The transfer window for Europe’s biggest clubs is closed, but you can click here to review all the deals. Transfer Talk will continue to scour the world’s media and set correspondents loose to see what’s on the agenda for the summer.
TOP STORY: Pepe is off … perhaps to Arsenal
Nicolas Pepe is definitely set to leave Lille at the end of the season. But where will he be heading? The answer to that remains unclear but the club’s president, Gerard Lopez, has confirmed that whatever happens, he won’t be staying with the Ligue 1 giants.
The Sun reports that the French club is resigned to him leaving at the end of the season, which is bad news for a team that has watched in open-mouthed admiration as Pepe has scored 19 goals and contributed another 12 assists so far this campaign.
Pepe was one of the scorers in Lille’s shock 5-1 home win over Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday. Before that match, Lopez told Telefoot: “Four or five players will be leaving this summer. The departure of Nicolas Pepe is certain. He enters a price range that can not be refused anymore. He will have the choice.”
Arsenal are desperate to bring Pepe to the Emirates, but they face huge competition from Manchester United, PSG and Bayern Munich for his signature. Although he won’t come cheap.
Luis Campos, the club’s sporting director, has said that the club wants at least £72 million for him. Lille boss Christophe Galtier has already said that the Ivory Coast ace would look good in red. Which club that is, though, is anyone’s guess.
08.45 BST: Mauro Icardi‘s time at Inter Milan appears to be drawing to a close despite the Argentine star’s recent return to the side, with reports linking him with a summer move to Real Madrid never far more the headlines.
The forward’s wife and agent, Wanda Nara, said after Inter’s 3-1 win at Frosinone on Sunday that her husband and client has “had everything taken away from him, but they will never take away his joy of playing for Inter.”
Icardi, 26, made a bid to further heal the rift between himself and the club’s fans in that match when he let teammate Ivan Perisic take the penalty that made the game 2-0, something Nara described as “worth more than any goal, and his hug with Perisic was beautiful.”
However, it is unlikely to be enough to keep the former Barcelona youth player with the Nerazzurri beyond this summer.
08.00 BST: Manchester United, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain scouts were all present watch Sporting Lisbon captain Bruno Fernandes at the weekend, Record reports.
According to the Portuguese sports daily, representatives of the European giants were in the stands of the Clube Desportivo das Aves stadium to watch the 24-year-old attacking midfielder in Sporting’s 3-1 league win at Aves on Saturday.
Fernandes scored his 16th league goal of the campaign at the weekend. The Portugal international is tied to Sporting until June 2023.
Record reports that the biggest question for Sporting fans right now is whether or not Fernandes will continue at the club next season.
Zizou won’t commit on Isco’s future
As Real Madrid’s La Liga campaign draws to a close, Zinedine Zidane finds himself in charge of one of the most expensively assembled squads in history. Again.
And far from clearing up the Bernabeu club’s future, he seems intent on further fanning the flames of speculation — which is great news for Transfer Talk but might leave those at in Madrid more than a mite confused.
Not least midfield magician Isco, so say Marca.
“There are many players here that can be sold because they are all really good,” Zidane told the waiting media on Sunday afternoon. “Many clubs want many Real Madrid players, it’s nothing new. Isco is an important player and I like him. We’ll see what happens next year.”
So there you go. Everything clear? Nope? Thought so.
Bayern have eyes for Roma’s Zaniolo
Zaniolo, who recently made his first appearances for Italy, is looked upon as one of Italian football’s brightest talents and seen as a perfect fit for the defending Bundesliga champions, according to the report.
Bayern president Uli Hoeness said two weeks ago the club was in the process of revamping a team that has relied too heavily on veterans in recent years, with the signing of young defender Lucas Hernandez from Atletico being the first step.
However, if Bayern want to count on Zaniolo as well, they will face stiff competition from Real Madrid and Juventus for coveted signature.
Barca, Juventus reach De Ligt accord
According to AS.com, the Ajax wonderkid is attracting the attention of both Barcelona and Juventus — but it’s the Spanish giants rather than the Italian’s who are in pole position for his signature. Frenkie de Jong has already put pen to paper at the Camp Nou for a deal worth a reported £65m and now it looks as though de Ligt will be following him to Barca.
AS’s report claims from Rai Sport that Serie A’s serial champions are willing to withdraw their interest for De Ligt so that they can negotiate a deal for Samuel Umtiti. That could work out rather nicely for the Italian club, whose need for another defender has been expedited by the retirement of Andrea Barzagli, who is off to put his feet up at the end of the 2018-19 season.
– Chelsea and United States international defender Matt Miazga has vowed will keep his options open once his loan spell at Reading ends, but has said he hasn’t ruled out staying at the club on a permanent basis, says the Reading Chronicle.
– Spurs reportedly have Celta Vigo’s Uruguayan striker Maxi Gomez on their radar, according to the Mail. The 22-year-old is said to have a £43.5m release clause in his contract and is looking to move to a club that plays Champions League or Europa League football.
– Things got a bit crowded in Portugal this weekend, with English scouts falling over themselves to watch Bruno Fernandes perform. Portuguese speculators O Jogo witnessed an English invasion yesterday, with Manchester United one of 11 clubs to send scouts to watch the Sporting Lisbon star perform this weekend. They didn’t leave disappointed either, with Fernandes scoring his 28th goal of the season in a 3-1 win over Aves.