Transfer Talk: Kounde could exit Barcelona; Chelsea keen

The summer transfer window may not be open yet in Europe, but teams are getting ready for it, and there’s plenty of gossip swirling around. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Kounde could leave amid Chelsea interest

Jules Kounde would be willing to leave Barcelona if there is an agreement with all parties involved, as Chelsea are showing interest, according to Diario Sport.

The 24-year-old isn’t pleased that Xavi Hernandez has prioritised using him at right-back, rather than his natural position of centre-back, while he is also aware that Inigo Martinezs pending arrival as a free agent from Athletic Club would see him play on the right more often.

Barcelona will now assess the situation to see whether or not Kounde — who has made 26 starts for the LaLiga champions this season — will eventually change his mind.

If the France international does leave, Barcelona are aware that Chelsea may offer a transfer fee of more than €55 million, which could make the move of benefit to the Blaugrana.

Kounde’s departure would also lead to Barca bringing in a top-level right-back, with Villarreal‘s Juan Foyth having been previously linked.

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17.11 BST: Bayern Munich are keen on signing West Ham defensive midfielder Declan Rice, according to Sky Sports Deutschland’s Florian Plettenberg.

Thomas Tuchel is reported to have identified the 24-year-old as a key reinforcement this summer, and the Bundesliga side could be ready to compete with Arsenal in the race for his signature. Rice, who was named in England’s squad for June’s European Championship qualifiers on Wednesday afternoon, has remained a staple for the Hammers this season, racking up 44 starts and nearly 4,000 minutes in all competitions, with five goals and three assists.

Equally, Bayern do need to revamp following an uneven run of form since Tuchel took over as manager on March 24. Their midfield options are strong — Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Jamal Musiala and Ryan Gravenberch are all top talents — but more depth and more discipline is clearly needed in front of the defense.

16.02 BST: Fabrizio Romano says that Arsenal have made a new contract proposal to winger Reiss Nelson for a deal until June 2027 plus a one-year option.

Nelson, 23, has been a key squad player this season, coming off the bench to make an impact in games.

However, the Gunners’ first offer was for a short-term contract and that was rejected. Now they have made a longer term offer, but he has options across Europe if he decides to leave on a free transfer this summer.

15.00 BST: What do PSG need to become a force again?

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Laurens: PSG need to start acting like a team

Julien Laurens talks about what PSG need to do in order to become a more powerful force in European football.

14.11 BST: Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur are keen to sign Brighton striker Evan Ferguson, according to Sky Sports.

Ferguson, 18, has broken through into the first team this season and scored 10 goals in 23 appearances in all competitions to help Brighton secure European football for next season.

The Republic of Ireland international signed a new five-year deal in April, but Brighton are always willing to listen to offers for their young stars and a mega-offer could be accepted.

13.45 BST: Chelsea’s Mason Mount looks set to leave the club and Manchester United are ready to submit a £55m bid to sign him, according to The Daily Mail.

Mount, 24, has a contract which expires in 2024 and has yet to come to agreement over new terms. Sources told ESPN that Mount is seeking a wage commensurate with his status as an England international and a senior player at Chelsea with Reece James‘ £250,000-a-week deal thought to be a benchmark in negotiations.

Chelsea would want around £70m to let him go, with Arsenal and Liverpool also linked, but new Blues manager Mauricio Pochettino is reportedly keen to keep Mount if possible.

13.00 BST: PSV coach Ruud van Nistelrooy has left the club with immediate effect.

The former Man United striker won the KNVB Cup and Johan Cruyff Shield but are 10 points behind champions Feyenoord in the Eredivisie table.

“After several discussions about internal affairs that have taken place in recent weeks, a meeting was held on Tuesday evening between the Board of Directors and Van Nistelrooy,” the club statement read. “It was decided to keep the focus on next Sunday’s match against AZ and to continue talking after the season.

“Van Nistelrooy reported this morning that in his opinion there was not enough support within the club to continue longer. He immediately explained this to the group of players and staff. At the request of the management, Fred Rutten will temporarily take over his role as Head Coach this Sunday.”

12.53 BST: Arsenal have been scouting RB Leipzig duo Dominik Szoboszlai and Dani Olmo, according to 90min.

Szoboszlai, 22, has been a targeted for the Gunners since they tried to sign him in January 2021, but the Hungary international midfielder would cost a €70 transfer fee now.

Meanwhile, Spain winger Olmo is more reachable as his deal expires in 2024 and is reportedly available for around €30m.

12.30 BST: Ruben Selles will not continue as manager of Southampton when his contract expires at the end of this season.

Russell Martin, who led Swansea to 10th place in the Championship, is set to take over.

12.10 BST: Liverpool want to sign Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves, according to Football Insider.

Neves, 26, is set to depart Wolves at the end of the season but Barcelona are reportedly interested in a move with winger Ansu Fati moving the other way.

However, with Barca needing to reduce their wage bill by €150m, Liverpool could take advantage and sign the Portugal international.

11.41 BST: Barcelona defender Jordi Alba will leave the club at the end of the season as a free agent, sources have confirmed to ESPN.

Alba, 34, has a contract with Barca until 2024 but an agreement has been reached for him to depart this summer after 11 years in the first team.

Sunday’s fixture against Mallorca at Spotify Camp Nou will therefore be his final home match for the Blaugrana and a chance to say goodbye to the supporters.

Barca, who have already clinched the LaLiga title, then close the season away at Celta Vigo the following weekend, which will now be Alba’s last outing for the club.

