Nathan Wilson Posted on 6:55 pm

Werner fighting for future as Chelsea eye Aguero, Haaland

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The January transfer window might seem like a distant memory, but that doesn’t mean the rumour mill has shut down! Speculation over summer moves is heating up, so check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.

TOP STORY:

Chelsea forward Timo Werner faces a race to prove his worth to Thomas Tuchel ahead of the summer, according to the Evening Standard.

This news comes with the boss set to finalise his plans as the German boss heads into his first transfer window in London. Tuchel is said to be a big admirer of Manchester City veteran Sergio Aguero, whose contract comes to an end this summer, meaning he could move to Stamford Bridge for free. Even with the Argentine in mind, Borussia Dortmund talisman Erling Haaland remains Tuchel’s main priority, says the report, which is also the case with many of Europe’s biggest clubs.

Olivier Giroud‘s contract comes to an end in the summer, while there have been questions around Tammy Abraham‘s future, but Werner’s long-term position is also uncertain.

There have been reports in Germany that the 25-year-old may be allowed to leave despite only joining from RB Leipzig in the summer, but the report suggests no talks of this nature have yet taken place.

However, Tuchel is set to hold discussions with Marina Granovskaia and Petr Cech about what it is needed to move the club forward, and Werner’s failure to show a clinical edge in front of goal is cited as a big reason behind a frontman being seen as a priority.

The hope is that it is just taking the German a while to settle in, but the worrying signs are already there regarding his future.

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18.04 BST: Borussia Dortmund starlet Jude Bellingham’s stock only continues to rise and Eurosport claim that now Chelsea are looking to sign the 17-year-old, according to Eurosport.

Bellingham, who scored in midweek agains Manchester City in the Champions League, has had a breakout season in Germany with BVB and is now on the wishlist of some of Europe’s biggest clubs. The outlet claims that Chelsea would prefer Bellingham to West Ham’s Declan Rice and that the Blues are willing to pay £100 million for the English teen.

Liverpool are also reportedly tracking the central midfielder.

17.11 BST: The New York Red Bulls are set to acquire Polish striker Patryk Klimala from Celtic.

The Glasgow Herald and Times Sport have learned that Celtic will recoup €4 million from the 22-year-old striker. Bought from Jagiellonia Białystok for £3.5m last season, Klimala managed only three goals in 28 appearances for the Hoops.

The deal for the Poland Under-21 international is expected to be confirmed in the next day or so and will reunite Klimala with Cameron Harper, who joined the Red Bulls earlier this year.

16.22 BST: Real Madrid will need to raise transfer funds in order to make bids to sign Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland, but Marca reports that the club is unwilling to let four young stars leave.

Brazilian forwards Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo and midfielders Martin Odegaard and Federico Valverde have reportedly been placed on a list of non-transferable players.

That is a blow to Arsenal’s hopes of making Norway international playmaker Odegaard’s loan signing a permanent deal this summer.

15.26 BST: Barcelona president Joan Laporta is convinced Lionel Messi will stay at the club and said everything is progressing well, although sources have told ESPN’s Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens he hasn’t yet offered the forward a new contract.

Messi’s existing deal expires in June and he will be free to leave the club if he doesn’t sign new terms.

Laporta, who was elected for a second spell as Barca president in March, has always expressed his desire for Messi to stay at Camp Nou but is holding off on offering him a new contract until an internal audit on the club’s finances has been carried out.

A report on Friday suggested a first offer had been made this week. Sources close to the Catalan club and the player denied that to ESPN, but Laporta demonstrated optimism ahead of this weekend’s Copa del Rey final.

“Everything is progressing adequately,” Laporta told Deportes Cuatro before flying to Seville, where Barca face Athletic Bilbao on Saturday (stream LIVE at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+ in the U.S.).

“I will do everything within the club’s capabilities to get him to stay. That’s what we’re doing. Messi is motivated. He is an extraordinary person and I am convinced that he will want to continue at Barca.”

14.49 BST: Edinson Cavani may have recently turned 34, but he’s showing Manchester United that they could do worse than extend his stay at the club.

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Gab Marcotti weighs in on Man United’s options at striker and questions if they should keep Edinson Cavani.

