LIVE Transfer Talk: Man United and Real Madrid battle for Felix
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TOP STORY: Man United and Real Madrid battle for Felix
Benfica starlet Joao Felix is one of the most sought-after young talents in football (one of our top 30 players under 21) and no wonder, given the 'new Cristiano Ronaldo' moniker which has followed him around for the past year or so.
The 19-year-old midfielder has a €120m (£105m) release clause, which means some of Europe's elite clubs are salivating at the prospect of landing him after he won the domestic league title with Benfica and scored 15 goals, setting up nine more in 26 league appearances.
Portuguese newspaper Record maintain that Man United are ready to start their rebuilding process with a bid, while Real Madrid are thinking likewise. One problem though: Felix's mother, Carla, says her son is "very happy" at Benfica.
She told Benfica TV, as reported in Record: "He is very happy at Benfica. We are very proud of him. We always try to accompany when we can. At home there's only talk about football, football and football."
23.30 BST: That will bring our latest Transfer Talk LIVE blog to an end. We hope you enjoyed following along with us all day and remind you to check back shortly for more rumours and completed deals from around the football world. Goodnight!
23.18 BST: From new links to bad news for Man United...
Sources tell ESPN FC that centre-back target Raphael Varane will be staying at Real Madrid and not be seeking a new challenge away from the Bernabeu this summer after all. With Zinedine Zidane now back in the saddle with Los Blancos, Varane has decided to stay on at Madrid and help the club rebound from one of its worst-ever seasons.
Varane's contract runs through 2022 and joins Toni Kroos, who signed an extension on Monday, as players who have elected to stay on and fix what went wrong in Madrid in 2018-19. With Varane's future now resolved, Madrid will turn their attention to other areas of the pitch and targets like Paul Pogba, Eden Hazard, Christian Eriksen and Luka Jovic.
Longstaff is a new and interesting name in terms of United, as he has only made eight career Premier League appearances to this point in his career. The 21-year-old was an integral part in Newcastle's mid-season turnaround under Rafa Benitez, even chipping in a goal and an assist as Newcastle comfortably secured Premier League safety.
Newcastle have no desire to sell the homegrown talent but United maintain hope they can lure the youngster to Old Trafford. Longstaff's contract runs through 2022 but United view him as a potential long-term replacement for Ander Herrera, who has already confirmed he will leave the club on a free this summer.
21.57 BST: Would Jurgen Klopp leave Liverpool to replace Massimiliano Allegri at Juventus?
The answer to the above question is likely a resounding no but hypothetically speaking, what would it take for the Italians to pull it off? A story in Tuttosport, via The Mirror, on Tuesday claims that Klopp is making £7 million per season and that any club would have to pony up £32m to trigger the German boss' release clause.
In other words, Juve will be looking somewhere other than Anfield for their next manager.
The 23-year-old Kaio made 24 appearances for Santa Clara this past season while helping the club to a 10th-place finish in Portugal's top flight. Kaio has already put pen to paper on a a five-year contract with Krasnodar, who will play in the Champions League next season for the first time in club history.
The 24-year-old was a bright spot for the relegated Welsh side this season, finishing as the club's joint-top scorer in the league with five goals. Betis are reportedly considering selling or loaning out the Spaniard, and Wolves, West Ham, Everton and Brighton have all been mentioned as potential suitors.
20.06 BST: After nearly 20 years at Roma, club legend Daniele De Rossi has been told his time as a player at the club is over. In recent days there has been speculation about the Italian linking up with friend and former teammate Nicolas Burdisso, who is the sporting director at Boca Juniors; or even becoming the next European star to move to the United States and MLS.
Calciomercato claims that De Rossi's next move could actually be to Premier League champions Manchester City... but as a coach not a player. The outlet writes that Pep Guardiola is a great admirer of DDR and would love to add him to his staff at the Etihad.
Judging by his disappointment at being axed at Roma, we'd guess that De Rossi has designs on playing a bit longer. That said, having an admirer in Guardiola is never a bad thing in football.
19.18 BST: Spanish midfielder Isco's future is up in the air after the 27-year-old endured an extremely frustrating season at Real Madrid.
The Spaniard only started 11 La Liga games for Los Blancos and was constantly in and out of the picture at the Bernabeu this season amid three managerial changes. If Isco, who struggled to emerge as a regular starter during Zinedine Zidane's first spell as Madrid boss, does decide to leave, Spanish outlet Sport claims Man United, Man City and PSG are the likeliest landing spots.
Isco is expected to be on the move and the aforementioned three clubs are waiting on a final decision from the player about his future. Man City has been linked with the playmaker before, as Pep Guardiola is a big believer in the player.
