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: Bayern eye Leipzig’s Laimer
Bayern Munich are confident that they can follow up the signing of Matthijs de Ligt by bringing in RB Leipzig midfielder Konrad Laimer, according to Fabrizio Romano, who states that a new offer is expected soon.
An agreement has already been reached on personal terms after talks started two months ago, with the move getting closer due to Leon Goretzka set to miss the first two months of the season recovering from knee surgery.
Romano previously reported that Laimer was being scouted by Premier League clubs as well. His contract at Leipzig expires in 2023.
Both Laimer and Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann are familiar with each from their time together at Leipzig, where the Austria midfielder has been at since 2017.
Bayern have been busy this summer with the €77m signing of De Ligt (Juventus), Sadio Mane (Liverpool), and both Noussair Mazraoui and Ryan Gravenberch from Ajax. The German side also confirmed on Tuesday that Robert Lewandowski had finally made his move to Barcelona official.
16.43 BST: Orlando City SC have signed United States striker Nicholas Gioacchini from Ligue 2 outfit Caen, the clubs announced on Wednesday. The 21-year-old joins the MLS club on a two-and-a-half-year contract, with an option to extend that through the 2025 season.
Gioacchini spent last season on loan at French first-division club Montpellier, but he played for just 635 minutes with the first team, registering three assists in Ligue 1. The Kansas City native has played eight times for the USMNT, scoring three goals and adding two assists in those appearances.
— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) July 20, 2022
16.10 BST: Barcelona may miss out on Chelsea in a €60m deal for Sevilla defender Jules Kounde. But they have other options, says journalist Gerard Romero.
Their shortlist is apparently: Arsenal’s William Saliba, Inter’s Milan Skriniar, RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol, Athletic Club’s Inigo Martínez and Roma’s Roger Ibanez.
15.28 BST: Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong is open to a move to the Premier League, according to Sport.
De Jong, 25, has been heavily linked with Manchester United and sources told ESPN that a €65m, plus €20m add-ons, deal has been agreed.
However, the Netherlands international wants to play in the UEFA Champions League and United can’t offer him that.
Chelsea can, though, and De Jong is keen to join them over United.
14.55 BST: Footmercato reports that PSG are set to sign RB Leipzig defender Nordi Mukiele.
Mukiele, 24, had been linked with a move to Man United but is now a priority signing for new PSG Christophe Galtier.
A reported fee as low as €15m for the France right-back should make this a relatively easy deal to get through.
14.11 BST: Manchester United have confirmed the signing of Brighton defender Maya Le Tissier after agreeing to pay her release clause.
Le Tissier, 20, has represented England at under-23 level and had been linked with Chelsea and Manchester City.
She came 18th on ESPN’s list of 21 women’s players under the age of 21 to watch.
14.00 BST: Chelsea’s €40m move to sign Kalidou Koulibaly could reignite their Premier League title ambitions, writes Tor-Kristian Karlsen.
Don Hutchison explains why Kalidou Koulibaly is an incredible signing for Chelsea.
13.28 BST: The Daily Telegraph reports that Aston Villa’s highly-rated youngster Carney Chukwuemeka has rejected a contract extension, raising the possibility that he could leave the club as a free agent next summer.
Chukwuemeka, 18, has made 15 first-team appearances for Villa and was a key part of the England Under-19 side who won the European Championship this summer. The midfielder is reported to be of interest to Barcelona, while his deal at Villa expires next year.
However, he would be free to speak to other clubs in January if he does not agree a deal with Villa, and could then move on a free transfer in the summer. That could mean Villa being paid minimal compensation for a player they value at £20m.
12.51 BST: Pep Guardiola has rubbished reports suggesting that Neymar could move from Paris Saint-Germain to Manchester City.
According to Le Parisien, PSG offered Neymar to City in exchange for Bernardo Silva, but Guardiola’s side rejected the deal. And the City manager has now denied the reports entirely.
