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LIVE Transfer Talk – Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski could leave for Real Madrid this summer


The 2022 January transfer window is closed, but there’s still plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings and goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Lewandowski pushing for Real Madrid move

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski is eyeing a move to Real Madrid this summer, says AS.

Lewandowski, 33, is entering the last 18 months of his contract, with the report claiming that he has turned down contract offers from Bayern in order to leave this summer.

The Poland international has continued to break goal-scoring records in the Bundesliga, beating Gerd Muller’s single-season mark with 43 goals in the 2020-2021 season. Lewandowski has picked up where he left off, scoring 24 goals in 21 appearances so far this campaign.

Los Blancos have been made a priority for the player, but the club reportedly view him as a second option should they not land Erling Haaland in the summer.

Haaland, 21, has been linked with many top clubs for the summer, with a reported €75 million release clause in his contract. While Real Madrid are one of those clubs, reports claim that their move for PSG’s Kylian Mbappe on a free transfer might rule out a move for the Norway forward because of financial constraints.

That could open the door for Lewandowski, whose representatives are pushing for a move to the Spanish capital at the end of the season.

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LIVE BLOG

17.39 GMT: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has confirmed that the club are in talks with winger Bukayo Saka over a new contract. The 20-year-old’s deal runs until 2024, although reports have linked the England international with a move away from the Emirates in the future, as Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United all monitor the situation.

On the contract extension, Arteta is quoted by the Sun as saying: “We are going to have a conversation with the player and then with his family and his agent so that everybody is on board. Obviously our desire is to keep Bukayo for as long as possible because we are really happy with him.”

17.00 GMT: Inter Milan are considering offering attacking midfielder Alexis Sanchez a new contract this summer, writes Gazzetta dello Sport. The Chile international’s contract has another 18 months left to run, and despite recent reports that the 33-year-old former Manchester United and Arsenal No. 7 was free to leave the San Siro, it seems that the Nerazzurri would be happy to keep Alexis around a little longer — on reduced wages, of course.

16.18 GMT: The LA Galaxy have signed former Brazil attacker Douglas Costa, the team announced on Thursday.

Costa, 31, had been on loan at Gremio from Italian giants Juventus, but, following relegation to Serie B last month, the club is facing a significant cut to its finances and his loan was terminated.

A source with knowledge of the situation told ESPN last week that the Galaxy were offering Costa a two-year deal, with the first six months being on loan.

16.00 GMT: Forward Chloe Kelly has signed a three-year contract extension with Manchester City.

Kelly, 24, moved to the club in 2020 and scored 16 goals in 34 appearances, before being named City’s Player of the Year in 2020-21

The England international suffered an ACL injury last May and has yet to return to the first team this season though.

15.44 GMT: Gazzetta dello Sport claims Juventus forward Paulo Dybala is on the radar of Tottenham, Manchester City and Inter Milan.

Dybala, 28, has yet to agree terms on a new contact, with his current deal expiring in the summer.

The Argentina international has seen Dusan Vlahovic arrive for €70m from Fiorentina and could lose his place in the first team, but won’t be short of options if he decides to depart.

15.26 GMT: Barcelona defender Gerard Pique isn’t planning on retiring yet, says Sport.

Pique, 35, extended his contract until June 20, 2024 recently and has no desire to hang up his boots. The Spain World Cup winner has every intention of retiring at Barcelona, but not for a while yet.

14.45 GMT: Would Mauricio Pochettino be a good manager for Man United?

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Gab and Juls react to Manchester United players wanting Mauricio Pochettino to become their permanent manager.

14.07 GMT: Jarrod Bowen‘s form at West Ham has caught the eye of Manchester United, says the Manchester Evening News.

Bowen, 25, has scored 11 goals for the Hammers this season and had previously been heavily linked with a move to Liverpool before they spent €45m to sign FC Porto winger Luis Diaz.

United are keen to strengthen their attack and Bowen may be a cheaper alternative than many other players they have been looking at.

13.44 GMT: Fabrizio Romano reports that Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger is not on Bayern Munich’s radar.

Rudiger, 28, is a free agent in the summer and has a host of top clubs chasing his signature. However, with reported salary demands of €250,000-a-week, the Germany international isn’t of interest to Bayern, despite being linked.

Chelsea have offered Rudiger a new contract, but the defender has yet to make a decision over his future.

13.00 GMT: With Arsenal having let five first-team players depart in January, either on loan or for free, and bringing nobody in to replace them, Mikel Arteta’s squad depth for the rest of the season looks a little thin.

