Liverpool recently sold Rhian Brewster to Sheffield United for somewhere close to the £20m mark..
Fulham are expected to demand £10m from Liverpool for young winger Harvey Elliott when the two clubs head to a tribunal on Tuesday.
Liverpool signed the 17-year-old in the summer of 2019 before he had signed a professional contract with Fulham, but the Cottagers are entitled to some compensation after being responsible for his development.
Liverpool offered to pay close to £750,000 to sign the then 16-year-old, but as noted by The Athletic, Fulham want closer to £10m for a player who is: their youngest ever player, Liverpool’s youngest ever starter and the youngest player in Premier League history.
Elliott is currently shining in the Championship with Blackburn Rovers, notching four goals and eight assists in 22 appearances, and he has been tipped to be a major part of the Liverpool setup upon his return to Anfield.
Fulham still feel as though a £10m would be daylight robbery. They felt that Elliott had the potential to blossom into a future superstar at Craven Cottage, and young England internationals have been known to sell for more than that figure.
For comparison, Liverpool recently sold Rhian Brewster to Sheffield United for somewhere close to the £20m mark, despite the fact that the striker had not made a single appearance in the Premier League at that point.
Whether Fulham will actually get that £10m is unknown, but given the record amount of compensation set by a tribunal stands at the £6.5m Liverpool were ordered to pay Burnley for Danny Ings, it’s not looking good.
Liverpool will definitely hope to avoid paying that kind of money. Jurgen Klopp was open about the Reds’ lack of transfer funds in January, which is why centre-back Ozan Kabak was only signed on an initial loan, and shelling out £10m might not sit well with club chiefs.
It’s a big case for both Liverpool and Fulham, but also for academies as a whole. There’s a perception that smaller teams are often short-changed in these situations, with most pointing to the mere £850,000 Exeter City were awarded from Chelsea’s purchase of Ethan Ampadu, who earned his first cap for Wales just months after joining the Blues.
Fulham have invested a considerable amount of money in their academy to obtain Category 1 status in 2012, but there are fears that those efforts could be undermined if a player like Elliott is only worth pocket change to a tribunal.
The move has also enabled Southampton to send Shane Long out on loan to Championship promotion hopefuls Bournemouth.
Liverpool’s Takumi Minamino has completed a sensational loan move to Southampton in the dying embers of January’s transfer deadline day.
The Japan international has agreed to spend the remainder of the season on the south coast as he goes in search of more game time, having struggled to break into Jürgen Klopp’s plans this season.
The transfer window seemed to be drawing to a quiet close, before news broke of the Saints’ pursuit of the 26-year-old with fewer than two hours remaining to seal the deal.
Having passed a last-minute medical, the 11th-hour loan move has been confirmed in a statement on Southampton’s website.
Boss Ralph Hasenhuttl said: “I am very pleased to welcome Takumi to our squad for the rest of this season.
“He will help provide another good attacking option, and is importantly the right profile of player for us. This will give us some additional depth in our squad at an important time, and I am looking forward to beginning work with him on the training pitch.”
Minamino – who only joined Liverpool from RB Salzburg a year ago – has featured 17 times in all competitions this season, but has struggled for starts behind the established front three of Sadio Mané, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.
However, he has still managed four goals and two assists, and his versatility means he will give the Saints an option out wide and in attacking midfield.
A lack of quality depth would have been a real concern for Hasenhuttl as his side attempt to mount a European challenge in the second half of the season.
The Irishman has never been a regular scorer at St Mary’s, but his hard work and willingness to run the channels had seen him in stay in favour over the past few seasons.
Minamino is Southampton’s only arrival of the January window, while young defender Yan Valery was the second player to leave the club on deadline day.
He’s joined Birmingham City on loan, having been shut out of the first team picture by Kyle Walker-Peters.
Kabak has been one of the shining lights in what has been an otherwise disappointing season for Schalke.
Liverpool are pushing to sign Schalke defender Ozan Kabak, but face a race against time to get the deal over the line before the transfer window closes.
The Reds have sparked into life in the transfer window and are looking to conclude deals for two centre-backs. Preston’s Ben Davies is expected to be one, while Marseille’s Duje Caleta-Car was identified as an option late on Sunday.
