Welcome to the Evening Standard’s rolling transfer news and rumours live blog.
Premier League football returns to spotlight today after a blockbuster weekend of FA Cup football. Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United all progressed to the semi-finals with wins this weekend, in what is a mouth-watering final four of the competition.
Tonight, Crystal Palace are in action as they take on Burnley at Selhurst Park.
Meanwhile, and despite the unseen economic strain on clubs brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, transfer activity and speculation remains bouyant ahead of this summer’s window.
Latest transfer news and rumours…
PREMIER LEAGUE NEWS
Villa to stick with Smith
Aston Villa are set to stick with Dean Smith for the final six games of the season, according to the Telegraph.
Villa are right in the relegation mix at the bottom of the Premier League, but with a difficult run-in including fixtures against Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal.
Smith’s side have played a game more than drop rivals West Ham and Bournemouth and remain in the relegation zone on goal difference.
Kalou to leave Hertha Berlin
Former Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou is close to agreeing a free transfer to Brazilian side Botafogo.
The 34-year-old is out of contract at Hertha Berlin at the end of the season.
Botafogo have reportedly offered the 34-year-old an 18-month contract amid interest from European clubs.
Chelsea boost over Tagliafico and Onana
Ajax with manager Erik ten Hag suggesting that Nicolas Tagliafico and Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana (below) could leave this summer.
Chelsea have been linked with the pair as Frank Lampard continues his overhaul. Tagliafico has been identified as one option at left-back, while Lampard is also looking to sign a goalkeeper to compete with Kepa for starts.
“The transfer market will start in August – the top leagues are now being played out, so the money flows are maintained,” Ten Hag told Het Parool.
“The market value of players will be slightly depressed, but not much. Based on their performance and ambition, a number of our players also want to make the move abroad.
“Agreements have been made with Andre Onana, Donny van de Beek and Nicolas Tagliafico, but it remains to be seen whether the market is indeed breaking loose.
“For Onana and Van de Beek, another year of Ajax could certainly be an option, for Tagliafico it is slightly different because of his age.
“In the preparation I am going to try Lisandro Martínez in that position. He has also played in midfield with us, but he is a defender.”
Inter close in on Hakimi
Inter are in “advanced negotiations” for Real Madrid defender Achraf Hakimi.
Hakimi has impressed on loan at Borussia Dortmund this season but now looks set for a £36m move to Inter.
Inter chief Giuseppe Marotta told Sky Sports: “The will of [owners] the Zhang family is to continue buying important players,” Marotta told Sky Sports.
“I confirm that we are in an advanced negotiation for Hakimi. [Inter sporting director Piero] Ausilio has been very good, but we must now conclude the negotiation.
“[Monday] will be an important day, I am optimistic. It is a job done from Ausilio in these two months. This is an operation that, with the times that are going, is really very, very important.”
WEST HAM NEWS
Boost for West Ham in Aina pursuit
West Ham have received a boost in their pursuit of Torino’s Ola Aina.
The Hammers are one of the clubs being linked with a move for the former Chelsea defender, with Calciomercato reporting that the Italian club could be ready to cash-in on the 23-year-old.
West Ham are in the market for a new full back with 19-year-old Jeremy Ngakia set to leave the club on a free transfer having failed to reached an agreement with the club.
Benfica target Pochettino
Portuguese side Benfica want to appoint former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino.
The rumours will come as concern to Newcastle fans, with the Magpies having been linked with the Argentine should the club’s takeover be completed.
PREMIER LEAGUE NEWS
Inter yet to renew loans for Alexis Sanchez and Victor Moses
Inter Milan chief executive Beppe Marrotta says the club are yet to agree loan extensions with Manchester United and Chelsea for Alexis Sanchez and Victor Moses.
Both players signed season-long loan deals with the Serie A side, but those deals are set to expire next week and Inter could be left short if an agreement cannot be reached.
“This is a great regulatory anomaly that needs to be resolved because we are still dealing with Chelsea and Manchester United today to try to extend their loans,” Marrotta told Sky Sports.
Werner defends decision to join Chelsea and miss Leipzig finale
Timo Werner has defended his decision to miss RB Leipzig’s finale Champions League games ahead of joining up with his new Chelsea team-mates.
“Of course it hurts me that I can’t help out [RB Leipzig] to play in the Champions League,” Werner told Sportbuzzer. “But I’m a Chelsea FC player from July 1st and I’m being paid by Chelsea from then on.”
“It was clear that all parties – Chelsea, RB and my side – should and must settle this. Of course I tried to keep out of the Champions League issue as much as I could because it was clear that I would have to hurt one side. That’s why my agent finally agreed it with the clubs.”
Latest on Kai Havertz to Chelsea
Bayer Leverkusen manager Peter Bosz insists Chelsea target Kai Havertz is “not thinking too much” about a summer transfer.
“I don’t feel that he is thinking too much about transferring,” he said, as per Goal. “Neither are we. I certainly don’t have the impression that this will be his last game for the club.
“He is still under contract with us and I have to assume that he will be with us next season too. That will include the German Cup final next month and the next Europa League game against Rangers in August.
“Of course, that’s all dependent on nothing happening before then.”
Liverpool lead Koulibaly race
Liverpool are said to be in the driving seat to sign highly sought-after Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly.
Arsenal bid for Bardhi
Arsenal are today being linked with a shock move for Levante’s attacking midfielder Enis Bhardi.
The 24-year-old Macedonian international has scored four goals and provided three assists in LaLiga so far this season, having played 26 times.
Spanish publication Onda Deportiva report that Arsenal are not only interested in the player, but have already submitted a bid for his services.
MAN UTD NEWS
Yorke urges Man Utd to sign Sane
Dwight Yorke has urged his former club Manchester United to consider a move for Manchester City winger Leroy Sane.
