LIVE Transfer Talk: Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal to battle for Mertens
The winter transfer window is closed, but now it's time to look ahead to the summer! Here are the new rumours floating around following the Jan. 31 deadline day.
TOP STORY: Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal to battle for Mertens
Napoli star Dries Mertens is unlikely to sign a contract sion at the club, reports the Daily Mail, and the news has alerted Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United to the Belgian's availability this summer.
Mertens is available to leave the Italian side on a free transfer at the end of the season should he turn down the contract extension offered to him, which is what the outlet suggests will happen.
Mertens was linked with several clubs in January, including Chelsea, and the fact that he didn't leave suggested that he was keen to stay in Italy. Reports in Italy say that Napoli have offered Mertens £3.3m a year but that the player wants £6.3m a year, and that talks between club and player are not going well.
Inter Milan are also said to be interested in Mertens' services, which could see multiple clubs scrambling for his signature come the summer.
23.00 GMT: That will do it for the latest edition of our LIVE Transfer Talk blog. We hoped you enjoyed following along with us and remind you to check back shortly for the latest transfer rumours, reports and completed deals. Goodnight!
22.40 GMT: Man United to move for ex-Arsenal playmaker Aaron Ramsey?
With the Welshman struggling to adapt to life in Turin, former Premier League and England striker Darren Bent has called on United to sign Ramsey.
"If he can guarantee you that he'd play a certain amount of games, a lot of games, then yeah I'm all for Manchester United going to get him because he will get you goals. But unfortunately with the injuries it's going to be a risk. If you take him it's going to be a risk," said Bent.
Could Ramsey return to England and stick it to Arsenal? Crazier things have happened...
22.00 GMT: D.C. United of Major League Soccer are reportedly in talks with a Ligue 1 defender.
The Washington Post's Steven Goff reports that Amiens and Mali centre-back Bakaye Dibassy is the main in United's crosshairs. That said, don't expect this deal to be easy, as Amiens (19th in Ligue 1) are reluctant to sell him as they fight relegation.
The 30-year-old, who worked his way through the lower leagues in France, would be a welcome addition for D.C. United, who have made centre-back a priority this offseason.
21.29 GMT: Tottenham did not sign a Harry Kane replacement in January, with Krzysztof Piatek, Willian Jose, Olivier Giroud and Fernando Llorente all linked.
Another player Spurs kicked the tires on? Zenit Saint Petersburg and Russia striker Artem Dzyuba. The big man told Russia 24, via Goal.com:
"When Harry Kane got injured at Tottenham, people contacted me. From Jose Mourinho, as I understand it.
"But it was the New Year holidays, so Zenit said no. And that's all.
"If Tottenham really wanted to sign me then I think they would have been more insistent. That is, the interest was real.
"For my part, I said: 'do it, try, and ask what their offer is.'"
Dzyuba, 31, is currently leading the Russian Premier League in scoring with 11 goals in 19 games.
20.48 GMT: Sticking with Ajax for a moment... The Telegraph previously reported that Chelsea had a bid for Ajax playmaker Hakim Ziyech rejected in January but could the Blues return for the Morocco international in the summer?
Chelsea are expected to have £150 million to spend this summer, with Ziyech one major target for Frank Lampard and Co. The 26-year-old is expected to finally leave Ajax this summer, with Arsenal and Tottenham two other clubs hotly linked for the tricky attacker.
Ziyech, who was a major player in Ajax's run to the Champions League semifinal last season, has eight goals and 21 assists over all competitions so far this season and is valued between £50-60 million.
20.06 GMT: Tottenham look to have a job to do if they want to hold on to veteran defender Jan Vertonghen.
Ajax boss Erik ten Hag has made it clear he is interested in the 32-year-old Belgian, who played at Ajax between 2006-12.
Ten Hag said: "Jan has a history at Ajax. Of course we are following his situation very closely, but you also have to look at the position in which someone plays.
"If that comes together, the availability and the position in which he plays, then he is an option."
Vertonghen, whose contract has less than six month remaining, has seen his form dip a bit this season and was recently an unused substitute for Spurs against Man City.
19.32 GMT: Wolves and Everton seem to be competing for players every transfer window and next season the two could lock horns over £30 million-rated defender John Egan, according to The Sun.
The 27-year-old has enjoyed a breakout season with promoted Sheffield, playing an integral part in the division's second-best defence. In his first Premier League season, the Republic of Ireland international has played in 24 of the Blades' 26 league games, with Sheffield conceding just 24 goals and racking up eight clean sheets.
Egan's performances for Sheffield have attracted interest from Wolves and Everton, both of whom have hit the jackpot with Irish defenders in the past in Matt Doherty and Seamus Coleman, respectively.
John Egan was a no name a year ago and now is valued at £30m, not bad for a guy who cut his teeth for years in England's lower leagues.
