LIVE Transfer Talk: Real Madrid prepare €300m exodus to finance Neymar signing
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TOP STORY: Madrid prepare fire sale to finance Neymar signing
Real Madrid could be set to offload €300 million worth of talent to make room for Neymar this summer, according to AS. The report comes the day after Barcelona were reported to be ready to offer either Philippe Coutinho or Ousmane Dembele to Paris Saint-Germain as part of a deal to bring the Brazil star back to Camp Nou.
Madrid reportedly have just €100m in their budget for this transfer window, unless they make more money from selling players, though Diario Sport insist that Neymar wants to return to Barcelona.
Zinedine Zidane's side finished third in La Liga last season, and are expected to sell players in order to make room for Neymar's €1.35m-a-week wages. Gareth Bale could make way to Manchester United or Tottenham Hotspur, while Marco Asensio could be heading to Chelsea.
23.30 BST: That will bring an end to the latest edition of our LIVE Transfer Talk blog. We hope you enjoyed following along with us and we remind you to check back shortly for the latest transfer rumours, rumblings and completed deals. Goodnight!
23.04 BST: Liverpool are reportedly set to reward two players with contract extensions following the Champions League final.
The Mirror claims that James Milner, 33, and Joel Matip, 27, are both to be rewarded with Anfield extensions. Milner has been invaluable for Jurgen Klopp due to his versatility and work rate, while Matip emerged this season as a key performer in Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren's absences.
Both players are expected to feature in Saturday's Champions League final against Tottenham and would have been entering the final year of their deals.
22.29 BST: The Philippe Coutinho to Man United rumours just won't die.
Mundo Deportivo, via The Manchester Evening News, writes that Barcelona are open to the misfit leaving the Camp Nou and that Man United are one club that could move for the talented Brazilian. The report suggests that Barcelona no longer see Coutinho as part of their plans due to the acquisition of Frenkie de Jong and that Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and even Chelsea, pending their transfer ban appeal, are also potential landing spots for Coutinho.
Where will Coutinho be playing his football next season? That is one of the biggest question marks of the summer transfer window.
21.48 BST: Here's an interesting one...
Argentine sports station TNT Sports claims that Arsenal could look to a South American for a replacement for Aaron Ramsey. The report from TNT journalist Maximiliano Grillo lists Boca Juniors midfielders Nahitan Nandez and Emanuel Reynoso and River Plate midfielder Exequiel Palacios as three potential targets for the Gunners.
Palacios was previously scheduled to sign with Real Madrid this summer but more recent reports suggest Los Blancos have cooled on the 20-year-old after he suffered an injury this past season. Nandez is also an interesting player to be linked with the Gunners, as the 22-year-old plays alongside current Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira at international level for Uruguay.
Arsenal surely need some reinforcements this summer and with a limited transfer kitty available, South American might be a good place to start.
21.09 BST: Newly-promoted Sheffield United are reportedly zeroing in on two transfer targets.
The Sheffield Star claims that Chris Wilder and Co. are focusing most of their efforts on signing Swansea City striker Oli McBurnie and Brentford attacker Neal Maupay.
McBurnie, 22, scored 24 goals last season for Swans, while Maupay, also 22, bagged 25 goals and added eight assists for the Bees. The Blades won't sign either without competition though, as McBurnie is also thought to be drawing interest from Brighton and his former manager Graham Potter, while Maupay was nearly signed by fellow promoted side Aston Villa in January.
20.28 BST: Ireland midfielder Harry Arter is poised to move on from Bournemouth. The combative midfielder spent last season on loan at Cardiff City and is reportedly being pursued this summer by newly-promoted Aston Villa and Championship sides Stoke City and Fulham.
Keep an eye on Fulham, as new manager Scott Parker just happens to be Arter's brother-in-law.
19.57 BST: Arsenal's pursuit of Crystal Palace ace Wilfried Zaha appears to be dead.
The Gunners' defeat in the Europa League final on Wednesday means no Champions League football for Arsenal next season, and likely ends Zaha's interest in moving to the Emirates.
The £80 million rated winger is likely out of Arsenal's price range now, even though Zaha previously stated that he grew up an Arsenal supporter. Unai Emery is expected to only be given £40m this summer for summer transfers.
19.17 BST: Man City have reportedly made a bid for Juventus full-back Joao Cancelo.
Tuttosport suggests that through intermediaries, City have offered €60 million for the 25-year-old Portugal international. Juve purchased Cancelo last season for €40m from Valencia and according to the same report, could consider Tottenham's Kieran Trippier as a replacement.
Full-back was a "problem" area for City last season as injuries and inconsistent play resulted in a merry-go-round, particularly at left-back.
18.42 BST: Thomas Meunier to Arsenal?
Nicolo Schira of La Gazzetta dello Sport is claiming that Arsenal are in advanced talks to sign the PSG full-back.
Meunier has previously been linked with Manchester United but has stated he was also open to seeing out his contract in Paris.
18.00 BST: We mentioned earlier that Antonio Conte and Inter Milan could be interested in signing Romelu Lukaku. Despite a tough season at Man United, the Red Devils are not planning on just giving the Belgian away for cheap.
