The coronavirus pandemic has made the transfer market uncertain — you can find out when the windows close here — but here are the rumours floating around Europe’s big leagues and beyond. Plus, check out all the latest major completed transfers across Europe.
TOP STORY: Man United make final £90 million bid for Sancho
It’s been the saga of the summer, but Jadon Sancho to Manchester United could still happen inside of the current transfer window as the Red Devils prepare to test Dortmund’s resolve one final time.
Both the Star and the Mirror report that United are preparing a £90 million bid for the forward, with their executive vice chairman, Ed Woodward, expected to make it clear that they do not intend to negotiate further.
Dortmund have been holding out for £108m, which has left the two clubs at a stalemate for almost three months, but United are now ready to call the Bundesliga side’s bluff by making an offer they believe to be fair given the impact of COVID-19 on the current market.
United are willing to offer £75m up front with an additional £15m in add-ons, with Woodward ready to tell Dortmund to take it or leave it.
The Premier League side are also said to have agreed personal terms with Sancho already, with the 20-year-old expected to earn close to £175,000 per week if a deal is finally reached with his current club.
Barcelona make last push for Lautaro
Similarly, Marca reports that Barcelona have reached the “moment of truth” in the club’s attempts to sign striker Lautaro Martinez from Internazionale.
Just as with Sancho, the Catalan side have been locked in negotiations with Martinez’s current employers for months, with Inter standing firm over their valuation of the player and Barca struggling to free up funds.
However, a whole host of faces have headed through the Camp Nou exit door in recent weeks, including the likes of Ivan Rakitic and Arthur Melo, and more recently Nelson Semedo, Arturo Vidal and Luis Suarez.
That has helped the Blaugrana to trim their wage bill by €70m, while Wolves have paid €30m in transfer fees to sign Semedo.
Conveniently, the Nerazzurri value Martinez at €100m, meaning Ronald Koeman’s side are finally able to meet the asking price.
Barca are keen to wrap up a deal quickly, but if their latest bid is rejected then they are expected to turn to alternative targets, with Memphis Depay the preferred option and Girona’s Cristhian Stuani also on the club’s radar.
Southampton are interested in signing Ruben Loftus-Cheek from Chelsea on loan as speculation begins to mount over the midfielder’s future, the Daily Mail reports.
The 24-year-old started Chelsea’s Premier League match against Brighton, but was left out of Frank Lampard’s squad for the following game with Liverpool and Wednesday’s Carabao Cup win over Barnsley.
According to the Mail, Loftus-Cheek’s omission has attracted interest both from the Premier League and abroad, with Southampton, West Ham and Aston Villa all keen on the England international.
Saints are in the market for a midfielder, but wages could represent a stumbling block and they would need Chelsea to subsidise Loftus-Cheek’s salary in order to reach a deal.
Postmatch, Lampard remained tight-lipped but didn’t rule out the possibility of departures before the window closes.
The Chelsea boss said: “I keep getting asked about the size of the squad. There might be movement. It will have to be things which are right for the club and individuals and me and in terms of what happens in the next couple of weeks.”
– The Rhian Brewster rumours have been flying around in recent days, but Sheffield United are now said to be leading the race to sign the 20-year-old in a £25m deal, the Daily Mail reports. Crystal Palace are also still believed to be keen on the striker, who was left out of Liverpool’s Carabao Cup romp over Lincoln City on Thursday.
– Declan Rice and Chelsea have found themselves mentioned in the same sentence countless times this summer, but according to transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano, there’s some substance to the speculation. Chelsea are yet to make a formal bid, but that’s expected to change in the coming days, with Rice pushing to rejoin the club that released him at 16.