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: Could Neymar return to Barca?
Paris Saint-Germain have no intentions of parting ways with Neymar despite reported interest from Barcelona, reports Le10Sport.
The club insists the 30-year-old forward will stay in Paris, according to the report, and is committed to helping the club win the Champions League while playing alongside Lionel Messi.
However, Foot Mercato says that the Camp Nou hierarchy are now keen to set up a return to Barcelona with the Brazil international, and claims that PSG would be willing to do a deal as they look to reduce their wage bill in an effort to keep Kylian Mbappe at the Parc des Princes.
Neymar has scored just five times in 20 appearances for the Ligue 1 club this season, while earning €735,000-per-week on his deal that runs until the summer of 2025.
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20.30 GMT: Bundesliga insider Christian Falk states that Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland has agreed to a new deal with Manchester City.
Probably a few twists and turns left in that transfer saga, but should he leave, here are some candidates who could replace him, as outlined by ESPN contributor Tor-Kristian Karlsen.
19.30 GMT: MLS expansion team St. Louis City seem to be focused on signing Bundesliga talent, with journalist Daniel Kristoffersson reporting that St. Louis are eyeing Arminia Bielefeld midfielder Joakim Nilsson.
A Sweden international, Nilsson would become the latest in Bundesliga players joining St. Louis, with Roman Burki (Dortmund), Tomas Ostrak (FC Koln), and Joao Klauss de Mello (Hoffenheim) already signed. The Germany connection comes via St Louis general manager Lutz Pfannenstiel, who has played for teams in all six of FIFA's confederations before becoming a scout at Hoffenheim.
18.30 GMT: Bayern Munich star striker Robert Lewandowski has not had new discussions about renewing his contract, according to his agent Pini Zahavi.
Speaking to Kicker, Zahavi said that there isn't any contact between the sides as the Poland scoring sensation enters the final 18 months of his deal at Bayern.
At 33, Lewandowski is said to be looking for long-term deal. Lewandowski has been previously linked with numerous European giants including Real Madrid and Mancehster United.
17.30 GMT: St. Louis City SC announced the signing on Wednesday of Swiss goalkeeper Roman Burki to a three-year contract.
Burki, 31, will join the 2023 Major League Soccer expansion club this July at the end of his Bundesliga season at Borussia Dortmund. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which runs through the end of 2025.
Now arriving to CITY from Dortmund ✈️ Roman Bürki pic.twitter.com/y9mrwH4Wbu— St. Louis CITY SC (@stlCITYsc) March 16, 2022
16.23 GMT: Barcelona vice president Eduard Romeu concedes LaLiga's strict spending rules and the club's financial situation make signing Erling Haaland "very difficult but not impossible."
Sources have told ESPN's Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens that Barca are keen on bringing in Haaland, but the costs involved in any deal and the fierce competition for the Borussia Dortmund striker are proving problematic.
"Nothing is impossible, but it is very difficult in this case," Romeu told COPE. "He is one of four or five most sought-after players and there are four or five teams with an advantage or in a healthier position [than Barca] because they play with different rules to ours [in LaLiga]."
LaLiga this week revealed Barca's spending cap has dropped from €97m to -€144m. Until they can adhere to the league's financial fair play rules, they are only allowed to spend 25% of any savings they make.
Manchester City, who play in the Premier League where there are not the same financial limits as in Spain, and Real Madrid remain the favourites to sign Haaland.
Romeu says Barca were not surprised by their decreased limit -- "it's nothing we didn't know about" -- and that the club expect the situation to change dramatically in the summer.
Following the announcement of a new four-year sponsorship deal with Spotify, the club are also in talks with investment fund CVC -- who have already invested in 17 other LaLiga sides as part of an agreement with the league -- and hope to sell a stake in Barca Studios.
"There are three months left in the financial year and we are working on different options," Romeu added. "We could have signed various things by now, but we always say that we should not rush these things. We have to ensure we maximise the value of Barca."
15.29 GMT: Manchester United forward Anthony Martial has given a big hint that he wants to leave the club permanently in an interview with The Guardian.
Martial has reignited his career since joining LaLiga club Sevilla in January, starting in the first four of his six appearances for them so far having been a peripheral figure at Old Trafford.
Judging by his comments about interim coach Ralf Rangnick, the 26-year-old is hoping for a transfer in the summer.
"When he arrived, my objective was to leave," Martial said. "I told him I wanted to leave and that's it. He talked to me. He said that if you want to stay, with the way you are training if you continue to train like that, you will play. But my objective was that I wanted to leave, to have a new atmosphere, a new club."
The French forward has a contract with United until 2024, but he added: "I asked United to leave because I wanted to play but I still have a contract. They know what I want, so we will see at the end of the season. I'm here just for the end of the season and that's it."