Pep Guardiola has confirmed the German will not sign a new contract with City and will either leave this summer or next on a free.
“United have got a real good attacking bunch of young players, add in Sancho, I like the boy Sane. If I was to airdrop, the boy Sane at City I really do [like],” Yorke told Stadium Astro.
“We haven’t got a left-footed sort of winger. The boy [Mason] Greenwood is coming to the fore recently but I like Sane.”
“I really do think this kid is probably the quickest out of all them as well and he’s really got a good attitude.”
“I know he’s got some injuries, but if I was brave, if I was Man United manager at this point in time that’s the type of person I would go for.”
MAN UTD NEWS
Shearer, Wright analyse Man Utd transfer requirements
BBC pundits Alan Shearer and Ian Wright have outlined Manchester United’s transfer requirements this summer.
Shearer told BBC Sport: “I think three or four big players. Right side of midfield, possibly a centre-forward, centre-halve and maybe another midfielder.”
Ian Wright added: “That’s the kind of signing [Jadon Sancho] they have to make if they’re going to be challenging City and Liverpool. Everybody is excited about Bruno Fernandes and Pogba.
“[Anthony] Martial and [Marcus] Rashford, both of them 19 goals each, last time any Man Utd players got that was Chicharito [Javier Hernandez] and [Dimitar] Berbatov.
“It seems like it’s starting to happen [for United].”
MAN CITY NEWS
Bruce jokes Newcastle will sign De Bruyne
Well, this would be an interesting one, wouldn’t it?
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce “exclusively” revealed Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne will sign for Newcastle as he hilariously interrupted the midfielder’s post-match interview.
The Magpies fell to a 2-0 defeat to City, who booked an FA Cup semi-final tie against Arsenal with the win.
“He’s going to stay here and come here,” Bruce said. “That’s an exclusive coming out of Newcastle tonight.
“He’s had enough of Manchester City and he’s going to come to play for Newcastle!”
Dzeko may have to take a pay cut to stay at Roma
Former Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko may have to take a wage cut in order to stay at Roma, report Calciomercato.
The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has had drastic financial implications for football clubs across Europe.
And with the forward Roma’s highest paid player, there has been talk he may have to be sold this summer.
Dzeko does not want to leave, however, and neither do the club. The forward, therefore, may be willing to sign a one-year extension but at a reduced wage.
MAN CITY NEWS
Inter ready to offload Skriniar
Potentially some good news for Pep Guardiola!
Inter Milan are considering letting centre-back Milan Skriniar go this summer, report Calciomercato.
The defender wanted by a number of teams, but it’s Manchester City who are reportedly leading the race.
Inter are reportedly looking to raise funds this summer, with Skriniar deemed dispensable despite his quality performances this season.
Gomez set for retirement
Mario Gomez has revealed he will most likely hang up his boots after his side Stuttgart were promoted to the Bundesliga.
The prolific former German international scored the only goal in a 3-1 defeat as Stuttgart confirmed promotion in their final game of the season.
And the 34-year-old, formerly of Bayern Munich, revealed he is definitely to leave Stuttgart and most likely retire.
“It was my absolute goal to say goodbye here as a first division player,” Gomez told SID.
“I was sure at the beginning of the season that we will go up. So I decided that this will be my last year at Stuttgart, in Germany and probably as a football player.”
Gordon to leave Celtic
Craig Gordon is set to leave Celtic, the goalkeeper has confirmed on Instagram. The 37-year-old declined a new contract offer in pursuit of a new challenge.
The Scot is considering a return to Hearts, PA Media have reported.
“Six League Titles. Five League Cups. Three Scottish Cups,” he wrote.
“The last six years have been the most successful period of my professional career, and I would like to thank everyone who has played their part in making this possible.”
Arteta: Tierney will get ‘better and better and better’
Mikel Arteta heaped praise on Kieran Tierney following Arsenal’s FA Cup triumph against Sheffield United.
The defender hadn’t made an appearance for the Gunners under Arteta prior to the outbreak of coronavirus, but has featured in all four games since the restart.
“He’s been training incredibly hard through [the] COVID-19 [lockdown,” he said.
“It’s been a tough moment for him in the last six or seven months and to move here from a different city, a different football club.
“He is a kid with an incredible attitude and he is so willing to learn and to put in everything he has. He has a massive heart and I am delighted to have him in the team.
“He’s a kid who is going to get better and better and better.”
Porto open to Pereira departure
Porto are willing to let Arsenal target Danilo Pereira leave the club this summer but it will require a hefty fee, state Record.
The Gunners have been linked with the midfielder of late but may struggle to finance a move.
The Portuguese club reportedly will listen to offers of €40 million (£36m)
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When does the 2020 summer transfer window open?
The Premier League’s chief executive, Richard Masters, has confirmed that the window is not set to open until the end of the season.
The campaign is currently scheduled to finish on Sunday July 26th, though the FA Cup Final will be held on August 1.
Therefore, August 2 seems a likely date for the window to open, though Masters admitted there is not yet a plan for how long it would go on for – especially with no dates yet confirmed for the 2020/21 season.
A summer transfer window usually lasts at least 12 weeks. Recent reports suggest Fifa will allow leagues to open their windows up to four weeks before the culmination of the season.
Players can be officially registered with their new clubs when the Fifa international window opens on July 1 – such as Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner with Chelsea – though Fifa guidelines suggest players joining in July will not be able to play for their new clubs during the current 2019-20 season.
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.
Some players have signed short-term deals with their clubs to finish the current season, but there is no obligation for players to do so. However, they will not be able to play for a new team this season even if they become a free agent due to Fifa regulations on registrations.
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