With the transfer window for Europe’s biggest clubs set to open soon — find out when the transfer window opens and closes across Europe’s top leagues – rest assured that Transfer Talk is scouring the world’s media and setting correspondents loose to see what is on the agenda. You can click here to review all the latest transfers.
TOP STORY: Hazard to join Real Madrid for €100m?
The future of Chelsea winger Eden Hazard has been the subject of much speculation all season long, but L’Equipe are reporting that it is finally at an end as he will join “dream club” Real Madrid for €100 million once the Europa League final is over on May 29.
After Chelsea’s final Premier League game of the season, the Belgian was coy about a potential move claiming only that he had already made up his mind about leaving one way or the other. “Yes I have made my decision, but it is not just about me,” he said. “I’m still waiting.”
Everyone else is waiting too, but will have to do so until the dust settles on Chelsea vs. Arsenal in Baku.
Once that’s over though, Real should get their man. They failed to replace Cristiano Ronaldo adequately and that was clear as they failed to win a trophy this season, but now Zinedine Zidane is back at the helm it seems like the rebuilding process is on.
14.46 BST: Manchester United might need a decent goalkeeper if David De Gea departs, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks set to send Dean Henderson out on loan again next season.
Henderson, 22, helped Sheffield United claim promotion so he could very well be heading back to the club.
“Let’s see with Dean,” Solskjaer told MUTV. “He’s won promotion with Sheffield United and been fantastic. For him to play a year in the Premier League might be the best thing.”
13.58 BST: Nigerian publication Sport247 claims that John Obi Mikel could be set to join Norwich City or Sheffield United from Middlesbrough this summer.
Mikel, 32, has plenty of experience of playing in the Premier League having spent years at Chelsea and is a free agent after his short-term Middlesbrough deal expired.
13.28 BST: Last week, sources told ESPN FC that Ajax were closing in on the signing of Argentina international Lisandro Martinez.
The 21-year-old defender plays for Defensa in Argentina’s Primera Division, but is co-owned by Newell’s Old Boys, and Defensa confirmed to ESPN that negotiations were ongoing.
12.49 BST: Fulham need a bit of a clearout as they ready themselves for life in the Championship again next season.
But Denis Odoi, Stefan Johansen, Floyd Ayite and Neeskens Kebano are all going to be around as they have been handed contract extensions.
12.31 BST: When will poor old PSG catch a break and sign that No.4 they’ve been after for so long? Gazzetta dello Sport claim that Napoli want at least €60m for target Allan, so perhaps not imminently.
11.45 BST: Inter Milan are rumoured to be lining up Antonio Conte to replace Luciano Spalletti next season, with the latter sounding resigned to the fact he will no longer be in charge of the Serie A club next season.
Spalletti still has two years left to run on his contract with the Nerazzurri, but the arrival of former Juventus sporting director Beppe Marotta in the winter is believed to be behind an approach for Conte, who has been out of work for a year since leaving Chelsea and who has repeatedly stated his desire to return to Italy next season.
“If such prestigious newspapers are saying that I won’t be here anymore, they will have a reason for it, but I’m not interested in the future, all that matters is the present,” Spalletti told Sky Sport Italia ahead of his side’s clash with Chievo on Monday night. “The only thing that counts is getting Inter back in the Champions League.”
Inter, who still need two wins from their final three league fixtures to be sure of a top-four finish, are reportedly preparing a three-year contract for Conte, who guided Juve to three straight Serie A titles before resigning in 2015.
11.11 BST: Marca report that La Liga side Leganes have asked Real Madrid for permission to extend goalkeeper Andriy Lunin’s loan deal at the club.
The Ukraine international has played three league games, just two as a starter since joining Leganes on a season-long loan last summer. An understudy of Pichu Cuellar, Lunin is reportedly keen to continue with the Madrid minnows and Leganes are happy with the 20-year-old’s performance.
According to Marca, Lunin would only consider returning to Madrid, where he is contracted to until June 2024, if he were guaranteed to be second-choice goalkeeper. As it stands, Lunin would have Thibaut Courtois, Keylor Navas and Luca Zidane ahead of him in the pecking order at Madrid.
10.39 BST: TF1’s Telefoot claims that PSG want to bring back Kevin Trapp from his loan spell with Eintracht Frankfurt to be No. 1 next season.
That might be news to Gianluigi Buffon, who Gazzetta dello Sport insist has not made up his mind to finish his career yet. France international Alphonse Areola might also have something to say given he signed a four-year contract extension until 2023 in December.
10.12 BST: Andrea Pirlo believes Mauricio Pochettino would be a perfect fit at Juventus next season, should the club and Massimiliano Allegri part ways.
Pochettino’s future at Tottenham Hotspur is unclear, with rumours next month’s Champions League final could be his last game in charge. Allegri, meanwhile, is set to discuss his future with Juve president Andrea Agnelli this week, amid speculation that he might leave.
Speaking to Sky Sport Italia, Pirlo says that the Bianconeri would not go wrong by replacing him with Pochettino, whose grandfather grew up in Piedmont and was a Juve fan.
“He has got the identity of a Juventus coach,” Pirlo said. “He’s a modern coach and he’s been in the Premier League for a long time. He has also coached in Spain so he’s got a broad range of experience.”
