The summer transfer window is here, 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!
TOP STORY: Chelsea to return for De Jong, keen on Aubameyang
Chelsea are preparing to sit down with Barcelona for talks over a double move for Frenkie de Jong and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, according to The Telegraph.
The report adds that Chelsea could allot up to £300 million for summer transfers as new owner Todd Boehly continues to back manager Thomas Tuchel, and after ESPN revealed the Blues’ interest in Aubameyang and FC Salzburg striker Benjamin Sesko earlier on Thursday, it looks as though they are now keen to return to the pursuit of De Jong.
The Blaugrana are looking to offload the 25-year-old midfielder this summer, having agreed an €85m total fee with Manchester United, and they could have a much better chance of reaching full agreement with Chelsea. The Netherlands international did not want to leave Camp Nou to join United, but he is reportedly much more open to the idea of a switch to Stamford Bridge due to Champions League football.
With Chelsea also continuing the search for Romelu Lukaku’s replacement, Aubameyang appears to be at the top of their shortlist, with the 33-year-old frontman impressing for Barcelona last season, scoring 11 goals in 17 LaLiga appearances. Barca have already brought in Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha this summer, so the former Gabon international could be surplus to requirements.
– ESPN+ guide: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, FA Cup, more (U.S.)
– Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ (U.S. only)
– Don’t have ESPN? Get instant access
12.17 BST: Chelsea have signed Marc Cucurella from Brighton and Hove Albion, it was announced on Friday.
Cucurella joins Chelsea in a deal worth an initial £56m with a possible £7m in add-ons.
Cucurella, 24, was wanted by Manchester City and Cucurella handed in a transfer request but the two clubs couldn’t strike a deal, with Brighton standing firm on a £50m valuation for the left-back. The deal stalled, as sources told ESPN that City weren’t willing to pay the asking price for the transfer, allowing Chelsea to battle for his signature.
Sources told ESPN that City were only interested in signing the Spain left-back if the asking transfer fee was lowered to £35m.
Chelsea defender Levi Colwell has moved to Brighton on loan.
11.56 BST: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said his side will not make more signings for the sake of replacing injured players.
Klopp’s side have signed Darwin Nunez from Benfica, attacking midfielder Fabio Carvalho from Fulham and right-back Calvin Ramsay from Aberdeen this summer, but they have also been hit by injuries.
Diogo Jota, Ibrahima Konate and Kostas Tsimikas are just some of the players on the sidelines for Liverpool, but in a news conference on Friday Klopp said he would not be rushed into making any signings to cover for those absences.
Liverpool get their Premier League campaign underway with a visit to newly promoted Fulham on Saturday lunchtime.
“We have too many injuries, that’s true,” Klopp said. “But nothing has changed [in terms of new signings]. Unlucky situations. We started with Diogo getting a re-injury. Kostas was unlucky in a training situation. He might be ready to train next week which is helpful. Ibou [Konate] in a challenge v Strasbourg, we have to see how long it will take but he’s out for a while.
“We cannot solve the problems we have with a transfer. At the moment it makes no sense to us. But the transfer window is still open and we will see.”
11.41 BST: Nottingham Forest have made a club-record offer to sign Wolves midfielder Morgan Gibbs-White, says The Guardian.
Gibbs-White, 22, did well on loan at Sheffield United in the Championship last season, scoring 11 goals in 35 league appearances. The England U21 international is a key target for newly promoted Forest, though has also attracted interest from Everton and Crystal Palace.
Forest broke their transfer record earlier this summer by signing £17.5m striker Taiwo Awoniyi from Union Berlin, but are prepared to go higher to land Gibbs-White
11.11 BST: Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has been speaking about Brighton left-back Marc Cucurella during a news conference.
Cucurella, 24, is set to move to the club for an initial £56m, with a possible £7m in add-ons, while Brighton will loan Chelsea defender Levi Colwell as part of the deal.
“It’s not done yet,” Tuchel said. “The paperwork is in process and hopefully we can get it finished before noon and Marc is our player. If it goes through it maybe gives Levi Colwell a chance to find game-time elsewhere.”
11.00 BST: Chelsea have signed Sweden international winger Johanna Rytting Kaneyrd from BK Hacken on a three-year deal.
Kaneyrd, 25, scored 15 times in 55 appearances for Hacken and becomes Emma Hayes’ fifth summer signing following the announcements of Kadeisha Buchanan, Eve Perisset, Katerina Svitkova and Lucy Watson.
Hayes said: “We’ve been watching Johanna develop over the last 12-18 months and she has had an unbelievable season last year in Sweden. She’s extremely quick, direct, a great age and she’s the profile player we’ve been looking for. Johanna will bring another dynamic to the team and we are really looking forward to her career with us at Chelsea.”
10.43 BST: Spanish winger Luis Alberto could leave Lazio after six seasons this summer to return to Sevilla.
Luis Alberto, 29, is under contract with the Biancoceleste until June 2025. A key player for Sarri, he has the desire to re-join Sevilla, the club he left in the summer of 2013 for Liverpool.
“For the second straight year, he has expressed his desire to end his career in Spain, more specifically at Sevilla,” Sarri said of Luis Alberto. “I can’t tell you if I will have him at the start of September. He is a good player, an intelligent chap.”
Luis Alberto scored five goals and set up 11 more in 35 league appearances to help Lazio finish fifth in Serie A.
10.11 BST: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has admitted he doesn’t know if Bernardo Silva will stay at the club beyond the end of the transfer window.
Silva is wanted by Barcelona and although Guardiola insists he wants the Portugal midfielder to stay at the Etihad Stadium, he says he only wants to keep “happy” players.
City are yet to receive an offer for Silva but Guardiola is refusing to rule out his departure before the Sept. 1 deadline.
