The summer transfer window is here, and there’s plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings and goings and, of course, done deals!
TOP STORY: Juve scouting Neymar, Ronaldo?
The Serie A side are looking to evolve this summer, with signings planned to help bring the team back into title contention, and it is understood that the Bianconeri believe Neymar could make the difference if he is willing to accept a lower salary.
Uncertainty over the 30-year-old forward’s future at Paris Saint-Germain has grown in recent weeks, though reports of his recent automatic contract extension until 2027 might see the Ligue 1 club demanding a notable fee to part ways with him.
The report says Juventus have also been offered the chance to reunite with Cristiano Ronaldo, with agent Jorge Mendes looking to find the 37-year-old striker an exit route out of Manchester United amid concerns over how he fits into Erik ten Hag’s high-pressing style.
16:30 BST: Manchester United would be willing to let Brandon Williams depart the club, if an offer of around £10 million was to be made, according to The Sun.
Williams impressed while on loan with Norwich City, who got relegated to the Championship last season, but he is not guaranteed regular football at Old Trafford with various other fullback options.
The England under-21 international has made 50 appearances for United after being raised through the club’s youth system.
16:00 BST: Arsenal’s technical director Edu has said that the club will focus on signing and developing youth as their recruitment strategy this summer.
The Gunners have already signed Marquinhos, 19, and Fabio Vieira, 22, as well as extending the contract of 23-year-old Eddie Nketiah.
“We have to go into the market for exciting players with the right age, right attitude and right mentality,” Edu told the club.
“We want to see a club like Arsenal with a young squad, an exciting squad with a big, big future because as I said last summer, the idea is to have a young squad.”
Arsenal finished fifth in the Premier League last season with the youngest squad in England’s top-tier.
15:35 BST: Florian Wirtz has signed a new contract with Bayer Leverkusen keeping him at the club until 2027, the club have announced.
Wirtz, 19, had a breakthrough 2021-22 season, scoring 10 goals and assisting 14 in 31 matches.
“From my point of view, the development in the past two years was almost breathtaking and certainly not foreseeable in this form. I know that I also have to thank the team for it,” Wirtz told the club.
— Bayer 04 Leverkusen (@bayer04_en) June 23, 2022
15:15 BST: Ajax will make another offer for Tottenham Hotspur winger Steven Bergwijn, but the Premier League club have said they will not entertain offers under £25 million, according to Sky Sports.
The Eredivisie champions are tasked with bolstering their attacking options with the imminent departure of striker Sebastien Haller, who agreed to sign for Borussia Dortmund in a deal worth around €36 million, sources have told ESPN.
Bergwijn, 24, joined Spurs in 2020 but has gone on to score just seven goals in 60 Premier League appearances.
The Dutch winger last started for Antonio Conte’s side in January.
14.51 BST: Gareth Bale‘s representatives have held talks with Cardiff City over potential move to his hometown club, according to the BBC.
Bale, 32, is a free agent this summer following the end of his contract at Real Madrid, and he is looking for a club where he will get regular playing time in the run-up to him captaining Wales at the World Cup in November.
However, the BBC reports that Bale’s representatives are also in discussions with lots of other clubs, and that a deal to bring the one-time world’s most expensive player to the Championship is far from complete.
14:15 BST: Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur are interested in Allan Saint-Maximin, who Newcastle United may need to offload this summer, according to the Daily Mail.
The Magpies have held contract talks with the French forward, but are restricted by their wage structure as to what they can offer him.
The Daily Mail reported that Newcastle want an offer in excess of £40 million for the 25-year-old, which Spurs and Chelsea deem to high.
Saint-Maximin scored five goals, alongside five assists in 37 appearances last season.
13:45 BST: Barcelona have made a first offer to Bayern Munich for Robert Lewandowski and would also like to sign Jules Kounde to bolster their defence, sources have confirmed to ESPN.
Bayern want more than €40 million for the Polish striker, but Barca’s opening bid is not thought to be that high.
Lewandowski scored 344 goals and assisted 72 in 374 matches for Bayern, but has expressed his desire to leave the club after eight years.
Barca are also interested in acquiring Kounde, who has spent the past three seasons with Sevilla.
12:57 BST: Everton are interested in signing Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Harry Winks, according to BBC Sport.
Winks fell out of favour with Spurs boss Antonio Conte, starting just nine matches in the 2021-22 season.
The 26-year-old, who was a boyhood Tottenham fan, is keen to move on and resurrect his career, despite the North London club securing Champions League football next season.
Spurs also signed Yves Bissouma, to bolster their midfield options.
12:32 BST: Osasuna are among the clubs keen to sign Barcelona winger Abde Ezzalzouli on loan this summer, according to Diario de Navarra.
Abde, 20, made 12 appearances for Barca’s first team last season but did not feature after January following the signings of Ferran Torres, Adama Traore and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Morocco international has been summoned for preseason training with the first team at the start of July and a decision will be made on his future from there.
The winger’s fate could depend on what happens elsewhere, with Ousmane Dembele out of contract on June 30 and yet to sign a renewal.
