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: Real Madrid open to Hazard exit
Hazard, 31, has struggled at Madrid since joining from Chelsea in July 2019 and has scored just six goals in 66 games over the last three years.
Injury issues have hindered the Belgium international’s development but, with a contract until 2024 and reported wages of €9m-per-season, Madrid are ready to move him on if he wants to go. That said, there is little hope of recouping more than half of the €100m spent to sign him.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti has approved his departure, but is also willing to work with the forward to get him back to his best if he chooses to stay.
13.30 BST: What did Juventus new arrival Paul Pogba make of his time at Man United?
Paul Pogba says he didn’t make a mistake joining Manchester United after a difficult six-year spell at the club.
13.02 BST: Manchester United are closing in on the signing of Lisandro Martinez from Ajax, sources have told ESPN.
The Dutch side are set to grant the Argentina international’s wish to secure a move to the Premier League and are now actively looking for replacements.
Sources have told ESPN that Arsenal, who also registered an interest, are looking at alternative targets because of a belief Martinez is heading to Old Trafford.
United are likely to have to pay more than €50m for the 24-year-old, who can play in defence and in midfield. Both are areas of the squad that new manager Erik ten Hag is keen to strengthen.
12.57 BST: Sporting CP have signed Barcelona winger Francisco Trincao on a season-long loan, with an option to sign him permanently for around €10m.
12.38 BST: Barcelona president Joan Laporta has confirmed that winger Ousmane Dembele will sign a new deal.
Dembele, 25, has stalled over new terms and is now a free agent, but the France international will put pen to paper on a new contract until 2024.
“Yes, this week we’ll sign and present Raphinha and Ousmane Dembele,” Laporta said.
12.29 BST: Raheem Sterling has announced his departure from Manchester City as he closes in on a move to Premier League rivals Chelsea.
Last month, sources told ESPN that the England international was interested in a move to Stamford Bridge and City would not stand in his way.
According to sources, City expect to receive a transfer fee of £47.5m (with £2.5m in add-ons) for Sterling and the winger is keen on a new challenge, and has been impressed with Chelsea’s plans to make him a key player under manager Thomas Tuchel.
The 27-year-old confirmed on Wednesday that he will end his seven-year stay in Manchester this summer.
— Raheem Sterling (@sterling7) July 13, 2022
12.10 BST: Barcelona have beaten Chelsea to the signing of Raphinha after announcing an agreement with Leeds United to sign the Brazilian winger.
The fee is thought to be worth over €60m including add-ons, with the player undergoing a medical in Barcelona.
ESPN revealed in June that Leeds had also accepted an offer from Chelsea for Raphinha, but the 25-year-old’s desire to move to Barca has allowed the Catalan club to win the race for his signature.
11.52 BST: Axel Witsel said Atletico Madrid’s squad has “the most quality” of any team he’s played for as he was officially presented as the club’s first summer signing on Wednesday.
Witsel, 33, has played for Standard Liege, Benfica, Zenit Saint Petersburg, Tianjin Tianhai and Borussia Dortmund — as well as being a regular for Belgium at four major tournaments — before joining Atletico on a free transfer this summer.
“I’ve been in a lot of countries with a lot of clubs, but being here with this group, training with them, I think it’s the group with the most quality in my career,” Witsel said in a news conference. “I don’t know how many internationals there are here… Koke, Joao Felix, [Antoine] Griezmann, Yannick [Carrasco], [Matheus] Cunha. There’s a good mentality in the dressing room.”
The holding midfielder cited a desire to “play at the top level,” as well as working with manager Diego Simeone, who he described as “one of the best coaches in the world,” as his reasons for choosing Atletico.
“[Simeone] is one of the reasons I’m here,” he said. “I haven’t spoken to him much yet but we spoke a bit before my arrival… whether you’re 23 or 33, you can always learn something.”
11.28 BST: Rodrygo Goes has already put pen to paper on a three-year contract extension — and substantial pay rise — that would keep him at Real Madrid until June 2028, Marca reports, with the official announcement expected in the next few weeks.
The Brazil winger, 21, made a dramatic impact last season, scoring crucial goals in Champions League ties against Chelsea and Manchester City.
According to Marca, the new deal includes a €1 billion release clause which reflects his growing importance in the team.
The newspaper says an agreement was reached weeks ago and signed this week after Rodrygo’s return from the summer break, but confirmation from the club could wait until after Madrid’s US tour due to diary issues.
10.45 BST: Chelsea are closing in on the €40m signing of Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, while continuing to pursue an agreement with Manchester City for defender Nathan Ake, sources have told ESPN.
The Blues are keen to strengthen their defensive options after Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen left the club on free transfers earlier in the summer, joining Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.
Chelsea have so far been thwarted in their attempts to land Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus with the Netherlands centre-back preferring a move to Bayern Munich.
Sources insist the Blues have not given up hope on De Ligt but for the time being, Chelsea are progressing with other targets and formal confirmation that Koulibaly has agreed to join from Napoli is expected in the coming days.
Personal terms are set to be finalised on what has been described by sources as a “long-term contract.” Reports have suggested the 31-year-old has been offered a five-year deal.
As ESPN reported last week, talks are continuing between Chelsea and City over a deal for Ake, who is keen on a return to Stamford Bridge after coming through the youth ranks in west London. City were holding out for £50m but there is growing confidence at Chelsea that they can agree a deal for slightly less.
10.21 BST: Barcelona have beaten Chelsea to the signing of Raphinha after reaching an agreement with Leeds United for the Brazilian winger on Tuesday, sources have told ESPN.