19.00 GMT: Things couldn't be better for Liverpool at the moment but while the club is thriving, certain players like Adam Lallana and Xherdan Shaqiri have seen their roles diminished.
Lallana, who is out of contract at the end of the season, is being linked with Arsenal, Tottenham, Leicester City and West Ham and would be available on a free transfer. The Telegraph reckons Leicester could be a favourite, as manager Brendan Rodgers is a big fan of the player, and signed him for Liverpool from Southampton back in 2014.
With Leicester also in good position to secure Champions League football next season, could the Foxes pip the pair of London rivals?
18.22 GMT: Inter Milan has quickly become a landing spot for Man United castoffs with Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Ashley Young all trading Old Trafford for the San Siro.
According to FCInterNews.it, Man United youngster Tahith Chong could be next to make this swap, the outlet reporting that Inter are close to agreeing to personal terms with the Netherlands Under-21 international. The 20-year-old has yet to sign a new contract with United, as he is worried about his future role at the club.
Chong is reportedly asking for £1.7million plus bonuses per year in salary, a fee Inter seem willing to meet for the young midfielder. We might as well start calling them 'Inter United' now...
17.49 GMT: MLS expansion side Nashville SC have acquired United States international centre-back Walker Zimmerman from LAFC for up to $1.25 million in allocation money and an international roster spot, sources have confirmed to ESPN.
The deal, which comes as a real surprise, would be the most a club has ever paid in allocation money for a defender. The 26-year-old Zimmerman has been the lynchpin of LAFC's defence the past two seasons (starting 51 games) and has broken through as a starter for the USMNT over the past 12 months.
17.03 GMT: Here's one of the more bizarre moves we have every seen...
Former Arsenal, Man City and Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor has signed with Paraguayan outfit Olimpia.
¡LLEGA!— Club Olimpia (@elClubOlimpia) February 11, 2020
Llega al Campeón del Mundo ⭐ y es nuevo pasajero del Expreso Decano, @E_Adebayor 🇹🇬
¡ESTO ES #OLIMPIA! ⚪⚫⚪#SeamosLeyenda pic.twitter.com/lvFd8O2F8j
The Togo international is soon to be 36 and has spent the last four seasons in Turkey split between Istanbul Basaksehir and Kayserispor. Adebayor signed with Olimpia after the club's president Marco Trovato promised to make a big splash by signing the veteran striker if the club signed up an additional 20,000 members. True to his word, Trovato has landed the veteran striker, who will be reunited with former Man City teammate Roque Santa Cruz (38) in Asuncion.
16.29 GMT: Lyon striker Moussa Dembele was the subject of interest from Chelsea and Man United in January, but didn't move anywhere in the end.
Lyon were reportedly offered €40m for Dembele, though turned it down, and now L'Equipe claims they are ready to accept a higher bid in the summer if any club is still interested.
16.05 GMT: Wojciech Szczesny has signed a new contract with Juventus until 2024.
The Poland goalkeeper has won two Scudetti, a Coppa Italia and an Italian Super Cup since arriving at the club in 2017.
15.45 GMT: The January transfer window has closed but there are still some unhappy players who will have to wait five months before they can get their dream moves.
Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre has spoken to Mundo Deportivo about a possible return for the Brazilian, saying: "Emotionally, based on the manner he left, no. From a sporting view, yes. In my opinion, he can bring more than all but a very select few players can -- individual talent, but also many goals. This is something we need in many games when our opponents refuse to play. In sporting terms, we absolutely should recruit him -- if we can afford him, of course."
14.47 GMT: Cameroon international Paul-Georges Ntep isn't having much luck.
Having struggled at Wolfsburg since joining them from Rennis in 2017, he's been on loan at Saint-Etienne and Turkish club Kayserispor. But now he's had his contract terminated by Wolfsburg says the BBC.
14.23 GMT: Bologna winger Riccardo Orsolini has caught the eye of former club Juventus this season in Serie A.
Orsolini, 23, left Turin for Bolonga on loan in January 2018, then signed permanently in the summer. But now it will cost Juve if they want to re-sign him.
"In the negotiation process, we talked to Juventus about a possible buy-back option, but it was never written down, so it remained only verbal," Bologna sporting director Walter Sabatini told ETV. "At the moment, it is unthinkable that he could be sold for the figures that have been mentioned in the media. We would discuss it with Juventus to ensure that everyone was happy with the situation.
"We are a strong club and, if the player were to leave, we would require compensation. In any case, we're not thinking about his departure at the moment and he is not on the market ... I give Orsolini a value of not less than €70m."
Dennis, 22, scored twice against Real Madrid in the Champions League earlier this season and has five goals in 20 appearances.
Monaco, Sampdoria, Newcastle United, Brighton, Sheffield United and Watford are also on the trail of the Nigerian, but it seems Dortmund are looking for a replacement for winger Jadon Sancho.
