Manchester City see Dortmund’s Haaland as Aguero replacement
The January transfer window may seem like a distant memory, but that doesn’t mean the rumour mill has shut down! Speculation over summer moves is heating up so check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.
Aguero has been in and out of the City side because of injury and it looks as though his time at the club could come to an end when his contract expires this summer. As a result, City boss Pep Guardiola would reportedly like to replace the Argentine striker with the 20-year-old Norwegian.
However, City aren’t alone in their interest in Haaland. Real Madrid are also planning for the future and are after a long-term replacement for Karim Benzema, while Manchester United have also been linked. Bild suggests that Haaland would be tempted by Madrid, and possibly City, and that both options would be more preferable to Bayern Munich or Chelsea, who have also been named as suitors.
The striker has a contract with Dortmund until June 2024 but Bild reports that he has a release clause of €100m which comes into effect in 2022.
When Haaland leaves depends on the club’s end to the season. If they can improve their fifth-place spot in the Bundesliga and qualify for the Champions League, Haaland could be tempted to stay until 2022. If not, it’s likely he’ll look to depart this summer.
21.05 GMT: With Ismael Bennacer’s name in the transfer headlines at the moment, many believe that Milan need to come up with a contingency plan in case the Algerian does leave.
Calciomercato suggests that Fulham’s Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa could be a good — and relatively affordable replacement for Bennacer. The article sites the Cameroonian midfielder’s play this season in a 4-2-3-1 formation, the same one Milan deploys under Stefano Pioli, and Anguissa’s impressive dribbling numbers (3.7 per game).
With Fulham a potential victim to relegation, the 25-year-old, who cost €25 million in 2018, could be an option.
20.16 GMT: We mentioned Alexandre Lacazette earlier and Calciomercato claim that Roma could be in for the Frenchman.
With Edin Dzeko nearly 35, the Giallorossi are looking for long-term replacement at striker after missing out on Arkadiusz Milik. Calciomercato claim that Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic is their top target but that Torino’s Andrea Belotti and Genoa’s Gianluca Scamacca are also options. Lastly, the report says Lacazette remains a dream.
Roma have been linked with the ex-Lyon man in the past but could the timing finally be right?
The Republic of Ireland international joins the Galaxy on a two-year deal — with an option for a third — from Championship side Blackburn Rovers. The 28-year-old, who has been capped three times by Ireland, has played his entire career in England, with spells at Aston Villa, Bristol City and Blackburn.
“Derrick is an experienced defender who has played at a high level in England and internationally,” said LA Galaxy General Manager Dennis te Kloese. “We believe Derrick will strengthen our defense and add competition to the position. We are excited to have Derrick join the squad and look forward to his contributions to the club.”
The Galaxy originally acquired the Discovery rights to Williams in a trade with D.C. United for $125,000 General Allocation Money ($75,000 GAM in 2021 and $50,000 GAM in 2022).
18.31 GMT: Watford have signed ex-Aston Villa and West Ham defensive midfielder Carlos Sanchez on a free transfer.
✍️ We are pleased to announce the signing of experienced Colombia international @carlossanchez6.
Welcome to the family, Carlos 🇨🇴 @_AFEX
— Watford Football Club 💙 (@WatfordFC) March 4, 2021
The rugged midfielder, who has 61 Premier League games to his name, recently turned 35 and will be tasked with filling in for the injured Tom Cleverley. With 88 caps for Colombia, and experience in France, Italy, Spain and England, the veteran will bring steel and know-how to the Premier League hopefuls.
17.53 GMT: Arsenal are still searching for a top centre-back and the Evening Standard writes that the Gunners have joined the queue for RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate.
After offloading Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos in January, the Gunners are expected to be in the market for a defender. While Dayot Upamecano is the in-demand Leipzig defender, Konate has a fair share of admirers himself. Manchester United and Chelsea have also been credited with interest in the 21-year-old Frenchman.
17.00 GMT: NYCFC have signed highly-rated midfielder James Sands to a five-year contract extension.
The first homegrown signing in club history, Sands has made 45 appearances for NYCFC, playing both in defensive midfield and defence. Heavily-tipped for a future in Europe, the U.S, Under-20 international is staying put for now.
“Signing a contract extension with NYCFC is a moment to celebrate and a reward for all the hard work I’ve put in throughout the last few years. It means a lot to me to help create that pathway for young players to really make an impact and push past the first contract.