“I’m sorry for the paper who did the story — but it’s not true,” Guardiola said. “Their information is not right.
“Neymar is an incredible player and [based on] the info I have he’s an incredibly nice guy. But it’s not right. Every summer Manchester City are going to buy 150 players.”
12.23 BST: Manchester City remain keen to sign Brighton’s Marc Cucurella this summer, despite the two clubs being £20m apart in their valuation of the full-back, sources have told ESPN’s Mark Ogden.
With Oleksandr Zinchenko close to completing a £32m switch to Arsenal (see 09.27 BST), City manager Pep Guardiola has just one recognised left-back in his senior squad — Joao Cancelo — going into the new season.
While centre-backs Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake are able to play as emergency left-backs, Guardiola has tasked director of football Txiki Begiristain with finding a designated full-back.
And Cucurella, who joined Brighton in a £15m move from Getafe last August, has been identified as City’s best potential option. But sources have told ESPN that City have no intention of meeting Brighton’s £50m valuation of the 23-year-old, who has played just one season in the Premier League.
The Premier League champions believe Cucurella’s value to be closer to the £30m mark, and sources have said that they will not pursue a move for the former Barcelona youngster unless Brighton are prepared to accept a lower fee.
11.58 BST: Paulo Dybala has joined forces with Jose Mourinho after the Argentina forward signed for Roma, the club announced on Wednesday.
Dybala, 28, left Juventus after seven years this summer when his contract with the Turin side expired.
He scored 115 goals in 293 games for Juve and was treated to an emotional send-off along with Giorgio Chiellini when the pair played their final game for the club in May.
Reports had linked Dybala to Inter Milan and Napoli, who both qualified for the Champions League last season, but the 28-year-old will play in the Europa League with Roma instead.
La foto che stavate aspettando pic.twitter.com/lYYMEODs3m
— AS Roma (@OfficialASRoma) July 20, 2022
11.35 BST: ESPN’s Gab Marcotti ranks Robert Lewandowski‘s move to Barcelona as the most surprising transfer of the summer window. But which other deals make his top five?
Gab Marcotti lists his top five most surprising transfers of the 2022 summer window.
10.58 BST: Real Madrid have plenty of work to do to move on the players that don’t form part of their plans this season, Cadena SER reports, with both playmaker Reinier Jesus and forward Mariano Diaz on the departure list.
Reinier, 20 — who spent the last two years on an unsuccessful loan at Borussia Dortmund — has an offer to join Real Valladolid, according to the radio station, but the deal “isn’t done yet.”
Madrid paid €30m to sign the midfielder from Flamengo in 2020, hoping that he could follow in the footsteps of fellow Brazilian youngsters Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes, but he has so far struggled to adapt to European football.
Mariano, 28, has resisted Madrid’s attempts to find a suitable new club over the last two seasons — being unwilling to take a pay cut elsewhere — and Cadena SER reportsthey have received “no offers that the player likes.”
10.11 BST: Chelsea are closing in on a deal for long-term target Jules Kounde despite late competition for the defender from Barcelona, sources have told ESPN’s David Cartlidge.
Chelsea, who intensified negotiations once a deal for Manchester City’s Nathan Ake fell through, are nearing Sevilla’s valuation of the France international.
Chelsea’s offer last summer of €50m was rejected, as was their first offer in this transfer window. However, now a figure of €60m including add-ons is expected to be the amount the two clubs agree upon.
A deal could even be as secured as early as Wednesday, following Tuesday’s negotiations in which agent Jorge Mendes was involved as an intermediary, and Sevilla could travel to Portugal on Thursday for the next part of their preseason without Kounde in order for him to complete the move.
Sources have told ESPN that there remains strong interest from Barca, but at the moment there is no offer on the table from the Catalan club.
09.27 BST: Oleksandr Zinchenko has left Manchester City’s training camp in the U.S. in order to complete his move to Arsenal, The Athletic reports.
