Welcome to the Evening Standard’s rolling transfer news and rumours live blog.
Premier League football returns to spotlight today after a blockbuster weekend of FA Cup football. Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United all progressed to the semi-finals with wins this weekend, in what is a mouth-watering final four of the competition.
Meanwhile, and despite the unseen economic strain on clubs brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, transfer activity and speculation remains bouyant ahead of this summer’s window.
Latest transfer news and rumours…
MAN UTD NEWS
Man Utd searching for another striker this summer
Manchester United are looking to sign another top-quality forward this summer, writes James Robson.
That’s regardless of the form of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial and Odion Ighalo’s contract extension.
“You need competition for places at Man United,” Solskjaer said.
“If you think you’ve got a divine right to be playing every game and are doing so well that we’re not going to look for players to replace you, you’re in the wrong place.
“I’ve been here myself for so many years as a striker and Teddy Sheringham comes in, Dwight Yorke comes in, Ruud van Nistelrooy comes in, Wayne Rooney comes in.
“We’ve always got to look at improving, and if they don’t improve, we might have to look somewhere else to get better because we have to be better.
“We’re too far away from where we need to be and want to be.”
MAN UTD NEWS
Yorke: Martial reminds me of Henry
Dwight Yorke has revealed Anthony Martial reminds him of Premier League great Thierry Henry, also stating Marcus Rashford’s intelligence is underrated.
“Anthony reminds me of myself and Thierry Henry in the way he has started his career playing out wide before developing into someone who can play down the middle, while Marcus does not get the credit for how intelligent a player he is,” Yorke said, as per The Sun.
“He is the perfect partner for Anthony in that he can play just off him as a number ten and drop into the pockets, going long or short or floating wide off much like I did with Andy Cole.
“Not that he has to be stuck in that role because he can also run beyond Anthony to get his goals too.”
Albert Celades sacked as Valencia manager
Valencia have confirmed manager Albert Celades has been sacked, with Voro Gonzalez to take charge on an interim basis.
A Valencia statement read: “The club wish to thank him publicly for his work and dedication during his time at the club -a period in which we achieved qualification for the
knockout stages of the Champions League and important victories at grounds where we had previously not won.
“The club also value his help and contribution since he took over as coach of the first team in a moment of difficulty, and wish him every success in his future endeavours.”
Remy to Benevento
Former Chelsea striker Loic Remy is likely to join Serie A side Benevento, reports Gianluca Di Marzio.
The Frenchman is due to leave Lille on a free following a two-year spell at the club.
Remy has reportedly been offered a three-year contract and will imminently undergo a medical.
Juve unlikely to go for Aubameyang
Some good news for Arsenal and Mikel Arteta…
Juventus will not likely join the extensive list of clubs considering a move for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this summer, according to Bleacher Report.
The Bianconeri are reportedly focussing on a move for Napoli forward Arkadiusz Milik.
A number of clubs remain linked with the Gunners captain, however, who is entering the final year of his contract.
Monaco join race for Gotze
Monaco have emerged as the latest club interested in signing soon-to-be free agent Mario Gotze this summer, report Bild.
The 28-year-old will leave Borussia Dortmund this summer when his contract expires.
Monaco will face competition from AC Milan, Inter and Roma.
‘Arsenal need to ship out half the team’
David Bentley believes his former club Arsenal need to “ship out half the team” if they are to improve.
The former Arsenal and Spurs midfielder believes both Mesut Ozil and David Luiz should be let go.
“Mesut Ozil and David Luiz are on large money and if Arsenal can move these players on then Arteta will be able to spend money on transfers,” he told 888.com.
“I don’t know what the thinking is at boardroom level because Arsenal need to ship out half the team and get a good core in.
“That’s difficult but can be done.”
Spurs eye Vasquez
Tottenham are plotting a move for Real Madrid attacker Lucas Vazquez, report Mundo Deportivo.
The Spaniard has made just six La Liga starts this season and is out of contract in 2021.
Jose Mourinho was in charge of Madrid while Vasquez was part of their youth set-up and is reportedly keen on a reunion.
Tottenham are hopeful of securing a deal of around £15million despite Madrid’s valuation of £23million.
Liverpool target White
Liverpool are targetting a move for Leeds loanee Ben White, according to Football Insider.
The central defender has enjoyed a fine season for Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds, who look destined for promotion to the Premier League.
Parent club Brighton are reportedly demanding more than £35million for the 22-year-old.
MAN UTD NEWS
Henderson agrees Blades extension
Manchester United keeper has agreed to extend his Sheffield United stay until the end of the season.
The 23-year-old has spent the last two seasons on loan at Bramall Lane, helping the Blades to promotion from the Championship.
Chris Wilder’s side have experienced a slump in form following the restart, but remain eighth in the table with seven games remaining.
A Sheffield United statement read: “Chris Wilder has finalised his squad for the remainder of the current extended Premier League campaign.
“Goalkeeper Dean Henderson will remain at Bramall Lane until the end of the season, after a deal was struck with Manchester United following prolonged discussions between the respective parties in recent weeks.”
MAN CITY NEWS
Man City want Ake
Bournemouth centre-back Nathan Ake is among Manchester City’s list of summer targets, report The Athletic.
Pep Guardiola is determined to improve his side defensively after failing to replace Vincent Kompany last summer.
Ake, 22, has scored two goals in 25 Premier League outings this season.
MAN UTD NEWS
Man Utd bound Jurado confirms Barca exit
Marc Jurado has confirmed he will leave Barcelona this summer ahead of an expected move to Manchester United.
Standard Sport understands that United will complete a move for the Spaniard, while the 16-year-old posted a farewell message to Barcelona on his Instagram page on Monday evening.