Sources have told ESPN FC that Man United have told Inter it will take £80 million to sign the striker. Inter, on the other hand, would prefer to take him on loan initially with an obligation to buy. We'll see if either side blinks as it is hard to imagine Inter ponying up £80m for a striker who only managed 15 goals in 2018-19, while United won't want to take a massive loss on a player who could cost them up to £90m.
17.10 BST: Patrick Roberts has only made three appearances for Manchester City since joining from Fulham in 2015-16 and it looks as if his fourth appearance for the club will have to wait at least another year.
City have announced that the highly-touted 22-year-old has signed a new two-year contract with the club but will be loaned on July 1 to recently promoted Norwich City on a season-long loan. Roberts previously spent two-and-a-half years on loan at Celtic and last season played in Spain with Girona.
16.33 BST: Chelsea defender Gary Cahill won't be playing for the club next season, but the 33-year-old hopes he can at least stay in the English top flight.
"I want to go away on holiday for a few weeks and then I'll come back and see what options there are for me," he told Standard Sport. "I'm confident I can play for a club in the Premier League but I want to wait and see, take the decision over the summer.
"I've got a lot of time to think about things and hopefully make the right decision. I can't wait to get back playing next season. I'm looking forward to that."
15.55 BST: Thomas Tuchel has spoken to Eurosport Germany about Dortmund midfielder Julian Weigl. It's a short quote, but a telling one. When asked if he was interested in bringing Weigl to PSG, he said: "Of course."
15.10 BST: Update on Sergio Ramos. Stand by.
This prob means he's going to blast the fake news rumours and confirm he's staying long term. But could do that with a statement. So we'll have to see...— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) May 30, 2019
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez said on Spanish radio Monday night that Ramos had asked to be freed from his contract so he could join an unnamed Chinese club this summer, with a source having told ESPN FC last Friday that the defender was considering ending his 12 year spell with the La Liga giants.
There were also multiple local reports that the relationship between Ramos and Perez had been strained by clashes following Madrid's embarrassing Champions League exit to Ajax last February.
Asked about these stories by ESPN FC, the player's brother and agent Rene Ramos declined to comment.
15.07 BST: Manchester City are set for talks with Leroy Sane over a contract extension amid interest from Bayern Munich, sources have told ESPN FC, but the German club might not be able to afford him anyway.
Bayern president Uli Hoeness has admitted it will be hard, given Sane earns around £90,000-a-week and has a contract until 2021.
"I do not have an exact figure yet, but I think that financially it will be very difficult," he told Sport Bild.
14.38 BST: If your Spanish isn't up to scratch, it says here that Sergio Ramos wanted to leave Real Madrid, but now he's happy to stay.
14.20 BST: Atletico Madrid will have to pay the release clauses of €88m and €30m respectively if they want to sign Athletic Bilbao forward Inaki Williams and centre-back Yeray Alvarez, a source has confirmed to ESPN FC.
However, the source said that one Premier League club already contacted Athletic in January about signing Williams, with two other English teams now considering paying a clause which will rise to €88m in July. Liverpool have been widely reported to be interested in the Spain international, who can play either centre-forward or wing and hit 15 goals in 41 games during 2018-19.
Meanwhile, combative centre-half Yeray is seen as an ideal fit for Diego Simeone's preferred style of play. The former Spain U-21 player was a regular starter last season as Athletic recovered from a slow start to almost qualify for Europe.
ESPN FC has been told that neither player has made any decision over their future yet.
PSG would have more to do this summer if they have to replace both players, so the likelihood is that one will get a new contract and the other will depart.
Nottingham Forest winger Joe Lolley, who was a boyhood Villa fan, is also on the radar and could cost more than £10m.
12.50 BST: Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez has emerged as a candidate to take over at Roma, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
However, with Sheikh Khaled set to buy the club from Mike Ashley in a deal worth £350m and then potentially plough millions into them in the transfer window, it might be worth sticking around. Or perhaps the new owners will have loftier ambitions over who could take over. Jose Mourinho is free, after all...
Hazard suggested his seven-year spell at Chelsea is over after playing a central role in their Europa League final win over Arsenal on Wednesday. The Belgium international is expected to go to Madrid to play for his boyhood idol, Zinedine Zidane, and Giroud told RMC that Hazard's ambition to join the 13-time European champions was totally understandable.
"We're going to miss him a lot, but I'm happy for him, it's what he wanted after seven years of good and faithful service to Chelsea if I can say that...he's an extraordinary player," he said. "It's normal that he wants to go higher, to a club that wins the Champions League regularly. I hope for him he'll win a lot more trophies and I wish him the best. He's a great guy, he's a super player, he deserves it."
11.46 BST: Barcelona will meet with Malcom's representatives in the coming days as the club look to move the Brazilian on this summer, multiple sources have confirmed to ESPN FC.
The Spanish champions want to bring in over €250m in sales this summer to allow them to strengthen their squad in other areas and Malcom is one of the players they're prepared to let leave. Ernesto Valverde has used him sparingly this season and with the coach set to stay on, as president Josep Maria Bartomeu confirmed, Malcom is keen to seek regular football elsewhere.
