The transfer window for Europe’s biggest clubs is closed, but click here for all the deals and keep track of who has joined the big boys. And Transfer Talk will continue to scour the world’s media and set correspondents loose to see what’s on the agenda for the summer.
Coutinho to return to England?
Philippe Coutinho‘s teammates have been rallying around the “sad” Brazilian star, but speculation continues to grow about his long-term future.
Sport is reporting that Coutinho’s teammates are confident the 26-year-old can improve on his poor form, but his performances against Valencia and Real Madrid will be a cause for concern for boss Ernesto Valverde.
Coutinho has struggled for consistency since his switch to Camp Nou, and it was hoped that his double against Sevilla — when he scored from the penalty spot and then headed home a second — would kickstart his season. However, he has since disappointed, and with Frenchman Ousmane Dembele returning from injury, Valverde may face fresh pressure to replace him.
Chelsea and Manchester United have been linked with the attacking midfielder, particularly the Blues, who are planning for life without Eden Hazard in case he departs Stamford Bridge this summer.
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Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes is set to be appointed manager of League Two side Oldham Athletic, sources have said.
Pete Wild had been installed as manager on an interim basis following the sacking on Frankie Bunn on Dec. 27, and masterminded a 2-1 victory away at Premier League Fulham in the FA Cup third round.
However, owner Abdallah Lemsagam moved to appoint a full time manager and will turn to Oldham-born Scholes on a full-time basis — his first game in charge will be Yeovil at home next Tuesday with Wild likely to be caretaker-manager for Saturday’s clash at Crawley.
Ivan Rakitic wants to leave Barcelona, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. With Frenkie de Jong set to arrive this summer, and Adrien Rabiot strongly linked, the Croatia midfielder is worried about his future and could be of interest to Inter Milan given they have failed to land Luka Modric from Real Madrid.
Jadon Sancho said that he was inspired to leave Manchester City and join Borussia Dortmund following Christian Pulisic’s success at the club.
Sancho, 18, has scored six goals and set up another nine for Dortmund this season, who lead the Bundesliga by seven points and are well placed to end Bayern Munich’s six-year stranglehold on the title.
“The club had shown with a player like Christian Pulisic that they were going in the right way, playing youngsters and giving them a chance,” Sancho said. “He came from the same situation as me, leaving his family behind.
“He was so young, and he was brave enough. America is a lot further away than England and he’s taken a bigger step than I have done. How he’s handled that, what he does on the pitch, his mentality [towards] football, it’s just crazy. The passion he has. I admire him.”
Sancho: I look up to Pulisic
Jadon Sancho says Christian Pulisic’s outstanding ability, commitment and passion for the game is an inspiration for him.
ICYMI: Real Madrid and Manchester United are tracking Benfica attacking midfielder Joao Felix, who has been labelled the “new Cristiano Ronaldo,” a source has confirmed.
Nacho Monreal will be 33 soon, so Arsenal are looking to land a new left-back …
Yes, we know they can’t sign anyone until the summer but Mundo Deportivoreckon that’s exactly when they will make their move for Benfica’s 23-year-old Alex Grimaldo, a product of Barcelona’s La Masia youth academy. The problem being that Manchester City are also after a new left-back and we know who will win that bidding war.
Liverpool announced record pre-tax profits on Friday of £125m ($162m) over the last financial year after reaching the Champions League final and the sale of Philippe Coutinho.
The club’s annual accounts for the financial year to May 31, 2018 showed pre-tax profits grew by more than 300 percent from £40m, eclipsing the £92.5m made by Leicester City in 2016-17.
Champions League qualification, progress to the final (where they lost to Real Madrid) and the £142m sale of Coutinho to Barcelona in January 2018 were instrumental in the record profit.
“What we have seen is a stable and sustained improvement in the club’s financial position over recent years,” Liverpool’s chief operating officer Andy Hughes said in a statement. “This growth and increase in revenue has enabled us to significantly reinvest both in the playing squad and the football operational infrastructure.”
