Transfer Talk: With Ronaldo staying put, Man United push for Kalajdzic, Rabiot

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

TOP STORY: Man United rebuild continues with Kalajdzic and Rabiot

It appears there is plenty going on with Manchester United at the moment, according to various reports — although Cristiano Ronaldo‘s departure isn’t on the itinerary.

Although Ronaldo has been linked with the likes of Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Napoli throughout the summer, it appears he will be staying at Old Trafford unless there is a major last-minute surprise in this window, according to AS.

The Red Devils reportedly see the forward as a key player both on the pitch and in their economic framework. Manager Erik ten Hag has previously suggested that, despite speculation otherwise, Ronaldo doesn’t really want to leave Man United.

Man United are looking at a number of striking options and reportedly want to bring in VfB Stuttgart striker Sasa Kalajdzic, according to Sky Sports.

The Austria international wants to join Ten Hag’s squad, having entered the final year of his Stuttgart contract and, at 25 years old, Kalajdzic feels that now is the right time to face a new challenge in his career.

Meanwhile, Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot looks ever closer to joining United after his camp had a positive meeting with United director John Murtough. While there is still work to do before an agreement is reached on a salary, talks are expected to continue.

Juventus will reportedly move to sign Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Leandro Paredes if Rabiot departs.

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14.46 BST: United States forward Konrad de la Fuente has completed a season-long loan move to Olympiacos, his parent club Marseille announced on Saturday.

De la Fuente, 21, signed for Marseille from Barcelona for £3m last summer, agreeing a four-year deal with the Ligue 1 side. The winger made two Champions League appearances for Barca, but failed to make his debut in LaLiga despite being on the fringes of the first-team.

De la Fuente has been capped by the U.S. at Under-16, U18 and U20 level and received his first senior call-up in November 2020, playing 71 minutes in a goalless draw against Wales.

He played 22 times for Marseille in all competitions last season, and will be hoping to impress for Olympiacos this campaign as he looks to gain a spot in the U.S. squad at the World Cup in Qatar later this year.

14.00 BST: Are Chelsea having issues in the transfer market?

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Steve Nicol can’t understand the price tag for Wesley Fofana and feels Chelsea’s new owners may be being taken advantage of.

13.19 BST: Relevo claims that Barcelona want at least €25m to let striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang join Chelsea.

Aubameyang, 33, left Arsenal on a free transfer in February to move to Camp Nou, but the Blues are keen to bring him back to London to boost their strikeforce.

Barca want a significant transfer fee to help their financial issues, but Chelsea reportedly won’t go that high.

12.43 BST: Manchester United are set to make another move to sign Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, says Sport.

De Jong, 25, played under new United boss Erik ten Hag at Ajax before moving to Camp Nou and is reportedly growing unhappy with the Barcelona board over suggestions that they want to move him on to help with their financial issues, having revealed alleged irregularities in his contract last week.

Barca have already reached a preliminary agreement with Manchester United for De Jong in a deal worth an initial €65m, plus €20m add-ons, and still need some money in order to register new signings without breaching LaLiga’s wage limits.

However, sources at Barcelona last weekend told ESPN that club president Joan Laporta and coach Xavi Hernandez want De Jong to stay and that Xavi believes the player is important because he can cover different roles. De Jong also wants to continue at the Camp Nou and has reiterated on several occasions that he does not wish to join a club like Man United, who will not play in the Champions League this season.

11.57 BST: Sergino Dest plans to stay at Barcelona this summer despite reports linking him with Manchester United, the player’s agent has told ESPN.

Diario SPORT reported on Friday that Barca are in talks with United over a €20m deal for the United States right-back, who has also been linked with Bayern Munich and Chelsea in the past.

However, while sources have told ESPN Barca are open to offers for a large part of their squad, including Dest, he remains committed to fighting for a place in Xavi Hernandez’s side.

Dest’s agent Joes Blakborn told ESPN he did not want to react to specific reports, but that “despite interest from other clubs, [Dest] will be a part of Barcelona’s future this season.”

Barca coach Xavi told Dest earlier in the summer that he featured in his plans for the upcoming campaign, but the club’s financial situation has forced them to reconsider the defender’s future.

Xavi values the fact Dest can also provide cover at left-back, while he has different qualities to the other full-backs in their squad and is still young.

After heavily investing this summer, Barca are still keen to strengthen in the full-back positions. Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso remains a target after they missed out on Cesar Azpilicueta.

11.14 BST: Marcus Rashford will not leave Manchester United this summer despite interest from Paris Saint-Germain, sources have told ESPN.

United have issued a hand-off warning after it emerged Rashford’s representatives met PSG chiefs in Paris last week to discuss a potential move.

The French side are looking to sign a forward before the close of the transfer window and have made Rashford one of their top targets. But sources have told ESPN that United have no intention of entering negotiations or entertaining bids.

The 24-year-old has a year left on his contract at Old Trafford, plus the option of another season, meaning United can keep him at the club until 2024.

Sources have told ESPN United are keen to agree a new contract with the England striker.

