The summer transfer window is approaching, and there’s plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings and goings and, of course, done deals!
Mane, who joined Liverpool in 2016 and has scored more than 120 goals for the Premier League club, is out of contract at the end of next season. The Senegal international, who has won six trophies during his time at the club, said earlier in the week that he would wait until after Saturday’s Champions League final to announce a decision on his future.
“This question [about my future] I will answer after Champions League [final], if I’m staying or not,” Mane told Sky Sports. “What I want to say now is I am fully focused on the Champions League and winning it, which is far more important for me and the Liverpool fans. That is the answer I must give before the final. But come back to me on Saturday and I will give you the best answer you want to hear, for sure. It’s special. I will give you all you want to hear then.”
Now, following that 1-0 defeat to Real Madrid in Paris, Mane has reportedly set his heart on leaving Jurgen Klopp’s side in search of a new challenge.
Sources have told ESPN’s Mark Ogden that the 30-year-old is a target for Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, with his representatives having met Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic earlier this month.
Liverpool also have two other forwards — Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino — on contracts that expire at the end of next season, although Salah has already confirmed he will remain at Anfield for the 2022-23 campaign.
16.10 BST: Gareth Bale and Angel Di Maria have both been offered to Atletico Madrid as potential free transfers this summer, sources have confirmed to ESPN’s Alex Kirkland and Rodrigo Faez, but the LaLiga club have turned down the chance to sign either player.
Bale, 32, will leave Real Madrid after nine years at the club when his contract expires in June, while Di Maria, 34, is leaving Paris Saint-Germain when his deal runs out.
The Spanish radio station COPE first reported on Monday that Bale’s representatives had offered him to Atletico, saying the discussion had taken place in a meeting with the club’s sporting director Andrea Berta. Sources told ESPN that Atletico appreciated the offer but felt the finances involved in such a deal would make it difficult to justify, given Bale’s age. If they were to strengthen their attack, they would prefer to focus their efforts on a player who could contribute to the team over a longer period of time.
Bale did not feature in Real Madrid’s Champions League final win over Liverpool in Paris on Saturday after an injury-disrupted season. Sources close to the player told ESPN that no decisions would be taken on his future until after he had featured for Wales in their June matches, which include a World Cup qualifying playoff final against Scotland or Ukraine. Bale and his family have been happy living in Madrid despite his reduced role in the team in recent years, and his family remained in the Spanish capital during his 2020-21 loan at Tottenham.
Atletico have also been offered Di Maria, who played his final game for PSG last weekend, starting and scoring in a 5-0 win over Metz at the Parc des Princes. He has played 295 games for the Ligue 1 club since signing from Manchester United in 2015, scoring 92 goals.
“I’m calm. There’s time, I have to think,” he told ESPN on Saturday. “It isn’t just my decision, I’ll always think about my family and then about me. I’ll decide what’s best for everyone.”
Meanwhile, Calciomercato reports that Juventus are interested in signing Di Maria this summer, and that they are preparing to offer him a one-year deal worth €8m.
15.23 BST: Manchester United have announced that Ralf Rangnick will not stay at the club in a consultancy position because of his commitment to coaching the Austria national team.
Rangnick, 63, took over as interim manager coach at United in November but was unable to rescue their season. They finished sixth, with their lowest points tally in the Premier League era, and failed to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
A statement from the Premier League club said: “We would like to thank Ralf Rangnick for his efforts as interim manager over the past six months.
“By mutual agreement, Ralf will now focus solely on his new role as manager of the Austria national team and will not therefore be taking up a consultancy role at Old Trafford.
“We would like to wish Ralf the best of luck in this next chapter of his career.”
Rangnick was set to remain at United in a consultancy role to help new coach Erik ten Hag.
14.35 BST: Manchester United are interested in signing N’Golo Kante from Chelsea, according to the Guardian.
Midfielder Kante’s contract expires next year and with United keen to strengthen their midfield this summer, new boss Erik ten Haag will test Chelsea see if they’re willing to negotiate.
Kante remains a key player for Thomas Tuchel however, and the German boss has made no secret of wanting to continue working with the 31-year-old World Cup winner.
Kante has experienced injury problems this season, which could be one reason the Blues might consider letting him leave. Tuchel has admitted his frustration at not always having Kante available due to injuries, but it would be a brave move for new Blues owner Todd Boehly to allow such a quality player join a major rival.
13.44 BST: Paris Saint-Germain have made Neymar available for transfer this summer, sources told ESPN’s Julien Laurens, with the club seeking a new direction following Kylian Mbappe‘s surprise contract extension.
