The coronavirus pandemic has made the transfer market uncertain — and you can find out when the windows open and close here — but here are the rumours floating around Europe’s big leagues and beyond.
TOP STORY: Barcelona want Gabriel Jesus to replace Suarez
Lionel Messi is not the only player who could be leaving Barcelona, as reports in Spain suggest Luis Suarez may be among those to be shown to the exit at Camp Nou. And Globo Esporte reports the Catalan giants have identified Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus as a potential replacement for the outgoing Uruguay international, who has been linked to MLS and with a return to Ajax.
Barcelona are said to have already made contact with City to ask about Gabriel‘s availability, with the fact he is 10 years Suarez’s junior being part of the appeal behind the move. Ronald Koeman, having taken over as manager, will be leading Barca’s renewal process and is keen for this move to materialise, especially in the light of the Messi news.
On that, Sport reports that Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United are interested in signing the 33-year-old Argentine, but Manchester City are the clear favourites and sources told ESPN that Pep Guardiola and the player spoke on the phone last week to discuss the possibility of a move.
22.45 BST: It doesn’t look like Lionel Messi will land at Inter but another high profile player could soon be on his way to San Siro.
Gazzetto dello Sport, via football.london claims that Inter have their eyes on Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante and would be willing to sell Lautaro Martinez, Marcelo Brozovic or Milan Skriniar in order to fund a move for the two-time Premier League champion. Kante, 29, is coming off an injury-riddled 2019-20, having started just 20 games for Frank Lampard’s Blues and would not come cheap.
Inter finished second behind Juventus in Antonio Conte’s first season at the helm and are looking to make an impact signing or two in order to close the gap with the Old Lady.
22.18 BST: AC Milan goalkeeper – and former Barcelona, Villarreal, Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Aston Villa backstop — Pepe Reina has passed his medical at Lazio, Mundo Deportivo reports, and the soon-to-be 38-year-old is set to sign a two-year contract.
21.47 BST: Crystal Palace and QPR have agreed to a £16 million deal for attacking midfielder Eberechi Eze, according to Sky Sports.
Eze, 22, was one of the top players in the Championship last season, scoring 14 goals and adding eight assists for Rangers. The deal for the England underage international could rise to up to £20m with add-ons and contains a 20% sell-on clause for QPR.
21.02 BST: Tottenham are closing in on a £15 million deal for Wolves and Republic of Ireland right-back Matt Doherty, reports the Athletic.
Jose Mourinho rates the 28-year-old as an upgrade defensively compared to Serge Aurier, who can be erratic in that area. Doherty has been at Wolves since 2010, racking up 28 goals and 41 assists from full-back in over 300 appearances for the club, and helping Wolves win both League One (2014) and the Championship (2018).
20.15 BST: Marca reports that Valencia striker Rodrigo passed his medical this morning in Spain, in the presence of Leeds United sporting director Victor Orta, and the pair – along with Rodrigo’s father and agent, Adalberto Moreno – will travel to West Yorkshire to sign the contract that will make him Leeds’ record signing for a reported €30 million.
19.21 BST: Newly-promoted Fulham have made just one new signing to date, Wigan’s Antonee Robinson, but more could soon be on the way.
The Daily Star suggests that Fulham are in for three Premier Leaguers who are out currently out of favour at their respective clubs. The reports lists Southampton defensive midfielder Mario Lemina, Arsenal youngster Emile Smith Rowe and West Ham winger Grady Diangana all as targets of the London club. All three spent last season on loan — Lemina (Galatasaray), Smith Rowe (Huddersfield Town) and Diangana (West Brom) — but as the saying goes: “one club’s rubbish is another club’s treasure.”
Diangana, who factored in 15 goals for West Brom while on loan, would be an interesting proposition, even on a loan basis, as Fulham are hoping to bolster their options out wide.
18.46 BST: AC Milan have all but agreed to terms on a new contract for talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, which will see the 38-year-old net €7m for returning to the San Siro in 2020-21.