However, talks with the French side quickly hit an impasse, with Mohamed Bouhafsi revealing that a deal was now off the table, and sources have confirmed to NoRM‘s known Media that negotiations are now underway over a loan deal for Kabak.
A target during the summer, Liverpool have long admired the 20-year-old, who has also played his way onto the radar of Manchester United.
A report from Sky Sports News adds that Liverpool have already made preparations for Kabak to undergo a medical in Germany, but it could all come down to whether Schalke can find a replacement before the Bundesliga window closes at 17:00 (GMT).
Schalke have identified their preferred target, but there is no guarantee that they will be able to get a deal over the line in time, particularly as they will not be pocketing much money from Liverpool if they do loan out Kabak.
The Reds are keen to pay a loan fee of around £2.5m and pick up the option to sign Kabak permanently in the summer, but Schalke are yet to accept the bid as they are focused on finding an alternative.
They currently sit bottom of the Bundesliga table, having picked up just eight points from 19 games, but their young defender has definitely stood out.
Arteta is yet to be convinced that dropping him into a relegation scrap with a team who play a drastically different style of football will provide that.
West Brom are in talks with Arsenal over a loan deal for Ainsley Maitland-Niles, though the Gunners are yet to decide whether a spell at The Hawthorns would be beneficial for him.
Maitland-Niles has been on the fringes of Mikel Arteta’s squad this season and has racked up a reasonable 21 appearances in all competitions. Just six of those have come from the start though, leading to reports of frustration at his role in the squad.
The 23-year-old is targeting a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for this summer’s European Championship and that is not something he is likely to attain unless he is starting regularly.
A source has told NoRM’s known Media that West Brom have made a move to sign him on loan, but they are not the only club looking at him as Southampton and Newcastle are both keen. Sam Allardyce’s men believe, however, they are favourites to land Maitland-Niles because they would be willing to play him in his preferred central midfield role.
The Athletic’s David Ornstein also says that the Baggies are ‘pushing hard’ to bring him in, but Arsenal still believe he could have a role to play in their season and only want to send him out if it will benefit his development.
Ornstein’s report notes that there is interest from an unnamed ‘current top four’ Premier League team, potentially Leicester or West Ham, who were sat in fourth at the time the piece was written.
Arsenal would prefer to send him to one of those sides, but the Hammers can no longer be in the running after securing the services of Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard on loan until the end of the season – a deal that West Brom were also hoping to conclude.
With just days left of the transfer window, then, we may be in for an interesting stand-off – do the Gunners ship him off to the lower reaches of the table, or wait for their preferred option at the risk of no move coming off?
The loan signing of Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid pushed him further down the midfield pecking order, while Hector Bellerin, Cedric Soares and Kieran Tierney are each preferred to fill the full-back positions where Maitland-Niles has proven a capable deputy.
He did start as recently as two weeks ago, however, and it isn’t believed Arteta would be against keeping him around as cover for the second half of the season.
What Arsenal decide may come down to how hard the player pushes for a move. As things stand, he is keen to go out on loan but hasn’t forced the issue – something that may change ahead of Monday’s deadline.
Odegaard wanted to leave Madrid because he wasn’t getting the game time he thought he would when his parent club cut short his previous loan at Real Sociedad last summer.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has already said it is possible for Martin Odegaard to stay at the Emirates Stadium beyond his initial loan from Real Madrid because he is the exact type of player the Gunners have been looking for in his position.
Odegaard has joined Arsenal on a short-term deal until the end of the season, an arrangement expected to cost the club around £2.8m in a loan fee and wages.
But there is no option to secure his signature permanently, so any transfer at that stage will have to negotiated with Real.
“He certainly has all the qualities and characteristics that we are looking for, for that position,” Arteta said as he addressed the media, via Arsenal.com.
“Then [staying] will be down to two things. First of all, how well he adapts here and how much of an impact he can have in our team. Secondly, what Real Madrid and the player think about it because he’s owned by Real Madrid and the player has a big say in that too.”
“He’s a player that we followed for some time and we believe that he’s got some special qualities that we have been missing,” Arteta said.
