The coronavirus pandemic has made the transfer market uncertain — and you can find out when the windows open and close here — but here are the rumours floating around Europe’s big leagues and beyond.
TOP STORY: Chelsea set £30m price to sign Mendy
Chelsea have been told that they will have to fork out at least £30 million if they are to sign goalkeeper Edouard Mendy from Stade Rennes. Contrary to L’Equipe’s report earlier Wednesday that the Ligue 1 club have valued the shot-stopper at £22m, the Telegraph said they are after an additional £8m.
Frank Lampard’s pursuit of a new goalkeeper comes after Kepa Arrizabalaga was dropped twice in favour of Blues’ backup Willy Caballero last season. That’s despite Kepa breaking the world record for a goalkeeper two years ago when he joined the Stamford Bridge club for a whopping £71.6m.
The report adds that the chances of Kepa leaving Stamford Bridge remain unlikely as he appears to be willing to stay and fight for his place.
16.00 BST: Forget the chase for Lionel Messi, Manchester City are quietly courting the heir to his throne: 17-year-old Dario Sarmiento of Estudiantes. Tim Vickery explains:
[Former Argentina coach Alejandro] Sabella was excited by Sarmiento’s left foot, by his poise and balance, by the way he can take three opponents out of the game with a quick burst, but also by his capacity to see the passes around him and take calm decisions. And while he looks like the smallest member of a boy band, he is stronger on the ball than he appears. It may be cruel, but to ignore his similarities with a teenage Messi, who Sarmiento has grown up idolizing, would not be human.
15.45 BST: ICYMI – Manchester United have been invited to negotiate with Bayern Munich for Thiago Alcantara as the German giants look to create a bidding battle for the wantaway midfielder, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.
Liverpool have been in contact with Bayern but have so far refused to meet the Bundesliga champions’ €30m valuation.
14.58 BST: Former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen says that the club would be Premier League title challengers if they signed Tottenham striker Harry Kane.
Meulensteen was first-team coach under Sir Alex Ferguson from 2007 to 2013 and is now assistant manager of the Australia national team.
“I think with maybe another good signing, I keep saying they [United] should bring in a really top, top striker,” he told TalkSPORT. “For instance, if they were able to get Kane — which I don’t think they can — but if they could get Kane, I would say ‘yes, they will compete for the title next year’.”
14.27 BST: Is there a way back for Lionel Messi now?
Gab Marcotti believes neither Barcelona or Lionel Messi will want the players situation resolved in court.
14.00 BST: West Ham women have announced the signing of Houston Dash captain and Lioness Rachel Daly on a temporary loan until the end of 2020.
The 28-year-old signed a new deal with the Dash this month which keeps her at the club until 2023. Daly captained the Dash to victory in the National Women’s Soccer League Challenge Cup in July and is the latest in a number of NWSL players to make the move to the Women’s Super League with Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis joining Manchester City.
“West Ham is a fantastic club with a strong squad, filled with proven internationals and talented youngsters, and I’m looking forward to meeting everyone in the team,” Daly said. “I’ve known [head coach] Matt Beard for a long time as well and it will be great to work with him in the coming months. I know we have two really big games to kick-off our season, starting this weekend against Tottenham, and I’m really looking forward to getting started.”
13.38 BST: More from Napoli president De Laurentiis … “We’re working to get Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Arsenal, we’re considering him as an option. [Kalidou] Koulibaly? I’m ready to sell him if some club will submit the right bid.
13.13 BST: Barcelona remain eager to fight for Lionel Messi‘s future at the club and are still holding out hope he will honour the final year of his contract following a meeting with the Argentina forward’s father, sources have told ESPN Moises Llorens and Rodrigo Faez.
On Wednesday, Jorge Messi met with president Josep Maria Bartomeu to discuss his son’s future after the six-time Ballon d’Or-winner had informed the Camp Nou side of his desire to leave.
