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: Leipzig keen on Balogun if Nkunku joins Chelsea
Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun, who has impressed on loan at Stade de Reims this season, is now on RB Leipzig's shortlist as they look to sign a replacement for Christopher Nkunku, according Florian Plettenberg.
Nkunku has long been expected to join Chelsea in the summer for over €60 million after sources told ESPN last September that the club arranged for him to undergo medical tests. Since then, the 25-year-old forward has shown his quality by recording 17 goals and five assists in 27 matches across all competitions despite sustaining an injury that kept him from representing France at the World Cup.
Balogun, 21, has also displayed what he can do in front of goal, scoring 19 Ligue 1 goals this term, meaning there has been plenty of interest in his services from across Europe. One thing that would go in Balogun's favour regarding Leipzig is that his reported €30m transfer fee could be lower than Lille star Jonathan David, who has also been linked with the Bundesliga side.
There has also been intrigue over which national side Balogun could represent. Born in New York, he is eligible to play for the United States and visited Orlando during the international break after dropping out of England U21s' latest squad due to injury.
In addition to Balogun's pending decision at the international level, there will be plenty of questions to answer regarding his future at club level once the current campaign ends.
21.27 BST: Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United are all taking an interest in Bayern Munich midfielder Ryan Gravenberch, reports Foot Mercato. The 20-year-old Netherlands international is frustrated by his lack of game time this season, having managed a mere 702 minutes across all competitions, and will ask to leave in the summer if his situation doesn't improve.
20.54 BST: Inter Milan and Lazio are both monitoring the situation of Club Brugge winger Tajon Buchanan, according to Ekrem Konur. The 24-year-old Canada international has recorded one goal and six assists in 30 matches across all competitions for the Belgian outfit this term.
20.21 BST: In two separate reports, Football Insider writes that West Ham United could have an incoming and outgoing striker in the summer. First, the Hammers are linked with a move for 25-year-old Brazil international Pedro of Flamengo if they stay in the Premier League. Then, it has been stated that the East London club could let Michail Antonio leave amid interest from Everton and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
19.48 BST: Lazio want to sign Andrea Pinamonti, the 23-year-old striker currently on loan at Sassuolo from Inter Milan, in an effort to ease the burden on Ciro Immobile, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. Coach Maurizio Sarri has been reliant on Immobile up front when the 33-year-old Italy international has been available due to a lack alternatives, but this has contributed to the team's talisman getting injuries at different points throughout the campaign.
19.15 BST: Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount remains one of Liverpool's priorities ahead of the summer, according to Fabrizio Romano, with any move depending on contract talks between Mount and the Blues, as the 24-year-old England international's current deal expires in the summer of 2024 and talks are on standby with no agreement reached yet. Wolverhampton Wanderers' Matheus Nunes is also seen as an option but not the priority.
18.42 BST: Ahead of the Champions League quarterfinal first leg between AC Milan and Napoli, Calciomercato reports that the two clubs are also competing to make transfers in the summer. Both Serie A outfits are said to be interested in Tigre striker Mateo Retegui, who is on loan from Boca Juniors, Empoli midfielder Tommaso Baldanzi, Udinese midfielder Lazar Samardzic and Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Adama Traore.
18.09 BST: Leeds United don't intend to exercise their option to permanently sign on-loan Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie regardless of whether they stay in the Premier League, reports Football Insider. The 24-year-old United States international could stay at Elland Road for a £30m transfer fee, but McKennie reportedly will be sent back to Turin, where he has a contract that runs until 2025.
17.36 BST: Borussia Monchengladbach have announced that captain Lars Stindl will leave the club at the end of the season when the attacking midfielder's contract expires. The 34-year-old Germany international has been with the Bundesliga side for eight yearshaving joined from Hannover 96 in 2015.
17.03 BST: Brighton & Hove Albion, West Ham United and Leeds United are all monitoring the situation of Anderlecht centre-back Zeno Debast, according to Ekrem Konur. The 19-year-old Belgium international has played 45 matches across all competitions this term and could potentially face the Hammers in the UEFA Conference League semifinal.