“I’ve followed him very closely because he played for Real Sociedad, which is my hometown. I know him really well. I’ve been really impressed. He’s a such a talent. He needs the right environment, he needs a little bit of time but I think he’s got the qualities to be a success for us.”
Discussing the role Odegaard will play for Arsenal, Arteta went on to explain: “He’s a specialist to play in the pockets, to play in the No. 8 or 10 positions. He can play off the sides. He’s a really creative player who’s really comfortable on the ball in tight spaces. He has the capacity to create chances and to score goals.
“Something that he has improved a lot is his work-rate without the ball as well, so it’s another option to give us more creativity for sure in the final third, and give us more options to set up in different ways against certain teams.”
Pogba recently insisted that he will continue to be happy at Old Trafford as long as his side keep on winning, admitting that he struggles to cope when United come out on the losing side – just as they did on Wednesday.
Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has revealed that he will sit down with the club at the end of the season to discuss his contract situation.
The Frenchman has entered the final 18 months of his current deal and was widely expected to be sold in the coming summer after agent Mino Raiola publicly claimed Pogba wanted to leave Old Trafford because he was ‘unhappy’.
However, those comments came before Pogba rediscovered his best form and led United towards the top of the Premier League table. All of a sudden, an exit no longer seems as certain as it was just one month ago, and Pogba confessed that he is ready to talk to the club about his future.
“I am on contract, I am here, I am enjoying myself,” Pogba told BT Sport in the build-up to United’s 2-1 loss to Sheffield United. “Everybody knows that I have one year left, I’m going to speak with the club and see what’s going on.
“For now, my objective, my goal is to win something. That’s all I’m thinking about is to win.”
His future is a tricky one to get your head around. In terms of potential landing spots, it’s Real Madrid and Juventus who are usually named a suitors, although neither side has anywhere close to the money needed to land the midfielder.
Should United sell in the summer, they know they would likely make a loss on the £89m they spent to bring him back to Old Trafford in 2016, but he’d still be one of the most expensive transfers of the summer.
However, whether United actually want to sell is a different matter. Now that he has shaken off the injuries which have plagued him for the last year, Pogba looks like the game-changing midfielder he was supposed to be, and it’s no coincidence that United’s upturn his form has come at the same time as Pogba’s resurgence.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made no secret of his desire to keep Pogba around, but he may have to keep his side in a title battle if he is to convince the World Cup winner to stay.
Unfortunately for Font, Laporta soon hit back and insisted that his mind is made up about the situation.
Barcelona presidential candidate Victor Font has claimed that the team should pursue a move for Manchester City centre-back Eric Garcia this month as the defender has supposedly promised to play without a salary until the end of the season.
Garcia’s contract with City will expire at the end of the current campaign and he has made it clear that he will not be signing a new one. He intends to move to Barcelona, but City have always been reluctant to sell, regardless of the financial risk.
The decision on whether to sign Garcia this month was left to the three presidential candidates – Joan Laporta, Toni Freixa and Victor Font – but the trio could not agree on a move and now Garcia seems set to join on a free transfer in the summer.
Font was strongly in favour of landing Garcia, and he recently held a press conference to urge his fellow candidates to reconsider their stances.
“Eric García is ready to make an effort [to leave City this month] and not be paid this season,” Font said (via The Times).
“The movements we have made lead us to understand that the signing of Eric García is possible now, the club can manage it financially. Ronald Koeman and our sporting structure consider his signing fundamental to aspire to win titles this season. So we ask the managing committee to sign Eric this week.
“Why not sign him? If he’s ready to not be paid this season… City will accept €3m plus variables. The impact on the accounts this season would be €230,000 in amortisation. How do we motivate Koeman if the only request he’s made is denied?”
“After seeing the economic situation of the club, I remain in my position. Candidates do not have the power to tell the Management Board things that it cannot do.
“If a player wants to come here, he has to prove it. If he comes for free in June, I don’t know why we have to give money to a club that is our competitor. Now we are talking about amounts that are now different, but ultimately it would be to pay money for a player that in June would be free. We will wait until June and then we will talk.”
Laporta’s determination to avoid paying for Garcia culminated in a strongly worded letter to acting president Carles Tusquets, warning him not make any decisions which could negatively impact the winner of March’s elections, but Catalunya Radio note that Tusquets has hit back.
