The coronavirus pandemic has made the summer transfer window uncertain, but here are the new rumours floating around Europe’s big leagues and beyond.
TOP STORY: Barca considering move for Sancho
Barcelona are looking to raise cash to fund their summer spending, but they’re also making plans in case they fail to sign their intended first-choice targets.
The Blaugrana have been linked with signing one or both of Neymar and Lautaro Martinez this summer, and while their finances look likely to prevent them from signing both, they could switch their attentions to Jadon Sancho, reports Sport.
Neymar in particular is likely to cost in the region of €170 million, and his arrival could be divisive. The Brazil star is approaching his 30s, and has been struggling with injuries in recent seasons, though he would likely fit straight into Barca’s style of play.
Sancho has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United, but United chief Ed Woodward has made it clear that it won’t be “business as usual” for the Red Devils in the transfer market following the coronavirus crisis.
Sancho is one of Europe’s hottest properties and could cost Barca around €130m, but at 20 he might have his best years ahead of him. If United fail to get a deal for Sancho over the line, the youngster could represent better value for Barca than Neymar or Martinez.
10.32 BST: Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has hinted that he could leave the club if their two-year Champions League ban is upheld.
In February, UEFA announced that City will be excluded from the Champions League for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 campaigns and have also been fined €30m ($33m) for breaching Financial Fair Play regulations. The club has appealed the decision but De Bruyne said it will be difficult to stay at the Etihad Stadium without competing in the competition for so long.
“The club has told us that they will appeal the decision, and they are 100% convinced that they are in the right,” he told Belgian outlet Het Laatste Nieuws. “I have confidence in my club: if they are saying it’s true, then I believe them. We’ll wait and see what happens. Once there’s a final decision I will look at it.
“Two years [without Champions League football] would be long. One year is something I might be able to cope with.”
09.47 BST: Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams has warned the club that they will not compete for the Premier League title again if they sell key players such as striker Pierre Emerick Aubameyang.
Aubamayeng has been consistently linked with interest from Barcelona this season, and his contract is due to expire in June 2021.
The 30-year-old Gabon international was made club captain in November after Granit Xhaka was stripped of the armband, but Adams fears the Gunners may be looking for another skipper before too long.
“Quite possibly, he could walk out the door,” Adams, who won four league titles during his two decades at the club, told Sky Sports.
“I loved Arsene Wenger’s principles, that no player was bigger than the club, and he moved players on if it made sense for the club financially.
“He was strong with that and he got Champions League football every year but it did stand in the way of recruitment — so we have become a club that is selling the best players.
“If I was a coach I’d be saying ‘don’t sell Aubameyang at any price, we need to recruit, bring players through the academy and keep our best players’.”
09.00 BST: RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner has ruled out a switch to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich and said he would prefer a move abroad.
Werner, 24, has a contract until 2023 and a release clause in the €50m to €60m region which allows him to leave Leipzig this summer. The Germany international has been linked with a move away but said Bayern is not an option for him in the future.
“Bayern are a great club, we don’t need to talk about it, and Hansi Flick has proven this season he is a really good head coach,” he told Bild. “But if a move were to become an issue at some point, I would be more tempted by a move abroad than a move to Bayern.
“It’s just that the challenge of another league would appeal to me a little more than a move within the Bundesliga.
“Of course, it also important that mutual respect is there as much as possible. That’s why I chose RB Leipzig at the time, and why I would choose the club for [the] next step as one where I would get that feeling.”
PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd): Madrid to make cut-price offer for Pogba
Pogba has played just eight appearances for the Reds this season and he has been linked with a move to the Bernabeu for the past 18 months. And now, the Mirror believes he has informed his employers that he’d like to make the switch this summer.
Pogba has the option to extend his stay in Manchester United by one year until 2022, but it is believed he’ll turn down the prospect of a further 12 months, whether he decides to stay or not.
Madrid were close to signing Pogba last year but the French World Cup winner opted to stay at Old Trafford, but it looks as though the time could be right for player and club to part ways.
Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain are also said to be monitoring the situation, but it would appear as though Madrid have a free run at signing Pogba in the next transfer window, even if it’s for nearly £20m less than United paid Juventus for him back in 2016.
Barca sale as players offered to English clubs
Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho are among the players reportedly being offered to Premier League clubs and other sides around Europe as Barcelona look to boost their transfer kitty before attempting to refresh their own playing staff.
The Mirror says that the Blaugrana have lost around £124m as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which means they need to raise money before they can attempt to sign their intended targets.
The paper also suggests that Barca are also open to loan deals, with Samuel Umtiti, Nelson Semedo, Sergi Roberto, Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal completing the impressive lineup of players available on the trade table.
– Real Madrid are looking to find a club in Spain to send Brahim Diaz on loan in order for him to get more game time. Ok Diario suggests that Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane is desperate for the youngster to get more minutes under his belt and so would prefer a loan move. However, Real are also aware that other clubs are keen to sign him on a permanent deal, with Real Sociedad and Getafe both interested.
– Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is set to beat Tottenham Hotspur‘s Jose Mourinho to the transfer of young Sunderland striker Joe Hugill. The Sun is reporting that United are prepared to spend six figures to land the striker at Mourinho’s expense, despite Spurs having watched the 16-year-old in action in action before the lockdown.