<
>

LIVE Transfer Talk: Manchester United, Arsenal lead chase for Alassane Plea

play
Why a new Man United contract is looking more likely for Pogba (1:46)

ESPN FC's Mark Ogden discusses why Paul Pogba could stay at Manchester United despite interest elsewhere. (1:46)

The coronavirus pandemic has made the summer transfer window uncertain, but here are the rumours floating around Europe's big leagues and beyond.

TOP STORY: Spurs, Man United, Arsenal in hunt for Plea

A number of English clubs are reported to be queueing up for the signature of Borussia Monchengladbach striker Alassane Plea, Bild reports.

The German paper suggests that Manchester United, Arsenal and Leicester City have been keeping an eye on the 27-year-old, but Tottenham in particular are keen to add the striker to their squad this summer.

Plea scored in the first minute as Gladbach got their Bundesliga return off to a winning start against Eintracht Frankfurt this weekend, with his performance indicative of his form this season as the English quartet keep tabs on him.

Plea has scored nine goals and added seven assists so far this season, and Bild believe that if he can finish the season in similar form, he will have done enough to prompt an English side to part with €35-40 million.

- Stream new episodes of ESPN FC Monday-Friday on ESPN+
- Stream every episode of 30 for 30: Soccer Stories on ESPN+
- Where Europe's top leagues stand on finishing 2019-20 season

LIVE BLOG

22.27 BST: Bayer Leverkusen signed midfielder Moussa Diaby from Paris Saint-Germain for €15m just last summer, but Le10 Sport writes that he could already be on the move, with Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal interested in the France U21 international. However, Leverkusen reportedly won't consider parting with the 20-year-old unless an offer comes in for double what the Bundesliga club paid for him.

21.30 BST: Inter Milan will attempt to secure another loan for 27-year-old attacker Joao Mario, according to Corriere dello Sport, after Lokomotiv Moscow president Anatoly Mescheriakov reportedly said it would be "unthinkable" to trigger their €18m purchase option on the Portugal international who's spent the season on loan with the Russian Premier League club.

20.33 BST: Patrik Schick would prefer to make his loan move from Roma to RB Leipzig permanent, and Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the Giallorossi are prepared to accept €25m for the 24-year-old forward - who was valued at €42m three years ago - so long as the Red Bull-backed German outfit pay the fee in a lump sum.

19.36 BST: Manchester United are ready to let loan players -- including Alexis Sanchez, Chris Smalling and Dean Henderson -- spend the remainder of the 2019-20 season at their temporary clubs if leagues are able to restart, sources have told ESPN.

18.39 BST: Inter Milan have joined Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain in the race for Real Madrid right-back Achraf Hakimi, Mundo Deportivo cites Gazzetta dello Sport as reporting. The 21-year-old has impressed in his two-year loan at Borussia Dortmund, and with Dani Carvajal occupying Los Blancos' starting right-back berth, Madrid reportedly would be willing to accept €50m for the Morocco international.

17.42 BST: For months, Real Madrid have preparing to make their move for 20-year-old midfield prodigy Kai Havertz, according to Le10 Sport, with Los Blancos having already made contact with the Germany international and Bayer Leverkusen being made aware of the Spanish capital club's intentions. Now all that's left is for Madrid to submit a bid, with a fee said to come close to €100m.

16.45 BST: Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling in MLS? Possibly ...

15.33 BST: Manchester City are keen on Milan midfielder Ismael Bennacer, says Footmercato.

Bennacer, 22, played for Arsenal before moving to Italy with Empoli and now AC Milan. The Algeria international has been tracked by Paris Saint-Germain but the report states that City boss Pep Guardiola is very keen on him and has already started negotiations.

14.55 BST: Ajax full-back Sergino Dest is being tracked by Barcelona and Bayern Munich, his agent has confirmed.

Dest, 19, has become one of the best young players around and the U.S. international's agent Joes Blakborn says that two of the top clubs in Europe are following his progress.

"It [interest from Barcelona] is not yet concrete," Blakborn told Voetbal international. "They have not officially reported to me or Ajax. However, information has been provided in the past. Sergino is one of the full-backs in Europe that they are following. He is an option should Nelson Semedo leave. But I think Sergino is an option for more clubs.

