The summer transfer window is into its final month for the major European leagues, which means the biggest clubs are looking to make a splash in the market before the new season begins. Check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.
TOP STORY: Where to now for Ronaldo?
With sources confirming to ESPN that former Barcelona star Lionel Messi has agreed to join Paris Saint-Germain, AS are suggesting that fellow superstar Cristiano Ronaldo will be monitoring the situation for a very different reason.
The Portugal talisman has reportedly been looking to leave Juventus, with frustration over their unsatisfactory results in the Champions League playing a part in his unease.
PSG are said to be one of the only clubs capable of signing the 36-year-old, but bringing in Messi would make any move for Ronaldo unfeasible even if there is no transfer fee to be paid.
There has also been talk of Kylian Mbappe joining Real Madrid, but it is believed that even moving the 22-year-old on for a huge transfer fee would not be enough to help get Ronaldo to the Parc des Princes.
So, while the idea of Ronaldo and Messi playing in the same team is enough to get pretty much any football fan excited, it seems as though there is no chance of that happening.
This makes things very complicated for Ronaldo as he plots his route out of Turin.
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11.45 BST: Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos says he would not be surprised if Kylian Mbappe joins his club in this transfer window.
Mbappe, a long-term target of Madrid, has not signed a new contract with Paris Saint-Germain with his current deal ending next summer. With Lionel Messi in line to strengthen PSG’s attack this summer, there is increase speculation that Mbappe could leave the French giants this month and sign for Madrid.
Asked about the France forward, Kroos told Bild: “Mbappe? He is the most interesting player on the market, and he is not exactly cheap. I prefer to talk about transfers that have been completed but, as Real Madrid always want the best, it wouldn’t surprise me.”
Kroos, meanwhile, believes Madrid will need time to adapt to the departures of experienced centre-backs Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane. Ramos joined PSG as a free agent while Varane moved to Manchester United for an initial €41m fee. Madrid strengthened their defensive line with Austrian defender David Alaba joining the team after his contract with Bayern Munich expired last month.
“We Ramos and Varane leaving we have lost our starting centre-backs of the last eight years,” Kroos said. “Ramos played more than 600 games for Madrid and scored more than 100 goals and won 22 titles. If you want to replace those players of that level is expensive. Moreover, Real Madrid paid for (signing) Varane but has not paid for Alaba. We have to take that into account.”
11.06 BST: Tottenham Hotspur target Lautaro Martinez (see 09.00 BST) has no intention of leaving Inter Milan this summer, according to his agent.
The Argentina forward has received offers from the Premier League and La Liga but is expected to sign a new deal with the Serie A champions to remain at the club beyond his current contract which expires in June 2023.
“Lautaro will remain at Inter,” the player’s agent, Alejandro Caamano, said. “He is happy in Italy. We have a good relationship with the club and he is calm. It’s true that he has had offers but now we will sit down with Inter and talk about the future.”
Arsenal and Atletico Madrid were also monitoring Martinez, who has scored 69 goals in 132 games in his three seasons at Inter.
10.33 BST: Bojan Krkic will reunite with former Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta Vissel Kobe after signing for the Japanese club.
The 30-year-old memorably broke Lionel Messi’s record as the youngest player to feature for Barca in a LaLiga match back in September 2007, after coming through the Spanish giants’ famed La Masia academy.
Having scored 41 goals in 163 appearances at Camp Nou, Bojan also had spells in Serie A with Roma and AC Milan, as well as with Stoke in the Premier League, and was last on the books of Major League Soccer’s CF Montreal.
But the once-capped Spain international, whose sole international appearance was back in 2008, will now link up once again with Iniesta, who has been playing for Vissel in the J1 League since parting ways with Barcelona three summers ago.
09.59 BST: Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock is set to join Newcastle in a deal worth up to £25m, sources have told ESPN’s James Olley.
The 21-year-old enjoyed a successful loan spell at St James’ Park last season, scoring in seven consecutive Premier League games, and he is keen on securing regular first-team football.
