The winter transfer window is closed, but now it’s time to look ahead to the summer! Here are the new rumours floating around Europe’s big leagues and beyond.
TOP STORY: Inter Milan enter Pogba race
Inter Milan are said to have entered the race to sign Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, Tuttosport reports.
The front-runners to sign Pogba have been Juventus and Real Madrid for many months, but now Inter manager Antonio Conte says he believes that acquiring the services of the Frenchman is a real possibility.
The two men have a history together from their days at Juve, with Conte aiming to raise the necessary funds for the move through the potential sale of Mauro Icardi.
– Stream new episodes of ESPN FC weekdays on ESPN
– Stream every episode of 30 for 30: Soccer Stories on ESPN
11.31 BST: Real Madrid have resigned themselves to the fact that they will be unable to lure Kylian Mbappe away from PSG this summer, according to L’Equipe.
The France international is Zinedine Zidane’s top target, yet the Spaniards recognise that there are too many obstacles in the way of a move right now. Mbappe, 21, is “not going anywhere” said a senior PSG source to L’Equipe — something that Real know as they plan how to use their sizeable transfer budget.
Los Blancos‘ president Florentino Perez does not want to start a transfer war with PSG chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi. Instead, L’Equipe say that they will monitor Mbappe and contract extension talks from afar with the idea that the former Monaco man will be in a position of strength in 12 months’ time if no new deal has materialised.
Les Parisiens‘ No. 7, for his part, has never hidden his childhood desire to play for Real at some point, and knows that a premature extension will make a potential future exit almost impossible to obtain.
L’Equipe also mention that PSG teammates Marco Verratti and Marquinhos serve as examples to Mbappe — both were contacted by Barcelona yet are tied to lengthy contracts at Parc des Princes. Consequently, the summer of 2021 is the right time for all involved to consider the move.
10.44 BST: Borussia Dortmund will have to welcome back several players at the end of the season, including 2014 World Cup winner Andre Schurrle, Schurrle’s current club, Spartak Moscow, have already said they will not trigger the buy option in the former Chelsea star’s loan contract and the 29-year-old will return to Dortmund.
Omer Toprak, Felix Passlack, Dzenis Burnic, Sergio Gomez, Jeremy Toljan and Marius Wolf‘s will also see their loan spells in Germany and abroad come to an end.
Toprak, 30, is set to move to Werder Bremen, but only if they stay in the top flight. At that point, a mandatory buy options kicks in.
Wolf, meanwhile, can be bought by his current club Hertha Berlin for a €20m fee. But the capital club are not willing to pay the full fee and have now said they will “talk to BVB” to discuss a potential permanent transfer for the former Eintracht Frankfurt man.
09.58 BST: Barcelona and Manchester City are in the race to sign Benfica defender Ruben Dias, according to Record.
The Portugal international, whose agent is Jorge Mendes, has reportedly been offered to Barcelona as an ideal candidate to replace Samuel Umtiti, who is expected to depart this summer.
Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola has reportedly included Dias on his wish list, which also includes Leicester City’s Caglar Soyuncu and Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly.
Dias, 22, is tied to Benfica until June 2024 and has a €100m release clause. He scored two goals and set up two more in 24 league appearances this season.
09.13 BST: Thomas Partey has responded to reports linking him with a €50m move to Arsenal. “Read this,” the Atletico Madrid midfielder wrote in an Instagram story on Thursday, linking to a post from Ghanaian journalist Samuel Zigah.
“A lot of stories are created, manufactured and alleged until the final day of the transfer period,” Zigah’s post reads. “Father of Thomas Partey might have said something but can we also put everything aside and respect the official communication from his management JJ Sports… There has been nothing officially communicated or no such conversations between the player and anybody.”
Partey’s father was reported to have confirmed talks with Arsenal when speaking to a Ghanaian radio station. The 26-year-old’s agents have described the claims as “totally false.”
Partey has a contract at Atletico Madrid until 2023 and has been a key player for Diego Simeone’s team this season.
08.30 BST: Sport is reporting that Willian is a target for Liverpool. The Chelsea midfielder is out of contract at the end of the season and will be available on a free transfer. Talks have broken down with the Blues over the length of contract offered, and Sport says the Brazilian has “very favourable conditions” on the table to move to Anfield.
PAPER ROUND (by Nick Judd): Werner ready to join Liverpool
RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner is ready to join Liverpool if they’re willing to pay his release clause before June 15, Sky Sports reports.
The in-demand German striker has been turning heads for quite some time in the Bundesliga, with the Reds frequently being linked with a move for him alongside a whole host of major European clubs.
The report indicates that Werner currently has a release clause fee of around £52 million, but because it expires on the aforementioned date, Liverpool have a deadline to meet.
Ziyech free to join Chelsea?
According to Daily Mail, Ajax striker Hakim Ziyech will be free to join Chelsea in July as the Eredivisie is set to be cancelled on Friday.
While it had already been announced that Ziyech would be making the move to Stamford Bridge, the coronavirus pandemic has thrown the timing of the deal into some doubt.
However, the £36.6m deal will be allowed to go through on June 30 with no planned extension to the Dutch season. Alas, this does not mean he will be eligible to play for Chelsea during the current campaign.
— Juventus are interested in trying to make a move for Napoli forward Arkadiusz Milik, Calciomercato reports. The 26-year-old is widely considered by many to be one of the most underrated strikers in Europe, and as the build-up to next year’s European Championship tournament continues, the expectation is that he will have a big year ahead of him.
— Arsenal have made a final decision and are set to sign Pablo Mari on a permanent deal from Flamengo worth around £10m, The Athletic reports. There has been a great deal of speculation over the defender’s future for the past few weeks, but now, it appears as if the Gunners are prepared to take his loan deal up a notch and give him a chance to really shine in the first team.
— AS Roma want to secure the permanent signings of both Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Chris Smalling this summer, says the Daily Mail. The two stars are both on loan from Premier League clubs, Arsenal and Manchester United respectively, and while Mkhitaryan is willing to take a pay cut to try and complete a permanent move, Smalling is waiting to see whether Roma qualify for the Champions League.