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: Leeds’ Raphinha on Liverpool, Man Utd list
Longari believes that there are a long list of clubs keen to secure Raphinha’s signature, but that Premier League sides Liverpool and United lead the way.
Liverpool have made their interest clear but may not have the budget to make a bid given their tight purse strings. Leeds, who don’t want to let go of a player they only signed last summer, will no doubt ask for much more than the £17 million they spent to obtain his services.
It is also unclear where Raphinha would fit into Liverpool’s system. He can play either flank but he mainly operates on the right, where Mohamed Salah has thrived for Jurgen Klopp.
22.00 GMT: Mexican-born phenom Luka Romero of Mallorca became the youngest player to appear in La Liga in 15 years last season when he came on aged 15 against Real Madrid.
A year on and there is real worry surrounding his future with the now Segunda Division club. The youngster has still not signed his first professional contract and it sounds as if talks between the two sides are not going as well as planned.
“Luka is not tied down,” said Mallorca coach Luis Garcia ahead of his side’s game with Logrones. “With Luka we have to go slowly. His renewal is being negotiated and has not yet been done. I know that the club is doing everything possible to renew him and hopefully it will do so because better than here he will not be anywhere ,” Garcia said.
An Argentine youth international, Romero is considered one of the top teenage talents in world football and Mallorca will be keen to hold onto him as long as they can.
21.11 GMT: Is Tammy Abraham getting frustrated by life at Chelsea?
The Athletic suggests that the England man may not be assured to stay at Stamford Bridge given the arrival of Timo Werner, the form of Olivier Giroud and the links to Erling Haaland. The 23-year-old has 12 goals this season to lead the Blues but has only appeared in five of eight games since Thomas Tuchel took over, and has been subbed at half-time in two of his four starts.
Abraham has two years left on his contract but it begs to wonder how long he will be willing to split duties or wait his time to be a starting No.9?
20.18 GMT: Could Lazio striker Ciro Immobile be made available this summer?
There have been rumours swirling that the three-time Capocannoniere could leave Rome in the summer but those have now been put to bed. Calciomercato has learned that Lazio have decided to hold onto the Italy international with the club continuing to consider him ‘untouchable’.
19.36 GMT: MLS expansion side Austin FC are expected to sign FC Viitorul and Romania youth international Alex Matan, according to reports.
Romanian outlet GSP understands that the two sides are only a medical away from a deal being completed. The 21-year-old has played 66 times for Viitorul since debuting in 2016, amassing five goals and 12 assists for the Romanian outfit.
18.53 GMT: Ismael Bennacer is a central figure for AC Milan and a unsung hero in their title challenge but is he there for the long haul?
Currently out injured, the Algerian is on the radar of some of Europe’s biggest clubs and could be had for a relatively affordable price. That is because Bennacer has a release clause of €50 million, a fact that worries the Milan brass.
Thus, Calciomercato suggests that Milan are keen to hand the defensive midfielder a new deal in order to get rid of that release clause.
18.09 GMT: Moise Kean’s loan to PSG from Everton has revived the Italian striker, Kean having scored 14 goals in 26 games for the club.
Kean’s success has increased speculation that PSG will look to make his move permanent, but PSG sporting director Leandro remains unsure about the ex-Juve man’s future.
“The choice was obvious. We made the choice to take a young player. We took it for one year, then we’ll see,” the Brazilian told Le10Sport.
“Everton didn’t want to lose him. He plays very well, he scores. He has an important future, but there, we cannot know.
“We could not do otherwise than the loan and I think that today having it available for a year was already very positive.
“If we can see the future under certain conditions, we will try to see how it goes, but today, it’s very complicated to know.”
The 20-year-old has scored just four goals in 37 appearances for parent club Everton since arriving for an initial €27.5 million from Juventus in Aug. 2019.
17.25 GMT: Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland has been linked with every big club in Europe.
Gab Marcotti and Julien Laurens list the clubs that have the money to sign Erling Haaland if he leaves Dortmund.
