Transfer Talk: Barca trail Chelsea, Man City, Real in pursuit of Dortmund’s Haaland

The January transfer window may seem like a distant memory, but that doesn’t mean the rumour mill has shut down! Speculation over summer moves is heating up, so check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.

TOP STORY: Chelsea, Man City and Real Madrid make contact over Haaland

Barcelona are making Erling Haaland their top target next summer, but Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid have already made contact with the Norwegian’s agent, according to Mundo Deportivo.

New incoming Barca president Joan Laporta is well aware of Barca’s financial problems, but he is also dreaming big when it comes to raising the quality of the squad, notes the story.

However, the Catalan club are at the back of the queue when it comes to Haaland, with three clubs having already started discussions.

The clause any of these interested clubs will need to meet is believed to be €75 million, but there are other fees — to his agent and father — that mean clubs will have to spend €100m or more.

Laporta does have a good relationship with Haaland’s agent Mino Raiola, but he has work to do to get Barca ahead of the other interested clubs.

Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ (U.S. only)
– Notebook: Barca want Aguero; Chelsea right to sack Lampard

LIVE BLOG

09.00 GMT: Barcelona are battling with a number of Europe’s biggest clubs to sign Rapid Vienna midfielder Yusuf Demir, various sources have confirmed to ESPN’s Moises Llorens and Sam Marsden.

Manchester United, Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund and also tracking Demir, who won’t turn 18 until June and has a contract in Vienna until 2022.

Demir made his first-team debut for Rapid at the end of 2019 and, despite his age, he has already become a regular in Dietmar Kuhbauer’s side, making 23 appearances in all competitions this season.

The creative midfielder can also play further forward and has scored six goals in the current campaign, propelling him into the Austria under-21 set-up.

Sources told ESPN that scouts from the world’s biggest teams have earmarked him as one of the brightest young players in Europe and expect a bidding war to break out at the end of the season.

Not only will Demir turn 18 in the summer, allowing him to relocate without having to depend on his parents moving with him, but he will also be moving into the final year of his deal in Austria.

PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd)

Ronaldo opens talks about Madrid return

Cristiano Ronaldo‘s agent, Jorge Mendes, has had a conversation with Real Madrid about a possible return to the club, according to Marca and El Chiringuito.

The two outlets are known to have good contact with Ronaldo’s representatives, and it is believed that both the Portugal superstar and Madrid have regrets about parting ways three years ago.

It would appear as though Ronaldo is unsatisfied with the way things are going in Turin — with a UCL exit this week combined with their slim chance of winning Serie A evaporating — while the Italian club are considering letting him go to free up salary space in an effort to improve the squad.

Real Madrid are not quite as keen on the move, though. While they acknowledge Ronaldo would improve their side, by signing him they would be reducing their ability to bid for one of either of their top two targets in Haaland or Kylian Mbappe.

What’s clear, though, is that Ronaldo is likely to be on the move this summer.

United looking to replace De Gea

Along with the news that Manchester United are unwilling to extend Sergio Romero‘s stay with the club this summer, Football Insider reported on Friday that they’re also willing to listen to offers for David De Gea, with Gianluigi Donnarumma of AC Milan a possible replacement.

United are willing to listen to clubs interested in their long-serving Spaniard as they set their sights on two new senior goalkeepers at the end of the season.

This all forms part of a radical overhaul of their goalkeeping ranks this summer. Dean Henderson is expected to stay, but Donnarumma is also set to be one of United’s main targets.

United are believed to have opened talks with Donnarumma’s agent, Mino Raiola, but they face competition from other clubs, with Chelsea also believed to be interested.

Tap-ins

Juventus are already preparing for life after Ronaldo, and AS reports that they’re looking to make Alvaro Morata‘s loan move a permanent one in the summer. Morata has scored 16 goals and added 11 assists across all competitions since rejoining the club from Atletico Madrid. Juventus will need €45m to make the deal happen, but they might also try and use another player in the deal in an effort to reduce that figure.

Paris Saint-Germain are looking at the free transfer market as well as the big names this summer, and Napoli right-back Elseid Gezim Hysaj is on their wanted list, according to the player’s agent in an interview with Argentinian radio station Radio Punto Nuovo. Hysaj’s agent revealed that he has already had talks with PSG sporting director Leonardo. The French side currently have Alessandro Florenzi in the right-back position on loan from AS Roma. Florenzi has a €9m option-to-buy clause, but it’s unclear whether they’ll look to activate that clause in light of their interest in Hysaj.