The summer transfer window is officially open and clubs across Europe are wasting no time sorting their business.
While Euro 2020 could see deals for top players delayed by a few weeks, the tournament also offers clubs and fans the chance to scout some exciting talent for next season.
Harry Kane is determined to move this summer, with Man City leading the race amid interest from Chelsea and Manchester United – and City are also chasing Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish. Tottenham, meanwhile, are drawing up targets, both for a new manager and players with new sport director Fabio Paratici soon starting.
Chelsea are keen to sign a striker as well as moving for wing-back Achraf Hakimi, though Kane looks unlikely and they have been knocked back by Romelu Lukaku – but they are stepping up their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund goal machine Erling Haaland, who is said to be interested in a move… but it may cost £155million.
Man United appear to be getting closer to finally bringing Jadon Sancho back to England from Dortmund, but have reportedly had an opening offer rejected. Kieran Trippier, Raphael Varane, Cristian Romero and Saul Niguez are also on the wishlist, but Bayern Munich may end up landing the latter… or Chelsea, or maybe Manchester City!
As for Arsenal, it promises to be a big summer with plenty of ins and outs. After missing out on Emi Buendia to Premier League rivals Aston Villa today, the Gunners have been linked with Wolves’ Ruben Neves, Brighton’s Yves Bissouma and Real Sociedad forward Alexander Isak.
Liverpool, meanwhile, are seemingly trying to sign Roma’s Lorenzo Pellegrini after already adding Ibrahima Konate to their squad, while Barcelona are eyeing a shock summer swoop for Raheem Sterling.
Keep up to date with today’s latest transfer news, rumours and gossip via Standard Sport’s live blog below!
Why Norwich sold Buendia
Norwich sporting director Stuart Webber admitted once Emi Buendia had his heart set on a move away and Villa came up with the right deal, the Norfolk club were “left with little option” but to sanction the transfer.
“Whilst we are disappointed to have lost a fantastic player, we should take a moment to be proud of the journey that both Emi and the club have been on,” Webber said.
He added: “Despite us not wanting Emi to leave, once he made it clear that he wanted to go to Aston Villa, and they reached the level of deal we have got to, we were left with little option.
“He and his young family will be missed, but he leaves with our blessings, for a club-record fee, one that could reach nearly double our previous record.
“We look forward to watching Emi’s career develop further. He has helped us grow as a club over the last three years.
“But now that this deal is concluded, and with the benefit of it happening early in the summer, we look forward to progressing our transfer window plans.”
Buendia an ‘exciting signing’ for Villa
Emi Buendia is an Aston Villa player – and Dean Smith is looking forward to the former Norwich star making a big impact at Villa Park.
Head coach Smith said on the Villa website: “Emiliano is equally capable as a wide attacker or as a number 10 and is a great addition to our attacking options.
“We are delighted to have made such an exciting signing so early in the summer and look forward to Emi joining up with us for a full pre-season.”
Sancho on Man Utd speculation
Jadon Sancho says he is focused on England’s Euro 2020 preparations and is ignoring talk about his future.
“I don’t really look at it,” the Manchester United target said. “When I’m during the season, I always focus on myself and the team because that’s the most important thing that we can do.
“You know, every time I’m on a pitch I’m always giving my all and obviously to create with what I do on a pitch and that’s with goals and assists.
“That’s why I really try to do and always work hard for the team.”
Pushed on whether the background talk is an unwanted distraction, Sancho told talkSPORT: “No, I’m cool about it.
“You know, there’s always going to be speculation, especially when you do well.
“It’s just how you handle that on the pitch and just keep doing what you’re doing.
“If you keep on doing that then I’m sure that won’t be a problem because the main thing is my football and that’s what I’m focused on at the moment.”
What next for Pogba?
While Jadon Sancho could be arriving at Old Trafford, the future of Paul Pogba remains unknown.
Manchester United extended his contract last season to run until summer 2022, but unless they sell the World Cup winner this summer, they run the risk of losing him for nothing next year.
That would leave one of the world’s most marketable players on the market for free in summer 2022, leaving open the prospect of Pogba and his agent Mino Riaola being able to negotiate a huge contract.
Unfortunately for Pogba, the football market has taken a huge downturn due to the pandemic, and his is playing his cards close to his chest given the fact he knows he is likely to earn more at United than at any other club.
Speaking to RMC Sport, Pogba said: “I have a year left on the contract, everyone knows that. There have been no concrete extension proposals. I am still a Manchester United player.
“Contacts with PSG? I have an agent that deals with all that. I don’t have Al-Khelaifi’s number.”
Dortmund reject Man Utd bid
Sticking with Jadon Sancho, Simon Stone of the BBC reports that Dortmund have turned down a €78m bid from Manchester United.
Dortmund are said to want an initial €90m + €5m, and a four-year payment plan rather than five years… so there is work to do on the negotiating front.
Sancho to Man Utd a ‘work in progress’
So, are Manchester United finally going to sign Jadon Sancho?
According to Fabrizio Romano, the deal is a “work in progress” – United are said to have agreed a contract with Sancho until 2026, but Dortmund must be “guaranteed” €95m plus the potential for more in add-ons.
If United are going back in for Sancho again, that suggests they are confident this won’t end the same way it did last summer… but watch this space.
Done deal! Buendia joins Aston Villa
It’s official… Emi Buendia is an Aston Villa player.
Arsenal had wanted the Norwich star, but Villa met the Canaries’ asking price and moved quickly to convince the playmaker to join them.
Onana ban reduced
Arsenal target Andre Onana has seen his ban reduced from a year to nine months at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The Ajax goalkeeper was initially handed a 12-month ban by Uefa in February having failed an out-of-competition test for banned substance furosemide the previous October.
Onana insisted it was accidental, having mistook his wife’s prescription medication for aspirin due to similar packaging and appealed the ban at CAS.
Arsenal are keen on a deal for the 25-year-old with concerns that Bernd Leno could leave the club this summer.
Chelsea had previously looked into a deal with Ajax for Onana before landing Edouard Mendy last summer.
DONE DEAL: PSG sign Wijnaldum
Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed the signing of former Liverpool midfielder Giorginio Wijnaldum.
The Dutch midfielder, who left Anfield on a free transfer at the end of last season, was set to join Spanish side Barcelona.
However, PSG reportedly blew their contract off out of the water and Wijnaldum – who is currently preparing for Euro 2020 with the Netherlands – has signed a deal until June 2024.
ICYMI: Arsenal eye Isak
Arsenal are monitoring Real Sociedad forward Alexander Isak as they look to bolster their attacking options.
The Athletic suggest that the Sweden international, 21, is admired by Gunners technical director Edu.
It is also reported that Isak has a release clause in his current contract at Anoeta worth around £60.2m.