While the World Cup may be stealing all of the headlines at the moment, the transfer window is still open and clubs are busy negotiating over players for next season. Here is a quick look at the latest transfer headlines from the last few days.
West Ham’s new manager Manuel Pellegrini has been busy strengthening his squad ahead of next season and has already signed Issa Diop, Lukasz Fabianski and Ryan Fredericks. Now he is busy pursuing Lazio’s Felipe Anderson and he has reportedly increased his offer to €40 million plus add-ons.
Lazio is asking for €50 million for the midfielder, but there is a good chance that they will accept the lesser offer with an easily achievable bonus scheme. Talks are due to take place over the coming days and West Ham are thought to be optimistic about reaching an agreement.
Pellegrini has also been trying to sign Fulham captain Tom Cairney and reportedly had a £20 million offer turned down. They have also missed out on Paris Saint-Germain’s Javier Pastore who just completed a move to Roma.
Meanwhile, Arsenal are reportedly on the verge of completing an agreement to sign Sokratis Papastathopoulos. A deal for the Greece international defender is near to completion and may be announced as early as next week.
Arsenal are also holding talks with Freiburg for centre-back Caglar Soyuncu. Speaking recently to the Turkish publication Gunes, the 22-year-old defender said, “It is true, Arsenal have made an offer. I want Arsenal, God willing I will go to Arsenal or the Premier League but it all depends on Freiburg.”
Earlier this week Southampton completed the signing of attacking midfielder Stuart Armstrong from Celtic. He has signed a four-year deal after spending three years at Celtic and helping to club to win back-to-back domestic trebles. It is thought that Southampton have paid around £7 million for the player who said, “Southampton seems a really good fit for me. Watching from afar, I really enjoy the attractive football that they play and I’m very happy to be here. Every season, I put demands on myself to create and score goals. I hope going forward that it will be the same this term at St Mary’s.”
Prior to the World Cup Lyon’s Nabil Fekir was on the edge of a move to Liverpool but then talks fell apart. Now there are suggestions that Liverpool are still interested in the player but face competition from Manchester United. Earlier this week Lyon’s president Jean Michael-Aulas said that he held “long discussions” with United boss Jose Mourinho.
Liverpool and Man United are also reportedly considering a move for Tottenham star Son Heung-min. The South Korean has been consistently impressive at Spurs since he arrived from Bayer Leverkusen in 2015 but Liverpool and United may face a tough task to sign him. Mauricio Pochettino is willing to let a number of players leave this summer, but Heung-min is not thought to be one of them.
Real Madrid’s Mateo Kovacic has said that he wants to leave the club this summer and move to a team where he can enjoy regular playing time. Kovacic, who is currently at the World Cup with Croatia, is frustrated at his lack of game time and he has made just 55 starts since he joined from Inter Milan in 2015.
Speaking this week he said, “I believe the best thing for me would be to go to another club where I’d have the opportunity to play regularly as a starter. I think I can have this opportunity and it’s one I want right now.”
Meanwhile, Gareth Bale’s agent has said that the team must assure the Welshman of more game time if they want to keep him. Bale has complained that he didn’t play enough last season and said he would be discussing options with his agent. Now his agent is preparing to talk to the team amid interest from both Manchester United and Chelsea.
There were also reports that Real Madrid have made an approach for Colombia midfielder Juan Fernando Quintero. Quintero has been impressive at the World Cup and he has worked with new Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui in the past at Porto. However, he is currently on loan to River Plate and Madrid may have to negotiate with River as the team has the option to sign him permanently for €4 million.
There may soon be a race to sign Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio as the team have reportedly decided that they are willing to sell him this summer. He is currently considered one of the most promising players in Europe, but Real are keen to sign Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain and would need the funds to do so.
Meanwhile, reports have emerged that Barcelona are targeting Manchester City star Gabriel Jesus. Jesus impressed throughout last season and since Ilkay Gundogan turned down Barcelona, the team are now looking at Jesus instead.
Since Jesus arrived at the Etihad from Palmeiras in January 2017, he has scored a goal in almost every other game and this record has caught the eye of Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde. However, City are unlikely to be willing to let him go, so Barcelona may find that their approaches rejected once again. An alternative for Gabriel Jesus may be Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic.
Barcelona are also reportedly targeting defender Clement Lenglet from Sevilla and Arthur from Gremio. If both signings were successful it would push the team over their quota and they would be forced into selling. One option would be to let Yerry Mina go to Liverpool, despite the player saying that he wants to remain at Barcelona.
Valencia are reportedly keen to re-sign Andre Gomes on loan from Barcelona this summer. Gomes moved to Barcelona from Valencia in the summer of 2016 but he has been struggling to settle at Camp Nou. While he made 31 appearances for the team last season, he found it difficult to earn a starting spot and featured in just 16 La Liga games. There are reports that Valencia are now holding talks with Barcelona, but they may face competition from Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Earlier this week Valencia’s defender Joao Cancelo underwent a medical in Turin ahead of an expected move to Juventus. Juventus have paid around €40 million for the player who is due to sign a five-year contract with a €3 million a season salary.
Late on Wednesday it was announced that Girona have completed the signing of defender Marc Muniesa from Stoke on a permanent deal. The 26-year-old spent the second half of last season on loan to the Spanish side and featured 14 times.
Bayern Munich’s start striker, Robert Lewandowski, is looking to leave the team and is said to be interested in the Premier League and La Liga. It is thought that Manchester United and Chelsea have already approached his agent Pini Zahavi but it remains to be seen if they will actually put in a bid.
Meanwhile Borussia Dortmund have said that they will not be trying to sign Chelsea player Alvaro Morata this summer, as he is too expensive. There have been numerous reports linking the Spain international to Borussia, and Borussia have sold Ousmane Dembele and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyan in the last year, leaving them needing attackers.
Borussia’s sporting director Zorc has ruled out a bid to sing Morata this summer but said that they have other candidates in mind. Zorc also said that Sokratis Papastathopoulos is likely to move to Arsenal this summer.
However, earlier this week Borussia completed their fourth singing of the summer, bring France U21 captain Abdou Diallo from Bundesliga rivals Mainz. Diallo has signed a five-year deal with Borussia, and he joins after Marwin HItz, Marius Wolf and Thomas Delaney. The team also have a new coach, Lucien Favre.
Zorc described Diallo as, “a modern, intelligent defender, capable on the ball. He can play wide or in holding midfield and it was the combination of his potential and versatility that really caught our eye.”
Elsewhere, Wolfsburg has signed the Dutch striker Weghorst from AZ Almaar on a four-year contract. He has been brought in to reinforce the team following the end of Divock Origi’s loan from Liverpool.
During his time in the Eredivisie, Weghorst scored 51 goals in 125 games. Speaking to Wolfsburg’s club website he said, “The time I spent in Alkmaar was fantastic, but I wanted to take the next step in my career. I’m looking forward to the new challenge and firmly believe that the move to the Bundesliga is right for my development. I’m looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and getting to know my new surroundings.”
After Hamburg’s surprise relegation from the Bundesliga, their midfielder Walace has moved to Hannover in order to stay in the top division. The Brazilian has signed a four-year contract after making 27 Bundesliga appearances. While he is not a heavy scorer, he is known for his ability to intercept and tackle.