Sources told ESPN’s James Olley last week that Mikel Arteta’s side have reignited their interest in Zinchenko after missing out on Lisandro Martinez, who has joined Manchester United from Ajax.
Premier League champions City are in Houston for Wednesday’s preseason friendly against Club America, but Zinchenko has travelled to Orlando to join up with the Gunners and undergo a medical.
Zinchenko, 25, is expected to sign a four-year contract with Arsenal, with the player expected to move for an initial fee of around £30m.
08.42 BST: Jesse Lingard will make a decision about his future by the weekend as West Ham United, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Nottingham Forest all battle for his signature, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.
The former Manchester United midfielder is also considering a lucrative offer from Abu Dhabi but a move to MLS has been ruled out, sources added. Lingard also has an offer on the table from a club in Saudi Arabia and a final decision about his next move is expected before Friday.
The 29-year-old is a free agent after officially leaving Old Trafford following the expiration of his contract at the end of June. He has been training alone during the summer break and will join up with his new club on the completion of the deal.
Lingard left United after struggling for opportunities last season. He is keen for regular first team football at his next club and still hopes to force his way back into the England squad ahead of the World Cup, which starts in Qatar in November.
08.00 BST: As mentioned above, Barcelona announced late on Tuesday the signing of Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich, becoming the LaLiga club’s fifth arrival this summer.
Bayern president Herbert Hainer confirmed on Saturday the clubs had reached a verbal agreement for the transfer of the 33-year-old striker, but the move has now been completed.
Lewandowski will sign a four-year contract with a release clause set at €500m, Barcelona said in a statement. He had 12 months remaining on his Bayern contract and moved to Barcelona for €45m with a possible €5m in add-ons, the 26-time Spanish champions confirmed.
The Poland international joined up with his new teammates on Barca’s preseason tour of the United States on Monday ahead of their friendly against Major League Soccer side Inter Miami on Tuesday night.
Lewandowski has twice won the Golden Boot as Europe’s leading goalscorer and finished as runner-up for the 2021 Ballon d’Or. He joins Pablo Torre, Franck Kessie, Andreas Christensen and Raphinha as additions as Barcelona look to build a squad to compete for LaLiga and the Champions League under coach Xavi Hernandez.
Granit Xhaka explains how he has improved his relationship with Arsenal fans.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)
– Internazionale could still lose Milan Skriniar to Paris Saint-Germain after reportedly being beaten to the €47m signing of Torino defender Bremer by Juventus, according to Calciomercato. Inter insist still the Slovakia international won’t leave for PSG unless they receive between €60m-€65m with add-ons. With top target Bremer set to join their Serie A rivals, Skriniar’s departure would leave Inter in a precarious position.
– Barcelona and Chelsea are in direct discussions regarding Cesar Azpilicueta, reports Fabrizio Romano, who adds that the Blaugrana are trying to speed up negotiations. Azpilicueta is waiting for the two clubs to reach an agreement as Barcelona have had an offer ready for the defender for months that would keep him with them until 2024.
– As well as reaffirming links between Napoli and Fenerbahce centre-back Kim Min-jae, Gazzetta dello Sport have suggested that Gli Azzurri are aiming to bring in Hellas Verona‘s Giovanni Simeone and Cagliari’s Nahitan Nandez. These moves would be most likely to happen if Andrea Petagna‘s move to Monza materialises and Fabian Ruiz departs Naples.
– Having initially been unconvinced, Ajax left-back Nicolas Tagliafico is now close to joining Lyon, as reported by L’Equipe. The Argentine is expected to sign a three-year contract with the Ligue 1 side by the end of the week.
– Salernitana have turned their attention to Hertha Berlin‘s Krzysztof Piatek as they strive to sign a striker, as reported by Sky Sports Italia, who add that Fiorentina chose not to sign the Poland man permanently following his loan spell. Other names being linked with Salernitana are Villarreal‘s Boulaye Dia, Sampdoria‘s Federico Bonazzoli and Internazionale’s Andrea Pinamonti.