Ibrahimovic, Ronaldo, Hazard linked in transfer triangle; Bartra free to leave
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: Ibra, Ronaldo, Hazard fates linked
The futures of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Cristiano Ronaldo and Eden Hazard might be inextricably linked this summer, according to The Telegraph. Paris Saint-Germain are keen to make a marquee signing, should they fail to agree to a contract extension with Ibrahimovic.
The French club's No. 1 target remains Ronaldo, and talks have been held with Hazard's representatives in hopes that Real Madrid will move for the Chelsea player if Ronaldo leaves. Alternatively, PSG might make a fresh inquiry for Hazard. Although they are aware that the Belgian, whom they have tried to sign since he played for Lille, would prefer to not return to the French league.
Ibrahimovic has still not ruled out moving to the Premier League, but it seems the striker would prefer to sign a new deal with PSG. His family is extremely settled and happy in Paris, and Ibrahimovic, despite his boasts that he is playing better than ever, is aware he is growing older and might find it hard to dominate another league. A return to Spain or Italy is highly unlikely at this stage, as is a move to Germany.
Atletico sweat as Chelsea gear up for Griezmann
Spanish daily AS believes Atletico Madrid are keen on increasing Antoine Griezmann's release clause from £62 million to £117 million, due to the ominous interest of Chelsea. The Spanish club want to secure the future of Griezmann, who they believe to be one of the best players at the club, but the Frenchman is unwilling to sign a new deal, as he believes the new figure is unrealistic.
Chelsea have been long-term admirers of Griezmann, and the price of his current release clause would be an easy one for them to afford, but it's a bit early to tell if they will sign him in the summer. The past few years, the Blues have built up a small relationship with Atletico, and while Manchester United and Bayern Munich are said to be interested in the forward, Chelsea might have an advantage.
United monitoring Maksimovic
Manchester United are interested in bringing Torino centre-back Nikola Maksimovic to Old Trafford this summer, just 12 months after they brought in his former teammate Matteo Darmian, The Sun reported. Maksimovic has been labeled the "new Nemanja Vidic," and he would be the first Serbian to play for United since Vidic left the club in 2014.
The 24-year-old centre-back has impressed this season as he formed a rock-solid partnership with Polish centre-back Kamil Glik at the heart of the defence. The Red Devils' struggles in the back line have been well-documented this season. Despite boss Louis van Gaal's future being clouded with uncertainty, Maksimovic, standing 6-foot-4, would provide strength, bravery and leadership for United as they look to rebuild before next season. Serie A side Napoli are also interested in the defender.
Dembele agent issues Arsenal warning
Ousmane Dembele's agent, Badou Sambague, believes it would be a mistake for his client to leave Rennes in the summer, according to the Express. The 18-year-old has been in fabulous form this term and has scored nine goals in 17 Ligue 1 appearances. Arsenal, along with Chelsea and Barcelona, are among the teams chasing the teenager as they seek to bolster their respective attacks.
But Dembele's agent believes his client still needs to learn his trade and should stay at Rennes for at least another season before contemplating a move. "We want him to follow a logical progression, and we intend for him to be at Rennes for a season-and-a-half. After that, we'll see what happens according to his evolution."
- The Manchester Evening News reported that an upcoming BT Sport interview with Jose Mourinho will confirm that he is set to start a new job in July. The 53-year-old has been out of work since December, when he was sacked by Chelsea, and has been linked with Manchester United.
- Sergio Aguero has reiterated his intention to return to boyhood club Independiente when his current Manchester City contract expires, according to Sky Sports.
- If Italy manager Antonio Conte does take charge at Stamford Bridge, as many have speculated, the Sunderland Echo said he will make a surprise move for Sunderland outcast Emanuele Giaccherini.
- The Sun reported that Barcelona have told Manchester United and Tottenham target Marc Bartra he is free to leave the club in the summer. The Spanish defender is valued at £10 million.