Welcome to the Evening Standard’s ;transfer news LIVE blog, bringing all the latest talk, rumours and gossip.
With no on-pitch football action to enjoy, we will keep you up to date with all the latest transfer news in relation to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Latest transfer news, rumours and gossip…
MAN UTD NEWS
Manchester United are expected to honour the loan agreement with Sheffield United and allow Dean Henderson to finish the season.
The 23-year-old has enjoyed a consistent season for the Blades as they chase an unlikely European spot before the coronavirus forced the Premier League to call a temporary halt to the season.
But despite his loan ending in May, The Sheffield Star report United are unlikely to recall the England Under-21 international and will allow him to complete the campaign at Bramall Lane.
MAN CITY NEWS
Leeds United are hoping to tie up the signing of Manchester City midfielder Jack Harrison after his loan spell at Elland Road.
The Athletic report the 23-year-old, who has scored five goals and registered seven assists in 37 appearances this season, has convinced coach Marcelo Bielsa to push for a permanent deal.
The Championship outfit will therefore exercise their £8 million option to buy the former New York City winger.
Arsenal are still keeping tabs on Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser ahead of a potential free transfer this summer.
The Scotland international’s current deal expires this summer after failing to agree terms on a new contract with the Cherries.
And the Gunners remain in the hunt to sign the 26-year-old, according to the Daily Mirror. However, any move could be affected by the PFA’s talks with the Premier League and EFL over extending contracts until the revised end of the season due to the coronavirus.
Tottenham and Manchester United are set for a transfer battle to secure the signature of Inter Milan defender Diego Godin.
Jose Mourinho is looking to bolster his defensive options with Jan Vertonghen’s future uncertain and the Portuguese has been a long-term admirer of Godin, 34, who has struggled for form since joining Inter from Atletico last summer.
The Mirror suggest Spurs will go head-to-head with United for the Uruguayan defender, has two years left on his current deal at the San Siro, with Valencia also keen to bring him back to Spain.
Mikel Arteta is looking at Valencia midfielder Carlos Soler, according to Sky Sports.
Soler, 23, is contracted to Valencia until 2023, but the Spanish club reportedly need to raise some serious funds to balance the books this summer.
MAN UTD NEWS
This could be bad news for Manchester United… Sky Sports reports that Odion Ighalo has been offered an incredible £400,000-a-week, two-year contract extension by Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua.
Ighalo’s fine form for United has led to suggestions that the Red Devils could move to sign him permanently – but that offer from China would dwarf anything United would be prepared to pay.
Ighalo took a pay cut to join United on loan, but that offer will represent a tough choice if the Red Devils come up with a permanent offer as well.
MAN UTD NEWS
Valverde/Pogba swap deal?
Spanish outlet Diario Madridista reports that Manchester United would consider signing Real Madrid youngster Fede Valverde were they to lose Pogba.
Los Blancos rate Valverde highly, but the prospect of signing Pogba could be too big to turn down – and in that case, a swap deal would surely be on the cards.
MAN UTD NEWS
Of the two, Greening told the Metro: “I actually feel I would prefer Jack Grealish.
“Jack Grealish, however, has that little bit of difference, he can take players on, he can drive forwards with the ball, and slide that pass through. ‘He’s got that bit of grit and determination; and doesn’t like losing, you can see that in his game.
“Maddison is also maybe a bit too similar to Fernandes, whereas Jack Grealish will bring in something different, he can find pockets of space, he can drive at opponents and take on 2-3 players in one movement.
“He’d be a better player at United with the current squad than Maddison would be for me.”
Abraham sends Rashford Sancho warning
A true transfer nugget for the digital age, this – Tammy Abraham has warned (well, joked) that Marcus Rashford should stay away from Jadon Sancho in the race for the Dortmund star’s signature.
Abraham and Rashford both obviously want their England team-mate to join Chelsea and Manchester United respectively, and wished him well on his 20th birthday yesterday.
Sancho replied to Rashford’s message saying: “Thank you Rashhyy, appreciate it bro”, to which Abraham responded: “stay away from my Jadon” – laughing emoji included, of course.
It’s all a bit of fun, but the charm offensive is clearly very much underway.
MAN UTD NEWS
Man Utd secure young striker
The 17-year-old striker joined the club last year from Ajax, and a new deal suggests he’s another one for the future.
This story is set to run, and run, and run… Bild reports that Arsenal have a chance of signing Dayot Upamecano this summer, with the centre-back keen to move at the end of the season.
Upamecano reportedly has a £75m release clause which drops to around £50m this summer – you’d think even with the drop, that would be too steep for the Gunners – and the impending arrival of William Saliba and possibly Pablo Mari on a permanent deal suggests they will be well stocked without him.
