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: Amid Barca financial woes, Chelsea and Bayern Munich open talks with Gavi
Barcelona star Gavi is a man in demand, and both Chelsea and Bayern Munich are set to battle it out for his services thanks to the opening created by Barca’s financial problems, according to AS and Sport respectively.
AS reports that Chelsea are looking to capitalise on Barca’s inability to register Gavi’s long-term contract with LaLiga, a result of the Blaugrana‘s financial difficulties, by offering him a long-term contract. The Blues are even said to be willing to make the 18-year-old forward the highest-paid player in the Premier League.
The two parties met three weeks ago, and Chelsea are hoping they can arrange another meeting in an effort to convince the player, his representatives and his family of Chelsea’s long-term vision amid the ongoing rebuild since new owner Todd Boehly took over.
Gavi has made it clear that he wants to stay at Barca, but the Catalan club has so far been unable to rectify his contract issue. Barcelona are subsequently looking to reduce their wage bill in an attempt to solve a number of contract disputes.
– Real Madrid are setting alternative plans in case they’re unable to sign Reece James from Chelsea, and they could turn their attention to Trent Alexander-Arnold from Liverpool or Jeremie Frimpong from Bayer Leverkusen. That’s according to Ekrem Konur, who believes that while Chelsea star James remains Los Blancos‘ top target, the Spaniards are lining up other options in case they can’t persuade the club to release him, or convince the 23-year-old full-back to leave west London. Frimpong, 22, has been linked with Manchester United and appears keen on a move to England, while 24-year-old Alexander-Arnold has been struggling on the right-hand side of Liverpool’s defence, and is being linked with a move away, or a change in position if he were to stay at Anfield.
– The Mirror reports that Chelsea could be looking to let as many as eight players leave, including Mason Mount and N’Golo Kante, while Sport reports that five players are expected to leave, particularly striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Mirror believes Chelsea officials are worried by the club’s potential lack of involvement in Europe next season, which will have a knock-on effect on their adherence to financial fair play regulations. Aubameyang and Hakim Ziyech look certain to leave, but Conor Gallagher, Christian Pulisic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are also in danger. Sport specifies that Aubameyang wants a return to Barcelona, but that Inter Milan are also interested in the Gabonese striker.
– Rivals Manchester City and Liverpool are both interested in 20-year-old defender Levi Colwill, who is currently on loan at Brighton & Hove Albion from Chelsea. The Evening Standard reports that Brighton are also keen on keeping a player who has impressed during his season-long sojourn on the south coast, but that all three clubs are looking to seize on Chelsea’s having to let homegrown players leave in the summer in order to meet financial fair play regulations. Colwill, a left-footed central defender, is being tipped to get an international call-up ahead of Euro 2024, and both City and Liverpool are prepared to push hard for the rising star.
– Barcelona winger Ez Abde is shining while on loan at Osasuna, and Leeds United are among the clubs looking to sign him on a permanent basis in the summer, according to Sport. Barcelona are hoping they can welcome back the 21-year-old to Camp Nou when his loan spell ends, but they’re unable to offer the Moroccan the first-team opportunities he now craves. Abde’s agent, Javier Garrido, recently met with Leeds United officials, who are keen to make a solid offer should they manage to stay in the Premier League.
– Bayern Munich remain in need of a new No. 9 striker following the departure of Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona, as highlighted in their recent 3-0 defeat against Manchester City, and new boss Thomas Tuchel has admitted he’s a fan of Napoli star Victor Osimhen. Gazzetta Dello Sport believe that Tuchel is keen on a move for the Napoli forward, while also noting that Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane remains on the Bavarians’ wanted list. Tuchel joked that he’s unable to talk about other clubs’ players while talking about his admiration for Osimhen, and Bayern could make a bid in the summer for the 24-year-old Nigerian.