17.00 GMT: We asked Gab Marcotti, Mark Ogden and Graham Hunter for their views on one very big question.
Mbappe or Haaland: Who would you take right now and why?
Marcotti: Mbappe. Obviously it’s close, which is why the question is being asked, but right now I’ll take Mbappe. He’s more experienced, he’s had ups and downs despite being very young (and bounced back) and he’s had better coaching throughout his career, which, I think, makes him more versatile. But there’s not much in it.
Ogden: This is such a tough one to call. Haaland is all pace and power, while Mbappe is even quicker and with greater flair, but they both score goals at a freakishly consistent rate. Haaland arguably shoulders a greater burden to score at Dortmund than Mbappe at PSG. There are elements of Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Haaland’s game, while Mbappe glides past opponents like Lionel Messi. But right now, I would take Haaland; I just believe he will score more goals in the years ahead than Mbappe.
Hunter: Mbappe all day long. Haaland is patently a phenomenon who has worked hard on the parts of his game that don’t come naturally, and there will be certain defenders who’ll never sleep until he retires. But Mbappe is, simply, a beautiful footballer. Taste is personal, idiosyncratic, but it is the Frenchman’s grace, acceleration, invention, wit and unpredictability that enchant me. When he’s darting, twisting, shooting, heading, risking, thrilling … I’m in heaven.
16.03 GMT: Montreal manager Thierry Henry is stepping down. The Arsenal legend has been linked with a move to Championship side Bournemouth in recent weeks.
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) February 25, 2021
“It is with a heavy heart that I’ve decided to take this decision,” said Henry. “The last year has been an extremely difficult one for me personally. Due to the worldwide pandemic, I was unable to see my children. Unfortunately due to the ongoing restrictions and the fact that we will have to relocate to the US again for several months will be no different. The separation is too much of a strain for me and my kids. Therefore, it is with much sadness that I must take the decision to return to London and leave CF Montréal.
“I would like to thank the fans, players and all the staff of this Club that have made me feel so welcome. I would also like to thank Kevin Gilmore, Olivier Renard and of course Joey and all of the Saputo family for giving me this wonderful opportunity. We had an impossible year together and to make the playoffs with this group of people is an experience that I will never forget. Thank you all for being there on this journey and I wish you all the success for the future.”
15.31 GMT: Could Sergio Aguero move to Inter Milan when his Man City contract expires this summer?
Ale Moreno delves deeper into the transfer rumours surrounding Sergio Aguero to Inter Milan.
14.44 GMT: Gennaro Gattuso‘s position as Napoli manager has been under serious threat for some time, with recent defeats seeing the club eliminated from the Coppa Italia, out of the Serie A title race and on the brink of going out of the Europa League.
Failure to overturn a shock 2-0 first leg defeat to Granada in the Europa League round of 32 on Thursday could spell the end for Gattuso, with former Napoli boss Rafa Benitez — who won the Coppa Italia as manager in 2014 — among the favourites to come in.
However, speaking on Spanish radio with Onda Cero, Benitez was asked about the rumours and said: “I have a great relationship with the Neapolitans and I still follow the club but don’t twist my words: I won’t comment [on the rumours].”
14.30 GMT: Inter Milan striker Martin Satriano only moved to the club in January 2020 and has yet to make his first-team debut but is already attracting interest from England.
Satriano, 20, moved from Nacional and has five goals in his last four appearances at Primavera 1 level this season. The Uruguayan has reportedly been scouted by Arsenal and Chelsea, but claims he’s focused on Inter for now.
“It is always flattering [the interest from the Premier League], yes, it is a sign that I am doing things well and that I have to continue down that path,” Satriano told the Daily Mail. “I try to use it as an incentive to keep working and be better every day.
“The Premier League is the No.1 league in the world in terms of competition, that I think all the players want to play, I think all the teams are very good. It is a very competitive league where any team can beat anyone. But for now I am totally focused on Inter and to do the best with them.”
13.24 GMT: Jose Mourinho‘s future at Tottenham depends on his ability to change from his combative past, writes James Olley.
