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: Barcelona eye Leeds’ Raphinha
The Blaugrana have long been linked with the 25-year-old Brazil winger, and it seems they are now more determined than ever to bring him in.
The amount required to bring Raphinha in will rest on Leeds’ ability to stay in the Premier League next season, with Jesse Marsch’s side just one place and two points above the relegation zone, while 18th-placed Everton have a game in hand on them.
If the Yorkshire club are relegated, a release clause will reportedly be triggered that will allow Raphinha to leave for €30m.
Leeds are likely to demand far more for the winger if their top-tier status remains intact having turned down an offer from West Ham United in the summer transfer window.
Raphinha has scored 10 goals and assisted another three in 31 Premier League matches this season and has a contract that runs until June 2024.
16.01 BST: The Chicago Fire have announced the signing of twice-capped United States forward Chris Mueller from Scottish club Hibernian on a free transfer. The University of Wisconsin graduate is an Illinois native, joining his hometown club just four months after leaving MLS for Edinburgh, signing a three-and-a-half-year contract with a club option for the 2026 season.
In order to obtain the 25-year-old’s rights within MLS, Chicago sent $500,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM), a first-round pick in the 2023 MLS SuperDraft and the discovery rights to an unnamed player to Orlando City SC, where Mueller played from 2018 through 2021. The Lions also will be entitled to a percentage of any future transfer fee, and could receive an additional $150,000 in GAM should performance bonuses be reached.
— Chicago Fire FC (@ChicagoFire) May 5, 2022
15.02 BST: Barcelona youngster Iker Cordoba is on the radar of Bayern Munich, according to Sport1.
Cordoba, 16, can play in various positions at centre-back, left-back and in defensive midfield, while he’s available on a free transfer in the summer.
14.32 BST: Atletico Madrid re-signed Antoine Griezmann on loan from Barcelona, with an option for a permanent deal at €40m.
Antoine Griezmann reflects on his season with Atletico Madrid ahead of the Madrid derby.
13.50 BST: Bayer Leverkusen winger Moussa Diaby could be allowed to depart for €50m, says Kicker.
Diaby, 22, has 16 goals and 13 assists from 40 games this season and the former PSG youth players has been linked with West Ham, Newcastle and Arsenal.
The France international is keen to play in the Premier League but Leverkusen will hold out for a big fee as his contract doesn’t expire until 2025.
13.09 BST: Arsenal defender Steph Catley has agreed a new contract, the club have announced.
Catley, 28, has made 41 appearances since joining in 2020 and the Australia international has settled well.
“I’ve been here for two years now and I’ve made some incredible friendships and I feel right at home here,” Catley said. “I’ve been through some tough times and some great times and I feel that I’m growing so much as a person and as a player.”
Arsenal head coach Jonas Eidevall added: “Steph is one of the best players in the world in her position, so it’s fantastic news that she has signed a new contract. She’s played an integral role this season for us, making big contributions in both defence and attack, so we’re very pleased that she will be staying with us for the coming years.”
12.31 BST: Barcelona have been watching Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly for some time, but AS reports they are now in “advanced talks” over a deal.
Koulibaly, 30, has been linked with a move to some of Europe’s top clubs, including Man United and Real Madrid, for years but Napoli have always placed a €100m fee on his services.
The Senegal international may be keen to leave Italy, but he has a contract until 2023 and Barcelona certainly can’t afford a big fee, so they may have to wait a bit longer to land him on the cheap.
11.59 BST: The Guardian says midfielder Jesse Lingard will leave Man United this summer, regardless of whether new manager Erik ten Hag wants to keep him.
Lingard, 29, was an unused substitute against Brentford in United’s final home game on Monday, having opted to stay and fight for his place in January and the previous summer when he could have left.
Juventus, PSG, AC Milan and Newcastle are all interested, says the Daily Mail, while West Ham (where he spent a successful loan spell) will likely be keen as well.
11.24 BST: Ajax defender Noussair Mazraoui has completed a medical at Bayern Munich and will earn a reported €8m salary when he joins on a free transfer in the summer, says Bild.
Mazraoui, 24, is out of contract this summer, while Bayern are also closing on a €35m move to sign his teammate Ryan Gravenberch.
11.10 BST: What might Chelsea’s squad look like next season?
James Olley outlines the current concerns facing Chelsea as the uncertainty over their ownership continues.
10.26 BST: Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin says that young right-back Calvin Ramsay is being monitored by a host of clubs.
Ramsay, 18, has featured 33 times for his side so far this season and was named the Scottish Football Writers’ Young Player of the Year. Liverpool have been linked with a move for the Scotland U21 international.
“I know there’s a lot of interest in Calvin,” Goodwin told Aberdeen Live. “With him winning the Writers’ award last week and being up for other awards that is going to generate more interest.
