The summer transfer window might not be open yet in Europe, but teams are getting ready for it, and there’s plenty of gossip swirling around. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!
TOP STORY: Arsenal waiting to make Rice move
No breakthrough has been made over a potential deal despite interest from Bayern Munich, who were recently reported to have held positive talks with the 24-year-old, leaving the race for his signature open.
The Gunners have identified Rice as a priority in their search for a holding midfielder this summer, but they are allowing David Moyes’ side to focus on their upcoming clash with Fiorentina on Wednesday before beginning talks.
Sources told ESPN that West Ham would be looking for a fee of £100 million to part ways with Rice, with more clubs keen on his services after a stellar campaign in which he excelled for England at the World Cup while continuing his impressive form at the London Stadium.
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19.20 BST: Lens striker Lois Openda has agreed personal terms with RB Leipzig, reports BILD.
The Bundesliga club were keen to move quickly to find a successor for Chelsea-bound Christopher Nkunku, and the latest indicates that they are advancing for the Ligue 1 star who contributed to 25 goals in 38 games last season.
Discussions are set to continue between both clubs over a potential fee, with Leipzig looking to beat interest from Serie A to his signature.
18.57 BST: Aston Villa are preparing to make an offer for Villarreal centre-back Pau Torres, says Football Insider.
Torres, 26, has been linked with multiple Premier League clubs in recent seasons, but with his former manager Unai Emery now at Villa Park, the Villains now believe they have a positive chance of acquiring him.
He has just one year left on his current deal at the Estadi de la Ceramica, and there is belief given that the Yellow Submarine will need to move him on to avoid losing him on a free transfer next summer.
18.22 BST: Atletico Madrid have made an enquiry over Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, reports the Daily Mail.
Crystal Palace are said to have already made an offer worth £200,000-per-week to keep the 30-year-old at Selhurst Park, but he is currently considering his options with just weeks remaining on his current deal. It is reported that Los Colchoneros manager Diego Simeone is a fan of Zaha, though no official proposal has been made yet regarding signing him on a free transfer.
17.55 BST: Chelsea are considering a move for Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.
Juventus have recently been reported to be looking to move on from the 23-year-old, as they look to manage their ongoing financial situation, but with Romelu Lukaku set to return to Stamford Bridge at the end of the season, it looks as though manager Mauricio Pochettino will first need to make a decision on whether he wants to utilise him when he takes over as head coach.
17.21 BST: Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has signed the key initial documents with Saudi Pro League side Al Ittihad, writes Fabrizio Romano.
It is reported that the 35-year-old will join the club on a two year deal until the summer of 2025, with a one-year option clause included. He played his final game at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday, scoring in the 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao.
16.42 BST: Real Madrid see Harry Kane as the best available option to replace Karim Benzema, sources have told ESPN, but the club are looking at other candidates as they are aware that signing the forward from Tottenham will be difficult.
The England captain, who has scored 32 goals this season, has the right profile to play for Madrid, sources have said, but there are question marks over his age, his transfer fee and Spurs’ reluctance to allow their marquee player to leave.
Madrid had planned to sign a backup forward such as Espanyol’s Joselu to act as an alternative to Benzema and wait until next summer before making a significant investment up front.
Club sources have been reluctant to speak openly about interest in signing Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappe, but some are willing to admit that a move for one of the two had been planned for 2024, when Benzema’s time at Madrid was set to come to an end.
16.00 BST: Real Madrid can’t waste any time in the transfer market.
Kirkland: Real Madrid have to act fast to replace Benzema
Alex Kirkland reacts to Real Madrid’s confirmation of Karim Benzema’s departure from the club this summer.
15.39 BST: Borussia Dortmund have signed defender Ramy Bensebaini from Borussia Monchengladbach on a free transfer.
Bensebaini, 28, has penned a four-year contract and the Algeria international will replace Raphael Guerreiro at left-back.
15.33 BST: Chelsea have agreed a deal to sign Independiente del Valle midfielder Kendry Paez.
Paez, 16, is the youngest debutant and scorer in the Ecuadorian top flight and is highly rated in South America.
The Ecuador U20 international started all of his country’s matches at this summer’s U20 World Cup and will join Chelsea after his 18th birthday in May 2025.
15.01 BST: England defender Steph Houghton has signed a one-year contract extension with Manchester City.
Houghton, 35, has lifted eight trophies in her nine-and-a-half years at City including four League Cups, three Women’s FA Cups and one Women’s Super League title.
“I’m over the moon to have another year to look forward to at this amazing club,” she said. “Manchester City has been my home for almost ten years, and I love everything about it — it’s my club, and to sign for another year, I’m absolutely buzzing.