Nicolas Pepe is “just behind” Neymar and Kylian Mbappe on the list of Ligue 1’s top strikers, according to the Lille president, but he could very soon be judged against his Bundesliga peers.
Le10sport report that Bayern Munich, fresh from making a deal for Fiete Arpby 2020, are ready to bring Pepe to Germany. Reports suggest a bid of €50m would do it.
Borussia Monchengladbach centre-back Matthias Ginter is attracting the interest of Tottenham and Arsenal, according to Sky Sports.
Ginter, 25, joined Monchengladbach from Borussia Dortmund in 2017 and has 23 caps for Germany.
Ajax’s Barcelona-bound wonderkid Frenkie de Jong has revealed that the decision to choose between PSG and Barcelona wasn’t actually that difficult after all.
He told Het Kontakt: “PSG was a good option, but Barca has always been my dream. I am very happy with the five-year contract that I have signed. If I am successful, there is a chance that I could stay there for the rest of my career — like Lionel Messi.”
Superdeporte report that Valencia have signed Mallorca left-back Salva Ruiz for the 2019-20 campaign.
According to the publication, the Spaniard underwent a medical on Wednesday before signing a contract with Los Che. Ruiz, who began his playing career in Valencia’s youth teams, is tied to Segunda Division side Mallorca until the summer. The 23-year-old has made 11 league starts this season.
French-born Morocco international Medhi Benatia says he left Juventus for Qatar for “personal reasons,” stating he wants his children raised in a Muslim country.
Derby manager Frank Lampard has confirmed that former Celtic and Hibernian defender Efe Ambrose has been training with the club.
Germany youth international Fiete Arp is to join Bayern Munichin a rather odd deal. Let us explain.
Arp, 19, is still under contract at Hamburg but has agreed to move to Bayern no later than summer 2020. Indeed, he can go as early as summer 2019 or wait until the end of the 2019-20 season, but the decision is up to him evidently.
He “will play for Bayern Munich by July 1, 2020 at the latest. The decision when he will leave Hamburg SV will be taken by Fiete Arp alone,” the German champions said.
Real Madrid playmaker Isco says he is not “enjoying the same opportunities as his teammates” in an apparent criticism of coach Santi Solari on social media.
Isco was a regular for previous boss Julen Lopetegui but has barely featured since Solari took charge last October, starting just three games in four months. Even youngsters Vinicius Jr., 18, and Fede Valverde, 20, are getting much more playing time than the 26-year-old Spain international.
Cesc Fabregas believes that Chelsea forward Eden Hazard will continue at Stamford Bridge, though he admits he knows his former teammate “likes Madrid.” Hazard — whose contract at Chelsea runs until June 2020 — said this week he had “made a decision” regarding his long-term future amid continued speculation linking him with a move to Real Madrid.
Fabregas, who left Stamford Bridge after four-and-a-half years to sign for Monaco in the winter transfer window, told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser: “If he [Hazard] said that [he had made a decision], I think he will renew his contract with Chelsea. He will never fight with Chelsea to leave. It’s his great club and he has won everything in England.
“I know that he likes Madrid. He is very happy in Chelsea and his family is delighted. He is the team captain. If he doesn’t renew before the summer he will have to make a decision. He is 28 and it will be the perfect time to leave. It will be a very personal decision.”
The future of Isco has been a source of constant speculation ever since coach Santiago Solari came in and made the Spain international a fixture on the bench.
Speaking about Isco’s situation, former Madrid midfielder Ruben de la Red said this week: “Real Madrid is a club that does not wait for anyone. Every player in the squad is good enough to take your place and so whoever isn’t performing to the required level will be left behind.”
Those comments prompted Isco to tweet in response: “I agree completely with De la Red but when you do not enjoy the same opportunities as your teammates then things are different… but even still I keep working and battling a lot hoping for them. Hala Madrid!!”
It’s hard not to interpret that as a blunt criticism of Solari from Isco. It’s seems ever more likely that one (or perhaps) both of them will not be at the Bernabeu next season.