Sources did not confirm the total cost of the deal, but the fee is thought to be worth over €60m including add-ons, with the player expected to travel to Barcelona on Wednesday.
ESPN revealed in June that Leeds had also accepted an offer from Chelsea for Raphinha, but the player’s desire to move to Barca has allowed the Catalan club to win the race for his signature. There was also interest from Arsenal, but the Gunners never returned after having an initial bid turned down by Leeds in June.
10.01 BST: Kylian Mbappe‘s decision to stay at Paris Saint-Germain changed Real Madrid’s plans to strengthen their attack this summer, Diario AS reports, with the LaLiga club now likely to opt for Karim Benzema and Borja Mayoral as their centre-forward options this season unless an exceptional opportunity presents itself.
According to the newspaper, Madrid expect Benzema, 34, to repeat his career-best form of last season — when he scored 27 goals in LaLiga and 15 in the Champions League — and believe in academy product Mayoral to act as a capable deputy after loans at Levante, Roma and Getafe.
That decision would only change, AS claims, if Benzema suffers from injury problems, or an unexpected deal becomes attainable late in the transfer window, as occurred last summer with Madrid’s €31m deadline day swoop for Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga.
09.21 BST: Spanish second division side Las Palmas are in talks to sign free agent Cesc Fabregas.
Fabregas, 35, spent the last three seasons playing at Ligue 1 side Monaco. The former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder is keen to return to Spain and is not ruling out playing in the second tier.
“It’s a real option but a complicated one,” Las Palmas president Miguel Angel Ramirez said regarding Fabregas’ potential signing. “I saw Cesc this weekend in Barcelona. There is a 40% chance that he will come to Las Palmas. In the next 48 hours we will get an answer.”
09.03 BST: Argentine midfielder Enzo Fernandez is in Lisbon to complete his transfer to Benfica.
Benfica reached an agreement last month with River Plate to sign the 21-year-old in a transfer worth €10m plus €8m in add-ons. Fernandez will put pen to paper on a five-year contract with the Portuguese giants.
“I’m very happy to represent Benfica,” he said. “It is a very prestigious club. I want to succeed here, to be champion. I want to help my teammates and improve every day.”
08.35 BST: Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti has brushed off reports that he failed a medical with French club Rennes.
The France international was close to joining Rennes on a season-long loan from Barcelona but the deal has now been put on hold. Catalan TV3 reports that Umtiti failed a medical this week with Rennes.
But the player wrote on Instagram: “When the lie takes the elevator, the truth takes the stairs. It takes longer, but it always ends up arriving.”
Umtiti, 28, is under contract with Barca until June 2026 and has been placed on the transfer list in recent windows. Umtiti is among the players Barca want to see depart this summer to reduce their wage bill.
08.00 BST: Cristiano Ronaldo was offered to Paris Saint-Germain by his agent Jorge Mendes, but the French champions rejected the possibility of signing the Manchester United forward, sources told ESPN.
Ronaldo, 37, wants to leave Old Trafford in search of Champions League football in the coming season, only a year after rejoining the club and with another year on his contract.
Mendes discussed the availability of the No. 7 with PSG sporting director Luis Campos and club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi. The super agent is very close to both of them after having worked for many years with Campos before his arrival in the French capital this summer. He has also handled numerous contracts for his players with Al-Khelaifi, including PSG’s most recent signing Vitinha, who joined from Porto.
Sources added that PSG don’t feel that Ronaldo is the right signing at this moment and that the club doesn’t have enough space in their wage bill to pay him.
Paul Pogba says he didn’t make a mistake joining Manchester United after a difficult six-year spell at the club.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Abbie Ingham)
– Lille midfielder Renato Sanches is confident he will secure a move to Paris Saint-Germain this summer, according to Sky Sports Germany. The 24-year-old has been linked with AC Milan for months after refusing to extend his contract, which expires in 2023, but the Portugal international wishes to instead join the Ligue 1 champions.
– Idrissa Gueye plans to see out his contract with PSG despite advances from Galatasaray, as per L’Equipe. The 32-year-old is considered a priority for the Turkish side this transfer window. However, the midfielder is reportedly comfortable staying in Paris, earning €500,000 per month, until his contract expires in June 2023.
– Bayern Munich are no longer interested in signing Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane this summer, according to Sky Sports Germany. Although the Bundesliga champions were eyeing the 28-year-old as a possible replacement for the departing Robert Lewandowski, they are not pursuing a move in this transfer window. This could reportedly change next year, but there are no discussions for a future move taking place. Lewandowski has long been linked with a €40m move to Barcelona.
– Memphis Depay is set to snub a move to Tottenham and stay at Barcelona, reports Sport. The Catalan side want €20m for the 28-year-old Netherlands striker, who has scored 12 times since joining Barcelona on a free transfer last summer. Despite the expected arrivals of Lewandowski and Raphinha, the forward reportedly wants to stay and play regularly at Camp Nou. Spurs already count Kane, Son Heung-Min, Dejan Kulusevski, Lucas Moura and new signing Richarlison as attacking options.
– The Azzurri revamp at Toronto FC side continues, with Fabrizio Romano reporting that ex-Juventus man Federico Bernardeschi will soon join the Major League Soccer side. Toronto have already signed Italian duo Lorenzo Insigne and Domenico Criscito this summer, with Bernardeschi expected to take over the Designated Player roster spot following Tuesday’s exit of Carlos Salcedo.