14.17 GMT: Orange County Soccer Club is close to finalizing the transfer of striker Ronaldo Damus to GIF Sundsvall in the Swedish Allsvenskan, sources told ESPN's Kyle Bonagura.
The deal includes a six-figure transfer fee (USD) as well as incentives and a sell-on fee for the USL Championship club, sources said.
Damus, a Haiti international, ranked tied for seventh in the league with 16 goals during the regular season in 2021. He scored a pair of goals in the USL Championship final, as OCSC beat the Tampa Bay Rowdies, 3-1.
Prior to arriving in Orange County, Damus played two seasons in USL League One with North Texas SC after a brief stint in the FC Dallas academy. He won the USL League One Golden Boot in 2019.
Damus, 22, made his senior debut for Haiti as a 16-year-old in 2016.
13.24 GMT: Ajax defender Noussair Mazraoui says he has still not signed anything with Barcelona amid reports he will join the Catalan club on a free transfer in the summer.
ESPN have previously revealed that Barca are keen on signing the Moroccan right-back, who is represented by Mino Raiola, when his contract in Amsterdam expires at the end of the season. However, Mazraoui, who has said he plans to leave Ajax, insists there is nothing yet in place with the LaLiga side.
"I've still not signed anything with Barcelona," he told reporters after Ajax's Champions League elimination to Benfica on Wednesday. "There's nothing concrete nor am I close to [signing]. If it was the opposite, I would be honest and I would say."
Barca's sporting advisor Jordi Cruyff was in Amsterdam this week to watch Ajax lose 1-0 to Benfica, with Alejandro Grimaldo, the Portuguese side's left-back, another player of interest in addition to Mazraoui.
ESPN reported recently that Barca's financial situation has forced them to target out-of-contract players this summer, with talks to sign Chelsea's Andreas Christensen and AC Milan's Franck Kessie at an advanced stage (see 08.00 GMT).
12.28 GMT: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has given a strong hint that the club will agree a new contract with striker Alexandre Lacazette.
Lacazette, 30, is out of contract at the end of the season, but has taken on the club captaincy since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was stripped of the role late last year before leaving to join Barcelona in January.
Arteta has previously said that no announcement on Lacazette's future would be made before the summer, but ahead of Wednesday's Premier League clash with Liverpool he told a news conference: "I think with Alex it's very clear what he brings to the team.
"He's shown it consistently since I've been here, and what we have to resolve is the contractual timing, in the best possible way, and when we all align on the same page."
11.35 GMT: Manchester United are set to sign young Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Toby Collyer, according to Sussex Live.
United reportedly beat Premier League rivals Chelsea and West Ham United to sign the 18-year-old, who is out of contract this summer.
Collyer is yet to make a first-team appearance for Brighton, but according to former Seagulls youth coach Mark Beard, the England U17 international is a great prospect.
"You could see he was going to be a top-class player," Beard told Sussex Live. "He is a pleasure to coach. He is so low maintenance, what I mean by that is you don't know he is there.
"He gets on with his job. He regularly put in displays of 8/10 at the least. He had the best running stats, runs 13 kilometres a game, breaks things up. He is so unassuming, he gets on with his job. You want 11 of these type of players in the team. You know what you're going to get in training, he works hard, he wants to improve, he's intelligent. He's a good all-round kid."
10.41 GMT: Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp says he has no plans to talk with Mohamed Salah about his future despite reports continuing to link the forward with a move to Barcelona.
Diario AS claimed earlier this week Barca were considering a move for Salah if they miss out on Erling Haaland. On Wednesday, Mundo Deportivo said the Egyptian's contract situation at Anfield makes him an interesting option.
Salah, 29, is out of contract in 2023 and talks between Liverpool and his agent, Ramy Abbas Issa, have failed to yield an agreement so far. The journalist Fabrizio Romano says Salah is not planning on a move to LaLiga this summer, but the longer the stalemate over his contract continues, the more the speculation increases. However, with Liverpool still in the race for four trophies this season -- they have already won the League Cup -- Klopp says he will not talk with Salah about the situation and ruled out the possibility of it disrupting the team.
"No, I don't have to remind any player and for sure not Mo of that -- no chance," Klopp said when asked whether he would have to talk to Salah about the need for harmony at the club at this critical time of the season.
"This season everyone is completely committed. It is a clear commitment for the team for this season and then we'll talk about the rest -- future, immediate, further. Mo is not a guy for that, not at all. If I don't line him up then his mood goes down. That is possible, but not against the team or whatever."
Salah has previously been linked with Real Madrid, but with Kylian Mbappe expected to move to the Santiago Bernabeu, Barca may represent a more likely option this summer if he doesn't renew with Liverpool and the club choose to sell him.
Barca president Joan Laporta is desperate to make a statement signing following his return to the club. Haaland is his first choice, but the club's financial situation means Barca are likely to lose out in the race for the Borussia Dortmund striker.