"Bayern Munich still want to take Sergino from Ajax, but at the moment both parties are still far apart. We can't do anything about that at the moment."

14.11 BST: Newcastle are reportedly in talks with Napoli forward Hirving Lozano about a move this summer.

Newcastle still have to finalise their £300m takeover, but Arena Napoli says the club have started to enquire about the Mexico winger and are aware it would cost them €40m to sign him.

- Olley: Newcastle want Pochettino, but would he want them?

13.30 BST: Would Dortmund striker Erling Haaland have been such a success if he had chosen Juventus?

12.38 BST: PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has hailed Cristiano Ronaldo's "relentless will," with the comments sure to spark transfer speculation.

Ronaldo, 35, has two years left on his contract with Juventus and has been linked with a move away before his value drops.

"Year after year, he shows a unique determination, an extraordinary strength of character," Al-Khelaifi told France Football. "He remains motivated by this desire to improve every day and he always pushes his limits. I admire this relentless will; he is a great example for all athletes of the future."

12.10 BST: Arsenal are also interested in Borussia Monchengladbach defender Nico Elvedi, reports Le10 Sport.

Elvedi, 23, is valued at £25m and his contract is set to expire in June 2021. The Switzerland international completed a league-high 95.2% of his passes in 2018-19.

11.44 BST: Arsenal want Feyenoord starlet Orkun Kokcu to replace Mesut Ozil this summer, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Kokcu, 19, is valued at around €30m and has been linked with Chelsea, Sevilla, Real Betis, Roma and Atalanta.

The Turkey U21 international scored two goals and contributed four assists in 22 games this season.

11.14 BST: Barcelona remain hopeful of signing Inter Milan's Lautaro Martinez to become the long-term successor to Luis Suarez, but the Argentine was not their first port of call when they decided they needed a new striker.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Tottenham and England's Harry Kane was initially the man they wanted.

A report in the Catalan newspaper claims Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu called Spurs owner Daniel Levy just over a year ago. However, once Bartomeu heard how much Levy would want to sell Kane, Barca backed off. They have since focused on Martinez and sources have told ESPN that negotiations are ongoing with Inter over a summer transfer.

play
1:53

Can Barca acquire Lautaro Martinez despite financial issues?

Gab Marcotti examines Barcelona's pursuit of Inter striker Lautaro Martinez amid transfer market uncertainty.

11.04 BST: Ivan Rakitic says he's disappointed Barcelona haven't backed him amid continued speculation over his future. The midfielder feels someone from the club's hierarchy could have offered him some support.

"I would have liked that at some point someone from the club to come out and say that Rakitic was staying to end the rumours," he told Spanish radio station COPE on Monday. "The president [Josep Maria Bartomeu] has not said anything. Maybe he's listening and will call me tomorrow..."

Sources have told ESPN that Barca are keen to move Rakitic on this summer to avoid him leaving for free next year when his contract expires. But the Croatia international says he's not thinking about a transfer but he's also not completely against one.

"What I want is to think about Barca at the moment, but I have never closed the door on a big change," he added, "The transfer market's going to be quite different this time."

10.37 BST: The Daily Mail says that Juventus are to put Miralem Pjanic, Douglas Costa, Gonzalo Higuain and Sami Khedira on the transfer market this summer.

Pjanic has long been linked with various swap deals including Barcelona, Man United and PSG, while the others all earn over €6m in annual salary, which sporting director Fabio Paratici is keen to cut down.

10.09 BST: Barcelona tried to sign defender Matthijs de Ligt before he chose to move to Juventus last summer and they are trying again, according to the Daily Mail.

De Ligt, 20, has had a mixed start to life in Turin and Barca have looked to capitalise with a €75m bid -- the same fee he joined Juve from Ajax for last year.

However, the Dutchman is reported to be happy to stay in Italy and the bid was rejected.

09.50 BST: Bayer Leverkusen's Kai Havertz is one of Europe's most coveted young talents with Arsenal, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Manchester United all monitoring the midfielder's progress.

