Welcome to the Evening Standard’s rolling transfer news and rumours live blog.
The Premier League is back after a – checks calendar – one-day break with Chelsea, West Ham, Liverpool and Manchester City all in action today. The Blues still have a Champions League spot to fight for, which could have a telling impact on their transfer business, while West Ham are far from safe.
Only time will tell to what extent the economic strain of the coronavirus pandemic will pose to the transfer market, though speculation remains buoyant ahead of this summer’s window.
Latest transfer news and rumours…
- Man Utd hijack Chilwell deal
- Chelsea set to sign Havertz
- De Bruyne staying at City
- United close to Chiesa fee
Chelsea are ‘set to sign’ Havertz
According to the MailOnline, Chelsea are set to sign Kai Havertz.
That’s because the Blues are reportedly the only club willing to meet Bayer Leverkusen’s £90million asking price.
Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are among a number of leading clubs keen on the player, but Chelsea have a clear run at him this summer.
And Frank Lampard’s men are said to be on the verge of a deal for Havertz, who scored 16 goals and registered nine assists across 42 appearances this term.
Man Utd hijack Chelsea swoop for Chilwell
Manchester United have joined the race £60million-rated Ben Chilwell, according to The Sun.
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard was reportedly convinced he had a deal for Chilwell for lined up, while Manchester City are also interested in the Leicester man as they look to replace Benjamin Mendy.
But United are now leading the race for Chilwell, casting fresh doubt over Luke Shaw’s Old Trafford future.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who signed Maguire from Leicester last summer, now wants another Foxes man as he puzzles together a new defence.
MAN CITY NEWS
De Bruyne staying at Man City
Kevin De Bruyne will not leave Manchester City at the end of the season even if the club’s Champions League ban is upheld, according to The Times.
De Bruyne hinted at an exit in May, saying: “We’ll wait and see what happens. Once there’s a final decision I will look at it. Two years [without Champions League football] would be long. One year is something I might be able to cope with.”
However, the Belgium international has now decided to stay regardless.
Jenas: Mourinho will ‘slowly edge’ Alli out
Jermain Jenas believes Jose Mourinho will “slowly edge” Dele Alli out the club, believing the midfielder’s drop in form is an indication the Portuguese manager’s reign is going sour.
Alli’s form took a sharp upturn following Mourinho’s arrival in November, with the three-time Premier League winner infamously asking whether it was “Dele’s brother” who had been playing of late.
The 24-year-old has since struggled for form and fitness, however, now ruled out of the north London derby with another hamstring injury.
“Dele, he’s struggled with by the looks of it,” he told BBC’s Friday Football Special. “That’s the key one I look at in terms of the way it’s gone.
“If you think of the way he arrived, Jose, the smiles, the ‘have I been watching Dele’s brother’. All of a sudden Dele’s scoring goals and it’s all looking good.
“And then, we’ve not seen Dele. We’ve not seen that Dele for weeks, months. And I get the feeling that he will slowly edge him out from what I’m seeing.
“That’s an indication of things going a little bit sour.”
Arteta hints at Mustafi stay
Mikel Arteta has hinted he wants Shkodran Mustafi to stay at Arsenal amid uncertainty over his future.
The defender has shown a drastically increased level of form following the Spaniard’s arrival but his contract is due to expire in a year’s time, with fresh terms not yet agreed.
Arteta insists the 28-year-old’s contract situation must now be sorted, however.
“I’m really happy with him. That’s something the club has to address but he knows my opinion,” said Arteta.
“I’m really happy with him as you can see.
“The way he’s playing, how committed he is with everything we’re trying to do, the level in his performance ever three or four days, he’s been really consistent and I’m really happy with him.”
Mourinho: We are going to make changes in our squad
Jose Mourinho promises Tottenham will make “some changes” to his squad this summer, though admitting they won’t spend as much as last summer.
The three-time Premier League winner also insists he “works for the club”, rather than thinking about himself, stating he believes Tottenham will win trophies during his reign.
“I believe we are going to make some changes in our squad, and for that we don’t need a huge investment like the club made in the past summer,” he said. “Don’t forget that was a huge investment in the last summer on transfers.”
“I’m focused on my three-year contract,” he added. “I believe that in my three-year contract we can win trophies.
“If we don’t, but the club does it in the new era, if I stay here only for three years, I will be happy with that. I work for the club. I’m not thinking about myself.”
Celtic demand £18m for Ajer
Celtic are demanding £18million from AC Milan if they are to agree a deal for Kristoffer Ajer, report Calciomercato.
The Italian club are reporting to sign the defender this summer, believing they can tempt him to come to the San Siro.
The Scottish champions will not settle for less than a big-money fee, however.
Rogriguez coming to the end at Madrid
James Rodriguez’s turbulent spell at Real Madrid is reaching its conclusion, according to Marca.
The Columbian has struggled to make an impression both at Bayern Munich and since returning to Madrid, with Zinedine Zidane regularly leaving him out of the squad.
The report claims Rodriguez is now likely to leave this summer, having made 125 games for the club.
Ozil wants US or Turkey move
Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil will only leave the club for a move to either the United States or Turkey, report The Sun.
The midfielder’s agent has insisted Ozil will see out the remainder of his contract – which expires next summer.
The German is yet to play a single minute since the restart, however, with Arsenal now reportedly ready to offload the 31-year-old.
MAN UTD NEWS
Smalling closing in on Roma move
Manchester United centre-back Chris Smalling is edging closer to securing a permanent move to Roma, report Calciomercato.
The defender has impressed while on loan in Serie A, with the Italian club reportedly keen to extend his stay.
