LIVE Transfer Talk – Barcelona turn to Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku to solve forward dilemma

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, business done!

TOP STORY: Barcelona turn to Lukaku

Barcelona target Chelsea Romelu Lukaku as signing a striker remains the LaLiga club’s biggest priority for the summer transfer window, according to Brand.

of Borussia Dortmund Erling Haaland and that of Bayern Munich Robert Lewandowski were originally Barca’s preferred options, but deals for the Bundesliga leaders have looked increasingly difficult to complete.

That’s where Lukaku comes in, with the Belgium international currently unhappy at Chelsea.

Having appeared set to leave Stamford Bridge during the winter window, the 28-year-old is set to leave this summer with various clubs interested in signing him.

Lukaku’s 12 goals in all competitions for the Blues this season is hardly representative of his best, after the Belgian managed 64 goals in 95 games in two seasons with Internazionale.

Barcelona officials Mateu Alemany and Jordi Cruyff have already met Federico Pastorello, Lukaku’s representative, over a possible move, although it looks like that deal could also be complicated.

Chelsea paid a hefty fee for Lukaku, which Barcelona wouldn’t be able to replicate.

To date, there has been no concrete move for Lukaku, but both parties are aware of the situation and are waiting to see what happens with Chelsea ownership, as well as what the potential new owners have to say. intend to do with the agitator.

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12:23 BST: Mauricio Pochettino has not yet been informed by Paris Saint-Germain that he will be sacked at the end of the season, sources have told ESPN’s Julien Laurens, but he is expected to leave this summer.

Sources added that Pochettino’s days in Paris are numbered and talks of his exit have been taking place recently. Zinedine Zidane is the club’s No.1 choice to replace Pochettino, while Tottenham manager Antonio Conte is also said to be keen on the job.

Pochettino is preparing as usual for PSG’s game in Strasbourg this weekend, with the club crowned Ligue 1 champions for the 10th time in their history. But the former Spurs boss risks paying the price for a disappointing season in the French capital. PSG may have won the league at a gallop, but their humiliating exit at the hands of Real Madrid in the Champions League has weakened Pochettino’s position at the club.

Pochettino was defiant in his pre-match press conference on Thursday, when he insisted he was ‘100 per cent’ sure he and Kylian Mbappe will remain with the club next season.

“One hundred percent either way. Today,” he said. “That’s exactly how I feel today, what I can see and what I can tell you,” he added when asked if he had spoken to Mbappe about a new contract. “I can’t say anything else because that’s really how I feel and see. It’s football, you never know what can happen. But I have to answer your question based on how I feel today and that’s how I feel.”

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11:32 BST: Arsenal are ready to let the club record sign Nicolas Pepe join another Premier League club this summer, the Daily Express reports.

Pepe, 26, signed from Lille for £72m in the summer of 2019 but struggled to meet that fee for much of his time in England.

The Ivory Coast international has started just five Premier League appearances this season and has scored just three goals this season.

The Express reports that Arsenal would be willing to let Pepe move for as little as £25million, with London rivals West Ham being one of the clubs interested in a deal.

10:44 a.m. BST: Ralf Rangnick has said he will urge Manchester United to sign younger players in the future rather than focusing on signing established star names.

The 63-year-old – who was named Austria’s new head coach on Friday and signed a contract until 2024 – will advise on recruitment and said his preference would be for United to target young players while still moving away from a philosophy that has seen the club spend big on Angel Di Maria, Alexis Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba.

“My opinion is that the club should try to find better future players and try to develop them,” Rangnick said. “We just need to look at the other top clubs in England and also other countries in Europe and what players have they signed in the past and you get the answer.

“Obviously the club and the team need new players. Some players don’t have a contract and some might want more playing time and are already on loan. new players. You need mentality, quality, physique and skill – the complete package.”

09:51 BST: Wolves prepare for the afterlife Ruben Neves as they have canvassed agents and contacts to replace the midfielder, sources have told ESPN’s Tom Hamilton and Rob Dawson.

Clubs have sent wanted lists to top agents, and Wolves’ list includes a replacement for their 25-year-old midfielder. Manchester United have been offered the chance to bid for Neves, according to ESPN sources, but LaLiga and other Premier League clubs are also very interested.

Wolves are also in the running for a striker this summer but finding someone to step into Neves’ shoes is high on their list. ESPN sources say there is a desire on the part of Neves and agent Jorge Mendes to move the player this summer.

Neves had been linked with moves to Barcelona and Arsenal but has stayed put this season under Bruno Lage. He made 28 Premier League appearances, contributing four goals and two assists.

He has been out since mid-March with a knee injury and is under contract with Wolves until 2024.

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09:00 BST: Barcelona Ronald Araujo told ESPN money was not the most important factor after confirming he rejected more lucrative offers from Premier League clubs before signing a new deal with the Blaugrana this week.

Araujo, 23, signed a contract extension on Friday that will keep him at Camp Nou until 2026, with his release clause standing at 1 billion euros. The defender’s previous terms were set to expire in 2023 and ESPN previously revealed that Manchester United and Liverpool are ready to improve Barca’s proposal.

Speaking to ESPN, Araujo said his first choice was still to stay at Barca, who he joined in 2018 despite having money available elsewhere.

“I’m really happy and I’m convinced that staying is the right decision because there are some great years ahead of the club,” said the Uruguayan. “I was always certain that I wanted to stay. There were big offers from abroad, but I’m happy at Barcelona. My family loves it here and the fans and my team-mates have always made me feel at home.

“I am grateful for the effort the club has made. We all gave a little bit to reach an agreement, which is what we all wanted.

“[The Premier League interest] didn’t distract me at all. I was convinced of what I wanted. It is true that money is a factor, but for me it is not the most important. I’m happy at Barcelona.”

PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)

– AC Milan show interest in making ambitious move to sign RB Leipzig Christophe Nkunku during the summer, reports Calciomercato. The Frenchman is wanted by some of Europe’s biggest clubs and although it’s only an idea for Milan at the moment, they would be very keen to bring in the man who has contributed an incredible 30 goals and 20 assists in 47 appearances across all competitions this term. Nkunku’s transfer would cost at least 60 million euros.

– Real Madrid are one of many clubs who have approached the right-back from Chelsea Reece James about a possible summer move, says Goal. James is under contract until 2025 and Chelsea will do everything to keep him, while Real Madrid’s priority remains securing the Paris Saint-Germain talisman. Kylian Mbappe joins them.

– Chelsea are considering paying the release clause for the Villarreal centre-back Paul Torresaccording to Ekrem Konour. The Blues are looking to bring in reinforcements at the back with Antonio Rudiger set to leave for Real Madrid, and Torres has been a key man in Villarreal’s commendable Champions League campaign this season.

– TSG Hoffenheim hope to sign Karlsruher striker Philip Hofmann as a free agent when his contract ends in the summer, reports Kicker. It’s believed that his heading ability would make him the perfect addition, but it’s far from certain the 29-year-old will join them as he could be set to go to VfL Bochum instead.

– Wolverhampton Wanderers and Celtic are both hoping to sign goalkeeper Bodo/Glimt Nikita Haikyn during the summer, reports Football Insider. The 26-year-old impressed during the Norwegian champions’ run to the Europa Conference League quarter-finals, who are ready to accept £500,000 due to his contract expiring in December.


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