The transfer window is open, and Transfer Talk has the latest rumours making the rounds. Follow live with our daily blog throughout the summer.
TOP STORY: Man City plan Jorginho alternatives
Manchester City have lined up two alternatives to Jorginho should they fail to strike an agreement with Napoli, sources told ESPN FC.
The English champions have already seen one bid for the midfielder rejected by Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis, who is thought to be holding out for closer to £60 million amid interest from rival clubs.
That could force City to look elsewhere rather than enter into a bidding war, with Pep Guardiola also keen on Real Madrid’s Mateo Kovacic and Southampton’s Mario Lemina. Both are seen as capable options in holding midfield, but City still would prefer to complete a move for Jorginho, who is desperate to move to Manchester.
Striking a more optimistic note, the Mirror says City and Napoli could agree to a £43m transfer in the next 24 hours after Jorginho’s agent and Napoli’s chief negotiator flew to England to close the deal.
09.40 BST: DONE DEAL! Freiburg sign midfielder Jerome Gondorf, 29, from Werder Bremen. He only spent one year at Bremen for whom he appeared in 21 Bundesliga matches after his transfer from Darmstadt.
09.20 BST: Boca Juniors forward Cristian Pavon has been heavily linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain and his fellow Argentine, Angel Di Maria, has been singing his praises: “He is a player with impressive potential. He is in form and after a great season with Boca Juniors, it will be difficult for them to keep hold of him. All European clubs will want him — especially after the World Cup.”
09.00 BST: Barcelona star Lionel Messi has said he would like Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann to join him at the Camp Nou to help form “the best team in the world,” but added a deal is not yet 100 percent done. Griezmann, 27, is still to decide whether to join Barca in a €100m move or remain at Atletico, with the France international saying he expects to make a final decision ahead of this summer’s World Cup.
“With the good players it is easy to understand each other,” Messi said. “And Griezmann is one of the great players, going through an exceptional moment in his career. Then we would see how the coach fits everything together, but obviously he is a great player and we would understand each other. It is still not 100 percent, but obviously the more quality we have the better. We want to be the best team in the world, and to do that we want the best players. Then it is the boss’ problem [to fit everyone in].”
08.45 BST: Cristiano Ronaldo has decided to leave Real Madrid this summer and his decision is irreversible, according to Portuguese newspaper Record.
However, Spanish daily AS reports that, while Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes was told by Madrid on Tuesday that the club would not be making an offer to improve the reigning Ballon d’Or’s contract, another meeting is scheduled for today. Watch this space.
08.30 BST: It looks like Sevilla defender Clement Lenglet might be on his way to the Premier League. The France under-21 international’s agent is reportedly flying to London this morning. Manchester United and Barcelona are two of the major clubs who have been linked with the centre-back.
08.15 BST: Bayern Munich defender David Alaba has pledged allegiance to the German champions amid reported interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona.
“I am staying at Bayern,” the Austria international told Bild. “I have a contract until 2021 and feel very much at home in Munich. There’s nothing more to stay. “Bayern have reached the final twice and the semifinals four times since 2012 – therefore I am not worried at all. Our squad definitely has the potential to continue to progress deep in the competition.”
08.00 BST: There have been reports linking Gonzalo Higuain with a move to the Premier League this summer, particularly Chelsea if Maurizio Sarri were to take over as manager. Here’s the Argentina striker’s take, according to Gazzetta dello Sport:
“[The Premier League] is the most beautiful league in the world and all the games are spectacular.
“I’ve got a contract with Juventus and they’ve not told me anything different so I’m relaxed and my daughter’s going to grow up in Turin.”
PAPER TALK: Liverpool want Shaqiri
With a relegation release clause of around £13m, the Stoke winger has emerged as an affordable target this summer, with Tottenham and Southampton also monitoring his situation.
Shaqiri is set to represent Switzerland at the World Cup, but the 26-year-old has said he would “love to stay in England” once his focus turns to resolving his future.
He was close to joining Liverpool from Bayern Munich in 2014, but eventually moved to Inter Milan before landing at Stoke.
Bayern set Lewandowski price
Robert Lewandowski‘s many suitors have been told they’ll need to stump up the big bucks to sign the want-away Bayern Munich striker this summer, says Bild.
The 29-year-old is a target for Chelsea, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid, but he’ll cost in the region of €200m — with Bayern refusing to pick up the phone for any less.
That could price Lewandowski out of a transfer as he jets off to lead Poland’s hopes at the World Cup.
The forward hired super-agent Pini Zahavi earlier this year to broker the last big move of his career, but so far Bayern have refused to entertain his request to leave.
Alisson asks about Liverpool
Roberto Firmino has revealed that his Brazil teammate Alisson has been asking about Liverpool during the team’s World Cup preparations.
The Liverpool Echo quotes Firmino as telling a news conference: “Yes, he [Alisson] asked me about Liverpool and I hope he can come here, but I know he has other proposals.”
The keeper is valued at around €80m by Roma, which could thwart Jurgen Klopp’s attempts to bring him to Anfield.
The Reds have already balked at Atletico Madrid’s £80m demand for Jan Oblak, according to the Daily Mirror, as the hunt for Loris Karius’ replacement drags on.
— Mohamed Salah‘s agent has dismissed speculation the forward has been offered to Barcelona. Ramy Abbas Issa took to Twitter to deny the story that appeared in Spanish outlet AS on Wednesday.
— Arsenal have had a €30m bid rejected for Sporting Lisbon winger Gelson Martins, reports A Bola. The Gunners will have to stump up closer to €45m if they are to finalise a move for the winger.
— Peter Crouch could be set for an unlikely move to newly promoted Serie A side Parma. Talksport says the Italian club are weighing up a bid for the 37-year-old, who has one year left to run on his Stoke contract.
— Over in Germany, David Alaba has told Bild, “I am staying at Bayern,” after reported interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona. Meanwhile, Kicker reports that Renato Sanches is set to stay at Bayern after a one-year loan to Benfica ended, and Juan Bernat wants to leave the club.
— Crystal Palace want Marseille right-back Hiroki Sakai after missing out on West Ham recent signing Ryan Fredericks, reports the Evening Standard. The 28-year-old has been called up to the Japan squad for the World Cup after impressing in Ligue 1 this season.
— Southampton are aiming to capitalise on the crisis at Aston Villa by poaching two of the Championship club’s rising stars. Saints have lined up bids for Keinan Davis and Andre Green, reports the Daily Mail, as Villa try to cut costs following their failed promotion bid.
— Jack Grealish is another Villa player in demand, with Newcastle the latest club to express an interest in the 22-year-old, according to the Chronicle. Villa have put a £40m price tag on Grealish but could be forced to accept significantly less to wrap up a quick sale.
— Spurs and Chelsea will duke it out for Newcastle centre-back Jamaal Lascelles, says the Evening Standard. The 24-year-old narrowly missed out on a call up to England’s World Cup squad, and is valued at £45m by the Magpies.
Matthew Stanger covers European football for ESPN and is the editor of The Set Pieces. Twitter: @MatthewStanger