LIVE Transfer Talk: Arsenal plan £25m swoop for Celtic's Kieran Tierney
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. Transfer Talk will continue to scour the world's media and set correspondents loose to see what's on the agenda for the summer.
TOP STORY: Arsenal look north of the border for reinforcement
The newspaper is reporting that Arsenal have been tracking highly rated left-back Kieran Tierney for two years and that Unai Emery is ready to meet the club's £25 million valuation of the defensive star in the summer.
Tierney has grown in stature since being awarded his chance in the first team under former boss Ronny Deila, and Tierney was alleged to have been a target for Everton last summer. He is currently under contract until 2023.
Should the Gunners land their man, it would represent Celtic's biggest sale since Moussa Dembele (who was mightily unimpressed with Rodgers' defection to Leicester) moved to Lyon for £20m.
23.40 GMT: That will do it for today's Transfer Talk LIVE blog. We hope you enjoyed following all the top rumours and reports from around the globe and remind you to check back shortly for the latest transfer updates heading into Thursday. Goodnight!
23.28 GMT: After missing out on Bayer Leverkusen's Julian Brandt in the summer of 2017 and "settling" instead for the eventual 2018 Premier League Player of the Season Mohamed Salah, Jurgen Klopp reportedly could return for the German.
German publications Bild and Kicker suggest that Liverpool are set to make another push to sign the 22-year-old playmaker, who reportedly has a buyout clause of only €25 million. Brandt, who has seven goals and 10 assists over all competitions this season, would be a bargain at that price and Liverpool could certainly use another versatile playmaker who can play on the win or centrally in the role once held by Philippe Coutinho.
Klopp obviously has connections in Germany so we will be keeping a close eye on this rumour come the summer.
22.45 GMT: Former Leeds manager David Hockaday claims that he nearly signed Liverpool defensive ace Virgil van Dijk when the Dutchman was at Celtic.
Speaking with the Guardian, Hockaday, who lasted only 70 days at Elland Road, claims he recommended signing Van Dijk in 2014 only for then owner Massimo Cellino to quickly reject the manager's suggestion.
Leeds signed Gaetano Berardi and Giuseppe Bellusci instead while Van Dijk, who moved to Southampton in 2015, fetched a record £75 million fee for a defender in Jan. 2018.
Talk about your all-time backfires...
21.55 GMT: Man United and goalkeeper David De Gea are no closer on a new contract extension despite the club offering the Spaniard a £350,000-per-week offer that would make him the highest paid shot-stopper in the world.
According to the Evening Standard, De Gea is holding out for closer to £400,000-per-week, the same amount teammate Alexis Sanchez is being paid weekly at Old Trafford.
De Gea's contract was recently extended through 2020 but with PSG and Juventus circling, the star 'keeper's future remains an albatross over the heads of the English club. Man United's race for a top-four spot will likely also play a key role in De Gea's decision, with United currently sitting just outside the Champions League places.
21.20 GMT: Shifting to MLS for a second as there are rumours swirling a U.S. international could be close to swapping Europe for the United States.
Anderlecht winger Kenny Saief, who completed a one-time association switch from Israel to the United States in 2017, is the player being linked with a move stateside. The 25-year-old has been on the fringes of Belgian giants Anderlecht and a move to the U.S. would seem to mutually benefit both player and league.
Saief has made four appearances for the U.S. at senior level but has struggled with injury issues over the past 18 months. As of yet no particular team has been mentioned with the Israeli-American.
20.53 GMT: With Marcelo set to turn 31 in May and the player beginning to look his age, Real Madrid will likely be looking for a new left-back come the summer.
With Marcelo rumoured to be heading towards a reunion with Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus, Tuttosport, via The Mirror suggests that Ajax's Nicolas Tagliafico is Real Madrid's first choice to replace the Brazilian at the Bernabeu.
The 26-year-old Argentine joined Ajax in Jan. 2018 from Independiente and has impressed in Holland, particularly during Ajax's run in the Champions League this campaign. Tagliafico's agent, Ricardo Schliper, insists that his client is at the top of Real's wish list.
"Real Madrid have Taglaifico's name on their list, because Marcelo is off to Juventus," Schliper said.
