The summer transfer window is into its final month for the major European leagues, which means the biggest clubs are looking to make a splash in the market before the new season begins. Check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.
TOP STORY: Barca eye Arsenal’s star duo
Barcelona are continuing their rebuild after losing Lionel Messi to Paris Saint-Germain, with reports claiming the Catalan club are monitoring Arsenal duo Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Sport says that both players are on the radar of Ronald Koeman after the Barca manager announced that he would like to sign a striker before the window closes.
The report says Arsenal have offered both forwards to Barcelona, with the Gunners keen on reducing their wage bill. The two stars currently earn a combined £420,000-a-week on their base salaries alone, while Lacazette has just one year remaining on his deal.
Whether the deal progresses hinges on the status of Martin Braithwaite, who the Blaugrana are keen to move on before giving the green light to advance talks for the Premier League stars.
However, the Denmark international may have made his case to stay at Camp Nou after he scored in Barcelona’s 4-2 victory over Real Sociedad on the opening day of the LaLiga season (stream a replay on ESPN+ in the U.S.)
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16.01 BST: USWNT legend Carli Lloyd has announced her retirement.
Lloyd, 39, is the second-most capped player in history (312, behind only Kristine Lilly on 354) and scorer of 128 international goals.
A statement read: “U.S. Soccer will soon announce four fall friendly matches for the USWNT – two in September and two in October – which will serve as Lloyd’s final games in a U.S. uniform. Lloyd will also play the remainder of the National Women’s Soccer League season with NJ/NY Gotham FC before also calling time on her professional club career, which has spanned 12 years and six teams. Lloyd will also play the remainder of the National Women’s Soccer League season with NJ/NY Gotham FC before also calling time on her professional club career, which has spanned 12 years and six teams.”
Lloyd said: “When I first started out with the National Team in 2005, my two main goals were to be the most complete soccer player I could be and to help the team win championships. Every single day I stepped out onto the field, I played as if it was my last game. I never wanted to take anything for granted, especially knowing how hard it is to get to the top, but even harder to stay at the top for so long.
“I would like to thank U.S. Soccer for helping to provide the opportunities and memories that will last a lifetime. I am forever grateful to have represented the crest and to be able to play for my country for the last 17 years. I will continue to support and cheer this team on and continue to find ways to help grow the game and inspire the next generation.
15.30 BST: Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham has reportedly agreed to join Jose Mourinho’s Roma in a deal worth €40m.
Gab Marcotti and Julien Laurens discuss Tammy Abraham’s proposed transfer from Chelsea to Jose Mourinho’s Roma.
14.47 BST: Christian Pulisic has said he is “excited” to play alongside new Chelsea signing Romelu Lukaku after the striker completed his move from Inter Milan.
Lukaku re-joined the Champions League holders for a second time for a fee of €115m last week.
The Belgium international is expected to make his Chelsea debut at Arsenal in the Premier League clash on Sunday and Pulisic said his arrival is a massive boost for the club.
“Lukaku’s a great striker,” he told the club’s website. “He plays really good with his back to goal, holding the ball, and he’s a great goalscorer, so I’m very excited to play with him. It’s going to be exciting times. We have a very good team with a lot of depth and it’s a really exciting team. When you have a bunch of good players it’s never a bad thing so we’re really excited to see how this year goes.”
14.33 BST: Mara Gomez, the first transgender footballer to play in Argentina’s professional women’s league, has joined Estudiantes de la Plata for the new season, leaving Villa San Carlos, the club that first gave her a pro contract.
Gomez, 24, made history in December 2020 when she made her debut in the Primera Division against Lanus, and is one of very few out trans players in professional football, or indeed any sports league.
– Mara Gomez in her own words – ‘Football saved my life’
Gomez, who also qualified as a nurse this month in a double career boost, posted on her Instagram about the move to her new club, writing: “Today I can say I’m happy. The joy of being in a very beautiful environment, where I can laugh and enjoy again this beautiful sport football that you know is half of me, it’s what keeps me walking through life. Today I’m part of the Pincha family, of a big club such as @edelpoficial @edelpfutbolfeme, the club of my dear city La Plata.”
