The Transfer DealSheet: Latest on Man Utd, Arsenal, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona and more


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Welcome to the latest edition of the Transfer DealSheet, your weekly guide to what is happening in the summer transfer window.

Every week, our team of dedicated writers, including Adam Leventhal and David Ornstein, will take you inside the market to explain the deals being worked on, the players who could arrive and the ones who are on their way out across the Premier League and beyond. You can read last week’s edition here.

The information found within this article has been gathered according to The Athletic’s sourcing guidelines. Unless stated, our reporters have spoken to more than one person briefed on each deal before offering the clubs involved the opportunity to comment. Those responses, where they were given, have been included in the Transfer DealSheet.

In this edition, we look at Arsenal’s pursuit of a new goalkeeping target, what the latest is with Matthijs de Ligt — and whether he’ll fit in at Manchester United — and how Premier League sides are moving forward after dealing with profit and sustainability regulations (PSR) issues.

Our aim is to bring you analysis you can trust about what is happening at Europe’s leading clubs and the latest information we’re hearing from across the market. Ornstein, our leading transfer reporter, will also deliver his one to watch here each week.

This article is very long but very detailed, so please enjoy it all — or search for the club or player you want to read about.


Get the latest transfer news on The Athletic


David Ornstein’s One To Watch: Matthijs de Ligt

Manchester United’s transfer situation has changed on two fronts in the past few weeks. Firstly, we had the news Erik ten Hag would be staying at Old Trafford. Then, it became clear last week progress had been made on renewing his contract.

On Monday, it emerged they had agreed a deal with Newcastle United to appoint Dan Ashworth as their sporting director.

Ashworth will be involved in plenty beyond transfers at Old Trafford, but his arrival should help them on the recruitment front. They are also in talks to appoint Christopher Vivell on an initial short-term basis to work on the summer transfer window. The former RB Leipzig and Chelsea employee will lend expertise around talent ID and player recruitment.

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Ashworth’s arrival will help Manchester United in the market (Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

This is why Matthijs de Ligt has been picked as my one to watch this week. My colleague Dan Sheldon reported on Monday morning that Manchester United are now in formal talks with De Ligt’s club, Bayern Munich.

The 24-year-old appears to be the preferred option in central defence and while it is independent of their move for Jarrad Branthwaite, his potential fee is likely to be more realistic.

This feels like the sort of transfer that could develop as the week goes on.


Will De Ligt fit at Manchester United?

The belief seems to be that a reunion with Ten Hag could revitalise De Ligt’s career. At 24, he still has his best years ahead of him.

However, throughout his career, De Ligt has largely played for teams that dominate possession and operate on the front foot — Ajax, Bayern Munich and Juventus. Across his two seasons with Bayern, he has averaged 67.5 passes per 90 minutes in the league. In contrast, Lisandro Martinez and Harry Maguire have averaged 54.1 and 52.1 passes per 90 respectively for United.

matthijs de ligt fbref metrics

De Ligt’s stint with Juventus saw him record similar numbers to Martinez and Maguire (53.5 passes per 90 across three Serie A seasons), but the Italian giants averaged 55 per cent possession across those seasons compared to United’s 51 per cent over their past two league campaigns.

Unless United alter their squad, De Ligt will likely get less time on the ball. He will be required to defend more than he is used to. On the flip side, De Ligt might offer much-needed composure at the back, playing alongside another former Ajax defender in Martinez, and improve their build-up given his obvious quality on the ball.

Overall, this looks like a risky move tactically that can break either way.

Anantaajith Raghuraman


What we’re hearing

  • At least three clubs, including some from the Premier League, have registered an interest in signing Callum Hudson-Odoi from Nottingham Forest. Hudson-Odoi has impressed since joining from Chelsea for a deal worth only a maximum of £5million (including add-ons) last summer. Nottingham Forest already value the 23-year-old in excess of £40m ($50.5m; €47.1m) and do not want to sell. Hudson-Odoi is also happy playing for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side and is not agitating to leave a club who are giving him regular first-team football. Simon Johnson

