The winter transfer window is closed, but now it’s time to look ahead to the summer! Here are the new rumours floating around following the Jan. 31 deadline day.
TOP STORY: Man City eye Gnabry as Bayern swoop for Sane
Manchester City are ready to let Leroy Sane join Bayern Munich for around £100m this summer, but they want a player in return.
Gnabry would be a perfect replacement for Sane in a player-plus-cash deal, but the one sticking point could be the outcome of City’s appeal against their two-year suspension from the Champions League. If they fail, Gnabry may not want to move and they’ll have to turn to other targets.
Leon Bailey (remember him?) is one winger who could be keen. Having dropped off the radar somewhat in recent years, the Jamaica international may be available for around £25m from Bayer Leverkusen this summer as the club look to move him on.
13.28 GMT: Tottenham will be back in the transfer market in the summer, probably to buy a backup striker given the recent injuries to Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane, but there’s a report that says they also want Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips.
Manchester United have been linked with Phillips before and now Football Insider claims that Spurs are ready to bid £20m for the 24-year-old.
12.51 GMT: Inter forward Lautaro Martinez has been on these pages a lot recently, with Barcelona and Real Madrid vying for his signature.
Both teenagers have impressed after being thrust into action this season and that has not gone unnoticed by the Premier League champions elect.
11.50 GMT: Tottenham may wish they had signed another forward in January as Son Heung-Min is set to have surgery after suffering a fractured arm, the club have announced.
The news will come as a huge blow to the club, who are already without striker Harry Kane until April due a hamstring injury.
11.47 GMT: The war between Paul Pogba‘s agent Mino Raiola and Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer doesn’t appear to be stopping any time soon.
Raiola appeared on TalkSPORT on Tuesday to defend his right to talk about his player after Solskjaer said on Friday that Pogba “is our player, not Mino’s.”
“I thought what Solskjaer said was out of line,” Raiola said. “I’ve been asked something about if he would like Italy and I am only just answering as Mino Raiola. Am I not allowed to do that?”
The interview was the second time in as many days that Raiola has called the United manager out. On Monday, less than 20 minutes before United’s game against Chelsea kicked off, the agent posted a series of tweets lambasting Solskjaer for his earlier comments.
And on Tuesday, Raiola responded to accusations that he was creating divisions in the club with his comments about Pogba.
“I have not created any culture of division. I don’t need to explain myself here. The only person I need to explain myself to is my players,” he added. “I have no problem with Manchester United. There is no division between me and Manchester United. Ole already snapped out at me two times on other occasions but that’s all up to him.”
11.30 GMT: Rapid Vienna midfielder Melih Ibrahimoglu has attracted interest from Roma and Chelsea, says Calciomercato.
Ibrahimoglu, 19, has a contract which expires in 2021 and the Austrian could be available for as little as €3.5m.
10.34 GMT: Brazilian side Botafogo are closing on the signing of former Barcelona and Man City midfielder Yaya Toure, having recently landed Japan legend Keisuke Honda.
Botafogo president Nelson Mufarrej told Globoesporte about signing Toure, after the Ivorian ended his contract with Chinese side Qingdao Huanghai: “We are looking at this calmly, we are thinking, there is a lot of financial engineering to be done.
“We do not spend it, it is all loaned. There is not an effective investment to buy the player. It will be wages that we can pay. There is no big pay, but there is effective distribution of what he can bring through sponsorship. It is a way to dilute the salary. That is creativity. We were creative and we created that way. It worked with Honda and it could work with another player.”
10.09 GMT: Nicholas Pepe cost Arsenal a cool £72m, but he’s starting to show his skills now.
09.38 GMT: Luis Figo wins the ‘stating the obvious award’ for today as he says Real Madrid should sign Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe.
Mbappe, 21, has scored 23 goals in 27 games across all competitions this season and is valued at around €250m. But there have been suggestions that the France World Cup winner is ready to move on this summer.
“Age doesn’t mean anything when you have all these qualities,” Figo told RMC Sport at the Laureus Sports Awards in Berlin. “The important thing is that he continues to be passionate about this sport, that he continues to improve, to want to be better every day. That is the way he will achieve everything he wants.