Still, if Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang moves on for a big fee, don’t rule out Arsenal going back in for 21-year-old Upamecano.
Real Madrid are interested in Dortmund striker Erling Haaland and are considering a move for the Norwegian this summer, writes Ben Hayward.
Los Blancos signed Luka Kovic for €60m last summer as back-up to Karim Benzema and the 22-year-old has been described as “the future” by coach Zinedine Zidane, but the Serbia striker has scored just twice in 24 appearances so far.
Meanwhile, Karim Benzema’s form has dipped dramatically since Christmas and Madrid struggled for goals prior to the current enforced break due to coronavirus.
Haaland, who moved to Dortmund for just €20m plus agent fees in January, has a clause allowing him to leave the Signal Iduna Park for around €75m (£50m), although it is unclear if that can be activated this summer.
MAN UTD NEWS
Ferdinand urges Man Utd to sign Liverpool, Chelsea target Werner
Former United defender Rio Ferdinand says that while Werner will have to wait for his chance at Liverpool, Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge would also be great destinations.
“If I was Werner I’d be thinking: ‘I don’t think [Mohamed] Salah is gonna be here that much longer, [Sadio] Mane might get bought out of here as well so I could get my chance that way’ but also I’d be thinking there’s enough games in the season to get games and I can make an impact, try and push my way in.
“But there’s other clubs… Chelsea I think are interested in him. He would be massive for Chelsea, an unbelievable signing for Chelsea.
“I think United would go for him as well. I think he’d be great for Manchester United, definitely. Another one added to that great group of players that they’ve got up front.”
Chelsea have put contract renewal talks on hold due to the coronavirus shutdown, according to the Telegraph.
As it stands, four players’ deals – Olivier Giroud, Willian, Pedro and Willy Caballero – run out this summer, though it remains to be seen whether the Premier League, FA and PFA will out together an arrangement which sees players able to play beyond June 30.
Arsenal close to extending Ceballos loan
Arsenal are confident they will be able to agree a deal with Real Madrid to extend Dani Ceballos’s loan spell should the season run beyond June 30.
Ceballos moved to Emirates Stadium last summer and is due to return to Spain at the end of the campaign.
However, it remains unclear exactly when the season will finish, with all English football suspended until April 30 because of the coronavirus.
Smalling can join AS Roma on one condition
And it’s no surprise that the player they want at Old Trafford is Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly.
PFA want urgent meeting with Premier League/EFL
The Professional Footballers’ Association have called for an urgent meeting with the Premier League and EFL during the coronavirus crisis.
In a statement released on Wednesday evening, the PFA referenced the “severe” impact the current suspension is obviously having on football, with several clubs approaching players “with a view to imposing pay deferrals”.
The PFA said: “In order to deal with this situation, we have called for an urgent meeting with both the Premier League and the EFL to discuss how we might proceed going forward.
“Separately, we have worked closely with the Premier League, EFL and WSL, agreeing on protocols in terms of training regimes and timetables for suspension of group training.
“We are also in regular discussions at international level regarding areas relating to contractual stability and the eventual resumption of the leagues.
“In these difficult times, there is a strong public consensus for football to be seen as acting in solidarity with other workers and industries affected by the crisis.”
MAN UTD NEWS
Alf-Inge: Only Solksjaer wanted Erling at Manchester United
United remain interested in signing the 19-year-old , but his dad has suggested the club did not do enough to sign him first time round.
“You never know how it would go in other clubs. It may well have been good, too,’ Alf-Inge told TV2.
“We’ll never get an answer to that. But we are very happy with the clubs he has been in.
“You have to go to a club where the whole club wants you, not just the coach.
“I think that’s the most important thing, in addition to how the club has been over the last five or ten years and what direction they’ve taken.”
Haaland tops Real Madrid shortlist
Real Madrid are said to be stepping up their pursuit of striking reinforcements, with Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland now their top target.
Marca reports that Haaland – who only joined Dortmund in January from Red Bull Salzburg – has moved ahead of Timo Werner, Lautaro Martinez and Kylian Mbappe.
We’ll hear the thoughts of Ben Hayward, our Spanish Football Correspondent, later today.
Ben Chilwell to Chelsea latest
Chelsea could help fund a move for Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell by selling Emerson Palmieri and Victor Moses, according to the Sun.
As previously reported by our chief football correspondent, James Olley, Chelsea consider England left-back Chilwell one of their top targets ahead of the summer transfer window (whenever that will be…).
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When does the 2020 summer transfer window open?
The summer window opens in England at the end of the season – currently May 18, but that will almost certainly not be when it finishes due to Covid-19 delays.
Players can be officially registered with their new clubs when the Fifa international window opens on July 1.
From January 1 onwards, Premier League players with six months left on their contract have been able to negotiate and agree pre-contract deals with foreign clubs.