callum hudson odoi 2023 24 all shots

  • West Ham hold an interest in signing Jake O’Brien from Lyon. The central defender — featured in the DealSheet last week — is on a list of options that is being reviewed. The Republic of Ireland international is being tracked by several clubs in the Premier League, including Everton. Lyon have received interest in the player with approaches based around a €20m valuation, but that hasn’t progressed as yet. Crystal Palace will receive 25 per cent of the profit of any sale after his departure from Lyon’s fellow Eagle Football Holdings club last summer for a fee in the region of £1m ($1.2m). Adam Leventhal
  • Aston Villa will review loan options for Lino Sousa for the forthcoming season. The 19-year-old joined from Arsenal in January and spent the remainder of the season on loan at Plymouth. Watford are one of the teams to have shown an interest in the left-back. They are assessing candidates in that position, including Kenneth Paal of QPR, but no official approach has been made for the Dutchman yet. Adam Leventhal
  • Celta Vigo striker Jorgen Strand Larsen and Brazilian full-back Pedro Lima are both in the West Midlands to complete medicals and finalise their transfers to Wolves. Strand Larsen will cost £25million and is expected to be Wolves’ most expensive signing of the summer, while 17-year-old Lima will cost around £12.7million when he joins from Sport Recife. Steve Madeley
  • Orlando City are preparing for heightened interest in attacker Facundo Torres, with clubs from Europe and elsewhere tracking his progress. The Uruguay international has been the subject of interest since January when a bid from an unnamed Russian club was turned down. Two clubs have since made approaches for the 24-year-old, but they are yet to develop into formal offers. Torres — who has scored 26 goals in 81 MLS appearances — is under contract until 2026, with Orlando holding a two-year option to extend. Adam Leventhal
  • Croatia’s Marco Pasalic was an unused sub at Euro 2024, but the right-winger’s performances for HNK Rijeka have led to interest from other teams. The 24-year-old scored nine goals and provided five assists in 41 appearances last season, including in Europa Conference League qualifiers. Real Sociedad are monitoring his situation, while Rijeka rejected a £4million ($5m) bid from an unnamed Qatari club. Adam Leventhal
  • Chris Willock — brother of Newcastle’s Joe — is in talks with QPR over a new contract. The 26-year-old winger’s deal expired on June 30 but positive talks over an extended stay at Loftus Road — where he’s made 76 appearances and scored 10 goals since 2020 — are ongoing. Re-signing is his preferred option. Adam Leventhal
  • Mohamed Amoura, Union Saint-Gilloise’s 24-year-old Algerian forward, is close to agreeing a move to Bundesliga side Wolfsburg, managed by former Southampton head coach Ralph Hasenhuttl. Amoura won the Belgian Cup with USG last year and scored 18 goals from 23 starts in the Jupiler Pro League. An agreement is expected to be reached this week for a fee of around €20million. Sebastian Stafford-Bloor
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Forest want more than £40million for Hudson-Odoi (Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Arsenal

What has happened this week?

So far it has been a summer of squad trimming and that theme could continue with Albert Lokonga potentially on his way out.

The midfielder spent last season on loan at Luton Town and Sevilla have a firm interest in signing the midfielder. As with any first-team departures, Arsenal are keen to recoup fees rather than straight loans.

Arriving at the club is 18-year-old Danish goalkeeper Lucas Nygaard who joins from FC Nordsjaelland. He will join the club’s academy.

There could be further change in the goalkeeping department. Last week third-choice goalkeeper Karl Hein signed an extension, and the identity of this season’s number two is one to watch.

There has been little movement on Aaron Ramsdale’s future but if he is to leave then one man who features high on the contingent plan is Espanyol’s Joan Garcia.

The Spaniard is reported to have a €25million release clause and is a likely target should Arsenal need to recruit competition for David Raya.

Why do they want Joan Garcia?

David Raya’s loan from Brentford is expected to be converted into a permanent transfer this month, but this is a case of Arsenal planning for his deputy.

He became the No 1 under Mikel Arteta early in the season — with Ramsdale having to accept a role as deputy.

The England international is not content to be a No 2 though and if a suitable club arrives with a fee that gets close to recouping the £24million spent in 2021 then an exit is likely.

Garcia is a slightly younger option at 23, and is back-up to Fernando Pacheco at Espanyol.

The Espanyol academy product kept eight clean sheets in 14 appearances in all competitions last season and is set to represent Spain in the Olympics this month.

He broke into the first team the year prior and helped them win promotion to La Liga, while his ability on the ball makes him a suitable profile for Arsenal.

What positions/players are they looking at?

Having spent heavily the last three seasons Arsenal are in a strong position across all departments but they are looking to add the finishing touches to the squad.

With Benjamin Sesko out of reach for the time being, it is not likely to be a summer of big-ticket items like last year. But a wide player to add competition and a midfielder to complement Declan Rice and Martin Odegaard could be possible.

Arteta did not settle on a midfield three last season as the left-eight position was shared around several players. Kai Havertz started there but later moved into centre-forward, which saw Rice push forward and Jorginho slot into the base of midfield.

Which players could be leaving?

Lokonga is just one of several fringe players who are expected to depart. Arsenal have yet to build a reputation as good sellers with little money recouped in recent years.

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Lokonga spent last season on loan with Luton (Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Folarin Balogun’s £25million move to Monaco was a healthy profit on an academy talent and that could be the theme of the summer with Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah and Emile Smith Rowe all struggling for game time and approaching their peak years.

