Milan set Donnarumma deadline amid Man United, Chelsea interest
The January transfer window might seem like a distant memory, but that doesn’t mean the rumour mill has shut down! Speculation over summer moves is heating up, so check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.
TOP STORY: Donnarumma hit with deal deadline in Milan
AC Milan have given Gianluigi Donnarumma one month to decide on whether to sign a contract extension, according to TuttoSport.
The Italy goalkeeper has been linked with interest from Chelsea and Manchester United and the Rossoneri are growing impatient with Donnarumma, whose current deal expires in June.
Manchester United are in the market for another goalkeeper, with links to West Bromwich Albion’s Sam Johnstone and Watford’s Ben Foster also on their radar.
Donnarumma has been a stalwart for Milan but there has been a disagreement over wages. The Tuttosport report claims that agent Mino Raiola wants a new new deal worth more than â¬200,000 a week for his client, while Milan are only willing to offer â¬130,000.
Milan’s deadline of May 23 means the future of the goalkeeper will be decided before the start of the upcoming European Championship this summer, where his value could rise even more if he performs well. Donnarumma has made 25 appearances for the Italy national team since his debut in 2016.
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21.49 BST: Leicester City have joined AC Milan, RB Leipzig and Lille in the race for PSV Eindhoven’s 19-year-old winger and England youth international Noni Madueke, the Daily Mail reports, adding that the Dutch outfit wouldn’t be willing to sanction a transfer for a fee of less than Â£15m.
20.02 BST: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is looking for a replacement for goalkeeper Bernd Leno, according to Spanish outlet La Razon, which notes that the Gunners boss is keep on 23-year-old Unai Simon of Athletic Bilbao, who’s also attracting interest from Borussia Dortmund, West Ham United and AS Monaco.
18.15 BST: Sky Sports reports that Bayern Munich have agreed personal terms with RB Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsmann to succeed Hansi Flick at the eight-time-defending Bundesliga champions, but they’ll need to agree a transfer fee with the Red Bull-backed club, who are said to be demanding a managerial record â¬25m.
16.28 BST: More good news for Arsenal fans concerning another of their club’s up-and-coming stars (see 14.03 BST), as The Athletic reports that midfielder Emile Smith Rowe is the next young player in line for a new contract.
Smith Rowe, 20, has a deal that runs until 2023, but the Gunners are keen to offer him a new contract to reward him for a breakout season.
The England youth international has made 27 first-team appearances this season, scoring two goals, and his importance for Arsenal’s future would become even greater if Martin Odegaard’s loan from Real Madrid is not made permanent at the end of the season.
15.40 BST: Eric Bailly has signed a four-year contract extension at Manchester United, the club confirmed on Monday after ESPN’s Rob Dawson had reported the story earlier on Monday.
The 27-year-old had been keen to seek assurances from manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer about playing time and sources told ESPN that a breakthrough in negotiations was made last week.
“I’m very happy,” Bailly said. “This decision is something I didn’t have to think about, I love this club and I love playing for Manchester United. I’m happy and so are my family, everything is good. Now the moment with my injury has passed and I’m fit and feel good, and that’s it. A new contract is like a new challenge and I’m ready for this.
“I hope I can be ready and I don’t get any injuries and to be strong and finish the season well. I hope to win the Europa League this season. We will have more challenges next season — hopefully the Champions League — and, for me, my dream is to win the Premier League, that’s my big dream.”
Bailly, a Â£30m signing from Villarreal in 2016, was due to enter the final year of his contract this summer. His situation had alerted clubs in Italy and Spain ahead of the transfer window. The centre-back is keen to play more regularly after being restricted to just eight Premier League appearances this season and 15 in all competitions.
Solskjaer’s preferred pairing at the back is Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof, but sources have told ESPN that Bailly is satisfied he will get opportunities if he stays fit.
