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: Arsenal eye Ajax winger David Neres
Ajax have stunned the world with their run to the Champions League semifinals and now winger David Neres has attracted the interest of Arsenal, according to the Daily Mail.
With manager Unai Emery keen to add some width to his squad, Neres has appeared on the radar. Though with Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt and left-back Nicolas Tagliafico all set to depart this summer, the Dutch club may want to hold out.
Guangzhou Evergrande reportedly made a £37.5m bid in January, while Dortmund have shown an interest too. But Arsenal are set to make their move after he impressed against Juventus.
“The 22-year-old excited at times but it was also noted he lost possession and showed inexperience in some passages of the game,” says the paper. Sounds perfect for the Gunners, really.
23.03 BST: That’s going to bring an end to Thursday’s live edition of Transfer Talk. Be sure to check back in a few short hours, when we return with the latest gossip pulled from Friday’s back pages.
21.56 BST: Arsenal’s reported interest in Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti could cool this summer as Goal is reporting the Gunners will have just £75m to spend and other holes in the squad to fill.
20.19 BST: Inter are preparing to shake up their midfield, according to Calciomercato. The report states that Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan is their primary target, but that Ajax’s €50m-rated Donny van de Beek and Cagliari’s Nicolo Barella are close behind, with Roma’s Lorenzo Pellegrini a backup target.
18.42 BST: The Mail cites Tuttosport as reporting that Juventus are interested in signing one of Joao Felix, Mauro Icardi, Federico Chiesa and Mohamed Salah this summer, and are willing to sell Paulo Dybala in order to finance their purchase.
17.05 BST: While Chelsea initially asked Real Madrid to pay €116m for Eden Hazard, with Los Blancos valuing the player at €90m, AS is now reporting that the West London club have lowered their asking price to meet Madrid in the middle at €103m. The Spanish publication adds that the Blues are working toward a quick resolution so they can replace the former Lille maestro with the French club’s present prodigy: Nicolas Pepe.
15.28 BST: Chelsea look set to cancel Gonzalo Higuain‘s loan move from Juventus at the end of the season, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. But there won’t be much room for him at the club, so no doubt there will be a host of clubs interested in his services come the end of the season.
14.23 BST: Would you like to sign Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly this summer? Well, you can’t, sorry Manchester United and Chelsea.
Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti told Tuttosport: “The best centre-back in the world? Yes. And he has more room for improvement. He’s worth €150m and he is non-transferable.
AS report that he was given an internal warning by the club and evidently hasn’t taken that very well. Will a transfer beckon this summer?
12.48 BST: Record report that several English and German clubs are monitoring Sporting Lisbon midfielder Wendel.
The Brazilian moved to Sporting in January 2018 from Fluminense in a reported €8.8m transfer. According to Record, the 21-year-old, who has scored one goal in 17 league games, is attracting the attention of clubs in Europe and scouts of English and German clubs have already enquired about the player, who is tied to the Portuguese outfit until June 2023.
12.01 BST: Former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte says his future will be revealed in June, although he insists he does not yet know where he will be coaching next season.
Conte is being linked with a return to Italy with Inter Milan and former club Juventus regarded as the most likely destinations. Inter coach Luciano Spalletti is under pressure with the Nerazzurri still uncertain of their place in the Champions League next season, while Massimiliano Allegri’s future in charge of the Bianconeri has been questioned following their second straight elimination from the Champions League in the quarterfinals.
Conte recorded a show for Sky One, which will be aired in Italy on Thursday night, and during an interview with host Alessandro Cattelan, he was asked if he knew where he will be coaching next season. “I want to know too — no [I don’t know yet],” Conte said. “I’ll definitely go to a club who have a convincing project.”
11.11 BST: Justin Kluivert says he has no regrets about joining Roma, even after seeing his former club Ajax reach the semifinals of the Champions League.
“It’s amazing to see how they are emerging in Europe, but let’s not forget that Roma also almost reached the quarterfinals, going out to Porto,” he told Sky Italia. “I’ve decided to go down a certain route and I have no regrets.”
10.32 BST: Former Brazil and Barcelona star Rivaldo believes Neymar made a mistake in joining Paris Saint-Germain and says he would love to see his compatriot return to play for Barcelona.
“He made a mistake to leave,” Rivaldo told Onda Cero radio when asked about Neymar’s move. “I would welcome his return to Barcelona. If no Barcelona, it would be good for Spanish football to see him at Real Madrid.”
10.08 BST: Germany midfielder Kerem Demirbay could be among those leaving Hoffenheim in the summer — the midfielder reportedly has a €20m to €30m release clause and is being linked to Arsenal, say Bild.
With coach Julian Nagelsmann departing, the club is set to enter a transition period under Alfred Schreuder. Wing-back Nico Schulz has already been linked with Borussia Dortmund, while a host of other clubs, Besiktas and Galatasaray among them, are also said to be closely monitoring the Demirbay situation.