“What happens in the summer will happen. Every player has got valuations. If someone comes in and are very serious about taking a player then obviously we will have to consider every option.”
09.47 BST: Robert Lewandowski wants a guarantee that Barcelona can sign him before he considers pushing Bayern Munich for a summer exit, Mundo Deportivo reports.
Barcelona are keen to sign the Poland striker but will need to either move players on or find other means of revenue to afford Lewandowski’s signing.
Lewandowski, 33, has one year left on his contract with Bayern and is reportedly eager to join Barcelona this summer. Bayern have already made it clear to Lewandowski that they fully expect him to honour his contract and are keen to offer him a new deal.
Lewandowski would have to force the issue and hope that Barcelona can come up with the €40m figure that Bayern will reportedly request to let the player leave. He has scored 343 goals in 373 official games since joining Bayern from Borussia Dortmund for free in the summer of 2014.
09.15 BST: Chelsea are facing a race against time to sell the club after the U.K. government insisted the transaction must be completed by May 31, sources have told ESPN.
New York-based merchant bank Raine Group, appointed by Chelsea to handle the process, last week confirmed a consortium led by Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly has been chosen as the preferred bidder, but a series of complications has threatened to derail the deal.
British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe attempted to hijack the Boehly offer by submitting a new bid at the eleventh hour. One report Wednesday suggested Ratcliffe had been informed his offer would not be considered but he remains on standby. A spokesman for Ratcliffe’s petrochemicals company, INEOS, did not respond to a request by ESPN for comment.
08.46 BST: Paulo Dybala‘s agent says his client has not made a decision regarding his future, amid reports he will join Inter Milan on a free transfer.
Dybala, 28, is a reported target for Europe’s top clubs, including Inter, as he was not offered a contract extension at Juventus and will leave when his contract expires this summer after seven seasons at the club.
Gazzetta reported this week that Inter had offered Dybala a four-year contract and the Argentina international was ready to accept it. However, Dybala’s agent Jorge Antun has denied those reports and said: “The player is focused exclusively on the end of the season, on the tournament and on the Coppa Italia final. No agreement has been reached with any squad in Italy or abroad at this time.”
Dybala has scored nine goals and set up five more in 26 league appearances for Juve this season.
08.00 BST: Manchester United must sign two “modern” strikers who will bring real quality to the attacking positions when new manager Erik ten Hag begins his squad rebuild, interim boss Ralf Rangnick said.
Rangnick will step down at the end of the season and the new Austria manager, who will remain at Old Trafford in a consultancy role, said finding someone to share the scoring burden with Cristiano Ronaldo will be one of Ten Hag’s top tasks.
Portugal forward Ronaldo (18) has scored over a third of United’s 57 goals this campaign, which sees them in sixth place.
“Cristiano isn’t a central striker or does not want to play in that position,” Rangnick said. “It’s obvious the club needs at least two new strikers who give this team more quality and more options. I wouldn’t even call it wingers.
“Two strikers and modern strikers, that do not necessarily have to be wingers. If you look into international football, there aren’t many top teams who still play with two strikers. Most play with either three strikers or a false No. 9.”
Shaka Hislop discusses if Monday’s win over Brentford was Cristiano Ronaldo’s last game at Old Trafford with Manchester United.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)
– Cristiano Ronaldo is considering a summer move away from Manchester United with the Red Devils’ failure to secure Champions League for next season all but certain, according to The Sun. Incoming manager Erik ten Hag has not stated what he wants to do regarding Ronaldo next season, and does not want to have any player discussions with United until he has concluded the Eredivisie title race with Ajax Amsterdam.
– AS Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni has made a move to Real Madrid his priority despite interest from the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool, reports AS. However, Monaco want €70m for his transfer and Los Blancos are seeking that price to be reduced by at least €10m.
– RB Leipzig are set to fight to keep their talisman Christopher Nkunku, but L’Equipe have reported that the France international has decided that he wants to leave the club in the summer. Nkunku has been linked with a whole host of top teams, including Manchester United, PSG, Bayern Munich and AC Milan, so he won’t be short of options should he depart.
– Tottenham Hotspur have been given encouragement as €60m-rated centre-back Pau Torres has decided now is the time to leave Villarreal, according to The Daily Mail. Spurs have also been linked with RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol, Lille‘s Sven Botman and Atletico Madrid‘s Mario Hermoso as Antonio Conte aims to strengthen his backline.
– Juventus have no intentions of paying the €35m required to make Alvaro Morata‘s loan move from Atletico Madrid permanent, as reported by Tuttosport. The Italian outfit has already spent €20m on a two-year loan and have been trying to reduce the rate needed to bring him in, but it seems Atleti won’t be budging either.