These are challenging times for the Tottenham Hotspur manager, who has long been miscast as a Machiavellian manipulator. He is mischievous and often calculated, of that there is no doubt, but those who know him best describe a capricious individual prone to violent emotional mood swings.
Mourinho faces Tottenham decision day Several years ago during a private conversation, one of his most famous former players once described to me the contrast between Guus Hiddink and Mourinho during their respective tenures at Chelsea by making two hand gestures. The first was with his hand out in front, palm facing flat to the floor, motioning from left to right to signify calm waters. For Mourinho, he drew waves as high and low as his arms would allow.
Following an 11-month hiatus from the game after being sacked by Manchester United, Mourinho insisted when he arrived at Spurs in November 2019 that he was a different man; a more mellow, measured character who no longer relished conflict no matter how contrived. Anyone versed in his career knows his time at a club follows a specific pattern which never completes a fourth season: improve, excel, push to breaking point, civil war, acrimonious exit.
You know we’ve reached a dangerous stage of the cycle when the blame game starts.
12.59 GMT: Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is available for nothing this summer and the 33-year-old is still a top player.
Frank Leboeuf says Barcelona would be a mid-table team without Lionel Messi in the squad.
12.12 GMT: RB Leipzig defender Angelino said Pep Guardiola “killed” his confidence during their time together at Manchester City.
Angelino has become an important member of Julian Nagelsmann’s side as Leipzig look to win their first-ever Bundesliga title. The 24-year-old recently joined on a long-term contract after two impressive loan spells at the club. Leipzig parted with €18m and Angelino has contributed eight goals as well as 11 assists in 31 appearances across all competitions from his position as left wing back.
“There is a big difference [between Guardiola and Nagelsmann]: One gave me the confidence and played me and the other didn’t,” Angelino told reporters on Wednesday. “[Guardiola] killed me. Confidence is everything for me.”
Angelino joined Leipzig from City on an initial loan in January 2020 after only starting in four of a possible 24 Premier League matches in the 2019-2020 season. Ahead of the last term, he had returned from an impressive loan spell with PSV Eindhoven, but said he felt he never had a chance under Guardiola to prove his worth.
“I was judged for preseason. And then I didn’t get a chance for a few months. It’s hard to play one game every two months,” he said. “On the hand I learned a lot from Pep but on the other hand I did not play as much as I wanted.”
11.31 GMT: Liverpool could move for Torino defender Gleison Bremer in the summer, says Tuttosport.
The club signed centre-backs Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies in January but Kabak is only on loan at Liverpool and manager Jurgen Klopp may be looking to add another defender to his squad with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all injured.
Bremer, 23, could leave Torino this summer, as the club are 17th in Serie A.
10.26 GMT: Former Barcelona defender Jeremy Mathieu believes fellow Frenchman Antoine Griezmann made a mistake when he left Atletico Madrid for €120m to sign for Barcelona in 2019.
“Griezmann is not at the level that he was at Atletico Madrid,” Mathieu told RAC1. “I personally think he made a mistake to sign for Barca. At Atletico, he was an important player and I don’t know if he is at Barcelona.”
ESPN FC’s Alejandro Moreno answers the toughest question in football at the moment.
09.50 GMT: PSG sporting director Leonardo has been speaking about the future of Kylian Mbappe.
With his contract expiring in 2022, Mbappe has been linked with a big-money move to Real Madrid or Liverpool. But PSG want him to pen new terms.
“We are in talks with Kylian Mbappe and advancing,” Leonardo told France Bleu. “We are arriving at decision time soon. Dialogue is good. We are also on the right track with Neymar. However, it is not signed just yet.”
09.24 GMT: Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans has given a strong hint that he could extend his stay with the Foxes.
The Sun reports that the Belgium international is in talks with the club over a new contract to replace his current deal, which expires in 2023.
Tielemans, 23, has been a key player ever since he arrived from Monaco in 2019, initially on loan in the January transfer window before sealing a £40m transfer that summer.
