The summer transfer window opens in two days but is already firmly kicking into gear across Europe.
While Euro 2020 could see deals for top players delayed for a few weeks, the tournament also offers clubs and fans the deal 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 could also be in for Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish. Tottenham, meanwhile, remain in the hunt for a new manager after pulling out of talks with Antonio Conte last week.
Chelsea are keen to sign a striker, though Kane looks unlikely, and have been knocked back by both Romelu Lukaku and Erling Haaland. Adama Traore, though not a striker, is also a target, along with Saul Niguez.
Man United appear to be prioritising a second move to bring Jadon Sancho back to England from Dortmund. Kieran Trippier, Raphael Varane and Saul Niguez are also on the wishlist, but Bayern Munich may end up landing the latter… or Chelsea.
As for Arsenal, it promises to be a big summer for the Gunners with plenty of ins and outs. After missing out on Emi Buendia to Premier League rivals Aston Villa, Mikel Arteta will step up attempts to bring Martin Odegaard back, and has been linked with Ruben Neves.
Keep up to date with today’s latest transfer news, rumours and gossip via Standard Sport’s live blog below!
Kane AND Grealish to Man City?
While Gareth Southgate has hinted that any transfers for his England players may have to wait until after the Euros (Harry Kane, take not), that will nt stop the rumour mill.
ESPN reports that Pep Guardiola has two key players on his Man City shortlist this summer: Kane… and Jack Grealish.
The pair would easily both cost at least £100m, which could see City break their transfer record twice this summer. It would be a bold move to not only strengthen their attack, but also deny the likes of Man United and Chelsea the chance to sign the England duo as well.
FIFA’s effort to reform transfers gets more support
The Council of Europe has recognised FIFA’s efforts to reform the transfer system, saying the decision to review and further develop it will “undoubtedly and significantly improve the overall climate in world football”.
The Council has published an analysis and recommendations report on the work FIFA is doing with regard to transfers and agents. That work includes efforts to establish a Clearing House that will handle training compensation payments and ensure they find their way to the academies and clubs who make the investment in players in their early years.
Regarding the Clearing House, the Council said it will “represent a milestone in achieving comprehensiveness, transparency and integrity of the transfer system for football players around the world.”
FIFA is looking to reintroduce a licensing system for agents and also seeking to cap the fees an agent can receive in any deal. The report describes FIFA’s agent regulations, due to enter into force in July 2022, as an “important step in the right direction, where the role of agents will be more aligned to the roles of other actors in football – clubs, players, etc – and the objectives of the transfer system”.
The report also says of planned reforms relating to loans: “The new regulations are planned to prevent their misuse, protect careers of young players and ensure the integrity of competitions.”
West Ham set to sign Ekwah from Chelsea
West Ham are set to sign highly-rated Chelsea youngster Pierre Ekwah, writes Simon Collings.
The 19-year-old, who can operate at centre-back or as a holding midfielder, was on trial with the Hammers towards the end of last season.
Ekwah played two matches for the academy’s under-23 team and it is understood he managed to impress West Ham coaches.
The club are now set to sign Ekwah and bring him to the club on a permanent basis this summer.
The signing of Ekwah will be viewed as a coup for West Ham as he was highly rated when coming through the ranks at Nantes.
The Frenchman then moved to Chelsea and he has been playing for their youth sides over the past few years.
Ekwah has now been tempted across London, though, and is set to sign for the Hammers during the upcoming transfer window.
Juve in for Jesus
Juventus are planning a shock move for Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus.
The Italian side are wary about losing star forward Cristiano Ronaldo and are looking at possible replacements.
Jesus, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, is high on their shortlist and they believe they can tempt City into selling.
Saul available for £35m?
These reports of twice that figure at £70m are rubbish, report Marca.
Saul Niguez could be available for just €40m this summer with Atletico Madrid ready to cash in and raise funds.
He will likely have plenty more suitors beyond Chelsea and Manchester United at that price, though Marca adds that no offer has yet been made.
Arsenal and Chelsea want ‘new Ronaldo’
Arsenal and Chelsea are battling to sign wonderkid Kaio Jorge, according to the Daily Star.
The Santos youngster has been dubbed as ‘the new Ronaldo’ after coming through the ranks with 13 goals.
A fee of around £18m has been mooted for Jorge.
Dybala to Spurs
I think we can all expect plenty of ‘Spurs to sign Serie A player’ rumours this summer given Fabio Paratici’s imminent appointment.
Paulo Dybala, who was very close to joining Tottenham two summers ago, is the latest to be linked, thanks to SportMediaSet.
Chelsea discuss Rice move
Thomas Tuchel has been discussing a move for West Ham’s Declan Rice with Chelsea staff, The Athletic report.
The Hammers midfielder was a target for former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard though no move was ever made for the 22-year-old, who was released from the Chelsea academy at age 14.
Rice captained West Ham for the majority of last season as the Hammers claimed a historic sixth-placed finish and a place in next season’s Europa League. Chelsea’s London rivals insist their star man is not for sale this summer.
Atleti close in on De Paul
Atletico Madrid are leading the race for Udinese midfielder Rodrigo De Paul.
Reports in Spain, say the La Liga champions have made De Paul a top target and they want to wrap up a deal quickly.
The Argentina international is worth around £35m and is also attracting interest from Leeds United and Liverpool.
ICYMI: Odegaard still Arsenal’s main target
Martin Odegaard remains Arsenal’s main summer target despite missing out on Emi Buendia, reports Football.London.
Mikel Arteta is determined to bring Odegaard back to the club next season, be it on loan or on a permanent deal.
However, with new manager Carlo Ancelotti in charge, there remains uncertainty over Odegaard’s availability.