The January transfer window may seem like a distant memory, but that doesn’t mean the rumour mill has shut down! Speculation over summer moves is heating up, so check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.
TOP STORY: Arsenal fear competition for Odegaard from Chelsea, Liverpool and PSG
Arsenal are very keen to strike a permanent deal for midfielder Martin Odegaard once his loan deal from Real Madrid expires in the summer.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta even described the 22-year-old as “incredible” after the Gunners came back from 3-0 down to secure a draw against West Ham United. That influential performance follows on from goals scored in the Europa League victory over Olympiakos and the win against Tottenham Hotspur.
However, the Daily Star reports that Chelsea, Liverpool and PSG have entered the race for the Norway international and his valuation has gone from €35m to €55m in just a few weeks.
As long as Zinedine Zidane is still in charge of Real Madrid in the summer, Odegaard will be allowed to leave, reports Football Insider. This could mean he departs on another loan or a permanent deal, but it has been made clear that the Frenchman does not want him.
However, Zidane departing could mean a shift in strategy at the Bernabeu, with Los Blancos‘ La Liga finish and their Champions League tie with Liverpool proving key in deciding his job status.
Odegaard has a contract until 2023 so will return at the end of the season, but where he goes after that is up for debate. Arsenal will want him to perform well, but not too well, lest the price to sign him continues to rise.
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12.02 BST: Barcelona want to extend Ousmane Dembele‘s contract beyond 2022, reports Mundo Deportivo.
Dembele, 23, moved to the club from Dortmund in 2017 for around €105m but the forward has struggled with injury issues.
The Frenchman almost left Camp Nou six months ago, when Manchester United were interested, but has now become a key part of Ronald Koeman’s new 3-5-2 system.
11.30 BST: Gareth Bale‘s contract conundrum haunts Real Madrid, Tottenham and the Wales star himself, writes Gab Marcotti.
It’s pretty evident Real Madrid do not want him back. They’d be happy to let him walk for free when his contract expires or even, as they’ve been doing, subsidize his salary to send him on loan elsewhere until his contract expires. This was true before the pandemic and it’s all the more true now, with the club registering massive shortfalls in revenue and Bale becoming a free agent in the summer of 2022.
By stating that he plans to return, he’s sending an obvious message: ‘I’m going to come back as is my right, and you’ll have to make sure I get paid down to my last cent, whether it’s you writing the cheque or somebody else.’
Real Madrid’s best-case scenario involved Bale making a triumphant return to Spurs, having a monster season and agreeing to stick around, signing a multiyear deal in north London. He would have had to take a pay cut on a per-season basis, but he would have made up for it in terms of the length of his deal. That’s not out of the question, but it’s unlikely, hence his public pronouncement.
10.50 BST: Where will Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly end up?
ESPN FC’s Frank Leboeuf weighs in on where Kalidou Koulibaly could land this summer.
10.19 BST: Tottenham striker Harry Kane said he will not let speculation over his future distract him from his goal of captaining England to European Championship glory this year.
Kane, 27, has scored 215 goals in all competitions, but is yet to win a trophy with the north London club. He signed a six-year contract extension in 2018 that would keep him at Spurs until 2024, but has been linked with a host of top clubs, including Manchester United, Manchester City and Real Madrid.
“I think that’s a hard question to answer right now,” Kane said when asked by reporters if the speculation around his future will impact his performances. “It’s important all my focus is on the two England games now and the rest of the season with Spurs and then the Euros.
“To be thinking about speculation or rumours would be damaging in terms of my own performance. I like to be focused on one goal and that’s to finish strong with Spurs… and go on and have a great Euros. I’m fully focused on doing the job on the pitch and then we’ll see.”
Spurs have dropped to sixth in the Premier League after leading the table in November and were also knocked out of the Europa League this month after losing 3-2 on aggregate to Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb in the round of 16. But Jose Mourinho’s side can still salvage their season by winning next month’s League Cup final against Manchester City, which would be their first major trophy since 2008.
“If we’re looking at it and we’ve finished in the top four and won the Cup, I think everyone will say it’s been a pretty good season,” Kane added.
09.44 BST: Sevilla, Roma and Atletico Madrid are among a growing list of teams monitoring the ongoing uncertainty over Alexandre Lacazette‘s Arsenal future, sources told ESPN’s Julien Laurens.
The striker will enter the final year of his contract at Arsenal this summer and the club face a decision whether to offer him a new deal or listen to offers for the 29-year-old, who would be able to negotiate with foreign clubs from next January if he hasn’t signed a contract.
Lacazette is in a strong position, with the player an important figure in the Arsenal dressing room, sources said, and manager Mikel Arteta signaling his intention to offer him a new deal.
09.00 BST: Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has asked the club’s owner Roman Abramovich to sign Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland, reports the Daily Express.
To sweeten the deal, Chelsea are willing to part with €53m summer signing Timo Werner in return.
There will be plenty of competition for Haaland, as just about every major club in Europe has been linked with the Norway star. Chelsea will also face an uphill battle should they fail to qualify for Champions League football next season.
Haaland is available for €180m this summer, sources told ESPN, while he is reported to have a release clause will make him available for €75m in 2022. However, the Blues may want to get in early before the rest of Europe’s top clubs do.
Could Erling Haaland leave Dortmund for Chelsea in exchange Timo Werner? Janusz Michallik weighs up the swap.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)
– Fabrizio Romano has given a Manchester City update, stating that they are convinced midfielder Kevin De Bruyne will sign a contract extension to stay past 2023. Ensuring Raheem Sterling stays is also on the agenda, with the forward’s contract ending at the same time, while Sergio Aguero will decide his future in the coming weeks, as the striker’s deal comes to its culmination in the summer.
– Paris Saint-Germain see Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier as an alternative to signing Tottenham Hotspur’s Hugo Lloris or Manchester United’s David De Gea, reports the National. It is felt that a move to PSG could tempt the 21-year-old Frenchman, while signing someone from Marcelo Biela should mean a player can adapt to Mauricio Pochettino’s style of play, with the Leeds boss being his early mentor.
– Internazionale will reject any move that is made to sign their star striker Romelu Lukaku in the summer, reports Calciomercato. This comes with a number of big-name clubs, including Barcelona and Chelsea, seeing the 27-year-old Belgium international as a target to improve their respective frontlines.
– Leeds United are hoping to sign Sevilla FC winger Lucas Ocampos in the summer window, according to Football Insider. It is suggested that the Argentina international has a €70m release clause, but they will be hoping to sign the 26-year-old for far less. It is stated that Sevilla would be willing to accept a lower price, due to the financial implications of coronavirus pandemic.