Leagues

The summer transfer window is here, and there’s plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings and goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY:

Barcelona have told Frenkie de Jong he must leave and join Manchester United, according to the Athletic.

The Barcelona hierarchy have met with the 25-year-old Netherlands midfielder to force a move to United, where he would be reunited with his former Ajax manager Erik ten Hag.

The Catalan side have been unable to register new signings Andreas Christensen, Franck Kessie and Raphinha due to financial fair play restrictions. The LaLiga club need to transfer De Jong to balance their wage bills, with Sergi Roberto and Ousmane Dembele both agreeing to a pay cut with new contracts that keep them at Camp Nou. Mundo Deportivo reports that De Jong’s departure would save Barca €42 million.

United have agreed to pay a fee of £63m, which potentially includes an additional £8.47m in add-ons. However, financial complications have already stalled negotiations, with Barcelona reportedly owing De Jong around £17m in unpaid wages.

It is unclear if the midfielder, who has made 98 appearances for Barça after arriving from Ajax in 2019 for £86m, will join Xavi Hernández’s side in their preseason tour of the United States.

According to Sport, De Jong has told his Barcelona teammates that it is impossible that he will leave the club this summer, and he has no interest a transfer. He recently bought a house in Pedralbes, the most sought-after area of Barcelona and has no plans to leave the city any time soon.

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09.38 BST: Cesc Fabregas is on the verge of joining Serie B side Como, according to Sky.

The veteran Spanish midfielder spent the last three seasons at Ligue 1 side Monaco and is a free agent.

Fabregas, 35, turned down a move to Spanish second division club Las Palmas and is expected to accept a two-year contract with Como.

According to Sky, Como have convinced the former Arsenal and Chelsea star to join them by including in the offer the possibility to coach the club once his playing career is over.

09.05 BST: Argentine midfielder Enzo Fernandez has signed a contract with Benfica until June 2027, the Portuguese club have announced.

Fernandez, 21, has moved to Lisbon from River Plate on a €10m transfer plus €8m in add-ons. His release clause has been set at €120m.

“I’m very happy to be here,” Fernandez said. “Benfica has always been the first option among many I’ve had. I come to a club full of history and prestige, so I’m going to prepare myself in the best way to win many things together. To be champion and to win many things at Benfica is a goal I have.”

08.41 BST: United States defender Sergino Dest has said he has no intention of leaving Barcelona this summer amid reported interest from Chelsea.

Dest, whose contact runs until 2025, made just 31 appearances across all competitions last season amid a series of injuries, and the defender had been linked with a move away from Camp Nou. However, the right-back has pledged to stay at the club.

“I’m happy at this club, and I will definitely stay here,” Dest said on Thursday.

Dest has won just a single trophy since joining Barca in October 2020, a period that has seen the club endure significant financial turmoil. Barca finished runners-up to Real Madrid in LaLiga last season, as well as falling to Eintracht Frankfurt in the quarterfinals of the Europa League and were eliminated by Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey in the round-of-16.

“I think we can’t play in the Europa League anymore,” Dest said. “I don’t know if we made big mistakes. We have a lot of talent. We are trying to create a new generation and that takes time. We are Barca. Everyone expects us to be the best. I believe we are going to have a great season. We are all extremely motivated, especially because there’s a World Cup coming up.

“We all still have to develop and have a long way to go at Barca. I feel like we have a lot of talent and I believe that if we all develop well, we can do similar to what other Barca teams before us achieved.”

08.00 BST: Manchester United are hoping Lisandro Martinez will be able to join up with the squad in Australia after completing a move for the Ajax defender, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.

United are set to sign the Argentina international after agreeing a fee of around €55 million. Martinez, who has stopped training with Ajax ahead of his transfer, rejected interest from Arsenal in order to seal a move to Old Trafford.

Sources have told ESPN the deal will be subject to international clearance and Martinez receiving a visa, but there is hope he will be able to travel to Australia where Erik ten Hag’s squad are preparing for the new season.

United face Melbourne Victory at the MCG on Friday before a game against Crystal Palace at the same venue on Tuesday. Ten Hag and his players are then due to fly to Perth for the final game of the tour against Aston Villa on July 23.

PAPER GOSSIP (by Abbie Ingham)

Tottenham Hotspur are close to finalising a deal for Djed Spence, with a medical set to take place in the coming days, according to the Athletic. The 21-year-old full-back impressed last year in a season-long loan to Nottingham Forest from Middlesbrough, in a campaign that saw the Reds promoted to the Premier League. Daniel Levy is reportedly working hard to get the deal done as soon as possible, with final discussions over an initial fee of £12.5m for the England U21 international, which could rise to £20m with potential add-ons.

Sassuolo CEO Giovanni Carnevali reveals that there has been no agreement for Gianluca Scamacca following €40m bid from West Ham United, whilst Paris Saint-Germain are offering €35m, as per Fabrizio Romano. The Serie A side have confirmed that they do not need to sell the in-demand 23-year-old striker and will likely wait for a club to match their €50 million price tag.

Martin Braithwaite will look for Barcelona exit after missing out on the club’s pre-season tour of the United States. Mundo Deportivo reports that the 31-year-old previously had no intention to leave Camp Nou this summer, with his contract expiring in 2024. However, after being excluded from pre-season selection, the Denmark international will look to leave this transfer window, with Brentford and Real Sociedad already expressing interest in the forward.

– New PSG head coach Christophe Galtier wants to reunite with Nice‘s Kephren Thuram, according to L’Equipe. The new manager of Les Parisiens is a fan of the 21-year-old following their time together at Nice last season. PSG sporting director Luis Campos has reportedly spoken to the player’s father, former France great Lilian Thuram, about a move. However, Nice plan to keep the midfielder at the club for next season, and his contract does not expire until 2025.

Lyon‘s Lucas Paqueta is open to signing for Arsenal, as sporting director Edu pushes a move to the Emirates, according to Media Foot. The 24-year-old, who secured 11 goals and seven assists last season, will reportedly cost the Gunners at least €50m to transfer, with Newcastle United having a €40m bid rejected ahead of the January window. The north London side are yet to make a formal offer for the Brazil international.

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