They would each represent full profit on the financial accounts but Arsenal still need to satisfy the homegrown quota so it is unlikely that all depart in the same window. It will be judged on a case-by-case basis. A lack of minutes could affect their value though, and that is the case with Ramsdale and left-back Kieran Tierney, who suffered another serious injury at Euro 2024.

Jordan Campbell


Chelsea

What has happened this week?

There were more ins and outs at Chelsea, but the pursuit of Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall has taken many by surprise.

A fee of £30million has been agreed with Leicester City and the switch should be completed sooner rather than later. New head coach Enzo Maresca worked with the midfielder at Leicester last season. The 25-year-old was put on the wishlist soon after Maresca got the job in early June, although it took them until the end of the month to make their move because they were working on other deals. Talented academy prospect Michael Golding is going in the opposite direction in a standalone deal.

Chelsea also acted quickly to secure the €6m acquisition of Barcelona striker Marc Guiu and finally announced the £19m purchase of Aston Villa’s Omari Kellyman.

Negotiations have continued with Boca Juniors for Aaron Anselmino, while USA international and Atlanta left-back Caleb Wiley is a target — with sister club Strasbourg in mind.

It was a case of one Omari in and one out as Omari Hutchinson was sold to Ipswich Town, where he impressed on loan last season, for up to £22.5m.

More money was raised with Ian Maatsen completing a £37.5m switch to Aston Villa, while Lewis Hall’s departure to Newcastle has been made permanent for £28m following a season-long loan. Hakim Ziyech has left for Galatasaray.

Why are Chelsea keeping Guiu but sending out Anselmino?

As part of their bid to convince Guiu to leave Barcelona, Chelsea made it clear the 18-year-old is part of their plans now and not just seen as a possible candidate to make the senior squad in the future.

Guiu has already made seven appearances for Barcelona, scoring two goals. While clearly not a guaranteed starter due to the competition ahead of him, Chelsea hope the busy schedule of being involved in five competitions (including the Club World Cup) will ensure the teenager gets plenty of game time.

The initial plan for Anselmino could match that of Estevao Willian’s, in that he will stay at Boca Juniors to ensure he keeps playing just as the latter has remained at Palmeiras.

It is then expected Anselmino will join Strasbourg on loan so he can get some experience of playing in Europe.

What positions/players are they looking at?

Chelsea are in the market for at least one more attacking player. They made enquiries to Newcastle for striker Alexander Isak in the hope of being able to capitalise on their struggle to comply with PSR.

Players were offered in exchange, although reports Nicolas Jackson was one of them have been dismissed. There were also suggestions Chelsea were one of the teams keen on Leeds United starlet Archie Gray, yet that was not the case either.

Chelsea are also looking to strengthen in other positions, such as left-back.

Which players could be leaving?

The future of Carney Chukwuemeka has come under question, especially due to Dewsbury-Hall adding to the competition for the attacking midfield role.

Chelsea rate Chukwuemeka highly and believe his value has increased since joining from Aston Villa for £20million two years ago. AC Milan have expressed an interest, but Chelsea have dismissed suggestions they are prepared to consider a loan with an option to buy.

The only players available for loan at this stage are academy/under-21 players. Clubs are being told senior players will either be sold or stay.

The possibility of getting Conor Gallagher to sign a new contract has not been ruled out. Armando Broja, Romelu Lukaku, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Cesare Casadei, David Datro Fofana, Malang Sarr and Trevoh Chalobah are all candidates for departure.

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The idea of signing Gallagher to a new deal has not been ruled out (Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Sales may not be straightforward. Everton are one of a host of clubs interested in Broja, but any deal will be contingent on Dominic Calvert-Lewin being sold. Broja is away on holiday after playing for Albania at Euro 2024.

As reported last week, defender Alfie Gilchrist is attracting interest from several teams over a season-long loan, with Serie A side Como and Preston from the Championship among them. The 20-year-old will start pre-season under Maresca and there is an expectation it could take a few weeks before his destination is decided.

Simon Johnson


What has happened this week?

Liverpool turned down a proposal from Newcastle United to sign winger Anthony Gordon.

With Newcastle desperate to raise funds before the end of June to avoid breaking PSR, they were prepared to off-load the England international. However, Liverpool felt their valuation was excessive and refused to entertain the prospect of defender Jarell Quansah moving to St James’ Park as part of the deal.

Gordon, a boyhood Liverpool fan, is admired by senior Anfield figures, but the squad is well-stocked on the left side of attack.

anthony gordon shot location percent

Youngster Melkamu Frauendorf, who was released by Liverpool this summer, signed for second-tier German club Hannover 96.

When will Arne Slot have a chance to analyse his squad?

