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: Man Utd keen on Chelsea’s Kante
Manchester United are interested in signing N’Golo Kante from Chelsea, according to the Guardian.
Midfielder Kante’s contract expires next year and with United keen to strengthen their midfield this summer, new boss Erik ten Haag will test Chelsea see if they’re willing to negotiate.
Kante remains a key player for Thomas Tuchel however, and the German boss has made no secret of wanting to continue working with the 31-year-old World Cup winner.
Kante has experienced injury problems this season, which could be one reason the Blues might consider letting him leave. Tuchel has admitted his frustration at not always having Kante available due to injuries, but he would be a brave move for new Blues owner Todd Boehly to allow such a quality player to join a major rival.
– Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ (US only)
– Don’t have ESPN? Get instant access
12.11 BST: Erik ten Hag has prioritized the signings of Ajax defender Jurrien Timber and Benfica striker Darwin Nunezthe Daily Mirror reports.
Timber, 20, was part of Ten Hag’s Ajax team which won the 2021-22 Eredivisie title, and the Netherlands international has been identified as the player to bolster United’s options at centre-back. The Mirror reports that Ajax could be willing to make a transfer happen for a fee of around £35m.
Ten hag also wants United chiefs John Murtough and Darren Fletcher to push for the signing of Nunez. The Uruguay international has established himself as one of the most promising young strikers in Europe this season, but Benfica are likely to want at least £80m for a player who scored 32 goals in 40 games for club and country this term.
11.22 BST: Barcelona will tell more than 10 players that they are free to leave the club this summer as Xavi Hernandez plans to overhaul the squad following a trophyless season at Camp Nou, sources told ESPN’s Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens.
However, sources add it will not be easy to relocate many of the unwanted players due to their reluctance to leave and their high salaries.
Xavi has already confirmed conversations with Riqui Puig, Oscar Mingueza, Martin Braithwaite and Samuel Umtiti in which he informed them they are not part of his long-term plans. Clement Lenglet, Ferran Jutglaloanees Luuk de Jong and Adama Traore and those returning from loans elsewhere, such as Francisco Trincão and Miralem Pjanicare also likely to be invited to leave.
There is also uncertainty surrounding the futures of Ousmane Dembele and Dani Alveswho are both out of contract next month, while sources add that Barca’s financial situation could force them to listen to big offers for Memphis Depay and Frankie de Jong.
Despite Barca’s desire to ring the changes, though, they are already encountering hurdles. Both Braithwaite and Pjanic have spoken of their desire to fulfill the final two years of their contracts, while the high salaries earned by players like Lenglet are making finding a suitor difficult.
10.35 BST: Marcelo will leave Real Madrid this summer, the defender confirmed after winning a record-breaking 25th trophy at the club in their 1-0 Champions League final victory over Liverpool.
The veteran defender was an unused substitute in Madrid’s win in Paris, but lifted the trophy — his fifth Champions League, having been involved in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018 — as club captain.
Marcelo, 34, had said earlier this week that he wanted to stay at the Bernabeu with his contract due to expire next month, but admitted after the game that he would be leaving Madrid after 15 years.
“It’s an incredible emotion because it’s my last game at Real Madrid,” he told journalists in the mixed zone at the Stade de France. “Leaving with a Champions League is a huge joy. It isn’t a sad day.”
The left-back became the most decorated player in Real Madrid’s history when he overtook legendary winger Paco Gento’s 23 trophies as the club won LaLiga last month. His trophy haul now stands at five Champions Leagues, four Club World Cups, three European Super Cups, six league titles, two Copa del Reys and five Spanish Supercopas.
Marcelo had been widely expected to move on this summer — having lost his first-team place to Ferland Mendy in recent seasons — but said in the aftermath of Madrid’s league title celebrations that he wanted to continue.
“You talk about things,” he said on Saturday. “We’ve spoken and we’ve decided it’s best like that. I’ve already done everything I had to do at Madrid. I’ve been lucky to be here for 15-and-a-half years at the best club in the world.”
Marcelo joined Real Madrid from Fluminense in January 2007. He has been linked with a return to Brazil, although his family are settled in the Spanish capital, with son Enzo starring this season for Madrid’s under-13 team.