Roma have reportedly agreed a loan deal for the 2020-21 season, in which they will have to pay £2.7million (€3m).
They also have the option to buy Smalling for £15million (€17m) at the end of the season, structuring the deal in this way in order to comply with Financial Fair Play rules.
MAN UTD NEWS
Carragher unconvinced by Martial
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher believes Manchester United may have to replace Anthony Martial if they are to win the Premier League.
United are unbeaten in 17 games in all competitions and are closing in on Leicester in the race for a Champions League spot.
“Liverpool possess an attacking trio that is difficult to improve,” He wrote in The Telegraph. “Can we say the same of United?
“I think they need another world-class player at the top end of the pitch.
“Martial’s goal record has improved but I am yet to be convinced he is the man to fire them to a title challenge.”
Barcelona agree terms with Martinez
Barcelona have agreed personal terms with long-term target Lautaro Martinez, but may have to sell Philippe Coutinho first, report ESPN.
The Spanish giants have been linked with the Inter Milan striker for some time, with a deal appearing to be edging closer.
However, Coutinho’s future remains up in the air – and that could prove problematic.
The Brazilian spent the season on loan at Bayern Munich, who have since confirmed they don’t intend to extend his stay permanently.
Coutinho has also been linked with Tottenham, but his astronomical wages would likely prove a sticking point.
Spurs in Premier League battle for Ikone
Tottenham are interested in signing Lille forward Jonathan Ikone this summer, report Telefoot.
The 22-year-old scored just three goals in 28 games for the French club this season, however, but would reportedly be tempted to leave Lille should a good offer come in.
The forward has three years remaining on his contract, with Newcastle also reportedly interested.
Jose Mourinho has insisted he does not want to replace his attackers after a woeful display in a goalless draw against Bournemouth.
But a move for a forward with such an output is perhaps unlikely.
MAN CITY NEWS
Sheffield Wednesday sign Man City starlet
Sheffield Wednesday have agreed a deal for Manchester City midfielder Fisayo Dele-Bashiru, according to Sky Sports.
The 19-year-old is now discussing personal terms with the Owls before the move is officially completed.
Dele-Bashiru has primarily played his football for City’s U23 side, scoring one goal in 14 Premier League 2 games.
MAN CITY NEWS
Garcia reluctant to sign Man City extension
Eric Garcia remains reluctant to sign a new Manchester City deal amid interest from Barcelona, report Mundo Deportivo.
The Spanish giants are reportedly very interested in resigning the defender after he joined City from Barcelona in 2017.
Manager Pep Guardiola insists he’s confident the 19-year-old – who has two years remaining on his deal – will commit his long-term future to the club.
Spurs make Willian offer
Tottenham have submitted an offer Chelsea midfielder Willian, who is set to leave on a free this summer, report Football Insider.
The Brazilian was heavily linked with a move to Tottenham with his deal set to expire on June 30.
Willian extended his deal until the end of the season, however, but as of yet has no deal in place to prolong his stay beyond then.
The midfielder has been in fine form since the restart, with Mourinho reportedly keen on a reunion.
MAN CITY NEWS
City to rival Spurs for Hojbjerg
Manchester City are set to battle Tottenham for the signing of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, the Daily Record report.
Tottenham are reportedly prioritising a move for the Southampton midfielder after their earlier interest in January.
The 24-year-old has just a year left on his Saints deal and has been stripped of his captaincy after insisting he wants to “play at an even higher level”.
While Ajax are also reportedly in the running, City have now joined the race.
‘I hoped Liverpool would sign Fernandes’
Former Red Jason McAteer admits he had hoped Liverpool would sign Bruno Fernandes before he signed for Manchester United.
The midfielder has proved a revelation since his Old Trafford arrival, scoring seven goals and providing six assists in 10 Premier League games.
United’s form has taken a drastic upturn since the restart, which McAteer believes can be attributed to Fernandes’ arrival.
“They have started back well and Bruno Fernandes has been brilliant.
“I saw him play against Liverpool for Sporting Lisbon in the summer in America and he was brilliant. I was hoping Liverpool would sign him and he’s been a huge influence.
“He has made Paul Pogba look a better player and you can tell the younger members of the team have been given more confidence.
He added: “Much of their rejuvenation is down to their Portuguese midfielder.”
Man City ‘perfect’ for Grealish
Manchester City would be the perfect club for Jack Grealish to flourish, believes Jason McAteer.
The Aston Villa captain has been heavily linked with a move away from the club this summer, particularly with Manchester United.
The former Liverpool midfielder believes he may struggle to get into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, however, and states a move to City would be timely with David Silva set to depart.
“Both Chelsea and Manchester United are giving young players an opportunity at the moment but while he might fit into that approach, it is difficult to see where he would feature within those teams.
“I can’t see him joining champions Liverpool, but Manchester City would be the perfect club for him to flourish.
“David Silva is leaving in the next few weeks and we could be about to see a rebuilding job at the Etihad. It would seem the perfect time for Grealish to make a move there.
“It would be a great environment for Jack and I’m sure Pep Guardiola would bring out the best in him. A move to the blue half of Manchester ticks all the boxes and would suit both parties.”
Arsenal face fight for Ceballos
Dani Ceballos is a man in demand, with three clubs competing with Arsenal for the Spaniard’s signature this month, report Express Sport.
The midfielder has enjoyed a fine spell with Arsenal since the restart, with Mikel Arteta insisting he wants to keep the “important” 23-year-old on a long-term basis.
Spanish clubs Valencia and Real Betis – alongside AC Milan – also want the midfielder, who is set to return to parent club Real Madrid this summer.
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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.
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