Welcome to the Evening Standard’s rolling transfer news and rumours live blog.
We’ve another busy night of football in store with an action-packed Championship schedule, Manchester United travel to Brighton in the Premier League, while Barcelona face Atletico Madrid in a match that could go a long way to deciding the title race in LaLiga.
Meanwhile, and despite the unseen economic strain on clubs brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, transfer activity and speculation remains buoyant ahead of this summer’s window.
Latest transfer news and rumours…
Hello and welcome to Standard Sport’s LIVE transfer news coverage as the world of football continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.
MAN UTD NEWS
Ighalo ready to take huge paycut
The 30-year-old currently earns £240,000 a week with Chinese Super League outfit Shanghai Shenhua, and is on loan at Old Trafford until the end of the season.
Dybala to be used in Juventus deal for Kane?
Tottenham striker Harry Kane has been linked with a move to Juventus which would see him line-up alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.
And Juventus, according to reports, have a plan to get an edge over the likes of Manchester United to get the deal done: Paulo Dybala.
The Argentine forward was close to joining Spurs on deadline day last summer before a complication over the player’s image rights scuppered the deal.
But Tuttosport claim that Maurizio Sarri’s side are prepared to offer Dybala to Spurs as part of a deal to bring Kane to Serie A.
While Dybala would be of interest to Tottenham, Jose Mourinho wants to have a clear focal point at the tip of his attack, and it would seem unlikely that Dybala would fit that mould.
Tottenham have made it clear to Standard Sport in recent weeks that their prized asset is not for sale.
Aubameyang set on Barcelona move
Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has his heart set on a move to Barcelona this summer, according to Sport in Spain.
Aubameyang was linked with a move to Barca in January, and his family have recently moved to the local area.
His contract is up in the summer but Arsenal are fighting to tie him to a new deal.
Last month his manager Mikel Arteta said: “You know he wants to play for the biggest club in the biggest tournaments, and be up there with the best players in the world. And we have to try to support him and give him everything at the club so he really feels fulfilled here. That’s the challenge I have.”
Juventus prepare new Ronaldo deal
Cristiano Ronaldo could soon re-sign with Juventus until 2024.
The Serie A team will extend the Portugal captain’s contract beyond June 2022 as they hunt further silverware, says the Daily Mail.
A new contract in Turin would take the forward through to the age of 39.
MAN UTD NEWS
Bruno Fernandes vows to keep getting better
Manchester United’s January signing Bruno Fernandes says there is plenty more to come from him after a dream start to his Old Trafford career.
Fernandes has already scores three across all competitions, and was crowned Premier League Player of the Month on Monday.
“Since I was a kid it was a dream to play for Manchester United and to be there at Old Trafford is the biggest dream of my career.
“When you come to a new club you always want to score and the first goal is special.
“It doesn’t matter how the goal is scored, but the important thing is the goal’s worth.
“I’m happy with my start, but from now I need to give more, to be better.”
Fifa talks over player contracts
Fifa are set to hold emergency talks over player contracts.
Deals traditionally end on June 30, but that could throw the season into chaos with fixtures set to run well beyond that date.
Chelsea in particular will keep a key eye on discussions, with Olivier Giroud, Willian and Pedro on a long list of players set to become free agents in the summer.
Chelsea prioritising Dembele swoop
Chelsea are prioritising a move for Lyon’s Moussa Dembele this summer, according to The Athletic.
Frank Lampard is desperate to add to his attacking line this summer, with one of Michy Batshuayi or Olivier Giroud certain to move.
The Blues are also interested in Timo Werner, but it looks like the RB Leipzig is headed elsewhere with Liverpool stepping up their interest.
Liverpool expecting several players to leave
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is planning a summer overhaul which could see as many as six first-team players leave, according to The Mirror.
While some will be deemed surplus to requirements, there is an expectation a clutch of fringe players will seek first-team football elsewhere, such is Klopp’s reliance on a group of regular first-team players.
Dejan Lovren, Divock Origi, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri are among a group of players expected to push for moves away from Anfield, while Adam Lallana will leave when his contract expires.
MAN UTD NEWS
Bruno Fernandes ‘already becoming Man Utd legend’
Diogo Dalot says team-mate Bruno Fernandes is already on course to become a Manchester United legend.
Fernandes, who signed for an initial £47m last month, has three goals and four assists in all competitions, and was named Premier League Player of the Month on Monday.
“He’s a top guy, a top player. He is going to be a legend, no doubt about that,” he told the official Manchester United podcast.
“He’s unbelievable, he can get better of course as well. He’s going to learn a lot from this club. I think he is a massive player to have in this team and he’s going to be a very good player for this club.
