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Chelsea in talks with Barcelona over Coutinho

The winter transfer window is closed, but now it’s time to look ahead to the summer! Here are the new rumours floating around Europe’s big leagues and beyond.

TOP STORY: Chelsea in talks with Barcelona over Coutinho

Barcelona want to sell Philippe Coutinho, just over two years after spending €160m to sign him from Liverpool, but Sport reckons they will accept half that fee now and that Chelsea are interested.

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Coutinho, 27, is on loan at Bayern Munich for the season and the German champions have a €120m option in his contract, which they reportedly won’t take up.

Tottenham and Manchester United have been linked with the Brazilian playmaker in the past, alongside the less-likely Arsenal and Leicester, but Chelsea have been in touch with his agent Kia Joorabchian and are “in negotiations” over a transfer.

Coutinho may have had doubts about joining another Premier League club in the past, but he’s now at the point where he just wants to move on from his Barcelona nightmare and a bid of €80m could see that dream come true.

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10.45 BST: ESPN brought you news last week that Manchester United are prepared to make a renewed bid to sign Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt this summer, but now his future father-in-law Keje Molenaar has poured cold water on the Premier League club’s hopes.

“It’s just rumours, that’s all, there’s nothing more to say about it,” he told Tuttojuve. “Matthijs doesn’t regret having chosen Juve at all, he and Annekee [De Ligt’s fiancee] are really enjoying themselves in Turin and maybe they can spend some more time in Italy.”

09.52 BST: He’s been linked with Manchester United and Tottenham in the past but West Brom youngster Nathan Ferguson could be set to join Crystal Palace.

Ferguson, 19, had been set to move for £12m in January before a knee issue was raised in his medical. Now his contract is set to expire in the summer, The Express & Star says that Palace will return to complete the deal.

09.00 BST: Real Madrid attacker Cesar Gelabert is attracting interest from Arsenal, says AS.

Gelabert, 19, has yet to make his debut for the first-team but is a Spain U19 international and has a contract which ends in the summer.

Lyon and Borussia Dortmund are also keen on the versatile forward, but Gunners boss Mikel Arteta is reportedly confident he can land the teenager.

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PAPER TALK (by Harry Kettle)

Martinez to shock Bayern, return to Bilbao

Javi Martinez has been linked with a return to Athletic Bilbao in the summer, Sky Sport Germany reports.

The popular defensive midfielder has been with Bayern Munich since back in 2012 when he made the jump over from Bilbao, a club with whom he made over 200 appearances. While he’s enjoyed his time in Munich, it appears as if change could soon be on the cards for the 31-year-old.

Bilbao are considered to be amongst the frontrunners for his signature alongside Getafe, but a lot could depend on European qualification if the season is able to conclude in the next few months.

Spanish clubs want Ceballos

Valencia and Real Betis are both keeping an eye on the progress of Dani Ceballos, Marca reports.

The midfielder is currently on loan with Premier League side Arsenal from Real Madrid, but he is set to return to the Santiago Bernabeu at the conclusion of the current campaign — whenever that may be.

Valencia were close to getting a deal over the finish line for Ceballos, but Madrid’s insistence on not wanting to sell him to a rival put a stop to those plans. On the other hand, a return to former club Real Betis could be a valid option for Ceballos as he continues to try and pursue more first team opportunities away from the European giants.

AC Milan interested in Ajer

AC Milan are set to pursue the signing of Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer, Calciomercato reports.

The youngster has thrived since arriving in Glasgow, to the point where he’s attracting a great deal of attention from a string of top European clubs. Milan are at the forefront of that list, with their scouts reportedly holding him in great esteem.

He has two years remaining on his current contract, but the change in the market over the course of the next few months could open the door for Milan to swoop in and get a deal done.

Tap-ins

– Manchester United youngster Angel Gomes has hinted that he could end up staying at Old Trafford despite rumors linking him with a move away, the Mirror reports. The Red Devils have been attempting to lock Gomes down to a long-term deal, and while Chelsea are still hopeful that they could make something happen, the teenage sensation appears to be ready to commit to United.

The Mirror is reporting that Arthur Melo is set to stay at Barcelona and become a big part of the club’s future plans. The Spanish giants are willing to listen to offers for Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic, but when it comes to Melo, Barca have knocked back any potential interest from a series of clubs as they attempt to cement his position as a consistent member of the first team.

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