The summer transfer window is approaching, and there's 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: James to join Real Madrid?
Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti is looking to strengthen his defence ahead of the new season, and the former Chelsea boss could raid his old club after identifying Reece James as one of his top targets.
That's according to the Mirror, who believe James's performances in the Champions League quarterfinal defeat against Madrid impressed Ancelotti's scouting department.
Madrid have reportedly watched James nine times this season in total, and though the right-sided defender has three years left to run on his existing contract, the LaLiga side believes it can tempt the 22-year-old to the Spanish capital.
Ancelotti is looking to shake up his squad this summer, with the England international the perfect fit for the right side of Madrid's defence next season.
Madrid will need to shed some players before any big moves and Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel would be reluctant to see James go, but the ownership uncertainty at Chelsea could see a deal come to fruition.
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21.43 BST: Newcastle United are considering a potential move for Brentford striker Ivan Toney, reports the Telegraph. Eddie Howe's side were reported to be initially looking to tempt highly sought-after striker Darwin Nunez to St. James' Park, but after learning that it would be difficult to secure a deal for the Benfica front man, it now looks as though they have identified Toney as an alternative. The 26-year-old striker has contributed to 16 goals from 28 Premier League appearances this season.
21.10 BST: Conor Gallagher wants to remain at Chelsea when he returns from his loan spell at Crystal Palace in the summer, according to the Here We Go Podcast. The 22-year-old midfielder's performances at Selhurst Park have captured the attention of a number of teams, but the England international is intent on breaking into the Chelsea first team under manager Thomas Tuchel.
20.37 BST: Juventus have identified AS Monaco centre-back Benoit Badiashile as a future replacement for Giorgio Chiellini, reports Corriere dello Sport. The Serie A club have been assessing potential defensive reinforcements throughout the season, and they have made the 21-year-old star a target for the summer after deciding against continuing in the race for Antonio Rudiger.
20.04 BST: Manchester United are set to extend the contract of talented youngster Noam Emeran by two years before loaning him out to garner experience, reports Foot Mercato. Werder Bremen and Nantes are both reported to be keen on the 19-year-old forward, who has been a standout performer for the U23 squad this season.
19.31 BST: Barcelona are ready to accept defeat in the race for the signature of Noussair Mazraoui, reports Sport. The Blaugrana were initially close to getting a deal over the line for the 24-year-old right-back, who is out of contract at Ajax Amsterdam in the summer, but after Bayern Munich's late move for him, the Camp Nou hierarchy are not prepared to match the salary offered by the Bundesliga club.
18.58 BST: Manchester United are ready to send Ajax an offer including a £50m transfer fee in a bid to bring Antony to Old Trafford, writes the Sun. It is reported that new manager Erik ten Hag wants to make the right-winger the first signing of his Old Trafford tenure, with the Brazil international being one of the Amsterdam club's most impressive performers this season.
18.25 BST: Lyon are close to reaching an agreement with Maxence Caqueret over a new contract, reports L'Equipe. The 22-year-old holding midfielder has had a number of clubs tracking him, with just one year left on his current deal, but the latest suggests that he is happy to continue his career in Ligue 1.
17.52 BST: LAFC are interested in making a move for former Arsenal and Germany playmaker Mesut Ozil, according to Goal. The 33-year-old plays for Fenerbahce, with two years remaining on his contract, but despite contributing to 10 goals in 22 league appearances, he has since been frozen out of the squad by manager Ismail Kartal.
17.19 BST: Nico Schlotterbeck is close to completing a move to Borussia Dortmund, writes Pedro Almeida. A €25m deal has been agreed between SC Freiburg and BVB, with the 22-year-old defender agreeing terms on a five-year contract.
16.46 BST: Nearly five months after firing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, it seems like Manchester United finally do have their man. And for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, it seems like they finally got the top guy on the coaching market.
