Follow the latest updates live from the summer transfer window as Premier League clubs look to strengthen their squads ahead of the rapidly-approaching new season. Chelsea and Manchester United are among the teams to watch, with the Blues closing in on Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz, while United are being strongly linked with Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho and Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish.
While clubs are feeling the financial effect of the coronavirus crisis, many are still expected to be active in the transfer market – although there could well prove to be a cut-price deal or two available as teams desperately search for much-needed funds to survive.
Manchester City are targeting 20-year-old Valencia winger Ferran Torres in an effort to strengthen their attempt to regain the Premier League title from Liverpool, while Tottenham are closing in on former Southampton captain Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who has already handed in a transfer request to the club. Meanwhile, Arsenal, Tottenham and Leicester are all options for former Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho to secure a return to the Premier League, according to reports in Spain. Follow the latest news and rumors below.
Here’s all the news and rumours you need to know from Chelsea‘s transfer window:
BBC Sport is reporting Aitor Karana, the former Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest manager, will take over at Championship club Birmingham City imminently after Pep Clotet’s departure.
A lunchtime roundup of all Liverpool’s latest transfer news and rumours, right here:
Sky adds that Lille’s Jonathan Ikone could be Dortmund’s replacement for Sancho. Given Dortmund’s excellent history of recruitment, United might be better cutting out the middle man and getting Ikone too.
NEW: Sky Sports have just reported that both Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund are both increasingly confident of getting the deal for Jadon Sancho over the line – although Dortmund are demanding in excess of £100m, up front, to conclude the transfer.
A roundup of all Manchester United’s transfer news and rumours so far today, starting with their top target, Jadon Sancho:
The latest news on Kai Havertz’s future is that the Bayer Leverkusen midfielder has ‘held talks’ with current Chelsea players Antonio Rudiger and Timo Werner, who have attempted to sell him the club as his ideal next destination.
Havertz has expressed his desire to leave Leverkusen this summer and is expected to move on in the coming weeks. Liverpool were believed to be watching him with a keen interest, but that has now faded and Chelsea sit in pole position to sign the Germany international.
According to Football.London, Havertz has spoken with Rudiger as well as new arrival Werner about life at Chelsea, with the latter watching their final game of the season at Stamford Bridge last Sunday and getting stuck into training on Monday morning.
It’s added that a deal for Havertz could be completed as early as next week, should he like what he has been told.
Taking a closer look at those links between Liverpool and Ozan Kabak, why would the Premier League champions move for the Turkish youngster?
For starters, Liverpool already have Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez to depend on, with Joel Matip amble cover should either require a break. However, with Dejan Lovren poised for a move to Zenit St Petersburg, Liverpool will be left short on cover at centre-back.
At £41m – as is the reported asking fee – Kabak would be an expensive back-up player. However, he would potentially command much more than that pre-Covid-19 as Schalke now need the funds to ease their financial crisis.
Kabak has quite the reputation, having also attracted interest from Man City, Juventus and Borussia Dortmund, according to the Daily Mail. Schalke’s head coach is of course David Wagner, the former Huddersfield Town boss who worked as Jurgen Klopp’s No 2 back in their early days at Dortmund.
However, that positive relationship is unlikely to see Liverpool meet the asking price, meaning a fair bit of negotiation will be needed to reach a breakthrough.
Mikel Arteta confirmed after Sunday’s game against Watford that Shkodran Mustafi’s hamstring injury will not only see him miss the FA Cup final but also the start of next season.
Mustafi joins fellow defenders Calum Chambers and Pablo Mari in the treatment room, with Arteta admitting the club need to “address” that in the transfer market.
One option already available to Arteta is Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who has played just one minute of football since the season resumed.
The 32-year-old was a regular under former boss Unai Emery but has slipped down the pecking order since Arteta arrived in December.
Despite his lack of football, the PA news agency reports that Sokratis will not ask to leave the club this summer and is willing to stay and fight for his place in the team, with his contract having another year to run.
After securing Premier League survival by just five points this season, West Ham know they have work to do if they are to achieve their lofty ambitions next season.
With David Moyes set to remain in charge for the 2020/21 campaign, the club can focus on their transfer business this summer, and top of the list appears to be Queens Park Rangers forward Eberechi Eze.
The Guardian reports that QPR have put a £20m valuation on the head of their talented young No 10, and that West Ham will face competition for his signature from Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Newcastle United and newly-promoted West Bromwich Albion.
The report adds that both Felipe Anderson and Manuel Lanzini could be sold this summer with Moyes unsure on their worth to his squad, which would raise the funds needed to move for Eze without selling star man Declan Rice.
One positive that has come out of the Jadon Sancho pursuit is that Dortmund are reportedly on the move for his replacement, which could be a sign that he will eventually be on his way out of the club.
The Times adds that Dortmund have opened negotiations with Lille for Jonathan Ikone, with the French midfielder valued at £41m that would represent a large profit for the Bundesliga side should they get something close to their valuation of Sancho.
Ikone has already broken into the France national team at the age of 22 and has impressed at Little since arriving from PSG for the nominal fee of £4.6m in July 2018.
