Amid all the action at Euro 2020 and the Copa America, the summer transfer window has opened, with Europe’s biggest clubs looking to make a splash in the transfer market. Check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.
TOP STORY: Madrid eye Italy‘s Euro star Spinazzola
Italy full-back Leonardo Spinazzola has been one of the standout performers at Euro 2020 so far, as he has helped his side reach the quarterfinals, where they will face Belgium. This has not only made an impact on the international stage, as it seems that AS Roma are set to have a battle on their hands to keep him, with Calciomercato reporting that Real Madrid and Barcelona are both showing an interest in the 28-year-old.
It is Los Blancos who are said to be the keenest, with Carlo Ancelotti looking to bring in his compatriot during his second stint as Real Madrid manager. Spinazzola has become especially appealing due to Marcelo’s situation, as the Brazilian is now 34 and his contract will come to an end next summer.
It is reported that there is no possibility of Borja Mayoral being part of the deal, after he spent last season on loan at the Stadio Olimpico, but a cash-only offer could work. Calciomercato adds that the transfer fee cannot be less than €40 million if there is any hope of an agreement being reached.
Roma are keen to keep the player and Spinazzola is happy to stay in the Italian capital with Jose Mourinho, but he is also aware that the Euros provide a unique opportunity for him to showcase what he can offer.
13.05 BST: Manchester United have announced that goalkeeper Tom Heaton has returned to the club after signing a two-year contract.
Heaton, 35, was a free agent after his contract at Aston Villa expired at the end of last month.
The United youth product left Old Trafford in 2010 for spells at Cardiff City, Bristol City and, most notably, Burnley, where he made 200 first-team appearances over six years before joining Villa in 2019.
🏠 𝗕𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝘁𝗼 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝘁 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗯𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗻.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 2, 2021
12.12 BST: Arsenal have submitted an official offer to sign Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli this summer, according to the Italian club’s CEO Giovanni Carnevali.
Locatelli has been one of the star performers for Italy at Euro 2020 and scored a brace in their 3-0 victory over Switzerland in the group stages. The 23-year-old also contributed four goals and three assists for Sassuolo last season and helped the club to an eighth-placed finish in Serie A.
When asked about any interest in the midfielder, Sassuolo CEO Carnevali told Sky Sport Italia: “There are other teams interested in Manuel, Arsenal is one of them and perhaps they are the one that is further ahead because they have made us an important proposal.
“Indeed, up to now it is the only company that has submitted a concrete offer.”
11.19 BST: Manchester United have completed another bit of business this week as they have announced that Juan Mata has signed a new one-year contract.
Mata’s previous deal had expired at the end of last month, but the 33-year-old is now preparing for his seventh full season at Old Trafford.
Since arriving from Chelsea in January 2014, the midfielder has made 273 appearances for United, scoring 51 goals and winning the Europa League, FA Cup and EFL Cup.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 2, 2021
10.41 BST: Manchester United are close to finalising a deal for Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane, sources have told ESPN’s Mark Ogden.
The France international, whose contract at Bernabeu is due to expire in June 2022, is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s top defensive target and sources have said that United are ready to move for the 28-year-old after receiving encouragement that Madrid are prepared to negotiate a realistic fee for the player.
United will complete their first major piece of transfer business this summer by signing Borussia Dortmund and England forward Jadon Sancho for £72.9m ($100m) once the 21-year-old’s involvement at Euro 2020 comes to a conclusion, but a move for an experienced defender is the next issue to be addressed by football director John Murtough.
When contacted by ESPN, a source at Manchester United confirmed there had been “some discussions” regarding Varane, but added that no time frame for a transfer is in place.
Mark Ogden says that Raphael Varane would be a great partner for Harry Maguire in Manchester United’s defense.
09.54 BST: New Tottenham Hotspur head coach Nuno Espirito Santo wants to meet Harry Kane before the wantaway striker goes on holiday after Euro 2020, sources have told ESPN’s James Olley.
Spurs appointed Nuno on Wednesday after a protracted managerial search during which they discussed the vacancy with several candidates following their decision to sack Jose Mourinho on April 19. One of his first tasks will be convincing Kane his future lies in north London after the England captain expressed a desire to leave the club this summer.
