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: Arsenal lead City and Spurs for Bissouma
The Gunners were knocked out of the Europa League by former boss Unai Emery and Villarreal on Thursday night, meaning it’s incredibly unlikely that they will seal a place in Europe next season as they sit ninth in the Premier League table.
Bissouma, 24, is viewed as one of the top defensive midfield prospects around and is valued at £40 million, with Brighton ready to let him leave this summer as his contract expires in 2023.
Manchester City reportedly want him as a long-term replacement for soon-to-be out-of-contract Fernandinho, who turned 36 earlier this week. Tottenham, Everton and West Ham have also been linked with the Mali international, who was signed from Lille from £15m in 2018.
14.44 BST: Goal reports that Arsenal are interested in signing Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana this summer “but will wait for the verdict in his upcoming appeal against a doping ban before deciding to step up their interest.”
Onana, 25, was banned by UEFA for 12 months in February for a doping violation as, following a drugs test on Oct. 30 last year, the substance Furosemide was found in Onana’s urine, though the goalkeeper said that he mistakenly took a Lasimac tablet prescribed to his wife after feeling unwell.
UEFA has said that Onana had no intention of cheating. However, the European Football Association states that an athlete has a duty to ensure that no prohibited substances enter their body.
Onana and Ajax will appeal against the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in June, but the report states that the Gunners could make a £7m if his ban is reduced.
14.04 BST: AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was left in tears last Saturday after he was threatened by the club’s Ultras, sources told ESPN’s Andrew Cesare Richardson.
Donnarumma’s contract expires at the end of the season and Juventus have been heavily linked with a move for the Italy international, though there is also interest from Paris Saint-Germain as well as clubs in Premier League and La Liga, sources said.
In a further twist, the rivals face each other on Sunday in a match that has major ramifications in the race to qualify for next season’s Champions League. Milan and Juve are level on points in third and fourth place respectively, with four games remaining. Milan fans fear the match is a conflict of interest for Donnarumma, as he could theoretically play a part in costing his future club a place in next season’s Champions League were he to join Juventus.
Sources told ESPN the 22-year was confronted by a delegation of supporters outside the club’s training ground last week, and they told him not to play in the match against Juve unless he planned to sign a new contract. Donnarumma played against Benevento later that same evening and kept a clean sheet as Milan earned a 2-0 win.
13.25 BST: Manchester United have a decision to make over the future of midfielder Paul Pogba this summer.
Mark Ogden contemplates Paul Pogba’s best position for Man United as questions surrounding his future continue.
13.00 BST: In ‘my dad is famous’ news…
– James Carragher, son of Liverpool legend Jamie, is set to sign for Everton, says the Daily Telegraph. The 18-year-old defender is on a scholarship at Wigan but his contract expires at the end this season and he could make the opposite move to his dad, who swapped Everton for Liverpool as a teenager.
– Inter Miami CF coach Phil Neville‘s 18-year-old son Harvey, has signed with Inter Miami’s USL League One team, Fort Lauderdale CF. “It was his decision, just like every decision he’s made has been his decision,” Neville Snr. said of the young full-back “He’s had to take some brave moves in his career. He came out to do some training and see his dad, really enjoyed it and impressed everybody.”
12.42 BST: Arsenal’s new director of football operations, Richard Garlick, will be able to work on key decisions including the futures of Alexandre Lacazette and Emile Smith Rowe as he prepares to start his job later this month.
Sources told ESPN’s James Olley that Garlick will take up his role with the Gunners on May 17, six days before the season ends and more than three weeks prior to the transfer window opening. Garlick was due to leave his post as the Premier League’s Director of Football at the end of the season, but departed with immediate effect last month amid the fallout from the failed Super League breakaway. Arsenal were one of the clubs involved in the project and with Garlick due to join the club, it was decided he should step down sooner than originally planned.
Garlick, a qualified solicitor specialising in sports law, will be involved in contract negotiations to arrange a new deal for rising star Smith Rowe, 20. Lacazette has a year remaining on his deal and head coach Mikel Arteta insisted a decision on his future will be made at the end of the campaign.
When his appointment was announced by Arsenal in January, the club stated Garlick would be responsible “football operations in the first team and academy, all player contract management and relationships with football’s governing bodies.”
12.10 BST: A plethora of women’s transfer news for you today.
– Lyon have secured a three-year contract extension with France striker Delphine Cascarino. The 24-year-old joined Lyon for the 2014-15 season and is one of the club’s most capped players with 144 appearances and 32 goals in all competitions.
– Canada defender and Tottenham captain Shelina Zadorsky has signed a new contract with the north London club which will keep her there until 2022. Zardorsky has become a central figure in Spurs’ defence since she joined the club from Orlando Pride in August 2020 and was awarded the captain’s armband at the start of this year.