Youngsters who were out on loan last season and members of the under-21s squad reported back to the AXA Training Centre for the start of pre-season on Monday. The senior players will follow from Friday onwards.

However, it will be a depleted squad due to players either still involved at the Euros and Copa America or those, such as Andy Robertson and Dominik Szoboszlai, who are on holiday following the end of their international commitments.

Liverpool fly to Pittsburgh on July 23 for their pre-season tour, with Slot’s first game in charge against Real Betis three days later.

What positions/players are they looking at?

Liverpool are considering whether to strengthen at centre-back following the departure of Joel Matip as a free agent.

They retain a strong interest in Lille’s Leny Yoro but expect Real Madrid to win the race for the young French defender’s signature.

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GO DEEPER

Leny Yoro, 18, the defender lots of Europe’s biggest clubs are pursuing

Slot may need to recruit a backup ‘keeper if, as expected, Adrian turns down the offer of a new one-year deal and returns to Spain to sign for boyhood club Real Betis. A defensive midfielder and another wide player have also been topics of discussion.

Which players could be leaving?

Midfielder Tyler Morton and defender Sepp van den Berg, who both impressed out on loan last season, have been attracting plenty of interest from clubs across Europe. Liverpool value each of them at around £20million, but no suitable bids have been received.

Nat Phillips, who has one year remaining on his contract, looks certain to move on. It remains to be seen if a club will test Liverpool’s resolve to keep £25m-rated goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher, who is desperate to become a No 1 after a long stint as Alisson’s deputy.

Luis Diaz has also been linked with a summer exit, but Liverpool haven’t had any offers for him and aren’t looking to sell the Colombian.

James Pearce

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Liverpool aren’t looking to sell Diaz (Omar Vega/Getty Images)

What has happened this week?

Not a lot and there is a good reason for that: it could be a pretty quiet summer at City. They plan to make signings and there is money to spend, but they consider the squad to be strong and in no need of major rebuilding unless players leave. It is considered unlikely too many players will leave.

City were linked with a move for RB Leipzig’s Dani Olmo, although as The Athletic reported in last week’s Transfer DealSheet, there has been interest in the Spain international but he is not considered a priority.

dani olmo 2024 rm halfspace passmap

Interest in Bayern Munich duo Joshua Kimmich and Jamal Musiala was reported. They are both players of interest to City. Kimmich’s deal expires next summer and his situation is likely to become clearer after his involvement at the Euros. While Musiala’s contract expires in two years, it does not appear as though City will leverage that situation in the immediate future.

Bayer Leverkusen’s Jeremie Frimpong was also reported to be of interest. City have discussed the Netherlands international in recent months, but it is a deal that would only have been accelerated if Kyle Walker were to leave (with interest from Saudi Arabia). That does not seem likely.

It was also reported in Brazil that incoming winger Savio will stay with the City squad next season rather than be sent out on loan depending on his performances in pre-season with Pep Guardiola’s team. Girona had long been expectant of another loan for the Brazilian winger, who is registered to Troyes, but The Athletic reported last week that was no longer considered likely, but a loan deal elsewhere was still on the cards if he did not impress in pre-season.

According to sources at City, kept anonymous to protect relationships, that is still the case, but there is hope he will be ready to contribute and remain part of the squad.

City have more games next season — why not expand the squad?

Guardiola does not like to have too many players in his squad at the risk of those on the bench becoming unhappy and that is a tradeoff that will remain despite City embarking on an expanded Champions League campaign and the new Club World Cup next June.

It appears some of City’s big names who have been the subject of interest from other clubs, such as Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Ederson, are more likely to stay than go.

That would have a direct impact on the number of bodies required in midfield: with Bernardo and De Bruyne, as well as Phil Foden, Mateo Kovacic, Matheus Nunes and Rodri, City still have the kind of numbers that Guardiola is comfortable with.

City recognise they have no player capable of directly replacing Rodri if he is injured or suspended, or needs a rest. They see Bruno Guimaraes at Newcastle as capable of doing that, but then that would be an extra body in midfield meaning the balance of the squad — in terms of morale — could be affected in Guardiola’s eyes.

What positions/players are they looking at?

Bruno Guimaraes is the big target in midfield, but City had no intention of triggering the £100million buy-out clause in his contract, so that situation is likely to drag on.

Lucas Paqueta had been a genuine target, but his FA charge over alleged betting offences put an end to that.

City are still exploring a move for a right-winger and it is also understood that they could sign a left-back to replace Sergio Gomez. The Spaniard is expected to leave this summer, but given he has barely featured during his two years at the club, it is not expected that his replacement would be a ready-made option to go straight into the team.

Which players could be leaving?

Matheus Nunes is currently considered the most likely to leave.

