Real Madrid eye €80m move for Chelsea star Kante
The coronavirus pandemic has made the summer transfer window uncertain, but here are the rumours floating around Europe's big leagues and beyond.
TOP STORY: Real Madrid eye €80m move for Kante
Real Madrid have a history of spending big money on attacking talent, but arguably their best business in recent years has been in the defensive midfield area. Claude Makelele set the tone in 2000 and now Casemiro is carrying on the tradition. But are Real about to splash €80 million on Chelsea's N'Golo Kante?
AS reports that Chelsea need to sell players in order to fund their moves for RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner and Ajax's Hakim Ziyech — as well as a possible deal for Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz. Sources told ESPN last month that Kante was not going to be allowed to depart, but Real seem ready to test that resolve with an €80m bid for the Frenchman.
Rennes' teenager Eduardo Camavinga is also of interest to Real, but Kante is a player who could slot in and improve the team immediately. Juventus and PSG are also reported to be on the 29-year-old's trail if the Blues are willing to sell.
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21.17 BST: Bayern Munich are one win away from securing an eighth-straight Bundesliga title but they could have a problem on the horizon.
David Alaba, one of the club's longest-tenured players, has only one-year remaining on his contract with the Bavarians and has yet to sign a new deal with the club. The versatile 27-year-old is a world-class performer at a handful of different positions and has been a big part in helping Bayern win 14 major trophies since debuting in 2010 but could his time in Munich be coming to a close?
Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic smoke on Alaba's uncertain future on Sky on Saturday:
“We are very happy with David's development on this position [was moved to centre-back]. He's the boss in defence, he has become a real personality.
“We are all very, very happy with it. We held a few talks and will hold more. At the moment, we all better focus on the sporting this. Not all players, but also staff, coaches and us, the sporting hierarchy. All at due time.
“We will try everything and I believe that both sides know what they have in each other. David knows what he has in FC Bayern and we know what we have in David.”
Despite interest from Barcelona, Real Madrid and Internazionale, it sounds as if the Austria international will be staying at the Allianz Arena for the long-term.
20.31 BST: Swedish club Helsingborg have signed… Mix Diskerud.
📄✍🏼 | Vi hälsar Mix Diskerud varmt välkommen till HIF!
— Helsingborgs IF (@HelsingborgsIF) June 13, 2020
The seven-time Allsvenskan champions announced on Saturday that they had signed the ex-United States international on loan from Manchester City. The 29-year-old, who has been loaned around the globe since surprisingly signing with City in 2018, previously played two season in Sweden with IFK Goteborg.
Diskerud, who was born in Norway to an American mother and Norwegian father, has not played for the U.S. since 2016 and most recently played in South Korea with Ulsan Hyundai.
19.46 BST: There has been recent speculation that highly-rated Man United teenager Angel Gomes could trade Old Trafford in for Stamford Bridge.
The Sun, though, is reporting that Gomes is close to finalising a new contract with United that will see him get a significant pay rise and keep him at Old Trafford for the long-term. Man United's former Young Player of the Year (2017), who has made 10 career senior appearances for United, will reportedly now earn around £25,000-per-week.
19.02 BST: PSG are set to say goodbye to club legends.
PSG sporting director Leonardo confirmed on Saturday that out-of-contract stalwarts Edinson Cavani and Thiago Silva will leave the club at the end of the season. The Parisian club are losing a lot in the South American pair, as the 33-year-old Cavani is the club's all-time record scorer with 200 goals, while Silva, 35, has made over 300 appearances and captained the club since 2012.
“It was a very difficult decision to make; these are players who have marked the history of the club, Leandro told the Journal de Dimanche.
“Their stories were so beautiful. But yes, we are coming to the end.
“We had to make a logical decision, economically speaking and with regard to the generation that is coming through.”
The two's time in the French capital has coincided with PSG's rise as one of Europe's biggest clubs, the two having won a combined 31 trophies for Les Parisens since 2012.
18.18 BST: Donny van de Beek to Manchester United?
Ajax assistant manager Ronald de Boer believes the Red Devils could swoop in for the Dutch international — if Real Madrid continue to dilly dally in making an offer for Van de Beek. Madrid are reportedly mulling over a £49 million deal for the Dutchman, while he Daily Mail reports that United are preparing an offer of £36m.