âï¸ A new deal for Eric Bailly!#MUFC
â Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 26, 2021
14.56 BST: Sevilla have joined the race to sign Turkish fullback Zeki Celik from Lille, Mundo Deportivo reports.
Celik, 24, is a target of several European clubs including Roma and Tottenham. Sevilla are looking for a replacement for the veteran Jesus Navas, who becomes a free agent this summer, and Celik is considered the ideal candidate.
Sevilla sporting director Monchi has monitored the player, who could be available for a transfer fee of around â¬20m.
The Turkish defender, who has a contract with Lille until June 2023, has scored three goals in 30 games for the French club this season.
14.03 BST: Arsenal’s young striker Folarin Balogun has committed his future to the club by signing a “long-term” contract at the club.
Balogun was born in New York City before moving to London as a two-year-old with his Nigerian-born parents. He has represented both the United States and England at youth international level.
The 19-year-old made his first-team debut this season and has scored two goals in four Europa League appearances.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta told the club’s website: “We have been extremely impressed with Flo this season. He has continually shown his natural ability in many training sessions with us and we have been equally impressed with his early integration into the first-team squad on matchdays.
“He has given us glimpses with the performances and of course with his two goals already for the first team. The hard work starts here for Flo and we are all looking forward to supporting and working with him in the years to come.”
â Balogun (@fbalogun67) April 26, 2021
13.05 BST: After Harry Kane missed another chance to win a first trophy with Tottenham by losing Sunday’s Carabao Cup final to Manchester City (stream the replay on ESPN+ in the U.S.), could that be his cue to finally leave the club?
Craig Burley urges Harry Kane to make a move during his prime before interest wanes from other top clubs.
12.28 BST: Raphael Varane has refused to commit his future to Real Madrid — as the club prepare to face another club the defender has been linked with, Chelsea, in the Champions League semifinals.
“My future is clear, I’m focused on the end of the season,” Varane said in a news conference on Monday. “We’re in an intense moment. We have to have all our attention on the games we have ahead of us, that’s the most important thing.”
Varane, who turned 28 on Sunday, has a contract at the Bernabeu until 2022. With Madrid struggling financially in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been no discussion yet of an extension. A reports in Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo at the weekend claimed that Chelsea are at the front of the queue to sign him this summer, with Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain also interested.
“My focus is on the end of the season,” Varane told a news conference when asked what he’d say to concerned Real Madrid fans. “My message is that I’m committed 100% to the team, I want to give everything, we have a demanding end to the season with big challenges. I’m focused on giving everything on the pitch.”
11.32 BST: While Manchester City won the Carabao Cup final on Sunday and turn focus to their Champions League semifinal, they are also preparing for the long term — and the news coming out of Brazil is looking good. The details were finalised last week on a â¬10m deal that will bring 17-year-old Kayky from Fluminense, with instalments that could rise to â¬26m.
South American football expert Tim Vickery gives us the lowdown on the latest Brazilian prodigy on his way to Europe’s big leagues.
Vickery: City-bound Kayky providing glimpses of potential
10.39 BST: Juventus forward Alvaro Morata admits he does not know if he will continue with the Turin giants next season or return to Atletico Madrid when he loan deal ends.
“I’m a professional and I have to give my all while I’m here,” Morata, who scored the equaliser in Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Fiorentina (stream the replay on ESPN+ in the U.S.), spoke after the game about his future, told Sky. “Everyone knows that I would remain here for life if I had the choice, but football is a business and in business, we don’t often get the chance to choose.”
Morata, 28, has scored 17 goals and set up 12 more in 39 games since returning to Juve on a season-long loan from Atletico.
Juve are reportedly happy with Morata’s performances but are unlikely to exercise the â¬45m option they have to sign the Spain international permanently this summer. They also have a â¬10m option to extend Morata’s loan spell for another season.
09.46 BST: Bayern Munich have reportedly approached RB Leipzig over recruiting in-demand coach Julian Nagelsmann. The 33-year-old could succeed Hansi Flick at the Allianz Arena as the Bundesliga coaching carousel picks up speed.