– Barcelona’s award-winning goalkeeper Sandra Panos has signed an extension with the club until 2024 ahead of their Champions League final against Chelsea. Panos joined Barca in 2015 from Levant and has made 188 appearances for the club over six seasons, conceding 89 goals. She has conceded just five goals this season.
11.45 BST: Does Eden Hazard have a future at Chelsea … sorry… Real Madrid?
ESPN FC’s Steve Nicol says the reaction to Eden Hazard’s actions after the Chelsea match are over the top.
11.22 BST: Real Madrid are negotiating with Inter forward Lautaro Martinez as a summer alternative to Dortmund star Erling Haaland, according to Cadena COPE.
ESPN reported last February that Madrid were keen to rival Barcelona for the signing of the Argentina international.
The radio station claims that Madrid are in talks with the player but are yet to contact his club.
Martinez, 23, came close to joining Barca last summer before the club’s financial problems put an end to a possible move, and he stayed on to win Serie A with Inter this season.
11.07 BST: Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum could consider joining Bundesliga champions-elect Bayern Munich on a free transfer this summer, his agent told Sport1.
Wijnaldum, 30, will be out of contract at Liverpool this summer and has yet to address his future plans. The player’s agent, Humphry Nijman, has now told Sport1 that the Netherlands international could consider an offer from Bayern if the German club were to approach them.
“Wijnaldum is a free agent and keeps all options open,” Nijman said. “FC Bayern are a great club and if they are interested in him, we are happy to talk to them.”
This summer, Bayern Munich will part ways with Spanish midfielder Javi Martinez after nine years. France international Corentin Tolisso could also leave the club, but his injury means there might not be any takers for him this summer.
10.50 BST: United States international Timothy Chandler has signed a three-year contract extension at Eintracht Frankfurt until 2025.
The 31-year-old has spent his entire career, bar a four-year spell with Nurnberg, at Die Adler and has no plans to leave the Waldstadion anytime soon. Once his new contract expires in 2025, he will remain at a club in a yet-to-be-defined position.
Outgoing sporting executive Fredi Bobic said: “We’re delighted that Timmy, a leader and absolute role model, has committed himself to Eintracht long-term. The length of the deal, as well as the option of a subsequent contract are fully in line with Eintracht Frankfurt’s strategy of retaining players who deserve it once their playing days are over.”
Chandler has made 154 competitive appearances for Frankfurt and is won the 2018 DfB-Pokal.
10.34 BST: Tigres are set to complete the signing of Marseille winger Florian Thauvin as a free agent, according to ESPN’s John Suftcliffe.
Thauvin, 28 has a contract which expires on June 30 and a number of clubs from Italy and Spain were reportedly interested in his services.
AC Milan, Napoli and Sevilla have been linked with the former Newcastle forward in recent times, but Suftcliffe reports that Thauvin has finally decided to move to Tigres to experience Liga MX.
The report says that the 2018 World Cup winner’s compatriot Andre Pierre Gignac played a key role in the decision, with the deal expected to be made official in the coming hours.
10.09 BST: Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez has confirmed to ESPN F90 that he was very close to joining Barcelona last summer but that the transfer failed due to financial situation of the Catalan club.
“Yes, I was close to Barcelona,” he said. “There were very important things for me but in the end Barcelona had financial issues and that’s when we made the decision to stay at Inter, face this year to continue growing and luckily I was able to get a title.
“We talked to Leo [Messi] during the [Argentina] qualifiers, it was a nice opportunity for me. I was very close but due to small details it could not happened. I stayed at Inter, I kept fighting, training and luckily the decision, which I took time to make, was right because today I have a title. Leo is very calm, he did not get involved either, he just asked me how the situation was and not much else.”
Martinez also revealed that he was tempted twice by Real Madrid when he played at Argentine side Racing Club, saying: “When I was at Racing I told them twice no because I wanted to leave my name in Argentine football.”
09.55 BST: Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak is keen on a move to the Premier League in the summer with the Slovenia international’s representatives looking to drum up interest from the league’s “Big Six,” sources told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.
The 28-year-old, who has two years left on his contract, has a release clause of €120m and although Atletico Madrid have been adamant they would want the full amount, financial pressures may force the club to consider any serious bid. Atletico made a narrow loss of €1.78m in 2019-20 but saw their expected income hit by around €100m, with a much larger drop expected for 2020-21.
Manchester United are among the clubs who have been made aware Oblak would welcome approaches from England at the end of the season.
If Oblak does leave, it raises the possibility of David de Gea returning to former club Atleti as his replacement.