If Dembele does leave, Barca have been linked with Raphinha and Angel di Maria, but Abde could provide a cheaper, in-house solution.
A host of clubs are monitoring the situation to see what decision Barca make, with Osasuna ready to pounce if he’s made available for loan.
12:15 BST: Manchester United are leading the race to sign Christian Eriksen as Tottenham Hotspur have cooled their interest in the attacking-midfielder, according to the Daily Star.
Eriksen, 30, is available on a free transfer and hasn’t yet decided his future after a successful spell with Brentford last season.
The Denmark international suffered a cardiac arrest at Euro 2020, but recovered well to get a goal and four assists in 11 appearances for the Bees last season, after signing in January.
United now lead the chase for Eriksen, the Daily Star reported, with Spurs backing away from signing their former midfielder.
Nkunku, 24, won the Bundesliga player of the season, after scoring 20 goals and assisting 13 in 34 league matches.
The versatile attacking midfielder was a transfer target for top European sides this summer, but says “his story isn’t over yet.”
Leipzig finished fourth in the Bundesliga and will be playing in next season’s Champions League group stage. They also reached the Europa League semifinals.
11:05 BST: England defender Lucy Bronze turned down a return to European champions Lyon to sign for Barcelona on a free transfer.
Bronze, 30, agreed a two-year deal at Camp Nou last week after her contract with Manchester City expired.
“I had offers from Lyon and Barca, the two best teams in the world,” Bronze told reporters from the England camp ahead of next month’s European Championships.
“It wasn’t bad to be able to pick from that and make my decision. It gives me loads of confidence as a player knowing that these big teams who are so successful want to sign me, want me to play, know that I can make a difference to their team.”
After the signing was announced, the messages poured in for Bronze, who was named the best player in the world in 2020, including one from Ballon d’Or winner Alexis Putellas, who will be her teammate next season.
“After the signing on Saturday, Alexia texted me saying she’s so excited to play with me on the team,” Bronze added.
“Things like that give you huge confidence when players want to play with you and teams want you. Who doesn’t like being told they’re good? It gives you confidence and confidence is a huge role in how you perform on the pitch.”
Barca have won the Spanish league in each of the last three seasons. They have also reached the last two Champions League finals, beating Chelsea in 2021 before losing to Lyon this year.
10:50 BST: Zinedine Zidane has refused to rule out managing Paris Saint-Germain in the future, but said taking a job in the Premier League is unlikely due to his lack of fluency in English.
Zidane had been named as a candidate for the PSG job this summer as successor to Mauricio Pochettino — although the Ligue 1 club have since turned to Nice coach Christophe Galtier, who is expected to be appointed in the coming days — and has previously been linked with Manchester United.
“You should never say never,” Zidane told L’Equipe in an interview to mark his 50th birthday on June 23. “Especially when you’re a coach nowadays. When I was a player, I could choose to go to almost any club. As a coach, there aren’t 50 clubs I could go to. There are two or three possibilities. That’s the reality.”
“If I go back to a club, I do it to win,” he added. “I say that with modesty. So I can’t just go anywhere…. For other reasons, too. Language, for example. People asked me ‘do you want to go to Manchester?’ I understand English, but I haven’t totally mastered it. There are coaches who go to clubs without speaking the language, but I work in a different way.”
Zidane — who won three Champions Leagues and three LaLiga titles as Real Madrid coach before quitting last year — has made no secret of his desire to manage the France national team.
“I want to do it of course,” he told L’Equipe. “I will be [France coach], I hope, one day. When? That doesn’t depend on me. But I want to close a cycle with the national team.
With what I experienced [as a player] and now that I’m a coach, the French national team is stuck in my head… If the opportunity arises, I’ll be there.”
10:31 BST: Atletico Madrid are concerned that midfielder Thomas Lemar is planning to run down his contract — due to expire in June 2023 — to leave on a free next summer, Marca reports.
Lemar initially struggled to adapt to life under manager Diego Simeone after joining Atletico from Monaco for a hefty €70 million fee — then a club record — in 2018, but became a key player when they won the LaLiga title in 2020-21.
According to Marca, Atletico have made the France international a renewal offer but he has not responded, and the club will look to sell him now rather than risk losing him for nothing next year.
10:19 BST: Dani Carvajal has warned Kylian Mbappe that he might never get another chance to join Real Madrid, saying “some trains only go past once.”
A dramatic u-turn saw Mbappe, 23, turn down a free transfer move to Madrid this summer to sign a new contract at hometown club Paris Saint-Germain.
“It seemed like it was practically done,” defender Carvajal told Diario AS on Thursday. “His contract was running out, but in the end he decided to stay.
“Sometimes there are trains that only go past once. I don’t want to close the door, but in the future you don’t know what’s going to happen. He took his decision.”
Carvajal — who won his fifth Champions League with Madrid last season — said teammate Vinicius Junior was now among the world’s best and deserved a new improved contract which is expected to be confirmed soon.
“As Karim [Benzema] has said, he could be among the five best in the world without a doubt,” Carvajal said. “He’s earned a good renewal and let’s hope he’s here for many years.”
