The summer transfer window may 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 want Kane deal done quickly
Manchester United are preparing to step up their pursuit of Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane, according to the Guardian.
Unprepared to meet the €150 million valuation set by Napoli for Victor Osimhen, it’s Kane, the 29-year-old England international, who is reported to be the club’s priority option this summer. United are set to move quickly to sign him once the transfer window opens.
Kane is about to move into the final 12 months of his Spurs contract.
The Old Trafford hierarchy see Kane as a player who could instantly transform them into Premier League title contenders, with manager Erik ten Hag said to be “obsessed” with securing his signature. Eager to ensure that negotiations don’t drag on through the summer, they want to begin talks swiftly with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.
Should they fail to reach an agreement to sign him, Atalanta forward Rasmus Hojlund has been identified as a potential alternative, though the Denmark international would be acquired as a player for the future.
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13.57 BST: Sporting Lisbon coach Ruben Amorim has revealed there are many clubs interested in signing Uruguay midfielder Manuel Ugarte.
According to Record, Paris Saint-Germain have already informed Sporting Lisbon of their intention to pay the Uruguay international’s €60m release clause this summer.
“I can’t confirm anything with Ugarte, it’s beyond me,” Amorim said in Thursday’s news conference. “It’s difficult to keep players like him because there are many clubs interested. We’re prepared for any scenario. Ugarte is one of the most coveted players.”
Ugarte, 22, joined Sporting in the summer of 2021 from Famalicao, and is under contract with Sporting until June 2026.
13.19 BST: Manchester United are no longer in the race to sign Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar, according to TNT Sports.
The Brazil international’s future at PSG is uncertain with reports that the French giants are open to listening to offers for the former Barcelona star.
The Red Devils were considered among the top clubs keen to acquire Neymar, who has been sidelined since March after undergoing right ankle surgery.
Neymar’s contract with PSG expires in June 2025 and United would have to spend big to bring the 31-year-old to Old Trafford.
With United’s takeover still ongoing, the board is unlikely to make any significant moves in the transfer window, making a potential negotiation with PSG for Neymar seems unlikely.
Speaking at a news conference ahead of Thursday’s game against Chelsea, United manager Erik ten Hag said: “There is a centralisation of good players, of the best managers, also of the money, and it is all here in the UK. That makes a great competition, but also a tough and a hard competition.
“And you have to do the right things and you can have money, but you have to do it and spend it in a smart way. And also you need a strategy behind it, because otherwise, the money doesn’t work.”
Ten Hag: We want to get the job done
Erik ten Hag speaks to the media ahead of Manchester United’s penultimate match of the season vs. Chelsea.
12.26 BST: Bayern Munich are interested in signing Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot, according to Calciomercato.
Rabiot, 28, becomes a free agent this summer and contract renewal talks with Juve have stalled. The former PSG star has been one of Juve’s best players this season, scoring eight goals and setting up four more in 30 league appearances.
Bayern have monitored Rabiot for some time and are looking to make a move for the France midfielder this summer.
Juve have been docked 10 points for false accounting and are seventh in the Serie A standings with two games remaining. That makes it very unlikely that they will qualify for next season’s Champions League, meaning Rabiot and several of the club’s other key player may leave.
11.33 BST: Sao Paulo are in talks with Manchester City to extend the loan deal of Venezuelan defender Nahuel Ferraresi, Globoesporte reports.
Ferraresi, 24, joined the Brazilian outfit on a one-season loan from City in August with an option to make the move permanent included in the deal. Sao Paulo have sent a proposal to City to extend Ferraresi’s loan until at least December 2024.
Currently recovering from a right-knee injury which required surgery earlier this year, Ferraresi is expected to return to play in October before the end of the season in Brazil.
“Ferraresi is a player with a lot of quality and I am certain that when he returns to play he will help a lot,” Sao Paulo coach Dorival Junior said. “We can’t speed up the recovery progress but I have no doubt he will be useful for our team.”
10.45 BST: Spain and Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta has said he is leaving Japanese club Vissel Kobe after five years due to a lack of playing time, but said he does not yet wish to retire.
Iniesta, who won the World Cup with Spain in 2010 and four Champions League titles and nine La Liga championships with Barca, brushed back tears on Thursday as he announced he was leaving.
Sources have told ESPN that Iniesta has interest from Major League Soccer, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Dubai and is open to considering offers.
The midfielder, 39, has made just three substitute appearances so far this season but said he planned to keep playing, although did not specify where.
When asked at a news conference where his next club will be, Iniesta said: “I have to tell you the truth, I don’t know.
“I want to keep playing football. I feel like I am capable of still playing. But as this chapter closes, we’ll see what’s possible. I want to finish my career on the pitch playing, and this is what I’m hoping to do.”
09.58 BST: Tottenham Hotspur have suffered a major blow in their search for a new head coach with leading candidate Arne Slot confirming he wants to stay at Feyenoord.
