Welcome to the Evening Standard’s live blog covering the latest transfer news and rumours from the Premier League and beyond.
English football has been suspended ‘indefinitely’ amidst the coronavirus crisis, and while there are hopes to resume the season in June, speculation around potential transfer for the 2020-21 season remains in full swing.
We’ll keep you abreast of all the news from our correspondents, and the talking points and rumours from the rest of Europe.
Latest transfer news and rumours…
Real Madrid move for Sancho
Now this will be concerning for fans of Manchester United and Chelsea…
Jadon Sancho is widely expected to leave Borussia Dortmund this summer, with United and Chelsea believed to be the frontrunners for his signature.
As reported by Standard Sport, club officials at Old Trafford are confident they can pip Chelsea to the England international’s signature, but interest from Real Madrid would throw a rather illustrious spanner in the works.
MAN UTD NEWS
Harry Kane will making a step up to Manchester United if he decides to leave Tottenham this summer, according to Stan Collymore.
The Spurs striker has been linked with a record £200m transfer to Old Trafford this summer after the 26-year-old revealed he would not stay at the north London club for “the sake of it”.
Writing his column for The Mirror, former striker Collymore believes Kane would be better off joining Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side because Spurs’ ambitions no longer suit him.
“Some people will ask if United would be a step up from Spurs and they are right to do so,” he wrote.
“If we’d been having this conversation 12 to 18 months ago, I’d be saying he should hedge his bets and stay at Spurs.
“But Spurs look as if they are reverting back to being a Europa League-level club rather than Champions League, and if Kane goes then that’s only going to be exacerbated.”
Tottenham are monitoring Olympiacos full-back Kostas Tsimikas ahead of a potential summer move, according to reports in Greece.
The 23-year-old has impressed in both of his appearances against Spurs in the Champions League group stage and Arsenal in the Europa League.
Jose Mourinho is reportedly looking to add a left-back to his squad with Ben Davies the only obvious option, having trialled Jan Vertonghen and Japhet Tanganga as a makeshift full-back.
Greek outlet Sportday report Tsimikas, a Greece international, is a target for Spurs and could be available for €25 million (£21.8m).
Barcelona have offered Nelson Semedo a new contract amid doubts over the full-back’s future.
According to Marca, the Catalans are hoping to tie down the Portugal international to a new deal running to 2025.
However, the 26-year-old is yet to establish himself as first-choice at right-back and the LaLiga champions have been linked with Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo as a replacement.
Hold onto your hats, Reds fans!
According to The Sun, Liverpool are set to move for PSG star Kylian Mbappe with Real Madrid readying a £150 million bid for Sadio Mane.
Mane, 28, has been linked with a move to the Santiago Bernabeu after a sensational season for the Merseyside outfit, where he has scored 16 goals and registered eight assists.
The report suggests the Spanish giants are ready to test Liverpool’s resolve with a huge offer – and that could convince Jurgen Klopp to seal a deal for Mbappe this summer, with the France international’s future at PSG uncertain.
It also mentions that Nike could provide funds to ensure the big-money transfer goes through after agreeing a bumper kit deal from next season, with the American sportswear giant ready to help Liverpool meet Mbappe’s salary demands.
Chelsea coach Frank Lampard is hoping to raid former club Derby to sign youngster Max Bird, according to Football Insider.
The Championship outfit have reportedly set an asking price of £5 million for the highly-rated midfielder, who has impressed Lampard and his assistant Jody Morris.
The 19-year-old has made 18 appearances for the Rams this season and despite Chelsea possessing an array of midfield talent, including Mason Mount and Billy Gilmour, the west London club are unlikely to be put off by the asking price.
Chelsea are likely to face a battle with Juventus if they press ahead with a move for Porto full-back Alex Telles.
Tuttosport report the Bianconeri are ready to rival the west London club in their attempts to sign the Brazilian as they look for a replacement for Mattia De Sciglio.
Ironically, Maurizio Sarri’s side have held an interest in Blues left-back Emerson, who could return to Italy after falling down the pecking order under Frank Lampard.
And if Juve were to move for Emerson, that could leave Chelsea with a clear run at signing Telles, 27, who could be available for £35m.
Real Madrid goalkeeper Alphonse Areola has put Premier League clubs on alert after reportedly instructing his agent to find him a club in England.
The France international is on loan at the Santiago Bernabeu from PSG as part of the deal that saw Keylor Navas move in the opposite direction.
However, L’Equipe report the 23-year-old is unlikely to secure a permanent transfer due to the imminent return of Andriy Lunin from his loan spell.
It is mentioned that Areola could engineer a move to the Premier League as the player’s wife favours a move to London, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham all rumoured to be in the market for a goalkeeper.
MAN UTD NEWS
Manchester United’s interest in Birmingham City sensation Jude Bellingham is well noted but it seems the teenager could be heading elsewhere this summer.
The 16-year-old burst onto the scene for the Championship outfit this season and has scored four goals, with Europe’s elite all courting the highly-rated forward.
United are understood to be interested in signing Bellingham and prepared to offer the youngster a lucrative salary, but according to The Athletic, Borussia Dortmund are his favoured destination.
Should the German outfit sign Bellingham, it could hand United a bargaining chip in their pursuit of to[ target Jadon Sancho, who could make a £120m switch to Old Trafford.
Chelsea and Tottenham could miss out on Andre Onana after the Ajax goalkeeper revealed he is open to securing a return to Barcelona.
The Cameroonian stopper has been linked with several European clubs after starring for the Eredivisie giants in their run to the Champions League semi-finals last season.
