Suarez, Stones, Neuer spearhead Pep Guardiola's £150m Man City revolution
The winter window might have shut, but the rumour mill rolls on. As always, Transfer Talk has its finger on the pulse when it comes to the latest rumours and gossip. See the latest deals here.
TOP STORY: Man City prepare £150 million transfer splurge
According to reports from the Mirror, Pep Guardiola is looking to sign three world-class players this summer to kick-start his Manchester City revolution. The Spaniard, currently at Bayern Munich, will not be expected to win the Champions League in his first season in charge at the Etihad after explaining to the board that he will need time to implement his ideals and philosophies.
Instead, Guardiola will be tasked with completing Stage 1 of a three-year mission to build a team that can sustain a status among the world's top five. City chief executive Ferran Soriano outlined the club's expectations to a select few in London, and revealed that his fellow Catalan will have plenty of cash to reshape the squad, but it's thought that the cash will be spent on just a trio of players.
Guardiola has already been heavily linked with £40m moves for Barcelona striker Luis Suarez and Everton's defender John Stones, while other names on the reported transfer target list include Bayern duo Manuel Neuer and Robert Lewandowski, plus Barca's Sergio Busquets.
Chelsea eye Icardi as Costa replacement
The Mirror also says that Chelsea are eyeing a summer move for Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi. The 23-year-old's future at the San Siro is likely to rest on whether the club qualify for the Champions League next season, although Chelsea are unlikely to be able to offer that either.
However, if the Argentina international does decide to leave Milan, then the wages on offer at Stamford Bridge could more than compensate for what, potentially, would be only one season out of Europe's top cup competition.
They are on the lookout for at least one new striker, although Diego Costa's long-term future at the club remains uncertain and, should he leave, then a minimum of two forwards will be brought in. The Brazilian-born Spain international has been widely linked with a return to his former club Atletico Madrid this season; however, his form has improved greatly since Mourinho's departure and Guus Hiddink's arrival.
Berahino set for summer move to Tottenham
The Guardian reports that Saido Berahino is set to complete his protracted move to Tottenham Hotspur, with West Bromwich Albion having agreed in principle that he can leave in the summer for the North London club.
The 22-year-old striker had been keen to join Tottenham last summer and went so far as to submit a written transfer request, but the deal fell apart, causing acrimony on all sides.
Tottenham would have liked to take Berahino in January, but it was made clear to them, and everybody else, that West Brom would not sell. WBA chairman Jeremy Peace was worried at the time about relegation, and he turned down bids from Stoke City and Newcastle United. There is now the acceptance that Berahino, whose West Brom contract expires in June 2017, can leave. He is considered to have done his bit by working hard on his game and publicly burying the hatchet with Peace.
Liverpool plan shock bid for Ben Arfa
French outlet Le10Sport claims that Liverpool are interested in signing former Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa.
The Frenchman, who was released from his contract with the Magpies last January, described his time at St James' Park as "hell" in November. He is now back in France with Nice, and has been in fantastic form this season with 12 goals in 26 matches for the Ligue 1 side.
Jurgen Klopp is planning to rebuild the Reds squad in the summer as he looks to orchestrate a lasting revival in the club's fortunes.
But the Merseyside club face competition for Ben Arfa's services. Inter Milan, AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain are also interested in a move for the midfielder, whose impressive form this term has seen him earn a recall to the France national team.
United lead race for Ighalo
Manchester United are now front-runners to sign £20 million-rated Watford striker Odion Ighalo, according to a Mirror report. But with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger also keen, the Nigerian looks likely to be the subject of a transfer tug-of-war between the two clubs.
Man United are in the box seat and will press ahead with plans to sign the player regardless of whether it's Louis van Gaal or Jose Mourinho in charge at Old Trafford next season.
Mourinho in particular is an admirer of the 26-year-old Ighalo, who has shot to prominence in the Premier League this season. United are desperate to add firepower to their squad after their heavy reliance on Anthony Martial this season. Ighalo, who has scored 15 goals for Watford this season, ticks all the boxes for the Red Devils.
- According to reports from the Express, Manchester United are reportedly lining up a sensational return for Cristiano Ronaldo this summer.
- Bayern Munich have kicked off their pursuit of Romelu Lukaku, reports the Mirror. The German giants raised their interest in the 23-year-old, sending over a senior club executive this week to watch the Belgian international.
- CalcioMercato says that both Chelsea and Liverpool are keen on the signature of a talented 15-year-old Italian, Raoul Bellanova.