Welcome to the Evening Standard’s transfer news LIVE blog, bringing all the latest talk, rumours and gossip.
With no on-pitch action to enjoy, we will keep you up to date with all the latest transfer news in relation to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Latest transfer news, rumours and gossip…
MAN UTD NEWS
Paul Pogba’s future remains a hot topic in the transfer market ahead of the summer transfer window but Manchester United are reportedly optimistic of keeping their record signing at Old Trafford this summer.
The player’s agent, Mino Raiola, recently said he wanted to “take a great player” to Real Madrid this summer, fuelling speculation Pogba, 27, could be heading for the exit.
But ESPN report that United are set to ward off interest from interested parties by pricing them out of a deal for the World Cup winner.
Juventus are hoping to lure Pogba back to Turin, according to Calciomercato’s Fabrizio Romano, and are said to be willing to pay €100m (£92m) to make the deal happen.
After seven years in Spain, it seems Gareth Bale is finally set to depart Real Madrid this summer.
That’s according to AS, who report the LaLiga giants are ready to release the 30-year-old from his bumper contract after being reduced to a limited role under Zinedine Zidane.
They may have to part with a hefty fee to make that happen, however, with Bale reportedly earning a net €14.6m (£13.4m) annual salary.
The Welsh winger is likely to have several clubs to choose from if he does indeed leave the 13-time Champions League winners, with previous interest from MLS clubs and China.
Roma want to prolong Davide Zappacosta’s stay at the Stadio Olimpico and are working on a deal to re-sign the Chelsea full-back on loan, reports in Italy claim.
The 27-year-old has returned to training with the Giallorossi after undergoing surgery on his knee in October.
And having missed the majority of the season, Corriere della Sera report Roma are keen to retain the Italy international’s services when the Serie A season eventually resumes.
MAN UTD NEWS
Sorry to disappoint, Manchester United fans, but the chances of Antoine Griezmann linking up with Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford at Old Trafford are slim, according to the Manchester Evening News.
Reports in Spain suggest Barcelona are looking to cash in on the French star less than a year after shelling out £108m to sign the 29-year-old from Atletico Madrid.
But it is understood United’s transfer business is more focused on the long-term, with Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish, Leicester’s James Maddison or Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho all on their shortlist.
Erling Braut Haaland only joined Borussia Dortmund in January but the Norwegian sensation is already being lined up for his next move.
Spanish publication Marca have put the 19-year-old on their front page today alongside a transfer report that Real Madrid want Haaland as a long-term replacement for Karim Benzema.
As we mentioned earlier, Haaland had been linked with Tottenham but the Santiago Bernabeu seems like a more realistic option.
Real have filled all three of their non-EU slots for their squad registration, meaning they would not be able to sign one of their other targets, Lautaro Martinez, until 2021, and the newspaper suggest they will move for the €75m-rated striker instead.
Tottenham will have to lower their asking price for Danny Rose if they want to sell the defender to Newcastle, according to The Chronicle.
The 29-year-old moved on loan to St James’ Park during the January transfer window but only after Spurs had reportedly demanded a £20 million fee, with 10 per cent of the fee going to former club Leeds United.
Rose’s current deal expires in 2021 and the report suggest the Magpies will seek to pay a lower cut-price fee in order to sign the England international permanently.
Haaland to Tottenham?
Yes, you read that correctly. This has been one of the biggest rumours over the last couple of days, with Italian outlet Tuttomercatoweb suggesting that Spurs could make a shock move for Erling Braut Haaland this summer.
It’s an intriguing one… but we have some questions…
1) How could Spurs afford him – especially if they miss out on Champions League football?
2) Why would Haaland leave Dortmund after six months?
3) If Haaland is available, surely Barcelona and Real Madrid would also come calling?
4) Would Tottenham consider likely breaking their wage structure to bring Haaland in?
5) Would Haaland play second fiddle to Harry Kane, or would this be based on Kane being sold?
As we say, there are questions…
While football is obviously of secondary importance in a pandemic, Liverpool fans can be forgiven for ruing the timing given they were two wins away from the title.
RB Leipzig’s sporting director, Markus Krosche, says that Covid-19 may have serious ramifications on clubs in both Germany and England.
“We can’t say how the transfer market will develop. We are starring into a very foggy crystal ball. We don’t know how our resources will be and what options other clubs might have.”
He continued: “England has similar problems like us. To bank on clocks running differently there just because they have investors is wrong.
