Transfer Talk: Man City willing to set new record to sign Josko Gvardiol

The summer transfer window isn’t 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!

Manchester City are considering a deal to sign RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol for a record fee this summer, reports Fabrizio Romano and talkSPORT.

Gvardiol, 21, joined Leipzig in 2020 and the German club are demanding a new record transfer fee for a centre-back to let him go. The previous record was set when Manchester United paid around £80m to sign Harry Maguire from Leicester City in 2019.

The Croatia international is reportedly a top transfer target of Man City manager Pep Guardiola and the treble winners have already held talks with him. Gvardiol has made 41 appearances for Leipzig this season, scoring three goals, including a pivotal equaliser in a 1-1 draw in the Champions League match earlier this year.

Sources have told ESPN that Guardiola is also interested in signing Croatia and Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic.

Kovacic, 29, has been a key player since joining permanently from Real Madrid in 2019, amassing 221 appearances in all competitions, but with his contract due to expire in 2024 and new Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino looking at a squad rebuild, the Blues are keen to move him on for around £35m.

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21.28 BST: Lucas Hernandez has informed Bayern Munich that he wants to leave and join PSG, reports Sky Sport Deutschland. The 27-year-old defender has refused to sign a contract renewal that would keep him at the Allianz Arena beyond 2024. The France international is now expected to depart the club and join the Ligue 1 champions, with the Bundesliga side reportedly asking for €60m excluding bonus payments to part ways with the central defender.

21.03 BST: Arnaud Nordin is set to leave Montpellier this summer, as four clubs race for the 24-year-old winger’s signature. L’Equipe reports that Nice, Fiorentina, Burnley, and an unnamed fourth club have expressed interest in the France international, who scored nine goals and provided three assists in 36 appearances in Ligue 1 this season.

20.30 BST: Bayern Munich have pulled out of the race for Declan Rice, as the 24-year-old moves closer to a move to Arsenal, reports Sky Sport Deutschland. The Bundesliga side decided that signing the England international would be too expensive, after the West Ham midfielder held talks with Thomas Tuchel earlier this month.

20.11 BST: Evan Ndicka is set to sign a five-year contract with AS Roma, according to L’Equipe. The 23-year-old defender will join the Italian side as a free agent, with his current deal with Eintracht Frankfurt expiring on July 1.

The Ivory Coast international will become the club’s second signing of the summer, after they announced the arrival of midfielder Houssem Aouar on Sunday.

19.43 BST: Mateo Kovacic moves closer to a move to Manchester City, with talks to finalise the deal set to take place this week, according to Sky Sport Deutschland. The 29-year-old midfielder, who is out of contract with Chelsea next summer, has reportedly reached a verbal agreement with the treble winners, as Pep Guardiola looks to reinforce the midfield, with Ilkay Gundogan tipped to depart the Etihad this summer.

19.05 BST: Girona and Real Madrid are in talks to extend the loan of Reinier Jesus, as per Relevo. The 21-year-old midfielder joined the Catalan side on a season-long loan last summer, following two seasons with Borussia Dortmund. The Brazil international moved to Los Blancos from Flamengo in January 2020. He is reportedly eager to remain at Girona for a further season, as the two LaLiga sides move closer to an agreement.

18.39 BST: A move by N’Golo Kante from Chelsea to Al-Ittihad is set to be announced soon, with the 32-year-old midfielder undergoing a medical in Saudi Arabia today, as per Fabrizio Romano.

The 32-year-old is out of contract this month after 269 appearances for the Blues across seven seasons. The France international will swap Stamford Bridge for the Middle East in a €100m move, joining Karim Benzema, who signed with the PIF-owned club on Tuesday.

18.00 BST: Werder Bremen’s Niclas Füllkrug has not decided on his future, despite interest from clubs in England and Italy, reports Sky Sport Deutschland. The 30-year-old forward was the Bundesliga top scorer last season alongside Christopher Nkunku with 16 goals. With the German international valued at €15-20m and out of contract in June 2025, Werder will look to secure a move away to avoid a free transfer next summer.

17.30 BST: AC Milan’s Mike Maignan is not interested in joining Chelsea this summer, according to Foot Mercato. It is reported that the Blues have held talks with the 27-year-old goalkeeper, but he has no plans to join the Premier League side, as they failed to qualify for any European competition next season.

The France international would prefer to stay in Italy or pursue another move. Internazionale’s André Onana is also a target for the west London club, as Mauricio Pochettino looks for a new No.1.