18.19 BST: Dean Henderson has ended speculation over his Manchester United future by signing a new five-year contract at Old Trafford, with the option of a further 12 months to be triggered before Jun 2025. The 23-year-old goalkeeper, who has been named in the England squad for next month’s Nations League games against Iceland and Denmark, has spent the past two seasons on loan at Sheffield United, where his performances for Chris Wilder’s team led to Henderson being linked with a move to Chelsea. Read the full story.
🔴 An update on Dean Henderson’s #MUFC future 👇
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 26, 2020
17.53 BST: Chelsea have signed Leicester City defender Ben Chilwell, the club have announced. Sources told ESPN’s James Olley on Friday that the deal was close to being done after Leicester dropped their £80m valuation, and the two clubs eventually agreed a deal for £50m. Read the full story.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 26, 2020
17.00 BST: Lionel Messi to a MLS club would be quite something for soccer in America.
Mark Ogden believes Lionel Messi should consider a move to MLS as he looks to leave Barcelona.
16.08 BST: Manchester City will do everything possible to pursue the option of signing Lionel Messi on a free transfer, but various sources have revealed to ESPN they would contemplate the possibility of paying between €100m-€150m if he’s unable to force an exit.
The same sources add that City could also include players in any potential deal, such as defenders Eric Garcia and Angelino.
ESPN has also learned that Messi has consulted various legal experts regarding the clause in his contract that allowed him to leave for free this summer, but has not been able to gauge a clear reading on the situation.
The issue could end up in court, although various sources close to the operation expect there to be willing on both sides to reach an agreement if Messi follows through with his threat to leave.
Said agreement would involve Barca naming a reasonable fee to allow Messi to leave the club which could then be re-invested in rebuilding Ronald Koeman’s team.
15.46 BST: Juventus are in talks over the signing of United States international Weston McKennie, sources have confirmed to ESPN’s Andrew Cesare Richardson.
McKennie has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League. Southampton and Newcastle United were both keen according to ESPN sources, while Chelsea and Liverpool also showed interest earlier in the season.
Bundesliga rivals Hertha Berlin were confident of completing a move for McKennie earlier in the summer, but the 21-year-old is keen to move away from Germany.
15.30 BST: Arsenal have rejected an offer for Ainsley Maitland-Niles from Wolves, says the Athletic.
The 22-year-old defender/midfielder is set to leave the club this summer but Arsenal want over £20m for him and Wolves’ effort did not reach that.
14.53 BST: Le Parisien reports that PSG are interested in signing Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey.
Partey has been linked with a €50m move to Arsenal all summer but if the Gunners can’t afford to pay his release clause then PSG certainly can.
14.12 BST: Will Antonio Conte still be in charge at Inter Milan next season?
Adriano Del Monte gives the latest insight to the news Antonio Conte will stay on as Inter Milan’s manager.
13.58 BST: Schalke and USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie has been linked with Southampton, but looks set to join Juventus on an initial loan.
Sky Italia reports that Juve will pay a €3m loan fee to bring him in for the season, with an option to make the deal permanent for €18m.
13.39 BST: Manchester United have seen a €25m offer to sign Monaco defender Benoit Badiashile rejected, according to RMC Sport.
Badiashile, 19, has been linked with a move to United this summer, while Bayer Leverkusen have been in talks over a transfer.
Monaco boss Niko Kovac reportedly wants Badiashile to stay and a club source told RMC that will be the case “unless Manchester make a [Anthony] Martial-like, unrefusable bid for him.”
Martial moved to Old Trafford in 2015 for around €60m.
13.23 BST: Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez is set to reunite with former boss Carlo Ancelotti at Everton in a deal worth €35m, reports Goal.
Rodriguez, 29, has been surplus to requirements at Madrid for some time now and was the subject of interest from MLS side Inter Miami earlier this summer. However, the Colombian has decided his next move should be to the Premier League and revealed as much in August.
“I’ve already been in several good leagues and the only thing missing is Serie A and the Premier League, you have to see where I want to go or where they want me to go,” he said during an interview with Mexican motivational speaker Daniel Habif. “Going to England would be a good thing, it’s a top league.”
12.55 BST: Manchester City are weighing up offering Lionel Messi a long-term contract that would see him move to partner club New York City FC after three years in the Premier League, several sources have told ESPN’s Rodrigo Faez and Moises Llorens.