Kane has dismissed all talk of his club situation as he focuses on England’s bid to win Euro 2020, insisting last week he was not even following Spurs’ pursuit of Mourinho’s successor on social media.
England face Ukraine in Rome at the quarterfinal stage on Saturday (LIVE at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN+ in the U.S.) and whenever their run at the finals ends, the 26 players will be released to embark on their summer break. Sources have told ESPN that Nuno is keen to discuss his vision for the team and possible targets with Kane before he departs.
09.19 BST: Lionel Messi remains a free agent for the first time in his professional career after his €500m ($594m) contract with Barcelona expired at the stroke of midnight on July 1.
Barca president Joan Laporta says La Liga’s financial fair play rules are holding up the 34-year-old signing a new deal with the club. He told Onda Cero: “We want him to stay and Leo wants to stay; everything is on track. We still have the financial fair play [issue] to sort out … we’re in the process of finding the best solution for all parties.”
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner has been linked with European heavyweights Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, who are realistically the only other two elite clubs who could afford to sign him. However, as you might expect, several other clubs have thrown their hats into the ring on social media, reaching out to Messi in the vain hope of tempting him away from the Camp Nou.
08.46 BST: Paris Saint-Germain are in advanced negotiations to sign Sergio Ramos on a free transfer after the defender’s Real Madrid contract expired on Wednesday, sources have confirmed to ESPN’s Rodrigo Faez and Julien Laurens.
Ramos announced last month that he would leave Madrid after failing to reach an agreement to extend his 16-year stay in the Spanish capital.
ESPN first revealed on Monday that PSG had intensified talks with the centre-back’s camp. Sources close to the deal said that things have advanced throughout the week and a final decision is expected in the coming days.
Ramos wants a two-year deal but PSG are only offering one with a second year as an option to be triggered by mutual content. His wages should also be lower than what he was earning in Spain and what he would have earned had he stayed at the Bernabeu.
The Spain international, who turned 35 in March, didn’t strike an agreement with Madrid due to discrepancies over the length of the deal.
Mark Ogden feels Anthony Martial may no longer fit in at Manchester United once Jadon Sancho completes his transfer.
08.00 BST: ICMYI, yesterday’s big transfer news was Borussia Dortmund confirming they have reached an agreement with Manchester United for Jadon Sancho.
A statement released by the German club on Thursday said the fee is “fixed” at €85m. Sources have told ESPN Sancho will sign a five-year contract with the option of another year after undergoing a medical.
An official announcement from United followed later on Friday, that confirmed Sancho will have his medical after Euro 2020. Sancho and England are preparing for their quarterfinal against Ukraine in Rome on Saturday.
Sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson that Sancho’s former club, Manchester City, are due 15% of the profit Dortmund have made on the deal — expected to be around €11.2m.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)
— Everton are looking to muscle in on Arsenal’s deal for Brighton & Hove Albion centre-back Ben White, as has been reported by Daily Mail. New manager Rafa Benitez is keen on the England international, and so the Toffees have outdone the Gunners’ offer with one of £50m plus a potential £5m in add-ons.
— Now that Manchester United have brought Jadon Sancho in from Borussia Dortmund, Fabrizio Romano has suggested that the Red Devils’ priority is a new deal for Bruno Fernandes. The England winger represents another big contract, so they are aware they need to make progress in discussions with the 26-year-old regarding a new agreement.
— It has previously been suggested that Marseille were looking to sign Cagliari forward Giovanni Simeone, and Foot Mercato are now reporting that the feeling is mutual. Their report says that the 25-year-old Argentine is making a move to the Ligue 1 outfit his priority. Marseille are hoping for a loan with an option to make the deal permanent, while Cagliari are keen for a straight transfer.
— AC Milan and Brescia still haven’t reached an agreement over the permanent transfer of Sandro Tonali, reports Calciomercato. Milan paid €10m to bring the midfielder in on loan last term and were set to owe €15m more to make the deal permanent. However, they are now attempting to reduce that to €10m and sending 20-year-old midfielder Giacomo Olzer in the opposite direction while Brescia are pushing for the original total.