“To do it at a Club like NYCFC is so special. I’ve been given so much room to grow here and being at this Club for an extended period has helped me to improve in so many areas both on and off the pitch. Ending this season with some sort of trophy would be a huge success and it’s certainly a goal of mine.
16.13 GMT: Minnesota United have signed Patrick Weah, with the forward penning a four-year contract with a club option for an additional year.
Weah 17, is the nephew of AC Milan and Monaco legend George Weah and cousin of United States international Tim, who plays for Ligue 1 side Lille.
“It’s another chapter in us showing that we are committed to the youth development,” said MNUFC Head Coach Adrian Heath. “As I said last year when we signed Fred [Emmings], if there was more kids that we felt were ready to make the step, we would have done it. Patrick [Weah] is another one of them kids.
“He’s got loads of raw, natural talent. We have to harness that over the next few years, and then try and teach him the sort of nuances of the game, because of all the physicality in the game. And the basics, he’s got in abundance. We’re delighted he’s decided to join us. It’s the start of a lot of hard work for him but we feel as though he’s got a lot of raw attributes to make the next step. Can we continue this now, can we continually bring one or two players from the system below, to keep promoting them to the first team squad? That’s got to be the aim.”
“He’s got loads of raw, natural talent.
We have to harness that over the next few years, and then try and teach him the sort of nuances of the game, because of all the physicality in the game.”
– Adrian pic.twitter.com/zXr34wPnJi
— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) March 4, 2021
16.11 GMT: Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has been linked with a move for Bayern Munich defender Niklas Sule for some time.
Sule, 25, has a contract until 2022 and could be on the move in the summer now the club have spent €42.5m to sign Dayot Upamecano from RB Leipzig this summer
Munich based newspaper Abendzeitung say that Sule’s exit is “by no means excluded” after Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge recently admit his contract extension “will only be possible on certain terms.”
15.30 GMT: Joshua Kimmich tells ESPN how he dealt with then-manager of Bayern Munich Pep Guardiola after the club announced his signing from Leipzig on Jan. 2, 2015.
“The first conversation was this — I asked them why they wanted to sign me, and what they see in me. He [Guardiola] showed me everything on the tactical map. It was amazing for me — he showed me some positions I could play, that I didn’t know I could play. I was like… woah… okay. When I worked with him more than just one hour, he showed me a lot. It was an amazing start.”
Unbeknownst to Kimmich, Guardiola had been in the stands, enthralled, when the midfielder lined up for RB Leipzig against 1860 Munich on August 10, 2014.
“[Guardiola] called me straight away and said: ‘super player, we must take care of this immediately,'” Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said in 2015.
It mirrored the way Leipzig had scouted Kimmich at his previous club, VfB Stuttgart. Alexander Zorninger, then the Leipzig manager, was on a scouting mission at a Stuttgart U19 match, watching another player, but it was Kimmich who caught his eye — the intensity, the running between the lines and how the ball gravitated towards him. Those at Leipzig remember the conversations: they hoped to keep him, having signed him on a two-year loan from Stuttgart.
But then came Bayern and Guardiola — no player in Germany could ignore those advances. The young Kimmich was ambitious — he wanted to play among older players when he left Stuttgart for Leipzig. But he arrived injured and it took months for him to settle. Senior players would see him work, hungry to finally get out there.
14.59 GMT: Barcelona came back to beat Sevilla last night but can any of their presidential hopefuls ensure Lionel Messi performs a U-turn on his desire to leave the club for nothing this summer?
Sid Lowe explains what it will take for Barcelona to hold on to Lionel Messi.
14.40 GMT: The Sun claims that Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes is set for a significant payrise from the base salary of £100,000-a-week he earns, to £200,000-a-week.
Even with an extra £80,000-a-week coming in incentives and bonuses, Fernandes, 26, is reportedly the seventh-highest earner at United with goalkeeper David de Gea topping the list on £375,000-a-week and Paul Pogba second with a £290,000-a-week deal.
However, the Portugal international has become United’s key player with 15 goals and 10 assists in 27 Premier League appearances so far, and is due to be rewarded for that.
14.15 GMT: Former Manchester United and Liverpool forward Phil Chisnall, the last player to be transferred directly between the bitter English rivals, has died aged 78, both teams announced on Thursday.
Mancunian Chisnall graduated from United’s youth academy and represented United’s senior team between 1961 and 1964, scoring 10 goals in 47 games, before joining Liverpool for a fee of £25,000 in April 1964.