With no new arrivals to count on, Arsenal’s youth teams may find themselves the subject of interest if there are gaps to fill in the coming months. Here are some other players who could get a call-up to the senior squad this season.

12.40 GMT: Barcelona are targeting low-cost defensive and midfield signings this summer — including a trio of Chelsea defenders — in order to go all out for Erling Haaland, sources have told ESPN’s Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens.

Barca know the competition for Haaland will be fierce, with Real Madrid, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain also in the running for the Borussia Dortmund man, but president Joan Laporta is determined to bring a star striker to Camp Nou. If they miss out on Haaland, other options will be explored.

Haaland, 21, is expected to leave Dortmund this summer when a release clause reportedly worth around €75m kicks in. Laporta has already held several meetings with the forward’s agent, Mino Raiola, to broach a potential deal.

Coach Xavi Hernandez also wants to strengthen the side at the back, so to save money for a forward, Barca have contacted players whose contracts are expiring with their respective clubs within the next 18 months.

Sources have confirmed to ESPN that they’ve sounded out moves for at least five players, including Chelsea defenders Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Marcos Alonso. Azpilicueta and Christensen could sign for free in the summer, but Alonso still has one year to run on his contract at Stamford Bridge.

Valencia’s Jose Luis Gaya, who also has one year left on his current terms, remains Barca’s top target to provide competition for Jodi Alba at left-back, though, ahead of Alonso.

Elsewhere, initial talks have also taken place regarding a move for Milan midfielder Franck Kessie, who’s in the final six months of his deal in Italy, although some sources suggest a deal is proving difficult. Other midfield options are also on the table.

12.22 GMT: Could Cristiano Ronaldo leave Man United this summer?

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Mark Ogden debates whether Cristiano Ronaldo will remain at Man United after the forward was benched vs. Burnley.

11.47 GMT: Real Madrid could have beaten Juventus to the €70m signing of Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic last month, according to Cadena Ser, but turned down the chance as they focus on landing PSG’s Kylian Mbappe this summer.

The radio station’s El Larguero programme claimed on Wednesday that Fiorentina had contacted Madrid about Vlahovic when they became aware of Juve’s interest, believing the LaLiga giants could pay a higher fee.

Madrid were interested in Vlahovic, the show reported, and considered a move before eventually deciding that bringing in the 22-year-old — who scored on his Juventus debut last weekend — could unsettle the squad now, and distract from their pursuit of Mbappe.

11.20 GMT: Anthony Martial has revealed he turned down moves to Juventus and Barcelona in the winter transfer window to join Sevilla on loan from Manchester United for the remainder of the season.

“Juventus tried to sign me,” Martial told Diario de Sevilla. “I spoke to my agent and I told him I preferred to go to Sevilla. It was the best option for me and for my family. Other big clubs tried to convince me…FC Barcelona spoke to my agent. But I told my agent ‘my priority is Sevilla.’ For the time being it’s (loan) only for four months. I have a contract with United [until 2024.] But in football you never know.”

Martial added: “I have a lower salary but I also know that the effort it is for the club [Sevilla] to pay my wages. The club and I have made an effort but I know that it will be good for both sides.”

10.57 GMT: Lille defender Sven Botman could be closing in on a move to AC Milan after his agent visited San Siro, Calciomercato reports.

The centre-back’s representative was reportedly in attendance for Wednesday’s 4-0 Coppa Italia win over Lazio.

Botman, 21, had been the subject of interest from Newcastle United in the January transfer window, but reigning French champions Lille blocked a midseason move for the Netherlands international.

10.14 GMT: Aston Villa’s Matty Cash is still Atletico Madrid’s top target at right-back, Marca reports, despite doubts from coach Diego Simeone about his relative lack of top-flight experience.

Cash — who joined Villa in September 2020 — has been identified by Atletico sporting director Andrea Berta as his preferred replacement for Kieran Trippier, according to the newspaper, and the club made a late bid for him in the January window.

Atletico will follow up their interest this summer, Marca claims, although Simeone would favour the signing of Chelsea veteran Cesar Azpilicueta when his contract expires.

09.28 GMT: Luis Enrique is on Manchester United’s shortlist of candidates to become the club’s permanent manager this summer, sources have told ESPN’s Mark Ogden, with the Spain coach regarded by the Old Trafford hierarchy as possessing the technical credentials and winning track record to bring success back to the club.

The 51-year-old, who guided Barcelona to a Champions League, LaLiga and Copa del Rey treble in 2015, is being considered along with Paris Saint-Germain coach Mauricio Pochettino and Ajax manager Erik Ten Hag by United’s owners, the Glazer family, and recently-appointed chief executive Richard Arnold. Sources have said that other coaches are being assessed, but Luis Enrique, Pochettino and Ten Hag are the names being most seriously considered by United at this stage.