They could also offer Messi the chance to become an ambassador for the City Football Group, the holding company that owns a number of clubs across the world, including City and NYCFC.
12.40 BST: Jamie Vardy has signed a new three-year contract at Leicester and he’ll be 36 when it expires.
12.21 BST: A vote of no confidence has been filed against Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu as the fallout to Lionel Messi‘s demand to leave the club continues.
Messi, 33, shocked Barca on Tuesday when he informed them of his desire to find a new home this summer after nearly 20 years at Camp Nou.
Barca supporters gathered outside the offices at the club’s stadium upon learning of Messi’s request and chanted for Bartomeu to resign in the hope that it would convince the Argentina forward to stay.
Jordi Farre, who plans to run for the presidency in next year’s elections, has also called for Bartomeu to quit and is leading the vote of no confidence to have him removed.
Sid Lowe dives into the leading candidates to land Lionel Messi after the Barca star reportedly expressed his desire to leave.
12.05 BST: Barcelona struck an agreement with Braga to sign 20-year-old forward Francisco Trincao in a move worth around €31m in January and he’s now been presented at Camp Nou.
Sadly for him, the questions aren’t about him today. It’s about Lionel Messi‘s desire to quit the club.
Trincao arrives in a Messi storm, poor guy. At his presentation: “Of course I want Messi to stay but I can’t answer that. Let’s see what happens.”
— Samuel Marsden (@samuelmarsden) August 26, 2020
Speaking at the presentation, Barcelona sporting director Ramom Planes said the club will fight to change Messi’s mind.
“As we have said many times, we’re still thinking of Messi as a Barca player,” Planes said. “Barca have rebuilt themselves many times throughout history and have always bounced back stronger. Our idea is to rebuild around the best player in the world.
“There’s a huge amount of respect for Leo because of what he is and his story here, but we’re not thinking about any contractual clause. We can’t have a public dispute between Barca and Messi because neither side deserves that.
“The marriage between Messi and Barca has given both parties a lot. It has given the fans a huge amount of joy and we have to fight for that relationship to continue. Internally, we’re working hard to convince Messi to stay. We want to find the best solution for Barca and for Messi.”
Asked if there were other people at the club who would be open to selling Messi, Planes added: “There is no internal division on this at all. Anyone that understands a little bit about football wants to have Leo in their team.”
11.47 BST: Arsenal midfielder Emile Smith Rowe could be allowed to leave the club this summer, says The Independent.
Smith Rowe, 20, has been unable to break into the first XI and now there is interest from Monaco, Crystal Palace and Fulham.
The England U20 international spent last season on loan at Huddersfield, but the report states that “any decision on his future will not be made until a later date in the window.”
11.06 BST: Sky Sports reports that Chelsea are in talks with AC Milan over midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko.
The Blues are aiming to recoup almost all of the £40m they spent to sign the midfielder from Monaco in 2017, sources have told ESPN’s James Olley.
The 25-year-old has been deemed surplus to requirements as Chelsea look to help finance a summer spending spree that has already seen Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner arrive at the club, while talks are set to continue with Bayer Leverkusen over a deal worth £90m for Kai Havertz.
10.40 BST: Marca says that Atletico Madrid are willing to add three players into the mix for a deal for Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette.
The Gunners have been linked with a €50m deal for Atletico Thomas Partey, but the midfielder isn’t one of those being offered. Instead, the trio Atletico are willing to part with are Thomas Lemar, Angel Correa or Vitolo.
Should Arsenal let Lacazette go? Gab Marcotti and James Olley reveal who they think should be dumped this summer.
10.02 BST: How would Lionel Messi enjoy playing in the Premier League under Pep Guardiola?
Stewart Robson thinks it’d be “great for everybody” to see Lionel Messi join Manchester City.
09.26 BST: Bayern Munich chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has insisted there will be no “summer sale” at the club as Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara edges closer to an exit.
