LIVE Transfer Talk: Barcelona set sights on Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
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 turn attention to Aubameyang
Barcelona are considering downgrading their summer transfer targets as a result of COVID-19, which could mean stepping away from such players as Neymar and Lautaro Martinez and instead focusing on Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Arsenal are increasingly resigning themselves to losing their top striker in the summer, and Spanish title Sport believes Barcelona are at the front of the queue for the Gabon international's services.
Aubameyang has one year left on his contract, so Arsenal are keen to sell him this summer rather than lose him on a free in 2021. The Gunners are expected to ask for €55 million, but Sport suggests that bargain-hunters Barca believe they can knock that price down further.
Barcelona met with Aubameyang's representatives in January, but Arsenal were reluctant to lose their talisman midway through the season. Aubameyang has scored 20 goals in all competitions this season and, with such an impressive record in both England and Germany, would fit seamlessly into Barca's attack.
22.35 GMT: Juventus among the clubs that have approached 21-year-old River Plate midfielder Jorge Carrascal, according to ESPN Argentina.
21.28 GMT: The resounding success of Achraf Hakimi's loan to Borussia Dortmund has presented Real Madrid with a dilemma: If they're to bring him back for next season, which AS reports is their intention, where will his minutes come from with Dani Carvajal firmly established as Los Blancos No. 1 option at right-back? With the 21-year-old's contract expiring in little more than a year, Madrid will need to either sign him to a new deal or sell with a buyback option.
20.21 GMT: According to ESPN Argentina, 1998 MLS Cup champions Chicago Fire are targeting 27-year-old River Plate playmaker and Colombia international Juan Fernando Quintero.
19.14 GMT: Barely six months have passed since Juventus seemed determined to offload Paulo Dybala, and the then-25-year-old ready to call time on his career in Turin, Corriere dello Sport reports that both sides are ready to extend the Argentina's contract through 2024 and upping his wages to €10m a year - making him the Bianconeri's second highest earner after Cristiano Ronaldo.
18.07 GMT: Barcelona are hoping that Inter's interest in Arturo Vidal could allow them to include the 33-year-old midfielder as a makeweight in a deal for forward Lautaro Martinez, bringing the 22-year-old's price from €111m down to around €85m, according to Catalan outlet Sport.
17.00 GMT: Bayer Leverkusen have a couple of potentially world-class players, but will they sell to Chelsea?
16.11 GMT: Sporting Lisbon love to give youth a chance and 19-year-old Gonzalo Plata has done extremely well since making his breakthough.
Plata signed from Ecuadorian club Independiente for €1.1m in January 2019, but has only just made his way into the first-team and has two goals and one assist in 14 appearances.
Leicester City and Watford are interested in the Ecuador international forward but won't go near his €60m release clause, with Record reporting that Sporting will only consider negotiating at €45m. However, the two English clubs are thinking more like €25m, so this one doesn't look like it'll go very far.
15.35 GMT: Corriere dello Sport says that Manchester City, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain all keen on landing Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar.
Aouar, 21, has impressed this season and now has a €70m price tag on his young shoulders after netting nine and providing seven assists across 37 matches.
14.51 GMT: Barcelona also want Neymar. Here's why money could be an issue for the deal to go through.
13.45 GMT: Mundo Deportivo reports that Barcelona will add another centre-back to their first-team squad this summer -- although that doesn't necessarily mean an outside signing.
Jean-Clair Todibo, currently on loan at Schalke 04, and Barca B's Ronaldo Araujo are being considered as competition for Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti. If they look elsewhere, the Catalan newspaper say that Lazio's Luiz Felipe and Juventus' Matthijs de Ligt are candidates.
Ampadu, 19, is on loan at RB Leipzig but the report reckons that if Ralf Rangnick takes over as sporting director of the Serie A club then the midfielder will follow.
11.50 GMT: Amid uncertainty over club football in the coming months because of the coronavirus outbreak in Europe, Bayern Munich continue planning for the upcoming season.
Sport Bild reports that last week Bayern continued their pursuit of Manchester City winger Leroy Sane when they met with Lian Sports, the Germany star's new agent.
Despite official negotiations not due to kick off before April 1 after Sane's switch to Lian, Bayern are reported to have underlined their interest in the player as at least two other European top clubs have entered the race for the 24-year-old, with City still holding out for a fee in the region of €100m.
The Brazilian is on loan at Bayern Munich following a disappointing 18 months at Camp Nou after a €160m move from Liverpool. However, the German club are deemed unlikely to take up their €120m option to sign him permanently this summer, leaving Barca in a quandary.
The Spanish champions preferred option would be to sell. The club are resigned to the fact they won't get anywhere near the money they paid for him in 2018, but are hopeful Premier League interest will materialise. If it doesn't, though, he could be handed a second chance at Barca, this time under Setien, who will be tasked with getting more out of him than his predecessor, Ernesto Valverde, managed.
Pjanic, 29, has been in Turin since 2016 but has slipped down the pecking order this season amid the emergence of Rodrigo Bentancur.
As a result, both Chelsea and PSG are keeping tabs on the Bosnia-Herzegovina playmaker, with a view to landing him for around €60m.
09.30 GMT: Tottenham wouldn't sell Harry Kane, would they?
The Guinea international could be allowed to leave Anfield with manager Jurgen Klopp planning a squad overhaul, while Bild suggests that the 25-year-old's willingness to accept a pay cut and a reasonable transfer fee would be crucial for the midfielder's return to Germany's east.
Should Keita return, he will likely not reunite with Timo Werner, who is available for a bargain release clause of just over €50m this summer and has been strongly linked with Liverpool.
Leipzig are already preparing for life after Werner and Sport Bild says 17-year-old Sparta Prague attacker Adam Hlozek and 18-year-olds Kaio Jorge, of FC Santos, and Mohammed Daramy, of FC Copenhagen, are candidates to succeed the Germany international.
Mahrez, 29, has been linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain and could opt to move in order to get a guaranteed first-team place. The winger has plenty (possibly too much) competition at City, although the club are also likely to offload Leroy Sane to Bayern Munich in the summer.
PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd)
North London clubs to battle it out for Smalling
Chris Smalling has been in superb form following his loan move from Manchester United to Roma, and Gazzetta dello Sport believe his consistency in Serie A will see Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur battle it out for his signature in the summer.
Everton are also believed to be interested in bringing the central defender back to the Premier League, as he has been a rock in the 21 games he has played so far in Italy's top flight.
Smalling is under contract until 2022 at United, though it isn't clear whether he has a future under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. United, though, are expected to clear the decks in an effort to fund a huge summer spending spree.
Roma are also keen to hang on to their man, but Smalling could favour a return to England as he targets a return to the national team ahead of Euro 2021.
Team Icardi keen on Italy return
The Italian site suggests that Icardi will decide against prolonging his stay in the French capital and a permanent €70m move and instead will try to secure a move back to Italy.
As it stands, Juventus and Napoli lead the charge for the prolific striker, though he isn't against staying at Inter Milan. Icardi's contract with the Nerazzurri runs out in June 2022, so he could spend two more seasons at San Siro, but Calciomercato believes a move to Juve is his preferred option.
Inter fans are divided about the prospect of Icardi's return, but a lot could hinge on the future of hot property Martinez.
-- Italian clubs are forming an orderly queue for the services of FC Salzburg midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai. The Hungarian 19-year-old is a wanted man after impressing this season, and Juventus, Inter, Napoli and AC Milan are all said to be interested, Calciomercato reports.
-- Expect Gareth Bale's name to fill the transfer pages again in the next few months, as Marca is reporting that Real Madrid are willing to let the Welshman go this summer. Bale has struggled to assert his authority in the team this season and he finds himself behind Vinicius Junior in the pecking order. He has played just three games in 2020 and hasn't scored since September.
-- Ashley Young is set to extend his loan spell at Inter Milan for another season, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. Young has played in five games since his loan move from Manchester United in January, scoring one goal and contributing two assists, impressing boss Antonio Conte enough to offer the 34-year-old a one-year contract extension.