Premier League football returned on Wednesday (how good does that sound?) after the 2019-20 season was put on hold for 100 days due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Today there are four fixtures in the Premier League as Arsenal aim to bounce back from defeat at City in the headline game at the Amex. The games will again be behind closed doors, but among many clear changes following the Covid-19 hiatus is the unseen economic strain on clubs which will almost certainly be implications for this summer’s transfer window.
Latest transfer news and rumours…
It’s the transfer rumour that just won’t go away, much to the concern of Liverpool fans. But there appears to be some legs to Sadio Mane’s proposed move to Real Madrid.
According to The Sun, Real Madrid and PSG want to sign the Senegal winger with a £150 million bid for the 28-year-old this summer.
Mane has three years remaining on his current deal but the Reds star hasn’t signed a new contract which has apparently been on the table for nine months.
Arsenal cannot afford to make the same mistake with Bukayo Saka as they have with other key players over contracts, says Peter Crouch.
The 18-year-old starred for the Gunners once again, setting up Nicolas Pepe’s opener against Brighton and the north London side conceded twice when he left the pitch.
And Crouch says the club must tie down the youngster, who only has a year left to run on his contract.
“I would be concerned (his contract),” Crouch said on BT Sport.
“It’s happened time and time again at Arsenal – I don’t know who is in charge of contracts at Arsenal but he needs to be sorted.”
Flick refuses to comment on Sane speculation
Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick refused to comment on the speculation regarding a move for Manchester City forward Leroy Sane.
Pep Guardiola has confirmed Sane sign a contract extension with City and wants to move club.
The German is contracted until 2021, however, and City are reportedly refusing to let him go below their valuation.
“I don’t want to say anything on that topic,” he said following Bayern’s 3-1 against Freiburg on Saturday. “I am here to talk about our performance today.
“I don’t want to talk about the future or players that could come or leave us. We still have things we want to achieve this season. We’ve won the league, now the next step will be the DFB-Pokal.
“After that, there will be one big goal left [the Champions League], which we will have to work really hard for and try to get as far as we can.”
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Bruce desperate for Longstaff stay
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce is desperate for Matty Longstaff to sign an extension at the club.
The midfielder has been heavily linked with a move to Italy, with Udinese reportedly interested in the 20-year-old.
Longstaff earns just £850 a week, but Bruce has confirmed Newcastle have offered him a “fantastic” deal, which would reportedly see his wages rise to £25,000-per-week.
“There has been a lot of talk about Matty,” said Bruce, via The Telegraph. “We hope we can resolve something.
“There is still dialogue between the respective parties. I want him to stay, the club wants him to stay, we have made him a really good offer and hopefully we can get it over the line.”
Raktic longing for Sevilla return
Ivan Rakitic is looking to return to former club Sevilla this summer should he leave Barcelona, according to El Mundo Deportivo.
Barcelona are looking to sell the midfielder this summer and hope to receive around £18million for the 32-year-old.
Club officials are to discuss his future at the end of the season, with just one year left on his contract.
And Sevilla are reported interested in re-signing Rakitic, but only if there’s no signing fee and his wages are reduced.
Rakitic is reportedly willing to lower his wages to secure a return.
Pereira triggers clause in Baggies contract
Matheus Pereira has triggered a clause in his contract that will see him sign for West Brom a permanent basis, Birmingham Mail report.
The winger – who was on loan from Sporting Lisbon – was just a single appearance from meeting the required number of games before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
In starting against Birmingham on Saturday, he can now sign permanently.
Werner coming to replace Abraham
Timo Werner will come to Chelsea to replace Tammy Abraham, rather than compliment him, believes Matt Le Tissier.
Abraham has been Frank Lampard’s first-choice forward this season, the 22-year-old scoring 13 Premier League goals in 25 games.
But asked if Werner was coming in to complement or replace Abraham, Le Tissier told Sky Sports: “I would think probably to replace [him]. There will be a lot of squad rotation, Chelsea will play a lot of football matches per season.