In his own letter, Tusquets accused Laporta of threatening him no less than five times, and he urged the presidential hopeful to keep his mouth shut until the elections on March 7. Yikes.
Gunners coach Mikel Arteta was also delighted with the transfer, stating that Odegaard will offer ‘quality offensive options’ to his current crop of players.
Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Real Madrid star Martin Odegaard on loan until the end of the season.
The Norwegian midfielder travelled to North London to put the finishing touches on the deal on Sunday, and with the details in place, all that was missing was the official confirmation from the clubs.
Now, the Gunners announced Odegaard’s arrival in video form on their Twitter account, offering pictures of the 22-year-old in their famous red strip for the very first time. The midfielder has taken the number 11 shirt, leaving the number 10, previously worn by Mesut Ozil, open to one of his new teammates.
Odegaard’s signature has softened the blow of the German’s Emirates exit, with fans disappointed in how the former talisman’s career ended in North London. They can now look forward to witnessing Madrid’s playmaker in action, after he struggled to make his mark in their first team under Zinedine Zidane.
The youngster enjoyed a breakout season at Real Sociedad last year, and Los Blancos decided not to allow him to rejoin their rivals on loan for another campaign. Odegaard was expected to become an integral part in the champions’ midfield, but he ended up making only seven La Liga appearances in 2020/21.
That absence from their plans allowed the Gunners to jump in and land themselves an excellent piece of business. Arsenal technical director Edu was full of praise for the club’s new signing, thanking Madrid for their collaboration in allowing the move to come to fruition.
“We are delighted to welcome Martin to the club until the end of the season. I would like to thank everyone at Real Madrid and Martin’s representatives for their collaboration in making this loan move happen.
“Martin is an exceptional talent and we are strengthening our squad by introducing an exciting offensive player to the club for the remaining months of this season.”
“It’s great that we’ve secured Martin to come to us until the end of the season. Martin is of course a player that we all know very well and although still young, he has been playing at the top level for a while.
“Martin will provide us with quality offensive options and we’re all excited to be integrating him into our plans between now and May.”
• Emile Smith Rowe’s career on the line •
For Arsenal, Emile Smith Rowe has undoubtedly been the saviour of the season.
Since his arrival to the Gunners’ Premier League starting lineup, Arsenal have been fantastic domestically.
He has led them to four wins and a draw in the last five games, offering up three assists and transforming their season.
The 20-year-old has given Arsenal the sort of creativity they were hoping to find by spending big in the January transfer market, and he’s turned the Gunners back into a genuine threat.
It’s now understood that he’s due to be rewarded with a bumper new contract, but on top of that, Arsenal are now looking to reward Smith Rowe with an enormous threat to his young club career.
Real Madrid playmaker Martin Odegaard has now sealed a six-month loan switch to the Emirates Stadium, with Arsenal stressing the need to bring someone in to rotate with Smith Rowe and steer them through to the end of the season.
On one hand, that’s absolutely right. Relying so heavily on a 20-year-old with seven Premier League appearances to his name is a recipe for disaster. Arsenal need someone to help shoulder the burden, 100%.
However, that replacement probably shouldn’t be someone who is coming to the Emirates to take most of Smith Rowe’s minutes.
Smith Rowe needs regular game time if he is ever going to blossom into the kind of player Arsenal feel like they can rely on. He doesn’t need to play 38 games and 90 minutes every week, but he needs to be playing more often than not.
Unfortunately, you have to say that same thing about Odegaard as well.
The 22-year-old former wonderkid has found his career at somewhat of a crossroads. Despite an impressive loan spell with Real Sociedad last season, he’s not yet at the level he needs to be to star for Real.
Zinedine Zidane handed Odegaard a grand total of 367 minutes this season – five starts and four substitute appearances – forcing the Norwegian to head out on loan to try and find more minutes.
He’s chosen Arsenal, with manager Mikel Arteta understood to have personally convinced Odegaard to pick the Emirates as the perfect spot for his development. That probably means Arteta has promised him minutes.