17.03 BST: Enner Valencia has joined Internacional on a free transfer, the Brazilian side has announced today. The 33-year-old forward scored 29 goals and provided five assists in 31 Süper Lig appearances this season before parting ways with Fenerbahçe earlier this month. The Ecuador international has agreed to a three year contract.

16.42 BST: Lionel Messi is heading to MLS with Inter Miami.

15.56 BST: Brazilian FA president Ednaldo Rodrigues said on Tuesday he expects to meet with Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti or his representative this week to discuss the possibility of appointing him as the new head coach of Brazil.

Ancelotti has publicly said he will honour the last year of his contract with Real amid interest from Brazil, but Rodrigues did not rule out waiting until July 2024 to appoint the four-time Champions League winner.

“In that case [waiting until 2024], it will not be a decision that I make by my own, I have to listen and discuss with our board and with the players, because they need to be heard,” Rodrigues told reporters after presenting an anti-racism campaign at the Spanish FA headquarters in Madrid.

“The decision has to be in sync with what the players think. So it’s something we will have to discuss in the future. But we have a clear objective [hiring Ancelotti] and we are going after this objective.

“I will stay in Spain until June 18 and we have a couple of meetings aligned. I can’t say publicly that it’s with Ancelotti himself, but we hope to go back to Brazil with a more clear message regarding him.”

15.28 BST: Barcelona are tracking Villarreal midfielder Alex Baena as they wait to find out what decision Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan will make on his future, sources have told ESPN.

Gundogan, 32, is out of contract at the end of June and has an offer from City to extend his seven-year stay, while Barca have also offered him a deal to join them as a free agent.

Barca are also keen on Baena and sources say the Catalan club would be open to bringing in both players if their financial situation allows after Xavi Hernandez made signing creative midfielders a priority this summer.

After missing out on Lionel Messi, who announced a move to Inter Miami last week, Barca coach Xavi said his side lack a “Santi Cazorla-type player in the final third” to help them unlock defences.

14.44 BST: PSG forward Kylian Mbappe has tweeted that he “will continue next season” at the club despite not signing a new contract.

Mbappe, 24, wrote to PSG to inform them that he would not be exercising his option to extend his deal by another year, meaning his contract would be up in June 2024.

Sources have told ESPN that PSG would be willing to listen to offers of around €150m this summer to avoid losing him for free a year later. And Real Madrid are now on alert as they look for a centre-forward to replace Karim Benzema, who joined Saudi Arabia’s Al Ittihad last week.

However, in response to a Twitter post by La Parisien claiming he wants to join Madrid this summer, he wrote: “LIES… At the same time, the bigger it is, the more it passes. I have already said that I will continue next season at PSG where I am very happy.”

Madrid are ready to bid to sign Mbappe this summer rather than waiting to land him as a free agent, but it appears the France international is willing to hold out for another year. Though PSG’s position is twofold: either he agrees to extend his contract beyond 2024 or they will offload him.

14.30 BST: Could Neymar be the next big star to move to Saudi Arabia?

14.11 BST: Relevo reports that Paris Saint-Germain are closing in on deal to sign Mallorca forward Lee Kang-In.

Lee, 22, scored six goals and put in seven assists in 39 games this season and will move for a reported €20m fee plus add-ons.

13.56 BST: Barcelona winger Abde Ezzalzouli is open to joining Real Betis this summer after a breakout season on loan at Osasuna, according to Sport.

Barca are keen to assess Abde in preseason but the expectation is that they will let him leave again this summer, either on a permanent basis or on loan for a second successive season.

Sport reports that the Morocco international’s preference is to stay and win his place in Xavi Hernandrz’s team, but that he would be happy to join Betis if Barca cannot guarantee him minutes.

Ramon Planes, the sporting director who took Abde to Barca in 2021, is now at Betis and is leading the Seville club’s move for the young forward.

Abde, 21, made 34 appearances for Osasuna this season, scoring six goals and helping them reach the Copa del Rey final and finish seventh in LaLiga, qualifying them for the Europa Conference League.

13.27 BST: Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard is in talks to become the new manager of Saudi Pro League side Al Ettifaq, sources have told ESPN.

Gerrard has travelled to Saudi Arabia for face-to-face negotiations, which are set to continue on Tuesday. The former Rangers and Aston Villa manager is weighing up a two-year contract worth around £9m per year.

Sources have told ESPN the agreement would also give Gerrard responsibility for choosing foreign transfer targets.

Al Ettifaq finished the season seventh in the Saudi Pro League. Gerrard, who made more than 700 appearances as a Liverpool player between 1998 and 2015, has been out of work since being sacked by Villa in October.

