused to the job that I have to do here, which we have a lot to do, and I am really enjoying it. Today and tomorrow I am the manager of Arsenal Football Club and I am really enjoying it. And I want to do much better than what we have done.”
10.31 GMT: Christian Pulisic is under pressure at Chelsea, but where could he go if he leaves?
Don Hutchison ponders potential destinations for Christian Pulisic if the USMNT star leaves Chelsea.
09.44 GMT: Bayern Munich defender David Alaba has yet to announce his next move, but his agent Pini Zahavi says everyone is interested.
“All European top clubs are chasing David,” Zahavi told Sport Bild. “But he’s the one who has to make the final decision.”
According to the outlet, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Barcelona, Manchester City, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain are among those chasing the 28-year-old, with Chelsea currently not part of the group.
However, the Austria international has yet to reach a breakthrough in negotiations with any club as only PSG are willing to meet his wage demands. Still, Alaba has not given up hope that he can make a dream move to Spain, which could also hinge on the outcome of Sunday’s presidential election at crisis-club Barcelona.
09.23 GMT: Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier has “some big clubs” interested in him but wants to realise his ambitions of playing Champions League football at Elland Road, according to his agent.
Meslier, who turned 21 on Tuesday, has kept eight clean sheets in his 25 Premier League appearances since Marcelo Bielsa’s side won promotion last season, putting the Frenchman on the radar of some of Europe’s top teams.
“For sure there are some big clubs that are interested and following Illan, but right now he is in Leeds,” Xavier Fleury told the LUFCFANZONE podcast. “He is starting, and that is the bottom line – the most we can ask for. He loves the club, and he has settled in really well.
“I think if Leeds keep the sporting director, the coach, and the players keep improving year after year like they are doing, I think the president [Andrea Radrizzani] could be right and Leeds could be in the Champions League quickly.
“If Leeds are in the Champions League, I think it would be more beautiful for Illan to challenge for trophies at a club like Leeds as opposed to winning leagues at clubs like Real Madrid, Juventus, or Bayern.
“Football is all about emotion; you can say okay I’ll play for Real Madrid, Bayern, or Juventus, but it’s about achieving something that is not expected, and to do that at Leeds with Bielsa would be amazing, and there is no way to think about leaving.”
08.46 GMT: Lionel Messi will not announce his future until the end of the season regardless of who wins Barcelona’s presidential elections on Sunday, according to Spanish radio station Cadena SER.
Messi has yet to sign a contract extension with Barca and his current deal expires this summer. The 33-year-old is a target of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.
The Argentina international has not spoken about his future since he requested to leave his all-time club last summer before having to make a U-turn when Barca demanded the €700m in his release clause.
Former Barca president and current candidate Joan Laporta believes there are more options of Messi remaining at the club beyond this summer if he, and not rival candidates Victor Font and Toni Freixa, is elected president.
“I have a great relationship with Leo [Messi] and he will consider whatever proposal I make,” Laporta said. “If I don’t win, I am sure that Leo will not stay at Barcelona.”
– Barcelona vs. Sevilla: Stream LIVE at 2:55 p.m. ET on ESPN+ in U.S.
08.00 GMT: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has warned Manchester United supporters they should not expect a lavish spending spree in the summer to help bridge the gap with Manchester City.
City look set to land a third title in four years after opening up a healthy lead at the top of the Premier League table. United have been their nearest challengers for much of the season and even though they are paying catch up, Solskjaer insists the club will have to be cautious with their spending in the next transfer window because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s definitely affecting everyone in football the pandemic,” Solskjaer told a news conference on Tuesday. “Of course the lack of income, the finances has affected everyone. It might affect us all well.
“We have to be realistic and responsible in the way we do our business both on and off the pitch. There are improvements on the training ground, stadium — we have to look at the whole picture. Where can we spend the money? And how much is there? It’s just the real world now. It has changed.
“I think there’s just going to be less and less transfers happening in the world of football with all these changes.”
Sources have told ESPN that Solskjaer will have money to spend in the summer. But the club’s latest financial figures, due to be released on Thursday, are set to show a significant impact caused by the pandemic and Solskjaer says the restraints on spending may lead to more young players being promoted from the academy.
“You can look at it in different ways,” he said. “We have players in the academy that we now can maybe give opportunities for. All clubs in the world are going through the same situation so it’s no different for other clubs than for us.”
Julien Laurens and Rodrigo Faez discuss whether David Alaba would be an upgrade on Sergio Ramos.
PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd)
PSG move in on Madrid target Alaba
While Sky Sports had already reported that PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi had made contact with Alaba to express the club’s interest, AS now suggest that PSG have made further contact with the 28-year-old about the prospect of a summer deal.
Alaba’s contract at Bayern Munich ends on June 30 and he has already announced he won’t be renewing it. He’s already talked to Real Madrid, who are said to have offered him €11m a season in wages.
Manchester City are also keen and they’ve reportedly offered Alaba €15m a season, but it is reported that Real Madrid is the club he is most interested in joining. However, PSG will hope a healthy salary and the chance to play alongside players such as Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, will help persuade him to move to the French capital.
Liverpool cast their eyes on Kamara
Kamara appears settled at Marseille — who’ll soon be managed by Jorge Sampaoli after they sacked Andre Villas-Boas — but such is his talent that he is widely expected to leave for a top club at some point, and this summer is a crucial one.
Kamara is a fan favourite at the Stade Velodrome but his contract runs out in 2022, which means Sampoali will need to make a decision on the 21-year-old’s future pretty quickly. If they don’t extend his deal, they risk losing him on a free transfer next summer.
Liverpool had expressed an interest in Marseille teammate Duje Caleta-Car in January, but Kamara could represent better financial sense if he doesn’t extend his stay in Ligue 1.
– Borussia Dortmund are increasingly resigning themselves to losing striker Erling Haaland this summer, so they’re looking to Sevilla FC‘s Youssef En-Nesyri as a potential player to fill his shoes, says Eurosport. En-Nesyri has scored 13 goals in La Liga this season and Dortmund are reported to be looking into his contract situation. However, Sevilla are rumoured to be about to offer him improved terms to fend off any interest.
– Thomas Tuchel is looking to bring winger Jonas Hofmann to Chelsea from Borussia Monchengladbach, according to Ruhr Nachrichten. Hofmann played under Tuchel at Borussia Dortmund, and although he is contracted at Gladbach until 2023, he is valued at €15m. He’s scored six goals and contributed 10 assists this season.