09.21 BST: Champions League finalists Chelsea and Manchester City have emerged as contenders to sign Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski this summer, sources told ESPN’s Stephan Uersfeld, with the striker undecided on his future.
Lewandowski, 32, has a contract at Bayern until 2023 and sources told ESPN that interested clubs would need to offer €60 million to start negotiations over a possible move.
One of the all-time Bundesliga greats, Lewandowski has 36 league goals in 31 matches this season and is closing in on Gerd Muller’s record of 40 in a season, set in the 1971-72 campaign. The Poland international is also on 272 Bundesliga goals across his career in Germany, for Borussia Dortmund and Bayern, and would have Muller’s record of 365 on his radar if he did stay.
Lewandowski has hinted previously that he would retire from football after his Bayern Munich career was over, but interest from the Premier League could tempt him into a final challenge elsewhere.
Chelsea and City are both in the market for a striker this summer, sources told ESPN, with Thomas Tuchel eager to improve his attacking options following a difficult debut season for Timo Werner. Pep Guardiola is looking to replace the outgoing Sergio Aguero at Manchester City, at times playing without a recognised No. 9 in attack this season as his side look set to clinch the league title.
08.30 BST: Villarreal defender Pau Torres, who has been linked with a €40m summer move, shed tears of joy in a postmatch interview after helping his team reach the club’s first European final.
Villarreal will take on Manchester United, one of the clubs linked with the 24-year-old defender, on May 26 in the Europa League final after eliminating Arsenal.
“This time it’s tears of joy,” Torres said. “It’s been many years that Villarreal has tried. The club, the city, our president, the players deserve this. We need to enjoy this moment, but we have to prepare the final well. We’ve made history but we want more. We are going to face another big opponent. Manchester United have been in the battle for the Premier League until the end. But we don’t want to limit ourselves. We know that we are going to have to work very hard.
“But in one game, we can compete against anyone, and we are determined to prove that. For Villarreal to represent Spanish football in a European final is beautiful and I’m sure we will be up to the task.”
Stewart Robson explains how he thinks Andrea Pirlo should organise his team for the remainder of the season.
PAPER GOSSIP (By Danny Lewis)
– Weston McKennie has impressed so much at Juventus since joining them on an initial loan from Schalke 04, that the Serie A giants signed the United States star permanently. However, according to Calciomercato, the 22-year-old could be allowed to leave in the summer if the right offer comes in. While they aren’t actively looking to offload him, Juventus will consider any offers that equate to €30m with a host of Premier League clubs on the lookout.
– According to Sport, Barcelona outcast Miralem Pjanic could be given a way out, as Chelsea and Inter Milan are both interested in signing the Bosnia & Herzegovina international in the summer. This comes with Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman seeing Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets as his main midfielders, with Ilaix Moriba and Sergi Roberto also ahead of the 31-year-old Pjanic in the pecking order.
– Manchester City‘s interest in Aston Villa talisman Jack Grealish has been well documented, but Football Insider are suggesting they could go for the Englishman and a top striker if they win the Champions League. Financial Fair Play regulations could make it difficult for City to sign the 25-year-old midfielder but the financial benefits of winning Europe’s biggest club competition could make that possible.
– While it had previously been expected that Justin Kluivert would return to AS Roma when his loan at RB Leipzig expired, Kicker has suggested there may now be a change of plan. That is because it is felt the Dutch winger could be the perfect type of player to suit incoming manager Jesse Marsch’s style, meaning a permanent move could be made. A deal for the 22-year-old should be worth around €12m.
– Chelsea are considering offloading left-backs Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri in the summer, as they look to raise extra funds for their transfer activity, as suggested by Goal. The pair have struggled to maintain their place ahead of Ben Chilwell since he arrived from Leicester City, with Emerson often being linked with a move to Inter Milan in recent months.
– Barcelona are considering sending Portuguese winger Francisco Trincao on loan during the summer to get him more game time, reports Calciomercato. It is suggested that this is seen as a big opportunity for AC Milan, who are also monitoring Real Madrid‘s Lucas Vazquez, while Roma are also showing interest in Trincao.
– Giorgio Chiellini has been a Juventus player since joining them from Fiorentina in 2005, but Calciomercato reports that the Italian great is on the radar of Major League Soccer clubs. The centre-back’s contract ends in June, and it is claimed that there hasn’t yet been a proposal made by Juventus to extend the 36-year-old’s deal. That decision comes with the likes of chief football officer Fabio Paratici hoping to rejuvenate the squad, following a disappointing season in which Juve saw its nine-season Serie A title streak snapped by Internazionale. This will leave Chiellini to walk away for free in the summer, with MLS one of his possible destinations, while there is also interest from the Middle East.