“It’s never easy to leave a team that has given you everything. FC Barcelona has been my second home, my second family, where I have developed as a player and as a person.
“Today it’s time to say goodbye, but not before expressing my gratitude to each of the people who have helped me since I started in the prebenjamín in the year 2011,” he said.
“I have been lucky to share my passion with a fantastic generation, with which I will always be linked. We started as boys who just wanted to run after a ball and I say goodbye, nine years later, calling them friends.
“Only we know the immense luck we have had with all the coaches who have developed us and helped us to keep fulfilling our dreams
“Every stage has a beginning and an end. Mine, having reflected a lot with my family, has come. I leave behind unforgettable memories which will always stay with me.”
MAN CITY NEWS
Are Manchester City set to pull one over their rivals Manchester United by moving for Jack Grealish?
The Telegraph report City are eyeing the Aston Villa captain as a replacement for Leroy Sane, who has told the club he will not sign a new contract.
United have long been linked with Grealish, who is rated at £70m by his club. But with question marks over their finances after posting losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic, City could steal a march on the playmaker.
One to watch, for sure.
Layvin Kurzawa has put pen to paper on a new contract with Paris Saint-Germain to all but end speculation linking him with Arsenal.
The French full-back was thought to be on the verge of joining the Gunners back in March on a free transfer but the deal failed to materialise.
The player confirmed the news via his Twitter account, writing: “I am very happy to extend with PSG. Allez Paris.”
Arsenal will cash in on youngster Folarin Balogun after he turned down a new contract, according to reports.
The 18-year-old, who is eligible to represent Nigeria, USA and England at international, is yet to make his senior debut but is highly-rated by youth coaches and has appeared for the Under-23 development team.
Balogun signed his first professional deal last year but that is set to expire in 2021 and Goal report after the starlet snubbed the chance to sign a long-term deal, the north London side will attempt to raise funds by selling him this summer.
The same report adds Brentford failed with a £5m bid in January and the Bees may be tempted to return for the youngster with his future hanging in the balance.
Now that the Arthur side of the deal has gone through, Barcelona have confirmed the signing of Miralem Pjanic from Juventus.
The 29-year-old joins in a deal worth €60 million (£55m) with an extra €5m (£4.6m) in add-ons.
The Bosnian has signed a four-year deal which contains a release clause worth £400m.
“Thank you for the great interest on the part of @juventusfc for the integration to the society. I know I’m going to belong to a big club and many challenges lie ahead with the Bianconeri.
Now I’m focused on the present, we have important objectives in Barcelona and I will continue to the end giving everything: for my teammates and all the fans. Thank you for your support.”
Chelsea’ new signing Timo Werner has revealed how Frank Lampard played a key role in convincing him to join the club from RB Leipzig.
The 24-year-old has signed a five-year deal in a deal worth £47.5m and will arrive at Stamford Bridge on July 1, with Lampard praised for pulling off a transfer coup in capturing a player of Werner’s quality.
The Germany international, who scored twice on his final appearance for Leipzig in the 2-1 win over Augsburg, has lifted the lid on his talks with Lampard.
“The discussions with the board at Chelsea were so good that I ultimately chose them,” he told Sky Sport Germany.
“Frank Lampard in particular stood behind me and really wanted me to know that if I went to Chelsea, I could feel just as comfortable as I do with Leipzig.
“In the conversations with me, the coach often emphasised how much he wanted me, how much he valued me as a person,” the player continued.
“Of course it’s hard to give up an oasis of wellbeing like the one I’ve had in Leipzig for years, but you can only get ahead in a career if you take the next step. This season was the crossroads, otherwise I would always have stayed with Leipzig. I’ve decided on something new and I hope that my form will continue like this.”
Angel Gomes is set to leave Manchester United after failing to agree terms on a new contract. But where will the 19-year-old choose to go next?
Speculation is rife that the England youth international could join top four rivals Chelsea.
According to the latest odds from Betfair, Juventus are the favourites to land the highly-rated playmaker, having been priced at 3/1. Chelsea are rated as a decent shot at 4/1, while PSG (6/1) and Barcelona (8/1) could also be in the running.
Angel Gomes’ next club odds:
Barcelona – 8/1
Real Madrid: 10/1
Man City: 14/1
Barcelona have revealed Juventus will pay €72 million (£66m) plus another €10m (£9.1m) in add-ons for the Brazil international.
As part of the deal, the 23-year-old will remain with Barcelona until the completion of the LaLiga season.
The Catalan giants are expected to announce the arrival of Pjanic, who will move for Barca for a slightly smaller fee.
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When does the 2020 summer transfer window open?
The Premier League’s chief executive, Richard Masters, has confirmed that the window is not set to open until the end of the season.
The campaign is currently scheduled to finish on Sunday July 26th, though the FA Cup Final will be held on August 1.
Therefore, August 2 seems a likely date for the window to open, though Masters admitted there is not yet a plan for how long it would go on for – especially with no dates yet confirmed for the 2020/21 season.
A summer transfer window usually lasts at least 12 weeks. Recent reports suggest Fifa will allow leagues to open their windows up to four weeks before the culmination of the season.
Players can be officially registered with their new clubs when the Fifa international window opens on July 1 – such as Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner with Chelsea – though Fifa guidelines suggest players joining in July will not be able to play for their new clubs during the current 2019-20 season.
From January 1 onwards, Premier League players with six months left on their contract have been able to negotiate and agree pre-contract deals with foreign clubs.
Some players have signed short-term deals with their clubs to finish the current season, but there is no obligation for players to do so. However, they will not be able to play for a new team this season even if they become a free agent due to Fifa regulations on registrations.