"But no one has called me yet."
Marcelo's days at Madrid seem to be numbered, especially with the left-back not playing as much under Santi Solari, so we'll see if Tagliafico is indeed the solution for Los Blancos.
20.16 GMT: With Petr Cech set to retire at the end of the season, Arsenal will need to find another goalkeeper to backup/push starter Bernd Leno.
The Sun claims they won't have to look far, as Unai Emery is reportedly keen to recall Emiliano Martinez from his loan at Reading and make him the new Gunners No. 2.
Mostly a forgotten man, the 26-year-old has made just six league appearances for Arsenal since arriving in 2010 from Argentina's Independiente, but has impressed of late on loan at Reading and could be handed a surprise second chance to kickstart a career at the Emirates.
19.38 GMT: According to Algerian outlet Le Buteur, Chelsea and Arsenal are monitoring Algeria international Said Benrahma.
The 23-year-old winger has been a real find for English Championship side Brentford this season, having scored seven goals and provided 11 assists since arriving from Nice in the summer.
Benrahma, who has been involved in 12 goals for the Bees since the turn of the year, has one cap for Algeria and according to Le Buteur, is starting to attract interest from some of England's "big clubs."
18.55 GMT: FIFA is investigating Emiliano Sala's transfer from Nantes to Cardiff City following a claim from the French club, the global football body said on Wednesday.
Sala had completed his record £15 million transfer to Cardiff from Nantes before boarding the Piper Malibu aircraft piloted by David Ibbotson for the Welsh capital on Jan. 1. The aircraft disappeared from air traffic control radar over the English Channel, prompting a fruitless three-day search of the area by authorities.
Sala's family financed a further search through a crowdfunding campaign which found the aircraft and the player's body on Feb. 7. Mr. Ibbotson's body has not yet been found.
Cardiff have yet to pay for Sala and Nantes have appealed to FIFA to intervene.
"We can confirm that we have received yesterday evening a claim from FC Nantes against Cardiff City in connection with the transfer of Emiliano Sala. We are looking into the matter and consequently we have no further comments at this stage," a FIFA spokesperson confirmed to ESPN FC.
- Borden: In Search of Emiliano Sala
Naturally, this has been interpreted as him joining Lazio.
16.25 GMT: Speaking to Die Telegraaf, the agent of Ajax's Andre Onana has claimed that Barcelona want their former player back. The 22-year-old Cameroonian goalkeeper has starred for Ajax this season, both in the league and Champion's League. He would join fellow midfielder Frenkie de Jong in making a move to the Camp Nou.
15.40 GMT: Calciomercato reports that Chelsea are looking to battle Juventus and Manchester United for AC Milan captain Alessio Romagnoli The 24-year-old Italy international defender has been linked in the past with the Blues and it is suggested that the club will make another approach in the summer for the centre-back, who is valued at £60 million.
15.04 GMT: Il Corriere di Torino claims that Juventus have no desire to bring Gonzalo Higuain back to the club once his loan spell ends at Chelsea. Juventus are unwilling to pay his £300,000-a-week wages and want to lighten their wage obligations to pave the way for the arrival of Aaron Ramsey from Arsenal.
14.23 GMT: Despite being linked to a move to Arsenal, Poland midfielder Piotr Zielinski is set to sign a new deal with Napoli. Italian publication Calciomercato report that talks are at an advanced stage over a contract extension for the £60m rated star.
13.50 GMT: The controversy around Inter Milan's Mauro Icardi continues as the striker posted a cryptic picture to his Instagram account this morning. In the post he wrote the words: "FREEDOM" which will only further fuel speculation that he could be on his way out.
The Argentine has reportedly fallen out of favour at Inter having already been stripped of the captaincy.
13.00 GMT: Former Manchester United, Fiorentina and Genoa striker Giuseppe Rossi is set to have a trial with LA Galaxy with the view of linking up with another former Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Rossi has been training with United and now La Gazzetta dello Sport believe a deal with the Galaxy is all but agreed..
12.20 GMT: Romelu Lukaku wants to join Juventus if he is forced out of Manchester United according to reports at the Sun. The big Belgian has had an inconsistent season even playing out of position under Ole Gunner Solskjaer and will want to play with Cristiano Ronaldo and co should he leave.
