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LIVE Transfer Talk: Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona eye defender Diego Carlos

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: Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona eye Diego Carlos

Jurgen Klopp's quest to source a solid defensive partner for Virgil van Dijk at Liverpool continues, with Brazilian-born defender Diego Carlos now one of his main targets, according to Spanish outlet Marca.

The report says that the Sevilla centre-back has attracted interest from the runaway Premier League leaders -- as they will sell likely Dejan Lovren and already have Joel Matip and Joe Gomez -- with a deal possible during the next transfer window. Though Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are also said to be keeping a close eye on the 27-year-old, who has made 31 appearances for Sevilla this season after joining for €18m from Nantes last May.

Carlos reportedly has a €70m (£64m) release clause in his contract but, asked about the latest links by Estadio Deportivo, he replied: "So far, my agent has not spoken to me about those situations. I am not interested to know about other teams. I always tell him that, if he is going to tell me something, that it be something firm, that he does not come to me with stories, because I must have my head focused on Sevilla. I don't want those things to cause me a distraction.

"I'm very happy at Sevilla ... If I ever leave Sevilla, it would be to go to a much bigger club, because Sevilla is already great."

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LIVE BLOG

23.07 GMT: That will do it for the latest edition of our LIVE Transfer Talk blog. We hoped you enjoyed following along with us and remind you to check back shortly for the latest transfer rumours, reports and news during this coronavirus shutdown. Goodnight!

22.53 GMT: Will Barcelona finally get their man and sign Willian once the transfer market re-opens?

An albatross of sorts for the Catalan club the past few years, the Brazilian is set to be available on a free transfer from Chelsea at the conclusion of the season. But according to Spanish outlet Sport, Willian has already been offered to Barca, with the Catalan club reportedly not interested at this time. According to the report, Willian is still a player Barcelona like but the club are more focussed on other priorities at this moment and are looking at younger alternatives.

Lastly, the report suggests that PSG and Tottenham are likelier destinations for the 31-year-old winger. 

22.08 GMT: The Chronicle Live sites French paper L'Equipe in saying that three Premier League clubs have enquired about Marseille midfielder Morgan Sanson.

L'Equipe lists Newcastle, Everton and Aston Villa as clubs who have reached out to Marseille regarding the 25-year-old midfielder, who has reportedly been made available by the French club. The French central midfielder is rated at £30 million and has chipped in five goals and five assists so far this season.

21.16 GMT: Besiktas need a new No. 1 goalkeeper to replace Loris Karius and could elect to turn to another Premier League shot-stopper: Joe Hart.

Turkish outlet Fanatik claims that Besiktas could offer the Burnley backup an escape from obscurity and a chance to reignite his career abroad. With Karius set to return to Liverpool after a disappointing two-year loan spell in Turkey, Besiktas reportedly could make an unlikely swoop for the soon to be out-of-contract Hart.

The 32-year-old has to be desperate for another chance to be a No. 1, as Hart's last Premier League came all the way back in Dec. 2018.

20.27 GMT: Leicester have had great luck in making defensive signings in recent year -- Harry Maguire, Caglar Soyuncu, Ricardo Pereira, etc. -- and could turn to Greece for their next one.

Greek media outlet Sportime suggests that Leicester are among the favorites to sign Olympiakos left-back Kostas Tsimikas. The 23-year-old, who is reportedly valued at €25 million, has no short list of suitors, though, with Napoli, Inter, Lokomotiv Moscow, Galatasaray and Fenerbahce all linked with the player.

Tsimikas has firmly established himself within Olympiakos' first team over the past season and a half and has also made three appearances for the Greece senior team to date. 

19.41 GMT: Staying with Chelsea, the club and Antonio Rudiger are working towards a new contract for the defender, according to West London Sport.

The German, who arrived for £29 million from Roma in 2017, is currently under contract through 2022 but Chelsea are reportedly looking to give him a new four-year deal with an option for a fifth. Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have also shown interest in the 27-year-old but Chelsea hope to tie the German's long-term future to Stamford Bridge.

