The summer transfer window may not be open yet in Europe, but teams are getting ready for it, and there’s plenty of gossip swirling around. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!
TOP STORY: Mac Allister nears Liverpool move
Edul believes the Merseysiders have beaten Chelsea and other Premier League teams to the 24-year-old’s signature, and that while Liverpool have been negotiating with the Argentina star for some time, they’re getting closer to announcing the move in June.
Mac Allister, who has three games left for Brighton until the end of the season, is keen to play Champions League football. Liverpool, therefore, would need to persuade him to be patient after their defeat at home to Aston Villa will likely see them finish behind Manchester United and Newcastle United in the race to a top-four spot.
Mac Allister has a clause in his contract that means clubs can bypass negotiations with Brighton if the fee is significant enough, which means Liverpool just need to convince the midfielder that they’re the right destination for the next phase in his career.
The report was corroborated further by Fabrizio Romano who went further to suggest that personal terms had been agreed, though the Italian journalist added that incoming Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino would also be interested in adding the midfielder.
Will Carlo Ancelotti continue as Real Madrid coach after lopsided UCL loss?
Alex Kirkland weighs in on Carlo Ancelotti’s future following a 4-0 defeat in the return leg against Manchester City.
10.43 BST: Carlo Ancelotti has said Real Madrid have assured him he will be in charge next season despite this week’s 4-0 Champions League defeat to Manchester City, calling the past two seasons “unforgettable” and arguing that the team’s transition to a new generation is already underway.
Madrid’s semifinal second-leg loss at the Etihad Stadium means they will end the season without lifting the Champions League or LaLiga, although they did pick up the Copa del Rey this month and won the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup earlier in the campaign.
ESPN reported on Friday that Ancelotti’s job as manager was not at risk, and that the coach was set to meet with president Florentino Perez to discuss plans for next season.
“[Perez and I] spoke yesterday,” Ancelotti confirmed in a news conference on Saturday ahead of Madrid’s LaLiga game at Valencia. “We had a meeting, and he showed me his support. We talked about Wednesday’s game [against City], we talked about the season we’ve had and the two seasons that we’ve had. We move forward, with the same desire to do things well.”
When asked if the club had guaranteed that he would remain in charge next season, Ancelotti replied: “Yes.”
Ancelotti has been repeatedly linked with taking over as Brazil national team coach — with the president of the Brazilian football federation Ednaldo Rodrigues describing the Italian manager as their “Plan A” and “our favourite” — but on Saturday, Ancelotti appeared to rule that out.
“I think everyone knows my situation,” he said. “I have a contract until June 30, 2024, and I want to see it out. Everyone knows that.”
09.51 BST: Manchester United are confident Marcus Rashford will commit his future to the club, according to manager Erik ten Hag.
Rashford will enter the final year of his contract over the summer and if fresh terms aren’t agreed, the striker could leave Old Trafford for free in 2024.
But Ten Hag believes that’s unlikely and is hopeful talks will result in a new long-term contract.
“Marcus wants to stay and we want him to stay, so I think we will find each other,” said Ten Hag ahead of Saturday’s 1-0 win at Bournemouth, which Rashford missed through illness.
United have made progress with some contract negotiations and announced a new deal for Luke Shaw in April, before the defender entered the last year of his contract. Ten Hag says he knows why the club have not been able to find an agreement with Rashford, who has scored 29 goals this season, but insists he’s not concerned by the delay.
“Yes, I know [why], but I don’t talk about the process,” he added. “Let the process go.
“Once again, this is not important at the moment for me or Rashy. For him, it is to get more goals this season and he is playing a wonderful season and the team is playing a wonderful season. We have to get into the Champions League and focus on that.”
09.00 BST: Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti denied he has had offers from other clubs as rumours intensified in Italian media this week that he is set to leave the Serie A champions in the close season.
The 64-year-old led Napoli to their first Serie A title in over 30 years and reached the Champions League quarterfinals, but the speculation around the future of Italian coach came amid comments from President Aurelio De Laurentiis who said he didn’t want to ‘clip the wings’ of his tactician.
“I don’t know what he meant by that, you’d have to ask him. It is not linked to what we said to each other at dinner. As far as I am concerned, I don’t need a pair of wings, but a pair of boots. I don’t need wings to fly anywhere,” Spalletti said in a press conference on Saturday.
“There was no need to negotiate anything. I did not reject any salary increase… It is not true that I received offers from other clubs, that is false. It is false to say I am waiting for other clubs or that I turned down any proposals.”
Spalletti added that the future was bright for Napoli and that the next goal would be European domination.
“Even the president spoke of a great future, I think he said he has Champions League ambitions and he brought them from zero to here,” he added. “You all agree that we have to fight to win the Champions League.”
PAPER GOSSIP (by Nick Judd)
– Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has been offered a contract extension until 2024, according to Fabrizio Romano. Romano believes that the club captain has been offered an additional 12 months with the possibility of a further extension until 2025. Talks between the 32-year-old and club are ongoing, with Gundogan also said to be considering a proposal from Barcelona.
– Among Barcelona’s numerous unresolved issues to sort this summer is the future of left-back Jordi Alba, but the 34-year-old is a target for both Juventus and Internazionale, according to Sport. Barcelona are struggling to incorporate Alba’s salary into their economic plans for the 2023-24 season, and they already have Alejandro Balde and Marcos Alonso battling it out for the left-back position as well. A perfect-case scenario for the Blaugrana is that Alba leaves this summer, but it would appear as though the Spaniard is not as keen to depart Camp Nou. Inter have previously — and unsuccessfully — tried to sign Alba on loan, but this time they’re hoping for something more permanent.
– Real Madrid are looking for a new striker this summer to compete with Karim Benzema next season, and their shortlist includes Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic, Tottenham Hotspur‘s Harry Kane and Benfica‘s Goncalo Ramos, according to AS. While Madrid see Kylian Mbappe or Erling Haaland as long-term options, they need more firepower for the upcoming season. Vlahovic, 23, and Ramos, 21, are both young players that would be easier options than to sign over the 29-year-old Kane. Vlahovic was set to join Manchester United in the winter for between €75-€100 million until he pulled out of the deal.
– Newcastle United are set for a summer of further reinforcements, and Football Insider believes the Magpies will beat Manchester City to the signing of Arsenal left-back Kieran Tierney. Aston Villa are also said to be interested in the 25-year-old defender, but Newcastle are favourites because of Tierney’s desire to be closer to his family in Scotland. Tierney has fallen out of favour with the Gunners this season, but his experience could be vital for Newcastle as they look to strengthen their squad for the new campaign.
Transfer Talk: Brighton’s Mac Allister nears Liverpool move