LIVE Transfer Talk: Barcelona's plan for PSG's Neymar includes €50m and Griezmann
The winter transfer window is closed, but now it's time to look ahead to the summer! Here are the new rumours floating around Europe's big leagues and beyond.
TOP STORY: Barca to swap Griezmann for Neymar with PSG
Paris Saint-Germain value Neymar at €150m while Barca value Griezmann at €100m, and the Catalan giants hope to strike a part-exchange deal that not only helps them land one of their two top targets -- the other being Inter Milan's Lautaro Martinez for €111m -- but also offload Griezmann at the same time.
The Frenchman has been a disappointment in his first season in Spain and selling him could help the Blaugrana fund their summer spending.
Barca seem determined to sell Griezmann even if PSG don't agree to the deal, though the current market might prevent such hefty deals from happening, given how many clubs are struggling financially as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
22.18 BST: Arsenal have rejected two offers from Roma to make Henrikh Mkhitaryan's loan move permanent, according to the Express, leading the Italian capital club to turn their attention to Chelsea's soon-to-be-out-of-contract attacker Pedro.
21.25 BST: Marca writes that Barcelona are confident that they can bank €20m for 32-year-old midfielder Ivan Rakitic from one of the clubs in "Spain, Italy, France or England" who are interested in the Croatia international.
20.32 BST: With little more than a year remaining on his existing deal, 18-year-old midfielder Tino Anjorin has agreed a new contract that will keep him at Chelsea through the 2024-25 season, Goal reports.
19.39 BST: Barcelona are scouring the market for players that are out of contract in the summer or that will have less than a year to run on their deals due to fears the coronavirus crisis will slash their transfer budget, sources have told ESPN.
18.46 BST: Benfica have joined Paris Saint-Germain among the clubs interested in AC Milan playmaker Lucas Paqueta, according to Calciomercato. And with the Rossoneri demanding to recoup the €28m they paid Flamengo for the Brazilian and holding an interest in Benfica midfielder Florentino Luis, the Lisbon club could include the Portugal U20 international in an offer for Paqueta.
17.53 BST: Catalan outlet Sport writes that Manchester City and Chelsea have made significant offers to Inter striker Lautaro Martinez but that Barcelona, who've been chasing the 22-year-old Argentine for months, believe he will either join them or remain in Milan.
17.00 BST: Wolves star Raul Jimenez has been speaking to Marca about a number of things, including the transfer market.
Jimenez, 28, has impressed this season with 22 goals in 44 games in all competitions and the Mexico international has been linked to a number of clubs.
"I see a lot of people talking and saying that 'he's for a Top 6 team'," he said. "Right now we are in fifth place and we are not behind anything of those teams. I mean, apart from Liverpool who are way above this season, I think we are fighting as equals with everyone else.
"We beat City twice, we beat Tottenham once, we tied with United. They bought me for €40m, they won't sell me for less. There is no release clause, but the clubs here, it is different how they are managed."
16.07 BST: Inter Milan vice-president Javier Zanetti hopes Barcelona reported target Lautaro Martinez will remain at the club for "many years."
Martinez, 22, is one of Europe's most coveted strikers after scoring 16 goals in all competitions this season and is tied to Inter until June 2023. Real Madrid and Manchester United are among the clubs that are reportedly keen to land the Argentina international this summer.
"I gladly talk about Lautaro because when we signed him in 2018 we had been monitoring him for some time," Zanetti told Sky Italia. "He was the most promising player of Argentinian football.
"Speaking to [Racing Club sporting director] Diego Milito we both agreed that he could have an important value. Now he is a regular in our club and in the [Argentina] national team. Watching him train, I see him happy. I hope he stays with us for a very long time, he is an asset."
Martinez joined Inter in the summer of 2018 from Argentinian side Racing Club.
15.24 BST: Torino striker Andrea Belotti is on the radar of Everton this summer, but he'll cost €60m, according to Tuttosport.
Belotti has netted 15 goals in all competitions and the Premier League side are looking for a new striker, with manager Carlo Ancelotti fully aware of what the Italian can do.
14.40 BST: Manchester United are prepared to make a renewed bid to sign Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt this summer if the Italian club are ready to listen to offers for the Netherlands international, sources have told ESPN.
Gab Marcotti is uncertain though...
