Welcome to Standard Sport’s rolling coverage of the summer transfer window as the speculation ramps up.
The window officially opened in July after the completion of the delayed 2019-2020 Premier League season. Clubs will now be busy tweaking their squads ahead of the new campaign, with the deadline pushed back until October 5.
Manchester United have signed Donny van de Beek while working on a deal for Jadon Sancho and – reportedly – Dayot Upamecano, while Tottenham have signed Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Joe Hart and Matt Doherty.
“I wanted a winning project and to win titles with the club to continue expanding the legend of Barcelona. The truth is that there has been no project or anything for a long time, they juggle and cover holes as things go by.
“I feel hurt by things that I heard from people, from journalism, from people questioning my Barcelonismo. It also helped me to see who is who. There are many very false people. It hurt me when my love for this club was questioned. My love for Barca will never change.”
Lionel Messi has decided to stay at Barcelona for the coming season following a contract dispute with the club.
“I wasn’t happy and I wanted to leave,” Messi told Goal.com.
“I have not been allowed this in any way and I will stay at the club so as not to get into a legal dispute.
“The management of the club led by Bartomeu is a disaster.”
Benrahma and Watkins both up for sale
Brentford boss Thomas Frank has confirmed that star forwards Said Benrahma and Ollie Watkins will be allowed to leave the club this summer, if their valuations are met.
“We know there’s a lot of rumours about a lot of our players because we had a top season,” Frank said. “We have some top players that also developed through the years to be top players.
“It’s no secret that Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma are players that other clubs are interested in and if the price is right then we are open for potentially selling them.”
Madrid ‘turned down €100m Bale bid’
Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon claims the club turned down a €100million bid for Gareth Bale last summer.
“I know in the last day of the transfer window last year there was an offer from the Premier League,” he told TalkSPORT.
“They offered €100m and Real Madrid turned down that offer because they thought Bale would be a player in their side.
“I’m not allowed to say the name, though I do know the name of the club. I think at the end there was a disagreement as Madrid decided not to sell the player, because they thought he was a player who could be used and be in the starting lineup.”
Hojbjerg reveals Eriksen role in Spurs move
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has revealed a conversation with former Tottenham star Christian Eriksen convinced him to sign for the club earlier this summer.
Hojbjerg became the Jose Mourinho’s first summer signing last month, joining from Southampton on a five-year deal as full-back Kyle Walker-Peters moved in the opposite direction.
Spurs identified Hojbjerg as a key transfer target and beat off competition from Everton to land the former Bayern Munich man. Hojbjerg said it was “not difficult” deciding to join Spurs after talks with Mourinho, but has now claimed compatriot Eriksen helped strengthen his desire to join the Europa League club.
“I called Christian and had a chat. I had some questions that I would have had clarified. And that was really positive. The talk I had with Christian, strengthened my desire and feeling to move to Tottenham,” he told Ekstra Bladet.
MAN UTD NEWS
Manchester United are preparing to return with an official bid for Jadon Sancho, according to the Daily Mail.
The saga has gone quiet in recent weeks after Dortmund chief Michael Zorc insisted last month that the 20-year-old was staying.
That was because United missed an early-August deadline imposed by the Bundesliga to get the deal over the line. However, United believe they can still sign the 20-year-old and are keen to do so this summer while they have a free run at him.
United are reportedly focusing on negotiating the salary and fees of intermediaries before approaching Dortmund with an official bid.
Another twist! Fabrizio Romano reports that Barcelona are ‘absolutely convinced’ Lionel Messi will stay at the club, and are not considering the possibility of letting him leave – either for a transfer fee or for free – to Manchester City this summer, unless that €700m release clause is of course actually activated.
TYC is now reporting that Messi is considering staying at Camp Nou, though it remains to be seen what happens beyond this season with the Argentine star’s contract running out next summer – and there will be no dispute about it that time around.
LaLiga respond to Messi statement
The plot thickens…
Messi’s father insists release clause is not valid
The league had stated last weekend that it believed a buyout clause of 700million euros still applied, but Jorge Messi – who also acts as the player’s agent – insists the player’s contract allowed him to exercise an option to leave at the end of the 2019-20 season.
In the letter sent on Friday, which has been seen by the PA news agency, Messi senior argues that his son’s contract does not specify a date when the option to leave must be exercised, simply that it must be done at the end of the campaign.
Barca’s season ended on August 14 when they were hammered by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Messi’s representatives sent a fax to the club on August 25 expressing his desire to leave.
MAN UTD NEWS
Alexis Sanchez’s extraordinary claim that he asked if he could leave Manchester United after just one training session has not gone down well with Red Devils fans.
Needless to say, there are plenty of United fans who hold a different opinion of Sanchez’s efforts at United – and the club’s former right-back, Rafael da Silva, has weighed in.
A cult hero at United due to his outspoken love of the club, Rafael duly offered a left-field explanation, replying to a Sport Bible post of Sanchez’s quotes on Instagram with: “Maybe he saw a ghost and get scared that’s explain why he play so bad every time.”
Odd, certainly – but United fans love it.
Kai Havertz’s imminent £90million move to Chelsea is an “honour” for Germany, according to Oliver Bierhoff.
The director of the national teams and the academy said: “The future belongs to Kai – in the club and in the national team.
