The January transfer window may be closed around Europe, but teams are looking ahead to the summer and there's plenty of gossip swirling around. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!
TOP STORY: Kim Min-Jae open to Liverpool move
Napoli defender Kim Min-Jae is open to making the switch to Liverpool, according to Foot Mercato.
It is reported that the 26-year-old would be keen on the move if he was handed a key role in Jurgen Klopp's side, though the South Korea international is currently focused on bringing the Serie A and Champions League titles to Naples.
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Liverpool are facing a major revamp this summer amid issues in both their midfield and backline, as evidenced by Saturday's 4-1 loss to Manchester City that leaves the Anfield side mired the middle of the Premier League standings and with dimming hopes of European competition.
Kim has been a standout performer for Napoli but his performances have also caught the attention of Paris Saint-Germain. Arriving from Fenerbahce last summer, reports have indicated that he could be acquired for the release clause in his contract which is in the region of €48 million.
Napoli are said to be aware of the interest in his signature and as a result are looking to sign him to a new deal that could raise the release clause to €90m. He has made 33 appearances across all competitions for them this season.
21.41 BST: Fabrizio Romano reports that Mallorca attacker Lee Kang-In is expected to leave the LaLiga club this summer, with multiple Premier League clubs showing interest in the 22-year-old South Korea international.
20.48 BST: Paris Saint-Germain had a January offer for Lyon attacker Rayan Cherki rejected, but the French capital club will prioritise completing a deal for the 19-year-old France youth international this summer, according to L'Equipe. The complication for Les Parisiens is that they will face competition from clubs in the Premier League and the Bundesliga, and more specifically, Newcastle United.
19.55 BST: Amid growing interest in left-back Theo Hernandez, AC Milan are beginning to plan for life without the 25-year-old France international, Corriere dello Sport reports, and have already identified two alternatives. The first is Fabiano Parisi of Empoli, although they face a fight with Napoli and Lazio to secure the 22-year-old Italy youth international's services, while Alejandro Grimaldo of Benfica is a pending free agent and could prove a more attainable solution.
19.02 BST: Liverpool have identified Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher as a summer transfer target, the Independent reports, noting that the 23-year-old England international's all-action style would fit seamlessly into Jurgen Klopp's energetic engine room. Typically, signing such a promising young player from a Big Six rival would be a complicated endeavour, but the Blues are under pressure to move on a number of their first-team squad this summer in an effort to meet Financial Fair Play requirements after spending substantial sums in each of the past two transfer windows.
18.09 BST: Leicester City want to bring Manchester United centre-back Harry Maguire back to the King Power Stadium on loan, according to the Sun. Although, it's worth pointing out that it's Brendan Rodgers who's keen on re-signing the 30-year-old England international, and the former Liverpool and Celtic manager left the Foxes by mutual agreement on Sunday morning.
17.16 BST: The Athletic's Paul Tenorio notes a comment made by Apple TV commentator Shep Messing on Saturday night's MLS 360 broadcast that World Cup winner with Argentina, Paris Saint-Germain playmaker and former Barcelona legend Lionel Messi coming to MLS "is going to happen and it's going to happen soon." The 35-year-old's contract in the French capital expires this summer, and he's been regularly linked with joining Inter Miami CF as a free agent.
Of course, it's worth noting that these comments came on April 1, which means there's every chance this is an elaborate April Fool's Day joke, but that would be some joke for a broadcast with such close ties to the league.
16.23 BST: Tottenham Hotspur have told former manager Mauricio Pochettino that they will not be bringing him back to the club, according to the Daily Star.
Pochettino led Spurs to the 2019 Champions League final during his five years in charge of the club, but was sacked later that year as his tenure ended without a trophy.
The former Argentina international then took over at Paris Saint-Germain, winning the Ligue 1 title before departing at the end of the 2021-22 campaign.
Despite being one of the favourites to take over at Spurs following the sacking of Antonio Conte, the Star reports that the club held brief talks with him to tell him that they plan to seek a new face for the role.
Julian Nagelsmann, recently fired by Bayern Munich, is among the other names most heavily linked with the Spurs job.
15.28 BST: Barcelona will target Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan after conceding defeat on their pursuit of Bernardo Silva, according to The Sun.
Sources told ESPN's Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens earlier this week that Barca have already reached a verbal agreement to sign Inigo Martinez in the summer and will now step up negotiations to bring in Gundogan. Both Martinez and Gundogan are available for free at the end of the season as their respective deals expire with Athletic Club and City.