“Why not?” Tielemans said when asked if he could achieve his career ambitions at Leicester. “This is a club where you have the best environment you can have, especially with the new training ground. “The people around you just want the best from you. It’s brilliant to be here and I really like it here. You can’t predict the future or whether we are ready to win trophies but everything around the club and inside the club is already in place to produce success.”
08.43 GMT: Former Barcelona star Andres Iniesta believes Spanish winger Pedri is in the “ideal place” to develop his potential.
Since joining Barca from Las Palmas last summer, Pedri has scored three goals and set up four more in 36 appearances in all competitions.
The 18-year-old’s contract reportedly contains a €400m release clause but it only runs until the end of next season, meaning Barca may soon have to offer him a new deal.
“It’s clear that Pedri has a lot of potential,” Iniesta said. “I think he is in the ideal place to continue to grow, to continue to exploit his virtues.
“I wish him the best and the important thing is that he is calm, that people leave him alone because he is young and has everything ahead of him….he has a great future at Barcelona.”
08.00 GMT: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said he is still in touch with Erling Haaland and refused to rule out the possibility of bringing the striker to Manchester United in the future.
Solskjaer, who worked with Haaland at Molde, missed out on the Norway international when he chose to sign for Borussia Dortmund from FC Salzburg in January 2020.
However, Dortmund are facing a battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League after slipping off the pace in the Bundesliga, raising the possibility Haaland could be allowed to leave as early as this summer.
“When you have had kids and players through as a coach, you follow them and I keep in touch with Erling,” Solskjaer said at a news conference on Wednesday.
“It’s great to see him become the player he has become and [how] he works to improve all the time. He’s a Dortmund player — we just wish him well there and let’s see what life will bring later on.”
Jurgen Klinsmann explains how crucial it is for Jose Mourinho to have the backing of all his Tottenham players.
PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd)
Spurs eye Pope if Lloris bolts for PSG
There has been plenty of talk of Paris Saint-Germain‘s interest in Tottenham Hotspur keeper Hugo Lloris, and now the Daily Mail suggests Spurs are planning a move for Burnley‘s Nick Pope as a replacement.
Pope, 28, is expected to be Jose Mourinho’s top target should Lloris leave north London this summer.
Lloris, Tottenham’s club captain, is available on a free transfer in 2022, which is why the club might consider letting him go at the end of this season instead. PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino is also keen to be reunited with his former keeper.
Pope’s contract would cost in the region of £30m as, since joining the Clarets from Charlton in 2016, he has become one of most consistent performers in the Premier League.
River Plate’s Santos wanted by MLS sides
Borre has become a key player for Marcelo Gallardo but with his contract ending in June, clubs are beginning to circle for his services. Along with Minnesota United FC and Toronto FC, either one of New York City FC or New York Red Bulls are also said to be in the mix.
Copa Libertadores champions Palmeiras are also interested in tempting Borre away from the Estadio Monumental.
River Plate could use money raised from the deals of outgoing players Santiago Sosa and Ignacio Fernandez in order to fund an extension for Borre, but it is believed the MLS clubs are able to offer more favourable contracts.
– AS Roma are considering making Borja Mayoral‘s loan from Real Madrid permanent, according to Calciomercato. The Spain forward joined Roma on a two-year deal for €2m but he can move outright this summer for €15m. If Roma decide to wait until next season, the price raises to €20m.
– Napoli and AS Monaco are interested in signing Valencia winger Goncalo Guedes, reports Calciomercato. The 24-year-old Portugal winger is contracted to the Spanish club until 2023, but that hasn’t deterred his would-be suitors. The news follows rumours earlier in the week that West Ham United were also looking into signing Guedes, with David Moyes keen to deliver a marquee signing for next season.
– Is Luciano Acosta on his way back to MLS? According to the Washington Post’s Stephen Goff, the ex-DC United winger is nearing a move to FC Cincinnati. The Argentine has played at Liga MX side Atlas since last year, but due to D.C. still having Acosta’s MLS rights, all three teams would need to work out the details.