Odegaard will rock up to Arsenal expecting to be a regular starter, but the problem is that Smith Rowe currently demands – and deserves – the same. There’s only one No. 10 spot, just ask Mesut Ozil.
For Arteta, there needs to be a delicate balancing of the situation, but there’s a real possibility of nobody winning. If Smith Rowe plays too much, Odegaard doesn’t play enough. If they play 50:50, both will be lacking.
To have two wonderkids fighting for one spot can be a recipe for disaster. We’ve seen plenty of players choose to walk away from their clubs because of a lack of confidence in their development path – Tariq Lamptey leaving Chelsea for Brighton is a recent example.
Chelsea have confirmed the departure of centre-back Fikayo Tomori to AC Milan on loan until the end of the season.
Milan wanted a new centre-back this summer and had initially identified Strasbourg’s Mohamed Simakan as their preferred target, but eventually set their sights on Tomori, who was eager to make the move.
The two clubs began talks midway through January and things progressed fairly quickly, and now Chelsea have confirmed on their official website that they have sent Tomori over to San Siro for the remainder of the season.
As part of the agreement, Milan are understood to have the option to sign the 23-year-old permanently next summer for a fee of around £25m.
Tomori is now expected to compete for minutes with Alessio Romagnoli and Simon Kjaer, who have formed a dominant duo since the latter’s arrival from Sevilla in the summer.
Stefano Pioli’s side currently sit top of the Serie A standings, three points clear of rivals Inter, and the hope is that Tomori will help strengthen their defence and keep them on track for their first league title since 2011.
Tomori will be eager to play football again. He managed just four appearances in all competitions for Chelsea this season, finding himself firmly stuck behind Thiago Silva, Kurt Zouma, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger in the pecking order at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard recently insisted that he still had a ‘long-term plan’ for the centre-back, but Tomori has seemingly been won over by Milan, where director Paolo Maldini admitted they were waiting to welcome him with open arms.
The highest-paid player in club history has not turned out for Mikel Arteta’s side since March 2020, with the club’s official line always being that the German is dealing with a back injury.
Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has confirmed that he is soon set to travel to Turkey to seal a move to Fenerbahce.
The Gunners have reached an agreement to terminate Ozil’s contract six months earlier than scheduled, with Mikel Arteta keen to offload the exiled midfielder and his enormous wage packet.
A move to Fenerbahce has long been seen as the most likely route away from the Emirates Stadium for Ozil, who has been flirting with the Turkish side on Twitter ever since news of his imminent move away from Arsenal came to light, and he has now confirmed the move on Turkish TV.
“I am so happy,” he told NTV. “I’m a Fenerbahce fan. God wanted me to play football in Fenerbahce. I’m proud.
“I am coming tonight with my family to Istanbul, thank God who gave me the opportunity to represent this club. I will wear the shirt with pride.”
Ozil is due in Istanbul shortly after midnight on Monday morning, when he will travel to Fenerbahce for a medical and put pen to paper on a contract which has already been agreed in principle with the German’s represenatives.
Earlier on Sunday, Ozil took to Twitter to post the number ’67’, which is believed to be a reference to the shirt number he has chosen. According to Fanatik, he has gone with 67 because that is the beginning of the postcode of his hometown of Zonguldak.
It now seems like just a matter of time before Ozil’s turbulent spell with Arsenal comes to a close.
Ozil is now set to leave the Emirates with a total of 254 appearances for Arsenal under his belt, in which he bagged 44 goals and 77 assists to earn himself a reputation as one of the Premier League’s most mesmeric creators.
Concerns about Ozil’s work rate have dominated headlines for months and have only been amplified by his high wages, but Arsenal now appear set to confirm his departure and bring an end to all the off-field drama.
Cavani’s future continues to be up in the air, and that means he’ll continue to be linked with a move to Manchester United.
The 33 year old’s contract at PSG expires at the end of June and he’s of interest to several clubs. Sunday’s edition of L’Equipe reports Inter Milan, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Atletico Madrid are in the picture as potential destinations.
Cavani will not ‘rule out’ moving to Old Trafford, and the same goes for other options on the table. The French newspaper states Manchester United have been interested since January, which makes some sense given their search for a striker at the time.