Manchester United’s pursuit of Jadon Sancho should reach a resolution this summer, be it a return to the Premier League after leaving Manchester City early in his career, or choosing to remain with Borussia Dortmund.
There could yet prove another avenue if Real Madrid come in for the England international, but The Times reports that they have a similar concern to United – that the £90m price tag in this economic climate is simply too much to pay.
United do not want to pay more than £50m for the 20-year-old, but Dortmund have stood firm on their valuation and will not allow the Covid-19 crisis to reduce their most prized asset.
Arsenal’s summer transfer window could be dictated by their attempts to sign captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to a new contract, which would use up a large chink of their funds that could otherwise go towards their transfer business.
It could mean that loans and cut-price deals become the order of the day at the Emirates, which makes the extension of Dani Ceballos‘ loan deal a priority in the next few weeks.
The Evening Standard reports that Arsenal are growing in confidence that the Real Madrid midfielder will remain in the Premier League for a second consecutive season, having risen to prominence since Mikel Arteta’s arrival. A second year of regular Premier League action could also sway the Spain international into remaining with the club on a long-term basis, although chances of a permanent deal this summer look out of the question.
Chelsea’s hopes of attracting a new world class goalkeeper may have suffered a blow after Atletico Madrid issued a hands-off warning over Jan Oblak.
Speculation is rife that Frank Lampard does not see Kepa Arrizabalaga as his long-term goalkeeper due to his poor performances this season. The £72m goalkeeper looks set for a Stamford Bridge exit if Chelsea can find a replacement, but that could prove the tricky part.
Spanish publication Marca reports that Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has said that Oblak “remains an Atletico player, period”, and while that may well change in the future, it’s worth noting that he said exactly the same when Antoine Griezmann stayed with the club two years ago.
Sticking with Liverpool and The Mirror, the champions are understood to be monitoring Watford striker Ismaila Sarr – and for good reason.
Sarr was the man who ended Liverpool’s unbeaten record this season when he scored twice against the Reds in Watford’s 3-0 defeat back in February.
It was of course all in vain as Watford were relegated on Sunday following defeat against Arsenal, but that could see Sarr made available on a cut-price fee as he is unlikely to be keen on playing in the Championship. He also has close ties with Sadio Mane, one of the brightest stars currently at Anfield, and having the pair on the books will do wonders for Mane’s happiness to remain at the club.
Liverpool aren’t expected to be hugely active, but with Divock Origi a potential departure and back-up for Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino always welcome, Sarr could fit the bill for what they need this summer.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has already stressed that the newly-crowned Premier League champions will not be splashing the cash big-time this summer, but he would like to iron out any creases in his squad to strengthen their title defence next season.
One strong rumour that has emerged links Leicester’s 22-year-old winger Harvey Barnes with a move to Anfield, having impressed since breaking into the first team last season and forming a strong bond with striker Jamie Vardy. The Mirror reports that Klopp was keen on Wolves wide-man Adama Traore, but a lack of progress in that pursuit has seen attentions switched to Barnes.
With Adam Lallana moving on from Liverpool after joining Brighton, the club are int he hunt for a midfielder, and Klopp is never one to shun someone with an attack-minded philosophy.
Manchester City are stepping up their pursuit of Valencia’s young winger Ferran Torres.
ESPN reports that City have now made Torres their priority target this summer, with the 20-year-old identified as the ideal replacement for Leroy Sane following his departure to Bayern Munich.
Torres is valued by Valencia at £40m and negotiations have not yet reached a breakthrough, but following their successful appeal in overturning their two-year Champions League ban, City are ready to splash the cash in an effort to close the gap on Liverpool.
The race to sign former Southampton captain Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is hotting up as Tottenham look to have moved ahead in the battle with Everton for his signature.
Sky Sports reports that Spurs are leading the race to sign the Denmark midfielder and have lodged a £15m offer, though Saints have put an asking price on his head that is £10m more than their bid.
However, it’s added that Tottenham will look to include right-back Kyle Walker-Peters in negotiations which could sway Saints into parting with their wantaway midfielder, with the 24-year-old submitting a transfer request last month.
The future of Philippe Coutinho will prove to be one of the most talked-about subjects this summer, with the Brazilian midfielder not required at Barcelona and unlikely to remain at Bayern Munich.
Spanish newspaper Sport reports that Coutinho’s agent Kia Joorabchian has already been locked in talks with a number of Premier League clubs in an effort to secure him a return to England, having left Liverpool in 2018.
Sport reports that Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea have all snubbed the chance to sign Coutinho, but Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City are all interested and remain in dialogue with Joorabchian – who already has a large say in matters at Arsenal given his other interests in David Luiz and Cedric Soares as well as his close ties with technical director Edu.
It’s said that talks have included a permanent transfer and a loan with an option to buy, but Tottenham and Leicester have the current bonus of European football as Arsenal need to win the FA Cup final this weekend to book a place in the Europa League.
West Ham remain in pursuit of Queens Park Rangers forward Eberechi Eze in a deal that could be worth around £20m, while Leeds United have been linked with Tottenham’s out-of-favour defender Juan Foyth. Liverpool meanwhile remain linked with Schalke defender Ozan Kabak and Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara.