After the UK Government gave the green light for sport to return from June 1, Premier League clubs remain in talks over Project Restart with the hope of resuming the 2019-20 season in the middle of next month. Meanwhile, speculation around potential transfers for the 2020-21 season remain in full swing.
We’ll keep you abreast of all the news from our correspondents, and the talking points and rumours from the rest of Europe.
Latest transfer news and rumours…
Berbatov: Too early for Havertz to make Premier League move
Former Manchester United forward Dimitar Berbatov has warned Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz off a Premier League move at this stage in his career.
Havertz has been linked with both Liverpool and Manchester United and made an impressive return to Bundesliga action on Monday night, scoring twice in the win over Werder Bremen.
“There’s a lot of talk that Liverpool, Chelsea and other teams are interested in him, so now he needs to be careful, not let that go to his head and stay focused on his game,” Berbatov told Betfair.
“He has enough quality and if he continues the way he is going teams will still be there, they won’t go away. All eyes are on the Bundesliga at the moment and when you score goals and play good football it is no surprise that teams like Liverpool want you.
“I would like to see Havertz in the Premier League at some point, but not right now. I think it is a bit too early for him, I want to see him play more games, score more goals and get more confidence and maturity.”
Aliadiere downbeat on Pepe’s first season
Former Arsenal forward Jeremie Aliadiere says he has been disappointed with club-record signing Nicolas Pepe’s first season in England.
Pepe arrived in a £72million move from Lille last summer and has six goals and eight assists in 32 appearances in all competitions.
“I saw what he did with Lille last season and he is an amazing player,” Aliadiere told Goal. “So, I’m not denying his talent.
“What I’m seeing, though, is the most expensive player in Arsenal’s history and even if you don’t want to think about the money, the fact is that money is, unfortunately, a big thing in football.
“And when you spend that much money on a player, you expect more goals and you expect more assists.”
Turkey move for Chelsea youngster?
Turkish side Trabzonspor are reportedly interested in signing young Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher.
The youngster spent the first half of the season on loan at Charlton before controversially being recalled and loaned out again to Championship rivals Swansea.
Former Chelsea man Eddie Newton is on the coaching staff at Trabzonspor and local outlet Karar say he is trying to make a deal happen.
Spurs linked with Napoli striker
Sport Italia say Tottenham are targeting a summer move for Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik.
Spurs were desperate to sign a striker in January and have been exposed for their lack of depth in the position following injuries to Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.
Both are now fit again, but reinforcements are sure to be high on Jose Mourinho’s shopping list this summer.
Vidal: I want to stay at Barca
While we’re on Barcelona midfielders, Arturo Vidal has voiced his desire to stay at the Nou Camp this summer.
The Chilean is yet another player being linked with an exit, with Inter Milan reportedly interested.
However, he said during an Instagram Q&A: “I am very happy and comfortable in Barcelona and of course I want to stay here. I am also feeling in better shape than ever. This is a good group and I have got great friends in the dressing room.”
Juve boost in Arthur chase
Gazzetta dello Sport say that Juventus’ hopes of signing Barcelona midfielder Arthur Melo have been boosted in recent days.
The report claims Barca boss Quique Setien has made it clear to the Brazilian that he will not necessarily be a first-choice starter in midfield next season, which should accelerate his departure.
Until now, Arthur has supposedly been reluctant to leave, while Barcelona have interest in Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic.
PSG make new Icardi offer
PSG have made an alternative offer to Inter Milan in the hope of signing Argentine forward Mauro Icardi, according to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano.
Icardi has been on loan in Paris this season as part of a deal that included a €70m option-to-buy.
However, given the change in market value of players caused by the coronavirus shutdown, the Ligue 1 side are looking to do a cut-price deal and have reportedly offered €50m plus a further €10m in add-ons.
Klopp urged to sign Koulibaly
Former Liverpool man Andrea Dossena has urged Jurgen Klopp to make a move for Kalidou Koulibaly.
The Senegalese has been linked with a move to one of Europe’s biggest clubs for several years but has thus far remained loyal to Napoli.
However, Dossena believes the time has come for him to move on and would love to see him paired with Virgil van Dijk.
“Klopp is missing just one piece to complete a stratospheric squad,” Dossena said. “And the Koulibaly-Van Dijk pairing could become a big barrier.”
Werner to Liverpool – Will he, won’t he?
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has cast further doubt over whether the club will sign RB Leipzig star Timo Werner this summer.
Werner has been heavily linked with a move to Anfield for some time, but given the Reds’ attacking talent his signing may not be a priority in the current financial climate.
“I think there was a good chance of it happening before the [global health crisis] happened,” Carragher told the Liverpool Echo.
“But financially now you don’t know what state clubs are in. I actually saw something on Twitter before about Man United’s financial results so, you would expect Liverpool to be pretty similar [as to] how they’ve been affected. I am sure that will affect the transfer market.
“I don’t think Liverpool can complain too much with the squad they’ve got at the moment. They’ve lost one league game all season and one last season. There’s certainly not too much that needs too change but I do feel a top attacking player is needed but if the finances aren’t there, they aren’t there.”
Only four clubs can offer Sane what he has at City
Former Bayern Munich star Owen Hargreaves believes there are only four clubs in Europe who could offer Leroy Sane an environment on a par with that at Manchester City.
The German winger has blossomed into one of the best attacking talents in Europe under Pep Guardiola, and has become used to regularly competing for major trophies on multiple fronts every season.
His progress has been checked by a serious knee injury this season and as he enters the final year of his deal could be set to leave the Etihad this summer.
“Bayern is always on the agenda for any top German player as you compete for titles, leagues and Champions Leagues,” Hargreaves told Goal.
“With Leroy Sane at Man City, if he leaves, there’s probably only four teams he would go to. Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus and Bayern Munich are the only ones who can offer something compared to what he has at City.”
Hakimi agent rubbishes Inter rumours
The agent of Borussia Dortmund star Achraf Hakimi says speculation linking him with a move to Inter Milan is false and that the Moroccan will return to Real Madrid this summer.
Hakimi has been one of the best players in the Bundesliga this season during a spell on loan from Madrid and his future remains unclear, given he is unlikely to settle for anything other than a starting role at the Bernabeu.
“There is no such offer [from Inter], we will return to Madrid at the end of the season,” Alejandro Camano told Assahifa.
“Achraf will be the best player in the world in his position.”
Bayern ‘made Sancho enquiry’
ESPN say that Manchester United could yet face competition from Bayern Munich over the signing of Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho.
The report claims Bayern made enquiries over the 19-year-old prior to the coronavirus shutdown, though it seems likely that there transfer plans will have been significantly affected and Man City winger Leroy Sane is known to be a more realistic, cheaper target.
MAN UTD NEWS
United chasing more Portuguese talent
Manchester United are working on a deal to sign 17-year-old full-back Nuno Mendes from Sporting Lisbon, according to The Mirror.
The report claims United initially enquired about his availability during talks for Bruno Fernandes after a recommendation from former player Nani.
Mendes is out of contract next summer and has supposedly rejected a new deal in favour of a move.
CRYSTAL PALACE NEWS
Palace eyeing Fraser swoop
Crystal Palace are ready to take advantage of any hesitancy from Tottenham by convincing Bournemouth midfielder Ryan Fraser to head to Selhurst Park.
That’s according to The Express, who say that although Fraser is set on a move to Spurs when he becomes a free agent this summer, Jose Mourinho is not convinced.
PREMIER LEAGUE NEWS
Rose ‘would love to play for Rodgers’
Tottenham defender Danny Rose has revealed his desire to play under Brendan Rodgers at Leicester, but joked: ‘Someone would have to buy Ben Chilwell first!’
Rose, currently on loan at Newcastle, spent a brief period at Watford under Rodgers in 2009 and was suitably impressed.
“Getting to work with him for two months was brilliant,” Rose told the Lockdown Tactics podcast. “As an 18 or 19-year-old, I had never experienced training sessions like that before.
“His ideas in training… it was brilliant and I have always said that he is somebody I would love to play for again.”
ICYMI: Haaland release clause catch
Another story that we brought you yesterday was the revelation that Erling Haaland’s €75million release clause at Borussia Dortmund does not come into effect until 2022.
That means that if the likes of Real Madrid and PSG want to make serious moves for him before then, they’ll most likely have to stump up significantly more.
Monaco plan to offload 30 players
Monaco have set a target of offloading up to 30 players this summer in a bid to slash the wage bill.
AFP report that Monaco have the third biggest budget in Ligue 1 and that it is not sustainable as they prepare for a second straight season without European football.
They hope to make at least €50m in sales this summer.
MAN UTD NEWS
Solskjaer sets out rebuild
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said he would rather have “a hole in the squad than an a*******” after ridding his team of “bad apples”.
The United boss, who offloaded Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez six months after his arrival, has offered an insight into the squad he discovered upon arrival at Old Trafford in late 2018, and how it will inform his decision-making as he rebuilds the side.
“I’d rather have a hole in the squad than an a*******,” he told fanzine United We Stand. “Personality is so important. We’re a team in a team environment.
“You want players to have a bit of ego and edge but they have to be able to adapt. In March 2019, players were physically tired, mentally tired and we had injuries. The players started with negative thinking, whereas now it’s positive thinking.
“There were other things I didn’t like last year, some personal agendas which couldn’t be sorted out until the summer. There will always be players who want to play more in football, but if a team is to be successful then players have to be available at different times. I feel in this group we don’t have one bad apple.”
PSG considering Auba swoop
Paris Saint-Germain are still considering a summer move for Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, according to Le10Sport.
The Gabon international is stalling over a new deal with the Gunners, who will look to offload him this summer if new terms can’t be agreed.
He has just one year left on his deal at Emirates Stadium and Arsenal are not willing to lose him for free in 2021.
PREMIER LEAGUE NEWS
Arsenal and United receive Umtiti boost
Barcelona are confident of striking a deal for Lautaro Martinez this summer, according to Sport.
His 111million euros release clause has proved something of a stumbling block, but Inter Milan are happy to deal with Barca if their demands are met.
Barca have offered a smaller fee with player(s) as a makeweight, but are yet to reach an agreement.
That has led them to lower the asking price for Samuel Umtiti (above) in a bid to boost funds.
The Arsenal and Manchester United target will be available for £27m this summer.
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When does the 2020 summer transfer window open?
The summer window opens in England is set to open at the end of the season – though the specific date remains to be seen due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Players can be officially registered with their new clubs when the Fifa international window opens on July 1 – though Fifa guidelines suggest players joining in July will not be able to play for their new clubs during the current 2019/20 season.
From January 1 onwards, Premier League players with six months left on their contract have been able to negotiate and agree pre-contract deals with foreign clubs.