And that means Chelsea, Man United and almost every club in Europe, will be on alert when the England international comes on the market.
13.00 GMT: Manchester City and Man United are in a race to sign Verona defender Marash Kumbulla, says Gazzetta dello Sport.
Kumbulla, 20, has had a fine season in Serie A and the Albania defender could be on the market for a bargain price of €30m.
12.40 GMT ICYMI - Hertha Berlin head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has left his role at the Bundesliga club after less than three months in charge.
The former Bayern Munich, Germany and United States coach confirmed his departure in a statement posted on his Facebook page and said he will remain at the club in a supervisory role.
Sources close to Klinsmann told ESPN last week that he felt unnerved by what he thought was a lack of support over a coaching license issue in January.
12.30 GMT: Manchester United are looking for "at least three more signings" for next season, says the MEN.
A midfielder, a forward and a striker are the three positions that United need most and the report states: "United are interested in Leicester City attacker James Maddison and Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, and have scouted Donny van de Beek of Ajax. United are bound to face stiff competition for Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho and Birmingham City midfielder Jude Bellingham, 16, is also on their radar."
11.54 GMT: Former Barcelona director Ariedo Braida says Lionel Messi leaving the club is not "impossible" following the forward's spat with sporting director Eric Abidal last week. He even suggested Messi could play alongside long time rival Cristiano Ronaldo in Italy.
Sources told ESPN that clear-the-air talks with president Josep Maria Bartomeu helped cool down the friction that arose between Messi and Abidal, but speculation remains about the Argentine's future at Camp Nou beyond the summer.
"Messi is an extraordinary player," Braida told Radio anch'io sport. "I think he's happy in Barcelona, living with his family. He's been there since he was 13, so it's hard to imagine him leaving, but not impossible. They [Messi and Ronaldo] are such great players that a good coach could make it work. Messi and Cristiano could play together."
11.04 GMT: Getafe coach Jose Bordalas says he is not thinking too far ahead after reports claimed Atletico Madrid are considering him as a replacement for Diego Simeone, should he depart this summer.
Getafe are the surprise package in La Liga this season: third in the standings, three points clear of Atletico Madrid. But Bordalas is trying not to get carried away.
"I'm not thinking about the possibility of coaching Atletico Madrid. Right now the coach is Cholo (Simeone)," he told Onda Cero radio. "I forbid myself to think too far ahead. I don't talk to anyone about the future. At some point I would like to coach abroad. I don't rule out coaching a big club one day. In fact, all coaches work with that possibility in mind."
10.46 GMT: Barcelona expect to be granted permission by the Royal Spanish Football Federation [RFEF] on Tuesday to sign an attacker outside of the transfer window following Ousmane Dembele's latest injury setback, sources have told ESPN.
The Spanish champions opted against bringing in a forward in January when Luis Suarez was ruled out for four months, but were left short in attack last week when Dembele ruptured a tendon in training.
Dembele, 22, will undergo surgery on Tuesday in Finland and Barca believe the RFEF will allow them to turn to the transfer market once the France international is officially ruled out for the season. However, the legislation will mean they can only sign a player already registered with a club in Spain or someone who is without a club.
Sources added that they have €12m to spend.
10.35 GMT: Bayern Munich are keen on Ajax's Sergino Dest, says Bild. The U.S. defender ticks many boxes for the German champions, who have a strong interest in the U.S. market but also need quality at right-back to permanently move Germany international Joshua Kimmich into holding midfield.
Bayern's right-back position has been filled by France international Benjamin Pavard, who feels more comfortable at centre-back, with Real Madrid loanee Alvaro Odriozola having played just seven minutes since his January arrival.
According to Dutch outlet De Telegraaf, Bayern had a €20m bid for Dest rejected by Ajax last month. However, the 19-year-old remains on Bayern's radar and a deal could be struck this summer.
10.03 GMT: England youth goalkeeper Brad Young is on the radar of Chelsea. says the Sun.
Young, 17, is also being tracked by Arsenal and Manchester United as he continues to impress with Hartlepool. Former Chelsea keeper Ross Turnbull is Hartlepool's goalkeeping coach so that probably gives the Blues the edge though.
09.30 GMT: Andriy Lunin says he still doesn't know if he will play at Real Madrid next season. The Ukraine international goalkeeper joined Real Oviedo on loan in January after Real Madrid ended early his loan spell at Real Valladolid due to a lack of playing time. Lunin made just five appearances for Leganes while on loan from Real Madrid last season.
Asked if Real Madrid had spoken to him about being Thibaut Courtois' understudy at the club next season, the 21-year-old told Onda Cero: "No. But we are in contact. I'm in contact with some directors and the goalkeeping coach.