The Sun reports that Barca have turned their attention to Gundogan because they have accepted they will be unable to meet City's €60m fee for Portugal international Silva. Gundogan, 32, has not yet made a decision on his future beyond this campaign, with his agent and uncle saying his priorities lie elsewhere at the moment.
"The focus of Ilkay in recent weeks was only on Manchester City and the birth of his son," said Ilhan Gundogan. "Now he is in the final and crucial phase of the season and is completely focused on that. Where Ilkay plays next season is still open."
14.37 BST: Brendan Rodgers has left his role as Leicester City manager by mutual agreement with the club battling to survive relegation from the Premier League, the club announced on Sunday.
Rodgers, 50, watched his side sink to a stoppage-time 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday that saw Leicester drop to 18th in the Premier League. It was Leicester's fifth defeat in their last six league matches.
The former Liverpool boss leaves the King Power Stadium after winning the FA Cup and twice finishing fifth int he Premier League with the Foxes in his four years in charge.
"The achievements of the team under Brendan's management speak for themselves -- we've experienced some of our finest footballing moments under his guidance and will always be grateful to him and his staff for the heights they helped us to reach on the pitch," Leicester City chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said in a statement.
"Off the pitch, Brendan embraced the culture of the club and helped cultivate an outstanding developmental environment, particularly during the transition to Seagrave, and provided strong leadership during the unprecedented challenge of the coronavirus pandemic. His place in Leicester City history is assured.
"However, performances and results during the current season have been below our shared expectations. It had been our belief that continuity and stability would be key to correcting our course, particularly given our previous achievements under Brendan's management. Regrettably, the desired improvement has not been forthcoming and, with 10 games of the season remaining, the board is compelled to take alternative action to protect our Premier League status.
"The task ahead of us in our final 10 games is clear. We now need to come together -- fans, players and staff -- and show the poise, quality and fight to secure our position as a Premier League club."
Leicester City Football Club has reached a mutual agreement with Brendan Rodgers that will see him leave the Club after four years as our Men's First Team Manager.— Leicester City (@LCFC) April 2, 2023
13.53 BST: Manchester United could rival Chelsea for the signature of Atletico Madrid and Portugal forward Joao Felix, according to Mundi Deportivo.
Felix, 23, has impressed on loan at Chelsea since joining in January, despite the club's poor form in the Premier League, and the London side are thought to be keen to make the deal permanent.
However, there are several obstacles to overcome if they want to extend Felix's stay at Stamford Bridge.
Atletico paid a club-record €127m for Felix, so would demand as much as €100m to let him leave this summer, a price which may be deemed too much by some potential suitors.
United were also linked with Felix in January and are said to still be monitoring the player with a view to the summer as they look to bolster their attack ahead of next season.
Finally, according to the same report, the player himself could have reservations about a permanent move to Chelsea as they look set to miss out on European football completely next season.
Saturday's 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa, in which Felix played the full game, saw them drop to 11th in the Premier League table, with coach Graham Potter under increasing pressure.
12.59 BST: Chelsea may need to pay off unwanted stars such as Christian Pulisic in order to move them out of the club this summer, The Sun reports.
The Blues have long had a policy of paying some of the highest wages in the Premier League in order to attract top players, but that same approach also makes it difficult to get them to leave. With the club making 18 signings over the last two transfer windows, they must offload players who do not have a future at the club at the end of the season.
Pulisic, for example, will have one year left on his £7.8m-a-year contract this summer. The United States captain has fallen out of favour at Stamford Bridge, starting just seven Premier League games this term, but it may be difficult to find a club willing to both pay a transfer fee for him and match that salary.
Chelsea youth products Callum Hudson-Odoi, who is on loan at Bayer Leverkusen, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are two other players presenting similar challenges for Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly, while Romelu Lukaku's £325,000-a-week wage makes him the club's highest earner despite him seemingly not having a future there.
12.09 BST: Athletic Club midfielder Oihan Sancet has signed a new nine-year contract, committing him to the Basque club until 2032 and warding off interest from Premier League sides.
Sancet, 22, has scored eight goals in 23 starts in LaLiga this season and has been one of the standout players in an Athletic side that have also reached the semifinal of the Copa del Rey.
Aston Villa, under coach Unai Emery, had been linked with a move for the Spain U21 international, but his new deal is likely to keep him at San Mames for a while longer.
