LIVE Transfer Talk – Havertz Premier League move tied to on-loan Coutinho
The winter transfer window is closed — but now it’s time to look ahead to the summer! Here are the new rumours floating around following the Jan. 31 deadline day:
TOP STORY: Havertz Premier League move tied to Coutinho
The report says Leverkusen are bracing themselves for bids for the 20-year-old in the summer, and that they could be tempted by anyone willing to offer £110 million. Predictably, Bayern are considered the favourites to land the Germany international.
Bayern’s efforts could depend on whether Philippe Coutinho is able to prove that he can be their main playmaker, but Havertz’s form is certainly convincing enough. He scored 20 goals last season and recently became the youngest player to amass 100 Bundesliga appearances, beating previous record holders Timo Werner and Julian Draxler.
Havertz became Bayer Leverkusen’s youngest-ever player in October 2016 when he made his debut aged 17 years, 4 months and 5 days and finished his first season with four goals and six assists in 24 appearances. In 2018-19, he netted 17 goals, the most by any teenager in Bundesliga history.
Of all the clubs interested in his services, Liverpool are expected to be the first to make a tangible bid.
23.00 GMT: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!
22.09 GMT: Arsenal made two defensive loan signings in January but have yet to make a permanent signing under Mikel Arteta.
The Telegraph hints that star Brentford winger Said Benrahma could be the first, the Algerian putting together another fine season in the Championship with the Bees. The former OGC Nice man has racked up eight goals and six assists for the promotion hopefuls, after racking up 11 goals and 17 assists last season.
The Telegraph understands that Arsenal have joined the race for the winger, who is valued at more than £20 million.
21.16 GMT: Staying in MLS, the Philadelphia Union have loaned forward and Jamaica international Cory Burke to Austrian side SKN St. Polten.
Burke, 28, made seven appearances for the Union last season, scoring two goals and spending the second half of the campaign on loan in his native Jamaica with Portmore United. Burke’s best season with the Union came in 2018 when he bagged 10 goals.
20.36 GMT: The Portland Timbers have had great luck with South American recruitment (Diego Valeri and Sebastian Blanco, anybody?) and will hope that continues with their latest signing.
The Timbers announced on Thursday that they have signed Paraguayan midfielder Cristhian Paredes on a permanent basis. The 21-year-old, who spent the last two seasons in the Pacific Northwest on loan from Club America, is now a full-fledged Timbers player.
“Cristhian is a young, dynamic midfielder with a very bright future.”
We have completed the transfer of Cristhian Paredes from Liga MX side Club América. We’re happy you’re here, Cristhian!
— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) February 6, 2020
The Paraguay international has five goals and five assists in 48 games in MLS with the Timbers but at his young, could eventually prove a good bit of business by the American club.
19.22 GMT: Man United signed Odion Ighalo as a last-ditch, short-term solution to Man United’s striker problem but what about a long-term solution?
With Erling Haaland gone to — and scoring buckets of goals for –Dortmund, where will the Red Devils turn? Inter’s Lautaro Martinez is another name often linked with the club but Man United fans best not get too excited. Sources have told ESPN that the Argentine, who has 16 goals in 27 games this campaign, prefers a move to Barcelona over Man United.
Martinez, 22, joined Inter last season from Argentina’s Racing for around €22 million, but now would command a few of at least 5x that. It looks as if it will be another disappointment for a United side that can’t seem to do anything right at the moment…
18.49 GMT: Sheffield United were surprisingly busy during the January window, signing Norwegian midfield prodigy Sander Berge and highly-rated youngster Panagiotis Retsos and Richairo Zivkovic. Next up? The ‘next Mbappe’.
Gazeta Sporturlor understands that the Blades have bid £13.5 million for Steau Bucharest’s Florinel Coman, a Romania international who Gheorghe Hagi has called the ‘next Mbappe.’ Coman, 21, came through the ranks at Hagi’s academy, and has had a breakout season so far with 12 goals and nine assists.
We don’t know about the ‘next Mbappe’ label but the Blades’ interest in such a talent hints at growing expectations at Bramall Lane.
18.00 GMT: Could Chelsea replace record goalkeeper signing Kepa Arrizabalaga?
Goal.com has learned that the Blues are weighing up alternatives to the Spain international, including Ajax’s Andre Onana.
According to the report, Onana, 23, sees Chelsea as an ideal next step for him, and that their is mutual appeal for both sides. The Cameroon international still has two years left on his current deal with the Dutch champions and is also being monitored by youth club Barcelona.
17.13 GMT: Crystal Palace missed out on target Fedor Chalov but at least one person is happy his proposed move fell through: CSKA teammate Nikola Vlasic.
Vlasic, the former Everton man, had the following to say to Sport24 regarding Palace’s failed £23 million swoop for the 21-year-old Chalov:
“I don’t think a team from the bottom half of the Premier League would be the right move for him,” Vlasic told Sport24. “He’s a striker, he needs support. He needs to have chances to score goals.