Messi is looking for a new challenge in his career, sources have told ESPN, though neither he nor his representatives have commented on Wednesday’s showdown talks.
Sources said that Messi is reflecting on Barcelona’s position before deciding on the next step.
12.50 BST: Chelsea have agreed an €80m fee, plus €20m add-ons, with Bayer Leverkusen for midfielder Kai Havertz, says Sky in Germany.
The Blues have already spent over €150m this summer on Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva, Malang Sarr and Xavier Mbuyamba.
Leverkusen are keen on signing defender Sarr on loan, though the deal is not linked to that of Havertz.
Havertz, 21, has scored 36 goals and given 25 assists in 118 Bundesliga appearances and has been tipped to become one of the best in the world.
12.40 BST: Is Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain the player than David Beckham’s Inter Miami need?
Hérculez Gomez weighs in on whether or not Gonzalo Higuain is the “big name” signing Inter Miami need.
12.16 BST: ICYMI – Atlanta United FC president Darren Eales said that Gonzalo “Pity” Martinez is on the verge of a move to Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr FC.
Reports emerged earlier on Wednesday that the Argentina international was linked with leaving Atlanta. The Athletic reported that the deal would be worth $18 million.
Speaking on Atlanta’s pregame show ahead of their Wednesday match against Inter Miami CF, Eales said: “I can confirm there’s a deal in principle.”
11.48 BST: Here’s the latest on Lionel Messi from our man in Barcelona.
Jorge Messi half muttered a ‘sí’ when asked if they’re studying the option of staying at Barça for another season by @DeportesCuatro just now. Another day of talks ahead
— Samuel Marsden (@samuelmarsden) September 3, 2020
11.36 BST: Sevilla defender Diego Carlos has been on the radar of Liverpool before, but now Manchester City and United are keen, says Marca.
Carlos, 27, only joined the club in a €15m move from Nantes last summer but has quickly impressed and is now being tracked by some of the best in Europe.
He has a release clause of €75m, however, so he won’t come cheap.
11.23 BST: Manchester City target Kalidou Koulibaly will be allowed to leave Napoli this summer for the right price, the Serie A club’s president Aurelio De Laurentiis said.
The central defender has been a target for a host of top European clubs in recent seasons, with City and rivals Manchester United among them.
City have been in the market for a commanding central defender since losing Vincent Kompany at the end of the 2018-19 season and their hopes of landing Koulibaly have been boosted. As well the Senegal international, striker Arkadiusz Milik has also been made available by Napoli
“Koulibaly and Milik are on their way out but we need to see what offers arrive” De Laurentiis told reporters. “If they go, we know how to replace them. If not, we’ll discuss it again next year.”
11.01 BST: Can Luis Suarez and Giorgio Chiellini make friends if they both play for Juventus?
The FC boys assess Luis Suarez possibly joining Juve and how he’ll mend his relationship with Giorgio Chiellini.
10.16 BST: Dean Henderson has said he will push for another loan move if he cannot oust David De Gea as Manchester United’s first-choice goalkeeper next season.
Henderson has signed a new long-term contract at Old Trafford and sources have told ESPN that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plan, as things stand, is for the 23-year-old to fight it out with De Gea for the No. 1 spot.
United kick off their Premier League campaign against Crystal Palace on Sept. 19 but with the transfer window not due to close until Oct. 5, there would be an opportunity for Henderson, who impressed on loan at Sheffield United last season, to secure a temporary exit if Solskjaer hands the gloves to De Gea.
“Look, 100%, the aim is for me to play football next season,” Henderson said ahead of England’s Nations League game against Iceland. “I don’t think I want to be not playing after last season, coming off a good season with momentum. It wouldn’t be clever for me to sit around and not play football, I don’t think it would help any parties at all.”
09.30 BST: Aston Villa have signed right-back Matty Cash from Nottingham Forest for £16m.
Cash, 23, became the club’s first signing of the summer and said: “My agent rang me and said that Villa were interested, and immediately it was the place I wanted to come to. I said, ‘don’t even worry about anywhere else, I want to come here and play’.