The 20-year-old put in an eye-catching performance on Monday as he scored twice in Leverkusen's 4-1 win at Werder Bremen.

play
2:14

Kai Havertz 'the jewel' in Bayer Leverkusen's crown

Don Hutchison and Julien Laurens laud Kai Havertz's performance in Bayer Leverkusen's win over Werder Bremen.

09.15 BST: Layvin Kurzawa is "an option on the table" for Atletico Madrid, Marca reports, with the full-back available on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain this summer.

Atletico are looking to add a left-back to their squad but will be operating on an extremely tight budget due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marca says Atletico sporting director Andrea Berta has identified Kurzawa as a player who could provide competition for Renan Lodi.

The 27-year-old France international was reportedly close to joining Arsenal in January and has been linked with a number of Premier League and Serie A clubs.

Atletico have a good relationship with Kurzawa's agent Kia Joorabchian, who was also involved in their signing of defender Felipe last summer.

08.38 BST: Valencia and Sevilla are leading the race to sign Inter Milan midfielder Matias Vecino, according to Ovacion.

Vecino, 28 came close to leaving Inter in January with Everton keen to acquire his services but Inter's €30m asking price was considered too high.

The Uruguay international has a contract with Inter until June 2022 but is looking to leave the club this summer in search of more playing time.

08.00 BST: Manchester City are confident David Silva will agree to a short-term contract extension to allow the midfielder to see out the remainder of the season, sources have told ESPN.

Silva was due to leave the Etihad Stadium on June 30 and had held talks with former club Valencia about a return.

However, with games set to continue through the summer to make up for time lost because of the coronavirus pandemic, City have moved to secure the 34-year-old until the end of the campaign.

An official agreement will not be put in place until the plan for completing the season is made a official but sources have told ESPN that Silva is willing to stay, particularly given he still has the chance to win the Champions League -- the one major trophy missing from his collection.

play
3:05

Is Wolverhampton's Raul Jimenez better than Gabriel Jesus?

Herculez Gomez and Jose del Valle debate if Pep Guardiola would swap Gabriel Jesus for Raul Jimenez at Man City.

PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd)

City set to beat Newcastle to Pellistri

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is close to signing talented Uruguayan defender Facundo Pellistri ahead of Newcastle United, AS reports.

AS is reporting that City have been working with Pellistri's existing club, Penarol, over the past few weeks in an effort to come to an agreement on the transfer of the 18-year-old.

Pellistri has a release clause of US$12m, though City are working hard to try to reduce that fee as a result of the current economic climate. City are instead proposing 50% of that release clause up front, followed by the rest when he reaches a certain number of appearances and other performance-related targets. City would also offer Penarol a percentage of any future profits.

The contract offer on the table is for five years, with a view to loaning him out in his first season, with the player and his agent able to choose the destination. Newcastle United are also interested, though their situation is hindered by the delay of their takeover.

Mertens hints at U-turn and Napoli stay

Following reports that Inter Milan had given Belgium attacker Dries Mertens seven days to decide whether to move to the Italian capital, Calciomercato says that he could stay at Napoli.

The Italian outlet is suggesting that there could be a twist in the tale after it was expected that Mertens would agree to move to Inter in the summer. Now, after appeals from the Napoli supporters, it's being suggested that Mertens has indicated that he will extend his stay until 2022, at a cost to Napoli of €4.5m per season plus bonuses, including a mega bonus of €2.5m for his agreeing to stay in the first place.

Napoli are clearly keen to keep one of their most important assets, and though Inter supremo Giuseppe Marotta believed his deal was good enough to lure Mertens to his club, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis isn't prepared to lose him without a fight.

Tap-ins

-- A number of clubs, including Bordeaux, Nice, Hoffenheim and Lazio, are considering a move for Lille's rising star, Joel Ngoya, Footmercato reports. The 18-year-old left-sided midfielder played against Chelsea in Europe in December and has since excelled in the French club's youth side, including in a U19 match against Paris Saint-Germain.

-- Swapping players appears to be the new way to conduct transfer business, but the supposed deal between Juventus and Barcelona that will take Miralem Pjanic to Camp Nou is far from finished. Le10Sport believes that Juventus are also considering trying to throw in Ivan Rakitic, despite Mundo Deportivo's suggesting that Maurizio Sarri is far from excited about the prospect of Rakitic joining his squad.