Transfer Talk: Mo Salah suitors face £200m price tag and Liverpool resolve
Clubs are slowly turning their eyes toward the summer window, and Transfer Talk has the updates on all the latest rumours.
Salah bidding starts at £200m
Liverpool face a serious fight to hold on to Mohamed Salah in the summer, with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain all desperate to sign the Egyptian, according to The Sun.
The Reds have form for driving a hard bargain, however -- demanding £145 million from Barca for Philippe Coutinho -- and after his 28 Premier League goals Salah could cost even more.
The report states that the 25-year-old has a £200m price tag, which would equal a £165m profit on the £35m fee Liverpool paid Roma last year.
Real Madrid are apparently prepared to shelve their bid for Eden Hazard if Salah is tempted by a switch to the Bernabeu, while Spanish outlet AS adds that the La Liga giants will prioritise a move for Robert Lewandowski over Harry Kane at centre-forward.
Man United step up centre-back bid
Jose Mourinho has prioritised signing a new centre-back in the summer, and several names have been linked with Manchester United in the midweek gossip columns.
The Daily Mirror says Mourinho is weighing up a move for France international Raphael Varane, whom he helped bring through during his reign at Real Madrid.
According to the Mirror, "Real are understood to be willing to sell Varane this summer," but United are reluctant to meet their £50m asking price.
Meanwhile, the Daily Star says the Red Devils will struggle to persuade Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar to join them at the end of the season. The 23-year-old has impressed since moving to the San Siro from Sampdoria in a €20m switch last year, but has said he remains committed to Inter after penning a five-year contract.
Chase on for Icardi
Chelsea and Real Madrid are set to duke it out for Mauro Icardi, with The Sun reporting that the Blues have already launched a £52m bid for the Inter Milan forward.
Icardi scored four times in a 5-0 rout of Sampdoria at the weekend, taking his tally to 22 goals in 24 Serie A matches this term. That has apparently prompted Chelsea to step up their interest in the 25-year-old, who hopes to be included in the Argentina squad for the World Cup.
Madrid are also keen on Icardi, but have focused their efforts on convincing Lewandowski to join them from Bayern Munich.
Bayern enquire about Jonas Hector
Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has made an enquiry about Jonas Hector, according to Kicker.
Hector's contract reportedly has a release clause of €7-8 million that will be triggered if Cologne get relegated from the Bundesliga -- a distinct possibility with Stefan Ruthenbeck's side currently languishing in 17th place.
Borussia Dortmund are also said to be interested in the Germany international.
Meanwhile, Rafinha has been given a deadline to sign a new one-year contract at Bayern. "A very good offer" remains unsigned by the Brazil international whose current deal expires in the summer.
Juan Bernat's future at the Allianz Arena is also in doubt, with the paper saying that Bayern will not stand in the way of the left-back if he wants to leave. Bernat is contracted until 2019 but has not been able to find a way past David Alaba into the starting XI.
- Atletico Madrid will have to shell out £105m if they want to sign Paulo Dybala in the summer, according to the Daily Mail. The Juventus forward has been linked as a potential replacement for Barca-bound Antoine Griezmann, but would cost more than double the £57m record fee Atletico paid to bring Diego Costa back from Chelsea.
- Barcelona have sent scouts to watch Netherlands defender Matthijs de Ligt during the international break, reports Mundo Deportivo. The 18-year-old appears destined to leave Ajax at the end of the season with a host of elite clubs monitoring his situation.
- Mark Hughes will launch a £20m raid for Xherdan Shaqiri if he keeps Southampton in the Premier League, claims the Daily Star. The Saints boss brought the Swiss star to Stoke in 2015 and remains a huge fan of his talent.
- The Daily Mirror says Liverpool want Napoli midfielder Jorginho to replace Emre Can should the Germany international depart for Juventus or Bayern Munich. The 26-year-old is valued at around £50m after playing a vital role in Napoli's title challenge this season.
- Arsenal will be forced to pay up to £35m to sign Benfica defender Ruben Dias, according to football.london. The 20-year-old features high on the Gunners' shortlist to replace the retiring Per Mertesacker in the summer.
Matthew Stanger covers European football for ESPN and is the editor of The Set Pieces. Twitter: @MatthewStanger