Ever since he took Ajax to within seconds of the Champions League final in 2019, Erik ten Hag has been linked with just about every major job opening. The same couldn't be said of David Moyes, Louis Van Gaal, Jose Mourinho or Solskjaer when they were each appointed as Manchester United's full-time manager. In terms of who was truly available and gettable, there was no one better than the 52-year-old Dutchman.
So, with step one of the rebuild -- hire a coach! -- complete, we have some questions about what comes next for Ten Hag and his new club. Sign up to ESPN+ to read.
16.03 BST: Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Leandro Paredes is being linked with a move to Tottenham, says L'Equipe.
Spurs signed Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur from Juventus in January but are looking at adding another midfielder and the Argentina international has impressed the club's transfer chief Fabio Paratici.
15.22 BST: Former Arsenal and Real Madrid midfielder Mesut Ozil is attracting transfer interest from LAFC.
Ozil, 33, joined Fenerbahce on a free transfer after Arsenal terminated his contract in January 2021 but has now been frozen out of the team since March after reportedly clashing with the club's hierarchy. He has been linked with a host of clubs in Europe and MLS.
"I meet with Mesut every two weeks. I know of an interest from Los Angeles," his friend and former Turkey international Ridvan Dilmen told TRT Spor. "I've already seen a written message about this."
14.35 BST: Pep Guardiola is remaining tight-lipped about Manchester City's pursuit of Erling Haaland despite sources telling ESPN that the striker is moving closer to a summer transfer to the Etihad Stadium.
City are ready to trigger the €75m release clause in Haaland's contract at Borussia Dortmund and are growing increasingly confident they can beat competition from Real Madrid to land him.
Sources have told ESPN that a full agreement on agent fees and wages has not yet been reached but there is an expectation on both sides that a deal will get done. Guardiola, however, was asked about the 21-year-old at a news conference on Tuesday but gave nothing away.
"No answer to your question," he said. "No questions. I have no concern about what will happen in this club next season. I don't know what will happen in the future. For many years I never talk about transfers, especially when we are playing for this season."
14.02 BST: Wayne Rooney has done all he can at Derby County, but it wasn't enough to stop them being relegated.
13.09 BST: It's not a great time for Arsenal strikers right now...
Eddie Nketiah has been speaking about his future, as he's also available on a free transfer at the end of the season and has been linked with Leeds, Crystal Palace and West Ham.
Appearing on The Beautiful Game Podcast, the England U21 striker said: "I'm under contract until the end of the season but my deal runs out. There have talks and offers of a new contract but at the moment my aim is to play football and play regularly. That's my ambition and that's what I hope to do but at the same time I'm at Arsenal, I love Arsenal.
"I'm just trying to focus on the season until May and make sure I finish that in a good way and then sit down and see what I think is the best opportunity to allow me to take those steps and develop. I feel like I'm at the stage where I've signed a contract for five years when I was 18 and in that five years, how many starts have I had here? I went on loan for six months and been here for the rest and I have probably started about 30 games maybe in all competitions...
"For me to take the next step and get to where I think I can get to I obviously need to consider getting more minutes and playing. That's the thinking behind it."
13.03 BST: Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette has told Canal+ that he is in talks with a number of clubs over a free transfer when his contract expires in the summer.
Lacazette, 30, reportedly has five offers on the table and his former club Lyon are his preferred destination.
The Frenchman said on Sunday: "I am in discussion with a lot of clubs. I have never cut ties with Lyon since I left. I try to return to the club once or twice a year to see the medical staff again because we are really close. They know that I am free [in the summer], they made enquiries.
"I want to play in Europe, it's been a long time since I played in the Champions League too, so I miss it. Nothing is impossible in life but it's a little more complicated [for Lyon without Europe]."
12.32 BST: Back in February, ESPN reported that Manchester United had added RB Leipzig midfielder Christopher Nkunku to their list of summer targets after interim manager Ralf Rangnick urged the club to step up their interest.