The Gunners need to raise funds to reshape their squad and have decided to accept Newcastle’s offer for the England under-21 international who has made a total of 78 appearances for the club having come through their academy set-up.
A deal is yet to be finalised with personal terms now to be discussed but all parties expect Willock to move in the coming days.
Sources have told ESPN that Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is keen on adding more creativity to his team with Leicester’s James Maddison and Lyon’s Houssem Aouar among those under consideration but needed to sell a midfielder first before pursuing a specific target.
09.21 BST: After bidding an emotional farewell to Barcelona on Sunday, Lionel Messi is expected to travel to Paris soon before completing a medical at Paris Saint-Germain in the coming days, sources have told ESPN’s Julien Laurens.
The Argentina captain is set to sign a two-year deal with the option for a third season. He could be presented at an event at the Eiffel Tower in the coming days. Messi said he had received several calls from clubs since the news broke, confirming PSG’s interest, and multiple sources have told ESPN that he has already agreed to sign for the Ligue 1 side.
The 34-year-old had agreed to a new five-year contract with Barca, but that would have meant the club’s wage bill stood at 110% of their revenue. Their spending cap with LaLiga has dropped from over €600 million in 2019-20 to an expected €200m for the coming season, making it impossible to register Messi’s new deal, even with a big pay cut. His previous terms included a base salary of around €70m gross without bonuses.
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08.38 BST: Leicester City will look to cover for the absence of Wesley Fofana by signing Southampton defender Jannik Vestergaard, talkSPORT reports.
Fofana will undergo surgery on Monday that will keep him sidelined until next year after suffering a broken leg during a preseason friendly against Villarreal last Wednesday.
The centre-half was injured following a rash foul by Villarreal’s Fer Nino, which Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers described as a “horrendous challenge” in the aftermath of the game against last season’s Europa League winners.
That has led the Foxes to re-ignite their interest in Saints centre-back Vestergaard, who they first tried to sign last summer. The Denmark international could be available for around £15m, according to talkSPORT, as his contract at St Mary’s is due to expire next summer.
08.00 BST: Tottenham are pushing to complete a move for Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez after indicating they are willing to meet the club’s €71m valuation, sources have told ESPN’s James Olley.
Spurs and Arsenal are among the clubs tracking Martinez in hope of securing a deal with Inter, who are under pressure to offload players as a result of financial losses arising from the coronavirus pandemic.
It is understood Spurs believe they have agreed a fee in principle but sources close to Inter have dismissed suggestions they are ready to sanction a transfer.
The situation has been complicated by Chelsea’s pursuit of Romelu Lukaku. Inter have already seen Achraf Hakimi join Paris Saint-Germain and also agreed a fee of €115m with Chelsea for Lukaku.
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PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)
– Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben formed one of the most feared winger duos in modern times when they were at Bayern Munich. While the Dutch half has retired, Gazzetta dello Sport have suggested that Ribery could make a return to Bavaria as they look for back-up to Kingsley Coman after the veteran was rejected by Fiorentina. There haven’t been any negotiations yet, but the 38-year-old is training with Bayern and could be a cost-effective option at a time where coronavirus has impacted funds.
– Manchester United want to recoup the £50 million they spent on Anthony Martial in 2015 if he leaves, reports the Express. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a plethora of attacking talent at his disposal and this could see the Frenchman depart as United look to offload players. Internazionale and Everton are both interested in the 25-year-old.
– AC Milan are hoping to sign a creative player and Calciomercato has offered a list of whom they’re looking at. Atalanta’s Josip Ilicic, Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech, CSKA Moscow’s Nikola Vlasic, Real Madrid’s Isco and Everton’s James Rodriguez are the players named.
– Arsenal are still monitoring Martin Odegaard‘s situation at Real Madrid, according to Fabrizio Romano. The Norwegian has always been their main target to fill the No. 10 position, and the Gunners will bid if he and Los Blancos decide to part ways with the 22-year-old permanently.