PSG’s stance marks another U-turn at the club, following on from Mbappe’s decision to stay when he looked certain to leave on a free transfer. Neymar signed a new contract at the club last year and it has three years to run, but PSG are hoping to offload him this summer.
Mbappe’s new deal, which runs until 2025, marks a new era for the club, with sporting director Leonardo expected to leave his position soon, to be replaced by Luis Campos — an Mbappe ally, following their successful spell at Monaco together.
Campos was at Monaco when Mbappe burst onto the scene and won the Ligue 1 title in 2017, as well as reaching the Champions League semifinals. The 57-year-old has a reputation for unearthing top talent and securing large transfer fees for hidden gems, with Mbappe one of many notable successes. Campos joined Monaco in 2013, and four years later, the club had won their first title in 17 years. He will be officially announced as PSG’s new director in the coming days but is already at work shaping the squad, according to sources, with a focus on younger players.
Neymar, 30, has been in Qatar with some of PSG’s sponsors and said this week that he wants to stay at PSG, but the Ligue 1 champions want to generate transfer funds to shape their squad. The Brazil international joined PSG for a world record €222m from Barcelona in 2017 but has featured in only 50% of the club’s matches since joining, amid a recurring run of injuries.
Neymar’s sizable salary, which costs PSG around €35m a year, may prove a stumbling block in the event of any interested clubs coming forward to make an offer, but Chelsea have a long-standing interest in the forward.
12.57 BST: Liverpool defender Nat Phillips could be joining one of the Premier League’s newly promoted sides for next season, according to The Sun.
Phillips, 21, spend the second half of the 2021-22 season on loan at Bournemouth, helping them secure their return to the top flight. The Cherries now want to make his stay at the club permanent.
However, Fulham are also interested in signing the Wales international to boost their own hopes of Premier League survival beyond the 2022-23 campaign.
The Sun reports that Liverpool will seek a £15m fee for Phillips.
12.11 BST: Erik ten Hag has prioritised the signings of Ajax defender Jurrien Timber and Benfica striker Darwin Nunez, the Daily Mirror reports.
Timber, 20, was part of Ten Hag’s Ajax team which won the 2021-22 Eredivisie title, and the Netherlands international has been identified as the player to bolster United’s options at centre-back. The Mirror reports that Ajax could be willing to make a transfer happen for a fee of around £35m.
Ten hag also wants United chiefs John Murtough and Darren Fletcher to push for the signing of Nunez. The Uruguay international has established himself as one of the most promising young strikers in Europe this season, but Benfica are likely to want at least £80m for a player who scored 32 goals in 40 games for club and country this term.
11.22 BST: Barcelona will tell more than 10 players that they are free to leave the club this summer as Xavi Hernandez plans to overhaul the squad following a trophyless season at Camp Nou, sources told ESPN’s Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens.
However, sources add it will not be easy to relocate many of the unwanted players due to their reluctance to leave and their high salaries.
Xavi has already confirmed conversations with Riqui Puig, Oscar Mingueza, Martin Braithwaite and Samuel Umtiti in which he informed them they are not part of his long-term plans. Clement Lenglet, Ferran Jutgla, loanees Luuk de Jong and Adama Traore and those returning from loans elsewhere, such as Francisco Trincao and Miralem Pjanic, are also likely to be invited to leave.
There is also uncertainty surrounding the futures of Ousmane Dembele and Dani Alves, who are both out of contract next month, while sources add that Barca’s financial situation could force them to listen to big offers for Memphis Depay and Frenkie de Jong.
Despite Barca’s desire to ring the changes, though, they are already encountering hurdles. Both Braithwaite and Pjanic have spoken of their desire to fulfill the final two years of their contracts, while the high salaries earned by players like Lenglet are making finding a suitor difficult.
10.35 BST: Marcelo will leave Real Madrid this summer, the defender confirmed after winning a record-breaking 25th trophy at the club in their 1-0 Champions League final victory over Liverpool.
The veteran defender was an unused substitute in Madrid’s win in Paris, but lifted the trophy — his fifth Champions League, having been involved in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018 — as club captain.
Marcelo, 34, had said earlier this week that he wanted to stay at the Bernabeu with his contract due to expire next month, but admitted after the game that he would be leaving Madrid after 15 years.
“It’s an incredible emotion because it’s my last game at Real Madrid,” he told journalists in the mixed zone at the Stade de France. “Leaving with a Champions League is a huge joy. It isn’t a sad day.”
The left-back became the most decorated player in Real Madrid’s history when he overtook legendary winger Paco Gento’s 23 trophies as the club won LaLiga last month. His trophy haul now stands at five Champions Leagues, four Club World Cups, three European Super Cups, six league titles, two Copa del Reys and five Spanish Supercopas.