De Boer told FOX Sports: ‘If Real Madrid again decide not to report themselves at Donny, then I can understand it if he decides to go to Manchester United instead.
“On the one hand, I understand that Real Madrid are hesitating a bit. Another club could think, “hey, an interesting player, maybe we can get him for a little less”. For example Manchester United.”
The skillful midfielder, who broke into Ajax's first team in 2015, has scored 41 goals and added 24 assists in 175 games for Ajax, and notably played a central role in helping the club reach the Champions League semi-finals in 2018-19.
17.33 BST: Liverpool have one of the deepest rosters in Europe but that depth means limited room for young players knocking on the door for first-team football.
The Reds lost one in Pedro Chirivella on Friday and now reports indicate forward Taiwo Awoniyi could extend his time at Mainz. The 22-year-old recently opened his goalscoring account for the German club and could elect to stay on rather than return to compete for a spot at star-studded Liverpool.
It remains to be seen whether Mainz are looking for another loan spell for Awoniyi or a permanent deal, but manager Rouven Schrode has confirmed the club definitely want the Nigeria back at the Opel Arena next season.
16.47 BST: Sheffield United have announced they have signed veteran forward David McGoldrick to a two-year contract extension.
Workhorse. Baller. Magician. 🦅 pic.twitter.com/EOH7QSZTUZ
— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) June 13, 2020
The 32-year-old Republic of Ireland international scored 15 goals last season to help the Blades to promotion but has yet to break his Premier League duck, despite some solid performances this season.
15.59 BST: Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar, who has been linked with a return to Barcelona, headed back to France on Saturday after three months in Brazil, sources have told ESPN.
Neymar left the French capital on March 15 with the agreement of the club as the lockdown was implemented. He stayed with his son and some friends in his luxurious villa in Mangaratiba, in the state of Rio.
PSG were declared Ligue 1 champions in April after the Professional Football League (LFP) announced the 2019-20 Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 seasons had ended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
14.45 BST: Staying with Liverpool and Wolves…
Despite the fact Jurgen Klopp wasn't willing to spend £50m on RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner because he was too expensive in this climate, The Sun reckons that Liverpool are ready to splash £110m on two Wolves players: Ruben Neves (£50m) and Adama Traore (£60m).
The report justifies the big money by saying: “Money at Anfield is tighter under owners FSG because of coronavirus. But Klopp can fund a move with a spate of summer sales — with Xherdan Shaqiri certain to leave. Divock Origi, Dejan Lovren, Harry Wilson and Marko Grujic could follow him, while Adam Lallana will leave as a free agent.”
14.21 BST: Liverpool and Wolves are keeping tabs on Hamilton Academical defender Jamie Hamilton, says TEAMtalk.
Hamilton, 18, is a Scotland youth international and trained with Premier League side Brighton earlier this year.
The report states that Everton, Aston Villa, Burnley and Fulham were keen in January, but now Liverpool and Wolves are leading the way.
13.26 BST: Right-back Pierre Kalulu is set to complete a move from Lyon to AC Milan on Monday, says l'Equipe.
Kalulu, 20, is a free agent and will reportedly undergo a medical after the weekend.
13.04 BST: RB Leipzig reportedly spent €20m on winger Dani Olmo in January. Now we can see why.
Julien Laurens says Dani Olmo is adapting to RB Leipzig's style and better competition in the Bundesliga.
12.33 BST: Free agents will be key this summer, with the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic hitting clubs hard. And Chelsea are keen on signing Paris Saint-Germain left-back Layvin Kurzawa, according to France Football.
Arsenal were tracking the 27-year-old, alongside Inter Milan, Juventus and Atletico Madrid, while Chelsea's top target has been Leicester defender Ben Chilwell. But it seems like the Blues have a cheap backup option.
11.48 BST: The Daily Express claims that Norway midfielder Mathias Normann is of interest to Manchester United.
Norman, 24, plays for Russian side Rostov and has been valued at around £15m. The defensive midfielder has also been linked to Valencia and Tottenham but with Norwegian Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the Old Trafford hotseat, a move to Manchester would be appealing.
11.11 BST: Bayern Munich could win the Bundesliga title today if Dortmund lose and they win, but the club are are prioritising the signing of Man City winger Leroy Sane and a right-back this summer, says the Athletic.
Bayern were close to signing the 24-year-old Sane last summer before his knee injury and now a €100m deal looks like it could cost as little as €60m.