"For me it was hard because I wanted to play, I want to continue to grow. Now I'm playing. To play for Oviedo is a pleasure."
08.54 GMT: Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has said that he doesn't know what his future holds once his contract with the club ends next year.
The former Germany international, 31, has a year left on his contract after a tumultuous seven years at the club and has been linked with a move to Major League Soccer to play for D.C. United.
"After this season I have one more year and after that I don't know what will happen because I can't see the future," Ozil told reporters at Arsenal's midseason training camp in Dubai. "What I can do is give everything for the team, for myself, to be successful and let's see what happens in the future."
Chukwueze, 20, has a contract with the La Liga outfit until June 2023. Villarrreal earlier this season increased his release clause to almost €100m.
The Nigeria international has played 60 official games for Villarreal since making his first-team debut in 2018, and has scored three goals and set up three more in 22 league appearances this season.
08.00 GMT: Manchester United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has said the summer transfer window represents an "important opportunity" in the club's bid to build a squad capable of challenging for the Premier League and the Champions League.
United splashed out to sign Sporting Lisbon midfielder Bruno Fernandes in January and Woodward has told fans there will be more money available to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the end of the season.
"Our recruitment process focuses on analysis and selection of players over the course of a season, with a view to the following summer transfer window," Woodward said. "As part of the rebuild we see this coming summer as an important opportunity.
"There has been no shortage of investment in players over the past few years, with over £200 million spent since Ole became manager. Our aim is to ensure that we continue to achieve consistency in quality of recruitment.
"The recruitment department is working to a clear plan and philosophy, along with Ole and his coaching staff. Our focus is on bringing in a combination of experience and the best young players with potential to develop further, fusing graduates from our academy with high-quality acquisitions."
PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd)
Barcelona refusing to give up on Willian Jose
Barcelona are desperate for strike cover with Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele both missing for extended spells through injury, and despite Real Sociedad's financial demands for Willian Jose, the Blaugrana aren't willing to give up on their preferred target, reports Marca.
Barca have looked into other options, but the Brazilian remains their No. 1 target and they're keen to complete the signing before the end of the week. Dembele is set to undergo surgery on Tuesday and Suarez is already sidelined until the end of the season. Barca could be able to proceed with the signing of a new striker if the incoming player is based in Spain and if the Spanish Football Federation gives them permission.
Jose's buyout clause is €70m, which is too much for Barca. The price is said to be negotiable, but the club has a lot of work to do to make the deal happen.
Barca's other options include Alaves forward Lucas Perez and Real Betis forward Loren Moron.
Jose plots summer spending spree
Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho is planning a summer of change in north London, and in particular he is looking to replace his defence, reports the Express.
The Spurs manager is looking to spend £120m on rebuilding his back line, and at the top of his list is Benfica's Portugal international centre-back Ruben Dias. Mourinho is also keen to sign Bournemouth's Nathan Ake alongside him.
Spurs could face competition from Liverpool and Manchester City for Dias, while his buyout clause of £80m also could prove to be a stumbling block.
Juve to spend whatever it takes to land Guardiola and Van Dijk
Juventus are plotting a move to take Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola to Turin, with money not an object, reports the Sun. They're also keen to spend up to £150m to land defender Virgin van Dijk to lure the former Barcelona coach to the Serie A holders.
Juve appointed Maurizio Sarri only last summer, but club bosses are desperate to appoint Guardiola, and they're prepared to spend whatever it takes to get him. President Andrea Agnelli believes Guardiola is the missing link when it comes to Juve lifting the Champions League.
Guardiola is on around £15m a year at City and insists he wants to stay, but Juve believe there is a chance of signing him until he puts pen to paper on a contract extension.
- Monterrey sporting director Duilio Davino seemed to make a not-so-veiled reference to Inter Miami's protracted pursuit of striker Rodolfo Pizarro. He told reporters in Monterrey's airport: "Without doubt it is an uncomfortable situation -- it seems to have been badly managed. FIFA don't allow clubs to talk to players with a contract -- it's worrisome. In the end, the player will decide. We want him to stay, but we can't make him be here, so the decision will be his." As usual, watch this space.
- Henrikh Mkhitaryan will return to Arsenal this summer unless the Gunners reduce his asking price, reports the Sun. The London club are asking for £20m for the Armenian, and while he's keen to stay at loan club Roma, the Italians aren't prepared to meet the fee. That would leave Arsenal needing to find another buyer for a player who doesn't appear to figure in boss Mikel Arteta's short or long-term plans.
- Watford star Abdoulaye Doucoure believes he'll join a Champions League club in the summer and that his employers won't stand in his way. That's from the Mirror, which adds the French midfielder has been a target for Paris Saint-Germain and Everton in previous windows, and with Doucoure in fine form in recent weeks, he believes he can secure a big move when the season ends.