09.34 BST: Paris Saint-Germain are set to hire Nice’s Christophe Galtier as the club’s next manager, sources have told ESPN.
The Ligue 1 champions have reached an agreement with Nice and Galtier, with an official announcement expected in the coming days.
PSG will pay a fee of around €10 million to Nice — where Galtier still had two years left in his contract — and the 55-year-old will sign a two- year contract with an additional year option to take over from the outgoing Mauricio Pochettino in Paris.
Zinedine Zidane was the preferred option for the Emir of Qatar, who owns the Paris club, but the former Real Madrid manager rejected approaches to take on the project with PSG.
08.47 BST: Chelsea have identified outgoing Liverpool transfer supremo Michael Edwards as the leading candidate to become sporting director at Stamford Bridge, sources have told ESPN’s Mark Ogden, following confirmation that senior executive Marina Granovskaia will leave the club later this summer.
Edwards, who joined Liverpool from Tottenham to become head of performance and analysis at Anfield in November 2011, played a key role in the hiring of Jurgen Klopp as manager in 2015 during his time as technical director before overseeing the low-budget recruitment of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Andy Robertson and others following his promotion to the sporting director position in 2016.
But after announcing his intention to quit his role at Anfield last November, Edwards is due to leave Liverpool when his contract expires this summer, with Julian Ward having already been installed as his replacement.
And having built a reputation as one of the most well-connected transfer negotiators in the game, sources have told ESPN that the new Chelsea regime, led by co-owner, and LA Dodgers co-owner, Todd Boehly, want Edwards to head up the club’s plans to restructure the technical department following the completion of the takeover from former owner Roman Abramovich earlier this month.
08.00 BST: Let’s start with a recap of the biggest transfer story from yesterday:
Sadio Mane completed his move to Bayern Munich, ending a six-year spell with Liverpool in which he helped end their 30-year wait for a league title, as well as winning the Champions League.
Sources told ESPN on Friday that Mane reached an agreement with Bayern, who won their 10th consecutive Bundesliga title in May, in a total package worth €41 million.
Mane has signed a contract until 2025 with Bayern.
In a statement, Liverpool said: “We thank Sadio for everything he has done and wish him the very best of luck in the rest of his career.”
In a Q&A on Liverpool’s website, Mane said: “Obviously it is strange — really, really strange — to no longer be a Liverpool player after six years spent at Anfield. But of course I had a great time, an unbelievable time, and since my first day I really, really enjoyed training, playing, at Anfield especially and in front of these amazing supporters. Now it’s come to the end, so what can you say?
“From the first day I came to the club, I spoke to the boss when I was in Southampton, and I think at that time we were not even in the Champions League. He called me and I said, ‘For sure.’ I just decided in my heart that I am coming to Liverpool because that is where I see myself, and for me it was the right time and the right club to achieve everything.
“So, I can say of course we won a lot and I spent a great, great time there. An unbelievable time at Liverpool, we won a lot. Like I always say, my life is always [about a] challenge and when it came I said to the club that I want to leave, I want to go somewhere else to see a new challenge. It is not anything else, it is just a challenge because for me I want to always be challenging myself to get better and better.”
PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)
– Real Madrid are open to allowing Takefusa Kubo leave, but they would like to include a buy-back clause as part of any deal, writes Mundo Deportivo. The Japan international spent last season on loan at Mallorca, where he made 28 LaLiga appearances, and it is reported that Real Sociedad are keen on signing him on a permanent basis. Carlo Ancelotti’s side are looking for a fee of €7.5 million in order to part ways with the 21-year-old.
– Antony is determined to reunite with Ten Hag and join Manchester United this summer, according to Goal. It is understood that talks have already taken place between the Red Devils and the 22-year-old winger, though an official offer is yet to be submitted to Ajax Amsterdam. Antony was a key player for the Dutch giants last season, contributing to 12 goals in 21 Eredivisie starts.
– Marseille have no interest in acquiring Miralem Pjanic despite reports that he was a target for the Ligue 1 side, writes Fabrizio Romano. The 32-year-old midfielder found himself out of Barcelona‘s plans last season, sent out on loan at Besiktas, and it is expected that the Blaugrana will look to find ways to move him off the books permanently. He is contracted at the Camp Nou until the summer of 2024.
– Paul Pogba‘s representatives will meet with Juventus on Thursday as they look to complete a deal that will see the France international return to Turin, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. The 29-year-old midfielder has been heavily linked with the Serie A club in recent months, with Allegri’s side looking to add a number of reinforcements this summer after failing to challenge for the league title last season. It is reported that he is close to signing a three-year contract with an optional additional year.
– Montpellier are interested in signing former Tottenham Hotspur and Villarreal right-back, Serge Aurier, reveals Foot Mercato. The 29-year-old has been out-of-contract since Unai Emery’s side chose not to extend his deal, though it is reported that Aurier is expecting to receive offers from more reputable clubs in the coming weeks. Aurier made 19 LaLiga appearances last season.