TOP STORY: Locatelli targeted by Juve and Arsenal
Juventus are ahead of a number of clubs in the race to sign Italy’s Euro 2020 goal-scoring sensation, Manuel Locatelli, according to Fabrizio Romano.
Locatelli scored twice in Italy’s 3-0 victory over Switzerland on Wednesday, the second a stunning strike, in a performance that is sure to see other clubs consider a move for his talents. Italy’s win saw Locatelli and his Azzurri teammates seal a round-of-16 berth with a game to spare.
New Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri is believed to be keen to take Locatelli to Turin, and his current club Sassuolo are said to be ready to accept a transfer fee of around €40 million.
It was Locatelli’s stellar form in Serie A that saw the 23-year-old called up to Roberto Mancini’s squad in the first place. He scored four goals in 34 appearances in all this season, but now his exploits could see him targeted by other clubs around Europe, while his value may also increase.
Arsenal had been linked with Locatelli before the tournament started, though Gunners fans will no doubt fear their chances of the club tempting him to north London could be diminished by his fine display in Rome.
– Euro 2020 on ESPN: Stream LIVE games and replays (U.S. only)
– European Soccer Pick ‘Em: Compete to win $10,000
22.00 BST: That will do it for the latest edition of our LIVE Transfer Talk blog. We hoped you enjoyed following along with us and remind you to check back shortly for the latest transfer rumours, reports and completed deals. Goodnight!
21.45 BST: West Ham need a striker and are reportedly unfazed by the €30 million price tag on Gent’s Roman Yaremchuk, according to Calciomercato.
The six-foot-three frontman has scored in both of Ukraine’s games at Euro 2020 and is fresh of a season in Belgium in which he netted 20 times in 34 games. West Ham have yet to replace Sebastian Haller and while Yaremchuk is under contract through 2024, it is believed that the Belgian club could be tempted by a big bid.
Roma and Lazio have also been credited with interest in Yaremchuk, while Wolfsburg, who may need to replace another West Ham target in Wout Weghorst, reportedly were put off by his price.
20.58 BST: Could Dortmund find cover for Jude Bellingham with another English-based midfielder?
German outlet Fussball Transfers claims that BVB have initiated talks with out-of-favour Arsenal man Matteo Guendouzi. The 22-year-old, who spent last season on loan in the Bundesliga with Hertha Berlin, has just 12 months remaining on his contract and reportedly has no way back in the mind of Mikel Arteta.
Guendouzi has been frozen out at Arsenal since getting in an argument with manager Mikel Arteta in June 2020, and was subsequently suspended for his “attitude and general behavior” in June 2020.
20.06 BST: With Zinedine Zidane and Sergio Ramos gone, Real Madrid are in the midst of a makeover, and AS claims that one player who could arrive is Roma and Italy star Leonardo Spinazzola.
The left-back, 28, has been a revelation for Italy so far at the Euros, starting both games and making a real impression in consecutive 3-0 wins. The well-travelled former Juve man scored two goals and assisted eight in 39 appearances for the Giallorossi last season, and could replace longtime left-back Marcelo, who looks set to leave the club after 15 seasons.
19.10 BST: Aston Villa have confirmed the signing of veteran Ashley Young!
🔙 at Bodymoor 🔟 years on! 😄
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) June 17, 2021
The versatile 35-year-old, who won the Scudetto with Inter this past season, returns to Villa Park after 10 years on a free transfer.
Young scored 37 goals and added 59 assists in 190 games during his first spell at Villa.
18.28 BST: Former Arsenal and current Napoli goalkeeper David Ospina looks set for a new club, with Corriere dello Sport listing Juventus, Atalanta, Sassuolo and Fiorentina as interested parties.
The Colombia international, 32, has been at Napoli since 2018 but only has one year remaining on his contract at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium. With Alex Meret ready to re-assume the role of No. 1 at Napoli, Ospina appears to be headed for the exit door.
17.39 BST: Anderlecht have announced they have signed defender Wesley Hoedt from Southampton.
Hoedt Is Here. 🇳🇱 🟣⚪ Link in bio. pic.twitter.com/vs3xuamWn0
— RSC Anderlecht (@rscanderlecht) June 17, 2021
The centre-back, 27, who joined from Lazio in 2017 for £15 million, had fallen out of favour at St. Mary’s and spent last season on loan at Lazio. The Netherlands international made 45 total appearances for the Saints and was loaned out three times during his tenure at the south coast club.
“The contacts between Anderlecht and myself have been going on for more than a year now. There was an immediate click with (sporting director) Peter Verbeke and Vincent [Kompany] but we had to wait for the right moment.