“Mbappe is a young player, one of the best in the world, one of the most expensive too. He is in a team that has no financial problems, I do not know if it will be possible to sign him. But he would be a great signing for Real Madrid.”
09.03 GMT: Paul Pogba‘s brother, Mathias, is a bit of a regular on Spanish TV given he plays for CD Manchego in the Tercera Division. But of course people only want to ask him about Paul.
“Everyone knows that Paul wants to leave Manchester United, he wants to play Champions League football and win titles,” Mathias told El Chiringuito TV. “We all know that won’t happen at United. We will see what happens this summer.”
Barca have selected the Denmark international to replace injured Ousmane Dembele after La Liga gave the Catalan club authorisation to make an emergency signing. They will pay Braithwaite’s €20m release clause and the 28-year-old will put pen to paper on a contract until June 2023.
Braithwaite joined Leganes on loan in January 2019 from Middlesbrough before the La Liga outfit acquired his sporting rights in the summer. The former Toulouse forward has scored six goals and set up one more in 24 league appearances for Leganes this season.
08.00 GMT: Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare has been tracked by Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea but his manager Christophe Galtier told L’Equipe: “There is a situation at the club that I do not comment on. In seasons, there can be tension between a player and his club. We’ll settle this internally and find a solution.
Soumare, 20, turned down the chance to join Newcastle in January, with Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and AC Milan also interested. But he was left out of Lille’s game against Marseille on Sunday, suggesting a move is not long in coming.
PAPER TALK (by Rich Edwards)
Smalling may spurn Roma for Spurs, Everton
Manchester United’s Chris Smalling, currently on loan at Roma, may be set for a return to the Premier League — but not to Old Trafford.
According to Corriere dello Sport, the English defender may head to Everton or Tottenham should his Serie A stint conclude in the summer.
Roma’s chances of qualifying for Champions League are growing slimmer each matchday, which has now prompted Smalling — who has apparently grown smitten with the Eternal City — to look at options back home.
Smalling has been a solid contributor to the Giallorossi and is reportedly even willing to take a slight wage cut, but Roma will be hard pressed to keep him for the reported transfer fee of €20 million if they can’t count on top-flight European revenues.
Such as it is, Smalling’s agent has now been in touch with the folks at North London and Goodison Park, who could see that pricetag as a reasonable one for a veteran defender.
Chelsea’s Pasalic set to join Atalanta
He has hardly been a regular sight at Stamford Bridge but now it looks like Chelsea fans will never get the chance to see Mario Pasalic in competitive action. The Guardian reports that the Croatian will be off in the summer, with Atalanta set to snap him up for £12.5m.
Pasalic moved to Chelsea in 2014 from Hadjuk Split but has been a ghost in West London ever since, spending time on loan at Elche, Monaco, Milan and Spartak Moscow. He joined Atalanta on loan initially in 2018, with the Guardian now reporting that that move is now set to become a permanent switch.
Big clubs circle for Milinkovic-Savic
The 24-year-old Serbian has a contract that runs until 2024, but that hasn’t put off those clubs prepared to spend big on a player who has been a standout performer for Lazio this season.
– Thomas Partey has revealed that his agent is in talks with Atletico Madrid over a contract renewal — with the Spanish club keen ward off potential suitors. His deal comes to an end in June 2023 but Partey has confirmed that his agent is already in talks after recent transfer speculation, though Marca reports that the player only has eyes for Atletico.
– Inter are looking to invest in youth — with Pescara full-back Gabriele Zappa the latest to attract the attention of the Italian giants. Zappa has been in flying form this season and Inter CEO Beppe Marotta, along with sporting director Piero Ausilio, having had their head turned by the Pescara youngster. If that deal comes to fruition, then it would be quite some homecoming, with Inter having sold him to Pescara last year. Calciomercato reports that they inserted a €4m buy back clause in his contract — which might prove to be a wise piece of business if he makes the return trip. The 20-year-old has made 12 appearances in all competitions for his new club this season.