18.36 BST: From on West Brom story to another...
Record Sport claims that Celtic have entered the fray for out-of-contract Baggies midfielder Rekeem Harper. Harper, 19, made 23 first-team appearances for West Brom this season and was scouted last week during the play-offs by Celtic boss Neil Lennon. Record Sport also understands that Harper and his people were at Celtic Park this past Sunday to watch Celtic lift an eighth straight Scottish Premier League crown.
Harper has been offered a final offer to re-up for one more year at the Hawthorns but has yet to accept.
17.53 BST: West Brom are searching for a new manager and the Daily Mail is reporting one candidate that the club will be talking to further is Lincoln City boss Danny Cowley.
Cowley, 40, has led the Imps to two promotions in three seasons and is reportedly on West Brom's four-man shortlist, as is recently sacked Brighton boss Chris Hughton. Norwich, Nottingham Forest, Ipswich and Barnsley have all previously looked into Cowley for openings -- with Crowley having improbably guided Lincoln from the National League to League One in just three seasons.
West Brom finished fourth in the Championship this season but lost on penalties in the play-off semi-final against Aston Villa.
17.18 BST: Arsenal are "closer" to making their first signing of the summer, if a report in Mundo Deportivo is to be believed.
The outlet claims River Plate midfielder Exequiel Palacios could now be bound for the Emirates, with Real Madrid's interest in the player having cooled following an injury suffered by the 20 year old.
Palacio's agent Renato Corsi has also suggested his client is bound for Europe, telling Continental Radio: "I think he is leaving in June. There are clubs in England and Germany asking for him. "
Palacios is one of the top-rated youngsters still in South America and had previously been heavily linked with Real Madrid in January.
16.30 BST: He's finally here. *swoon.
The 28-year-old is represented by Pini Zahavi and is set to return from loan at Eintracht Frankfurt this summer. However, PSG coach Thomas Tuchel is unhappy with the situation involving Gianluigi Buffon and Alphonse Areola, with reports that a new No. 1 could be on the cards.
Trapp would reportedly be happy to return to Frankfurt on a permanent deal, but the club would have to stump up around €20m in salary and transfer fees -- a lot of money for the Europa League semifinalists.
Hermoso, 23, has also caught the eye of Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich, while his former club Real Madrid can buy him back from Espanyol for €7m. So the Gunners have some stiff competition.
14.50 BST: Not that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy or manager Mauricio Pochettino will be listening, but midfielder Moussa Sissoko reckons the club should move for Lille forward Nicolas Pepe this summer.
"I think he has the qualities for England," the Frenchman told Canal Football Club. "He has already demonstrated his full potential with Angers, this year he confirmed with Lille, what he does is really exceptional. I do not know where he'll go, but I wish him the best in his future club, and if it's in England, why not Tottenham?"
Neto, 29, has a €70m (£61.4m) exit clause in his Valencia contract but Plaza Deportiva reports that they might be willing to do a deal for a bit less.
13.42 BST: Italian defender Andrea Barzagli says he plans to dedicate some time to his family after ending his playing career at the weekend, before moving into coaching.
Barzagli, 38, captained Juventus in their 1-1 draw with Atalanta before being given a standing ovation when substituted an hour into the last of his 206 appearances for the Bianconeri. The 2006 World Cup winner then told La Gazzetta dello Sport that he doesn't yet know what he will do next season.
"No coach has called me yet, but I don't think right now I would accept this role [as assistant coach]," he said. "I have no idea what I'll do. I'll start studying [for coaching licence] and then we'll see what I'm capable of doing. We'll find something. I'm sorry to leave the dressing room behind, but now I can finally dedicate myself to my family."
13.18 BST: Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey is putting speculation over his future aside to focus on next month's Africa Cup of Nations finals with Ghana.
A source close to the player told ESPN FC in late March that Thomas saw the possibility of moving to the Premier League as exciting, while Arsenal manager Unai Emery was at Atletico's final La Liga game of the season last weekend, and reports in England have claimed that Manchester United could trigger his €50m release clause this summer.
However ESPN has been told now that Thomas, who has seven goals in 19 caps for Ghana, is not thinking about anything other than helping his country to victory in what will be his second career ACN finals. Ghana's tournament starts against Benin on June 25 in Ismailia, with Cameroon and Guinea Bissau the other teams in Group C.
13.02 BST: European champions Lyon have completed the signing of England women's forward Nikita Parris on a free transfer from Manchester City.
Parris, 25, is the leading goalscorer in Women's Super League history with 47 goals and announced earlier this month that she would be leaving City following five years at the club.