19.02 GMT: Barcelona no longer want Philippe Coutinho and loan club Bayern Munich will not trigger the Brazilian's €120 million release, so where does the player's future lie?

According to Sport, Barcelona are looking to loan out Coutinho once again but this time with a mandatory purchase option. The report suggests Chelsea, who discussed the idea of adding Coutinho in January, are in discussions with Barcelona regarding the Brazilian but no terms or specifics have been agreed. Barcelona want to include a mandatory €65 purchase option, while Chelsea want the purchase option to be optional, even if the fee is a bit higher, according to Sport.

Coutinho, who turns 28 in June, has never fit at Camp Nou since arriving for an initial £105m from Liverpool, and this season has endured an up-and-down campaign while on loan at Bayern Munich. Once one of the top players in the Premier League, Coutinho wouldn't come cheap for Chelsea -- even excluding a potential purchase option -- as a loan fee and his wages would cost the club upwards of €30m !

Are Chelsea the club to reinvigorate the Brazilian's career? With the Blues yet to replace Eden Hazard, Coutinho could just be worth a gamble...

18.17 GMT: What's next for forgotten man Xherdan Shaqiri?

After making 30 appearances and factoring in on 11 goals during an impressive first season at Liverpool, the Swiss international has managed just six Premier League games in 2019-20 and figures to be on the Liverpool players to move on after the season. Still just 28, the diminutive attacker will have suitors and Sportsmole claim Sevilla are among them.

A recent report claimed Liverpool would be willing to accept £16 million for the playmaker, and Sportsmole claims Sevilla, Roma and CSKA Moscow are all considering springing for the former Stoke star. Shaqiri is under contract at Anfield through 2023 but with playing time scarce and the Reds in the market for additional attackers, the Swiss likely will be looking for a new home when the transfer market re-opens.

17.26 GMT: Aston Villa and Wolves are reportedly set to enter a bidding war for Galatasaray central defender Christian Luyindama.

The DR Congo international, 26, recently returned to training after a long injury layoff and has been linked with both the English clubs in recent days. In fact, Turkish outlet Fanatik claims that Villa were closing in on a £12 million move for the centre-back before the player was injured while on international duty. 

Villa, who currently have the division's worst defence having conceded 56 goals in 28 games, would have good use for Luyindama, while Wolves may look to replace Willy Boly with the Congolese. Luyindama has impressed during his season plus in Turkey and could be set for a bigger move once football resumes and the transfer market re-opens.

16.50 BST: Valencia winger Ferran Torres is being heralded as the replacement for Jadon Sancho at Borussia Dortmund by the Daily Mirror.

Sancho is expected to leave Dortmund in the summer for a big-money move to one of Europe's top clubs, while Torres is rated as one of the top young players in the world.

The 20-year-old has scored six goals and assisted seven for Valencia this season and would cost his €100m release clause. But Dortmund will face competition from Real Madrid if they want to land the Spain U20 international, says Marca.

15.58 BST: Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said that the club should be in a position to "exploit" the transfer market once the window opens following the coronavirus shutdown.

"Football is going to get back to normality at one point, and it's very important we're ready when that happens," Solskjaer told Sky Sports. "Then, the market, who knows how the market is going to react to this? Who knows which clubs need to sell players?

"There might be just a situation there where you can exploit, and I know that we at Man United we are one of the biggest, and the biggest, financially well-off."

15.15 BST: Sky Germany reports that Arsenal have three Bundesliga centre-backs on their radar, but one of them is NOT Bayern Munich's Jerome Boateng.

Boateng, 31, is free to leave Bayern Munich but the Gunners want a younger player and are instead looking at signing one of RB Leipzig's Dayot Upamecano, Bayer Leverkusen's Jonathan Tah and Evan Ndicka of Eintracht Frankfurt, who are all under 25.

14.19 BST: Real Madrid midfielder Cesar Gelabert has been linked to Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and Lyon, but now Manchester United are keen too.

AS reports that United "have entered the bidding" for the 19-year-old, who has yet to make his first-team debut for Zinedine Zidane and has a contract which expires in the summer.

