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: Pochettino plots De Gea move in the summer
The PSG boss is looking for a new goalkeeper to replace Keylor Navas this summer, and though Pochettino has been linked with Tottenham Hotspur‘s Hugo Lloris, it appears as if De Gea is at the top of his list.
De Gea, 30, has two years left on his United contract but, despite being one of the greatest keepers of the Premier League era, the Spain international could be available now that United have Dean Henderson as a credible alternative for the No. 1 jersey.
PSG are certainly one of the few clubs who could afford his £375,000-a-week wage and they could also afford to offer United a fee on top, too.
It has already been suggested that United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could be prepared to let one of two goalkeepers go at the end of the season and it appears that it might be De Gea, and not Henderson, heading for the exit door.
09.44 GMT: Who is in the race to sign Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland? ESPN Insider Notebook breaks it down.
– CHELSEA: Sources told ESPN that Chelsea feel there are several elements in their favour, not least an attractive financial package, but also the prospect of Haaland becoming the centre-piece of a young, expensively assembled team.
– MAN UNITED: They have featured heavily in reports linking Haaland with a Dortmund exit and securing him would bring an end to a long pursuit that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thought he had won in January 2020. Solskjaer had met Haaland and a deal looked on, before he moved to Dortmund with a release clause between €75-100 million, according to ESPN sources, inserted into his contract which will become active next summer.
– MAN CITY: City are keen to sign a striker this summer and are one of the few clubs who could afford Haaland. They also have the link with his family after father Alf-Inge Haaland played for City between 2000 and 2003. Haaland was pictured in a City shirt as a youngster and attended a Wembley cup final as a fan with his dad. City are also still interested in Lionel Messi if he decides to leave Barcelona, but a move for him is unlikely to affect their other transfer plans.
– REAL MADRID: Haaland wasn’t previously top of the list at the Bernabeu but sources told ESPN his performances this campaign have caught the eye and he would represent a more affordable option than long-term target Kylian Mbappe, who would likely cost more than double the amount required to meet the Dortmund striker’s release clause.
– PSG: Considering the great relationship between Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo and Raiola, the Ligue 1 champions are also in the conversation. But the only way they could make a move is if Mbappe decides to leave Paris. In that case, and especially if Messi was also not an option, Haaland could become a target. Money would not be an issue as Mbappe’s sale would more than cover the cost for Haaland.
09.00 GMT: Barcelona’s presidential elections are later today. Barcelona correspondent Sam Marsden brings us a Q&A — Everything you need to know about Lionel Messi’s future, who’s running, new signings and financial plans.
It’s no secret that Barcelona are in desperate need of renovation on and off the pitch. It was evident in the 4-1 Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain this month, just as it was in the 8-2 humiliation against Bayern Munich last August, that they can no longer compete with Europe’s best sides. For that reason, Lionel Messi wanted out last summer and, for that reason, he could walk away for free when his contract expires on June 30.
The club’s accounts don’t read any better than the scorelines in those defeats. Gross debt, accelerating daue to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, has risen to €1.2 billion, with players forced to accept pay deferments. Sources have told ESPN that reports of bankruptcy are premature, pointing out the club still has a lot of assets, including stadiums, facilities and players, but the situation is bleaker than at any other top European club.
After a first trophy-less campaign in over a decade, Messi tried to leave the club last year because of dwindling performances and lies told to him by the former board. Barca are a shadow of the side that won the Champions League under Pep Guardiola in 2009 and 2011 or under Luis Enrique in 2015 and Messi, 34 in June, wants the final years of his career to be successful.
Leadership is desperately needed. Barca have been rudderless since October when Josep Maria Bartomeu stepped down before he could face a vote of no confidence from the club’s members. By the time a new president is finally elected on March 7, 131 days will have passed since Bartomeu’s resignation. Club statues state an election should have been called within 90 days, but coronavirus restrictions in Catalonia meant they had to be pushed back from the original date of Jan. 24.
Meanwhile, with each passing day, the number of issues the incoming president will have to deal with are mounting.
One of the first tasks is not an easy one: convincing Messi to stay. Even if they manage that, though, with Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City pushing to sign him, at some point during their six-year tenure they will have to oversee the most painful playing transition of the modern era. What — or who — comes next?
Sid Lowe believes winning another Champions League title is an important goal for Lionel Messi before he retires.
PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd)
Klopp, Mourinho both tracking Konsa
Konsa’s impressive form has forced Villa chiefs into contemplating offering him improved contract terms. The 23-year-old still has two years left to run on his existing deal, but Spurs and Liverpool lead a number of Premier League clubs impressed by his form.
And Villa boss Dean Smith is so determined to keep Konsa that he’s reported to be already discussing terms to match his status as a first-team starter in the squad. The former Brentford defender will be offered similar wages to some of the other top earners at Villa Park.
Ings left Liverpool to join Southampton in 2019 but appears keen to have another bite at top-level club football.
Manchester City want Rabiot
Rabiot, 25, is a target for both Manchester clubs this summer according to the player’s agent Vincenzo Morabito, though he also admits that Juventus chief Fabio Paratici has already said “no” to City sporting director Txiki Begiristain.
Rabiot got off to a slow start to life in Serie A, but is now one of the first names on Juve coach Andrea Pirlo’s team sheet.
And it’s for that reason that a move for the France international could prove tricky. City are in the market for a deep-lying midfielder, and so if they’re unsuccessful in landing Rabiot, they could turn their attentions to Sassuolo‘s Manuel Locatelli.
– West Ham United, RB Leipzig and AS Roma are monitoring Stuttgart striker Sasa Kalajdzic, according to the Daily Mail. Hammers boss David Moyes is in the market for a versatile striker and the 23-year-old, who could be available for as little as £15m, could fit the bill.
– Sheffield United midfielder John Lundstram is a free agent this summer and there are seven clubs interested in his services, according to the Mirror. Burnley and Crystal Palace appear to be front runners, with the Eagles in particular identifying the 27-year-old as a key part of a major overhaul to the squad at Selhurst Park at the end of the season.