Barca are hopeful they can at least break even on the €41m they paid Bordeaux last year, while sources inside the club also pointed out his sale will free up a non-EU spot in the squad. Malcom's agents have confirmed to ESPN FC that there is a meeting planned with the club to discuss all the options. They revealed there is firm interest from England and Italy but there is "nothing concrete" with any club as things stand.
11.13 BST: Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone is a big fan of Barcelona's Nelson Semedo, according to Diario AS. The Rojiblancos are looking for a replacement for Juanfran and could test Barca's resolve with a bid for the Portuguese right-back, who is yet to become a regular in Ernesto Valverde's side.
10.42 BST: He may be being tracked by the biggest clubs in Europe, but Real Betis have reportedly made PSG midfielder Adrien Rabiot an offer that includes a €20m signing on fee, an annual net salary of €3m and a clause that would see him earn 50 percent of any sell-on profit.
10.03 BST: Superdeporte report that Barcelona want to raid Valencia after losing to them in the Copa del Rey final last weekend. The Valencia-based newspaper claims the Catalans want to sign midfielder Dani Parejo and forward Rodrigo as they look to reshape their squad following a poor end to the campaign.
09.36 BST: Luciano Spalletti has been sacked by Inter, with ex-Chelsea boss Antonio Conte set to take over.
A statement read: "FC Internazionale Milano can confirm that Luciano Spalletti is no longer Head Coach of the First Team. The Club wishes to thank Spalletti for his work and the results achieved together."
Conte has already started thinking about his new players and wants to make Man United striker Romelu Lukaku his first signing, sources have told ESPN FC. He has also decided to sell captain Mauro Icardi, according to Gazzetta.
The Spain international has endured a tough season at the Bernabeu after his excellent 2017-18 campaign, having found the back of the net just once in La Liga. However, he is a favourite of Zinedine Zidane, who returned to the helm of Los Blancos in March, and is expected to be a regular next season.
Tottenham, Liverpool and Bayern Munich are among the clubs reportedly interested in signing the 23-year-old, but he has a whopping €700m release clause and no desire to move.
While there has been no official bid for the 20-year-old Frenchman -- a member of the Bundesliga's meanest defence last season -- the German side have been made aware of the Gunners' interest.
However, things might be made complicated by the fact that Leipzig are in the Champions League and (after Wednesday's loss to Chelsea) Arsenal are not.
Hudson-Odoi is the player that many Chelsea fans hope will grow into their new talisman in the coming years despite the club as yet not offering the 18-year-old, a target for Bayern Munich, a new deal to replace the one that expires next year. Luiz is confident that the England internatiunal is on track to take up Hazard's mantle despite facing a long spell on the sidelines with a ruptured Achilles.
Asked who can replace Hazard, Luiz laughed and replied: "That's either [Lionel] Messi or [Cristiano] Ronaldo. I think if he goes I just wish him all the best. He is a fantastic player, friend and guy. I've known him ever since he was here at so young. I am so happy for him because the world knows who Eden Hazard is.
"It is part of life. Some cycles finish, some cycles start. I think we have many many talents within the club to replace him.
"We have many [who could replace him]. Callum is great. Callum has known this club since he was young and he has the talents to one day try to be like Eden. It is a new story for Callum. It didn't start so well because of the injury but it is time for him to improve in other sides [of his game]."
08.00 BST: Tottenham forward Fernando Llorente says he doesn't know where he will play next season. The Spaniard, who is preparing for Saturday's Champions League final against Liverpool, becomes a free agent this summer. Spurs have the unilateral option to extend the Spaniard's contract for one year but they have not done so.
Llorente, who has scored 10 goals in all competitions this season, including a crucial goal which saw Spurs eliminate Manchester City from the Champions League in the quarterfinals, told Cadena Ser: "For the time being I have nothing for next season. It's not that I can change things. Depending on what happens, I will see what options I have. Right now the only thing I'm interested in is Saturday's final. The rest I don't care."
PAPER TALK (by Stephen Wright)
Maddison to profit from Spurs' European success
Liverpool earned £72m from reaching the final last year, and the figure is expected to be similar for Mauricio Pochettino's side this season.
As for Maddison, he scored seven goals and added seven assists in the 2018-19 season, resulting in a call-up to the England team. Leicester signed him for £22.5m from Norwich City last summer, but would be expecting a hefty profit on that if they were to sell him 12 months later.
Villa set to break club-record fee
Premier League newcomers Aston Villa could be set to smash their club transfer record for Brentford striker Neal Maupay, according to the Sun.
Villa are prepared to spend £20m, a fee higher than they have spent on any player previously, for the forward. The current record is £18m for Darren Bent from Sunderland eight years ago.
The 22-year-old scored 25 goals in the Championship last season.
- Real Madrid are set to sign Lyon left-back Ferland Mendy, who would act as competition to Brazi international Marcelo, according to AS. Marcelo recently turned 31, and Zidane reportedly desires a more youthful approach to his side, hence the links with 23-year-old Mendy.