LIVE Transfer Talk: Manchester City to break club record for Atletico's Rodri
The transfer window for Europe's biggest clubs is set to open soon. Find out when here and rest assured that Transfer Talk will continue to scour the world's media and set correspondents loose to see what's on the agenda for the summer.
TOP STORY: Man City to reel in Rodri and break transfer record
Rodri, 22, has been identified by City manager Pep Guardiola as the long-term replacement for Fernandinho, and with Atletico unwilling to sell him for anything less than his €70m release clause, City will have to eclipse the £60m they paid Leicester for winger Riyad Mahrez.
City are also keeping tabs on Lyon's Tanguy Ndombele, but Rodri remains the priority for the holding midfield role.
Guardiola initially earmarked Ajax's Frenkie De Jong as the heir to Fernandinho, but Barcelona beat him to the signing of the Dutchman. And that swayed Barca away from a deal for Rodri, paving the way for City.
23.30 BST: That will do it for tonight's LIVE Transfer Talk blog. We hope you enjoyed following along and remind you to check back shortly for a fresh batch of transfer rumours that span the globe. Goodnight!
23.00 BST: Wolves have reportedly set their sights on a Germany star.
Hoffenheim's Kerem Demirbay is the player that Nuno Espirito Santo's side are reportedly after, and with a release clause of £22 million, Demiraby would seem to be in Wolves' price range.
The 25-year-old central midfielder has four goals and seven assists this season for Hoffenheim and has scored one goal in his two appearances for the German national team. Demirbay, who is of Turkish origin, helped Hoffenheim to a best-ever finish last season (third) and participated in this year's Champions League.
Italian outlet Calciomercato indicates both Wolves and West Ham have Demirbay on their radars, while Milan and Arsenal have been linked with the player in the past.
22.09 BST: Chelsea's Tammy Abraham has more than done the job on loan this season with Aston Villa (25 goals) but could he have a new club next season?
According to reports in England, Everton have the 21-year-old on their transfer wish list, as the club continues to search for a long-term answer at striker. Abraham was widely linked with a move to Wolves in January but wound up staying in Birmingham and has led Villa's charge up the Championship table with 10 straight wins.
One factor to consider is that Chelsea face an uncertain summer in relation to a potential transfer ban, so the likelihood is that Abraham, like many of the club's loan stars, won't be sold. Abraham is extra keen to return to the top flight to prove himself, as he managed just five Premier League goals in 31 appearances in 2017-18 while on loan at Swansea.
21.31 BST: Here's a juicy one that probably can be dismissed as rubbish: PSG and Man City to swap Neymar for Sergio Aguero.
Sportsmole speculates that Man City, who have been linked with Neymar before, could send Aguero, who has been linked with PSG before back in a swap deal. Neymar's future in Paris remains a question mark while Aguero, despite all his goals, isn't getting any younger at 30 and has never been Pep Guardiola's first choice.
This one seems highly unlikely but what a blockbuster it would be!
20.58 BST: Who is ready for the latest chapter in the never-ending Paul Pogba saga?
French outlet L'Equipe suggests the France World Cup winner is no longer happy at Man United and is not keen on extending his contract at Old Trafford. The report adds that Pogba has admitted to some of his teammates that he is "tired" and "longing for a change."
This is just the latest twist since Pogba returned to United in 2016 and if the club do agree to sell him, Real Madrid and PSG would figure to be the favourites.
20.10 BST: In a trickle-down effect from our top story of Man City pursuing Atletico Madrid's Rodri, ESPN FC has learned Atleti are interested in Liverpool youngster Marko Grujic.
The 23-year-old midfielder has excelled this season while on loan in the Bundesliga with Hertha Berlin and some of Europe's best are starting to take notice. With Hertha set to miss out on Europe this season, Grujic will likely return to Liverpool or be sold off but don't expect him to come cheap.
Sources tell ESPN FC that Liverpool want €40 million for the highly-rated Serbian, who previously told ESPN FC he is ready to return and fight for his place at Anfield.
Grujic to replace Rodri at Atletico? We will keep an eye on this one.
19.21 BST: We mentioned Wilfried Zaha's future earlier in the blog but a report from the Daily Mail names a potential replacement if Zaha does decide to finally leave Selhurst Park.
The report suggests 21-year-old Everton winger Ademola Lookman could be targeted as Zaha's replacement, with Crystal Palace having long harboured interest in the player. Lookman has played just 64 minutes over Everton's last 12 games and could be looking for a chance to reignite his career after a frustrating season.
Palace, if transfer rumours are to be believed, figure to be one busy club this summer, as Aston Villa's Jack Grealish has been reported as a target as well.
