The summer transfer window might not be open yet in Europe, but teams are getting ready for it, and there’s plenty of gossip swirling around. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!
TOP STORY: Man Utd, Man City, Real Madrid, Barcelona want Bayern’s Pavard
Despite holding talks earlier this season over a potential new contract, the Bundesliga champions’ stance looks to have changed. Pavard has one year left on his deal and Bayern would now be willing to move him on for a fee of around €40 million.
Pavard made 42 appearances for Bayern this season, and he has continued to attract attention from clubs with his versatility that has seen him impress when deployed at both centre-back and right-back, maintaining form that he has replicated at international level with France.
17.00 BST: Barcelona are interested in Benfica midfielder Florentino Luis, according to Sport. The Blaugrana are reported to consider the 23-year-old as a potential successor to Sergio Busquets, after keeping close tabs on him in the Champions League this season, and the Liga Portugal side would be willing to transfer him to LaLiga if they receive a fee in the region of €40m.
16.25 BST: Alexis Mac Allister‘s transfer from Brighton reportedly cost Liverpool just £35m.
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15.41 BST: Barcelona boss Xavi has ruled out a move for PSG forward Neymar following rumours the Brazilian has offered himself to the Catalan club.
“That’s a surprise,” Xavi added when asked about signing the 31-year-old. “In theory, he’s not part of our planning for the summer. I have a lot of time for him as a friend, but we have other priorities in the transfer market.
“The club know the players I want. I won’t get into names, but we need a Busquets substitute and we lack another midfielder as well to play further forward.”
15.24 BST: Arsenal want to sign right-back Ivan Fresneda following Real Valladolid’s relegation from LaLiga, says The Sun.
Fresneda, 18, was linked during the January transfer window but is now available for much less than the €40m the club wanted then.
Arsenal are keen to bring in a right-back to compete with Ben White and Takehiro Tomiyasu.
15.00 BST: United States U20 international and Louisville City FC defender Josh Wynder has completed a transfer to reigning Portuguese champions Benfica, it was announced on Thursday.
Sources tell ESPN that Benfica will pay Louisville City $1.2m plus add-ons. Louisville would also get 20 percent of any future transfer for Wynder, though Benfica can avoid that clause if it pays the USL club $500,000 before the end of 2025.
The transfer fee is a record for a USL player, eclipsing that of Hadji Barry when he moved to Egyptian Premier League side Future FC last October.
“I definitely still pinch myself sometimes because ever since I was young, I’ve been watching players in Europe and being like, ‘That’s where I want to be,'” Wynder told ESPN in an exclusive interview. “Now for it to come true, it’s crazy.”
14.51 BST: Shakhtar Donetsk chief executive Sergei Palkin has threatened to sue Tottenham Hotspur if they try to sign winger Manor Solomon on a free transfer.
Spurs have been linked with a move for the 23-year-old, who spent last season on loan at Premier League side Fulham after suspending his contract with Shakhtar.
Shakhtar are unhappy with FIFA’s decision to amend Annex 7 of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players following the outbreak of war between Russia and Ukraine. The regulation change allows foreign nationals employed in either country to unilaterally suspend their contracts if they wished to leave the region.
Solomon did so to join Fulham last season but the winger still has a year remaining on his Shakhtar contract and is believed to be looking for another club in England.
FIFA recently announced that Annex 7 would be extended through to the summer of 2024, prompting a furious backlash from several clubs affected, who believe they are being unfairly punished in losing revenue through transfer income.
Shakhtar estimate Annex 7 could cost them up to €80m in lost transfer fees if players like Solomon are allowed to leave for nothing.
14.30 BST: If you think your club had a difficult season with a tough transfer window ahead, think again.
James Olley spoke to Shakhtar Donetsk chief Sergei Palkin about:
– Life in a war zone in Ukraine
– Legal battles with FIFA
– Difference between Chelsea and Arsenal over the €70m transfer of Mudryk
14.32 BST: Crystal Palace have signed midfielder Jefferson Lerma on a free transfer from Bournemouth.
Lerma, 28, will join on a three-year deal when his contract ends on June 30. The Colombia international was named Bournemouth’s Player of the Year last season but wanted a new challenge.
“I am very happy and excited by this new opportunity,” he said. “Crystal Palace has good players and a good team, and I want to help with every objective the club has next season.”
14.15 BST: Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante is closing on a move to Saudi Arabia.
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13.40 BST: Barcelona said Lionel Messi turned down their proposal because he wants to “compete in a league with fewer demands” after the forward confirmed he will join MLS side Inter Miami CF.
