The transfer window for Europe’s biggest clubs is closed, but click here for all the deals and keep track of who has joined the big boys. And 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: Liverpool make €70m Insigne move
Liverpool were quiet in the January transfer window, mainly because they had splashed a whole heap of cash over the summer to get themselves into the Premier League title conversation. But Italian newspaper La Repubblica claims they already have their sights set on a striker target once the window opens again.
Indeed, the paper says they have already made an offer of around €70m for Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne — the only problem being that they haven’t actually made it to the club, rather to the player’s agent Mino Raiola.
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis reportedly wants €150m for the 27-year-old striker, so there doesn’t seem much hope of doing a deal. But if the Reds can finally win the title this season, perhaps they’ll tempt a player whose only taste of domestic title success so far has come in Serie B.
10.24 GMT: Ashley Cole has spoken about his acrimonious departure from Arsenal to Chelsea back in 2006. The 38-year-old is now at Derby County after time in MLS with the LA Galaxy but says the way he left the Gunners still hurts.
“I was a little bit hot-headed and didn’t realise what I was doing at the time as well but I don’t regret it. When I look back now, it was something maybe that was meant to happen,” he said, speaking as a guest on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.
“Of course it hurt me because I knew it wasn’t just my fault. I didn’t leave for no reason. I didn’t go to Arsene Wenger and say ‘I want to leave’. There was more to it.
“It happens in football now, I’ve seen it happen to a lot of other players. It’s life, I moved on, they moved on. I do feel sometimes a little bit sad because it was my club, I played there since I was nine. To have that ill-feeling from the fans, still, is hard sometimes.”
Negotiations with the striker are still at an early stage but United are keen to move quickly to tie down one of the most highly-rated young players in the world and have decided to reward the 21-year-old, who has been linked with a move to Real Madrid, with a new five year deal.
United have already tied down Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial, while negotiations with David De Gea are ongoing. United are also in talks with Ander Herrera and Juan Mata, who could leave for free in the summer. Ashley Young will also be out of contract on June 30 but sources have told ESPN FC he is close to signing a new one-year deal.
09.25 GMT: AS claims that Real Madrid have ruled out the signing of Christian Eriksen from Tottenham, with the club ready to give Luka Modric a new deal instead and trust in Dani Ceballosas the long-term replacement for the Ballon d’Or winning midfielder.
09.04 GMT: Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre has spoken to SPORT about Neymar. And it doesn’t seem good news for Barca fans.
“In football terms, Neymar is a crack — one of the best in the world,” he said. “Personally, I believe, as a matter of principle, that Barca should not let him return. In any case, I think that it is very, very unlikely that Neymar wears our colours again. First of all, for economic reasons, and secondly, he is a PSG player — their president [Nasser Al-Khelaifi] will do the impossible to keep hold of him.
“Neymar irritated us [when he left in 2017]. They [Neymar and his representatives] promised us one thing, but the reality was different. Fortunately, we realised in time — before paying a premium for a contract extension. Neymar’s father was playing two different games.”
The Spanish sports daily reports that the 19-year-old, who has scored six goals in 12 Primeira Liga games this season, has also been scouted by Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund.
The attacking midfielder is reported to have a €120m release clause in his contract. But, as we saw with Ronaldo’s move to Juventus last summer, release clauses are only prohibitive measures if the player’s club doesn’t want to sell.
PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd)
North London rivals in race to sign Rabiot?
Arsenal boss Unai Emery believes he can strengthen his squad this summer with the addition of familiar face Adrien Rabiot.
The coveted midfielder is set to be available this summer after he refused to sign a new deal at PSG, and the Mirror reports that Emery is confident his relationship with the 23-year-old — the duo worked together for two years at in the French capital — should be enough to see him win the race for the skilful all-rounder.
That race could involve north London rivals Tottenham, with the Mirror also suggesting Spurs are ready to spend some money. Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino could see the signing of Rabiot as the player he needs to make a major statement as Spurs prepare to start their first full season in the new stadium.
Both Arsenal and Spurs face pressure from Barcelona, Liverpool and Bayern Munich, though Barca’s interest has cooled following their signing of midfielder Frenkie de Jong from Ajax in January. De Jong joins the Catalan club in the summer.
Spurs making a case for the defence?
News that Tottenham could finally be opening the purse strings this summer will delight fans frustrated by their recent lack of transfer activity, and next on the club’s list could be Fiorentina centre-back Nikola Milenkovic.
Former FK Partizan man Milenkovic has been in fine form under Viola boss Stefano Pioli and has attracted admiring glances from Serie A leaders Juventus, though some at the Turin giants are said to be reluctant as a result of the 21-year-old’s lack of experience at the highest level.
Pochettino’s record of developing young players could make White Hart Lane the perfect destination for the burgeoning defender.
Milan duo in for winger Brahimi?
AC Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso could finally land the winger he craves, if rumours linking the Rossoneri with FC Porto winger Yacine Brahimi are to be believed.
Portuguese outlet A Bola is reporting that Milan and rivals Inter have moved ahead of Watford in the race to land the 28-year-old from the Portuguese league leaders. Brahimi has played an active part in Porto’s rise to the summit, with a combined total of 15 goals and assists from the flank.
Gattuso was linked with a long line of wingers in January and was left disappointed at the club’s failure to add to their wide options. Yannick Carrasco, Manchester United target Steven Bergwijn and Gerard Dulofeu were all linked with a move to the Italian giants, but to no avail.
— While Unai Emery is looking for reinforcements for next season, he might have to do his shopping on the cheap if news of his transfer budget is to be believed. The Daily Mail reports that the Spaniard will have just £45m to play with.
— West Ham United could take on Real Madrid to sign a player described as “better” than Kylian Mbappe, reports AS. Madrid have been keeping tabs on Benfica star Joao Felix, but the Hammers were reported to have enquired about how much it would take to lure him from Portugal.
— Fulham fans will have more than one reason for wanting to avoid relegation at the end of the season, for Kicker are reporting that striker Andre Schurrle has admitted he’ll leave should Claudio Ranieiri’s side go down.