Borussia Monchengladbach winger Hazard has 30 goals and set up a further 33 in 142 league appearances for the Foals since he joined them from Chelsea in 2014.
The 26-year-old is valued at €40m but, with his contract due to expire in 2020, Dortmund are reportedly prepared to wait another year to get their man on a free transfer if they cannot convince Gladbach to lower their price this summer.
It’s a tactic they are all too familiar with, having seen Bayern Munich do just that to them with striker Robert Lewandowski. Dortmund resisted a bid for the Poland striker from Bayern in 2013, so they simply waited it out until they could get him for nothing 12 months later.
08.50 BST: Spain international Iago Aspas, a long-time target for Barcelona, has signed a new contract with Celta Vigo until 2023 after the 31-year-old signed a one-year contract extension.
Aspas, who has scored 15 goals and set up four more in 21 league appearances this season, was regularly linked with interest from the Camp Nou over the past few transfer windows.
A club statement said: “Iago Aspas will continue to defend these colors until 2023. A youth product of this club, the player is part of the history of this club because of his impressive numbers and the value of his goals. This history will have new episodes, at least until the club’s centenary year (2023).”
08.00 BST: World Cup-winning striker Olivier Giroud has warned Chelsea that he is not prepared to be second choice next season even if the club decides to keep him.
Chelsea have yet to inform Giroud — who is the Europa League’s top scorer with nine goals but has started just seven Premier League matches this season under Maurizio Sarri — whether or not they will trigger an extension option to his current contract, which expires in June. And while the France international insisted he is happy to remain at Stamford Bridge beyond this summer, he is adamant that he wants a bigger role.
“Trust me, I’m not happy to play the second role [in the squad],” Giroud said in a news conference to preview Thursday’s match against Slavia Prague at Stamford Bridge. “That’s why I said, next year, I will need to have a more important role to play in the team.
“I don’t know [if Chelsea will trigger the extension]. I have no clue about that now. I have to meet Marina [Granovskaia]. But obviously I’m happy to be here. The thing is I just want to enjoy. It’s not because I’m 32 and I’ve won the World Cup, because I don’t want to retire. I’m not satisfied with second place.”
PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd)
Tottenham plotting Gomez signing, eye Felipe
Gomez would cost the North London club around £22 million and could serve as a replacement for Fernando Llorente, who is set to move on. Gomez has a release clause of £44m, but that will halve should they get relegated from La Liga, which is looking possible as they sit one point above the relegation zone.
West Ham made an attempt to sign the forward in the January transfer window, but an offer from Spurs may be more difficult to say no to and, amid speculation that Toby Alderweireld will not be pledging his future to Tottenham, the Daily Mail reports that Spurs are also showing interest in Lazio defender Luiz Felipe too.
At £17m, Felipe would represent a more affordable option than the other defenders on Tottenham’s shortlist, including Sampdoria’s Joachim Andersen and Everton’s Michael Keane, both valued at £50m. No approach has been made for Alderweireld so far, however one shouldn’t be ruled out considering a clause in the Belgian’s contract means he can be purchased for £25m when the summer transfer window opens.
Bayern prepare to send Sanches on loan
Portuguese midfielder Renato Sanches is still on the books at Bayern Munich, even after the German giants loaned him out for an underwhelming stint at Swansea City last season.
Bayern are now keen to loan him out again, even after featuring him more prominently this season at Allianz Arena, the Daily Mail understands.
Sanches was part of Portugal’s Euro 2016 winning squad before making just 15 appearances while on loan at Swansea.
He has been deemed surplus to requirements once again, as Bayern seek to continue his development elsewhere.
Fraser to Newcastle, Ritchie homecoming?
Ritchie is unlikely to be offered an extension on his current contract, and could return to the south coast side from which he came to make way for Fraser.
Fraser has also been heavily linked with Arsenal of late following an impressive Premier League season, linking up regularly with Callum Wilson.
Seven goals and 11 assists in 34 league games this season could make Fraser an attractive proposition, while Ritchie’s two goals and five assists across 32 matches may need to be backed up by a transfer bid to get the deal across the line.
Atleti target Porto’s Telles
The Brazilian was part of the Porto side that crashed out to Liverpool in the Champions League on Wednesday evening, losing 6-1 on aggregate.
That hasn’t put Atletico off, who may be willing to spend as much as £35m to sign the defender.
Diego Simeone’s interest in Telles could open the door for Arsenal to make a move for another player who had reportedly been on Atletico’s books, Ajax left-back Nicolas Tagliafico.
– Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic could be on his way to Russian outfit Zenit St. Petersburg when his loan from Real Madrid ends this season, according to the Daily Mail. Maurizio Sarri insisted last month that he would like Kovacic’s loan to be made permanent, however that can only happen if Chelsea’s appeal of FIFA’s two-transfer window ban is successful.