When the Bundesliga returns for the 2021-2022 season, most of the league’s top clubs will have new coaches. Marco Rose is set to join Borussia Dortmund from Borussia Monchengladbach who have appointed Frankfurt’s Adi Hutter as a replacement. Frankfurt have yet to announce their new coach while, at Wolfsburg, Oliver Glasner could leave. The Austrian has been linked with a move to FC Salzburg, where American coach Jesse Marsch has said he’s open for a return to the Bundesliga where has been working as an assistant coach at RB Leipzig until 2019. Marsch could now profit from Flick’s decision to leave Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich. While the champions have yet to confirm they allow their Champions League-winning coach to end his time at the Allianz Arena two years early, they are preparing for a future without him.
On Sunday, several German outlets reported that Bayern have approached RB Leipzig for permission to open talks with their 33-year-old coach Nagelsmann, and that a move could be a possibility if the two clubs can agree a compensation package. Local outlet Leipzig Volkszeitung confirmed that the RB Leipzig hierarchy has decided to play hardball over the former Hoffenheim coach and Bild reported that Leipzig are holding out for around â¬30 million in compensation.
Earlier on Sunday, Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told Bild that the club are set to meet with Flick over the next couple of days as “all involved parties must find a solution which also pleases FC Bayern.” Should Bayern allow Flick to leave, the 56-year-old could then return to the German FA where Joachim Low is set to leave his post as national team coach this summer.
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09.00 BST: Eric Bailly is close to agreeing a contract extension with Manchester United, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson, with the defender in advanced talks over a long-term deal that could keep him at Old Trafford for the next four years.
The 27-year-old has been keen to seek assurances from manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer about playing time and sources have told ESPN that a breakthrough in negotiations was made last week.
Bailly, a Â£30m signing from Villarreal in 2016, was due to enter the final year of his contract this summer. His situation had alerted clubs in Italy and Spain ahead of the transfer window, but he is now set to stay at United.
The centre-back is keen to play more regularly after being restricted to just eight Premier League appearances this season and 15 in all competitions. Solskjaer’s preferred pairing at the back is Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof, but sources have told ESPN that Bailly is satisfied he will get opportunities if he stays fit.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Luke Thrower)
– Pep Guardiola confirmed that Eric Garcia is set to leave Manchester City to join Barcelona as a free agent. Guardiola confirmed the departure of the 20-year-old in his postmatch interview following City’s Carabao Cup final victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. Journalist Fabrizio Romano reports that the Spanish defender will sign a contract lasting until 2026 at the Nou Camp.
– AC Milan are eyeing goalkeeper Mike Maignan according to FootMercato. The 25-year-old joined French side Lille from Paris Saint-Germain back in 2015, making 33 Ligue 1 appearances this season and earning a France national team debut in October 2020. Milan are reportedly in the market for a goalkeeper due to uncertainty surrounding the aforementioned first-team shot stopper Donnarumma.
– Newly promoted Norwich City are looking to sign Bristol City striker Saikou Janneh, according to The Sun. The 21-year-old has reportedly caught the eye of Daniel Farke, who is preparing for another chance in the Premier League with the Canaries. They may face competition however, with Brighton and fellow soon-to-be-promoted club Watford also taking an interest in the forward, who still has two years left on his current contract at the Robins.
– Newcastle United, Fulham, and Rangers are in a race to sign Dutch defender Danilho Doekhi, says Football Insider. The 22-year-old has impressed in the Eredivisie with Vitesse so far this season, starring in the second-best defence in the league only behind runaway leaders Ajax. Fulham will be on the lookout for a new defender to bolster their ranks as Joachim Andersen returns to Lyon from his loan to the London outfit. Newcastle are also hoping to add to their currently leaky defence, the current fourth worst in the league with 54 goals conceded in 33 games.