Nkunku, 24, has 30 goals in 44 games this season and has attracted interest from across Europe. United are keen, but Sport Bild reports that they will need Champions League football in order to stand any chance of signing the France international.
Potential new United manager Erik ten Hag may also want to have some input, but given Rangnick will stay at Old Trafford in a consultancy role after his tenure, perhaps it's all part of a plan.
11.48 BST: Fabrizio Romano says that Bayern are closing on the signing of Ajax full-back Noussair Mazraoui.
Mazraoui, 24, has a contract which expires at the end of the season and has a verbal agreement over terms, with only a few details needed to be completed.
11.14 BST: Zack Steffen made a pretty bad error for Man City this past weekend, but is it time for the USMNT goalkeeper to leave the club?
Shaka Hislop feels Arsenal need more fight when things are not going their way in games.
10.27 BST: Carlo Ancelotti has said he "doesn't know what will happen" with Marco Asensio's future, as the Real Madrid forward has been linked with a move to AC Milan.
Asensio, 26, has just over a year left on his contract at the Bernabeu, with his current deal expiring in June 2023.
"He's a player with extraordinary quality," Ancelotti told Italy's Rai Radio 1 on Monday. "He had a bad knee injury that kept him out, with a slow recovery. On his future, I don't know what will happen... I think he's talking to [Real Madrid] about a contract renewal."
Asensio has scored eight goals in 27 LaLiga appearances for Madrid this season, but Ancelotti has preferred Fede Valverde and Rodrygo Goes in recent weeks.
The manager was also asked about Madrid's chances of signing Kylian Mbappe on a free transfer from PSG this summer, saying: "Thanks to this president [Florentino Perez] the past, present and future of Madrid was, is and will be at a top level, beyond the players who come... Madrid have made history since the '50s and they'll keep doing it."
10.10 BST: Ralf Rangnick says Manchester United will only be able to catch Liverpool and Manchester City if they fix the way they recruit new players.
United head to Anfield on Tuesday 19 points behind their rivals, who remain in the hunt for an unprecedented Quadruple of the Premier League title, Champions League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup.
It is approaching 10 years since United last won the title and they haven't won a trophy of any kind since 2017. Rangnick insists the rebuild under the next permanent manager -- set to be Erik ten Hag -- shouldn't take long, but only if the club has a plan.
"I don't think a club like Manchester United can afford to take three or four years in order to achieve that [catching Liverpool] -- I don't think that is necessary," Rangnick told a news conference on Monday. "It will take two or three windows if you know what you are looking for. If you don't know what you are looking for, it is a needle in a haystack.
"If you know what kind of football you want to play and what kind of profiles for each individual position, then it is about finding them and convincing them to come."
09.25 BST: Benfica believe they can get more than €100m for their star striker Darwin Nunez this summer, according to Record.
The Uruguay international is under contract with Benfica until June 2025 but is widely expected to leave the Lisbon club this summer.
Nunez, 22, has attracted the attention of top European clubs after scoring 33 goals in 38 appearances, 10 of which were in the Champions League. Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Newcastle and West Ham are among the Premier League clubs interested in signing him.
Record report that the bidding war for Nunez could see his €150m clause being met. Spanish club Almeria, who transferred Nunez to Benfica in the summer of 2020 for €24m, will receive 20% of any transfer fee Benfica receive for him.
08.48 BST: Real Madrid are assessing the possibility of signing Antonio Rudiger on a free transfer, sources have told ESPN's Alex Kirkland and Rodrigo Faez, after being impressed with the defender's performances in their Champions League quarterfinal with Chelsea.
The centre-back -- whose Stamford Bridge contract expires on June 30 -- was first named as a potential Madrid target earlier this season. At that point, sources ruled out a move telling ESPN that the links emerged after Rudiger's representatives offered him to Madrid, rather than a genuine interest from the LaLiga club. The situation has now changed and multiple sources have told ESPN that Rudiger's name is back on the agenda as a possible defensive reinforcement this summer.