“For me, the choice for Anderlecht is primarily a sporting choice. I want to help make this project a success, to go for the highest again.”
17.00 BST: Cristiano Ronaldo could be set to leave Juventus this summer.
Gab Marcotti debates whether Cristiano Ronaldo will leave Juventus in the summer transfer window.
16.24 BST: Arsenal are keen to sign Leicester midfielder James Maddison, says Football.London.
Maddison, 24,is reportedly “at the top of the list” for Arsenal in this summer window but Leicester want a £60m transfer fee for the former Norwich midfielder.
The Gunners need a creative midfielder with Martin Odegaard and Dani Ceballos heading back to Real Madrid after their loan spells expired, but they may see competition from Chelsea for Maddison if Hakim Ziyech leaves.
15.38 BST: Fiorentina announced earlier today that Gennaro Gattuso has left his position just 23 days after joining as manager, with the decision down to a disagreement over transfer strategies, sources have told ESPN’s Andrew Cesare Richardson.
Now Gianluca DiMarzio is reporting that Tottenham are keen to hire Gattuso as their talks with former Roma boss Paulo Fonseca have collapsed.
If Gattuso thinks he’ll have any input into Tottenham’s transfer strategy he’s got another thing coming.
15.22 BST: Barcelona are interested in signing Aymeric Laporte but Clement Lenglet would have to leave first to make room for the Manchester City defender, sources have told ESPN’s Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens.
Barca have already completed the signing of Eric Garcia on a free transfer from City this summer, but coach Ronald Koeman would also like to add another more experienced centre-back to his squad.
However, the La Liga side have six defenders on their books and would need to shed two before even thinking about making a move for Laporte, who is at Euro 2020 with Spain.
In addition to Garcia and Lenglet, Barca also have Gerard Pique, Ronald Araujo, Oscar Mingueza and Samuel Umtiti.
Even without the addition of a new centre-back, Barca are keen to get Umtiti off the wage bill this summer.
15.05 BST: Manchester City have agreed a three-year deal for Bordeaux forward Khadija Shaw, the club announced on Thursday.
Shaw was Division 1 Feminine’s top scorer during the 2020-21 season, scoring 22 goals.
“What really attracted me was the way Manchester City plays. The way they build up, the way they use the channels, the way they play through the team, the channels and how exciting they are when they’re going forward,” Shaw told ESPN. “For me, looking in from the outside watching that I thought to myself I could see myself playing there and I could see myself being very successful there.”
15.03 BST: The Daily Telegraph says that Leicester City are looking to sign FC Salzburg striker Patson Daka in a £30m deal this summer.
Daka, 22, scored 34 goals in 42 games this season and the Zambia international has been linked with a host of top clubs.
Leicester are looking for competition for Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho up front, with Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard also on their radar.
The Foxes are also close to adding Lille’s Boubakary Soumare to their midfield for around £22m.
14.24 BST: Wolves have signed defender Yerson Mosquera from Atletico Nacional on a five-year contract.
Mosquera, 20, is reported to have cost Wolves £4.5m to sign and the Colombian had been previously tracked by Manchester United and Manchester City.
Wolves technical director Scott Sellars said: “We’ve been monitoring Yerson for quite a while, and there has been a lot of interest from clubs across Europe, including some of the biggest names in the Premier League. They all see his potential and quality, as do we, but we spoke to him about the pathway we have at the club, and he believes Wolves is the best fit for him.
“He’s a centre-back who’s very athletic, very aggressive, very competitive and has a great attitude to defending – he wants to defend, he wants to make tackles and headers, and has great presence in both boxes, but he’s also very good technically and very composed on the ball.
14.03 BST: Real Madrid have a defensive decision to make this summer.
Gab & Juls wonder what Sergio Ramos’ Real Madrid exit means for fellow defender Raphael Varane.
13.36 BST: Sergio Ramos has insisted that he “never wanted to leave Real Madrid” and claimed he would have accepted the club’s offer of a one-year contract extension, but was told it had expired.
Madrid announced on Wednesday that captain Ramos, 35, will leave when his deal runs out at the end of this month. The defender broke down in tears during a farewell ceremony on Thursday — attended by president Florentino Perez, board members, club staff and Ramos’ family — at the Real Madrid City training complex.
“I never wanted to leave Real Madrid, I always wanted to stay here,” Ramos said. “In the last few months the club made me an offer of one year, with a pay cut. I want to highlight that money has never been a problem, the president knows that.