12.45 BST: Real Madrid are ready to bid to sign Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe this summer rather than waiting to land him as a free agent when his contract expires next season, sources have told ESPN.

Mbappe’s future is uncertain once again after L’Equipe reported on Monday that the 24-year-old had written to PSG to inform them that he would not be exercising his option to extend his deal by another year, meaning his contract would be up in June 2024.

Sources then told ESPN that PSG would be willing to listen to offers of around €150m for Mbappe this summer, to avoid losing him for free a year later.

Real Madrid are now on alert, sources said, as they look for a centre-forward to replace Karim Benzema, who joined Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad last week.

ESPN has reported that Madrid view Tottenham’s Harry Kane as the best available option to act as Benzema’s successor, but there are doubts within the club about paying a transfer fee of over €100m for a player who turns 30 next month.

Madrid’s original plan this summer was to sign a back-up for Benzema — such as Espanyol’s Joselu — before pushing for Mbappe or Man City striker Erling Haaland in 2024.

12.24 BST: Brahim Diaz wouldn’t be drawn on whether he hopes to be lining up alongside Kylian Mbappe next season during his presentation as a Real Madrid player on Tuesday.

Diaz, 23, is back at the Santiago Bernabeu after spending three years on loan at AC Milan, where he won Serie A in 2022 and reached the Champions League semifinals this season.

The Spain international has signed a new contract with Madrid until 2027 and will wear the No. 21 shirt, but wouldn’t comment on reports linking the club with a €150m move for Paris Saint-Germain forward Mbappe this summer.

“This isn’t the moment [for that], today is my day!” Diaz laughed, when asked about Mbappe during a news conference. “I’m happy to be here at Real Madrid, whoever is in the dressing room. We have to respect the player and the club [Paris Saint-Germain].”

“I’m very happy to be back here at the best club in the world. These three years at Milan have helped me, I’ve grown a lot on and off the pitch. I’ve improved a lot and I’m excited about succeeding at Madrid, that’s why I’m back.”

12.18 BST: Barcelona have told agent Jorge Mendes that a deal for Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves is now unlikely, according to Sport.

ESPN revealed in May that Barca president Joan Laporta had held advanced talks with Mendes over the signing of Neves, who has a contract with Wolves until 2024. However, the hurdles reported at the time, including coach Xavi Hernandez’s preference to sign other midfielders, have reportedly now scuppered the operation.

Sport reports that, in addition to Xavi’s objections, winger Ansu Fati’s refusal to move in the other direction has also halted the deal.

With Fati, also represented by Mendes, unwilling to move to the Premier League club, Barca would have to pay a fee of up to €30m to sign Neves, something they are neither willing nor able to do in their current financial situation.

“Ansu wants to stay, he wants to stay,” Mendes said. “He is the second top scorer at Barça. In the last two games, he has scored three goals. What more do you want? You’ve got a phenomenon on your hands. He is one of the best young players in the world. He will win the Ballon d’Or, you will see.”

Barca updated Mendes this week after he flew into the city on Monday for talks with the club about several of his clients.

In addition to Neves and Fati, he is also the agent of Alejandro Balde and Lamine Yamal, who are both negotiating new contracts with Barca, as well as Nico Gonzalez and Francisco Trincao, who could both leave the Catalan club this summer.

As for incomings, Barca have regularly been linked with several of Mendes’ clients, including Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo and Joao Felix.

11.50 BST: Tottenham have a plan to land a new No. 1 goalkeeper.

11.06 BST: Roma are in talks with West Ham to sign Italy forward Gianluca Scamacca on loan.

Scamacca, 24, joined West Ham from Sassuolo in the summer of 2022 and has scored eight goals in 27 appearances across all competitions. But according to Sky Italia, the player has already given the go-ahead to join Roma on a season-long loan.

Roma sporting director Tiago Pinto will reportedly travel to London before the weekend to try to complete the deal.

10.25 BST: Marseille have made an offer to sign Celta Vigo goalkeeper Ruben Blanco permanently after his loan, according to Faro de Vigo.

Despite making only seven appearances since joining Marseille on a season-long loan last summer, the Spanish keeper has convinced Marseille of his worth. Marseille are prepared to offer €5m to sign Blanco on a permanent transfer.

10.11 BST: Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal has confirmed he will not continue at Flamengo once his contract expires at the end of the year.

Vidal, 36, joined the Brazilian outfit in July 2022 after leaving Inter Milan as a free agent.

“I have a contract until December, I will not continue in Brazil,” he said. “I would love to go back [to former club Colo Colo], but I have to see the moment. I want to enjoy what’s left of my contract, win the three championships I have left and then we’ll see.”