“It’s such a big football club, from the fanbase to the stadium. Every time I played at Villa Park before it just sold itself to me. It’s a very proud moment for me and my family, and I can’t wait to get started. Playing for such a big club is going to be brilliant.”
The Dutchman, who has 10 caps for the orange shirts, offers Ole Gunnar Solskjaer quality and quantity in equal measure. Predominantly a box-to-box midfielder — though he’s also had stints as a “holding” player in front of the defense — Van de Beek features all the essential skills that make up a modern central midfielder. He is excellent on the ball, has an exceptionally well-developed footballing brain and boasts the ability to cover a lot of ground.
Gab Marcotti says “it’s not a good look” for Gareth Bale to be complaining about Real Madrid not letting him go.
08.34 BST: Gareth Bale has said he would be open to leaving Real Madrid this summer, but the club “make things very difficult.”
Bale barely featured for Madrid last season, being left out of the squad entirely for their Champions League round-of-16 second leg defeat to Manchester City, as ESPN reported that his relationship with coach Zinedine Zidane had reached breaking point.
Sources have told ESPN that Madrid are keen to let Bale go, but are yet to receive a formal offer for the former Tottenham Hotspur star during this transfer window.
“If [offers from Premier League clubs] arise, it is something I’d look at for sure,” Bale told Sky Sports News. “Time will tell but mainly I think the reason is that the decision is in Real Madrid’s hands. I tried to leave last year but they blocked everything at the last second.”
08.00 BST: David Beckham’s Inter Miami is “very close” to agreeing to personal terms with Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain, a source has told ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle.
TyC Sports reported on Wednesday that the two sides have already agreed to terms. However, sources told ESPN that talks are still ongoing.
The Athletic has also reported that Miami has obtained Higuain’s discovery rights — akin to a right of first refusal — from D.C. United, which would clear the way for the player to head to South Florida.
Higuain, 32, is free to leave Juventus after new manager Andrea Pirlo said the Argentine striker is not in his plans. If the Miami deal is completed, Higuain would join former Juventus teammate Blaise Matuidi in Miami, as well as his older brother, D.C. United’s Federico Higuain, in MLS.
ESPN FC’s Frank Leboeuf delves into how Gabriel Magalhaes will strengthen Arsenal’s defence.
PAPER TALK (by Sean Reynolds)
PSG turn down Guendouzi move
Arsenal’s Matteo Guendouzi looks set to leave the club this summer after falling out with new manager Mikel Arteta.
The 21-year-old Frenchman is out of favour and struggling to secure his future at the Emirates, despite a bright start to life in England.
PSG are keen to sign one Arsenal player, but the Daily Telegraph reports that they turned down the chance to get Guendouzi, and instead they are trying to land right-back Hector Bellerin for around €30m (a story from yesterday’s TT.)
Inter eye double swoop
Italian reporter Gianluca Di Marzio say Antonio Conte was impressed by the Estonian teenager’s efforts during a loan spell with AS Roma that started in January. Conte is now at the forefront of the race to snap up Jurgens, with the 17-year-old also attracting attention from Valencia and Leicester City.
Meanwhile, Di Marzio also claims in a separate report that Inter have completed negotiations with Roma to bring in veteran defender Aleksandar Kolarov on on a deal worth €3.5m per year.
– Premier League newbies West Bromwich Albion have made an approach to sign Chelsea’s Michy Batshuayi on loan, according to Football Insider. Chelsea are said to be comfortable with the idea of Batshuayi leaving on loan, but would be more content to secure a permanent move for the 26-year-old Belgium international. Two years ago, Batshuayi was reportedly valued at £50m amid interest from West Ham United.
– Scottish club Hearts are set to sign Preston North End winger Josh Ginnelly on a season-long loan, Football Insider also reports. The 23-year-old has only one season remaining on his contract at Preston and will become a free agent next season.