18.37 BST: Liverpool nearly acquired Lyon's Nabil Fekir last summer but according to French outlet le10sport, the Reds could be after a different Lyon midfielder this time around.
Houssem Aouar is the aforementioned player, the 20-year-old playmaker having reportedly caught the attention of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp. Aouar has scored seven goals and added five assists while playing 32 of Lyon's 33 league games so far this season and has attracted interest from some of the biggest clubs in Europe.
One potential obstacle for Liverpool is Aouar's availability, as with Tanguy Ndombele and Fekir free to leave the French side, Lyon are unlikely to let Aouar go this summer as well.
18.00 BST: Leeds will be one club paying very close attention to the Ryan Fraser to Arsenal links in the coming months.
With Arsenal circling for the Scotland winger, the Cherries would need a replacement for Fraser if they were to sell him, the Daily Star naming Swansea's Dan James as a prime target. Leeds are dead set on signing the 21-year-old James this summer after narrowly missing out on him in January, but could now be foiled by Bournemouth, especially if the Elland Road club fail to earn promotion.
James has scored four goals and contributed seven assists this campaign for the Swans and is a player Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa has spoke glowingly of more than one occasion.
17.14 BST: England goalkeeper Jack Butland could soon be headed back to the Premier League.
With Stoke having failed to earn promotion from the Championship, Butland is keen on a return to the flight and there figures to be no shortage of suitors.
Bournemouth and Crystal Palace are two clubs supposedly keen on the 26-year-old shot-stopper but Stoke will not just give Butland away. The Telegraph claims the Potters will be asking for a fee close to £30 million for Butland, who still has two years remaining on his contract at the bet365 Stadium.
16.33 BST: The Daily Mail had claimed that Riyad Mahrez is furious about being benched for Manchester City and is ready to walk out on the club less than a year after joining from Leicester for £60m. But City boss Pep Guardiola has played down such talk.
"Riyad Mahrez will be with us next season and the next one, and the next one," he told a news conference. "I don't need to speak with him. He knows we are happy with him."
15.56 BST: Lens director general Arnaud Pouille has told La Voix du Nord about the possibility of a satellite link between the Ligue 2 club and PSG.
"Joseph Oughourlian [owner of Lens] has excellent relations with the Parisien leaders, including Antero Henrique," he said. "They came to Stade Bollaert-Delelis, and we discussed some things. Obviously, they have a number of players of interest to us. We are in talks, but honestly, there is nothing concrete -- for now."
15.35 BST: Inter Milan captain Mauro Icardi is being chased by Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico Madrid and Juventus, with the Old Lady reportedly in pole position.
Icardi's wife and agent Wanda Nara "refused to rule out a mooted swap deal with Juve's Paulo Dybala" but did suggest the striker would be staying put. "We will for sure stay in Italy next year" doesn't mean just Inter though.
15.03 BST: Chelsea remain desperate to commit Callum Hudson-Odoi to a long-term contract extension after the 18-year-old ruptured his Achilles tendon during Monday's 2-2 draw with Burnley, sources have told ESPN FC.
Hudson-Odoi faces months on the sidelines after suffering the serious injury as he attempted a sprint during the first half, ruling him out of the rest of Chelsea's season as well as England's bid to win the inaugural UEFA Nations League in Portugal this summer.
Sources said as recently as last month that Hudson-Odoi remained intent on leaving Chelsea this summer, despite failing in his attempt to force through a January move to Bayern Munich with a formal transfer request. But the prospect of a long lay-off could force him to re-evaluate his options.
14.29 BST: Sao Paulo-based side Ituano have a gem in winger Gabriel Martinelli and Arsenal have been linked with a move for the 17-year-old.
Now the Evening Standard reports that the Brazilian "is in the process of finalising an Italian passport prior to turning 18 in June." Which would of course make the process of moving to the Premier League this summer a whole lot easier.
13.58 BST: PSG defender Thomas Meunier has told L'Avenir that talks over his contract, which has a year to run, have "dragged on a bit." He said: "I can understand, particularly given the team's recent schedule, that my personal situation was put on the back burner. The message seems clear enough, though, as nothing has moved so far. It would annoy me a bit if it ends that way -- without the chance to finish with style."
13.22 BST: Arjen Robben, who has yet to reveal where he might be playing next season, is hopeful that he can make a farewell appearance for Bayern Munich after injury problems as he prepares to leave after a decade. "He feels better and is optimistic," coach Niko Kovac said, but warned that he did not want to "make his situation better than it is."
Robben, 35, has been linked with a switch to MLS, while his former clubs Groningen and Eindhoven have said the door is open to him for a return.