“It wasn’t a financial problem. They offered me one year, I wanted two. I wanted calm and continuity for my family… In the latest conversations, I accepted the offer with a pay cut, and I was told there was no longer an offer. I was told that despite having given the OK to the proposal, it had an expiry date and I didn’t realise… It surprised me.”
13.08 BST: AC Milan have announced the signing of Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori.
Tomori, 23, joined the Italian club on loan this season but they have now actioned the €28.5m clause to sign him permanently and he will stay at San Siro on a deal until 2025.
The England centre-back made 22 appearances and scored one goal last season for Milan but was left out of the squad for Euro 2020.
12.51 BST: Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana saw his doping ban reduced to nine months recently and will now be available to play again in November.
The 25-year-old has been linked with Arsenal but Footmercato says AS Monaco want him if they can’t sign Bayern Munich’s Alexander Nubel this summer.
12.10 BST: ICYMI – Sergio Ramos is leaving Real Madrid for free this summer.
The 35-year-old couldn’t agree a new contract and is now saying a tearful goodbye at a news conference.
Madrid chairman Florentino Perez is there too and said: “Today isn’t an easy day, you’ve been someone very special for me, we’ve suffered and fought together for Real Madrid’s recent history. Above all I want you to be happy wherever you are… A legend like you will always be a great ambassador for Real Madrid.”
More Ramos “…A marvellous phase ends, unique in my life, I’ll never experience what I have had here, but a new exciting one begins, with a lot of enthusiasm about showing my best level for a lot of years… this is a ‘see you later’ because sooner or later I’ll be back.”
— Alex Kirkland (@alexkirkland) June 17, 2021
12.04 BST: Arsenal playmaker Emile Smith Rowe has been attracting attention in the form of a £25m bid from Aston Villa, but Real Madrid are also in the mix, according to CBS Sports.
Smith Rowe, 20, is in talks over extending his contract and the Gunners rejected Villa’s offer, but Madrid asked about including the Englishman in discussions about the future of Martin Odegaard.
Odegaard impressed at Arsenal after a loan move in January but the club don’t have the funds to make his move permanent and he will head back to Madrid as new boss Carlo Ancelotti has replaced Zinedine Zidane.
Smith Rowe has spent time on loan at RB Leipzig and Huddersfield Town but make the breakthrough into the first team last season and scored four times in 33 appearances.
11.12 BST: Lyon are prepared to break the women’s transfer record to bring Barcelona midfielder Aitana Bonmati to the club this summer, according to Diario Sport.
Bonmati, 23, is out of contract in 2022 and Lyon would be willing to quadruple her salary in addition to paying Barca around €500,000. The most expensive transfer in women’s football to date is the €279,801 paid by Chelsea to VfL Wolfsburg to sign Pernille Harder last year.
After coming through the club’s La Masia academy, Bonmati has gone on to become a key cog in the Barca side. She scored and was named player of the match as they beat Chelsea 4-0 in the Champions League final last month.
According to the report, Bonmati is not the only Barca player being eyed by other clubs. Lieke Martens, Alexia Putellas, Jenni Hermoso and Mapi Leon are also drawing interest. With several of their contracts, like Bonmati’s, up next summer, the Catalan club will either have to raise their salaries to match what’s on offer elsewhere or consider offers.
Barca find themselves in this position as a result of their success on the pitch this season. They won the treble, which included winning the Champions League for the first time in their history. It was the first time since 2015 that Lyon had not been crowned European champions.
11.00 BST: Former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez at city rivals Everton? It could happen.
The ESPN FC panel breaks down all the things wrong with Rafa Benitez being linked to Everton.
10.50 BST: Gianluigi Buffon has rejoined Parma on a two-year deal after leaving Juventus this summer. The 43-year-old goalkeeping legend began his career in the Parma youth system in 1991, at the age of 13, and made his debut for the first team at 17.
He made the move from Parma to Juventus in 2001 for €52m and went on to become one of the best goalkeepers to have played the game, winning the World Cup with Italy in 2006.
— Parma Calcio 1913 (@1913parmacalcio) June 17, 2021
10.06 BST: Atletico Madrid will sign between three and five players this summer to add to their La Liga title-winning squad ahead of 2021-22, Diario AS reports.
The newspaper says the club are determined to land at least a back-up goalkeeper for Jan Oblak — with youngster Ivo Grbic leaving on loan — a midfielder, likely to be Udinese’s Rodrigo De Paul, and a forward to provide competition for Luis Suarez.
Two more players could also come in, according to the newspaper. The departure of either Sime Vrsaljko or Kieran Trippier would mean a right-back would be required, while an extra midfielder could join if Saul Niguez or Hector Herrera go.