Club captain Sergio Busquets will also bid farewell to Barca fans on Sunday after announcing earlier this month that he will not renew his contract, which expires in June.

Alba has not yet confirmed what his next move will be but, along with Busquets, he has previously been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia.

11.30 BST: How good a job has Mikel Arteta done at Arsenal this season?

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Marcotti: Arteta maximised Arsenal’s resources

Gab Marcotti believes Mikel Arteta and his players have overachieved in the current Premier League season despite the recent form over the last few weeks.

10.34 BST: Leicester could be relegated at the weekend and forward Harvey Barnes is being tracked by plenty of clubs, says The Daily Mail.

Barnes, 25, has 12 goals this season and is rated at around £50m, while the winger is expected to leave this summer even if Leicester stay up.

West Ham and Aston Villa are reportedly interested and could get a much cheaper deal if the Foxes go down.

09.56 BST: Arsenal are interested in pursuing a deal for Ilkay Gundogan if the midfielder fails to agree terms with Manchester City, sources have told ESPN.

The 32-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and has so far resisted City’s attempts to tie him to fresh terms. Sources have told ESPN that City are so far willing to offer only a one-year extension, while Barcelona are prepared to hand him a two-year deal.

It is unclear at this stage what terms Arsenal are ready to put on the table but they are likely to have space in the squad for an experienced player with Granit Xhaka in talks to join Bayer Leverkusen in a deal worth around €15m.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta wants to sign two central midfielders this summer with West Ham’s Declan Rice and Brighton’s Moises Caicedo on their shortlist. However, Gundogan would be a far cheaper option and Arteta, a player he worked with during his three years at City as a coach under Pep Guardiola.

09.23 BST: Napoli are prepared to transfer centre-back Kim Min-Jae and striker Victor Osimhen if irresistible offers are made this summer, according to Il Mattino.

Both players have been crucial for Napoli to win the Serie A title this season and have a contract with the Italian outfit until June 2025.

Manchester United are reportedly ready to make a bid for Kim before his €60m release clause becomes active on July 1 with Paris Saint-Germain also interested in signing the South Korea international.

Bringing a centre-forward is United’s biggest priority this summer and the Red Devils are also interested in Osimhen. Napoli will allow the Nigeria international to leave if the €160m asking price is met. Osimhen, who has scored 28 goals in 37 appearances for Napoli this season across all competitions, is keen to play in the Premier League. However, he is also a target of Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

Napoli, meanwhile, have no intention to place Georgian winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Slovakian midfielder Stanislav Lobotka on the transfer list despite both players having plenty of offers after strong performances this season.

08.39 BST: Arsenal forward Bukayo Saka has signed a new long-term contract at the Emirates Stadium, the club announced on Tuesday.

ESPN reported in February that the 21-year-old was close to agreeing terms with Arsenal after they triggered an option at the turn of the year to extend his existing agreement through to 2024.

Saka has enjoyed an impressive campaign and played a key role in helping Arsenal challenge eventual Premier League champions Manchester City for the majority of the season.

The England international has contributed with 14 goals and 11 assists in all competitions this season.

Saka’s performances saw him finish second behind City striker Erling Haaland in the prestigious Football Writers’ Association (FWA) Footballer of the Year award.

The forward is the latest Arsenal player to commit his long-term future to the club after goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale signed a new deal last week.

08.00 BST: Roma manager Jose Mourinho has criticised the timing of the decision to hit Juventus with a fresh 10-point penalty on Monday by an Italian court.

The latest punishment for false accounting in the club’s transfer dealings dropped Juventus from second spot in Serie A to seventh — hampering their chances of qualifying for next year’s Champions League.

Following Roma’s 2-2 draw with Salernitana on Monday, Mourinho hit out after learning about the verdict.

“It’s a joke to know this with two games remaining,” he told DAZN. “For us and everyone, even for Juventus. Our approach would have been different if we had known before the games with Monza and Bologna.

“I am sorry for [Massimiliano] Allegri and his players, but at the league level, I have to say that it changes things a little.”

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Bernardo Silva explains what makes Guardiola a tactical genius

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PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)

Christian Falk has reported that Bayern Munich‘s efforts to sign a striker have resulted in the Bundesliga club looking at Manchester City‘s Julian Alvarez, Eintracht Frankfurt‘s Randal Kolo Muani and Tottenham Hotspur‘s Harry Kane. In another tweet, Falk adds that their midfield search has brought them to consider JuventusAdrien Rabiot, Chelsea’s Mateo Kovacic and West Ham United‘s Declan Rice.

– Chelsea are still pushing to sign Napoli striker Victor Osimhen but will have to offload players to be able to sign the 24-year-old, as reported by Florian Plettenberg. Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis wants at least €150m for the prolific goal scorer’s transfer, which could hinder the Blues due to their lack of Champions League football next season.

Paris Saint-Germain and clubs from the Premier League are monitoring the situation of Bayern Munich attacking midfielder Jamal Musiala, according to Ekrem Konur. However, the Bavarian giants will not be willing to listen to offers to sign the 20-year-old and plan to extend his contract.

Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have both identified Brighton & Hove Albion striker Evan Ferguson as a long-term option, according to Sky Sports, which adds that Spurs could look to make a move for the 18-year-old in 2024. In addition, Manchester City are keeping tabs on Ferguson if Erling Haaland departs at any stage.

AC Milan have held talks with River Plate over the transfer of 17-year-old forward Claudio Echeverri, according to Calciomercato. There is also strong interest from Real Madrid — who plan to sign Echeverri, loan him back to River, and then have him play for the reserve Castilla team for a year.