13.42 BST: Mauro Icardi's future has been a hot topic recently, particularly in Italy, with the Argentina international on loan from Inter Milan at PSG until the season ends -- whenever that is.

The French champions have an option to buy Icardi for around €70m and Le Parisien says they have until the end of May to take up. The 27-year-old enjoyed a prolific start to life at Parc des Princes before his scoring form slowed down after the start of 2020, but with Edinson Cavani's contract coming to an end this summer, all signs point to the transfer being made permanent by PSG -- even if a formal decision has not yet been made.

Despite recent links with Boca Juniors, Cavani's future appears to lie elsewhere. The Uruguay international is available for nothing this summer and Atletico Madrid are expected to try for the 33-year-old again after their January failure.

Boca president Jorge Ameal has told Clarin that he plans to have Cavani as a guest for a game at the famous Bombonera, but ruled out a shock transfer.

"I will invite him to watch a Boca match," said Ameal. "Talking about signings now is not serious. It is disrespectful, even, towards those who were champions. We think we will continue with this group of players."

Cavani has also been linked with a return to Italy, as well as a host of Brazilian clubs, but is surely to have plenty of suitors.

13.03 BST: Former USMNT striker Charlie Davies recalls how he almost moved to the Eredivisie.

12.25 BST: Barcelona are going full Game of Thrones.

President Josep Maria Bartomeu wants to remove four members of his board as factions at the club deepen, sources have told ESPN. One source compared life behind at Camp Nou to hit television drama Game of Thrones, explaining that everyone is vying to position themselves ahead of next summer's presidential elections.

Bartomeu, who will not be able to run in 2021 having served two terms, "only wants to be surrounded by people that he can completely trust," as he moves into the final year of his mandate, another source said.

11.49 BST: Emerson's progression at Real Betis could see Barcelona fast track his signing this summer at additional cost, says AS.

The 21-year-old right-back was signed from Atletico Mineiro both by Betis and Barca in a rather odd deal in January 2019. Both clubs paid half the Brazilian's €12.7m transfer fee, with Barca retaining the right to sign him for €6m in 2021.

But now they could move to snap him up soon, which could be beneficial if they bring in good money for Nelson Semedo.

11.24 BST: PSG's Eric Junior Dina-Ebimbe has spent this season on loan in Ligue 2 with Havre AC, where he has caught the eye.

Linked with the likes of Manchester United in the recent past, the 19-year-old has admitted to Foot Mercato that wherever he plays next, he wants regular game time.

"I belong to PSG," he said. "The coach will decide. Today, I need to be at a club where playing time is substantial -- where I play as much as I do with Le Havre. I need to feel important. PSG are my club, though, so I will give my all -- if called. My idea is to play as much as possible, no matter where."

Dina-Ebimbe has scored three goals during his loan spell and is under contract with PSG until 2023.

11.01 BST: PSG star Neymar has been linked with a move back to Barcelona, but the Brazilian has to show he's more mature.

10.09 BST: Cadena Ser says that Barcelona are in permanent contact with their former goalkeeper Andre Onana, who's done well at Ajax.

Onana, 24, is likely to leave Ajax in the coming year and has been linked with Chelsea, but he wouldn't move back to Camp Nou to sit on the bench behind first-choice Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

09.53 BST: Bayern Munich continue their summer planning and, having been linked with Germany trio Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Leroy Sane for months, according to Sport Bild, the club's bosses have now agreed that at least one of them will be signed this summer.

While Bayern won't trigger Barcelona loanee Philippe Coutinho's €120m buyout option, they are also interested in bringing in two full-backs and one centre-back to continue the revamp of their defence they started by replacing Mats Hummels with Lucas Hernandez last summer.

09.22 BST: Former Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel has confirmed to ESPN that he is in discussions with Brazilian club Botafogo with a view to joining them after the coronavirus pandemic is over.

A decision is still some way from being reached, though, with Mikel saying: "Yes there has been interest and yes there has been negotiations.But I don't know yet. I am still thinking about it. Not sure yet."