Rudiger, 29, is looking for what could be his last big contract after establishing himself as a key member of a Chelsea team that won the Champions League last season. Madrid had been unwilling to get dragged into an expensive battle for the player, but sources said club executives were wowed by Rudiger's displays against Madrid -- especially in Chelsea's 3-2 win at the Santiago Bernabeu last week -- and are now considering making a move.
With just over two months left on his Chelsea contract there has been no movement on a renewal, and neither has Rudiger committed his future to any of the other top clubs he has been linked with.
08.00 BST: Alexandre Lacazette has said he is in talks with several clubs as his Arsenal contract comes to an end, and hinted that his aim is to join a Champions League side.
The 30-year-old is expected to leave Arsenal as a free agent when his agreement expires at the end of the season.
"I'm in discussion with a lot of clubs, I'm open," Lacazette said to Canal Plus.
Arsenal's captain refused to rule out returning to his former side Lyon, whom he left in 2017 to join the north London side. However, Lyon are out of the Champions League spots in Ligue 1 in seventh, six-points behind third-placed Rennes, who occupy the playoff spot.
"I never cut contact with Lyon since I left," he added. "Now Lyon know that I'm free, they've come by the information.
"It's a bit more complicated. I want to play in Europe. It's been a long time since I've played in the Champions League, I miss it.
"Nothing is impossible in life, but it's a bit more complicated."
Shaka Hislop finds it bemusing that a struggling Man United side may yet qualify for the Champions League.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Nick Judd)
- Manchester City have been boosted by the news that Real Madrid are close to giving up their pursuit of Erling Haaland, according to Goal. Los Blancos are keen to add the Borussia Dortmund star to their frontline, but they're not prepared to break the bank or destabilize their dressing room to do so. In particular, it's Haaland's salary demands that appear to be the biggest stumbling block. Madrid have already seen two high-profile signings, Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale, miss a large number of games due to injury, and they're reluctant to risk everything on another high-profile addition.
- Norwich City are planning a £4m move for Aston Villa striker Keinan Davis, according to Football Insider. Canaries boss Dean Smith is a big fan of the 24-year-old, who has excelled since joining Nottingham Forest on loan in January. Championship side Forest are themselves keen to turn the striker's short-term move into a permanent one, but their ability to do so may rest on whether or not they can win promotion to the Premier League. Davis is contracted to Villa until 2024, but it's believed Steven Gerrard will give the green light to Davis' departure at the end of the season.
- Manchester City are interested in signing Portuguese striker Rafael Leao from AC Milan, according to journalist Nicolo Schira. The 22-year-old has scored 12 goals this season, helping the Rossoneri ignite a title challenge. As such, he has been offered a contract extension that would see him stay at San Siro until 2026 with a salary increase to €4.5m-a-year. Milan are extremely reluctant to see Leao to leave, which is why they're likely to ask for at least €70m for his signature. Undeterred, City have opened talks with Jorge Mendes, the player's agent.
- AS Roma boss Jose Mourinho is turning his attentions to Barcelona winger Abde Ezzalzouli as he looks to bolster his squad in the summer, according to Corriere dello Sport. The Italian side are said to be willing to offer €10m for the forward, with Barcelona contemplating the move in order to raise funds for their own targets at the end of the season. Abde has had little game time at Camp Nou in the last few months, though has impressed for Barca B. Barca recognise that they're unlikely to be able to give Abde the minutes he wants next season, and so are considering a potential deal with a buyback clause.
- West Ham United are monitoring Burnley's Nick Pope as the London club look to finalise its goalkeeper positions for next season. The Daily Mail reports that the Hammers were already considering Pope before the 29-year-old's man-of-the-match performance against them at the London Stadium at the weekend. West Ham do have an option to secure their current backup Alphonse Areola on a permanent deal for £10m from Paris Saint-Germain, but his wages would be at the top of their pay structure. Areola has also been earmarked by Fulham, and the Hammers believe England international Pope would be a more affordable option.