The Portuguese only arrived from Wolves last summer, but interest in him from Saudi Arabia, and City’s own interest in strengthening their midfield with Guimaraes, might accelerate his exit. He struggled to fit into the squad during his first season. He is not considered a lost cause by any means, but Guardiola’s determination not to have many players and the overall intention to bring in somebody good enough to play in Rodri’s role would only weaken somebody else’s position.

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Matheus Nunes is currently considered the player most likely to leave (Matt McNulty/Getty Images)

And with De Bruyne and Bernardo considered more likely to stay than go, that could make Nunes’ position weaker next season if he does not make a big step forward. A sale to Saudi Arabia would also bring in funds that City can factor into any move for Guimaraes.

Sources in Saudi Arabia had been expecting Ederson to move to the Middle East when consulted at the end of last season, but at the moment, sources at City, kept anonymous to protect relationships, do not seem especially alarmed about his situation.

Julian Alvarez has also attracted interest from several clubs, but there does not appear to be too much movement on that.

Sam Lee


Manchester United

What has happened this week?

Concerns were raised regarding United’s PSR compliance throughout last season, but in the end, there was no fire sale before the 30 June deadline. The only sale of any kind has been Benfica’s €6million deal to turn Alvaro Fernandez’s loan permanent, which was confirmed in May.

United pleaded poverty during the January window, in part due to the Premier League’s spending rules, but reduced losses in their most recent set of financial results made a breach on the 2023-24 PSR cycle unlikely and meant there was no rush to push players out of the door last week.

There have been no players coming through that door, either, but there has been progress on the matter of Erik ten Hag’s contract. Ten Hag is now close to committing to a new deal, which is expected to see changes made to his backroom team as a result.

United are advancing in talks with former striker Ruud van Nistelrooy and Rene Hake, manager of Go Ahead Eagles, to join Ten Hag’s staff. Benni McCarthy is set to leave following the expiry of his contract and Mitchell van der Gaag’s future is uncertain as a result of the coaching reshuffle.

The most significant news of the week came above Ten Hag in the club hierarchy, however, with United finally agreeing a deal with Newcastle United to appoint Dan Ashworth as their new sporting director.

Does Ashworth’s arrival and Ten Hag’s new deal impact plans?

Ashworth is expected to begin work with immediate effect and while his role will not be limited to recruitment, he will take on overall responsibility for that department alongside football performance and operations.

United’s recruitment this summer has been led by technical director Jason Wilcox, who will continue to have a key role within the recruitment structure, and head of football negotiations Matt Hargreaves, who will still be the club’s lead negotiator.

Talks are also being held with former Chelsea technical director Christopher Vivell to assist with the summer window, initially on a short-term basis. Ashworth’s arrival means that once United’s incoming chief executive Omar Berrada begins work on 13 July, INEOS’ senior, permanent appointees will finally be in place.

Ten Hag’s new contract is still to be finalised, but if signed, there will be intrigue around his level of influence over transfer policy. The United manager has a veto over transfers written into his current contract, which appears at odds with INEOS’ preferred setup.

What positions/players are they looking at?

United have stepped up their interest in Ten Hag favourite Matthijs de Ligt, who has become increasingly viewed as a viable option at centre-back.

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GO DEEPER

Matthijs de Ligt has time on his side to fulfil his prodigious talent

United have commenced formal club-to-club talks with Bayern Munich for the 24-year-old, who joined the Bundesliga giants in a €77million deal two years ago and was named Ajax’s youngest-ever captain by Ten Hag during their time together in Amsterdam.

Crucially, Ten Hag’s admiration of De Ligt is now matched by United officials. Interest in De Ligt is independent of United’s pursuit of Jarrad Branthwaite but is likely to be a more realistic option than the Everton defender and other targets.

United saw a total package of £43m for Branthwaite rejected last month, with Everton holding out for around £70m. The Merseyside club’s need to comply with PSR was thought to be one factor which could influence negotiations, but the pressure of the June 30 deadline has now been and gone.

Up front, United continue to pursue a deal for Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee as a matter of priority over other centre-forward options. The 23-year-old has a €40m release clause in his contract, but negotiations with Bologna are still required, as are agreements on salary and agent commissions.

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GO DEEPER

Man United target Zirkzee: Striker with a ‘unicorn’ skill set who offers something different

United’s other priority position is central midfield, where Manuel Ugarte has emerged as a potential candidate. Suggestions of a formal bid being submitted to Paris Saint-Germain last week were played down, but United’s interest in the 23-year-old is genuine.

Which players could be leaving?

With the passing of the June 30 deadline, Jonny Evans and Tom Heaton are now technically out of contract at Old Trafford, but United remain relaxed about the prospect of the veteran pair extending their stays and talks continue.