09.48 BST: Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has said the club’s pursuit of Kylian Mbappe has been “forgotten” after their 1-0 victory over Liverpool in the Champions League final in Paris on Saturday.
Vinicius Junior’s 59th minute goal was enough to help Madrid to a record-extending 14th European Cup — their eighth in the Champions League era and fifth in nine years — with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois making a number of spectacular saves from Liverpool forwards Sadio Mane and Mohammad Salah.
Madrid’s preparations for the final were overshadowed by their failure to land Mbappe after Paris Saint-Germain announced last week that the forward had agreed a three-year contract extension when he had been widely expected to join Madrid on a free transfer.
Mbappe, 23, had been Madrid’s long-term top transfer target and wanted to make the move last summer when Madrid had a series of bids worth up to €200 million ignored by PSG, before the forward opted to stay last week.
“Real Madrid will always keep working on having the best players,” Perez told Spanish TV outlet Movistar. “But Mbappe is forgotten now. It’s fine. Madrid had a perfect season. It’s a subject that’s forgotten.”
– Ogden: Courtois inspires Madrid to glory
09.00 BST: A number of Premier League clubs are eyeing up a summer move for Braga centre-back David Carmosources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.
The 22-year-old is highly rated in Portugal and has been called up to Fernando Santos’ squad for their Nations League games against Spain, Switzerland and Czech Republic in June.
Sources told ESPN that a bid of around €25 million would secure a move away from Braga, with a number of English clubs having already registered their interest.
Manchester United are among the clubs looking for a left-footed centre-back this summer to bring more balance to their defense and have placed Villarreal centre-back Pau Torres on their shortlist of options.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Nick Judd)
– Barcelona’s ability to lure striker Robert Lewandowski to Camp Nou is edging closer, according to Sport, who believe the announcement hinges on whether Bayern Munich can sign Sadio Mane from Liverpool. Sport believe Mane will leave Liverpool and head to Bayern in a move worth €30 million. Once that’s confirmed, Bayern won’t stand in Lewandowski’s way, and the Polish 33-year-old is believed to have already agreed a deal at Camp Nou.
– Leicester City are interested in Manchester United midfielder James Garner, according to the Mirror. The Foxes have been impressed by Garner’s loan spell at Nottingham Forest, with the 21-year-old playing a key part in helping Forest reach Sunday’s Championship play-off final. Garner’s long-term future at Old Trafford is unclear, with Leeds United and Southampton are also monitoring the situation.
– Villarreal are hoping to make Giovani Lo Celso‘s loan move to Spain a permanent one, but Tottenham Hotspur are asking for a fee of €20m, according to Fabrizio Romano. The Italian journalist says that Villarreal boss Unai Emery is desperate to keep the Argentine midfielder, who helped Los Che reach the Champions League semi-final. It’s seems that Lo Celso doesn’t appear to be in Spurs boss Antonio Conte’s plans for next season.
– West Ham United and Southampton are battling it out with Ajax Amsterdam for FC Salzburg striker Junior Adamu, according to the Daily Mail. The Austrian international, 20, who has also been targeted by Hertha Berlin and RB Leipzig, has been valued at around £12m. Adamu can play as a winger or striker and he’s scored nine goals this season, including one against Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Quick and skilful, he is contracted until 2025.
– Tottenham look to have succeeded in their quest to bring Internazionale’s Ivan Perisicaccording to Fabrizio Romano. The Italian journalist says a two-year deal has been agreed between the two clubs, with a medical due to take place early next week before everything is signed and sealed. Tottenham had made the 33-year-old Inter midfielder a top priority, and his arrival could be key to the aforementioned Conte to extend his stay in London.
– New Burnley boss Vincent Kompany is keen to be reunited with Taylor Harwood Bellis, according to the Sun. The former Manchester City skipper took the 21-year-old defender to Anderlecht on loan, and now he wants to make him a permanent addition at Turf Moor. Kompany is hoping his relationship with his former club will help facilitate the move, but he faces competition from Celtic and Brentford. Harwood-Bellis is believed to have recently brought a home in Cheshire, which could boost Burnley’s chances.