In what looks set to have been his last match for the club, Thiago helped Bayern to their second Treble in less than a decade with a 1-0 win over PSG in the Champions League final on Sunday. The 29-year-old was recognised by German media as being one of the key players in Bayern’s season but, speaking to Bild, club chief Rummenigge admitted that during the title celebrations he got the impression Thiago was saying his goodbyes.
“We had this event with our employee and his entire family was there and they walked the pitch in nostalgia, I’d say. This looked pretty much like a goodbye as if he has made up his mind,” Rummenigge said. “It’s now about the club he has chosen to approach Bayern. He’s got one year left on his deal.”
Liverpool have long been linked with a move for the Spanish midfielder, but Rummenigge said “they have not gotten in touch with us so far.”
He added that Bayern are expecting Thiago’s future club to be willing to pay their asking price, reported to be somewhere between €30m-€40m. He said: “There will not be a FC Bayern summer sale, especially not after this tournament. The Champions League win has not made the players any cheaper.”
Vardy, 33, became the oldest player to win the Golden Boot after finishing the season with 23 goals and is now ready to extend his stay at the club.
08.24 BST: Crystal Palace look to have won the race to sign Eberechi Eze from Queens Park Rangers, sources have told ESPN’s Tom Hamilton.
Eze, 22, has been attracting plenty of interest from the Premier League with Aston Villa, West Ham, WBA and Fulham all monitoring him, but it’s Palace who have had a bid accepted which could add up to £19m.
Sources said the move is set to be completed this week. Eze will bolster Palace’s attacking options having scored 14 goals last season for Championship side QPR.
Palace are also understood to be monitoring Ryan Fraser’s situation. The winger left Bournemouth at the end of last season after his contract ran out and has also been attracting interest from Newcastle United.
08.00 BST: MESSI, MESSI, MESSI. It’s all getting a bit messy.
Barcelona star Lionel Messi shocked the club on Tuesday when he informed the team of his intention to leave this summer, despite having a contract until 2021. Barca responded by asking him to stay at the club he first joined as a teenager almost 20 years ago.
But Pep Guardiola and Messi spoke on the phone last week to discuss the possibility of the Barcelona forward making a move to Manchester City this summer, sources have confirmed to ESPN’s Rodrigo Faez and Moises Llorens.
ESPN reported on Monday that City have been crunching the numbers to work out if they would be able to sign Messi without breaching Financial Fair Play rules.
A major factor will be knowing if Messi can leave Barca for free or if City will have to negotiate down his €700m release clause.
Messi hopes to execute a clause written into his current terms, signed in 2017, that allows him to leave for free, unilaterally, at the end of each season. Barcelona, as reported by ESPN earlier this year, say the clause expired in June.
Stewart Robson isn’t surprised Juventus have let Gonzalo Higuain leave the club after four seasons in Turin.
PAPER TALK (by Danny Lewis)
Pirlo and Ronaldo keen for Dzeko move
The Serie A champions are reported to be looking for somebody who can hold the ball up and link the play well, as opposed to a straight out goal scorer, seeing as they already have Paulo Dybala and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Bosnia & Herzegovina international is seen as somebody who can fulfil this role, with both new boss Andrea Pirlo and star man Ronaldo keen for him to join.
Juve had been considering a move for Mauro Icardi during previous windows, and before he moved to PSG, so this indicates a new direction being taken under Pirlo.
Ancelotti eyes reunion with Rodriguez
The 29-year-old, whose contract at the Santiago Bernabeu comes to an end next summer, is no longer wanted by the Spanish giants, and it is claimed that Carlo Ancelotti is hopeful of having a reunion with the Colombian he coached at Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.
This means the Toffees are eyeing a permanent move, though a loan is also seen as a possibility at this point, according to the report.
– Atalanta have joined Monaco in their pursuit of Mohamed Simakan, according to Foot Mercato. The Ligue 1 outfit had hoped to complete a deal back in July but are not willing to pay the fee of between €15m-€20m that Strasbourg wanted for their right-back.
– Newcastle United are showing an interest in signing Arsenal defender Rob Holding on loan, reports The Daily Mail. If the Gunners complete their deal for Lille centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes, it is said the Englishman will be allowed to leave on a short-term basis.