PSG priced Cavani out of a move in the winter market, with it being reported at the time they asked Atletico Madrid for as much as €30m to sign the Uruguayan. The failure of that transfer reportedly angered Cavani, and it may well be that he’d prefer Atletico should they make another attempt this summer.
Manchester United need to decide what to do regarding Odion Ighalo, and whether they even need a new striker given Marcus Rashford will be fit for the start of next season.
If they do want to sign a short term option, and if Cavani would accept a short contract, then he could be a solution.
Arsenal have reportedly opened talks with the agent of Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho ahead of launching a bid this summer.
Coutinho is on a season-long loan deal at Bayern Munich but the Bundesliga club have revealed they won’t activate the option to make the move permanent.
That means the Brazilian will return to Barcelona at the end of the season, where he appears unlikely to regain a place in the starting XI.
Coutinho moved to the Nou Camp from Liverpool three years ago but has failed to secure regular first team football and looks set to leave this summer.
According to Le10sport.com, Arsenal have made the 27-year-old one of their top transfer targets and opened talks with his agent, Kia Joorabchian.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta is believed to be a huge admirer of Coutinho, who can play either in an attacking midfield role or as a left sided forward.
It was in those two roles that he rose to prominence at Liverpool, where he spent four seasons before moving on to Barca in a £142 million deal.
During his time at the Reds, Coutinho scored 41 goals in 152 games and established himself as one of Europe’s most highly-rated attacking talents.
Now he’ll be determined to reestablish his reputation and Arsenal could provide the opportunity to do just that as Arteta looks to rebuild the Gunners squad he inherited when he replaced Unai Emery in December.
Arsenal could face competition for his services from a host of top European clubs, as well as Premier League rivals Chelsea who are also reported to be weighing up a move.
Higuain and River have been vocal in their admiration for one another throughout the coronavirus lockdown, but the Argentine side could be facing competition from Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
As per Tuttojuve, Juve are prepared to sell the striker this summer but for no less than €18m to ensure they do not make a loss from his sale on their balance sheet.
The Bianconeri paid €90m to take him from Napoli in 2016, and he has repaid them with 63 goals in 139 appearances, eight of which have come in the current campaign.
On the other hand, he can leave the Old Lady for nothing when his contract expires in June 2021.
Inter have reportedly rejected an initial PSG offer of €50m plus €10m in bonuses for Mauro Icardi, as they want at least €60m plus €10m in add-ons.
The striker is currently in Paris on loan with an option to buy worth €70m, but the Ligue 1 champions are asking for a discount, especially after their season was shut early due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Sky Sport Italia and La Gazzetta dello Sport, an initial €50m plus €10m bonuses proposal has been turned down.
The asking price will be €60m guaranteed along with at least €10m in add-ons, most of which will be relatively simple to activate, so the eventual sum will come out at close to €70m.
PSG already paid €13m for the one-season loan and covered his salary, which he repaid with 20 goals and four assists in 31 competitive games.
Juventus and Napoli are reportedly ready to welcome Icardi back to Serie A, but if PSG were to purchase the player and immediately sell him to another Italian club, Inter would pocket an extra €15m.
Barcelona look set to win the battle to land Miralem Pjanic from Juventus in the summer, with the midfielder reportedly stating he will only join the Spanish giants.
The 30-year-old had been a target for many of Europe’s top clubs including Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.
But Reliable Sources confirmed, the Bosnian has already made up his mind where he will be playing next season by claiming ‘I’m only going to Barca’.
Pjanic looks set to depart the Allianz Stadium in the summer as part of a clearout at the Italian champions who hope to aid their financial concerns in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
In recent days he has been linked with a swap move to the Nou Camp as the Spanish club look to limit their cash outlay with player swap deals.
However, such is their desperation to land Pjanic, a cash only deal will still be considered as a last resort.
Chelsea had approached Juventus in trying to pursue a deal, with PSG also hoping they could convince the Bosnian his future was in Paris.
The French champions’ sporting director Leonardo was hoping to offer Pjanic a big deal with ‘unmatched incentives’ but their approach has come too late with the player having already decided on his future away from Turin.
He has been a major success at Juve since arriving from Roma in 2016, winning three Serie A titles and two Italian Cups.