The Russia international, who scored 17 goals last season over all competitions, is also reoportedly wanted by Chelsea and Arsenal.
16.42 GMT: Barcelona recently shipped out talented young forward Abel Ruiz to Portuguese side Braga for £7 million… but there may still be a path for Ruiz to return to the Camp Nou some day.
Spanish outlet Cadena Ser reports that the Catalan club have inserted a £34 million buyback clause into the deal. A prolific goalscorer with Spain’s underage national teams, Ruiz, 20, made just one senior appearance for the Blaugrana but is expected to get more of a look in Portugal.
16.00 GMT: Here’s an unexpected one…
League Two side Salford City have put their Man United connections to good use, signing ex-Red Devil Darron Gibson on a short-term deal.
The club, who are partly owned by ‘Class of ’92ers’ Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes, have earned promotions in three of the past four years, and are at their highest ever standing the in English football pyramid. Currently nine points out of the League Two play-off spots, ‘Salford’s Class of ’92’ will hope signing a player with Premier League and International experience like Gibson will provide a major boost to their promotion push.
Gibson, 32, made 60 appearances for United between 2005-12 and has been out of football since being released by Wigan at the end of last season. The ex-Republic of Ireland midfielder joins striker James Wilson(24) and full-back George Tanner as players with Man United connections at Salford.
15.09 GMT: Wolves are expecting record-breaking bids for winger Adama Traore during the summer transfer window, according to the Telegraph.
Traore has enjoyed his best campaign in the Premier League and even admitted that he’d be interested in playing for Real Madrid or returning to Barcelona.
The report claims a number of top clubs are monitoring his situation at Molineux but they would need to offer around £90 million to secure his services.
14.39 GMT: Jorginho’s agent has hinted that the midfielder could leave Chelsea and rejoin former boss Maurizio Sarri at Juventus.
The Italy midfielder has become a popular figure at Stamford Bridge since Frank Lampard took charge, but his agent Joao Santos refused to rule out a move back to Serie A.
Asked about a possible reunion with Sarri, Santos told Santos told Tuttomercatoweb: “Why not? I am sure that some important proposals will come, which we would obviously evaluate together with Chelsea.”
13.53 GMT: The Times claims that Manchester City will be unable to continue contract negotiations with winger Leroy Sane because he has changed agents.
The Germany international, who has been out of action for the majority of the campaign with a knee injury, left DB Ventures Limited to join LIAN Sports at the turn of the year.
Sane’s former agency, who has an affiliation with David Beckham, inserted a a three-month notice clause which means City cannot contract talks until April.
The winger has refused to sign a new deal at the Etihad with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich interested in signing him this summer.
12.48 GMT: Premier League clubs have voted to change the closing date of the summer transfer window from next season, it was announced on Thursday.
The deadline will fall in line with the other major European leagues again and close on Sept. 1.
A statement read: “At a Shareholders’ Meeting today, Premier League clubs voted to adopt a change to the Summer Transfer Window closing date for season 2020/21.
11.33 GMT: Manchester United will face stiff competition from Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid in their bid to sign Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish this summer, according to the Sun.
The La Liga sides have reportedly monitored the 24-year-old this season and been impressed with his performances. Villa have slapped a £60 million price tag on the exciting playmaker.
10.45 GMT: Serie A club Sampdoria have announced the signing of Denmark youth international Mikkel Damsgaard.
Damsgaard, 19, will join from Nordsjaelland in the summer. The centre-forward, who will turn 20 in July, made his debut in the Danish Super League at the age of 17, and has since scored seven league goals.
— U.C. Sampdoria (@sampdoria) February 6, 2020
10.03 GMT: Tottenham’s young forward Troy Parrott has agreed a three-year contract with the club, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Parrott, who turned 18 on Tuesday, has impressed with his performances at youth level for Spurs and the Republic of Ireland. Despite the long-term injury of Harry Kane, he has made just two first-team appearances for Spurs — starting in the Carabao Cup tie at Colchester in September and making a late substitute appearance in December’s 5-0 win over Burnley.
09.33 GMT: Barcelona have yet to speak to Getafe or Angel Rodriguez’s entourage with a view to signing the striker, according to Cadena COPE.
Barcelona are reportedly considering the Spanish striker to strengthen their squad following the injuries to Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez.
Rodriguez, 32, is Getafe’s top scorer with 13 goals this season, including nine in La Liga to help the Madrid-based club up to third in the table. He is tied to the Madrid outfit until June 2021 and has a €10m release clause.
09.04 GMT: Manchester United forward Odion Ighalo has said he took a pay-cut in order to facilitate his deadline-day loan move to Old Trafford from Shanghai Shenhua. Ighalo, who is a boyhood United fan, said he was so keen to make the deal happen with so little time left in the January window, he opted to take less money.
“A few other clubs had shown interest, I said please, just pick United, if it’s going to be possible. At 11 p.m. in Shanghai, my agent called me [to say] that United want to do the deal, so I woke up that night and started looking for a translator to go to the directors’ room and hit his door and all that.
