Euro 2020 and the Copa America are over and the summer transfer window is open, leaving Europe’s biggest clubs clear to make a splash in the market. Check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.
TOP STORY: Man United set sights on Wolves’ Neves
United have been widely linked with Rice in recent transfer windows, but the Hammers have been unwilling to let their star man leave. West Ham want at least £100 million for the 22-year-old, who started every England game at Euro 2020 as they lost to Italy on penalties in the final, but United are unwilling to pay that much, so they could be forced to look elsewhere as they aim to strengthen in the middle of the pitch.
This could lead them to the Molineux and Portugal international Neves, who reportedly could be available for around £60m — a big difference from the fee needed to land Rice.
While he isn’t the exact same type of player as Rice, it is felt that Neves’ passing abilities could work well as part of the double pivot that has been deployed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer — often featuring Fred and Scott McTominay.
10.24 BST: Gareth Bale looks like he’ll be playing for Real Madrid for one more year next season before his contract runs out in 2022.
Steve Nicol is quite skeptical Gareth Bale will be able to reinvigorate his Real Madrid career under Carlo Ancelotti.
09.45 BST: Barcelona could make a U-turn over the future of Ousmane Dembele by offering him a new deal, says Sport.
Dembele, 24, has struggled with injury since his €105m move from Dortmund in 2017 and Barca were open to offers for the France winger this summer as they look to raise funds to reduce their €1.2 billion gross debt.
However, Dembele’s injury against Hungary at Euro 2020 has ruled him out until at least October following surgery and, with his contract expiring in 2022, Barca want to hand him extended terms so his value is protected.
09.13 BST: Tottenham have entered the race to sign Lyon’s Houssem Aouar by offering Tanguy Ndombele in a swap deal, sources have told ESPN’s James Olley.
Lyon are believed to be willing to transfer Aouar in a cut-price deal worth around €25m.
Arsenal have a long-standing interest in the midfielder but need to offload players first before entering the running. Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, Liverpool and an unnamed Spanish club have also been linked with a move. However, Spurs have contacted Lyon with a proposal which includes the chance to re-sign Ndombele, who joined Spurs for a club-record €60m in July 2019.
Sources said there has been no formal response from Lyon as yet, although they are looking to raise cash after missing out on Champions League qualification and having been hit financially like all clubs by COVID-19.
09.00 BST: France international striker Olivier Giroud thanked Chelsea’s fans, players and coaches for “special moments” as his €2m switch to AC Milan draws closer.
Giroud scored 39 goals in 119 games in all competitions for Chelsea and helped the London club claim the Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup since joining them from Arsenal in 2018.
“To all the Blues, to my team mates, to all my coaches, to the whole club, a huge thank you for these special moments,” Giroud tweeted. “I’m starting a new journey with a light and happy heart. Our victories in the FA Cup, Europa League and Champions League have been magnificent.”
The 34-year-old started only eight Premier League games for Chelsea last season following the arrival of German forwards Kai Havertz and Timo Werner.
He was part of France’s Euro 2020 campaign where the world champions were knocked out by Switzerland in the round of 16.
Chelsea triggered an option last month to extend his contract by a further 12 months but Giroud wants more regular game-time and is keen on a move to Italy.
Sid Lowe breaks down how Lionel Messi came to terms on his extension with Barcelona.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)
– Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri has made it clear to Mauro Icardi‘s representatives that he would like the Paris Saint-Germain striker to join him in Italy, reports Foot Mercato. There has been contact between club and player for some time, and the Argentine is willing to leave PSG.
– Previous transfer roundups revealed that Brighton & Hove Albion wouldn’t stand in the way of Ben White joining Arsenal if the Gunners met their valuation for the England international. And now, The Athletic reports that the two clubs have agreed a deal in principle, with the fee in the £50m region.
– According to The Sun, Arsenal are holding out for £15m as Internazionale look to sign Hector Bellerin, having allowed Achraf Hakimi join PSG. Inter want a loan with the option to make it permanent, while the Gunners want a guarantee that they will be paid before considering letting the Spaniard leave.
– Juventus and Sassuolo have met to discuss Manuel Locatelli but were unable to reach a deal, reports Fabrizio Romano. Sassuolo want €40m for the midfielder, as they know Arsenal would be willing to pay it, while Juventus offered a loan with an obligation to make the deal permanent for €30m. Negotiations will continue as Turin is the 23-year-old’s favoured destination.
– Having recently signed Tanner Tessmann from FC Dallas, Venezia are now looking to MLS again for their latest transfer move, reports Gianluca Di Marzio. That is because they’re hoping to sign Sporting Kansas City‘s Gianluca Busio, with the deal set to cost around €4m.
– AS Roma have identified a number of targets to fill in for Leonardo Spinazzola after the left-back’s injury while at Euro 2020 with Italy. La Gazzetta dello Sport is now suggesting that they’re interested in Palmeiras’ Matias Vina. It is also stated that AC Milan are looking at Santos’ Kaio Jorge.