16.30 BST: Could Carlo Ancelotti return as Chelsea's permanent manager this summer?
15.58 BST: Manchester City are leading the race to sign Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham after Liverpool backed away from a deal, sources have told ESPN.
Real Madrid remain interested in the 19-year-old England international, but City are growing increasingly confident they can land him.
City are actively looking to sign at least one midfielder in the summer window because of doubts over the long-term futures of Ilkay Gundogan, whose contract is due to expire in June, and Bernardo Silva.
Bellingham's transfer is likely to cost more than £130m, although Dortmund have not given up hope of keeping the teenager for one more season.
Sources have told ESPN that Real Madrid are still pursuing Bellingham, while Manchester United are also interested.
15.18 BST: Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder Daichi Kamada will leave at the end of the season when his contract expires, the club have confirmed.
Kamada, 26, has been linked with a move to Dortmund or Bayern after impressing in the Bundesliga over recent seasons.
Manchester United, Bayer Leverkusen and Benfica have also been tracking the Japan international.
15.02 BST: Leeds United would let young goalkeeper Illan Meslier leave in the summer for £40m, says Football Insider.
Meslier, 23, would want to leave Elland Road if Leeds are relegated to the Championship but he signed a five-year deal in 2021 so the ball is in the club's court over his future.
The Frenchman is highly rated and has Chelsea, Man United and Tottenham all monitoring his progress.
14.36 BST: Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has refused to answer questions about his future as he enters the final months of his contract at Old Trafford.
De Gea is in talks about extending his deal, which runs out in June. But speaking ahead of United's Europa League tie against Sevilla on Thursday, the Spaniard insisted his only focus is on the run-in.
"I think it is time just to be focused on games because we play many games in a row," he said. "It is not time to lose focus and think about contracts. My mind is to keep going and play at my best."
14.04 BST: Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic is being tracked by Real Madrid, Arsenal and Bayern Munich claims Calciomercato.
Vlahovic, 23, signed for €70m from Fiorentina in January 2022 and has scored 11 goals in 31 games this season so far.
Madrid are looking for a long-term replacement for veteran Karim Benzema, Arsenal want to bolster their options up front and Bayern need support for 34-year-old Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting now Robert Lewandowski has departed for Barcelona.
13.11 BST: Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha is expected to leave the club on a free transfer at the end of the season.
Footmercato says that Zaha has attracted attention from Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and AS Monaco.
The 30-year-old Ivory Coast international is reported to be hoping for a major pay rise in what is likely to be his last big move.
12.28 BST: Cristiano Ronaldo's coach at Saudi Arabian team Al Nassr has been given one game to save his job, a source familiar with the situation has told ESPN.
Rudi Garcia, the former Roma and Lyon coach, has been in charge at Al Nassr since June 2022, but despite guiding Al Nassr to seven wins from their last eight Saudi Pro League games, the 59-year-old's failure to claim top spot in the division has left him fighting for his future at the Riyadh-based club.
Reports of an uneasy relationship between Garcia and Ronaldo, who joined Al Nassr in December after having contract at Manchester United cancelled by mutual consent, have also placed pressure on the Frenchman.
Al Nassr, who are three points behind league leaders Al Ittihad, face traditional rivals and reigning Asian champions Al Hilal in their next game on April 18.
12.00 BST: Liverpool will not pursue a move for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham this summer as his transfer valuation is too high.
Mark Ogden explains why Liverpool ending their interest in Jude Bellingham could be the "right decision" from the club.
10.52 BST: Stade de Reims striker Hugo Ekitike wants to stay at Paris Saint-Germain after his loan, says Footmercato.
PSG had been looking to sign Ekitike outright for €35m but couldn't agree a deal and signed him on loan last summer, with an option to make the move permanent.
Ekitike, 20, has struggled in Paris though and has only scored four goals in 27 games. Newcastle have been following his progress and could make their interest known if he is placed on the transfer list.
10.15 BST: Napoli midfielder Stanislav Lobotka believes it will be difficult for his club to keep star striker Victor Osimhen this summer.