Although there will be question marks surrounding Pjanic’s advancing years, Barca instead see his age as a positive in terms of experience that would be invaluable to the likes of young talent including Riqui Puig.
Pjanic is looking forward to a Barcelona challenge and the opportunity to playing alongside Lionel Messi having turned down the big money approach from PSG.
Philippe Coutinho will not join Bayern Munich permanently – but the club’s chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has opened the door to another loan move for the Brazilian.
“The option expired and we haven’t activated it,” Rummenigge told German magazine Der Spiegel on Friday.
“We’re going to plan our squad for next season and we’ll see if he still has a role to play with us or not.”
Coutinho played a starring role for Liverpool before leaving for Barcelona in a £130million deal in January 2018.
The Brazilian failed to nail down a starting spot at Barca, leading to his loan move to the Bundesliga this season.
It is thought the Catalan Club are keen to offload Coutinho – or at least get him off the wage bill by sending him out on another loan.
Mirror Sport understands that Liverpool have no interest in taking Coutinho back, but several of their Premier League rivals have been credited with an interest in the midfielder, with Chelsea believed to be at the front of the queue.
Coutinho made 32 appearances in all competitions for Bayern this season, scoring nine goals and posting eight assists. He is currently recovering from ankle surgery.
Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis has allegedly given Dries Mertens one week to either extend his contract with the Partenopei or decide to move on.
Inter have reportedly been trying to lure the Belgium international away from the San Paolo and coach Antonio Conte would welcome Napoli’s joint all-time leading goalscorer to San Siro and pair him with international teammate Romelu Lukaku.
But the 33-year-old is yet to make his mind up and has received a contract offer from the Azzurri, who are losing patience with the veteran.
La Gazzetta dello Sport claims the Partenopei patron has given Mertens an ultimatum to sign the deal within a week, otherwise the club will start planning for a future without him.
Mertens’ current contract in Naples expires on June 30 this year and the forward has been able to discuss terms with possible suitors since January.
Arturo Vidal is on Barcelona’s exit ramp. All sides are conscious of the situation and are looking for the best solution.
Right now, that’s a move to Inter Milan – although they clubs have not agreed on a fee. The Chilean could have left in the January transfer window, but the Blaugrana blocked his exit because the team had a lot of players out. It was a move the player accepted. He’s got a year left on his contract but will be sold as he looks for a final top project in which he can have a bigger role.
Inter have maintained their interest for months and have returned for him again, with coach Antonio Conte pushing for the operation to take place. They worked together at Juventus before and speak regularly. Barcelona will not renew his contract, which is high, and think the player is amortized. He’s liked in the dressing room and is a good reference point on and off the pitch.
Inter are willing to offer Vidal a three-season deal on a good wage but need to lower the transfer price. They don’t believe the 20m euros Barcelona are asking for is fair. For his age and the fact there’s only a year left on his deal. They also don’t want him to be involved in any deal for Lautaro Martinez, the Inter striker Barca crave. His release clause is 111 million euros and Inter don’t want to lower that. Negotiations are open and there is a good feeling between both sides, so there is hope of a deal.
Inter have already rejected Barcelona trio Nelson Semedo, Junior Firpo and Ivan Rakitic as possible makeweights in a possible deal for Lautaro Martinez, according to NobleSports reliable source.
Antonio Conte, the Inter coach, is not interest in any of the three players as he builds for next season, although he is open to other players in the Barça squad as the Catalans look to bring down the Argentine’s 111 million euros price tag.
According to the same report, Barça offered Semedo, Junior and Rakitic as part of the initial negotiations with the Serie A club, but failed to achieve a breakthrough.
Inter, though, are still demanding a huge price Lautaro, although they would accept it in installments. Barça continue to insist on the idea of including players to bring the cost down. The most interesting player for Inter could be Arturo Vidal.
Barça have put Ivan Rakitic on the transfer market (he seems to only want to move to Sevilla), along with Junior (there is interest in Italy) and Semedo (Manchester City have suggested a swap deal for Joao Cancelo)
However, Barça to have other players in mind to use in a player plus cash deal and it seems that the negotiations are about to move into the definitive stage.