09.48 BST: Bayern Munich’s Kingsley Coman was asked about a return to PSG…
“For now, it [a PSG return] is not on my mind,” he said. “That said, I was not resentful towards PSG. On the contrary, they did a lot for me in my development. PSG gave me the chance to make an early start in the professional world — I have nothing to prove to them. My career is already pretty good.”
09.15 BST: Eden Hazard said he has decided his future and is waiting for Chelsea to act on his wishes after making what is likely to be his final Premier League appearance for the club against Leicester City.
Despite starting on the bench at the King Power Stadium, Hazard’s name was sung all afternoon by the travelling Chelsea supporters, several of whom held up a banner urging him to spurn interest from Real Madrid and stay at the club.
Sources told ESPN FC this week that Hazard wants Chelsea to sanction his desired move to the Spanish giants as soon as possible, and speaking after the game the Belgian confirmed he has made his feelings known to the club hierarchy.
“Yes I have made my decision, but it is not just about me,” Hazard said on the subject of his future. “I’m still waiting.”
Asked if he has told the club, Hazard replied: “Yes. A couple of weeks ago.”
08.40 BST: Arjen Robben has yet to decide what’s next for him. With only two matches left of his time at Bayern Munich — Saturday’s final Bundesliga game against Eintracht Frankfurt and the following week’s DFB pokal final against RB Leipzig — the 35-year-old told kicker the most important thing for him right now is to remain injury free.
“I really would like to play on,” Robben, who returned to the pitch last week after five months on the sidelines, said. “But, and that is important, I don’t want to have another five months out. I have competed at the highest level throughout my career. I don’t know if it’s in me to be in a team competing for position six or eight.”
Having flirted with a move to MLS a couple of years ago, he told kicker “there are many options, in Europe and outside,” and did not rule out a switch to the United States, adding “it will rather not be China.”
08.00 BST: Atletico Madrid will hold a meeting with Antoine Griezmann this week amid growing speculation that he will join Barcelona this summer, according to Cadena Ser.
Griezmann turned down a move to Barcelona last summer and signed a new contract with Atletico until June 2023. The France forward is the highest paid player at Atletico and has a release clause of €200m — a figure will go down to €120m on July 1.
Sources have told ESPN that Griezmann is one of several forwards being targeted by Barcelona this summer, but the Spanish champions are keen not to create a saga in order to avoid issues with Atletico.
According to Cadena Ser radio, Griezmann, who has scored 15 goals in 35 league games, has made up his mind and it’s only a question of time as to when the announcement of his departure to Barcelona is made.
PAPER TALK (by Stephen Wright)
Man City and United join race for Rice
Declan Rice‘s West Ham United future appears to be in doubt, after Hammers manager Manuel Pellegrini said he “doesn’t know in this moment” whether the England international will be at the club next season, Football.London reports.
The 20-year-old defensive midfielder’s impressive performances this season earned him a call-up for international duty with England. Rice came through the Academy at West Ham as a homegrown talent, but is now on the radars of both Manchester City and Manchester United.
Commenting on the speculation, Pellegrini added: “All of the big teams will want him. That is one thing, and this other [thing], if he will stay or if he will go, I cannot say in this moment.”
Hodgson hopeful of keeping Batshuayi
Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson has said that the Eagles will be keen to bring Michy Batshuayi back to Selhurst Park next season, after Batshuayi reached the end of his loan move from Chelsea, according to Football.London.
Since the Belgian joined the club on transfer deadline day in January, he has scored five goals and helped Palace survive another season in the Premier League. Asked if the club has a future with Batshuayi, Hodgson responded: “If [he] is going to be available and if our club could bring him here; either on loan again or buying him I would be very happy with that and I know Michy himself would be happy.
“When players belong to another club you can say: ‘We would like him,’ but then there has to be an agreement struck between the two clubs.
“But again, we are talking about things that are totally out of our control. I suppose the question with regard to him and his future will have to be posed to Chelsea.”
Silva comments on Gomes and Zouma
Everton loanees Andre Gomes and Kurt Zouma look set to bid farewell to the Toffees after the pair’s loan spells have come to an end, despite Marco Silva insisting that his club will do all it can to extend their stays, the Liverpool Echo reports.
On Andre Gomes’ future, Silva simply stated: “We, as a club, have to do everything to sign him.”
As for Zouma, the Everton boss said that the situation is not in his hands, but that if it was, the centre-back would have extended his stay at Goodison Park months ago.
“It will be tough, we are talking about a good player and the situation at Chelsea didn’t help us also, but let’s see what we can do. I’m sure we will do everything we can because he will be a key player for us. He was this season and could be a key player to reach that level we want,” Silva added.
– Whether Nabil Fekir will be available for Liverpool to target in the summer depends on if Lyon qualify for next season’s Champions League, according to the Mirror. Lyon are currently third and will sell only one player in the summer if they qualify. However, should Saint Etienne overtake them before the end of the season, it’s understood that Fekir’s club will be forced to offload a number of players.
– Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has told the Southern Daily Echo that he expects the south coast side to have a busy summer.
“Next season we maybe have a few new players next year and also create a new spirit and new mentality because we must give a different picture from the first game day,” he said. “We must create more quality but maybe also get quality in from new players. That is what we are looking for in the summer for sure.”