The summer transfer window is approaching, and there’s a lot of gossip swirling about who’s going where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, whereabouts and, of course, deals!
TOP STORY: Xavi tells Pique his time with Barcelona is over
Xavi Hernandez would have met Gerard pricks and told the centre-back he won’t be called up to Barcelona next season, according to a report by Diario Sport.
Although the manager wouldn’t question Pique’s ability, he cited physical issues and unprofessional behavior as reasons for the decision, the report states. The main issue is that Xavi says Pique doesn’t focus on football due to his multiple ventures and off-pitch controversies.
Pique was reportedly told that the best course would be to leave in the most dignified way possible, which would mean giving up a large chunk of the estimated €40m the clubs owe him.
Despite being told he won’t get many minutes, Pique reportedly refused to accept it and insisted he would train harder than ever, a plan that includes giving up his commitments outside of football.
Diario Sport report also mentions that Xavi sees Sevilla Jules Kounde as the man to come in and play at centre-back, which the outlet also reported. Chelsea are also interested in the Frenchman, whose contract could be worth up to €60m, but the hope is that Barcelona can afford to bring him in when he reduces his wage bill.
Despite Andreas Christensen entering and Eric Garcia Being in the squad as well, Xavi reportedly dreams of a partnership consisting of Kounde and Ronald Araujo.
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08.43 BST: Gareth Bale didn’t rule out the prospect of joining a club outside Europe’s top divisions in order to gain playing time ahead of the World Cup.
The Wales international has been his national team’s star player for the past decade and played a big part in helping them reach this winter’s final in Qatar as well as their route to the Euro semi-finals 2016.
Bale is out of contract this summer after nine years at Real Madrid and has been linked with a move to his hometown club Cardiff City, who play in the Championship.
“I haven’t really thought about it at the moment,” he told a press conference ahead of Tuesday’s Nations League game against the Netherlands. “It’s something that I have to sit down and go through, not just with my family but with the manager here, the physios here that we use, to see what would give me the best chance of being fit in November and december.
“I don’t really know if the standard makes too much of a difference, to be honest. Football games are football games. I feel like I’ll never really lose my quality on the ball, so I guess it’s a conversation to have.”
However, he admitted joining the right club, where he would get plenty of playing time, was key.
“It’s going to be extremely important,” he said. “I have to make sure that I’m playing games and that I’m as fit as possible. For example, coming into this camp now, I wasn’t in shape at all, I didn’t have much time sometimes I’m able to get away with it, but ideally I want to be in a World Cup playing games and be as fit as possible and be able to be as efficient as possible for as long as possible .”
08:00 BST: Harry Kane said the additions of Erling Haaland and Darwin Nunez in the Premier League will push him to become a better player next season.
Manchester City officially announced the €60m signing of Haaland from Borussia Dortmund on Monday, just hours after Benfica announced an agreement had been reached with Liverpool to sign Nunez.
Kane had wanted to leave Spurs last summer to join eventual Premier League champions City, but Spurs chairman Daniel Levy brushed off any interest from Pep Guardiola’s side, who opted not to match the valuation of £150m (€175m) from Spurs. The 28-year-old is now expected to stay in north London as head coach Antonio Conte aims to turn Spurs into Premier League title contenders.
Kane has won the Golden Boot as the division’s top scorer in three of the past seven years, but last season he finished behind Spurs team-mate Heung-Min Son, who was level with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah for the price with 23 goals.
Asked on Monday whether Haaland and Nunez’s arrival in England would make it harder to top the goalscoring charts, Kane told a press conference: “The battle for the Golden Boot is always tough. Premier League has produced some of the best strikers in the world for a number of years now.
“You expect the best strikers to want to play in the Premier League and with these two new signings that will be the case. It helps. It helps me as a player to have good competition, it pushes me to m ‘improve and get So, of course, I look forward to the challenge.
“I try to focus on myself to start with. In any season I have things I want to achieve and goals I want to achieve. I try not to focus too much on other people players in this aspect.
“I can’t control what they do but what I’m going to do is keep working hard, improve and after this game have a nice break. But then look forward to what will be a tough pre-season, I’m sure, and get ready for the new season like I’ve been doing for seven, eight years now.”
– RB Leipzig have set a price tag of £100million for Christophe Nkunkuthe services of as they aim to keep the Frenchman, report The Independent, who add that the 24-year-old wants to stay put for another season. It comes with Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain all having looked into the possibility of signing him this summer.
– With Kalidou Koulibaly, Juventus hopes to sign Fabien Ruiz from Napoli this summer, according to Tuttosport. The defender and midfielder both have contracts that end in the summer of 2023, although a move for the Spaniard in this transfer window could hinge on whether he arthur leaves, after being disappointed during I Bianconeri.
– With Marcos Alonso being heavily linked with a move to Barcelona, The Sun have reported that Chelsea are considering a move for the Wolverhampton Wanderers full-back Rayan Ait-Nouri. It is believed to be able to provide good competition and coverage for Ben Chilwellwho missed much of the 2021-22 season with a cruciate ligament injury.
– Have obtained the return of Alexandre LacazetteOlympique Lyonnais is now seeking to provide Corentin Tolisso back from Bayern Munich, and Foot Mercato reported that things were progressing positively. The midfielder is ready to listen to Lyon’s offers and could be given a try despite the Ligue 1 outfit being out of European football in the upcoming season.
– AZ Alkmaar’s Owen Wijndal is Juventus’ priority in their search for a left-back in the summer transfer window, according to Calciomercato, who also mentioned Udinese Destiny Udogy and that of Hoffenheim David Raum as options. The Eredivisie side don’t want to drop their valuation below €15m, while Juventus have so far offered just over €10m with the add-ons included.