“He was the captain at Sporting, of course he’s an experienced player as well, 25 years old, he’s played in Italy, he played in Portugal as well. He knows what he is doing. It’s going to be very good for him.”
Manchester United trigger Matic extension
Manchester United have triggered the one-year option in Nemanja Matic’s contract and are in talks over a new deal.
Matic’s contract was set to expire at the end of June, but will now remain at Old Trafford until at least 2021.
MAN UTD NEWS
More on Matic…
The midfielder has enjoyed a resurgence in form since the turn of the year – convincing Ole Gunnar Solskjær he still has a future at Old Trafford.
No decision has been made on a longer term deal for the 31-year-old – but by triggering their option United have ensured he will be available to them if the Premier League season is forced to go beyond the end of June.
United refused to rush into a decision over the Serbia international, who looked set to leave at the end of the season.
But he has been in outstanding form since coming in to replace Scott McTominay, who missed two months with knee ligament damage.
Clubs in Italy led the race for Matic if he became a free agent, with Inter and AC Milan among those interested.
Matic was one of a host of leading players around Europe who faced an uncertain end to the season as they approach the end of their contracts.
Chelsea could be pressured into new deals for players
The widespread postponement of leagues around the continent has raised the prospect of players’ deals expiring before the end of their respective campaigns.
Insiders are describing it as a potentially ‘huge problem’ with players, agents and clubs uncertain of where they stand.
Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Juventus could all be impacted as star players become free agents this summer.
Chelsea have Willian, Olivier Giroud and Pedro all out of contract, which could potentially pile the pressure on them to hand out new deals to ensure they are eligible.
If not, it would lead to the confusing situation of players being registered for the season, yet out of contract with their respective clubs.
Figures inside the game have expressed uncertainty over where their clients would stand in such exceptional circumstances.
Chelsea make Telles approach
Chelsea have made an initial approach over a move for left-back Alex Telles, according to The Sun.
Frank Lampard is keen to add options at full-back, with Ben Chilwell said to be Chelsea’s No1 target.
Telles is an alternative option, and will reportedly cost the Blues a fee in the region of £36million.
Trippier plotting Burnley return
Atletico Madrid full-back Kieran Trippier has said he would only return to England for a return to Burnley.
The former Tottenham man has made 32 appearances across all competitions during his debut campaign with Atleti, helping them to the last eight of the Champions League.
“We [Dyche and Trippier] have a great relationship. We’re in contact all the time about family, football. It’ll happen one day for sure, I’ll 100 per cent be back playing for them,” he told the Burnley Express.
“I would love to retire there. That’s my aim, to retire at Burnley. I want to play as high as I can for as long as I can but I’ll know when the time is right. If I’m at Atleti for another two years, that’ll take me to 32, and Burnley’s the only club that I’d come back to England for.
“After that I’d start my coaching badges and I’d love to coach at Burnley. I’d just love to go wherever Sean Dyche goes.”
Euro 2020 has been delayed until 2021, taking place between June 11 and July 11.
Eze future ‘out of our hands’ – Ferdinand
QPR director of football Les Ferdinand says the future of star forward Eberechi Eze is out of the club’s hands as he is linked with a Premier League move.
The England youth international is the Rs’ most valuable asset and Ferdinand admits the club’s financial situation means that they would have not choice but to sell if the right offer came in.
“I think that is out of our hands,” he told The Beautiful Game podcast. “We may get an offer we can’t refuse.
“We are trying to build something here but at the same time we know along the way we are going to lose one or two assets and losing those assets will enable us to replenish the squad which because of Financial Fair Play and the way things work in the Championship, for us as a football club that is the only way we can survive and move forward.”
Anjorin closing on new Blues deal
Goal are reporting that Chelsea are close to agreeing a contract extension for youngster Tino Anjorin.
The 18-year-old made his Premier League debut for the club earlier this season, but has under a year left on his existing deal. The report suggests Chelsea want to tie him down until 2025.
Conte wants Arthur
Italian newspaper Tuttosport are reporting that Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte is keen on signing Barcelona midfield Arthur this summer.
The suggestion is that the Brazilian could form part of a player-plus-cash deal that would see Lautaro Martinez head in the other direction.
Tammy Abraham is reportedly stalling over whether to sign a new contract at Chelsea, according to The Athletic.
The 22-year-old has enjoyed a breakthrough season with the Blues after scoring 13 goals in 25 Premier League appearances.
But the England international only has two years remaining on his current deal and Abraham’s wage demands, along with a potential new addition to the squad this summer in his position, are apparently holding up the deal.
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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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