The summer transfer window is here, and there’s a lot of gossip swirling about who’s going where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, whereabouts and, of course, deals!
barcelona said Frankie de Jong he must leave and join Manchester United, according to Athletic.
The Barcelona hierarchy met the 25-year-old Dutch midfielder to force a move to United, where he would reunite with his former Ajax Amsterdam manager Erik ten Hag.
The Catalan team were unable to register any new signings Andreas Christensen, Frank Kessie and Raphinha due to Financial Fair Play restrictions. The LaLiga club must transfer De Jong to balance their wage bill, with Serge Roberto and Ousmane Dembele both accepting a pay cut with new contracts that keep them at Camp Nou.
United have agreed to pay a fee of £63m, which potentially includes an additional £8.47m in add-ons. However, financial complications have already stalled negotiations, with Barcelona owing De Jong around £17million in unpaid wages.
It is unclear whether the midfielder, who made 98 appearances for Barca after joining from Ajax in 2019 for £86million, will join Xavi Hernández’s side on their pre-season tour of the United States.
– ESPN+ guide: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, FA Cup, more (US)
– Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ (US only)
– You don’t have ESPN? Access immediately
09.05 BST: Argentinian midfielder Enzo Fernandez signed a contract with Benfica until June 2027, the Portuguese club announced.
Fernandez, 21, moved to Lisbon from River Plate in a €10m move plus €8m in bonuses. His release clause was set at 120 million euros.
“I’m very happy to be here,” Fernandez said. “Benfica has always been the first option among many others. I come to a club full of history and prestige, so I will prepare myself in the best way to win a lot of things together. To be champions and to win a lot of things at Benfica is a goal I have.”
08:41 BST: United States defender Sergino Dest said he has no intention of leaving Barcelona this summer amid reported interest from Chelsea.
Dest, whose contact lasts until 2025, made just 31 appearances in all competitions last season amid a string of injuries, and the defender had been linked with a move away from Camp Nou. However, the right-back has pledged to stay at the club.
“I’m happy at this club and I will definitely stay here,” Dest said on Thursday.
Dest has won just one trophy since joining Barca in October 2020, a period which has seen the club suffer significant financial turmoil. Barca finished second to Real Madrid in La Liga last season, fell to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League quarter-finals and were knocked out by Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey in the round of 16.
“I think we can’t play in the Europa League anymore,” Dest said. “I don’t know if we made big mistakes. We have a lot of talent. We are trying to create a new generation and it takes time. We are Barça. Everyone expects us to be the best I think we are having a good season, we are all extremely motivated, especially because there is a World Cup coming up.
“We all still have to develop and we still have a long way to go at Barca. I feel like we have a lot of talent and I think if we all develop well we can do the same as this. that other Barca teams have achieved before us.”
08:00 BST: Manchester United hope Lisandro Martinez will be able to join the squad in Australia after completing a move for the Ajax defender, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.
United are set to sign the Argentina international after agreeing a fee of around €55m. Martinez, who stopped training with Ajax before his transfer, has rejected interest from Arsenal in order to seal a move to Old Trafford.
Sources have told ESPN the deal will be subject to international clearance and Martinez will receive a visa, but it is hoped he can travel to Australia where Erik ten Hag’s side are preparing for the new season.
United take on Melbourne Victory at the MCG on Friday before a game against Crystal Palace at the same venue on Tuesday. Ten Hag and his players are then due to fly to Perth for the final game of the tour against Aston Villa on July 23.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Abbie Ingham)
– Tottenham Hotspur are close to finalizing a deal for Djed Spence, with a medical set to take place in the coming days, according to Athletic. The 21-year-old full-back impressed last year on a season-long loan to Nottingham Forest from Middlesbrough, in a campaign that saw the Reds promoted to the Premier League. Daniel Levy is reportedly working hard to complete the deal as quickly as possible, with final talks over an upfront fee of £12.5m for the England U21 international, which could rise to £20m with potential additions.
– Sassuolo CEO Giovanni Carnevali reveals there was no deal for Gianluca Scamacca following a €40m offer from West Ham United, while Paris Saint-Germain are offering €35m, in line with fabrice romano. The Serie A outfit have confirmed they don’t need to sell the in-demand 23-year-old striker and will likely wait for a club to match their €50m price tag.
– Martin Braithwaite will be looking to leave Barcelona after missing out on the club’s pre-season tour of the United States. Mundo Deportivo report that the 31-year-old previously had no intention of leaving Camp Nou this summer, with his contract expiring in 2024. However, after being left out of the pre-season squad, the Denmark international will look to leave this transfer window, with Brentford and Real Sociedad already expressing interest in the striker.
– The new PSG coach, Christophe Galtier, wants to find Nice Kephren Thuram, according to L’Equipe. The new manager of The Parisians is a fan of the 21-year-old after their time together at Nice last season. PSG sporting director Luis Campos has reportedly spoken to the player’s father, former French great Lilian Thuram, about a move. However, Nice plan to keep the midfielder at the club for next season, and his contract doesn’t expire until 2025.
– that of Lyon Lucas Paqueta is open to signing for Arsenal, as sporting director Edu pushes for a move to the Emirates, according to Media Foot. The 24-year-old, who had 11 goals and seven assists last season, would cost the Gunners at least €50m to transfer, with Newcastle United having a €40m bid rejected ahead of the January window . The North London side are yet to make a formal offer for the Brazil international.