Messi, whose contract with Paris Saint-Germain expires on June 30, revealed on Wednesday he would not return to Barca because he could not wait any longer to see if they would be able to register his contract with LaLiga.
In a statement which drew criticism on social media, Barca responded by saying they “understood” Messi’s decision to take himself out of the spotlight.
“On Monday, Jorge Messi, the player’s father and representative, informed club president Joan Laporta of the player’s decision to join Inter Miami,” Barca said. “This despite having been presented with a proposal from Barca, in consideration of the desire of both Barcelona and Messi for him to once again wear the club’s colours.
“President Laporta understood and respected Messi’s decision to want to compete in a league with fewer demands, further away from the spotlight and the pressure he has been subject to in recent years.”
13.00 BST: Lionel Messi‘s announcement that he plans to take his talents to South Beach sent prices for Inter Miami tickets on the secondary market into the stratosphere on Wednesday as fans clamored for a chance to see the Argentine great play on U.S. soil.
Ticket prices surged following reports early on Wednesday that he planned to join the Major League Soccer side, which he later confirmed.
Messi’s first game with the team could reportedly be on July 21 when Inter Miami hosts Cruz Azul in its Leagues Cup opener in Fort Lauderdale. The lowest price for a ticket for that game on Tuesday was a mere $29, but on Wednesday the price rocketed to $329 — a 1,034% jump — according to TickPick.
On Vivid Seats, the average price of a ticket to the game with Cruz Azul rose 205%, from $122 on Sunday to $373 on Wednesday.
12.22 BST: Mateo Kovacic has said he may have to change environment after a “really bad” season at Chelsea.
Sources told ESPN’s James Olley in May that Premier League champions Manchester City have had talks with the Croatia midfielder over a summer move.
Sources said in February that Kovacic was likely to be one of multiple players trimmed from Chelsea’s bloated squad.
“I have one year left on my contract with Chelsea. It’s been a really bad season,” he told Nacional. “Everything indicates that after five years I will change the environment , but we will see what happens.”
Kovacic, 29, made 37 appearances for Chelsea in the 2022-23 season as the club finished 12th in the Premier League.
12.00 BST: Real Madrid spent €103m to bring 19-year-old midfield star Jude Bellingham to the club.
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11.37 BST: Juventus have made a move to sign Sassuolo midfielder Davide Frattesi, according to Sky Italia.
Frattesi, 23, has attracted the attention of top clubs in Europe after a solid season where he scored seven goals in 36 league appearances for Sassuolo.
Juve met with Sassuolo executives to discuss the Italy international’s potential arrival this summer. Frattesi, who is under contract until June 2026, is also a reported target of Man United, Inter Milan and Roma.
11.03 BST: Liverpool have signed World Cup-winning midfielder Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton, the club announced on Thursday.
Mac Allister, 24, joins the Merseyside club as Jurgen Klopp’s first signing ahead of an expected busy transfer window with the club looking to improve upon their fifth-placed finish in the 2022-23 season.
The Argentina midfielder was a key figure for Brighton, contributing 12 goals and three assists in a season which saw the club secure Europa League qualification for the first time in their history.
ESPN reported on Monday that Liverpool wanted to complete a deal for the 24-year-old before he joined up with his national team ahead of their June 15 friendly against Australia in China.
10.09 BST: Arsenal are leading Manchester United and Bayern Munich in the race to sign West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, says talkSPORT.
Rice, 24, helped West Ham to win the UEFA Europa Conference League over Fiorentina on Wednesday and could now depart for around £90m.
Asked if the match was Rice’s last in a West Ham shirt, West Ham owner David Sullivan told talkSPORT: “I think it has to be. We promised him he could go. He set his heart on going. You can’t ask for a man who has committed more to us this season.
“In due course, he has to get on and we have to get a replacement – or several replacements. It’s not something we want to happen. We offered him £200,000-a-week 18 months ago. He turned it down.
“It’s cost him £10m to stay at West Ham in that time (in lost wages). And he wants to go. You can’t keep a player who doesn’t want to be there.”
09.51 BST: Napoli are evaluating 40 candidates for the vacant coaching position and will make a decision by June 27.
The Serie A champions are looking to replace Luciano Spalletti, who announced earlier this month he was stepping down from the post to take a break from football despite having one-year left on his contract.
“I set myself the limit of June 27 to have the new coach so as to have the right time for next season,” De Laurentiis said. “We’re working on it, starting this morning I began to see that my list of 22 coaches has become 40 names. It’s a job that takes time.”