“When I first joined, I just wanted to be here as long as I could, and to play at the top level, so I never really put a number on it. Once you get closer to that decade mark though, you do think about the idea of hitting that milestone.
“I feel good in myself and my body, and I’m really enjoying my football, so it was an easy decision for me in all honesty. Both on and off the pitch, I feel as though I’ve got a lot to give in terms of my expertise and experience with the rest of the girls, and I’ll be continuing to support everyone as much as I can.”
14.45 BST: Is PSG the best move, over Chelsea, for Manuel Ugarte?
Would Manuel Ugarte be a good signing for PSG?
Gab Marcotti & Julien Laurens discuss the race for Manuel Ugarte between PSG and Chelsea.
13.55 BST: Liverpool want to complete a deal for Brighton midfielder Alexis Mac Allister before the Argentina World Cup winner links up with his international teammates ahead of the June 15 friendly against Australia in China, sources told ESPN.
Mac Allister, 24, is expected to become Liverpool’s first major signing of the summer transfer window following what sources say have been constructive talks with Brighton.
Sources have told ESPN that the player, who was signed by Brighton from Argentinos Juniors in 2019, is available for a fee of around £50m due to a release clause within the new contract he signed with the club in October 2022.
Liverpool have made the recruitment of at least two midfielders their priority this summer following the departures of Naby Keita, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at the end of the Anfield contracts.
13.31 BST: Lionel Messi‘s father and agent, Jorge Messi, says his son would love to return to Barcelona this summer.
The Argentina captain is considering offers after leaving Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent after two seasons with the French champions.
Despite being caught on camera entering the home of Barcelona president Joan Laporta on Monday morning, Jorge Messi denied a meeting but told reporters: “Of course, he [Messi] would love to return to Barcelona. I would like it too. We will see.”
Barca expect to get approval from LaLiga this week regarding their financial plans and ability to fit into the salary cap. They can then begin their transfer business, which will include the anticipated re-signing of Messi.
Asked if he had spoken to Laporta about how Barca could finance Messi’s return, Jorge Messi said: “We spoke the other day. but there’s nothing concrete.”
Barca coach Xavi Hernandez revealed that Messi would make a decision regarding his future club this week and that “the doors are open” for his return.
12.56 BST: Leeds United were relegated from the Premier League, so a number of players will leave, including USMNT star Brenden Aaronson.
Football Insider reports that 22-year-old, who only joined from FC Salzburg for £25m last summer, has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave on loan.
The United States midfielder could push to leave permanently, but it is reported that several Bundesliga clubs are interested in signing him.
12.11 BST: Manchester United are pushing ahead with a bid to sign Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount despite ongoing uncertainty over the club’s ownership, sources have told ESPN.
The board, including co-chairmen Joel and Avram Glazer, have given the green light to pursue Mount, who is set to leave Chelsea this summer.
United believe they can win the race for the England midfielder’s signature, sources have told ESPN, although initial enquiries have prompted concerns about Chelsea’s valuation of around £60m.
Mount has a year left on his contract at Stamford Bridge and negotiations over a new deal have stalled.
There is optimism that a deal for the 24-year-old can be done but sources said that manager Erik ten Hag is growing concerned about the rest of his summer transfer plans, in part because he remains in the dark about how much money is available for new players.
11.28 BST: Harry Kane could be a great signing for Real Madrid.
Moreno: Only Harry Kane can replace Karim Benzema at Real Madrid
Alejandro Moreno explains why he believes Harry Kane is the only candidate to replace Karim Benzema at Real Madrid.
10.47 BST: FC Porto president Jorge Pinto da Costa has revealed that midfielder Mateus Uribe will play in the Saudi Pro League next season.
Uribe, 32, turned down a contract extension to continue at Porto with his current deal ending this month. The Colombia international played his last game in Sunday’s 2-0 triumph against Braga in the Portuguese Cup final.
Asked about Uribe, Pinto da Costa said: “He is leaving. He has a fabulous contract in Saudi Arabia. It was impossible to keep him, there are figures that FC Porto cannot reach.”
10.18 BST: Aston Villa have joined in the race to sign Sevilla goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, according to AS.
Bounou, 32, saved two spot kicks to help Sevilla beat Roma on penalties last week and win the Europa League, is expected to leave the LaLiga club this summer. Tottenham, Inter Milan have been linked with the Morocco international, who impressed so much at the 2022 World Cup and is under contract with Sevilla until June 2026.
Villa coach Unai Emery is a big admirer of Bounou and wants the experienced keeper to join them this summer, but they face competition as he reportedly has a lucrative offer from Saudi Pro League side Al Ahli.
