The transfer window for Europe’s biggest clubs is closed, but click here for all the deals. Transfer Talk will continue to scour the world’s media and set correspondents loose to see what’s on the agenda for the summer.
TOP STORY: United on alert as Varane ‘considers new challenge’
Raphael Varane is thinking about leaving Real Madrid — and that has Manchester United on alert, according to the Mail.
It reports that football agent Bruno Satin said he had spoken to Anthony Varane, the defender’s brother and agent, who indicated that the France international would be interested in a new challenge.
And that “will interest clubs across Europe, not least United, who are in the market for a world class central defender this summer.”
The Mail says United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has indicated that he is ready to spend heavily to revamp his defence.
Varane, under contract until 2022, is also reported to be of interest to Juventus, where he could link up again with ex-Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.
09.07 GMT: Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has indicated that he would like to keep on-loan Monaco midfielder Youri Tielemans and the club “are working to make it happen,” according to the Leicester Mercury.
08.47 GMT: Real Madrid defender Jesus Vallejo has become frustrated by a lack of first-team opportunities and wants to move on, according to La Sexta.
08.36 GMT: Barcelona have been linked with Eintracht Frankfurt striker Luka Jovic, but reports in France suggest he is now in talks with Paris Saint-Germain. Frankfurt are believed to value him at around €60m.
08.05 GMT: Jose Mourinho believes reported Manchester United targets Bruno Fernandes and Joao Felix can play “in any club in the world.”
Fernandes, 24, tied to Sporting Lisbon until June 2023, has attracted the attention of top clubs following an impressive campaign in which he has scored 14 goals and set up 10 in 26 league appearances.
Felix — the 19-year-old attacking midfielder dubbed “the new Ronaldo” by the Portuguese media — has been linked with United, Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid. He was promoted to Benfica’s first team last summer and has scored 10 goals and set up five more in 18 league appearances.
Meanwhile, Portuguese outlet Record reports that Paris Saint-Germain scouts will be in attendance to watch Fernandes and Felix at Wednesday’s Portuguese Cup semifinal between Benfica and Sporting.
Asked about the attacking midfielders, their fellow Portuguese Mourinho told reporters during a meeting of the national coaches association in Portimao: “I think they should be left alone and not talk about Cristiano [Ronaldo]. It’s ridiculous to talk about Cristiano and compare him with talent that emerges, however big he is.
“But listen, these two are great talents. They can play in any club in the world.”
PAPER TALK (by James Capps): Arsenal, Spurs to battle for Everton’s Keane
Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal are keeping tabs on Everton centre-back Michael Keane.
Both sides want to add a ball-playing defender to their ranks, and Spurs sent scouts to watch the 26-year-old in Everton’s comfortable 2-0 victory at West Ham at the weekend.
Toby Alderweireld‘s Spurs future remains the subject of speculation, while his Belgian compatriot Jan Vertonghen turns 32 at the end of April and boss Mauricio Pochettino is determined to add some youth to his back line.
Arsenal have been watching former Manchester United man Keane for several months but, with the the Mirror reporting that a fee for the England international could be as much as £50 million, Gunners boss Unai Emery might be forced to look elsewhere this summer.
United refusing to blink in Herrera contract saga
Herrera, 29, is looking for a deal in excess of £200,000 a week, more than double the £80,000 salary he is currently earning, and the former Athletic Bilbao man is attempting to use interest from France to secure a pay rise.
But United remain confident of securing an agreement at a much lower rate, albeit one that will still exceed his current earnings.
Herrera is not the only Spain international locked in a contract battle at Old Trafford, with goalkeeper David De Gea holding out for a £500,000-a-week deal.
Madrid could move for Atleti’s Gimenez
Koulibaly is under contract in Serie A for another four years, putting Carlo Ancelotti’s side in an extremely strong negotiating position.
A move for Uruguay international Gimenez would also be complicated, however. Atletico have already agreed a deal to sell left-back Lucas Hernandez to Bayern Munich, while Gimenez’ central defensive partner, Diego Godin, looks set to leave for Inter Milan.
But that isn’t putting off Perez, with the 72-year-old rumoured to have already held discussions with his target in December.
– Spurs have no plans to sell under-fire goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, despite his glaring error in the 2-1 defeat at Liverpool on Sunday. The Mail reports that Tottenham are instead looking to strengthen in other areas.
– Arsenal are in the hunt for Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser and are set to make a move for the Scotland international in the summer, according to the Mirror. Gunners scouts have given glowing reports after watching the 25-year-old in action.
– Tuttosport says Tottenham have joined the race for Juventus winger Douglas Costa. Costa has not featured for the Serie A champions since early February, and a fee of £60m should be enough to secure the 28-year-old’s signature.