PSG have also been mentioned as a possible suitor, but the 25-year-old refused to rule out going back to Camp Nou – where he began his career – in the near future.
“As I said earlier, Barca is my home. If I have to go back, I will go back,” he told Canal+ Afrique. “But today we are still far from it. I’m the Ajax goalkeeper and we’ll see what happens at the end of the season.
“I only take care of the football, what happens at the stadium. The rest are my agents who manage.”
The 30-year-old is reported to have told the Gunners he wants to leave with less than 18 months left on his current deal, with Real Madrid and Barcelona credited with an interest.
But former player Nicholas believes the north London outfit must do all they can to retain his services – and sell him next season if he wants to leave.
“Wholeheartedly as an Arsenal man, I would give him the contract that he desires – if he wants to stay that is. You give him what he wants because if in a year’s time you can’t sell him, you get your value for money back.
“I just don’t see the point in running down contracts. If Barcelona or Real Madrid come in for him, I would hold my hands up and say ‘I’m not surprised he wants to go there’, it doesn’t surprise me.
“I don’t expect Liverpool or Manchester City to try and get him, so it’s going to be European clubs. At his age, if they get good money for him and he wants to leave, I don’t have a problem with that.”
Reports in Spain suggest Real Madrid are ready to make big moves in the transfer market with a double swoop for Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland.
Marca claim Los Blancos are keen to sign two of Europe’s most promising talents when the summer transfer window.
Manchester United have been long-term admirers of Haaland and are likely to rival Real for the Norwegian sensation, but the scale of any deal for Mbappe means the Spanish giants are likely to be the only team in the running to sign the World Cup winner.
However, with funds likely to be tight due to the coronavirus pandemic, it has been reported Real could delay their move for Mbappe until 2021, when he will have a year left to run on his contract.
MAN CITY NEWS
Manchester City winger Bernardo Silva believes he could stay at the club for another four years, but admits he wants to return to Benfica before he gets “too old”.
The Portuguese playmaker has been a key member of the team since arriving in a £43m switch from Monaco in 2017.
The 25-year-old stated his happiness to stay in Manchester for the foreseeable future, but revealed he would like to return to Portugal before his career winds down.
“What I can tell you is not in one, two, there, four years for sure because I am in a great club,” Silva told Bleacher Report.
“I don’t know the exact age – not too old but not now.”
Chelsea are set to revive their attempts to lure Dries Mertens to Stamford Bridge on a free transfer, according to reports in Italy.
The 32-year-old turned down the chance to leave Napoli in January as he wanted to break Marek Hamsik’s all-time goalscoring record.
However, the coronavirus pandemic means the Belgian may be denied his chance in doing so before his contract expires.
The Blues are hoping to pounce after it was revealed Mertens’ latest contract talks with the Partenopei have stalled, a report in Gazzetta dello Sport claims.
MAN CITY NEWS
Manchester City’s heavy investment in youth recruitment means the club have scoured far and wide for the best talent in the world.
And according to The Guardian, the latest youngster to emerge on their radar is Ajax starlet Sontje Hansen.
The 17-year-old finished the Under-17 World Cup with the Golden Boot after scoring six goals for the Netherlands and has caught the eye of City scouts.
Hansen made his first-team debut against ADO Den Haag in December and is thought to have a bright future in the game, but with his contract expiring in 2021, the report says City could pick him up for just £6 mllion.
Klopp urged to re-sign Coutinho
Liverpool legend Phil Thompson says he would have Philippe Coutinho back at Anfield ‘in a heartbeat’.
The Brazilian is likely to be available this summer, with Bayern Munich not expected to exercise the option-to-buy in their loan deal.
“They are probably looking at that creative midfield player,” he told Sky Sports. “Would you take Coutinho back? I would, in a heartbeat. I think he’s a creative genius.
“You look back at his Liverpool career and he was absolutely terrific. He’s not too old and I still think he could come back.
“It probably won’t happen but it’s that creative player just off the front three that would probably just tip the balance.”
Liverpool to reignite Soumare interest?
The Star claim that Lille are another European club who may be forced to lower their asking price on one of their star assets because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Boubakary Soumare was reportedly the subject of interest from Liverpool in January, while Newcastle are said to have had a £35million bid knocked back.
However, the midfielder may be available for less than that when the transfer window reopens, meaning Liverpool could be tempted to return.
Bannan knocks back Brentford rumours
Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Barry Bannan has been forced to deny suggestions he is angling for a move to Brentford.
The Scotsman gave an interview last week where he said the Bees would be a “perfect” team for him to play in.
“People are getting mixed up because I complimented Brentford on their play this season,” he wrote on social media.
“It doesn’t mean I want to sign for them, I’ve made clear my whole time I’ve been here I love it and that has not changed.”
Jones to stay at Anfield next season
Liverpool have no interest in allowing youngster Curtis Jones to leave on loan next season, according to The Star.
The midfielder has impressed in the cup competitions, scoring twice in the FA Cup, as circumstances forced the Reds to blood a wealth of young talent.
Former England striker Kevin Phillips suggested last week he ought to go out on loan next season to gain more first team experience, citing the progress mad by Harry Wilson at Bournemouth.
Coman could be Neymar alternative
Spanish outlet Sport say that Barcelona are considering Bayern Munich winger Kinglsey Coman as a possible alternative to Neymar this summer.
Neymar is known to be keen on a return to the Nou Camp, but it is hard to see how Barcelona could afford him, particularly if they sign Lautaro Martinez.
Coman would not come cheap, but would certainly be a more viable option as the Catalan club look to bolster their offensive options.
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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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