14.21 BST: Barcelona president Joan Laporta has revealed that the club’s debt now totals €1.35 billion — while defending his management from criticism by predecessor Jose Maria Bartomeu, describing an open letter published by Bartomeu last week as “full of lies.”
Laporta — who took over at Barca in March after winning elections which followed Bartomeu’s resignation in October 2020 — has had to deal with a series of off-the-pitch crises as the club has struggled with financial problems worsened by the coronavirus pandemic.
“As of March 21, 2021, the debt was €1.35bn,” Laporta said in a news conference on Monday. “Bartomeu was plugging holes in the short term and mortgaging the club in the long term. That leaves us a dramatic inheritance.
“To the initial debt of €617m you have to add €389m on players, €90m in litigation, €79m in advance television rights and €56m from the ‘Espai Barca’ project. In total, it’s €1.35bn.”
Lionel Messi joined Paris Saint-Germain last week — in a move Laporta described as “sad, but necessary” — after Barca were unable to register a new contract for the forward within the club’s strict LaLiga imposed salary cap.
Only Gerard Pique‘s acceptance of a last-minute pay cut allowed Barca to field new signings Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia in the league this weekend.
13.50 BST: Football.London reports that Granit Xhaka has signed a new contract with Arsenal until 2025.
Xhaka, 28, almost left the club this summer for Roma before the deal collapsed. And now the Gunners have seemingly offered him new terms to stay.
13.33 BST: Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic has been the subject of a €60m bid from Atletico Madrid, says Sky Italia.
Vlahovic, 21, has been linked with Tottenham and Juventus, after scoring 21 goals in 40 games last season.
The Serbia international has two years left on his contract and could move on this summer, but Atletico’s bid has reportedly been rejected.
13.08 BST: Swansea City have completed the signing of 20-year-old defender Ethan Laird on loan from Manchester United.
13.04 BST: Arsenal’s hopes of being able to sign Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid have been given a boost, says ABC.
Odegaard, 22, spent last season at the club on loan but had hoped to be given a chance in the Madrid first team this season.
The Norway international wasn’t in the squad for the LaLiga opener on Saturday against Alaves (stream a replay live on ESPN+), and could now move on.
The report states that Real Madrid are willing let Odegaard go for €40m and €10m in potential add-ons. But it is reported, however, Arsenal will only pay €30m.
12.44 BST: Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has extended his contract with Real Madrid until June 2026.
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) August 16, 2021
12.01 BST: Manchester City are pushing ahead with their bid to sign Harry Kane despite continued denials from Tottenham that they are prepared to listen to offers for the striker, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.
City have just over two weeks to complete the deal before the transfer window shuts on Aug. 31 and there are plans to test Spurs’ resolve to keep the England captain.
Tottenham value Kane, who has three years left on his contract, at more than £150m and although privately City have suggested they will not meet the asking price, sources have told ESPN they would be willing to break the British transfer record for a second time this summer after already paying £100m to sign Jack Grealish from Aston Villa.
They could go as high as £120m plus add-ons for Kane but there has so far been little encouragement from Spurs that an offer in that region would be accepted.
City believe they can raise more than £50m through the departures of fringe players including 19-year-old winger Morgan Rogers and still expect one established first team squad member to depart.
10.51 BST: Real Madrid’s bid to sign PSG striker Kylian Mbappe this summer has reached “the final stretch,” according to Marca.
The newspaper claims that the transfer saga “enters its decisive phase” this week, pointing to Paris Saint-Germain’s signing of Lionel Messi, the French club’s “obligation in the medium term to lower its wage bill” and the whistles from PSG fans for Mbappe when the team were presented this weekend.
The France forward has been a long-term target for Madrid and president Florentino Perez, but Marca says that “unlike in previous summers, Madrid don’t have their arms crossed. They’ll go for the player.”
Madrid are waiting for the moment of “maximum tension” between PSG and Mbappe before making a move, and “have the financial muscle” to make the signing, the newspaper claims.
A likely bid of around €120m has been reported in the Spanish media in recent days, although it remains to be seen if PSG would entertain such an offer.
