Barcelona, Blog - Transfer Talk, Blog Post, Chelsea, Clubs, Manchester United, Philippe Coutinho, Transfers


The FC panel speculate if the pressure has gotten to Philippe Coutinho, or if he can recover the confidence needed to make an impact at Barcelona.
ESPN FC’s Alejandro Moreno delves into the marked differences he sees in Philippe Coutinho since he left Liverpool and joined Barcelona.

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: Coutinho to return to England?

Philippe Coutinho‘s teammates have been rallying around the “sad” Brazilian star, but speculation continues to grow about his long-term future.

Sport is reporting that Coutinho’s teammates are confident the 26-year-old can improve on his poor form, but his performances against Valencia and Real Madrid will be a cause for concern for boss Ernesto Valverde.

Coutinho has struggled for consistency since his switch to Camp Nou, and it was hoped that his double against Sevilla — when he scored from the penalty spot and then headed home a second — would kickstart his season. However, he has since disappointed, and with Frenchman Ousmane Dembele returning from injury, Valverde may face fresh pressure to replace him.

Chelsea and Manchester United have been linked with the attacking midfielder, particularly the Blues, who are planning for life without Eden Hazard in case he departs Stamford Bridge bridge this summer.

Athletic interested in Llorente

Tottenham striker Fernando Llorente could be out of contract at the end of the current season and Athletic Bilbao sporting director Rafa Alkorta has told AS his club could pounce to take the 33-year-old off Mauricio Pochettino’s hands.

Lllorente’s long-term future in north London is uncertain and while Bilbao were linked with his signature in January, Tottenham were reluctant to let him go in the absence of the injured Harry Kane.

However, Alkorta is said to “be attentive” to the situation and he could return for the man who made 327 appearances for Bilbao between 2004 and 2013.

Llorente had been on the periphery in north London in the first half of the season until Kane’s injury, but he has started seven of the club’s last nine games. He has scored six goals in 16 games.

De Gea close to record deal

The Metro is reporting that Manchester United are close to agreeing a new five-year deal with goalkeeper David De Gea.

The 28-year-old Spaniard has been inspirational for the Reds once again, and he has 18 months left to run on his existing contract after the club triggered a 12-month extension before Christmas with talks stalling on anything more long-term.

However, negotiations resumed in January are and are said to have been more positive, with the Metro reporting the Spaniard could sign a deal worth as much as £375,000 a week, which would make him the highest-paid goalkeeper in world football.

Should United manage to keep their star man, his new deal would see him stay at Old Trafford until 2024.

Elsewhere, the Daily Star are reporting that United are closing in on a bumper £50m deal for Marcus Rashford with ESPN FC sources reporting earlier this week that the two sides were in talks. 

It could be shaping up to be a good week for the Red Devils.

Madrid plan for life without Godin

Atletico Madrid are expecting defensive stalwart Diego Godin to leave this summer, but they believe they might have found the ideal replacement.

Godin is widely tipped to join Inter Milan in the summer, which leaves Atleti with the seemingly impossible task of replacing a man who has led them from the back since 2010.

However, they may turn to Gremio centre-back Walter Kannemann, according to Marca (reporting on rumours from Brazilian newspaper Esporte Interativo).

The 27-year-old is nicknamed “the Viking” and has been in fine form for Gremio. Furthermore, he has already played under Diego Simeone when the duo were together at San Lorenzo. Atletico would have to activate Kannemann’s €20 million release clause in order to get their man.

Rangers hoping to secure Kent permanent deal

Glasgow Rangers are keen to make loan star Ryan Kent’s move from Liverpool a permanent one in the summer, reports BT Sport.

Boss Steven Gerrard has made no secret of his admiration for the youngster’s form and attitude since arriving from his old club on loan in the summer, and now Mark Allen, the club’s director of football, is said to want to keep Kent at Ibrox too.

Kent has scored five goals in 25 starts from the wing this season.

Tap-ins

– Inter Milan have decided not to activate the permanent transfer of defender Sime Vrsaljko from Atletico Madrid. Poor form and injury have combined to see Vrsaljko return to his parent club, says La Gazzetta dello Sport.

– Bayern Munich have agreed to sign teenage forward Jann-Fiete Arp from Hamburg, reports Bild. The 19-year-old can join the German giants either this summer or spend another year with Hamburg before making the switch.

– The Sun is reporting that Aston Villa will step up their bid to sign Swansea City defender Mike van der Hoorn at the end of the season. Villa were put off by the Welsh Club’s £10m estimation in January, but the player’s contract is set to expire in May.



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