09.46 GMT: Erling Haaland's departure from Borussia Dortmund appears to be getting closer, with Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona the frontrunners to pay the €75m exit clause in his contract. With a remarkable scoring ratio of a goal per game (80 goals from his 80 appearances for the club in all competitions), the Norwegian's boots are going to be big ones to fill.
They must be filled nonetheless, though, so who could possibly replace 21-year-old Haaland as the primary goal threat at Westfalenstadion? With a long-standing tradition of launching high-scoring, out-and-out goal scorers -- Robert Lewandowski and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are two prime examples from the past decade, though Ciro Immobile didn't quite work out -- Dortmund's attacking brand of football often proves kind to a sharp No. 9.
While summer signing Donyell Malen, who joined from PSV Eindhoven for around €32m, has failed to get going properly and 17-year-old Youssoufa Moukoko is still struggling to claim a regular spot in the side, the void left by Haaland might have to be filled from the outside. Here are a few names that Dortmund might consider.
- Karlsen: Five strikers who could replace Haaland at Dortmund
08.52 GMT: Fluminense have revealed that Brazilian striker Luiz Henrique will play at Real Betis next season.
Flu president Mario Bittencourt confirmed in a news conference that the La Liga club will pay 70m Brazilian Reales (€13m) to sign the 21-year-old.
"We signed a pre-agreement in February before the Copa Libertadores," Bittencourt said. "We have transferred 85% of his rights for €13m. Fluminense will keep 15% of a future transfer."
Fluminense fans have expressed their disappointment over the club's decision to sell one of their biggest assets, but Bittencourt insisted that the club need to sell players to balance their books.
Luiz Henrique, whose contract with Fluminense expires in 2025, scored one goal and set up three more in four appearances in the Copa Libertadores.
08.00 GMT: Franck Kessie is set to be Barcelona's first signing this summer with Andreas Christensen to follow as the club look to strengthen the squad for 2022-23, sources have told ESPN's Alex Kirkland and Moises Llorens.
The AC Milan midfielder will move to Camp Nou on a free transfer, when his contract at the Serie A club expires on June 30.
Sources close to the talks told ESPN that Barca have sealed the signing of 25-year-old Kessie after agreeing the move's final details with the Ivory Coast international's agent.
Meanwhile, negotiations are progressing with Chelsea defender Christensen, also 25, who will be the next recruit to arrive when his contract runs out at Stamford Bridge.
ESPN reported earlier this month that both deals were on track, and that barring any unexpected developments, both would be Barcelona players.
Kessie, 25, has been a first-team regular at Milan since joining from Atalanta in 2017. He has scored five goals in 22 Serie A appearances this season after registering career-best figures, 13 goals in 37 league games, in 2020-21.
Resolving the issue of the commission due to Kessie's agent George Atangana was key to closing the deal.
Sources told ESPN that a solution was found in recent days after Atangana was registered with the Spanish football federation (RFEF) to be able to receive compensation for his role in the signing.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)
- West Ham United will return to the negotiating table for Darwin Nunez in the summer after missing out on the 22-year-old striker in January, writes Fabrizio Romano. The Benfica star scored against Ajax Amsterdam on Tuesday night to lead his side to a 1-0 victory and a spot in the quarterfinals of the Champions League. The Portuguese side turned down a bid of £40 million during the winter window for Nunez, who has scored 26 goals across all competitions this season.
- Arsenal have initiated contact with Real Madrid's Eden Hazard ahead of a possible move when the transfer window opens this summer, according to Foot Mercato. The 31-year-old winger has struggled to earn a place as a starter in Carlo Ancelotti's team this season, with Vinicius Junior the preferred choice on the left flank. It now looks as though Arsenal are the latest Premier League side to register an interest in his services. He is also on the radar of former club Chelsea and Newcastle United.
- Everton will make an approach for Barcelona goalkeeper Neto in the summer if they avoid relegation, writes Sport. The 32-year-old goalkeeper wants to be a starter, but has struggled for minutes behind Marc Andre ter-Stegen. The report goes on to say that Neto has been trying to orchestrate a move away from the Camp Nou for a number of months, with the LaLiga side looking for a fee in the region of €14m.
- Matty Cash is at the top of Diego Simeone's shortlist as the Atletico Madrid manager looks to find a replacement for Kieran Trippier, who joined Newcastle in January. That's according to the Here we Go podcast, which reveals that the Champions League quarterfinalists will make a move for the 24-year-old Aston Villa defender in the summer. Cash has been in fine form in the Premier League this season, contributing to seven goals in 30 games at right-back.
- Marcelo Brozovic has signed a new deal with Internazionale, reveals Calciomercato. The 29-year-old midfielder has been linked with the likes of PSG and Barcelona over recent months, but the latest suggests that the deal now requires just the final formalities before an announcement next week. The Serie A club remains confident of renewing terms with their star midfielder, who is still a key part of their team, making 37 appearances this season.