Luis Enrique appeared to dismiss the prospect of a move to United when, after being asked about speculation linking him to the job last November, he suggested it was April Fool’s Day. But although he is under contract with Spain until the end of the country’s involvement in the World Cup later this year, his reputation as a coach who plays attractive, attacking football, but also one who imposes discipline on his squad, has attracted him to United.

However, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson that United’s players are keen on Pochettino becoming permanent manager in the summer. Sources said that a number of senior players believe the former Tottenham Hotspur boss is the right man for the job and his potential appointment has been openly discussed.

08.47 GMT: Ghana have appointed former Borussia Dortmund defender Otto Addo as their new coach, with Chris Hughton to serve as technical advisor when they play in World Cup playoffs next month.

The appointment comes after the sacking of Milovan Rajevac following their early exit from the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon last month.

Addo will take charge of the two-legged World Cup playoff against Nigeria, who 24 hours earlier announced a change to their coaching plans as well, retaining Augustine Eguavoen and reversing the decision to hire Jose Peseiro.

Former Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion manager Hughton will be technical advisor for next month’s World Cup playoff tie, the Ghana Football Association added, without specific details on his role. Hughton went to the 1990 World Cup with Ireland in his playing days.

The two west African giants meet at the Cape Coast stadium on March 24 in the first leg and Abuja on March 27 in the return match.

08.00 GMT: Here’s a deal that was confirmed on Wednesday — the Chicago Fire announced that they have completed the transfer of Lyon and Switzerland international midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri, and signed him to a Designated Player contract.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but one source with knowledge of the transaction said that the Fire paid a transfer free of around $7.5m. The transfer reunites Shaqiri and Heitz, who worked together at Swiss side FC Basel, where the player began his professional career in 2009. Shaqiri’s contract with the Fire will run through the 2024 season, pending a receipt of his P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate (ITC).

Shaqiri, 30, has played for some of the world’s biggest clubs, including Bayern Munich, Inter Milan and Liverpool, as well as Basel, Lyon and Stoke City. Among the 17 trophies that Shaqiri has won during his career are three Swiss Super League titles, three Bundesliga titles, one Premier League championship as well as two UEFA Champions League crowns. The first UCL triumph was with Bayern in 2013 while the second was with Liverpool in 2019. This season Shaqiri has two goals and three assists in 11 league appearances for Lyon. All told, he has made 421 appearances across all competitions.

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Gab Marcotti and Julien Laurens question why Chicago Fire are making a move for Lyon’s Xherdan Shaqiri.

PAPER GOSSIP (by Luke Thrower)

Newcastle United are preparing a move for Bournemouth defender Lloyd Kelly in the summer, reports journalist Ekrem Konur. The 23-year-old can play at both centre-back and left-back and has started the majority of the Cherries’ games in the Championship this season. His contract expires in 2024, and he could join the likes of Dan Burn and Kieran Trippier at the back, both of whom made the move to the Magpies in January.

– Real Madrid are looking to extend the contract of winger Vinicius Junior, says Nicolo Schira. The 21-year-old has become an important player for Los Blancos this year, stepping up with 12 goals and six assists in 21 LaLiga appearances this season. The Brazil international’s deal runs until 2024, though the club are looking to extend his stay until 2027.

Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan are monitoring Benfica forward Darwin Nunez, according to A Bola. Nunez, 22, has impressed this season, with West Ham United reportedly making a late January move for the striker. The club is not willing to move him on for less than €50m, according to the report, with his deal at the Portuguese club lasting until 2025.

Juventus are looking to strengthen their defensive options in the summer, and Calciomercato reports that the club are interested in Antonio Rudiger and Gleison Bremer. Rudiger, 28, is a free agent in the summer and has been linked with a number of top European clubs. The Bianconeri are said to have joined the race for the Germany international. There is also Torino defender Bremer, who has become a key player for the Serie A side, with his deal there running until 2024.

Barcelona are looking to move on three strikers in the summer, according to Sport. The report claims that Memphis Depay, Martin Braithwaite and Luuk de Jong are all free to leave the club due to their large squad in the attacking areas. De Jong, 31, is on loan from Sevilla with an option of a permanent deal, however, they are not set to activate it. Braithwaite and Depay have deals that run longer for the Blaugrana, with the club looking to move them on amid their financial distress and a squad rebuild from Xavi Hernandez.





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