There is some work to do on the deal though as the report states: “Bayern are supposedly willing to pay just €40m so City are insisting they would rather run down his contract and lose him on a free next summer.”
10.32 BST: Could former Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp swap Liverpool for Bayern Munich?
Steve Nicol rejects suggestions that Jurgen Klopp could manage Bayern Munich in the near future.
10.00 BST: ICYMI – ESPN's Insider Notebook has some interesting transfer gossip this week.
– Barcelona are set to complete the signing of young Rayo Vallecano forward Fabian Luzzi after flexing their financial muscles to beat Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.
– Manchester United have watched Ansu Fati‘s progression into the Barcelona first team, but there is an acceptance he will remain with the Spanish giants despite rumours of a £100m bid.
– Release clauses are supposed to simplify transfers, but Chelsea have still had to negotiate with RB Leipzig over their imminent purchase of Timo Werner.
– David Silva is considering a move to Major League Soccer when he leaves Manchester City at the end of this season.
09.34 BST: The Daily Mail reports that Juventus are ready to sell midfielder Aaron Ramsey.
Ramsey, 29, only joined last summer on a free transfer but the Italian club are looking to save his reported £400,000-a-week wages and Manchester United are interested in bringing him back to the Premier League.
09.00 BST: Manchester United and Real Madrid were both interested in signing Rayan Cherki last year, according to Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas.
Cherki, 16, signed his first professional contract at Lyon in July 2019 but not before plenty of clubs had shown an interest in the talented winger.
“He's undoubtedly a player who will go to the highest level,” Aulas told Telefoot. “That's why we did everything we could to sign him. The two clubs that were interested when we won his faith were Real Madrid and Manchester United.
“We want him to succeed with Lyon. We want to support him and that's why we're trying to move his career on. In years to come, we want him to become not only a leader for our attack, but a leader from the academy.”
Rob Dawson reveals Manchester City's interest in beating Chelsea to Leicester City's Ben Chilwell.
PAPER TALK (by Harry Kettle)
Chilwell boost for Chelsea
The Evening Standard is reporting that Ben Chilwell‘s eagerness to leave Leicester City for Chelsea this summer could speed up the process of getting a deal over the finish line.
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The Foxes were initially hoping that they could hold out for a fee close to £80m, but due to a combination of Chilwell showing a real desire to leave and the current financial market due to COVID-19, it appears as if a fee of around £50m is going to be more realistic.
Leicester had already resigned themselves to the idea of the defender heading to Stamford Bridge, but at this stage, it really does seem like an inevitability.
Rivals Manchester City's priority in the next transfer window remains bringing a new centre-back to the Etihad Stadium despite monitoring Chelsea's pursuit of Chilwell, sources have told ESPN.
Liverpool lead Man Utd to sign Sancho
The England international has transformed into one of the best players in world football during his tenure in the Bundesliga, but now, it appears as if the momentum is swinging back in the direction of him returning to the Premier League.
United have been tracking the 20-year-old's progress for months on end with the intention of putting in an offer, but the Reds are reportedly ahead of the curve as the summer transfer window beckons, though his €100m price tag may see them rethink their strategy.
Barca offer helping hand with Coutinho
Barcelona are willing to pay a portion of Philippe Coutinho‘s wages in order to sell the Brazil star, The Telegraph reports.
The former Liverpool frontman has been unable to make anything close to the kind of impression that many were expecting when he moved to Camp Nou two years ago, and, as such, a €60m return to the Premier League has been on the cards for months.
There's a chance he'll stay with Bayern Munich following his loan spell with the German giants, but either way, Barca have recognised that his wages of over £200,000-a-week will not be feasible in the current climate — even for Europe's biggest clubs.
– The Mirror is reporting that Leicester are interested in trying to sign Southampton defender Jannik Vestergaard this summer. Back in January, they were contemplating a bid of around £26m. In the present day, they're happy to lower that total as Vestergaard has started just once in the league since January — in addition to the fact that he has entered the final two years of his contract.
– Wolverhampton Wanderers are now in the running to try and sign Reims defender Axel Disasi, Daily Mail reports. The 22-year-old, who has just one year remaining on his contract, is valued at £13m. However, Nuno Espirito Santo's men have a tussle on their hands with fellow top flight clubs Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal all showing interest.
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