14.08 BST: Villarreal president Fernando Roig is hopeful Pau Torres will continue at the club for at least two further years amid reports the Spanish centre-back is a target of Real Madrid.

With Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos’ future at Real Madrid uncertain, Los Blancos are looking to strengthen their defensive line this summer.

“I’m not scared if Real Madrid signs Pau Torres,” Roig said. “But if they want Torres, they will have to pay the price. I hope he can stay with us two to three years more.”

Villarreal have placed a €65m price tag on Torres, who is contracted to the Yellow Submarine until June 2024.

Torres, 24, has made 27 league appearances for Villarreal and has earned a spot in Spain’s national team.

13.16 BST: Barcelona have been tracking Eintracht Frankfurt’s Andre Silva but have ruled out making a move for the striker this summer, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Barca want to sign a No.9 for next season and will focus all their efforts on Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland, although a deal for the Norway international could be out of their price range.

The Catalan club have also scoured the market for other options, with Silva one of the players they have been following. The Portugal striker, who previously played in Spain with Sevilla, has scored 23 goals in 26 Bundesliga appearances this season. However, despite his impressive performances in Germany, the report in Mundo Deportivo says Barca have ruled out making a play for him this year, even if a deal for Haaland proves impossible.

Sources have previously told ESPN that Barca are also tracking Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak, while out-of-contract Manchester City frontman Sergio Aguero has been strongly linked as a short-term option.

12.39 BST: Paris Saint-Germain coach Mauricio Pochettino says his club is doing all it can to keep Neymar and Kylian Mbappe at the club next season.

Both players become free agents in June 2022 and have yet to sign new contracts.

“The aim of PG is to keep the best players and have the best players possible to achieve something important as is winning the Champions League,” Pochettino said. “The club is doing all it can to keep Neymar and Mbappe.”

Neymar reassured fans his contract extension was no longer an issue after his team qualified for the Champions League semifinals with the elimination of holders Bayern Munich on away goals this week. As for Mbappe, a target of Real Madrid and other top European clubs, Pochettino remains optimistic.

“Mbappe and I have a very good rapport,” he said. “At this time, I’m optimistic and I will fight with all my strength for him to stay. I think Mbappe will play in Paris next year. The priority is for both players to continue here. We are not thinking of another plan without these players in the future.”

11.43 BST: Central Coast Mariners’ teen sensation Alou Kuol will join Bundesliga club Stuttgart from the A-League leaders on a four-year deal at the end of the Australian season.

The 19-year-old has had a breakthrough campaign for the table-topping Mariners, scoring seven goals in 16 games.

Kuol had been linked to Stuttgart for several weeks but on Friday the German team confirmed they had signed him just over a year after his senior debut against Western United at the start of March 2020.

“Alou Kuol has attracted attention as one of the top rookies in the Australian A-League and impressed us in face-to-face conversations with his personality and ambition,” Stuttgart sporting director Sven Mislintat said.

Stuttgart are expected to start Kuol’s European journey in their under-21 program before any opportunity at senior level.

10.59 BST: Manchester United would be the best fit for Harry Kane is the striker leaves Tottenham this summer, according to former Spurs and United forward Dimitar Berbatov.

The Athletic reported last week that Kane has decided he wants to leave Spurs as the club looks likely to miss out on Champions League football next season.

Berbatov, who won the 2008 League Cup final during his two years at Spurs before moving to Old Trafford, believes Kane needs to think seriously about moving if he wants to win the biggest trophies.

He told Betfair: “Kane is 27, he is at the prime age in his career, the next three years into his 30s he can hopefully keep playing, but time waits for no one. He is in prime right now. I was Harry Kane at Tottenham once. I was in this position with the same decision and at the same club. There will be big thoughts going through his head.

“If he moves, he will be disappointing lots of Spurs fans. Some will turn against him, it is how it is in football. On the other hand, some will understand his decision. Kane is captain of England and a huge player for Spurs. But it would be sad if he looks back in his career and has not been a Premier League champion at some point as he is one of the best strikers in the world.”