12.30 BST: Ryan Babel, who joined Fulham on a short-term deal earlier this season, has indicated that he will leave following their relegation from the Premier League. The Netherlands international said: "My agent has had some phone calls. For me, I am at the stage where I have to make the right decision. I am able, if I am lucky enough, to play in the Euros next year if we qualify. So there are a lot of factors for me to make the right decision."
11.53 BST: German side RB Leipzig want to strike another loan deal for Arsenal attacker Emile Smith Rowe, 18, this time including an option to buy, kicker reports.
11.00 BST: Aston Villa, with 10 wins in a row, are sparkling -- and few are sparkling more than midfielder Jack Grealish. Grealish was strongly linked with Tottenham last summer, and the Birmingham Mail says both they and Crystal Palace could try to sign him in the next window.
10.33 BST: Barcelona are closing in on a deal for Groningen midfielder Ludovit Reis, sources have told ESPN FC.
Reis, 18, will cost an initial €2.5m, with more potentially due in performance-related add-ons later. He will join the club's B team with the hope that he will progress to the first team.
10.20 BST: Schalke keeper Alexander Nubel has been linked with Bayern Munich after playing just 16 Bundesliga matches for the Royal Blues.
Nubel is under contract until 2020, but the 22-year-old could leave in the summer, and at the weekend Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic neither confirmed or denied the rumours.
09.36 BST: Centre-back Stefan Savic is "calm and focused on Atletico Madrid", a source close to the player has told ESPN FC, despite Spanish media speculation that he could have played his last game for the club.
Savic has not featured for Atletico since a row with fitness coach Oscar Ortega last month, and has been linked with Chelsea.
08.45 BST: Cristiano Ronaldo has given his approval for Juventus to sign Benfica starlet Joao Felix this summer, according to A Bola.
Felix has attracted the attention of top European clubs after scoring 13 goals in 22 league appearances in his debut season, earning the nickname "the new Ronaldo" in the Portuguese media.
The 19-year-old attacking midfielder, who recently became the youngest player to score a hat trick in the Europa League, struck twice in Monday's 6-0 league win over Maritimo.
Felix is tied to Benfica until June 2023 and, according to sporting director Rui Costa, will only leave if his €120m release clause his met.
08.05 BST: Juventus fans can expect star midfielder Paulo Dybala to be at the club next season, but coach Massimiliano Allegri's future is less certain, according to the club's sporting director.
Juve sealed their eighth consecutive Serie A title at the weekend -- a record streak in Europe's top five leagues -- but their canter to another championship hasn't stopped speculation surrounding two of their key members of personnel.
Fabio Paratici told Sky Italia when asked about Dybala's future: "Certainly, he's a Juve player and it's normal that he'll stay."
But speaking about Allegri's future, he added: "There will be a routine meeting, like in every club. What will we say all summer if I reveal now [Allegri's future]. It's not the right time to say it. We'll make our evaluations in order to improve."
PAPER TALK (by James Capps)
Real considering cut-price Bale deal
But Bale's struggles for Los Blancos this season have left Bernabeu bosses worried that they will not be able to recoup a significant percentage of the €101m they paid to sign him from Tottenham in 2013.
Manager Zinedine Zidane is reported to be keen to dispose of the 29-year-old Wales international to help fund a summer revamp.
Bale still enjoys a great reputation amongst the Premier League's top clubs, and it's believed that Madrid would consider a loan deal with a view to a permanent move.
Roma in hunt for Hazard (not that one)
The 26-year-old has just over a year remaining on his contract at Borussia Monchengladbach, and Calciomercato says Roma's hierarchy have identified him as a potential replacement for Cengiz Under, who looks increasingly likely to leave in the coming months.
However, significant investments in the squad are heavily dependent on qualification for the Champions League. Roma are sixth in Italy's top flight, but just one point behind AC Milan, who occupy the final qualification spot.
Gladbach haven't given up hope of tying Hazard down to a new contract in Germany, but they are struggling to qualify for European football next season.
- Arsenal manager Unai Emery is set to axe several members of his first-team squad as he looks to raise funds for a summer spending spree. The Mail reports that defender Shkodran Mustafi heads the list of potential departures, along with midfielders Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
- AS reports that Real Madrid are considering loan moves for young duo Brahim Diaz and Jesus Vallejo ahead of next season. Diaz has made just six appearances since signing from Manchester City at the turn of the year, while Vallejo has been involved in 16 games in the last two seasons following a successful loan spell at Eintracht Frankfurt.
- Juventus are plotting a move for Benfica's Spanish full-back Alejandro Grimaldo after failing in an attempt to lure Real Madrid's Marcelo to Serie A. Around €40m will be enough to secure a deal for the Barcelona youth product, according to Calciomercato.