“Tammy Abraham will still get his fair share of games. But I think, in terms of being first-choice, Timo Werner will be the one who comes in and will be the first choice.
“It’s a tough one because Abraham’s done pretty well this season. But if you’re going to spend £50million on a center-forward, I think he’d be pretty disappointed if he wasn’t the first choice.”
Chelsea the ‘perfect stage’ for Werner
Glen Johnson believes Chelsea will be the “perfect stage” for Timo Werner, who has completed a £53million move to Stamford Bridge.
The forward has scored an impressive 26 goals in 33 Bundesliga appearances this season and will join Hakim Ziyech as Frank Lampard continues to build a new-look attack.
“They speak very highly of him at Chelsea and if they get this one right then it seems like a cheap deal,” the former Blue told Sky Sports.
“We all know £50million these days for a top striker is not that much money anymore.
He added: “It’s going to be a perfect stage for Timo to come and show what he can do.”
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Traore-Jimenez link-up as Wolves take the lead
The in-demand Raul Jiminez gave Wolves a 1-0 lead against West Ham as Nuno Espirito Santo’s men resumed their Premier League campaign.
Substitute Adama Traore, who has also been linked with a move away from Molineux, put the ball on a plate for his team-mate after a terrific cross.
Jimenez has been linked with a move to both Manchester United and Juventus, while there has been talk of a potential Traore move to Anfield.
As the pair combine once more, it’s not difficult to see why the pair are subject of such interst.
Zaha starts for Palace
Roy Hodgson has named Wilfred Zaha in the starting XI as Crystal Palace resume their Premier League campaign away to Bournemouth.
The forward has been heavily linked with a move away from the club, with Hodgson anticipated another transfer saga this summer.
“I think we’d be very foolish to relax and start thinking there will be no bids for Wilf Zaha, no big-money interest in him, because he’s such a good player,” he said.
Regardless, Palace fans will be happy to see their talisman on the team sheet.
Neymar looking to create history with PSG
Brazilian forward Neymar is looking to create history by winning the Champions League with Paris Saint-German.
PSG have already been crowned Ligue 1 champions this season following the division’s early conclusion due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The French giants will return to action in August in the Champions League, however, and Neymar insists he cannot wait to get back on to the pitch.
“This period was atypical, but the main focus was to keep safe, with steady body and mind,” Neymar said on his official website.
“I am ready and excited to return, thinking a lot about the Champions League, of course. We have a strong group, conquered a historical qualification, with the same intensity and dedication, but I miss the heat of the game.
“I can barely wait to enter the pitch and to, if it’s God’s will, make history.”
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Everton pushing for Dagaba
Carlo Ancelotti is desparate to sign Paris Saint-Germain right-back Colin Dagba, Le10Sport report.
The Italian veteran is reportedly a long-term admirer of the defender, who has made a name for himself with the Ligue 1 champions.
The 21-year-old made 15 appearances for PSG this season and will look to assist his team in the Champions League when it resumes in August.
MAN CITY NEWS
Sane will not leave on the cheap
Manchester City have accepted Leroy Sane will not sign a contract extension, but will not let him leave the club unless their valuation is met, report the Daily Telegraph.
Pep Guardiola has revealed the 24-year-old will leave this summer if an agreement with a buyer can be met after the winger refused to sign a new contract.
Bayern Munich, who are long-term admirers of the German forward – are heavily linked with Sane.
Meunier and Cavani both reject PSG extensions
Thomas Meunier and Ederson Cavani are to leave Paris Saint-Germain at the end of June after both opting against signing contract extensions, according to RMC.
The French first division has already been brought to an end, with PSG crowned champions, but they still have the Champions League to compete in.
Neither Meunier or Cavani will partake in the compeition, however, with the former pushing towards a move to Borussia Dortmund.
MAN CITY NEWS
Man City in talks with Bailey
Manchester City have held talks with Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey, according to The Express.
Pep Guardiola reportedly views the 22-year-old as a like-to-like replacement for Leroy Sane, who is expected to leave the club this summer.
Bailey is reportedly keen to work with Guardiola, though Leverkusen are demanding no less than £40million for the Jamaican.