“So, from 11 p.m., there was paperwork, negotiating and all that, for the loan deal and all that, so we are talking and other teams are calling them, wanting me, but I told my agent that this is what I want. I want to come here. He said you’re going to get a pay-cut to go to United. I said I don’t care. Make this deal happen. I want to go to United.
“I don’t care how much is the pay-cut, I know that, make it happen. So the director and everybody didn’t know what to say anymore, because I had already made up my mind, so my agent started putting it in order, and, at 5 a.m., we finished.”
08.38 GMT: Bayern Munich president Herbert Hainer has told kicker that a “Bayern without Thomas Muller is hard to imagine.” The 30-year-old former Germany international is under contract until 2021, and Bayern have announced to enter talks with the one-club player soon.
However, with reported interest from Premier League and Serie A, Muller could consider leaving his boyhood club for the final few years of his outstanding career. And speaking to kicker, Hainer praised the attacker.
“Thomas embodies FC Bayern and is an outstanding ambassador for the club. In Munich, in [the state of] Bayern, throughout the world,” Hainer said, adding at that “at the moment, FC Bayern without Thomas is hard to imagine.”
08.00 GMT: Manchester City are monitoring Lionel Messi’s public fallout with Barcelona and believe they would be in the running if the Argentina star decides to leave Camp Nou, sources have told ESPN.
Messi has been involved in a row with Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal over his claims players forced the dismissal of coach Ernesto Valverde.
The 32-year-old reportedly has a clause in his contract that would allow him to leave the club for free at the end of the season, although it is unclear whether he could join a Champions League rival like Manchester City. The Premier League holders privately admit his departure remains unlikely, but they would be interested if he decides to move either this summer or at the end of his current deal in 2021.
City maintain they would be at the head of the queue for Messi’s signature because of his strong relationship with director of football Txiki Begiristain, chief executive Ferran Soriano and manager Pep Guardiola.
Together Messi and Guardiola won the Spanish title three times and the Champions League twice in four seasons at Camp Nou between 2008 and 2012. City are also one of only a handful of clubs who could afford Messi’s wages of more £50m a year.
Sources have told ESPN that Barcelona are hopeful of moving on from Tuesday’s war of words between Messi and Abidal, who won the Champions League together as players in 2009 and 2011 after club president Josep Maria Bartomeu held clear-the-air talks with both men. Messi is set to play for the first time since the row in Thursday’s Copa del Rey quarterfinal at Athletic Bilbao (stream live on ESPN+ at 3 p.m. ET in the U.S.).
– Marcotti: Messi is challenging Barca hierarchy
PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd): Arteta plans major overhaul at Arsenal
Arteta apparently has seen enough in his short tenure so far to believe he needs to offload some of the highest-paid stars in his squad before he can bring in some new faces to the Emirates.
The former Man City assistant has been frustrated by his side’s lack of progress since he joined the club, and he’s now plotting some major surgery to his squad ahead of the 2020-21 season.
Six senior members of the Gunners’ squad, including Aubameyang and Ozil, are out of contract in less than 18 months’ time, and head of football Raul Sanllehi has made it clear that no players will be allowed to run down their contracts.
Man City join race for Birmingham wonderkid Bellingham
Birmingham City starlet Jude Bellingham’s list of admirers grows longer by the week, with Manchester City joining cross-city rivals United, Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund in the race for his signature, according to The Sun.
Pep Guardiola sent a scout to watch the youngster in action in Birmingham’s FA Cup replay with Coventry City on Tuesday night, with Bellingham already scoring four goals and registering one assist in the Championship this season.
Real Madrid and Barcelona are also said to be interested.
The growing list of would-be suitors will come as a blow to Manchester United, who have been keen to try and get a deal for Bellingham over the line. When a deal failed to materialise in January, they quickly submitted another bid.
However, the Red Devils’ improved winter bid — believed to be made up of a series of add-ons and a certain number of appearances and goals — also failed to impress Birmingham’s board members.
– Chelsea have had a busy day. Fresh from agreeing a fee for 16-year-old Swedish youngster Edwin Andersson from IFK Gothenburg, Frank Lampard is planning on signing Lille’s 24-year-old goalkeeper Mike Maignan this summer, says the Daily Mail. The Blues have made the keeper their top priority at the end of the season and could make him the first of several signings.
– Manchester City are keeping a watchful eye on Swansea City’s 22-year-old Joe Rodon, reports the Mail. The defender has recently returned from an injury that has kept him out of action since October, and City see him as a potential long-term replacement for Vincent Kompany. Guardiola is said to be a big fan of the Wales international.
– Calciomercato reports that AC Milan are already drawing up their summer shopping list and Turkish international Cengiz Under appears to be on it. Roma weren’t prepared to lose him in January, particularly with Nicolo Zaniolo injured until the end of the season, but their stance could soften in the summer, particularly if Milan are willing to discuss the prospect of throwing Suso into the deal.