The coronavirus pandemic has made the summer transfer window uncertain, but here are the rumours floating around Europe’s big leagues and beyond.
TOP STORY: Arsenal eye Osimhen as Aubameyang replacement
Arsenal striker and captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looks set to leave in the coming months as he has failed to agree a new contract, with his current deal expiring in 2021.
That means the Gunners will be in the market for a replacement and Lille striker Victor Osimhen is on the shortlist, according to Italian outlet La Repubblica.
Ironically, Osimhen was Lille’s replacement for Nicolas Pepe when Arsenal paid £72m for the Ivory Coast winger last year. Osimhen has scored 18 goals in 38 games this season and is now valued at around £50m, having cost just £11m when the French side signed him.
Napoli are also interested in the Nigeria international, with neither side reportedly prepared to pay the full £50m because of the impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on clubs’ finances.
– ESPN+: Stream ESPN FC TV daily and 30 for 30: Soccer Stories
09.24 BST: Sporting Lisbon have reportedly agreed terms to tie starlet Eduardo Quaresma to a long-term contract.
According to A Bola, Quaresma, 18, will sign a new contract with the Portuguese giants until June 2025, with a €45m release clause.
The Portuguese centre-back was recently promoted to Sporting’s first team and has been a target of Atletico Madrid, AC Milan, Inter Milan and RB Leipzig. Gazzetta dello Sport claims Sporting already turned down a €5m offer plus Diego Laxalt from Milan in a deal to sign Quaresma.
08.42 BST: Former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes will coach Spanish third division side Unio Atletica d’Horta next season, the Barcelona-based club announced.
Valdes, 38, had been out of a job since being sacked by Barcelona in October after three months in charge of the under-19 team coach. He started coaching amateur side ED Moratalaz’s youth ranks.
“I’m very enthusiastic about training a Catalan football team and I trust that things will go well in this new chapter,” Valdes told Mundo Deportivo.
08.00 BST: Manchester City and Newcastle are not the only clubs interested in promising Uruguay youngster Facundo Pellistri, according to one of his agents, Carlos Aguilera.
City Group has reportedly been in negotiations with Penarol in recent weeks to reach an agreement for the 18-year-old winger. Pellistri is tied to Penarol until June 2022 and has a US$12m release clause.
“Asked about Manchester City and Newcastle’s interest in Pellistri, Aguilera, a former Torino and Genoa forward, said: “There are more than those two teams that want to take Facundo. We have to put ourselves in his shoes. Right now he must be the player that everyone wants around the world.”
Aguilera added that the transfer market speculation is affecting Pellistri.
“He is 18 and it’s very complicated to deal with this [transfer rumours],” he said. “Imagine that I had to manage my move to Europe when I was 24. He is a very respectful youngster and I speak to him every day. He is not prepared for this.”
Asked how the player was dealing with the coronavirus pandemic: “Facundo is well, he is training with some players.”
Gab Marcotti reacts to the news that Inter Milan will only sell Lautaro Martinez if his release clause is met.
PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd)
Barca and Madrid go to battle over Fabian
The future of Fabian Ruiz has been in question for some time, but Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis hopes that a bidding war between Spain’s two biggest clubs could lead to a healthy windfall, reports Gazzetta dello Sport.
• When does the transfer window reopen?
• Kuper: Coronavirus’ impact on transfers
• Barnwell’s best moves: 100-51 | 50-1
• This summer’s top free agents
• January transfer grades
• Latest completed major transfers
It has been widely assumed that Fabian would eventually end up in Spain, with both Barcelona and Real Madrid linked with the player. The coronavirus outbreak had put transfer talk to one side, but De Laurentiis believes the interest has been reignited and he’s hoping the two rivals will force the player’s price up.
Fabian is contracted to Napoli until 2023, having cost the Italian side €35m in 2018. In an attempt to force any potential fee up even higher, De Laurentiis is even said to be considering extending the player’s contract until 2025, even if it means doing so without the player’s consent.
Barca coach Quique Setien is particularly fond of Fabian, a player who played under him at Real Betis. Ironically, Barca play Napoli in the Champions League if and when the competition continues, which might give the two clubs a chance to put a plan in motion.
Pasalic makes loan move permanent
Atalanta have agreed a permanent deal for Croatian midfielder Mario Pasalic from Chelsea, reports Tuttosport.
The Italian newspaper suggests that Atalanta CEO Luca Percassi met Chelsea representative Marina Granovskaia on Wednesday and finalised a move that will see the midfielder stay at the club where he’s been on loan for two years, for £15m.
That fee was the amount set when Pasalic initially joined the Italian club on loan in 2018, and he has since become a key player for the Orobici.
In the 2019-20 Serie A season alone, which is now set to resume on June 20 following Thursday’s announcement, he has scored seven goals and registered seven assists in 32 appearances.
Gab Marcotti and Julien Laurens debate Edinson Cavani’s rumoured transfer to Inter Milan.
Inter the latest club to try and tempt Cavani
Edinson Cavani‘s next move remains a mystery. The player has been linked with Atletico Madrid, among others, and is said to be even considering a reduced salary to stay in France, but now he’s being linked with a move to Internazionale, reports Le10Sport.
Cavani has been unwilling to commit his future anywhere, even for yearly salaries of up to €6-7m. Napoli had offered him such a deal, then Diego Simeone’s Atletico were favourites to land the Uruguayan, but Cavani has not yet put pen to paper.
Cavani has even explored the…
Read more at this link (News Source).