The Daily Mail report Chelsea and Manchester United are also watching over the situation.
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Juve interested in Jimenez
Italian giants Juventus are interested in signing in-demand Wolves forward Raul Jimenez this summer, report Calciomercato.
Juventus missed out on a move for Mauro Icardi, and have been frustrated in their attempts to sign Napoli’s Arek Milik, now instead turning their attention to Jimenez.
Wolves are desperate to keep hold of the 29-year-old forward, however, and would demand at least £54million for their talisman, who has also caught the interest of Manchester United.
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Richarlison turned down Man Utd and Barca
Everton forward Richarlison has revealed he rejected an offer from Manchester United in January.
The Brazilian has scored 12 goals in 32 appearances for Everton this season, with the club also turning down a £85million move approach from Barcelona.
Speaking to Youtube channel Desimpedidos, Richarlison said: “Several offers arrived in the middle of the season, from Barcelona, from Manchester, then the club decided to hold on and I also didn’t want to leave the team in the middle of the season, it’s bad to let the teammates down.
“Of course, it is a balance, Barcelona is one of the biggest clubs in the world, but I think the happiness part weighs a little.”
Arsenal want to off-load Ozil
Mesut Ozil remains hopeful he can see out the final year of his contract at Arsenal, but the club are looking to sell the midfielder, according to ESPN.
With the German on a reported £350,000-per-week, Arsenal are looking to reduce their expenditure following the financial impcats of the coronavirus pandemic.
Ozil was not included in Arsenal’s squad as they resumed their Premier League campaign with a 3-0 loss against Manchester City.
He has been named on the bench as Arsenal face Brighton this afternoon, however.
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North London battle for Ferguson
London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal are both interested in signing West Brom defender Nathan Ferguson, according to Birmingham Mail.
The 19-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and attracted an abundance of interest after a first half of the season in the Championship.
The defender was reportedly set to sign for Crystal Palace in an £11million deal in January, but a deal fell through after a surgery-requiring knee issue was discovered in the medical.
‘I’d take Ings over Aubameyang’
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looked disinterested against Manchester City, says Tony Cascarino, who insists Danny Ings would be a better choice for Arsenal.
Ings scored his 16th Premier League goal of the season as Southampton beat Norwich 3-0 on Saturday.
“When you look at Aubameyang’s numbers, they’re extraordinary,” Cascarino told TalkSport.
“But when you compare him to a player like Roberto Firmino for Liverpool, has hasn’t got the goals say the likes of Luis Suarez and Fernando Torres did, but he does far more for the team.”
“This year he’s got one more Premier League goal than Danny Ings, but Ings has given a lot more to Southampton, as we saw last night [against Norwich],” he added.
“His commitment to the team, he has a desire that drives the other players around him and makes them a better side.
“That’s one of the problems I see for Arteta, with players likes Aubemeyang and Ozil. So, if I had a choice, I’d take Ings over Aubameyang.’
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When does the 2020 summer transfer window open?
The Premier League’s chief executive, Richard Masters, has confirmed that the window is not set to open until the end of the season.
The campaign is currently scheduled to finish on Sunday July 26th, though the FA Cup Final will be held on August 1.
Therefore, August 2 seems a likely date for the window to open, though Masters admitted there is not yet a plan for how long it would go on for – especially with no dates yet confirmed for the 2020/21 season.
A summer transfer window usually lasts at least 12 weeks. Recent reports suggest Fifa will allow leagues to open their windows up to four weeks before the culmination of the season.
Players can be officially registered with their new clubs when the Fifa international window opens on July 1 – such as Hakim Ziyech with Chelsea – though Fifa guidelines suggest players joining in July will not be able to play for their new clubs during the current 2019/20 season.
From January 1 onwards, Premier League players with six months left on their contract have been able to negotiate and agree pre-contract deals with foreign clubs.
Some players have signed short-term deals with their clubs to finish the current season, but there is no obligation for players to do so. However, they will not be able to play for a new team this season even if they become a free agent due to Fifa regulations on registrations.