13.46 BST: Ex-Chelsea and Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel is on the shortlist of Brazilian club Botafogo, says Yahoo.
Mikel quit Trabzonspor in March over fears about the coronavirus outbreak and Botafogo have been looking for a new midfielder since their deal for Yaya Toure fell through.
13.04 BST: Bit of a Barcelona-fest today. The club have been following the progress of Canada international Jonathan David but the striker is not currently a transfer target, sources have told ESPN.
David, 20, has scored 23 goals for Belgian side KAA Gent this season, catching the attention of a number of European sides. Barca are among the clubs that have been tracking the forward but they are not currently contemplating making a move for him with their priorities lying elsewhere.
Gent signed David, who was born in Brooklyn but moved to Canada when he was six, from Ottawa Internationals in 2018. He has scored 11 goals in 12 international appearances. Barca are looking to bolster their attack at the end of the season -- whenever that may be -- but they're focusing their efforts elsewhere (see above).
12.32 BST: One player who won't be on the move this summer -- according to AS -- is Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric.
The 34-year-old has attracted interest from MLS, as previously reported by ESPN. But AS says that Modric intends to see out his Real Madrid deal, which runs until June 2021.
12.02 BST: Barcelona will only sell Ousmane Dembele upon the conclusion of the season if they receive a "golden" offer, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Dembele, 22, has suffered a string of serious injuries since signing for an initial €105m from Borussia Dortmund in 2017. He is two months into a six month layoff with a ruptured tendon in his hamstring. However, despite his injury record, Mundo insist Barca are keen to give the France international another chance. Extensive reports from coaches and medics suggest that he can overcome his fitness issues and find consistency at Camp Nou. However, that confidence in him would be tested if a big offer were to arrive.
11.42 BST: Manchester City winger Leroy Sane might not join Bayern Munich after all, says kicker.
Sane, 24, nearly made a €100m transfer to the Bundesliga champions before suffering a serious knee injury in what should have been his last match for City back in August 2019.
The Germany international has since switched agents and returned to team training but, according to kicker, Bayern have doubts about his mentality and question whether he can return to full fitness following his injury.
Instead, Bayern could now turn to RB Leipzig attacker Timo Werner once again, the outlet said. The Germany international is regarded as a player who could replace Polish superstar Robert Lewandowski in the long-term.
Werner, also a target of Liverpool, has a release clause just below €60m in his contract, which must be triggered until June 15, Sport Bild reported on Wednesday.
11.03 BST: Diario SPORT continues to lead with the idea that there will be big changes at the back for Barcelona this summer. After reporting a few days ago that full-back Junior Firpo would be allowed to leave after just one year at the club, a list of potential replacements is now being formed.
Paris Saint-Germain's Layvin Kurzawa, out of contract in June, was one of the first names to appear on the list. On Thursday, he was joined by Raphael Guerreiro. Barca tried to sign the Borussia Dortmund left-back before he moved to Germany in 2016 and they have followed his progress ever since. Bayern Munich's David Alaba has also been linked as Barca look for competition for Jordi Alba.
SPORT are also promoting changes in the middle of defence. Citing reports in England, they suggest Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea are all keen on signing France international Samuel Umtiti, who is available for around €40m.
Midfielder Arthur Melo, though, is going nowhere. The same paper stresses that the club are going to back the Brazilian to the hilt. His form has been hit and cold since he signed in 2018 but he encompasses the club's style perfectly and there are no plans to give up on him despite reports to the contrary.
Roca has two years left on his contract and a €40m release clause, which frustrated a possible move to Bayern Munich in the summer of 2019. However Espanyol are bottom of the table and, if the La Liga season is completed, would need to sell in the event of relegation.
09.48 BST: Saul Niguez is once again being linked to Manchester United as Diario AS reports that the Premier League giants would be willing to offer Atletico Madrid up to €80m for the midfielder.
The 25-year-old has a contract at Atletico until 2026 and a €150m release clause, having signed a nine-year extension when he last renewed his deal in 2017.
Saul has been a key player for Atletico this season, but has not always seen eye-to-eye with coach Diego Simeone, who has frequently played him out of position at left-back. According to AS, United view the Spain international as an ideal midfield replacement for Paul Pogba if he leaves Manchester this summer.