Athletic have not announced how much Sancet's release clause will be, or if he has one, but they have proven tough negotiators in the past, demanding the full clause when transferring the likes of Kepa Arrizabalaga, Aymeric Laporte and Ander Herrera.
"I'm happy," Sancet said. "This is my home, where I want to be. Athletic is a big draw for players from the Basque Country and I want to be here. There is no better club to progress as a footballer and as a person."
🦌 Oihan Sancet 2⃣0⃣3⃣2⃣#Sancet2032 #AthleticClub 🦁 pic.twitter.com/TiN42d1Uld— Athletic Club (@Athletic_en) April 1, 2023
11.16 BST: Local rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur may also have to compete with Brighton & Hove Albion if they want to sign Feyenoord midfielder Orkun Kokcu this summer, according to The Sun.
Kokcu, 22, has been on the radar of the North London clubs as well as Leicester City and Sevilla for some time.
The Turkey international has scored 12 goals in 35 appearances in all competitions this season, helping Feyenoord earn their five-point at the top of the Eredivisie table.
The Sun reports that Brighton have entered the race to sign Kokcu amid the uncertainty over the futures of Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo at the Amex Stadium.
10.22 BST: Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has talked up the prospect of Wout Weghorst remaining at the club beyond the end of the season.
Weghorst, 30, joined United on loan from Burnley in January after his previous season-long spell at Besiktas was cut short to enable the deal.
Despite the fact the Netherlands striker has scored just two times in 18 appearances, Ten Hag says he has a potential future at the club.
"Of course [he could stay,]" Ten Hag told reporters ahead of Sunday's match against Newcastle. "I think he is doing a lot of elements really well.
"He's doing a really good job for us. He is the leader of our press and links up really well. He makes good movements and makes space for others and is good in set-plays. He is really contributing to this team."
09.30 BST: Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed the Brazil national team want to appoint him as coach but reiterated his desire to stay at Real Madrid.
Brazil have been without a manager since Tite left after the World Cup and various reports claim Ancelotti is their top target.
Madrid forward Vinicius Jr. recently said he "believes" his club coach wants to take the Selecao job and Ancelotti is flattered by the interest.
"The reality is that the Brazilian national team wants me; I love that, it's exciting," Ancelotti told a news conference before Madrid's game against Real Valladolid (stream LIVE at 10:05 a.m. ET, ESPN+ in the U.S.)
"From there, you have to respect the contract you have, which is a contract that I want to fulfil."
Mark Ogden discusses why he doesn't see Tottenham offering potential coach Julian Nagelsmann the best chance to succeed.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)
- Contact has been made between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid winger Yannick Carrasco, reports Sport. The Blaugrana are understood to be keen on the 29-year-old, who has been in promising form of late with two goals in his last two matches for Diego Simeone's side. Contracted at Atletico until 2024, there could be difficulty in reaching an agreement over a transfer fee for him, though there is interest from Los Colchoneros in 23-year-old forward Ferran Torres, and it is reported that a player swap deal could be discussed.
- Goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher is set to ask to leave Liverpool this summer, understands Football Insider. The 24-year-old has impressed as the backup option to starter Alisson in recent seasons, but it is believed that he is now prioritising playing regular first-team football. Kelleher is contracted at Anfield until 2026, and he has made 10 starts for the Republic of Ireland senior national team.
- Internazionale have identified Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino and Chelsea striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as two potential replacements for Romelu Lukaku, writes Calciomercato. Lukaku, 29, has been on loan at the San Siro this season, but while the Belgium international wants to stay with the Nerazzurri, they look to be assessing the market in case an agreement with the Blues isn't reached.
- Burnley are monitoring the situation of Cremonese defender Emanuel Aiwu, reveals Fabrizio Romano. Scouts are understood to have been sent to watch the 22-year-old in the 3-1 Serie A defeat against Atalanta on Saturday, and with the Clarets on the cusp of securing promotion to the Premier League, it looks as though Vincent Kompany has identified him as an early potential reinforcement.
- Ajax Amsterdam and Benfica are both keeping close tabs on AZ Alkmaar defender Milos Kerkez, says Ekrem Konur. The 19-year-old has remained in strong form this season, with displays that have seen him also earn starts for Hungary at national level, and the latest indicates that the Eredivisie club could be braced to receive offers for his signature in the summer. Kerkez scored the winning goal in AZ Alkmaar's 2-1 win over Lazio in the first match of the Europa Conference League knockout rounds.