There is also yet to be a final decision on the future of Sofyan Amrabat, despite his season-long loan from Fiorentina reaching its end.

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Amrabat lifting the FA Cup (Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images)

United are still working towards a permanent sale of Mason Greenwood, with Marseille entering talks for him last week. Interest in Greenwood is high, with Lazio, Napoli, Juventus and Valencia among his potential suitors, but The Athletic reported last week that the 22-year-old is believed to favour Marseille over other options.

Both Greenwood and Jadon Sancho could report back to Carrington when United players not involved at either the European Championship or Copa America return to pre-season training next week.

Mark Critchley


Newcastle United

What has happened this week?

It may be easier to run through what has not happened on Tyneside this week given Newcastle’s frantic and fraught late dash to plug a PSR hole north of £50million by Sunday night.

In the end, Elliot Anderson joined Nottingham Forest and Yankuba Minteh moved to Brighton for fees in excess of £30m respectively. But this only happened after Chelsea had asked about Alexander Isak‘s potential availability, conversations were held with Liverpool regarding Anthony Gordon potentially moving, and more than half a dozen Newcastle players were floated for potential exits.

go-deeper

GO DEEPER

Inside Newcastle’s frantic attempts to sell players and comply with PSR

Neither the Minteh nor Anderson deals were straightforward, with both offered to other clubs first and the transfers only agreed late on Saturday night. In return for Anderson, despite having initially enquired about winger Anthony Elanga, Newcastle brought in Odysseas Vlachodimos, the Greece international goalkeeper, from Forest.

Dan Ashworth’s four-month gardening leave period has also finished, as the sporting director belatedly joined Manchester United with immediate effect. Compensation was eventually agreed between the two clubs, which also aided Newcastle’s ability to comply with PSR.

Yet that barely scratches the surface. Fortunately, the full inside story can be found here.

John Ruddy has also joined on a free transfer from Birmingham City, seemingly as a third-choice goalkeeper. Lloyd Kelly‘s move from Bournemouth is now official and Lewis Hall’s season-long loan from Chelsea has become permanent given Newcastle’s original deal featured an obligatory-purchase clause.

Does Newcastle’s activity over the weekend free them up for more business?

Yes.

Regardless of whether they had managed to get players out before June 30, Newcastle were always going to be able to spend from July 1 — but recouping more than £60million gives them a greater capacity to invest, as that permits breathing space across the new three-year rolling PSR period.

With 2021-22, the first season post-takeover, dropping off the books, that means a loss of £70.7m is removed from the calculation. Although a portion of that did not count towards PSR, most did, so there is increased room.

What’s more, revenues have increased substantially over the past two seasons and, with the first year of the lucrative Adidas deal — worth between £25m and £40m annually — also being added to the books, Newcastle should be able to strengthen their squad materially.

There remain PSR limitations, but Newcastle are no longer shackled and unable to sign players for a fee as they were in January.

What positions/players are they looking at?

Their priorities are centre-back, right-winger and a forward, although the latter may depend on whether Callum Wilson departs. Newcastle are also pausing and reassessing their recruitment plans following the fallout from the weekend.

However, Howe is keen to bolster Newcastle’s right-wing berth, with much of their budget expected to be spent on that position. Newcastle retain an interest in Elanga, while Chelsea’s Noni Madueke and West Ham United’s Jarrod Bowen are among other options discussed.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin had been a key striker target but, after Newcastle failed to agree personal terms with the centre-forward, a potential deal with Everton collapsed. That deal will not be revived as things stand unless Wilson leaves.

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Newcastle retain an interest in Elanga (Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Another defender is also needed given Sven Botman and Jamaal Lascelles are sidelined for most of 2024. Newcastle want a right-sided centre-back who can be a long-term successor for Fabian Schar, with Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Max Kilman among their targets, even though he is left-footed. AC Milan’s Malick Thiaw, who Newcastle have long tracked, has also been linked.

The arrivals of Vlachodimos and Ruddy mean goalkeeper is no longer as pressing a position to fill. For now, at least, Newcastle are not expected to progress with their interest in James Trafford. Talks were opened with Burnley last month for the England international goalkeeper.

Which players could be leaving?

Further senior players will depart, but the immediacy of moving people out has diminished significantly.

Miguel Almiron may leave if a right-winger joins, while Wilson, Sean Longstaff and Kieran Trippier are into the final year of their deals and exits have been explored. Nothing is agreed for any of those, however. Martin Dubravka is set to be made available given Newcastle have another four senior goalkeepers.

Newcastle hope to offload Ryan Fraser, with the 30-year-old having agreed a deal with Southampton, though the details must be finalised with his current club. Isaac Hayden is available.