De Laurentiis says he is not considering coaches that have managed Napoli before amid reports that former Napoli boss Rafa Benitez could return to the club.
“I have a friendly and current relationship with the coaches who have been on the Napoli bench,” De Laurentiis said. “I would do no good to anyone who has already been here to bring them back. But never say never.”
Among the candidates reportedly being considered for the position are Antonio Conte, who left Tottenham by mutual consent in March, Atalanta’s Gian Piero Gasperini, Fiorentina’s Vincenzo Italiano and recently sacked Paris Saint-Germain boss Christophe Galtier.
09.22 BST: Real Madrid are considering signing Leeds United striker Rodrigo Moreno to strengthen their attack after the exit of Karim Benzema, according to COPE.
Rodrigo, 32, joined Leeds from Valencia in the summer of 2020 and is under contract until June 2024. The Spain international scored 13 goals in 31 league appearances but it was not enough to help Leeds avoid the drop and he reportedly has a relegation release clause that he could exercise this summer.
A source has told ESPN that Real Madrid are also in advanced talks to sign Joselu on a season-long loan from Espanyol.
Joselu, 33, joined Espanyol after suffering relegation with Alaves last season but included a clause in his contract which would allow him to move on loan to another club if Espanyol were relegated.
08.43 BST: Cristiano Ronaldo says he is not surprised that his former Real Madrid teammate Karim Benzema has decided to play in the Saudi Pro League.
Benzema turned down a one-year contract extension with Real Madrid and instead signed for Saudi Arabian club Al Ittihad.
Speaking at a business event in Madrid, Ronaldo said: “I knew that by me going to [Saudi] Arabia I would open the box. Karim has gone there but I’m sure many others will follow. In two- or three-years’ time, it [Saudi Pro League] will be one of the most important in the world. May all the stars come to Arabia, there are no problems with the league. What we want is competition.”
Ronaldo, 38, also revealed when he plans to retire from football. “I’m at the end of my career, two to three years maximum,” he said. “I’m interested in everything related to health. I know that football will end in a few years and that is why I’m thinking about my future and this sector [business] is something that I like a lot.”
Ronaldo could also be an owner one day.
“I don’t rule out becoming a club owner,” he added. “It’s something I thought about a few years back. I probably would like to be own a [football] club.”
08.30 BST: Sergio Busquets has held talks with Inter Miami CF about the possibility of following Lionel Messi to the Major League Soccer franchise, sources have confirmed to ESPN’s Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens.
Busquets, 34, is also in negotiations with Saudi Arabian sides Al Nassr and Al Hilal after announcing last month he will not renew his contract with Barcelona when it expires on June 30. Sources say that Busquets’ next club, save any late twists, is expected to come from one of those three.
On Wednesday, Messi announced he will join Inter Miami after his departure from Paris Saint-Germain. The 2022 World Cup winner was linked with a return to former club Barcelona as well as a possible move to Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal, but ultimately decided to move to the U.S.
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– Al Ahli are interested in signing Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez, reports CBS. The Saudi Pro League side’s club president Waleed Muaath has been in London this week to discuss signing the 32-year-old winger, who has been a key feature in Pep Guardiola’s team, contributing to 27 goals in 47 matches. Al Ahli have also been linked with Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha.
– Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona are interested in signing Manchester City attacking midfielder Bernardo Silva, according to talkSPORT. The 28-year-old is reported to have informed close friends that he is looking to leave the Etihad Stadium in search of a new challenge, but is first focusing on the Champions League final against Internazionale on Saturday. The Blaugrana have been interested in Silva for a number of years, but were unable to agree a fee with the Premier League champions.
– Lazio and AS Roma are battling for the signature of Sassuolo winger Domenico Berardi, reports Calciomercato. The 28-year-old enjoyed a bright campaign in Serie A, where he contributed to 19 goals in 26 league matches, and the Neroverdi are braced for offers from domestic rivals, with AC Milan also keeping tabs.
– Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek remains on the radar of AC Milan, writes Football Insider. Talks are continuing between both clubs over a deal for the 27-year-old, but the Rossoneri are aware of interest emerging from the Premier League. He has one year left on his contract at Stamford Bridge, and he could be moved on as the Blues look to offload a number of players this summer.
– Liverpool are only prepared to listen to loan offers if attacking midfielder Fabio Carvalho is to leave the club this summer, reports The Athletic. Bundesliga side RB Leipzig saw a €12m approach rejected for the 20-year-old, with the Anfield hierarchy maintaining their stance that he isn’t available for a permanent transfer.