“Of course we would have preferred if he could have fully concentrated on the national team at the start of the new international season. But we are aware of the importance for Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Kai and want to deal with it responsibly.
“At the same time, it is an honour and recognition for German football when young German players are in demand at top international clubs. From the experience these players have in collecting abroad – both in terms of sport and personal development – can also benefit the national team.
“We were in constant contact with Rudi Völler in order to find a good solution together.”
Suarez agrees Juventus move
Luis Suarez has agreed to join Juventus, according to Guillem Balague.
The former Liverpool striker is set to depart Barcelona this summer, but his transfer reportedly has no bearing on the future of his friend Lionel Messi.
Suarez will reportedly need to pass an exam to play in Italy, where he would link-up with Messi’s great rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
MAN CITY NEWS
Manchester City clearly want to sign Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli, but there was bad blood between the two clubs when the Italian side sold Jorginho to Chelsea two years ago.
Man City felt they had a deal agreed before Napoli then agreed a transfer with Chelsea, and the Serie A club’s president Aurelio De Laurentiis admits this means talks over Koulibaly could be strained.
Fabrizio Romano quotes the Napoli chief as saying: “How we can have a normal and calm negotiation with Manchester City to sell Koulibaly?
“They won’t talk directly with us because of the Jorginho deal.”
It’s a bold strategy if City really are trying to sign Koulibaly without talking to the club he plays for…
PREMIER LEAGUE NEWS
Villa bid for Wilson knocked back
Aston Villa have had an offer for striker Callum Wilson rejected by Bournemouth, according to Sky Sports.
The bid was reportedly between £13m-£15m with significant add-ons.
Negotiations are continuing.
Leverkusen thank German FA
Bayer Leverkusen have thanks the German national team for allowing Kai Havertz to leave the camp in order to conclude his move to Chelsea.
Havertz left the Stuttgart team quarters of the German national side on Friday after consultation between Bayer 04 and the DFB management.
“I exchanged ideas with Oliver Bierhoff and Jogi Löw over the past few days,” said Bayer Leverkusen chief Rudi Völler.
Voller expressly emphasised “the DFB’s understanding of the special situation of the player and also of us as a club. We are grateful to the national coach that Kai can now sort things out with our support on site in London.”
German FA confirm Havertz departure
Kai Havertz has left the Germany camp and is travelling to London in order to complete his £90million move to Chelsea.
The German FA confirmed this morning that the midfielder, who is set to sign a five-year deal with Frank Lampard’s side, had been granted permission to leave the camp ahead of an “impending transfer to England.”
The deal, which will see Chelsea pay around £72million up front to Bayer Leverkusen, will take the Blues’ spending past the £220million mark for the summer.
WEST HAM NEWS
West Ham insert 20 per cent clause in Diangana deal
West Ham have inserted a 20 per cent sell-on clause in the deal which will see Grady Diangana join West Brom.
The Hammers academy graduate, who won promotion on loan with the Baggies last season, will complete an £18million move to the Midlands club after undergoing a medical on Friday.
Fulham had registered late interest in Diangana but could not match the offer on the table from ex-West Ham boss Slaven Bilic and West Brom.
The deal has caused some consternation among supporters with such a promising academy product being sold, but the Hammers are well stocked in wide areas and need to raise funds for targets.
Havertz heads to London
Kai Havertz has left the Germany camp to wrap up his move to Chelsea, according to Bild.
Havertz has been in Stuttgart with the national team, who drew 1-1 with Spain in the Uefa National League last night.
He is expected to undergo a medical at Chelsea later today with the announcement of his signing due within 24 hours.
He will become Chelsea’s seventh addition this summer and take the club’s spending past £200million.
Arsenal step up transfer clearout
Arsenal want to step up their summer clearout by offloading Lucas Torreira to Fiorentina.
The Gunners are in talks with Italian club Fiorentina about an initial loan deal with an option to make the move permanent next summer.
Arsenal paid £26million for Torreira in 2018 and the deal would see them recoup around £20m for the 24-year-old Uruguay midfielder.
They next hope to offload Sokratis Papastathopoulos as they bid to balance the books following the arrivals of Willian and new £26m signing Gabriel Magalhaes, and the imminent return of Dani Ceballos on a second loan spell from Real Madrid.
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has confirmed they want to sign Sokratis, which would could pave the way for Kalidou Koulibaly to join Manchester City.
Sead Kolasinac, Calum Chambers, Shkodran Mustafi and Rob Holding are also available to leave Arsenal this summer. Hector Bellerin is wanted by Paris Saint-Germain, who are reported to have made a £30m bid for the right-back.
Lemar available at cut-price €25m
Thomas Lemar wants to secure a move to the Premier League, according to Sport.
The one-time Arsenal target, who secured a €70million move to Atletico in 2018, is now free to leave the Wanda Metripolitano for as little as €25million.
Relegated to the bench under Diego Simeone, Lemar knows he must leave.
Everton and Wolves were the last clubs to show interest.
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When does the 2020 summer transfer window close?
The window is now open for 10 weeks from July 27.
Following consultation with the EFL, a domestic-only window will be added from 5 October, closing 5pm on 16 October.
During this window, Premier League clubs will only be able to trade with EFL clubs (either loans or permanent registrations). No transfers can take place between Premier League clubs in this period.