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Transfer Talk: Ilkay Gundogan weighs Barcelona and Juventus

The summer transfer window is approaching, and there’s plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings and goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Gundogan eyes Barcelona and Juventus

Barcelona and Juventus have emerged as frontrunners in the race to sign midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, and they now look to be his preferred two options if he leaves Manchester City this summer, according to a report from Bild.

Gundogan, 31, has a contract at the Etihad Stadium which is set to enter its final year at the end of the month, but he isn’t prepared to sign a new deal without assurances from manager Pep Guardiola that he will feature regularly for the Premier League champions.

The Germany international wants to ensure that he has a starting role with one eye on the 2022 World Cup later this year, and is reported to be aware of the interest from the two European heavyweights.

Should his place at City look uncertain after Guardiola finalises his squad reinforcements, Gundogan could look to engineer a move away from the club this summer.

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10.05 BST: Chelsea have signed Olympique Lyonnais and Canada centre-back Kadeisha Buchanan on a three-year deal ahead of the 2022-23 season.

Buchanan, 26, has won five Champions League titles at Lyon, as well as eight domestic trophies including the Coupe de France three times and the French league title five times. She will wear the No. 26 shirt made famous by Chelsea men’s captain John Terry.

“I am coming to Chelsea with the same ambition I always had — win trophies and become the best in the world,” she said. “The club has everything in order for us to compete in every competition and it’s time to bring a champions league trophy to London.

“I’m hoping to bring my experience to the team and continue on the successful pathway that the club has been on for the past seasons. I can’t wait to join my new teammates and the coaching staff on this journey.”

09.51 BST: Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva says he can’t speak about speculation linking him with a move to Barcelona this summer.

Silva, 27, wanted to leave City last year but ended up staying and was named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year this week. However, the Portugal international continues to be linked with a transfer and the rumours increased this week when his agent, Jorge Mendes, met with Barca president Joan Laporta.

“Unfortunately I can’t say anything,” Silva told reporters after Portugal’s 2-0 UEFA Nations League win over Czech Republic on Thursday. “I am focused on the national team. When the season ends, we will see what happens.”

Pep Guardiola said recently it would be “very difficult” for Barca to sign Silva, while the Catalan club’s financial situation would further complicate any move for the former Monaco player.

Mundo Deportivo reported earlier this week than any transfer is dependent on Barca first moving on Frenkie de Jong, who is drawing interest from Manchester United at around €80m.

Diario Sport reported on Thursday, following up on a story in The Athletic, that the De Jong has finally given the green light to a move away from Camp Nou despite his initial desire to stay.

09.10 BST: Liverpool are in advanced talks with Benfica over the signing of Darwin Nunez, sources have told ESPN.

Nunez, 22, is set to break Liverpool’s transfer record, with the deal expected to be worth around €80m plus €20m in add-ons. The agreement between the clubs has yet to be completed but talks are progressing well.

Benfica were initially only willing to negotiate Nunez’s departure for around €130m.

08.48 BST: Fenerbahce have registered an interest in Andreas Pereira but the Manchester United midfielder has also been told he will be given an opportunity to impress new manager Erik ten Hag during the summer tour of Thailand and Australia, sources have told ESPN.

Pereira spent last season on loan at Flamengo but a permanent move to the Brazilian side has all but collapsed.

Ten Hag has indicated to Pereira that he will be part of the first-team squad during preseason and is set to be given opportunities in friendlies against Liverpool, Melbourne Victory, Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Atletico Madrid.

Sources have told ESPN that the 26-year-old’s future remains up in the air and he hasn’t ruled out a move away from Old Trafford if it represents a better chance of playing regular football.

08.17 BST: Barcelona will up their offer to keep Gavi at the club as they look to end speculation about the midfielder’s Camp Nou future, sources have told ESPN.

Barca will make “a big financial effort,” one club source said, to come to an agreement with Gavi’s agent, former midfielder Ivan de la Pena. They have drawn up a contract that will run until 2027 and include a €1bn release clause.

The two parties are looking for a date to sit down and close the issue once and for all. Sources on both sides of the talks are optimistic an extension will be agreed soon, with the player’s deal due to expire in summer 2023.

Gavi, 17, has had a breakout season for club and country, but Spain coach Luis Enrique suggested last week that “he remains unknown even to those close to him” in what was taken to be a dig at Barca as they dragged their heels during contract negotiations.

08.00 BST: Erik ten Hag has prioritised the signing of a central midfielder as the first step in his rebuilding programme as Manchester United manager, sources have told ESPN, with the club focusing on that position rather than engaging in a battle with Liverpool for Benfica forward Darwin Nunez.

Ralf Rangnick, in his role as interim manager at United during the second half of last season, said that the addition of a proven goalscorer to the squad this summer should be a key area of recruitment due to the departure of out of contract Edinson Cavani and the risks of relying on 37-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo for the bulk of the team’s goals.

But although Ten Hag wants United to boost their goalscoring output next season after ending the Premier League season with just 57 goals in 38 games, sources have said that the former Ajax coach believes that the existing attacking options, including Ronaldo, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Jadon Sancho and Anthony Elanga, can significantly improve their collective strike-rate.

United are prepared to add to their attacking options if the right player becomes available, but initial enquiries about Nunez saw Benfica quote a price tag of £100m for the Uruguay international — a fee regarded as excessive for the 22-year-old.

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Shaka Hislop suggests Manchester United’s pitch to get Darwin Nunez to pick them over Liverpool.

PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)

– Newcastle are prioritising a move for Sven Botman as soon as possible, writes Fabrizio Romano. The Magpies are reported to have been in discussions with Lille since January, with the 22-year-old centre-back open to moving to the Premier League. He has also been linked with Serie A champions AC Milan, who could be set to challenge Eddie Howe’s side for his signature if talks advance.

  • The representatives of Ajax forward Antony have travelled to meet with Manchester United as they continue to discuss a deal that would see the 22-year-old follow manager Erik ten Hag to Old Trafford. That’s according to Goal, which says there is hope that United will be able to close a deal in the coming days. It is reported that the Eredivisie side would be looking for a fee of around €60m.

  • Roma boss Jose Mourinho is looking to reinforce his attack during this summer and has identified Dries Mertens as a potential option, reveals Calciomercato. The 35-year-old forward could be acquired on a free transfer, with his deal set to expire on June 30, and with Roma finding it difficult to find a way to sign PSG’s Mauro Icardi, the Giallorossi could be prepared to land Mertens.

  • Rangers are keen on signing Turkey international goalkeeper Berke Özer, according to Ekrem Konur. The 22-year-old was a standout performer for Fenerbahce last season, but first drew the attention of Chelsea and Manchester City with his performances at youth international level with Turkey. He made 19 appearances across all competitions last season, including an impressive display in the Europa League against Eintracht Frankfurt who edged past Rangers in the final.

Villarreal right-back Serge Aurier is set to become a free agent, reports AS. The LaLiga club have decided not to renew his contract, which will see him available to join other clubs on June 30. The 29-year-old made 24 appearances for Unai Emery’s side last season, after joining from Tottenham Hotspur last summer.

ESPN Premier League News

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