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Craig Burley feels Marcus Rashford should jump at any opportunity to leave Manchester United for PSG.

10.55 BST: Fabrizio Romano reports that Marseille have reached an agreement to sign Man City right-back Issa Kabore on loan.

Kabore, 21, spent last year out on loan at Ligue 1 side Troyes (part of the City Football Group) and made 31 appearances, having moved to City from Belgian side KV Mechelen in 2020.

The Burkina Faso international could move to Marseille permanently for a fee of €20m at the end of the loan.

10.03 BST: Manchester City will sign Spanish defender Sergio Gomez from Belgian club Anderlecht for a reported £11m, manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday as the Premier League champions look to address their lack of depth in the left-back position.

After Ukraine international Oleksander Zinchenko moved to Arsenal, City began their title defence with Joao Cancelo as their only senior left-back.

Midfielder-turned-left back Gomez, 21, will compete for a place in the first team, Guardiola told his Friday news conference, after impressing at Anderlecht under former City captain Vincent Kompany last season.

“He’s a talented young player from the Barcelona academy, went to Borussia Dortmund but didn’t have many minutes and in the last year was given a chance by Kompany,” Guardiola said. “He played well, we targeted him to bring him here.

“He’s an exceptional player. He’s going to stay with us, alongside Joao.”

Gomez played 30 times for Anderlecht since joining them in June 2021. He has also represented Spain at youth level, including at the Under-17 World Cup in 2017 where they lost to England in the final.

09.51 BST: Barcelona midfielder Nico Gonzalez has signed a new contract until 2026, with his release clause set at €1bn, and has moved on loan to Valencia.

Nico, 20, played 37 games in his first senior season, scoring two goals and giving two assists. However, he faces competition from Franck Kessie, Gavi, Pedri, Frenkie de Jong, Miralem Pjanic and Sergio Busquets for a place in midfield this season.

He said earlier this week: “It’s not a goodbye, it’s a see you later. At my 20 years of age I need to and want to play more minutes to grow as a footballer, and for that reason I decided that the best thing for me was to do it at a different club this season. To the Cules, the team and the fans, I wish you all the luck in the world and I hope you can celebrate many titles. We will see each other in a year, Forca Barca!”

09.37 BST: Bayern Munich are looking to sign a striker after Robert Lewandowski moved to Barcelona for €45m this summer, says Sport1.

And their search has led them to Chelsea star Kai Havertz.

Havertz, 23, moved to Stamford Bridge in 2020 from Bayer Leverkusen for a fee that could reach close to €80m. Having already let strikers Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner depart, Chelsea are unlikely to want to sanction a departure for the Germany international, but may need more cash to rebuild their attack.

09.00 BST: Barcelona have finally managed to register most of their summer signings ahead of the start of the new LaLiga season this weekend, with only Jules Kounde still to be registered.

Xavi Hernandez’s side kick off their season against Rayo Vallecano at Camp Nou on Saturday, but the build up to that fixture has been dominated by the club’s race against time to get all their new arrivals registered.

Barca have spent over €150m this summer on Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Kounde, while Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie both arrived on free transfers.

Prior to Friday, however, none of them had been registered with LaLiga due to the league’s strict financial regulations.

The new contracts agreed by Ousmane Dembele and Sergi Roberto had not been signed off by the Spanish league either. However, that duo were also able to be registered on Friday — along with Lewandowski, Raphinha, Christensen and Kessie — following the sale of another 24.5% of Barca Studios.

Barca’s summer spending has been funded by the sale of club assets, with each deal dubbed a “financial lever” by president Joan Laporta.

They sold 25% of their domestic television income for the next 25 years to Sixth Street in two separate packages worth €511m in total. They then sold 24.5% of Barca Studios to Socios.com for an additional €100m.

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Don Hutchison and Julien Laurens discuss Barcelona’s problems with registering their new signings.

PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)

AC Milan are hoping to renew Rafael Leao‘s contract, with his current deal culminating in 2024, reports Calciomercato, with Paris Saint-Germain hoping to sign the winger. At the moment, Milan are unwilling to open any negotiations with the Ligue 1 champions and will point towards the Portugal international’s €150m release clause.

The Guardian has reported that West Ham United are interested in signing Barcelona forward Memphis Depay. However, Fabrizio Romano has stated that Juventus are getting closer to reaching a deal with Depay’s camp and that talks are progressing well. A two-year deal is being discussed, with Tottenham Hotspur and various Turkish clubs now out of the race to sign him.

Chelsea have raised their offer for Internazionale midfielder Cesare Casadei to €10m, reports Gazzetta dello Sport, although that still isn’t enough as the Nerazzurri want €15m. Sassuolo are also interested in the 19-year-old and would be willing to include a clause that would allow Inter to re-sign him — something Chelsea are not open to.

– Barcelona could be interested in signing Hector Bellerin, who is still looking for a way to leave Arsenal, reports Mundo Deportivo. The right-back has been strongly linked with Real Betis but a move there is proving difficult to push through due to their own financial struggles, leaving the possibility for Bellerin to potentially return to Barcelona after coming through La Masia academy.

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