Euro 2020 and the Copa America are over and the summer transfer window is open, leaving Europe’s biggest clubs clear to make a splash in the market. Check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.
TOP STORY: Chelsea plot £150m move for Haaland
Chelsea’s pursuit of Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland is heating up, with the club prepared to offer Tammy Abraham as part of a deal to bring the Norway striker to Stamford Bridge.
That’s according to The Mirror, which writes that the Blues value Abraham at around £50 million, which would see an offer of £100m, plus Abraham, pitched toward Dortmund this week.
The Bundesliga side are believed to consider Chelsea’s valuation of Abraham as excessive, and they would be reluctant to let Haaland go after Jadon Sancho is set to complete a £79.3m move to Manchester United earlier this month.
The 23-year-old Abraham scored six goals in the Premier League from 22 appearances last season but was left out of the squad at time after failing to impress coach Thomas Tuchel. While Aston Villa and West Ham are reportedly keen on securing the signature of the striker, Chelsea are expected to hold out until Dortmund make a final decision over the £150m-rated Haaland.
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08.13 BST: Gianluigi Donnarumma has completed a move to Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer, signing a five-year deal, the Ligue 1 club announced on Wednesday.
The Italy goalkeeper was seen leaving his team’s hotel in Rome the day after the 1-0 Group A win over Wales at Euro 2020 to undergo a medical ahead of a move to Mauricio Pochettino’s side
Donnarumma, 22, was named Player of the Tournament as his two saves in the penalty shootout win over England in the final helped the Azzurri win the Euros for the first time since 1968.
“I am very happy to be part of this great club that is Paris Saint-Germain,”Donnarumma said. “I feel ready to take on this new challenge, and continue to grow here. With Paris, I want to win as much as possible and give joy to the supporters.”
08.00 BST: Lionel Messi and Barcelona have reached an agreement for the forward to sign a new five-year deal with the Catalan club, sources have confirmed to ESPN. Sources added that Messi has accepted a significant wage reduction to prolong his stay.
Messi was a free agent after his contract at Barca expired, and he had courted interest from Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City since first revealing a desire to end his 20-year relationship with Barca last summer. The 34-year-old’s previous contract, which was worth over €500 million ($594m) over four years, expired at the stroke of midnight on June 30.
However, with the return of Joan Laporta as president in March, Messi grew more open to staying at Camp Nou. An official announcement is expected in the coming days.
Laporta had hoped to finalise an agreement before Messi’s previous terms expired. Barca’s financial problems made that impossible, though, with their gross debt over €1 billion. Cutbacks have been essential, in terms of transferring players out, reducing the wage bill and getting Messi to accept a lower salary.
La Liga president Javier Tebas has warned Barca they will not be allowed to register Messi’s new deal if they are unable to reduce spending to comply with the league’s Financial Fair Play rules. Barca’s spending limit has been reduced from over €600m to €347m since the coronavirus pandemic, with further reductions expected to be imposed for the upcoming season.
Therefore, to register Messi’s new deal, in addition to new signings Sergio Aguero, Memphis Depay, Eric Garcia and Emerson Royal, Barca need to continue reducing the wage bill and moving players on. With that in mind, sources at the club refuse to rule out the departure of Antoine Griezmann, a €120m signing in 2019.
Sid Lowe breaks down how Lionel Messi came to terms on his extension with Barcelona.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)
– AC Milan are set to offer Franck Kessie a new contract amid interest from the Premier League, says Fabrizio Romano. The midfielder has been linked with a number of clubs, including Arsenal and Juventus, but it is believed that Milan see the Ivory Coast defensive midfielder as a key part of the squad, with director Paolo Maldini stating, “He is part of our future.”
– Paulo Dybala‘s representatives will meet with Juventus as they look to resolve the forward’s contract situation. Calciomercato writes that Massimiliano Allegri sees the Argentine international as a key part of the project for next season. And despite suggestions that a new contract for Cristiano Ronaldo could leave Dybala in the dark, reports now say that the 27-year-old could be set to stay in Turin as the club prepare an attempt to regain the title from Internazionale.
– Liverpool have turned down the opportunity to sign Ozan Kabak from Schalke 04 for a fee of €10m. Goal says that the German club are desperate to offload the centre-back as they prepare for life in the second division. Kabak spent last season on loan at Liverpool, and despite some strong performances, Jurgen Klopp’s side went on to sign centre-back Ibrahima Konate for €41.5m from RB Leipzig.
– AC Milan have turned down a €40m approach from Paris Saint-Germain for left-back Theo Hernandez. That’s according to Tuttosport, which says that Milan do not want to part ways with the defender this summer. The Frenchman scored eight and assisted seven goals in 42 appearances last season for Milan across all competitions.
– Sassuolo are keen on recruiting Liverpool’s Marko Grujic this summer, writes Gianluca Di Marzio. The Italian club are reported to have already been in touch with the Premier League side over the transfer of the midfielder as a replacement for Manuel Locatelli. Grujic signed for Liverpool from Red Star Belgrade in 2016 but has been unable to nail down a place in the first team. The Serbia midfielder spent last season on loan at FC Porto.
– The Telegraph reports that Newcastle United are close to agreeing to a deal for Arsenal’s Joe Willock. Manager Mikel Arteta claimed that the midfielder was a part of his plans for next season, but reports say that the 21-year-old would be keen to make a return to Tyneside after a successful loan spell last season. Chelsea’s Conor Callagher is also rumoured to be on Steve Bruce’s radar. The 21-year-old midfielder spent last season on loan at West Bromwich Albion, starting 28 times in the Premier League.