“The players’ desire is the most important thing,” Guardiola told a news conference on Friday. “I want players to be happy. Of course I want Bernardo to be here but I don’t know what is going to happen, honestly I don’t know.
“What will happen will happen and if in the end he has to leave it’s because football is like this and I won’t be a person to stop the desires of the people. When you are a football player it is so short.”
09.55 BST: Brazilian left-back Alex Telles has been speaking after joining Sevilla on a season-long loan from Manchester United.
“I have always seen Sevilla with very good eyes and when the opportunity came, I did not think twice about it,” he said. “I think I’m in the right place to play my best football. I had zero doubts. The Sevilla coach [Julen Lopetegui] gave me confidence and that leaves you eager, that’s why I’m here.
“My goal of playing in the World Cup is very clear in my mind and Sevilla has given me the opportunity to do my job with confidence. That’s why I’m also keen to compete, because it’s a very important year. I’ve also come here because it gives me the opportunity to play in the Champions League. LaLiga looks like a very competitive and strong league. It’s different from the other tournaments I’ve played in, but with the experience I have and everything I’ve been through over the years, I think it’s going to be a difficult but productive year. I expect the best of LaLiga.”
09.38 BST: Barcelona starlet Gavi turns 18 today, with the player expected to sign a long-term contract at the club.
The Spain international is one of the hottest prospects to come from the club’s youth academy in recent years and has caught the attention of some of Europe’s top teams.
Gavi, who is under contract with Barca until June 2023, made 47 appearances for Barca in his maiden campaign last season.
Barca football director Mateu Alemany was certain that Gavi will continue at the club for the foreseeable future and said: “We are waiting until he turns 18 on Aug. 5 so he can sign a contract longer than three years. We have small details to close out, but we will get it resolved. 100% Gavi will continue at Barca.”
08.47 BST: Barcelona have missed out on signing Cesar Azpilicueta but are not giving up on his Chelsea teammate Marcos Alonso.
A target of Barcelona, Azpilicueta signed a contract extension with Chelsea ahead of the start of the Premier League.
Mundo Deportivo reports that Barca have turned their full focus on luring Alonso to Camp Nou. With Chelsea expected to sign Brighton defender Marc Cucurella, the doors will be open for the Blues to negotiate Alonso’s departure.
Alonso, 31, is under contract with Chelsea for another season and the Spanish left-back is keen to join Barca. His agent, Fali Ramadani, met with Barca executives last week to discuss his potential arrival.
08.00 BST: Antonio Conte said Tottenham are moving in the “right direction” after bringing in new players but used Manchester United’s last summer window as a warning for those expecting a Premier League title challenge.
Spurs have signed six new players to date for around £100m including Richarlison, Yves Bissouma and Ivan Perisic as they look to build on last season’s fourth-placed finish in the Premier League.
Conte has previously insisted he only joined Spurs — whose last top-flight title came in 1961 — to challenge for the biggest prizes but said United’s travails serve as a prime example of how difficult it is to get nearer to Liverpool and Manchester City.
When asked how Spurs could close the gap on the league’s top two, Conte told a news conference on Thursday: “You forgot Chelsea and this is a big, big mistake. You are talking about a team that two seasons ago won the Champions League. It is a really big squad.
“Last season they won the World Cup for clubs. Why is Chelsea not in this group of top teams? For me, Chelsea is in this group. They want to stay there and deserve to be considered in this position.
“And then there is United. Football is not one, more one, [equals] two. United, last season, finish sixth despite a transfer market of [Jadon] Sancho, Cristiano Ronaldo and [Raphael] Varane. Two seasons ago they finished second.
“They did this transfer market to try to win the league and they finished sixth. You have to pay attention in my opinion to all of these situations. We know that in England it is difficult to fight to win but we want to try to be competitive, to try to improve on last season and this is our target.”
Julien Laurens breaks down Paul Pogba’s decision not to get surgery on his knee and how that affects his World Cup status.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)
– Sport is reporting that Barcelona are interested in landing Thomas Meunier. After missing out on the acquisition of Cesar Azpilicueta, who signed a new two-year deal with Chelsea on Thursday, the Blaugrana are now stepping up their chase for the 30-year-old Borussia Dortmund wing-back. It is reported that Manchester United were also interested in him, but the LaLiga side are now expected to advance talks, with Xavi Hernandez keen to land a player who can be deployed as an attacking right-back.
– Leicester City and Nottingham Forest are set to battle it out for the signature of Houssem Aouar, writes Foot Mercato. Lyon are reported to be looking for a fee in the region of €15m to part ways with the 24-year-old midfielder, who has also been on the radar of Real Betis and Arsenal. Aouar featured 36 times in Ligue 1 last season and contributed to 10 goals.
– Maxwel Cornet is on the verge of signing a deal with West Ham United, reports The Guardian. The 25-year-old versatile winger is believed to have a release clause of £17.5m after Burnley suffered relegation from the Premier League last season. And, despite interest from Everton, it looks as though the Hammers have won the race to land the Ivory Coast international.
– Juventus have made a proposal to sign Dries Mertens, says Gianluca Di Marzio. The 35-year-old forward is currently a free agent after his contract expired with Napoli and the Bianconeri have offered him a two-year deal to make the switch to the Allianz Stadium. The Belgium international has also been on the radar of Galatasaray.
– Crystal Palace are looking to sign former Barcelona midfielder Ilaix Moriba, writes Foot Mercato. It is understood Patrick Vieira has already made contact with the 19-year-old RB Leipzig star, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Valencia. The Bundesliga side could be prepared to let him go, adds the outlet, after he played just 90 minutes of football for them across five substitute appearances.