Bruno Guimaraes‘ £100million release clause has expired and Newcastle are keen to keep hold of the Brazil international midfielder, while they have no intention of selling Isak. There is also confidence that Gordon will stay despite internal fears that his head has been turned by an awareness of Liverpool’s interest.

Chris Waugh


What has happened this week?

After weeks of inactivity, Tottenham have finally sprung into life in the transfer market. The Athletic previously reported they were interested in signing Archie Gray from Leeds United, but on Saturday afternoon, it appeared Brentford had won the race for his signature.

Gray, 18, was impressed by Brentford’s presentation, which was led by head coach Thomas Frank and technical director Lee Dykes, and completed a medical at their training ground. By Sunday morning, the midfielder had changed his mind and been convinced Spurs was the best destination for him.

The deal was delayed because of negotiations over Joe Rodon, who spent last season on loan at Elland Road from Spurs. Gray’s contract included a £35million release clause if Leeds were in the Championship. Leeds say the two deals are separate, with Spurs set to pay £40m for Gray and Rodon heading the other way for £10m. Spurs maintain they are paying £25m to £30m for Gray with Rodon part of that agreement.

Gray’s arrival will be a significant coup for technical director Johan Lange and chief scout Rob Mackenzie. The England Under-21 international attracted interest from multiple clubs including Brentford and Borussia Dortmund.

It means another talented young player will be added to Ange Postecoglou’s squad.

How important an arrival is Gray?

Gray continues a trend Spurs started in January with the signings of Radu Dragusin (22) and Lucas Bergvall (18). Their recruitment department has been restructured over the past 12 months and there is a clear emphasis on signing talented young players who still have significant room for growth.

Gray might not be expected to make an immediate impact with more experienced players ahead of him in the pecking order, but he could be a key figure in their starting XI for the next decade. In Pape Matar Sarr (21), Bergvall and Gray, Tottenham have three exciting midfielders tied down on long-term contracts.

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Gray is close to joining Spurs (George Wood/Getty Images)

Tottenham will be competing in the Europa League next season, which means Gray should receive lots of opportunities for game time, too.

What positions/players are they looking at?

It will be fascinating to see if Gray’s arrival impacts their long-standing interest in Conor Gallagher. Postecoglou has a lot of options in midfield. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is expected to depart, but that still leaves them with eight players competing for three midfield slots and Gallagher would increase that to nine.

Gray can play at right-back, which reduces the need to sign extra cover for Pedro Porro, but he has made it clear his preferred position is further up the pitch.

Which players could be leaving?

Rodon looks like he will depart after spending the last two seasons on loan at Rennes and Leeds. He only made 15 top-flight appearances after joining Spurs from Swansea City for £11million in October 2020.

Denmark’s exit from the Euros after their 2-0 defeat to Germany means Hojbjerg will now have time to concentrate on his next career move. The 28-year-old will be hoping his impressive performances, especially in the 1-1 draw with England, have caught the attention of other clubs, while Spurs might be able to demand more money for him. Sergio Reguilon and Emerson Royal are expected to leave.

Jay Harris


Real Madrid

What has happened this week?

It has been a busy week in terms of exits. The departures of Nacho to Al Qadsiah in Saudi Arabia and Joselu to Al Gharafa in Qatar have been confirmed.

go-deeper

GO DEEPER

Farewell Joselu, a Real Madrid fan who got to live out his dreams

As The Athletic had reported, the centre-back admitted at a press conference that he had informed the club of his desire to leave months ago but then had second thoughts. In Joselu’s case, Madrid exercised the €1.5million purchase option they had agreed in the loan deal with Espanyol and then received the same amount from Al Gharafa. All parties have been happy with this outcome.

Toni Kroos (retiring after the European Championship) and Kepa Arrizabalaga, whose loan spell ended on June 30, are also no longer Real Madrid players.

Lucas Vazquez and Luka Modric have renewed their contracts, although the club has not officially announced the agreements.

Will Madrid bring in another striker to replace Joselu?

Joselu’s performance last season was important in winning three trophies and there is no player with his profile in the squad, so his departure is a setback.

However, it is nothing to be overly concerned about and Madrid have not considered signing another striker to replace him. The arrivals of Kylian Mbappe and Endrick, who officially joined on Monday, plus their existing options (Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo, Brahim Diaz, and Arda Guler) are seen as more than enough.

What positions/players are they looking at?

Real Madrid’s priority is to sign Lille centre-back Leny Yoro. The defender’s contract expires in 2025 and all parties know he wants to join Madrid. That is why the Champions League holders are planning to pay €30million to €40m, while Lille want around €60m.

Lille’s directors are regarded as tough to negotiate with and this one is no different, but time is on the player’s side.