09.49 BST: Real Madrid full-back Alvaro Odriozola is an option for Chelsea, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Odriozola, 27, joined Madrid for €32m from Real Sociedad in 2018 but has struggled to assert himself and spent time on loan at Bayern Munich and Fiorentina.

The Spain international played just six games last season and wants to leave, with a year left on his contract. La Real are keen to re-sign him on a transfer but Chelsea and Athletic Club are also interested and may pay a fee to land him earlier.

09.26 BST: Espanyol forward Joselu says his wish is to continue playing in Spain’s top division amid reports that Real Madrid are monitoring him.

Joselu, 33, is expected to leave Espanyol on loan this summer after the Barcelona-based club were relegated to the second division. He scored 16 goals in 34 league appearances last season and is under contract until June 2025.

Madrid are looking to strengthen their attack after the exit of Karim Benzema and sources told ESPN that Joselu, who played in Madrid’s academy, has been in advanced talks with the club.

“My idea and aim is to continue playing in the first division,” Joselu said. “I hope my future can be resolved soon. Regarding Madrid, we are talking about the best team in the world and anyone on this planet would like to wear that jersey. I really don’t know what’s going to happen.”

09.04 BST: Inter Milan want to sign Chelsea defender Kalidou Koulibaly on loan this summer, according to Sky Italia.

The Italian club are looking to strengthen their defensive line and consider the former Napoli centre-back a good option.

Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio will reportedly travel to London in the coming days to meet with Chelsea executives. And the meeting in London will also allow Ausilio to discuss the renewal of Romelu Lukaku’s loan deal.

The Belgium striker joined on a season-long loan from Chelsea last summer, but Inter are hopeful an agreement can be reached for Lukaku to continue for another season.

08.24 BST: Sources have told ESPN that Manchester United are monitoring Napoli’s Kim Min-Jae and Monaco’ s Axel Disasi but their priority in the transfer market remains landing a top-class striker and a midfielder.

United, according to sources, have asked to be kept informed of developments regarding the two defenders, although there has been no direct contact with their clubs.

United are expected to make their opening offer for Chelsea’s Mason Mount this week despite a gap in valuation. Mount will enter the final year of his contract at Stamford Bridge this summer and is open to a move to United.

08.00 BST: Paris Saint-Germain are open to listening to offers for Kylian Mbappe this summer, sources have told ESPN.

The Ligue 1 champions’ willingness to part ways with their superstar forward comes after sources confirmed multiple reports that Mbappe sent a letter to PSG informing them he would not exercise the option to extend his current deal beyond 2024.

With PSG not wanting Mbappe to leave as a free agent after next season, sources said club chairman Nasser Al Khelaifi is now begrudgingly open to letting the 24-year-old leave Paris.

ESPN sources added that PSG would be looking for a fee in the region of €150m.

– André Onana is Chelsea’s priority target for the summer transfer window, as per the Evening Standard. The 27-year-old goalkeeper, who impressed in the Champions League final loss to Manchester City, is under contract with Internazionale until 2027. However, the Nezaruzzi have reportedly already lined up Empoli’s Guglielmo Vicario as a replacement. The Blues originally approached AC Milan for Mike Maignan, but after the Italian side demanded €90m, Chelsea decided to focus on a move for Onana, valued at €50m, to replace Kepa Arrizabalaga and Édouard Mendy as the No.1 at Stamford Bridge.

– Newcastle United are lining up a move for Wolfsburg’s Felix Nmecha, reports the Telegraph. The Magpies are preparing a bid of £15m for the 22-year-old midfielder who joined the German side from Manchester City in 2021. The German U21 international made 30 appearances in the Bundesliga this season, scoring three goals and providing five assists.

– Aston Villa are closing in on a move for Liverpool defender/midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, as per Football Insider. The 29-year-old has extensive experience in the Premier League, making 235 appearances, registering 20 goals and 28 assists. The England international is expected to depart Anfield this summer on a free transfer, but he could remain in the English top-flight next season with Unai Emery’s side reportedly in advanced talks over a move to Villa Park.

– Fenerbahce are in pursuit of Internazionale’s Edin Dzeko, as per Gazzetta dello Sport. The 37-year-old striker, who is out of contract in June, has made 52 appearances for Inter across all competitions this season, scoring 14 goals and providing five assists. The agent of the Bosnia and Herzegovina international was in Istanbul to negotiate a move to the Turkish side, and the Süper Lig club are reportedly prepared to offer a two-year contract.

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