Euro 2020 and the Copa America are over and the summer transfer window is open, leaving Europe’s biggest clubs clear to make a splash in the market. Check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.
TOP STORY: Man United keen to sign Goretzka
Manchester United are eyeing a move for Bayern Munich midfielder Leon Goretzka, according to the Daily Mail.
United have been contemplating a number of big midfield targets in case Paul Pogba leaves, and Goretzka is one of several options also including Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez and 18-year-old Rennes star Eduardo Camavinga.
United have already added Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane to their squad for over £110 million in what has been a successful summer so far in the transfer market.
However, the bad news for United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is that it is reported that Goretzka would prefer to stay in Germany and extend his contract beyond 2022 rather than move to Old Trafford.
The influential Goretzka has won 10 trophies since joining Bayern from Schalke in 2018, including three Bundesliga titles and one Champions League.
Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann is new to the Bayern hot seat, and he is optimistic he can persuade the Germany international to stay at the Allianz Arena for the next few years.
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09.15 BST: Mundo Deportivo reports that Barcelona are working on having Lionel Messi in the team before the Joan Gamper trophy on Sunday.
Messi would have returned to train with Barcelona today had his new deal with the Catalan giants been signed and registered. Barca have an agreement with Messi but the deal has yet to be made official, with 13 days to go before they start La Liga.
According to reports, Messi will not return to training until the new deal is made official. Messi, who won the Copa America with Argentina, is on holiday in Ibiza with his family and his friend Luis Suarez.
When asked about Messi’s situation, club president Joan Laporta recently reassured fans and said “everything is going as expected, it’s progressing adequately.”
Barca are working on reducing their wage bill to register Messi and remain within the league-imposed salary cap. But La Liga president Javier Tebas insists no exceptions will be made. He said: “I speak to Barca regarding Messi and I ask them how things are going. They tell me that they have hopes that a certain player leaves or that another one stays and reduces his salary. That is the only information I have but by no means are we talking about modifying the rules so that Messi stays at Barcelona.”
08.54 BST: Barcelona have given an ultimatum to Ilaix Moriba to sign new contract this week, according to Mundo Deportivo.
The teenage midfielder was left out of Barca’s squad last week to travel to Germany for preseason tour. He has been demoted to train with the B-team because he has not signed a new contract with Barca with his current deal ending next summer.
Barca are awaiting a response from Ilaix’s agents regarding the latest offer, an improved three-year deal, presented to the player.
Moriba, 18, has until Sunday to accept the deal or risk playing for the reserves next season. The Barcelona starlet has attracted the attention of several clubs in Europe after he exploded onto Barca’s first-team scene towards the end of last season, scoring or assisting in each of his first three appearances in La Liga and running out 18 times in total for Ronald Koeman’s side.
08.30 BST: ICYMI – Aston Villa have announced that they have reached a deal with Bayer Leverkusen for the transfer of Leon Bailey.
The winger had a productive 2020-21 season in the Bundesliga, scoring nine goals and assisting nine more. Villa confirmed in a statement that an agreement had been made with Leverkusen, subject to him completing a medical and finalising personal terms.
Craig Burley and Shaka Hislop share their very stern thoughts on a potential deal including Antoine Griezmann and Saul Niguez.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Nick Judd)
– Arsenal and Liverpool are battling for midfielder Manuel Locatelli in light of the news that Juventus are struggling to meet Sassuolo’s £34m demands, according to Sky Italia. The Gunners have been tracking the 23-year-old for well over a year, while Liverpool are on the lookout for a replacement for Gini Wijnaldum. Juventus and Sassuolo officials have met three times in an effort to facilitate a move, but they are yet to reach an agreement.
– Barcelona continue to try and freshen up their squad, and it appears as though defender Samuel Umtiti has agreed to leave on loan, though he has stated he wants a top club, according to Sport. The French defender has stipulated that he would like to choose his next destination, and that is likely to be a Champions League club or a side with a chance of challenging for silverware. The 27-year-old’s chances of playing regularly at Camp Nou next season appear to be very slim.
– West Ham United manager David Moyes is looking to add defensive cover to his squad, and while Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma is high on his list, a move for Fiorentina centre-back Nikola Milenkovic appears more likely, according to Sky Sports. A bid for Zouma could mean West Ham having to find £25m, plus his wages, while Milenkovic has only one year left on his contract, which means the 23-year-old Serbia international is likely to be the more cost-effective — and easier — move.
– Striker Joshua Zirkzee is on the verge of joining Anderlecht on loan from Bayern Munich, with the move expected to be announced next week, according to Fabrizio Romano. Italian side Hellas Verona were also said to be keen, but Vincent Kompany’s team have raced ahead in the battle for his signature. Negotiations between Anderlecht and Bayern are at the final stages, with a loan move until June 2022 close to being agreed.
– Davinson Sanchez is in talks over a move to Sevilla, according to an interview with his agent, Nestor Villarreal, and Colombian radio station Caracol. Sanchez, 25, has fallen down the pecking order at Tottenham Hotspur and, despite the departure of Toby Alderweireld, Sanchez appears keen to join Julen Lopetegui’s side. It is thought the Spanish side are keen on the central defender as a potential replacement for Jules Kounde, who is in talks with Chelsea according to ESPN sources. Tottenham, meanwhile, are pursuing centre-back Cristian Romero from Atalanta in a move that would surely limit Sanchez’s chances.
– Crystal Palace are hoping to sign winger Ademola Lookman on loan for the season from RB Leipzig, according to the Sun. New manager Patrick Vieira is looking to strengthen his squad and has identified Lookman as one of his targets, though the 23-year-old is also attracting interest from Burnley and Watford. Leipzig are looking for a £3.5m loan fee, plus wages of £50,000-a-week which, while too much for the Clarets and Hornets, is within Vieira’s budget. Lookman enjoyed a successful season on loan at Fulham last season, playing 34 league matches.