Berbatov, who won two Premier League titles at United, added: “I think he will stay in England, so where does he go? Man City have a striking option with Jesus. At United, Kane could fit in because they don’t have a typical centre-forward who is his age. Edinson Cavani is in the latter stages of his career. Liverpool have lots of talent up front and Arsenal is simply a no.

“He’s been linked with Chelsea, but will that be suitable for Spurs, selling to another London rival. There are lots of question marks, so he needs to read the game carefully and make the right decision. The easiest decision is to stay at Spurs, he is a club legend and can break every record he wants there. I don’t see Kane moving abroad, he is an England legend and everyone respects him and I think he will stay in this country.”

10.13 BST: Watford are poised to make a bid to bring Inter Milan’s Ashley Young back to the club if they can secure promotion back to the Premier League, the Daily Mail reports.

Young, who has made 30 appearances for Inter this season as Antonio Conte’s side close in on their first Serie A title in 11 years, is out of contract at Inter this summer.

The 35-year-old made more than 100 first-team appearances for Watford after coming through their youth ranks, before leaving for a four-year spell at Aston Villa en route to joining Manchester United in 2011.

Watford are second in the Championship with five matches of the regular season remaining. If they can remain in the top two, they will be automatically promoted back up to the Premier League just a year after they were relegated.

– Napoli vs. Inter Milan: Stream LIVE Sunday on ESPN+ in the U.S.

09.18 BST: Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema will renew his contract with Los Blancos until June 2023, according Marca.

The Spanish outlet reports that the paperwork is ready and all that the French forward has to do is to put pen to paper to a one-year contract extension.

Benzema is in his 11th season at Madrid and his contract expires in June 2022. The 33-year-old is the club’s leading scorer this season with 25 goals scored across all competitions, including 19 in La Liga.

08.30 BST: Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti says that the club are open to making Moise Kean‘s loan move to Paris Saint-Germain permanent, but the French club must initiate talks over a transfer.

Kean struggled to adapt to the Premier League following his move from Juventus last season, but he has revitalised his career at PSG. The 21-year-old Italy international has scored 16 goals this season and has helped PSG reach the Champions League semifinals.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Everton would expect to receive a transfer fee of around £45m for Kean.

“I don’t have to convince him to stay, this is what the [loan] papers say. He is on loan and he has to come back,” Ancelotti said. “If Paris Saint-Germain want him they have to open discussions about him. We are open but if nothing happens then he will be an Everton player next season and an important player.”

PAPER GOSSIP

– It seems increasingly likely that Erik Lamela will leave Tottenham Hotspur in the summer, and Calciomercato is suggesting that the Argentine’s destination could be Napoli. AC Milan and Bologna also want the 29-year-old, who will likely return a fee of between €5 million and €10 million, with Lamela supposedly willing to half his wages to play in the stadium once graced by Diego Maradona.

– AC Milan are happy with Fikayo Tomori‘s performances since the centre-back joined them on loan from Chelsea, so much so that they are hoping to sign the 23-year-old permanently, reports Fabrizio Romano. However, there have not yet been any discussions with Chelsea and a decision won’t be made until May, says the report, with the Blues’ current stance being that the €28m option to make the move permanent needs to be paid in full or Tomori returns to Stamford Bridge.

– Everton have received a boost in their pursuit of Norwich City right-back Max Aarons, as the Canaries will be willing to let the 22-year-old leave if his £30m valuation by the club is met, according to Football Insider. This is said to be the case regardless of whether Norwich secure promotion from the Championship this term — which looks likely — meaning Aarons might follow his former teammate Ben Godfrey to Goodison Park.

Marc-Oliver Kempf‘s current contract with Stuttgart comes to an end in the summer of 2022, and he is demanding a release clause is inserted that is lower than the club are willing to accept, reports Kicker. With this in mind, the Bundesliga outfit might look to offload the 26-year-old centre-back to avoid losing him for free, with Eintracht Frankfurt and Lazio among the clubs interested in the German.

– Ligue 1 and Eredivisie clubs are looking to sign young Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Thimothee Lo-Tutala, as has been reported by Foot Mercato. The 18-year-old Frenchman has been playing for Spurs’ Under-18s, but has been attracting attention and might look to Noni Madueke for inspiration, after the winger left Spurs’ youth system to get regular football with PSV Eindhoven.

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