Marcelo had been widely expected to move on this summer — having lost his first-team place to Ferland Mendy in recent seasons — but said in the aftermath of Madrid’s league title celebrations that he wanted to continue.
“You talk about things,” he said on Saturday. “We’ve spoken and we’ve decided it’s best like that. I’ve already done everything I had to do at Madrid. I’ve been lucky to be here for 15-and-a-half years at the best club in the world.”
Marcelo joined Real Madrid from Fluminense in January 2007. He has been linked with a return to Brazil, although his family are settled in the Spanish capital, with son Enzo starring this season for Madrid’s under-13 team.
09.48 BST: Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has said the club’s pursuit of Kylian Mbappe has been “forgotten” after their 1-0 victory over Liverpool in the Champions League final in Paris on Saturday.
Vinicius Junior’s 59th minute goal was enough to help Madrid to a record-extending 14th European Cup — their eighth in the Champions League era and fifth in nine years — with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois making a number of spectacular saves from Liverpool forwards Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.
Madrid’s preparations for the final were overshadowed by their failure to land Mbappe after Paris Saint-Germain announced last week that the forward had agreed a three-year contract extension when he had been widely expected to join Madrid on a free transfer.
Mbappe, 23, had been Madrid’s long-term top transfer target and wanted to make the move last summer when Madrid had a series of bids worth up to €200 million ignored by PSG, before the forward opted to stay last week.
“Real Madrid will always keep working on having the best players,” Perez told Spanish TV outlet Movistar. “But Mbappe is forgotten now. It’s fine. Madrid had a perfect season. It’s a subject that’s forgotten.”
– Ogden: Courtois inspires Madrid to glory
09.00 BST: A number of Premier League clubs are eyeing up a summer move for Braga centre-back David Carmo, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.
The 22-year-old is highly rated in Portugal and has been called up to Fernando Santos’ squad for their Nations League games against Spain, Switzerland and Czech Republic in June.
Sources told ESPN that a bid of around €25 million would secure a move away from Braga, with a number of English clubs having already registered their interest.
Manchester United are among the clubs looking for a left-footed centre-back this summer to bring more balance to their defence and have placed Villarreal centre-back Pau Torres on their shortlist of options.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Nick Judd)
– Barcelona’s ability to lure striker Robert Lewandowski to Camp Nou is edging closer, according to Sport, who believe the announcement hinges on whether Bayern Munich can sign Sadio Mane from Liverpool. Sport believes Mane will leave Liverpool and head to Bayern in a move worth €30 million. Once that’s confirmed, Bayern won’t stand in Lewandowski’s way, and the Polish 33-year-old is believed to have already agreed a deal at Camp Nou.
– Leicester City are interested in Manchester United midfielder James Garner, according to the Mirror. The Foxes have been impressed by Garner’s loan spell at Nottingham Forest, with the 21-year-old playing a key part in helping Forest reach Sunday’s Championship play-off final. Garner’s long-term future at Old Trafford is unclear, with Leeds United and Southampton are also monitoring the situation.
– Villarreal are hoping to make Giovani Lo Celso‘s loan move to Spain a permanent one, but Tottenham Hotspur are asking for a fee of €20m, according to Fabrizio Romano. The Italian journalist says that Villarreal boss Unai Emery is desperate to keep the Argentine midfielder, who helped Los Che reach the Champions League semifinal. It’s seems that Lo Celso doesn’t appear to be in Spurs boss Antonio Conte’s plans for next season.
– West Ham United and Southampton are battling it out with Ajax Amsterdam for FC Salzburg striker Junior Adamu, according to the Daily Mail. The Austrian international, 20, who has also been targeted by Hertha Berlin and RB Leipzig, has been valued at around £12m. Adamu can play as a winger or striker and he’s scored nine goals this season, including one against Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Quick and skilful, he is contracted until 2025.
– Tottenham look to have succeeded in their quest to bring Internazionale’s Ivan Perisic, according to Fabrizio Romano. The Italian journalist says a two-year deal has been agreed between the two clubs, with a medical due to take place early next week before everything is signed and sealed. Tottenham had made the 33-year-old Inter midfielder a top priority, and his arrival could be key to the aforementioned Conte to extend his stay in London.
– New Burnley boss Vincent Kompany is keen to be reunited with Taylor Harwood-Bellis, according to the Sun. The former Manchester City skipper took the 21-year-old defender to Anderlecht on loan, and now he wants to make him a permanent addition at Turf Moor. Kompany is hoping his relationship with his former club will help facilitate the move, but he faces competition from Celtic and Brentford. Harwood-Bellis is believed to have recently brought a home in Cheshire, which could boost Burnley’s chances.