Yoro is now not ruling out staying at Lille for one more year and then joining Madrid as a free agent, a move that would also put pressure on his current club to negotiate with the Spanish side.

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Madrid’s priority is Yoro (Sebastien Salom-Gomis/AFP via Getty Images)

Alphonso Davies remains a target, although not as high a priority as Yoro. Madrid have been informed of Bayern’s new stance, who after coming close to renewing the full-back’s contract cancelled the offer and are willing to risk losing him for free in 2025.

Despite this scenario, contact between the two clubs and Davies’ agency has not stopped. Further developments after the Copa America are not being ruled out.

Which players could be leaving?

Although Ancelotti and his staff think Andriy Lunin (who agreed a contract renewal until 2029 in May) will stay, he has not given a definitive answer. The Ukrainian has doubts and has received interest from the Premier League.

Ferland Mendy‘s future is also uncertain. His contract expires in 2025 and, although Ancelotti has asked for him to stay, the board have doubts because they are not keen to offer him a long-term renewal with a significant increase in salary, which is the objective of the France international. Voices from his camp think there won’t be news before his team exits Euro 2024.

There are doubts about Dani Ceballos. As reported by The Athletic, the midfielder is keen to leave because he is unhappy with his minutes last season. However, Madrid’s potential asking price and his high salary would be problems, especially because his priority is to play in Spain.

Centre-back Jesus Vallejo has returned from a loan spell and would like to stay, but the club wants him to leave.

Mario Cortegana and Guillermo Rai


Barcelona

What has happened this week?

Marc Guiu has moved to Chelsea. He was never been regarded as one of Barcelona’s top prospects and Chelsea paid the €6million release clause for him.

Sporting director Deco was spotted in the stands of the Merkur Spiel-Arena in Dusseldorf to watch the match between Albania and Spain. It is the first match he has attended at this Euros and was there to see Dani Olmo start his first game for Spain at Euro 2024.

Olmo is one of the players the club and especially Deco are interested in because he can help them cover several positions. The sporting director has already met with his agent to evaluate options. This includes asking RB Leipzig to let Barcelona pay for his transfer in instalments after July 15, the day his €60million clause expires.

Sources around the player, who prefer to remain anonymous to protect relationships, say Barcelona’s interest is strong and that Olmo would be keen to join them given he spent seven years in the club’s academy. On the other hand, they point out that going to Barcelona is not something he is obsessed with and they are not optimistic that it will happen. They believe another club will step up and pay RB Leipzig’s clause before July 15.

The Athletic also learned from sources close to Sergi Roberto that the player is negotiating with other clubs to leave Barcelona. These sources, kept anonymous to protect relationships, say this is the first summer Roberto has decided to listen to offers.

The player’s entourage believe Barcelona’s offer is unacceptable. The club offered him a verbal pre-agreement for a renewal, which included a clause that the player could leave as a free agent if the club could not find financial space to register him by mid-August.

Some clubs, such as Girona, have been interested in him, but no decision has been made yet.

Barcelona also sold Sergino Dest to PSV Eindhoven, while Marcos Alonso left. Barcelona’s social media accounts said goodbye to Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo, but these posts were deleted. Although it is true both have finished their loan spells, Barcelona hope to keep them and it is likely that will happen.

Will Barcelona consider selling any of their ‘untouchables’ at any stage?

Very few players are considered to be untouchables, but in the cases of Pedri, Gavi, Lamine Yamal and Pau Cubarsi, the club will not listen to offers for these players unless something extraordinary happens.

There are some players who have been considered untouchable until now — such as Ronald Araujo. If big offers come in, the rest of the squad — on different scales — can all be sold given the club’s financial situation.

Araujo has, during interviews at the Copa America, avoided answering questions on his future, limiting himself to saying that “now he is 100 per cent focused on the Copa America”.

What positions/players are they looking at?

The club’s priority is still to find a defensive midfielder, although a few names have been mentioned, such as Mikel Merino.

The club seems to be most interested in a left-winger and have their eye on several players that interest them, such as Nico Williams, who is still being strongly mentioned after every game with Spain and seeing his good understanding with Yamal — although a deal seems unlikely to happen given his €60million release clause.

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Hansi Flick also wants Jeremie Frimpong after his great season with Bayer Leverkusen.

Which players could be leaving?

After the departure of Guiu, the next to leave will be Mika Faye, who is negotiating with Porto. Barcelona expect to earn €26million for both deals.

The club would welcome departures for Clement Lenglet and Oriol Romeu, who despite a good start to the season struggled to find his place in the team and is expected to leave. If there is a good offer for Alex Valle, they are open to him leaving. If not, they do not rule out renewing his deal and trying him out during pre-season.

Laia Cervello Herrero and Pol Ballus

(Top photo: Getty Images; design: Eamonn Dalton)



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