Meanwhile, Marca claims the arrival of De Paul, 27, is “imminent” with “the desire of the player and of [Diego] Simeone” being the keys to the deal.
De Paul — who struggled in a previous spell in La Liga at Valencia from 2014 to 2016 — impressed in Serie A last season, scoring nine goals and providing nine assists.
09.21 BST: Inter Miami striker Gonzalo Higuain has said he thought Major League Soccer would be easy enough for him to play with a “cigarette” in his mouth.
The Argentina forward, who has scored four goals in seven league games this season, said that he has been surprised by the competitiveness of MLS, comparing it to Italy’s Serie A.
Speaking on Christian Vieri’s Twitch channel Bobo TV, Higuain said: “I thought I would come here and play with a cigarette in my mouth and, instead, it is difficult. It is a tough league. I learned that it is similar to Italian football. In Spain and England it is easier to do well, while in Italy, if you do not know the league, you suffer.”
Higuain joined Inter Miami from Juventus in 2020 after struggling to eight goals in 32 games for the Italian giants in his last season in Serie A.
08.45 BST: Gennaro Gattuso is set to leave Fiorentina as manager, just 23 days after his appointment.
Fabrizio Romano reports there have been “problems on transfers strategy between Fiorentina board, Gattuso’s agent Jorge Mendes and Gennaro himself. They’re now working to part ways.”
08.23 BST: Alvaro Morata says he is looking forward to another season at Juventus.
Juve and Atletico Madrid reached an agreement to extend Morata’s loan for another season, and the forward posted a video on Instagram saying: “Hi guys, thank you for all your support. You all know how important it is for me to continue at Juventus for another season. I’m delighted and proud. I can’t wait to share some moments with you at the stadium. Now I’m focused on the European Championship, which is also important to me.”
The Spain international rejoined Juve last summer on loan from Atletico, with Juve having an option to make the deal permanent this summer, or to extend the loan spell for a further season for €10m.
Morata, 28, scored 20 goals and set up 12 more in 44 appearances for the Turin giants. Juve intend to exercise their option to sign Morata in January 2022 by paying Atletico €35m and he helped Juve lift the Coppa Italia.
08.00 BST: Sergio Ramos will leave Real Madrid after 16 seasons with the La Liga giants when his contract expires at the end of the month, the club announced on Wednesday.
Madrid have scheduled a farewell ceremony for their longtime captain in the presence of club president Florentino Perez on Thursday.
Ramos, 35, wanted a new two-year deal to stay at Madrid, but sources told ESPN that Perez was not prepared to break his policy of handing only one-year contracts to players over 30.
Conversations between Perez and Ramos have been ongoing throughout the past year and continued into June. However, neither party was prepared to compromise.
Despite reports to the contrary, sources told ESPN that Ramos did not demand a pay rise to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Sid Lowe explains the next steps for Sergio Ramos after the club legend has decided to leave Real Madrid.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Nick Judd)
– Napoli have made Chelsea’s Emerson Palmieri their No. 1 target, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. Palmieri’s contract with the Blues runs out in 2022 and there are a number of clubs in Italy, with Napoli leading the way, keen to take the 26-year-old back to Serie A. Talks between the two clubs are said to have been going on for weeks, with both now haggling over Chelsea’s €15m estimation. Napoli are hoping to lower the fee by around €3m-€4m.
– It has already been widely reported that Gianluigi Donnarumma is set to join Paris Saint-Germain from AC Milan when his contract expires this summer, but Fabrizio Romano says that the Italian goalkeeper’s medical will take place on June 21, not June 17 as initially reported by many, ahead of a deal that will see him sign until 2026. Donnarumma, 22, has kept two clean sheets in two games for Italy so far at Euro 2020, and he looks set to join the Parisians on a free transfer.
– Bernardo Silva‘s agent, Jorge Mendes, is believed to be in talks with Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, according to the Daily Mail. Silva has reportedly told Manchester City officials that he is keen to leave this summer, and though boss Pep Guardiola wants to keep the 26-year-old, the club are willing to let the Portugal international go if the right fee can be agreed.
– Arsenal have joined Sevilla and Fiorentina in the race to sign 28-year-old Porto winger Jesus Corona, according to the Daily Mail. The outlet says that Mikel Arteta is keen to add competition on the right-hand side for Willian and Nicolas Pepe, and with Corona’s existing deal with the Portuguese giants set to end next summer, he could be available for around €25m. The Mexico international can play on the right wing or as a wing-back, and he scored three goals — alongside 13 assists — in 48 appearances last season.