The European club season is over, and that means it is time for the Euros… and the summer transfer window.
With a draining 2020/21 campaign complete and many top players busy preparing for a busy summer at the European Championships, it could be a disjointed window as clubs attempt to improve their squads in the midst of a huge tournament.
The pandemic means few clubs have escaped from a financial hit, though we are likely to see bigger deals than we did during the last two windows – especially with some world-class forwards potentially available.
Harry Kane is intent on leaving Tottenham, and though his mind will be on England for the Euros, the likes of Man City, Manchester United and Chelsea are all interested in the Spurs star.
City’s Champions League Final loss to Chelsea, coupled with Sergio Aguero’s move to Barcelona, could spur on the City hierarchy to deliver a world-class forward to Pep Guardiola – but Thomas Tuchel and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also want Kane, so it should be a fierce battle.
That’s before we even throw in the chance of Mauricio Pochettino returning to north London and convincing Kane to stay…. but The Times says even that scenario wouldn’t be enough to keep the forward.
Romelu Lukaku’s future at Inter Milan is now considered in doubt following Antonio Conte’s exit. Borussia Dortmund may have done just enough to keep Erling Haaland for another season after qualifying for the Champions League, but Jadon Sancho could be on the move with Man Utd set to return with another offer for the England winger.
Liverpool have already made their move in the market by signing RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate, and may not stop there as they bid to regain their Premier League crown after being deposed by Man City.
As for Cristiano Ronaldo, his future at Juventus is unclear after the Italian giants finished fourth in Serie A… and a sensational return to Old Trafford remains a faint possibility.
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Lukaku named Serie A MVP
Inter Milan forward Romelu Lukaku has been heavily linked with a return to Chelsea this summer – and those links are coming off the back of a stellar season for the Belgium international.
On Monday night, Lukaku was named as the best overall MVP of Serie A, the official league award for the player of the season.
The former Manchester United and Chelsea striker scored 24 league goals and provided 11 assists to help Inter clinch a first Serie A title in 11 years this season.
Cristiano Ronaldo was selected as the best forward after he scored 29 league goals, making him the top scorer in the Italian top flight.
Will Messi stay at Barcelona?
Barcelona may be hoping that in signing Sergio Aguero, who is handily one of Lionel Messi’s best friends, they can in turn persuade Messi to stay at Camp Nou.
“I talk to Leo every day and he sent me a congratulatory message. Now that I will have him every day it will be much easier,” Aguero said earlier today.
“What happens with Leo will be the decision of the club but it is a pleasure and a pride to play with Leo.
“If he continues, which I think he will, I will try to give everything as he has always done.”
Aguero shoots down Chelsea links
Chelsea were interested in signing Sergio Aguero back in April after Man City confirmed the striker would be leaving… but it appears as though once Barcelona were interested, there was only ever one choice.
“I didn’t even hesitate. I didn’t want someone else to talk to me, just Barca,” Aguero told reporters.
“(Pep) Guardiola, when we won the Premier League, he told me ‘You’re going to the best team in the world’.
“As a boy I said one day they will surely notice me and here I am.”
Barcelona unveil Sergio Aguero
What a sight for Barcelona fans!
Sergio Aguero has officially signed a two-year contract with Barcelona, and has been presented to the media at Camp Nou in the club’s famous colours.
Barca confirmed Aguero’s buy-out clause had been set at 100 million euros (just over £86m).
Aguero has said earlier in the day: “We all know that Barca is the best team in the world, so it’s a good decision to be here.
“Hopefully I’ll be able to help the team. I’m very happy.”
Pochettino, Kane blow for Spurs
Tottenham face a huge challenge to try and keep Harry Kane at the club this summer.
One left-field solution which has been floated would be to bring back Mauricio Pochettino, with the much-loved coach said to be considering a return to north London from PSG.
However, The Times reports that even if Daniel Levy were to bring back Poch, it would not be enough to convince Kane to stay.
That is not hugely surprising given Poch failed to land a trophy during his time at Spurs, and the squad is arguably in need of another rebuild like the first time the Argentine arrived at the club.
Haaland leaves transfer fate open
Erling Haaland has announced he is yet to make a decision about his future amid transfer interest from a host of elite clubs.
Haaland is wanted by Chelsea and Manchester United, with Man City also reportedly keen on the Borussia Dortmund star.
Haaland has linked up with the Norway squad ahead of friendlies against Luxembourg and Greece before Euro 2020 – and when asked about his club future, Goal reports the 20-year-old forward as saying: “I have not taken a position on that.
“After this international break I will go on vacation, and then I will report for pre-season.”
Adama Traore to Chelsea?
Fresh off the back of their Champions League triumph, Chelsea look set for another big summer in the transfer market.
The Telegraph reported earlier that the Blues have a six-man wishlist, and Adama Traore is something of a surprise name on there.
There is no doubting the Wolves star’s astonishing dribbling ability, but his goal and assist return is not exactly top-level.
However, perhaps Thomas Tuchel sees Traore as an ideal player in his high-pressing, counter-attacking side full of pace, flair and power on the break?
With Callum Hudson-Odoi being deployed as a wing-back recently, that could be the sort of position in which Traore offers competition for Reece James if Hudson-Odoi is deployed more often in attack.
Fourteen players to leave Hearts
Newly-promoted Hearts have confirmed 11 players will leave Tynecastle when their current deals expire over the next 10 days.
The contracts of Aidy White, Christophe Berra, Zdenek Zlamal, Harry Cochrane, Elliott Frear, Sean Ward and Leeroy Makovora all end on Monday.
Olly Lee, Colin Doyle, Lewis Moore and Craig Wighton will move on from the Gorgie club – who will return to the Premiership next season as Championship winners – after their deals end on June 9, while Gervane Kastaneer will return to parent club Coventry following his loan spell.
Coutinho back to Liverpool?
Ever since Philippe Coutinho left Liverpool for Barcelona, he has not been able to shake the rumours of a return to Anfield.
His £142m move has not gone to plan, with the Brazilian spending a season on loan at Bayern Munich – and Barca would dearly love to sell him to raise valuable funds amid huge debts.
It is thought Barca still owe as much as £40m to Liverpool for that huge transfer deal, but AS reports that the Spanish giants want to offer Coutinho back as a way of clearing those costs.
It remains to be seen whether Liverpool would view Coutinho or the £40m as more valuable, but that could be a clever way to bolster Jurgen Klopp’s attacking options – and the Reds would still walk away from the overall deal on top given they would have effectively sent Coutinho on a three-year loan to Camp Nou for £100m.
Fatawu Issahaku to Liverpool?
Ghana teenager Fatawu Issahaku has been linked with a move to Liverpool, with reports in his home country suggesting that the 17-year-old attacking midfielder is on the Reds’ radar.
However, the Liverpool Echo reports that as things stand, Jurgen Klopp’s side are not thought to be making a move for Issahaku, with Sporting Lisbon and Villarreal now the leaders in the race for his signature.