“Investors also have economic constraints. The crisis does not only hit our branch but has a worldwide impact. Today, we are not able to gauge if the current numbers [transfer fees] are sustainable in six months from now.”
MAN UTD NEWS
With Odion Ighalo’s future at Manchester United unclear given that latest update, there will be room up front.
Ighalo’s Nigerian compatriot, Victor Osimhen, is the latest striker to be linked with the Red Devils, with Le10 Sport reporting that the 21-year-old’s impressive form for Lille has alerted United.
With 18 goals in 38 games this term, Osimhen has also reportedly got the interest of Real Madrid – so this could be a story which runs for a while.
Danny Rose could become a Newcastle player permanently, according to iSport.
The Tottenham left-back is on loan with the Magpies, and Spurs are reportedly willing to sell him for a ‘realistic’ fee whenever the transfer window reopens.
MAN UTD NEWS
A potential problem for Manchester United… James Robson reports that the club could be forced to release Odion Ighalo before the end of the season if the campaign is extended beyond May due to coronavirus.
The on loan striker’s contract runs until May 31 – meaning United will have to try to secure a permanent deal or seek Premier League dispensation to extend it further.
But with Ighalo’s parent club Shanghai Shenhua potentially back in action before football resumes in this country, there are no guarantees they will agree to a transfer.
No option to buy was included in the 30-year-old’s deadline day move in January. And privately United sources believed a permanent transfer was unlikely given Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s pursuit of a top class centre forward and Ighalo’s salary in China – believed to be worth around £300,000-a-week.
So, purely going by CIES values, United would likely have to pay close to £200m to sign Sancho.
We’ll be looking at whether a move to Stamford Bridge or Old Trafford is more likely over the next few days…
Callum Hudson-Odoi is also highly prized, with his new five-year Chelsea contract likely contributing to a value of €72.3m.
Two young north London talents are also rated, with Tottenham’s Ryan Sessegnon (€38.9m) and Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli (€25.2m) increasing their transfer values.
United backed out of signing Haaland in January given the level of control Mino Raiola will exert over any follow-up move for Haaland, though CIES states his value is “destined to grow.”
MAN UTD NEWS
Sancho the most valuable young player – CIES
According to the CIES Football Observatory, Manchester United will have to seriously spend if they want to get their hands on Jadon Sancho.
We’ll have a few more names for you coming right up…
Well now… it appears as though David Alaba could be set to decide which side of the Clasico divide he is on.
Bild reports that the Austrian is considering leaving Bayern Munich this summer, and with just one year left on his contract, the Bundesliga giants could sell rather than lose him for nothing in 2021.
There would be no shortage of suitors for a player as talented and as versatile as Alaba.
In our Liverpool Q&A on Saturday, David Lynch suggested a move to Liverpool is unlikely – and with Bild saying Barcelona and Real Madrid are both options, LaLiga beckons…
Bayern want Coman to commit long-term
Bayern Munich have opened talks with Kingsley Coman over a new deal, according to FootMercato.
Coman, 23, has a contract at Allianz Arena until 2023 but the Bundesliga champions want to tie him to a long-term deal.
Chelsea dealt Chilwell blow
It’s widely reported that Chelsea are after Ben Chilwell this summer, but their hopes have hit something resembling a road-bump.
That’s because Leicester are preparing to play hardball over the fee for the England full-back.
Frank Lampard, who has leaned on Marcos Alonso this season, is desperate to add a left-back this summer.
Leicester have form for playing hardball. They fetched a whopping £80million for Harry Maguire last summer, and have slapped a similar pricetag on Chilwell, according to Goal.
Eze like a Tuesday morning
Yup, I’m still going to crowbar in useless puns where possible.
Tottenham are monitoring QPR’s English midfielder Eberechi Eze.
The Express reports that Jose Mourinho is now the clear frontrunner in the race to land Eze, 21, in the summer.
Both Crystal Palace and Sheffield United have shown an interest, but the £20million has proved prohibitive for both clubs.
WEST HAM NEWS
West Ham want a piece of Pereira
West Ham have shown an interest in West Brom playmaker Matheus Pereira, according to Football Insider.
Pereira has scored six goals and laid on 12 assists in 33 appearances this term.
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When does the 2020 summer transfer window open?
The summer window opens in England at the end of the season – currently May 18, but that will almost certainly not be when it finishes due to Covid-19 delays.
Players can be officially registered with their new clubs when the Fifa international window opens on July 1.
From January 1 onwards, Premier League players with six months left on their contract have been able to negotiate and agree pre-contract deals with foreign clubs.
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