Also attracting Premier League interest -- this time from Chelsea -- is Achraf Hakimi, who has impressed during his two-year loan spell on loan at Borussia Dortmund from Real Madrid. AS claims that the full back has caught the eye of Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus too, and features the 21-year-old on its Thursday frontpage with the headline: "A star is born."
Hakimi's contract at Real Madrid expires next summer and he has said that, while he would like to stay, any decision about his future depends on where he expects to get the most playing time.
Benatia left for Qatar-based side Al-Duhail in 2019 but has plenty of insight on his former teammate, who has been linked with a summer move away.
"He still has three years of contract left. He is good there," Benatia said of the midfielder. "True, there are transfer market possibilities. PSG are interested, Real Madrid approached him, but he chose to stay on with Juve. His love for the club prevailed -- he feels confident there.
"He is one of the changing room bosses. He knows how to be heard and respected. That said, we know things can change, that the club could decide to sell him. If it is up to him, though, he will stay in Turin. He never told me that he wanted a change of air. In fact, it was to the contrary. With Juve, his mentality changed: now he always plays to win."
Braithwaite, 28, has made only three appearances since moving to Camp Nou as an injury replacement for Ousmane Dembele, and West Ham are looking to spend £15m to land him this summer, says the Daily Mail.
08.00 BST: The never-ending story of Jerome Boateng's move away from Bayern Munich is set for another chapter. Under contract until 2021, the former Germany international has seen his stock rise under new head coach Hansi Flick this season.
Pushed to the fringes under Niko Kovac and told he was no longer need in Germany's defence by Bundestrainer Joachim Low in early 2019, Boateng had been expected to leave Bayern last summer (as he had been the previous summer), but remained at the Allianz Arena.
And, following 23 appearances this season, the 31-year-old has now told kicker that he could imagine seeing out his contract at Bayern. With just over 12 months left on his deal, Boateng said he's unimpressed that other clubs have not made any enquiries and Munich are not interested in going into contract talks.
"The club must approach me anyway," he said. "I don't have to leave Bayern come hell or high water, I still have a contract."
PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd)
PSG want Dybala but Juventus hopeful he'll stay
Speaking of PSG, Paulo Dybala is still yet to sign a contract extension at Juventus and the Ligue 1 holders are hopeful they can tempt the Argentine to the French capital.
This is according to Le10sport, who reveal that Dybala's agent Jorge Antun says talks remain ongoing and are not a formality. The sticking point would appear to be Dybala's annual salary, with Juve offering €10m a season and the player asking for €12m.
PSG sporting director Leonardo is a long-time admirer of Dybala and he has made no secret he would love to bring the striker to France, particularly if his club lose one or both of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe this summer. His employers would also have the capability to pay the player what he's after.
Dybala was in fine form for the Bianconeri before the season was stopped in its tracks by the coronavirus and Juve are still hopeful they can get their man to add a further two years to his existing contract, which runs out in 2022.
Madrid cull boosts Arsenal's Ceballos bid
Arsenal have moved a step closer to signing loan star Dani Ceballos on a permanent deal following Real Madrid's decision to list him as one of 12 players to be sold at the end of the season.
The Gunners are keen to extend the Spaniard's stay, according to the Daily Star, though they had been preparing for the 23-year-old to return to the Spanish capital at the end of the season.
Now though, the Star has revealed that Ceballos is on a list of 12 players to be culled by Zinedine Zidane when the 2019-20 campaign comes to an end, and that leaves Arsenal in pole position. Madrid had been considering loaning him out again, but they have already been contacted by Valencia and Real Betis over a permanent deal, and they're now listening to offers.
Ceballos is due back at Madrid on June 30, but he expects to stay in London to at least complete the season if and when that happens.
- RB Leipzig are keen to keep both Angelino and Patrik Schick beyond their loan spells this season, but the club may have to choose between the two due to the financial situation facing the club, reports SportBild. The duo joined Leipzig from Manchester City and Roma, respectively, and both have played their part as the club reached the Champions League quarterfinals for the first time in their history.
- Barcelona are expecting to sell Ivan Rakitic for the same price they brought him for, according to Marca. The Croatian's contract runs until 2021, which means Barca will need to sell him this summer in order to get a fee. And Marca suggests that the Barca hierarchy are confident of recouping the €18-21m they paid Sevilla for his services in 2014. He has since made 299 appearances and won 13 titles.