12.34 BST: Catalunya radio report that Girona are considering Leeds coach Marcelo Bielsa as coach for next season.
Girona are looking for a new coach after sacking Eusebio Sacristan, who had one year left on his contract. The Catalan outfit were relegated from La Liga on the last day of the season, after Sunday's 2-1 to Deportivo Alaves and, according to the radio station, have been working on finding suitors to replace Eusebio, with Bielsa considered the No. 1 candidate.
However, the Argentinian has offers from several European clubs including Roma and Celta, and he also has high wages. Uruguayan coach Gustavo Poyet is also a candidate -- the former Chelsea and Tottenham player has been without a team since being dismissed by Bordeaux in September.
Giroud had been set to become a free agent, but Chelsea have decided to keep him as they weigh up whether to take their appeal against a two-transfer window ban imposed by FIFA to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. He said: "I am very happy to sign a new contract. I really wanted to stay at least one more year - I have felt a part of the team, the family, since the beginning and hopefully there will be more trophies to come."
11.51 BST: Arsenal managing director Vinai Venkatesham has indicated the club are open to selling their top players if they are unable to negotiate new contracts.
The club are keen to avoid a repeat of the Aaron Ramsey situation, which will see the midfielder move to Juventus on a free transfer this summer. And with stars such as Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan approaching the final two years of their contracts, Venkatesham said the club needs to be prepared to sell if new deals can't be agreed.
"We have to start making the difficult decisions when they have two years left on the contracts," Venkatesham told the club's website. "We're either going to renew those contracts or we're going to be selling them. We're going to have to be brave in those decisions because we can't be in a situation where we're allowing players to walk out of the door for free unless they are coming towards the end of their careers."
Kompany, 33, announced on Sunday that he will leave City this summer, after 11 years with the club, to become player-manager of Anderlecht.
11.28 BST: ESPN sources reported earlier this month that Manchester United were among a number of clubs in a race to sign Swansea City winger Daniel James, and now the MEN claim he has agreed terms after Brighton failed to hijack the move.
11.01 BST: Max Kruse looks set to leave Werder Bremen on a free transfer and that has created some buzz around where the 31-year-old will end up.
The former Germany international has yet to reveal his next move, but Sport1 have linked him with Bayern Munich, where he could become the next Sandro Wagner -- i.e. the next backup for the eternal Robert Lewandowski.
10.28 BST: PSG right-back Thomas Meunier has been linked with a summer move and had this to say to RTBF: "PSG the club and its management know that I would like to see my contract [until 2020] out, or even extend it. If this gets done, so much the better. If not, we will see what can be done and go elsewhere.
"Rumour-wise, I am linked with everybody. Nothing but beautiful names of clubs are being linked with me. Manchester United, Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, those are all exceptional clubs. I am also lucky to be able to develop with a club like PSG as, even with limited playing time, it offers a certain visibility. We know that PSG rarely invest in players who are not worth it, in quotation marks. So, I hope to find a nice place to land if PSG decide that they do not want to prolong our adventure."
10.12 BST: AC Milan forward Krzysztof Piatek says he wants to play in the Champions League next season as he left his future at the Serie A club open.
The 23-year-old joined the Rossoneri from Genoa in January for a reported €35m, but with one game of the season remaining, Milan risk missing out on a place in Europe's elite club competition next season and may be forced to sell players in the summer to meet Financial Fair Play parameters.
"I'm not thinking about [my future], I'm just focused on our next game against SPAL and our objective," he told Sky Sport Italia. "I hope to play in the Champions League because that would be perfect."
Milan need to beat SPAL and hope either Atalanta or Inter Milan lose their final game of the season to qualify for the Champions League, or draw and hope that Atalanta lose and Inter get at least a point.
09.44 BST: Borussia Dortmund have announced the signing of Hoffenheim left-back Nico Schulz. The Germany international signed a contract until 2024 and produced this interesting video -- with the help of legendary BVB defender Michael Schulz.
09.17 BST: Does anyone remember a transfer summer without Dortmund signing an up and coming La Liga player? We don't. And Dortmund don't. This year, they have set their sights on 19-year-old Barcelona right-back Mateu Morey.
Corresponding reports in both Germany and Spain say the deal is done and Morey will join on a free. The youngster has every chance to win a place in Dortmund's starting formation in 2020 as Lukasz Piszczek is set to retire at the age of 34 next summer and Achraf Hakimi's loan from Real Madrid will end.
08.50 BST: Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has dismissed talk of him leaving the Biancocelesti this summer, saying it is just recurring speculation.
The Serbia midfielder was linked with Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester United a year ago, but he has since penned a new deal with the Serie A club and told Sky Sport Italia that he expects to stay with them next season.