United posted a tribute on social media: “We are saddened by the passing of our former forward, Phil Chisnall. Phil was a product of our famed youth system and represented the club during Sir Matt Busby’s tenure. Our deepest sympathies are with his loved ones.”
13.42 GMT: Lucas Pratto‘s agent has denied reports claiming he could leave Feyenoord to return to Argentina due to his lack of playing time at the Eredivisie side, according to ESPN reporter Javier Gil Navarro.
Pratto, 32, agreed a loan move from River Plate to Feyenoord during the January transfer window but the Argentine forward has only made six appearances for the club, being an unused substitute during the last five games.
Reports in the Netherland has suggested that he could be ready to return to Argentina but Navarro reported that his agent denied this possibility.
13.23 GMT: Colon de Santa Fe star Pulga Rodriguez has told ESPN Argentina that he would love to play for Boca Juniors, with the Argentine club allowed to make a new signing after Eduardo Salvio recently torn his ACL.
Rodriguez, 36, tried to leave Colon during the last transfer window and admits that his days at the club are numbered as his contract expires in the summer.
Rodriguez admitted that he was a Boca fan as kid but said he hasn’t been approach by the Argentinian side yet and doesn’t even have the number of Boca’s sporting director Juan Roman Riquelme.
12.51 GMT: Speaking of Alexandre Lacazette…
ESPN FC’s Mark Ogden says why he believes Alexandre Lacazette is on his way out of Arsenal.
12.10 GMT: With the future of striker Alexandre Lacazette uncertain, Arsenal could turn to Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard.
Edouard, 23, has scored 82 goals in 159 games for the club he joined back in 2017, with Roma, AC Milan and Leicester also reportedly interested in him.
Ian McGarry told the Transfer Window Podcast: “We understand there is another striker on the market for significantly less in terms in transfer fee [than Erling Haaland], but potentially someone who could be just as effective — that is Odsonne Edouard of Celtic. He is someone who is available for around €25m (£21.5m).
“It is also our information that Arsenal are a club who have made a solid enquiry with regards to a transfer with the next window in the summer.”
11.38 GMT: Monaco’s path from Kylian Mbappe to Aurelien Tchouameni… Julien Laurens explains how Niko Kovac has the next generation soaring ahead of schedule.
Kovac is very meticulous, and deserves credit for how much young players have improved: Sofiane Diop (20), Aurelien Tchouameni (21) and Youssouf Fofana (22) have been fantastic, on another level.
Diop is a skillful, creative and quick attacking midfielder who gives so much to the team. Defensive midfielder Tchouaméni has been bossing games in midfield all season and should end the campaign in Ligue 1 Best XI lists.. Fofana partners him in midfield and without being as impressive, he has been so important to Monaco too.
All of them are followed by big European clubs. As reported by ESPN, Chelsea are huge admirers of Tchouaméni while Diop and Fofana have been scouted by Spanish, German and English clubs too.
The first phase of “a long project,” as one source puts it to ESPN, has been a great success. The relationship between Mitchell, 39, the former RB Leipzig head of scouting and Kovac, 49, has been idyllic. Even when Monaco lost three games in a row in December (Lens, Marseille, Lille), there was no panic. The club and the owner, Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, know that they need stability after the chaos of the past few seasons.
10.43 GMT: Isco is “thinking seriously about his future,” Diario AS reports, after starting two games in a row for Real Madrid for the first time this season.
Isco, 28, impressed in last week’s 1-0 Champions League win at Atalanta and also in the 1-1 draw with Real Sociedad in La Liga on Monday.
The midfielder — who has a contract until 2022 — had made up his mind to leave the Bernabeu, according to the newspaper, but “it’s now no longer black or white” given his increased role and doubts over whether manager Zinedine Zidane will remain in charge.
“If Isco has the same opportunities as his teammates, his decision could change,” AS claims, saying the financial climate could make it difficult to find a tempting deal elsewhere.
10.12 GMT: Manchester United may end up missing out on Erling Haaland, so who else could they sign to improve their attack this summer?
ESPN FC’s Mark Ogden assesses alternate transfer targets for Manchester United at the striker position.
09.32 GMT: Jose Mourinho has admitted “everything is in Real Madrid’s hands” regarding Gareth Bale‘s future at Tottenham Hotspur.
Spurs re-signed the 31-year-old on a season-long loan in September as part of an agreement that was not thought to have included an option or obligation to buy this summer.