09.29 BST: Paris Saint-Germain are set to win the race to sign Manuel Ugarte after making an improved offer which prompted Chelsea to pull out of the running, sources have told ESPN.
Both clubs were willing to trigger the Sporting CP midfielder’s €60m release clause but the Blues thought they had edged ahead of PSG by adding bonuses to make their bid more attractive.
However, sources have told ESPN that PSG made a new bid which is “significantly more” than Chelsea’s highest offer and the Blues are not willing to pay a figure they now believe to be above the market rate.
Sources have also denied reports that Chelsea offered to buy a stake in Sporting as part of the agreement.
Ugarte had been willing to join Chelsea but PSG are now in pole position and are in the process of finalising personal terms.
08.55 BST: Napoli have not contacted Italy manager Roberto Mancini to replace Luciano Spalletti, amid reports suggesting otherwise.
The Serie A champions are looking for a new coach after the Italian club announced last week that Spalletti would step down at the end of the season to take a break from football.
Mancini, 58, has been coaching the Italy national team since 2018 and has three years left on his contract.
The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has reportedly denied that Napoli have made an approach to sign the former Manchester City manager.
08.21 BST: Paris Saint-Germain have opened talks with Julian Nagelsmann to replace Christophe Galtier as coach, sources have told ESPN, with the former Bayern Munich manager expected to be in the French capital on Tuesday for talks.
PSG’s owners, Qatar Sports Investments, have already spoken to other potential replacements, including Luis Enrique and Thiago Motta, but sources have told ESPN that PSG have made Nagelsmann their top target, with the German coach keen for Thierry Henry to join as his assistant.
Sources said the club believes he can build a strong collective, which Galtier and former boss Mauricio Pochettino failed to do, as well as viewing Nagelsmann as the ideal manager to utilise a talented crop of young players coming through.
Galtier is expected to be sacked by PSG after just one season in charge, despite leading the club to the Ligue 1 title. His tenure saw the club suffer a disappointing round-of-16 exit in the Champions League this season as their hunt for a first European title continues.
Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos will also both leave the club this summer, with ESPN previously reporting Neymar is also open to leaving Paris.
08.00 BST: AC Milan and Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic said on Sunday he had decided to end his football career.
The 41-year-old’s Milan contract expires at the end of June and will not be renewed following a season plagued by injuries, prompting him to end a remarkable and successful career. But Ibrahimovic later revealed in a news conference that no one knew the big announcement he was about to drop.
“Even my family didn’t know, because I wanted that when I announced it everyone heard it at the same time,” he said.
Ibrahimovic scored 93 goals in 163 appearances over two spells at Milan. He returned in January 2020 and helped Milan win the Serie A title last year — his second league trophy with the Rossoneri.
The legacy Zlatan leaves after 24 years as a professional footballer
Julien Laurens reflects on Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s career after the AC Milan striker announced his decision to retire from football.
– Real Madrid are considering a move for Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane as a replacement for Karim Benzema, the Guardian reports. With Benzema closing in on a move to Saudi Pro League club Al Ittihad, the LaLiga side are already on the lookout for his successor and may look to test the resolve of Spurs with an approach for the 29-year-old England international this summer.
– Sporting CP are keen for midfielder Manuel Ugarte to join Chelsea despite his preference to move to Paris Saint-Germain, says L’Equipe. The Blues are prepared to acquire shares in Sporting as well as hand the 22-year-old an eight-year contract, and that has seen the Liga Portugal side favour him making the switch to Stamford Bridge over the Parc des Princes.
– Montpellier forward Elye Wahi is attracting interest from Juventus, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. He has been in impressive form for the Ligue 1 side of late, having finished the season with 19 goals in 33 appearances, and it looks as though the 20-year-old is now being considered by the Bianconeri, who are looking to sign a long-term No. 9 while they consider the future of a number of first-team stars.
– AS Roma are looking to push forward with an approach to sign Eintracht Frankfurt centre-back Evan Ndicka, according to Calciomercato. The 23-year-old has emerged as a priority option for the Serie A side, who are looking to find a replacement for Diego Llorente, who will return to Leeds United after his loan spell ends. Ndicka’s contract is set to expire at the end of the month, with the Bundesliga club already resigned to losing him.
– Chelsea are looking for a fee in excess of £20m if they are to part ways with defender Ian Maatsen, reveals the Evening Standard. Burnley are interested in signing the 21-year-old on a permanent basis after he impressed while on loan at Turf Moor, but it is reported that they are reluctant to meet the Blues’ demands. Maatsen has just one year left on his contract at Stamford Bridge.