"Even last year there was a lot of talk about me and that I was leaving, but then I stayed," he said. "I hear the same things now, but I've signed a new contract and still have four years on it, so let's see."
Lazio have already booked their place in the group stage of next season's Europa League by winning the Coppa Italia last week.
08.25 BST: Manchester City midfielder David Silva admits he is unsure of his future with the Premier League champions beyond the end of next season when his contract expires.
The 33-year-old -- ranked at No. 3 among the world's attacking midfielders in the ESPN FC 100 -- has won four Premier League titles since joining City from Valencia in 2010.
Asked if he would like to return to Spain after next season when his contract with City ends, Silva told Onda Cero radio on the day City celebrated their domestic treble in Manchester: "I still have one year left on my contract and I don't know what will happen. I will see what options I have and the willingness and decide what is best."
08.00 BST: Ex-Paris Saint Germain coach Unai Emery says it took a lot of convincing to stop Kylian Mbappe moving to Real Madrid in the past.
"There was a moment when I had to speak a lot with him, and his father, to convince him to stay at PSG," Arsenal manager Emery said on Monday night's El Larguero radio show. "He wanted to choose Real Madrid, and also had the option of Barcelona. He really wanted to go to Madrid, but among us all we convinced him to stay in Paris, along with the money which was put on the table."
The ex-Monaco striker's future is again up in the air following the 20 year old's talk of a "new project" last weekend, although PSG have reacted by saying he was not for sale and a source told ESPN FC that what Mbappe wants is more responsibility at his current club.
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is a confirmed fan of his fellow Frenchman, who was a Blancos supporter as a boy, and a big summer squad shake-up is sure at the Bernabeu.
PAPER TALK (by James Capps)
Bayern confident on Sane swoop
Despite a return of 16 goals in 47 appearances for the Germany international this season, it is believed that Pep Guardiola is willing to let Sane leave the club and potentially replace him with Benfica forward Joao Felix.
That has opened the door for Bayern, who are rethinking their transfer strategy following an Achilles injury to previous top target Callum Hudson-Odoi, while the departures of veteran wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery have left a glaring void in the Munich ranks.
And a prominent role in the Bayern side would be a big pull for 23-year-old Sane, who has found himself out of the City side for much of the season, with Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva being largely preferred in the wide midfield berths.
Chelsea resigned to cash in on Hazard
The 28-year-old Hazard has just a year remaining on his contract at Stamford Bridge, meaning he could leave for nothing in the summer of 2020, and such a move would deal a severe blow to Chelsea's hopes of remaining in line with Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.
Chelsea have been trying to convince the former Lille forward to extend his stay in west London since the turn of the year, and were prepared to offer a hugely lucrative deal to make him one of the world's highest-paid players, but Hazard's desire to work under Zinedine Zidane at the Bernabeu has proven to be the deciding factor in negotiations.
It is believed an £87 million fee will be enough to secure a deal for Chelsea's highest goal scorer this season.
PSG set for midfield revamp
Reports in Calciomercato claim Paris Saint-Germain are targeting Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante and Napoli schemer Allan, as manager Thomas Tuchel prepares to reshape his midfield after an uninspiring first season in the French capital.
Critics have lamented a lack of midfield prowess in the Parisians' fruitless quest for Champions League glory, and the Ligue 1 champions have identified Kante as the ideal midfield destroyer, while Brazilian Allan is seen as versatile enough to occupy both a deep-lying playmaker role and play as a box-to-box midfielder.
Financial Fair Play implications could halt PSG's plans to sign both players in the summer, and the Italian publication believes that should the French giants make a move for Allan, then Serie A champions Juventus will subsequently jump the queue for Kante, who they see as the ideal partner for incoming Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey.- Who qualifies for Europe from the Premier League?
- When does the transfer window close?
- The Daily Mail claims Vincent Kompany's return to Anderlecht as player-manager is set to be the first step toward the Belgian side becoming a partner club of the Premier League champions. Such a move would see Anderlecht potentially land loan deals for City's rising stars.
- Newcastle United are plotting a move for Club Brugge striker Wesley Moraes, but must fight off competition from West Ham for the Brazilian's signature. The Mirror claims Serie A side Lazio are also in the chase for the 17-goal striker, who has also notched 10 assists in the Belgian league this season.
- Premier League sides Everton and Wolves head up a host of clubs in the race to sign Benfica full-back Andre Almeida. The 28-year-old has racked up a dozen assists to help his side to the Portuguese league title.
- Ignazio Abate has played his last game at AC Milan after 10 years at the San Siro, and Calciomercato has linked the former Italy international with a move to MLS side LA Galaxy. A move to Los Angeles would see Abate reunited with former Rossoneri teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic.