LIVE Transfer Talk: Bayern lead Werner chase as Liverpool shelve transfer plans
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: Bayern set to pounce for Werner
Earlier, Transfer Talk reported that Bayern Munich could switch their attentions from Leroy Sane to Timo Werner, and that interest could be boosted by Thursday's news that Liverpool are to put all potential transfer interest on hold, according to the Daily Mail.
Liverpool have frozen all recruitment -- and contract negotiation -- plans as a result of the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. It is alleged that Werner has a release clause of £51 million that has to be activated in April. That looks unlikely to be done by Liverpool, though they have made no secret of their admiration for the RB Leipzig striker.
Werner too has been effusive of both the Liverpool players and boss Jurgen Klopp, but it looks as though his move to Anfield could be in danger of collapsing.
Liverpool have been linked with Werner since January and have been busy in the past 12 months completing a range of contract extensions, but they won't continue any more until there is clarity on the end of the season and beyond -- a situation that works in Bayern's favour.
22.49 BST: AC Milan's recruitment strategy will focus on young players with immense potential, according to Corriere dello Sport, with Sassuolo's 21-year-old striker Gianluca Scamacca -- who's spend the season on loan at Ascoli in Serie B, where he's scored 11 goals in 25 appearances - among those interesting the Rossoneri. Milan's desire to add the Italy U21 international will become even greater should Zlatan Ibrahimovic leave the club once his contract expires at season's end.
21.42 BST: Gazzetta dello Sport quotes the agent of Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz as saying that Real Madrid are interested in his client, but the report adds that the Partenopei won't part with the 24-year-old Real Betis youth product for less than €60m.
20.35 BST: Jonas Baer-Hoffman, the general secretary of FIFPro, the international players' union, has told ESPN that clubs will no longer be able to bank on big-money transfers in the future in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic.
19.28 BST: Italian journalist Nicolo Schira writes that Mauro Icardi has decided to return to Italy following the end of his season-long loan at Paris Saint-Germain, with the French club ceasing negotiations with Inter to make the 27-year-old Argentine striker's move permanent.
18.21 BST: Despite paying €120m for Philippe Coutinho (plus another €40m in add-ons) little more than two years ago, Barcelona will now consider bids of €80m for the 27-year-old Brazilian playmaker, according to the Evening Standard, as the Catalan club seeks to raise funds to buy Lautaro Martinez and bring Neymar back to the Camp Nou.
17.14 BST: Earlier in the week it emerged that Boca Juniors didn't have the financial might to sign Paris Saint-Germain's soon-to-be-out-of-contract striker Edinson Cavani, and Gazzetta dello Sport now reports that there is interest in South America beyond the Argentine giants, with Brazilian trio Flamengo, Palmeiras and Internacional all said to be interested in the 33-year-old Uruguay international.
16.07 BST: ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti believes that Erling Haaland going to Manchester United right now is "improbable." He cites Haaland's agent Mino Raiola as the major stumbling block for any move to the Premier League.
15.00 BST: After last summer's failed bid to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou, SPORT claim that Barcelona have now made their first moves to get a deal back on the table for the end of the current season.
However, they have so far been met with a refusal to negotiate by Paris Saint-Germain, although there's hope that the French club's stance will change when football begins to return to normality after the coronavirus crisis eases.
Barca believe their secret weapon could be Antoine Griezmann. Another report in SPORT claims that PSG are fans of the France forward and would like to pair him with international teammate Kylian Mbappe.
With Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu predicting more swap deals this summer due to the financial effects of coronavirus, Neymar for Griezmann would be the biggest.
13.58: BST: Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) captain Thiago Silva is out of contract whenever this current season finally ends and the Brazil international's hopes of prolonging his Parc des Princes stay look slim.
However, the 35-year-old has admitted that he would like to play for former club Fluminense once more before he retires.
Silva played there between 2006-09 after a bout of tuberculosis threatened to end his career prematurely.
"I dream [about returning] because Fluminense opened their doors to me during one of the most difficult moments of my life," he told Caio Ribeiro during an online chat. "I remain very grateful.
"This gratitude comes above everything else. So, yes, I think so. Wearing the shirt again, at some point, is on my mind -- but I do not know when."
Silva joined PSG from AC Milan back in 2012 and is now one of Les Parisiens' top 10 all-time most-capped players.
13.17 BST: Celta Vigo want to sign on-loan midfielder Rafinha Alcantara from Barcelona but may not be able to afford to make the deal permanent.
Rafinha has spent the campaign on loan in Vigo and has become a key part of Oscar Garcia's side.
Mundo Deportivo report that Celta would love to buy him outright this summer but money is proving an issue.
Interest from Italy has driven up the price of the Brazil international, the report adds, and Barca could even include him in a deal to bring Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez to Camp Nou.
12.23 BST: Barcelona manager Quique Setien is "dreaming" of landing Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz, according to a report in Diario AS.
Setien previously coached Fabian at Real Betis, where he oversaw the Spain international's breakout season which led to a €30m move to Napoli in 2018.
Fabian, 23, has continued to excel in Italy and has regularly been touted with a move back to Spain, with sources previously telling ESPN that Real Madrid are also monitoring him.
However, AS report that Setien hopes Barca can beat their Clasico rivals to Fabian and pair him in midfield with Frenkie de Jong and Arthur Melo.
11.34 BST: ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti explains why Bayern Munich should think twice about giving goalkeeper Manuel Neuer -- who has been linked with interest from Chelsea -- a new contract.
10.51 BST: Edinson Cavani's next move is generating plenty of interest of late. The 33-year-old Uruguay international will be a free agent whenever PSG's current season finishes because of the Coronavirus pandemic and a number of clubs are keen to secure the services of the French capital outfit's all-time top scorer.
According to Tuttosport, Napoli are ready to offer Cavani a three-year deal for €7m net, plus another €7m in signing on fee to return to Stadio San Paolo ahead of joining the likes of Atletico Madrid, Manchester United, Chelsea, or Boca Juniors.
Speaking with CalcioNapoli1926, the 33-year-old's brother and agent Walter Guglielmone denied any contact with Napoli and played up the idea of a South American return.
"Honestly, anything could happen as many clubs want Edi," he said. "For the moment, there has been no contact with Napoli. Anything can happen (on the topic of a return to South America). In Brazil, Flamengo, Palmeiras and Internacional are all interested, while Boca Juniors in Argentina are also keen."
However, Boca president Jorge Amor Ameal's comments to Radio Splendid suggest they are not a serious option.
"We are proud that a player like Cavani says that he wants to wear our shirt," he said. "However, our economic reality does not match his own. Of course, nobody denies that he is a great player. We have to think more about our existing players, though, and believe in them."
10.09 BST: Everton are interested in signing Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez from Real Madrid, according to Marca.
The Spanish newspaper claims to have seen a list of players identified by the Premier League club and manager Carlo Ancelotti as part of "an ambitious plan to become one of the group of teams that fight for the Premier League."
Ancelotti coached both Bale and James at the Bernabeu, where both players have been reduced to bit-part roles this season.
Bale has a contract at Real Madrid until 2022, while James has just a year left to run on his deal. The Colombian in particular, as previously reported by ESPN, is keen to regain a first-team spot ahead of next summer's delayed Copa America.
Bale's wage demands would be difficult for Everton to meet, with the Welsh international being among the top ten earners in world football. His agent Jonathan Barnett has previously said that any potential move would be dependent on a club being willing to match or increase his Real Madrid salary
09.26 BST: The shutdown across the football world is set to have many knock-on effects, one of them being the situation with players who are due to be out of contract in the summer, before the delayed season is likely to end.
ESPN FC got the expert view on why extending those deals is in the best interest of players.
08.43 BST: Manchester United have stopped searching the transfer market for a new left-back thanks to the emergence of youth product Brandon Williams, according to The Sun.
Williams, 19, made his Premier League debut in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool in October, and has since gone on to start nine games in the competition. In all, the Manchester -born defender has made 25 first-team appearances this season.
That breakthrough has led to the club telling him that he will not be going out on loan when football resumes, and he is now firmly part of the senior set-up at Old Trafford.
The Sun report quotes a United source as saying: "Ole loves Brandon's attitude and he will be here next season. The bosses think he will save them £50m."
08.00 BST: Borussia Dortmund wunderkind Youssoufa Moukoko will be eligible to play in the Bundesliga from November 20, 2020. The 15-year-old attacker could be one of the first players to profit from changes made to the lower age limit for playing professional football in Germany.
From the 2020-2021 season, players will be eligible to play in Bundesliga once they reached the age of 16, with the current rule only allowing players aged 16 years and six months to obtain a licence.
Current record holder Nuri Sahin, who debuted at the age of 16 years, 11 months and one day on the first match day of the 2005-2006 season, is already bracing himself to lose his record and goalkeepers across the league will be looking at videos of Moukoko's 38 goals in just 28 games for Dortmund's under-19 this season.
PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd): Madrid planning Mbappe bonanza
Mbappe is under contract with Paris Saint-Germain until 2022 and Perez is desperate to rebuild his Madrid side around the World Cup winner. The good news for Perez is that Mbappe has rejected contract renewals twice in the past two months, while PSG themselves have stopped all talks during the coronavirus pandemic.
Moreover, PSG's board are keen to reduce the club's wage bill, with Mbappe earning €20m a year. PSG, like all clubs across Europe, are facing unique pressures as a result of a loss of matchday ticket sales and falling broadcasting rights.
However, Real face the same challenges and they may need to offload players before they're in a position to lodge a bid for their top target. Zinedine Zidane has admitted wanting to offload 12 players, but he could face a waiting game before he's in a position to spend the sort of money that will tempt the Parisiens to sell.
Busy Bayern ready to pounce as Ter Stegen talks stall
The Spanish title suggests that club officials met the player's agent Gerd Vom Bruch, and that the two sides are still far apart when it comes to agreeing numbers.
Ter Stegen wants to double his existing salary and Barca know they will have to move on the amount they're currently willing to spend to prevent their prized keeper from moving on. However, Barca and Vom Bruch have now met five times, and the trouble for the Catalans is that they're already at their salary limit, according to the report.
Barca remain confident they can come to an agreement, but Bayern Munich continue to wait in the wings to pounce should the discussions continue without progress.
- Last night we revealed that PSG are keen to land Sergej Milinkovic-Savic from Lazio. Leonardo is desperate to add the attacking midfielder to the Parisien squad, but they might face competition from Jose Mourinho at Tottenham, if Corriere dello Sport are to be believed. The Italian paper are suggesting that the Portuguese manager is a huge admirer of the Serb's technical ability, and that Manchester United could also be interested.
- Juventus remain keen to explore the possibility of signing Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus, according to Calciomercato. Fabio Paratici, Juve's chief football officer, is potentially planning for life after Cristiano Ronaldo and he's keen to offer Jesus regular football, which is something the Brazilian has not enjoyed at City under Pep Guardiola. In return, Paratici could try to sweeten the deal by offering Douglas Costa in the other direction.