The winter transfer window is closed, but now it’s time to look ahead to the summer! Here are the new rumours floating around Europe’s big leagues and beyond.
Arsenal could be on the lookout for attacking reinforcements should Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang move on when the 2019-20 season comes to a conclusion, and The Sun is reporting Chelsea have offered Willian, who is a free agent at the end of the campaign, to their London rivals.
However, there’s a problem: the Brazilian’s wages. Willian is reportedly looking for £120,000 a week and a three-year deal, which is deemed too much by the Arsenal board, particularly given the player turns 32 in August.
Willian’s agent could be the key protagonist in the move as Kia Joorabchian also represents Edu, Arsenal’s technical director, and Cedric Soares, who joined the club on loan.
And now Joorabchian is looking to solve a problem that would suit both player and club, though Arsenal are not the only club interested. Liverpool and Inter Milan are also said to have expressed an interest, though it is believed Willian would favour staying in London.
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09.25 BST: Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey‘s future has been in the spotlight — and Paris Saint-Germain are the latest club to be linked to the Ghana international.
RMC Sport reports that the 26-year-old midfielder’s €50m release clause would be well within PSG’s means.
Both Arsenal and Manchester United have reportedly expressed an interest in Partey, although his agents JJ Sports have described reports of talks with the Gunners as “totally false.”
Atletico are keen for Partey to extend his contract in Madrid and double his release clause to €100m, but talks are yet to make any progress.
08.42 BST: Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has told TyC Sports he hasn’t decided on his future with his current deal ending in June 2021.
“Right now I’m not thinking of what to do,” said Aguero, who is the foreign player with the most goals in Premier League history and City’s all-time top scorer.
“With this [coronavirus pandemic], every club is having issues… I want to continue to make history in the Premier League.”
Aguero, who has previously stated his desire to return to Independiente in his native Argentina, also said that he knows he must win a Champions League is he is to have a real chance of winning a Ballon d’Or.
“Every player wants to win the Ballon d’Or but the Champions (League) influences that a lot,” he said. “Last season was my best. We won four titles but we didn’t have luck there [Champions League].
“I was not even nominated in the top 10 [of the Ballon d’Or] and that’s because you need to do more there [Champions League]. I consider myself among the best strikers in the world.”
08.00 BST: Borussia Dortmund are not willing to discuss a possible transfer of Jadon Sancho, at least not in public.
Sources told ESPN last month that Manchester United lead the race to sign the England international, although Old Trafford chief Ed Woodward’s recent comments on a crashing transfer market seemed to suggest that the Red Devils might not be willing to pay the full €130m asking price for Sancho.
Regardless of the news from England, Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has now told Sport 1 that there is nothing new to report.
He said: “All clubs currently are focused on the short-term, also in England! I can’t and I don’t want to go out on a limb with any prognosis because the [coronavirus] situation changes on a daily basis currently. We’ll see what happens.
“We have a long-term contract with Jadon Sancho. Nothing will change in that regard now. We are totally relaxed.
“I understand all the media interest, but those issues currently don’t have top priority. The main questions right now are: What will be? When will play again?”
PAPER TALK (Nick Judd): Arsenal eyeing Umtiti move
Mikel Arteta is looking to sign Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti in an effort to shore up his defence for the 2020-21 season, and Sport is suggesting that his chances have been boosted after Napoli dropped out of the race.
Umtiti has been mainly used as a backup by Quique Setien this season and has made just nine starts. And Barca, with some big transfer plans of their own this summer, are willing to sell the France international for the right price.
Napoli were also keen to sign him, but the coronavirus pandemic has limited their transfer funds. The same could be said for many clubs, and Arsenal’s hopes of landing the 26-year-old may depend on whether or not the Gunners finish in a Champions League place.
Arteta has made no secret of making his defence the area he is most keen to strengthen and was keen to land Umtiti on loan in January but a deal couldn’t be agreed.
Ajax midfielder Donny Van de Beek has time to plot his next move following the early termination of the Eredivisie, and Mundo Deportivo believes Real Madrid, Manchester United and Juventus lead the way.
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Van de Beek has long been linked with a move to Real Madrid, particular by the Dutch press, but the player himself may question that move when he takes into consideration Real’s courting of Paul Pogba, and their recent interest in Eduardo Camavinga. And that’s not including the impressive form of their own stars, including Martin Odegaard, who’s currently on loan at Real Sociedad, and who could come back to find new opportunities under Zinedine Zidane.
Manchester United could be a more attractive proposition for Van de Beek in terms of game time, and United could have the funds — he would likely cost around €50 million — if Pogba decides to leave for Madrid, or PSG, as recently suggested by multiple sources.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would love to partner Van de Beek with Bruno Fernandes in a new-look midfield, but he may face…
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