Bale has endured a difficult time upon his return to north London – seven years after joining Real in a then world-record £85.3m move — but a recent upturn in form continuing with two goals and an assist in Sunday’s 4-0 win over Burnley has fuelled speculation over the length of his stay.
“In relation to that, you should contact your colleagues in Madrid and they should ask [Real boss Zinedine] Zidane because he is a Real Madrid player,” Mourinho said.
“He is not a Tottenham player. So Real Madrid has everything in their hands. They have the player, they have a player with one year of contract. They have the power in their hands. You know, I just have a player on loan and I’m trying to take the best out of the player for Tottenham Hotspur with all the respect to Real Madrid.
“It is the same with [Carlos] Vinicius [on loan from Benfica]. We try to take care of the players we have on loan, for us, but also for the respect we have for the club that loaned us the player. If you want to know anything about Gareth’s future, I think you should ask your colleagues in Madrid to ask Zizou.”
08.52 GMT: Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland remains Real Madrid’s top priority this summer, according to Carrusel.
Despite Real Madrid working on reducing players’ wages as a consequence of seeing their revenue cut by €300m annually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, club executives know the team has to bring in reinforcements.
The Norway international has scored 43 goals in 45 games for the Bundesliga side since arriving from FC Salzburg in January 2020 and ABC claim his signing this summer would cost approximately €150m, at least €50m less than the acquisition of Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe, another target of Los Blancos.
Real Madrid reportedly have €125m put aside to bring in a top player this summer and between Mbappe and Haaland, the latter remains the most feasible option.
08.30 GMT: AC Milan sporting director Frederic Massara says he is hopeful that the club will soon celebrate the contract renewals of goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu.
The two players, whose contracts expire in June, are targets of some of the top clubs in Europe. Chelsea have joined PSG in the race to sign Italy international Donnarumma, while Juventus and Manchester United are reportedly monitoring Turkey international Calhanoglu.
“We speak to Calhanoglu every day at Milanello,” Massara told Sky Italy. “We are in talks with the [Calhanoglu and Donnarumma’s] agents of the players whose contracts expire in order to reach an agreement. At this time of crisis, we have to thank the club for their efforts to find an agreement that we hope to soon celebrate.”
Gab Marcotti outlines the scenarios where Juventus might stand a chance of winning the Scudetto.
PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd)
Juventus want Lyon midfielder Aouar
Aouar, 22, has been tracked by a number of clubs in the last two seasons, including Manchester City, Arsenal and, of course, Juventus. The Bianconeri have been heavily linked with the Frenchman before and they missed out on his signature last summer.
Juve were impressed by Aouar after he helped Lyon dump them out of the Champions League last season, and they were reportedly prepared to offer three players in an effort to get him.
Lyon rejected their advances, but Juve will look to try again when the window opens — though they will face a lot of competition, including from Arsenal who look likely to return with a bigger bid than the €35m that was rejected last summer.
Liverpool target Mendes addition
Liverpool could reignite their interest in Sporting Lisbon defender Nuno Mendes, according to O Jogo.
The Portugal outlet believes Liverpool, who saw a bid of €30m for the full-back rejected last summer, could have better luck this time around.
Mendes has been in good form for Sporting, who are currently top of the Portuguese league, which has prompted the league leaders to hand him to a new deal. However, such is the club’s financial predicament that they could be forced to raise funds by moving players on, including Mendes.
Mendes had a release clause of €70m written into his new contract, but Sporting could accept a lower fee in an effort to raise some much-needed funds.
As well as Liverpool, the giants of Juventus, Real Madrid and AC Milan are all tracking the 18-year-old defender.
– Arsenal are looking to replace Hector Bellerin with a more dynamic defender and Brighton &Hove Albion’s Tariq Lamptey is among Mikel Arteta’s options, according to Fabrizio Romano on the Here We Go podcast. Romano says Lamptey is a target for the Gunners this summer, but that there are a number of other clubs also considering him as an option.
– Sporting Lisbon are looking are looking to make Joao Mario’s loan move from Inter Milan permanent in the summer, according to Record. Sporting have raced to the top of the Primeira Liga and Mario has more than played his part, which has prompted Sporting president Frederico Varandas to make “an important investment” to keep the player. It’s clear Mario has no future under Antonio Conte, but Sporting may need to work out how they can afford to offer him similar wages to the €3m he gets annually at San Siro.