ESPN reported earlier this month that Slot had emerged as a serious contender in Spurs’ plans to replace Antonio Conte, who was sacked on March 27 after 16 months in charge. Sources say Tottenham’s attempts to prise Slot from Feyenoord have intensified in recent days, with Spurs also making an approach for general manager Dennis te Kloese to fill their vacant sporting director position following Fabio Paratici’s resignation last month.
However, Te Kloese told ESPN Netherlands’ morning show “Goedemorgen Eredivisie” on Sunday he had rejected an offer from Spurs and said Slot would do the same — an expectation the 44-year-old has now met. Speaking on Thursday, Slot indicated he is now likely to sign a new deal with Feyenoord.
“I have heard a lot about the interest of other clubs in me,” he said. “I am grateful for the appreciation that expresses this, but my wish is to stay at Feyenoord and continue to build on the foundation that has been laid over the past two seasons.
“There are no transfer talks and there have not been any and yesterday’s discussion was only about a possible extension: All talks with Feyenoord are only focused on that. I look forward to the new season at Feyenoord.”
Slot has a release clause in his contract but it does not become active until 2024. One source told ESPN that Feyenoord would have been due compensation in the region of £6 million had Slot departed, a figure which would not have been prohibitive to Spurs.
09.24 BST: Barcelona defender Jordi Alba will leave the Catalan club at the end of the season as a free agent, it was announced on Wednesday.
Alba, 34, has a contract with Barca until 2024 but an agreement has been reached for him to depart this summer after 11 years in the first team.
Sunday’s fixture against Mallorca at Spotify Camp Nou will therefore be his final home match for the Blaugrana and a chance to say goodbye to the supporters. Barca, who have already clinched the LaLiga title, then close the season away at Celta Vigo the following weekend, which will now be Alba’s last outing for the club.
Alba has not yet confirmed what his next move will be but along with Busquets, he has previously been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia. Barca had negotiated a deal with Italian side Inter Milan last summer, although Alba’s reluctance to leave saw those talks break down.
He has made over 450 appearances for the club, winning six LaLiga titles, five Copa del Reys and one Champions League during that time.
💙❤️ GRÀCIES 💙❤️ GRACIAS 💙❤️ THANK YOU 💙❤️ pic.twitter.com/2pARAdY02j
— Jordi Alba (@JordiAlba) May 24, 2023
08.30 BST: Harry Maguire and Kalvin Phillips may need to find new clubs this summer if they are to stay in Gareth Southgate’s England plans.
Though the pair were named in the Southgate’s squad for next month’s Euro 2024 games against Malta and North Macedonia, they have only played bit-part roles at club level for Manchester United and Manchester City respectively.
Maguire is reported to be available for transfer, while City are being linked with other midfielders which could push Phillips further down the pecking order.
“Inevitably it’s not a situation that can continue for ever,” Southgate said. “It [Maguire’s situation] is like Kalvin Phillips. They are important players for us and with Kalvin we haven’t got many players who can play as that single pivot.
“Of course the longer that situation goes on the more concerning it is and we’ve got, in Marc Guehi, Lewis Dunk, Tyrone Mings, players who are playing well without the same experiences of club European football or international football. But we’ve got to keep searching for competition in that area of the pitch.”
– Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount would prefer a move to Manchester United if he does not remain at Stamford Bridge, writes The Athletic. Contract talks have stalled with the 24-year-old, who will enter the final year of his deal in June. Despite recent links to Liverpool, the latest indicates that Mount would prefer to make the switch to Old Trafford rather than Anfield.
– Manchester City are keen on signing West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice, says Relevo. He has been attracting interest from a number of clubs with Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Newcastle United among the latest linked. However, it looks as though the Premier League champions have marked the 26-year-old as a reinforcement to Pep Guardiola’s squad this summer.
– Defender Lucas Hernandez has paused contract talks with Bayern Munich, reports Sport1’s Kerry Hau. The 27-year-old has received an offer from Paris Saint-Germain, and he would like time to consider it before committing his future. He will enter the final year of his deal next month, but while it was previously thought that an extension was likely, there is now uncertainty over his situation in Germany.
– Multiple Premier League clubs are tracking Bayer Leverkusen centre-back Edmond Tapsoba, reports Fabrizio Romano. Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have scouted the 24-year-old recently, but the Bundesliga side would only part ways with him if they received a significant transfer fee. He has made 32 appearances this season, continuing to play a key role for manager Xabi Alonso.
– Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City are keeping close tabs on River Plate attacking midfielder Claudio Echeverri, reports Ekrem Konur. Scouts from both clubs have been watching the 17-year-old, who is also on the radar of Real Madrid, Arsenal and AC Milan. Echeverri has been a standout performer for the Argentina youth national team, with whom he scored five goals while registering three assists in four matches at the South American Under-17 Championship.
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