Osimhen, 24, is a target of many top European clubs, with Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal reportedly in the race to sign him.
The Nigeria international, who has scored 25 goals in 29 games this season, is under contract with the Serie A leaders until June 2025, but Napoli will only consider transfer offers above €150m.
Asked if Napoli will keep the same team next season, Lobotka said: "To be honest, it will be difficult because there are many players and there are some teams that everyone dreams of playing for. We know that money matters a lot. So if someone comes and says: 'Ok, €120m for Osimhen' it's hard to say no."
09.34 BST: Fenerbahce coach Jorge Jesus has not ruled out returning to take the helm of Flamengo, according to Globo.
Flamengo have been looking for a new manager since dismissing Vitor Pereira this week.
Jesus is under contract with Fenerbahce but is reportedly in talks with Flamengo about a potential return. The Portuguese tactician is well known in Brazil after a successful 2019-20 season coaching Flamengo as he steered the club to five trophies and 43 wins in 57 games.
Flamengo are also considering Argentine Jorge Sampaoli, who has been out of a job since being sacked by Sevilla in March after 31 games in charge.
09.12 BST: Chris Smalling has accepted a two-year contract extension to continue at Roma, according to Calciomercato.
With the English centre-back a free agent this summer, Roma have offered Smalling the same salary to remain at the club until June 2025.
Smalling, 33, joined Roma on loan from Manchester United in 2019 before the Italian club made his stay permanent the following season.
A reported target of Inter Milan, Smalling's wish was to remain at Roma.
08.30 BST: Liverpool will not pursue a move for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham this summer, with the club instead deciding to dedicate transfer funds toward overhauling Jurgen Klopp's squad, sources have confirmed to ESPN's Mark Ogden.
The Premier League club have been strongly linked with a €100m move for the England star for several months but the cost of the move would prevent the club from strengthening elsewhere ahead of next season.
Klopp has made clear the need for his squad to be revitalised amid a struggling season that sees them languishing in eighth position in the Premier League.
With nine games of the season remaining, Liverpool are 12 points adrift of a top-four place. Missing out on the Champions League could further reduce the funds available this summer as well as their attractiveness to potential transfer targets.
The Liverpool boss has suggested that strengthening the midfield will be the priority, and several players could be needed with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner and Naby Keita all out of contract this summer.
Gab Marcotti and Don Hutchison discuss Virgil van Dijk's future after the defender was found wanting on multiple occasions vs. Arsenal.
PAPER GOSSIP (Danny Lewis)
- With sources telling ESPN that Liverpool have switched their focus from signing Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham this summer, The Athletic reports that the Anfield side will instead look at such as Chelsea's Mason Mount, Brighton & Hove Albion duo Moises Caicedo and Alexis Mac Allister, and Bayern Munich's Ryan Gravenberch.
- Brighton are hoping that striker Evan Ferguson will sign a new contract despite his deal running until the summer of 2026, according to the Daily Mail. This comes amid interest from the likes of Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United and Chelsea. Even with the calibre of club looking at the 18-year-old, Brighton expect him to grow with them.
- Barcelona would rather let Ansu Fati leave in the summer than see Ferran Torres or Raphinha depart Camp Nou, reports Diario Sport, which adds that offloading the 20-year-old would bring in far more funds. Varca also want to let players leave who have played fewer minutes this season, and Fati has only managed 1,524 so far this term. On the contrary, Ronald Araujo, Frenkie de Jong and Pedri are all seen as untouchable in the transfer market.
- Juventus are keen to sign Lyon forward Rayan Cherki, according to Calciomercato. The 19-year-old's contract runs until 2024 but has the option for another season, which could block a move for the Bianconeri, who are aiming to bring in young talents.
- While various clubs are looking at Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar, whose contract expires at the end of the season, Le10 Sport have suggested that Eintracht Frankfurt are particularly interested in the 24-year-old and have sent him a contract offer. Even so, no agreement has been reached, with the two parties far apart in their expectations.