The summer transfer window is approaching, 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: PSG aim to edge Milan for Sanches
Paris Saint-Germain are closing in on the signing of Porto midfielder Vitinha and could now follow that up by moving for Lille’s Renato Sanchesreports Foot Mercato.
AC Milan have been strongly linked with Sanches for months as they aim to bring in somebody to replace Barcelona-bound Franck Kessie, but it seems there is now a possibility the Scudetto winners could miss out on the Portugal international.
Even so, they still have the advantage as they have come to an agreement with the 24-year-old, although they have so far only offered €15m to Lille, well short of the Ligue 1’s club reported fee of €30m.
So the financial aspect could play into the hands of PSG, as they have the finances to meet Lille’s demands, while Milan are unable to make any large offers until July due to their recent takeover.
PSG could use this short period to overtake Milan, as they are ready to match the asking price set by Lille.
If Luis Campos was able to complete a deal and bring Sanches to the Parc des Princes, it would be seen as a big move for the club.
This is not just because they would have beaten the Serie A champions to sign a player they had held a long-term interest in, but also because midfield is an area PSG are keen to strengthen.
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11.05 BST: Mauricio Pochettino is the top target to take over at Athletic Club if Ricardo Barkala is elected as the club’s new president later this month, sources told ESPN’s Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens.
Barkala has already persuaded former Barcelona sporting director Ramon Planes to join his project, which he hopes would persuade Pochettino to accept the job. Planes and Pochettino previously worked together at Espanyol and Tottenham and remain close.
Sources told ESPN’s Julien Laurens earlier this week that Pochettino will leave his role as Paris Saint-Germain coach after just 18 months in the job, which removes one hurdle for Barkala.
Athletic’s members will vote in a new president on June 24, with Barkala one of three candidates running in the election. Jon Uriarte is the favourite. The third candidate is Inaki Arechabaleta, who reports suggest she will look to bring in Marcelo Bielsa as coach if he is elected.
Former Athletic coach Marcelino left the club at the end of the season after leading them to eighth place in LaLiga, missing out on Europe on the final day of the campaign. He cited the uncertainty regarding his future due to the upcoming election as the reason for his departure.
10.24 BST: Barcelona and Spain forward Candela Andujar has announced the shock decision to retire from football at the age of 22 following two years on loan at Valencia.
Andujar made the announcement on social media this weekend, but she did not reveal why she was stepping away from the game or what she will do next.
“It is with peace of mind that today I communicate my decision to leave football, making it clear that any rumours [about my future] have been false,” Andujar wrote in each post. “Thanks to everyone that believed in me and helped me grow. I have learned a lot from teammates, coaches, fitness staff and doctors throughout these 15 years, but I have decided the moment for change has arrived.
“Now a new chapter starts, so goodbye football.”
Andujar made over 30 appearances for Barca’s all-conquering first team before joining Valencia on loan, where she earned international recognition for her performances last year.
Having played regularly for Spain’s youth teams, she was called up to the senior side in September 2021, making her debut in a 10-0 win against the Faroe Islands in a World Cup qualifier.
09.41 BST: AS Roma midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo admits that it is “pleasing” to be linked with Serie A giants AC Milan and Juventus.
Zaniolo, 22, helped Roma to win the first-ever Europa League Conference final last month, and his performances for Jose Mourinho’s side have caught the attention of plenty of clubs.
However, the Italy international, who has two years to run on his contract at the Stadio Olimpico, says the interest merely gives him motivation to improve.
“It is pleasing to be the subject of interest from big clubs as, if they think about you, it means you’re good,” Zaniolo told Sportweek. “I train with even more motivation, as I want to prove it’s right that I’ve been linked with these top clubs.”
09:00 BST: Let’s start off today’s live blog with a quick recap of Saturday’s biggest pieces of confirmed transfer news:
Arsenal announced that striker Eddie Nketiah had signed a new long-term contract. The 23-year-old will wear the No. 14 shirts which has been previously worn by Theo Walcott, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Thierry Henry. Nketiah, whose previous deal was due to expire this summer, has been with Arsenal for eight years and has scored 23 goals in 92 first-team appearances.
Meanwhile, former Gunners midfielder Cesc Fabregas left French club AS Monaco as a free agent after three-and-a-half years at the Ligue 1 club. The 35-year-old is yet to announce has future plans.
In the women’s game, England defender Lucy Brown Has joined Barcelona on a free transfer after leaving Manchester City. Bronze, the FIFA Best Women’s Player of the Year for 2020, signed a two-year contract. She has Champions League winning pedigree having won the competition three times in a row with Lyon.
And NWSL club OL Reign announced the signing of Olympic gold medal winner Jordyn Huitema from Paris Saint-German on a one-year deal. Huitema, 21, has a contract that includes an option to extend her deal through the 2024 NWSL season.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)
– Borussia Dortmund are hoping to sign Hoffenheim left-back David Raum, reports Sky Sports Deutschland, which adds that the Germany international can imagine himself with the Ruhr club. However, other teams with greater financial power have shown interest and numerous Premier League clubs are looking at him, with Manchester United the most notable of those.
– Having already arranged deals for the aforementioned Frank Kessie and also Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen, Barcelona have a list of five names they will aim to sign if their finances allow, as revealed by Marca. Those players include Bayern Munich’s Robert LewandowskiLeeds United’s raphinhaSevilla’s Jules Koundeas well as Chelsea duo Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta. The LaLiga second-place finishers were handed a bit of good news on Thursday when the club’s board members voted to approve the sale of future merchandising and TV rights with some of the funds earmarked for transfer business in the summer.
– Bayer Leverkusen have demanded that Tottenham Hotspur pay £34m if they are to sign Ecuador centre-back Piero Hincapie, according to The Sun. Having already brought in Fraser Forster, Ivan Perisic and Yves Bissouma, left centre-back is one of the areas Antonio Conte still wants to fill, and attention has turned to the 20-year-old after Alessandro Bastoni pledged his future to Internazionale.
– Manchester City are aiming to ensure the future of their midfield base after Fernandinho’s departure, and Fabrizio Romano has suggested they will discuss a new contract with Rodri by the end of the year, with his deal expiring in 2024. They will also soon hold direct talks with Leeds United’s Calvin Phillips ahead of a possible move this summer.
– Francesco Acerbi wants to leave Lazio and they are willing to let him go, reports Calciomercato, adding that Inter and AC Milan are both interested in the centre-back. The former will be looking for an experienced head to come in if Andrea Ranocchia joins Monza, while Milan are facing issues in their efforts to bring in Lille’s Sven Botman so could turn to the Italy international instead.