Mikel, 32, left Turkish club Trabzonspor by mutual consent in February after declaring that he did not feel comfortable playing during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is reported to be in regular contact with Botafogo boss Ricardo Rotenberg. A 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winner, Mikel led Nigeria to a third place finish at the tournament in 2019 before announcing his international retirement. He also represented Nigeria at two World Cup tournaments.

08.47 BST: James Rodriguez has attracted interest from Manchester United and Everton in the Premier League and Serie A sides Juventus and Napoli as he looks to secure a move away from Real Madrid this summer, Diario AS reports.

The Colombia midfielder's contract expires in 2021 and he has barely featured in coach Zinedine Zidane's plans this season, making just four starts and three substitute appearances in La Liga. With James keen to leave and Real Madrid willing to let him go, AS says that the Premier League and Serie A are both possible destinations for the 28-year-old.

The Spanish newspaper reports that Manchester United have expressed an interest, while Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti would like to be reunited with a player with whom he enjoyed an excellent relationship in their time together at the Bernabeu.

In Italy, Napoli were close to signing James last summer before the move broke down over Madrid's refusal to accept another loan deal for a player who had just spent two years on loan at Bayern Munich.

08.00 BST: Dortmund captain Marco Reus has said there is "currently no better place" for Jadon Sancho other than the Westfalenstadion. England winger Sancho has been linked with a return to Premier League and sources have told ESPN that Manchester United are leading the race for the 20-year-old, who has also wanted by Chelsea and Liverpool.

Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has said they would respect Sancho's wish to leave the club if he felt the desire to leave BVB after three impressive seasons, but Borussia captain Marco Reus told Sport Bild that he hopes for at least one more year from his teammate.

"Jadon is an incredible player and it's most certainly that still several clubs want him. That's a fact," Reus said. "He plays at a higher level than the previous year. And he'd be enormously important for us to reach our goals."

"I'd tell him to stay at Dortmund for one or maybe two more years. From my point of view there could be no better place for him currently. He can make the real big step after that. As even more complete player who had the chance to develop further here as a mainstay."

"He'd need to find his place first at a new club, it's not always easy for a 20-year-old. What do you believe how interesting Jadon will be for the biggest clubs in the world after one, two, three more seasons with us?"

PAPER TALK (by Shaun Reynolds)

AC Milan look for experience in David Silva

Midfielder David Silva has attracted the attention of many top clubs in Europe with his contract at Manchester City set to expire in the summer. And AC Milan appear to be a step ahead concerning the 34-year-old after the club reportedly met with the Spaniard's agents. 

Italian outlet Calciomercato has reported that, after 10 years at the Etihad Stadium, Silva will leave the Premier League this summer. The report states that while AC Milan are keen to reduce the average age in the club's first-team squad next season, Silva would be welcomed as an experienced campaigner given that Zlatan Ibrahimovic is expected to depart for a fresh challenge in the summer.

David Beckham's Inter Miami are also said to be interested in Silva's signature.

Blues will swoop for Bird this summer

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard and his assistant Jody Morris will swoop for Derby County ace Max Bird this summer, according to Football Insider.

The 19-year-old midfielder made eight first-team appearances for the Rams under Lampard last season and now the Blues manager is reportedly keen to transfer the youngster's Championship talents into the Premier League.

Bird was handed his Championship debut by Lampard in December 2018 against Swansea at Pride Park. The report states that Lampard and Morris see Bird as a young player with enormous potential that is capable of shining at Premier League level.

Bird's involvement in Derby County's squad this season has increased, with the teenager often linking up with England legend Wayne Rooney in the heart of the Rams' midfield. 

Tap ins

- Preparations for Pau Torres to complete a move to Arsenal from Villarreal appear to be making strides, with the defender now learning to speak English. The report from The Sun will encourage Gunners fans after the north London club eventually sided for a loan move for Flamengo's Pablo Mari in December. 

Islam Slimani has little more than a year remaining on his contract at Leicester City, and Portuguese publication A Bola reports that Sporting Lisbon are interested in bringing the 31-year-old striker back to his former club, and could acquire the Algeria international for €10m.

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