So far this summer, Madrid have only brought in David Alaba on a free transfer to strengthen the squad.
10.30 BST: Surely Man United will do everything they can to keep Paul Pogba on this form?
Shaka Hislop praises the performance of Man United’s Paul Pogba after the midfielder registered four assists.
09.41 BST: The Athletic claims that Manchester City are watching Solihull Moors striker Kyle Hudlin.
Hudlin, 21, is 6-foot-9 and the tallest outfield professional player in Britain. He scored nine goals in the National League for Moors last season.
City are looking for a new striker to replace Sergio Aguero and have been linked with Tottenham’s Harry Kane, though it’s understood that if Hudlin were to be signed then he would be loaned out to gain more experience. The Premier League champions reportedly face competition from Championship sides Middlesbrough and Cardiff City for his signature.
09.20 BST: Everton are preparing a €2m bid to sign Schalke youngster Matthew Hoppe, says Ekrem Konur.
Hoppe, 20, netted six goals in 22 Bundesliga games for the club last season before they were relegated.
The United States international striker only made his first-team debut in November last year but has attracted the attention of the Premier League club.
08.47 BST: The Athletic reports “Hector Bellerin is determined to leave Arsenal this summer and is understood to be growing extremely frustrated at what he perceives to be a reluctance from the club to sanction his exit.”
Bellerin, 26, has two years left on his contract but has reportedly agreed with the club to part ways this summer.
Inter Milan had been linked but recently signed Denzel Dumfries, while swap deals for Barcelona’s 22-year-old full-back Emerson Royal and Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier have been mooted.
08.30 BST: ICYMI – Former Atletico Madrid and Chelsea striker Diego Costa has signed for Atletico Mineiro, the Brazilian club said on Saturday, with the Spain international set to return to action after eight months.
Costa had been without a club since December following his departure from Atletico Madrid after the LaLiga champions agreed to the Brazil-born player’s request to rescind his contract.
It was his second spell at Atletico Madrid, having earlier played for the club from 2010-14.
Harry Kane will likely not start vs. Manchester City as Tottenham and Kane seem close to parting ways.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)
– The Daily Telegraph writes that Tottenham Hotspur are looking at striker Patrick Bamford as a potential recruit before the close of the summer transfer window. Nuno Espirito Santo’s side kicked off their Premier League campaign with a 1-0 win over Manchester City, but the future of Harry Kane remains unclear amid interest from the champions. Leeds United are keen for Bamford to commit his future at Elland Road and are reportedly working on a new contract to dissuade interest from Spurs.
– Juventus are ready to make their move for Miralem Pjanic, according to Calciomercato. The Old Lady have been linked with the Barcelona star since it was announced that the LaLiga club were interested in moving on a number of players to lower their wage budget. It is reported that the Catalan club would be prepared to pay 20% of the midfielder’s salary to help get the move over the line which has seen Juventus step up their pursuit of the Bosnia & Herzegovina international.
– Burnley are looking to add reinforcements to their starting XI with the Premier League club set to battle Hertha Berlin for Maxwel Cornet. The Sun writes that Sean Dyche is keen to add pace to his side, and the Lyon winger would be available for around £15m. The 24-year-old can play on both flanks and has also been utilised at left-back, but was sent off in Lyon’s opening Ligue 1 clash against Angers.
– A Metz star is beginning to attract European giants from the Premier League, with three clubs fighting for Pape Sarr. Football Insider writes that Manchester United, Chelsea, and Manchester City are engaging in a three-way tug-of-war for the signature of the highly-rated 18-year-old. A deal is rumoured to cost in the region of £28m, but the interest in the Senegal international could push the fee up.
– Crystal Palace are looking at Watford’s Will Hughes as a potential signing after suffering a 3-0 defeat against Chelsea on the opening day of the Premier League. Journalist Ekrem Konur says Patrick Vieira’s side are negotiating personal terms with the 26-year-old who recently turned down a contract offer at Watford. Hughes played a significant part in Watford’s promotion campaign last season, making 30 appearances in the league.