11.41 GMT: German publication Sport Bild's chief football writer Christian Falk has tweeted that an agreement is in place for RB Leipzig's Timo Werner to join Bayern Munich by 2020. The striker has netted 11 goals in 21 matches this season.
11.00 GMT: More bad news for Celtic fans as the Times reports that new Leicester City boss Brendan Rogers will target both Callum McGregor and James Forrest from his former club. He will be hoping that he can further bolster his reputation by signing two players which formed the backbone of his Hoops team.
10.22 GMT: Ivan Rakitic's future at Barcelona remains uncertain, with sources telling ESPN FC that no decisions regarding the makeup of next season's squad will be taken until later in March.
Rakitic has made it clear he wants to stay at Barca if possible but reports suggest the signing of Ajax's Frenkie de Jong could force the club to sell one of their big-name midfielders.
The Croatia international has been touted as the most likely to go because of the number of suitors he has around Europe. Manchester United are the most recent club to be linked with him but there's also reportedly strong interest from Inter Milan.
Sources neither confirmed nor denied if Barca would be open to selling Rakitic this summer, reiterating that decisions of that magnitude have been shelved while Ernesto Valverde's side continue to compete for trophies on three fronts.
09.41 GMT: Thomas Meunier was asked about his PSG future in last night's mixed zone and said: "I cannot complain. I am playing for PSG, I have a contract until 2020, and I love this club, as well as this city. When I started my career, my chances of playing for PSG one day were 0,001 per cent!"
Meunier also responded with amusement to claims that a summer move could be on the cards via Twitter.
08.50 GMT: Rafael van der Vaart believes his former Tottenham teammate Gareth Bale would be better off returning to the Premier League than staying at Real Madrid.
Bale made headlines at the weekend after snubbing Real teammate Lucas Vazquez, pushing away a congratulatory gesture from the Spaniard after he had scored Madrid's second from the penalty spot in a 2-1 win over Levante.
"Should he leave to win elsewhere? Perhaps but I think he [Bale] wants to stay at Real Madrid and play more, but I think a team like [Manchester] United or a return to Tottenham could be better for him because people in England are different to that in Spain," Van der Vaart told Cadena Ser.
"Bale is a very calm player, he likes being alone, he doesn't have much contact with his teammates. In Spain it's important to speak Spanish and I think within the team he is a bit lonely, when he plays well it doesn't matter but when he plays badly he has problems."
08.30 GMT: River Plate attacking midfielder Juan Fernando Quintero has put pen to paper on a new contract that ties him to the Buenos Aires giants until June 2022.
As part of the deal, his release clause has increased from $22m to $30m. The Colombia international, who scored in the return leg of the Copa Liberadores final to help his side beat Boca and clinch the title in December, has been a reported target of Real Madrid since the summer. River exercised a €3.2m purchase option on Quintero last year to acquire his rights from FC Porto.
Diario AS recently reported that Madrid are continuing to monitor Quintero's performances.
PAPER TALK (by Richard Edwards)
Ola set to make Italian move permanent
The Nigerian has impressed for Torino in Serie A this season to the extent that Maroons officials are ready to take up the option of a permanent move for the youngster for just under £9m. He has made 24 appearances since his switch from London, and he scored his first goal for the club in a 1-0 win against Udinese earlier in February.
Aina, who starred at Hull City in the Championship last season and who attracted interest from Queens Park Rangers and PSV Eindhoven in the summer, admitted he is loving life and football in Italy. And with Cesar Azpilicueta blocking the 22-year-old's path to the Chelsea first team, Aina could feel his prospects are better served at the Olympic Grande Torino Stadium.
Southampton keen on Red Bull Leipzig striker Augustin
Southampton are joining the race to sign Red Bull Leipzig striker Jean-Kevin Augustin, reports the Daily Mail. The 21-year-old French under-21 international continues to attract admiring glances from England despite firing just six goals in 23 appearances, and he could cost the Saints an eye-watering £35m.
Saints were among the clubs who enquired about Augustin's services on transfer deadline day, alongside West Ham United and Everton; but the Bundesliga club ignored any advances, instead insisting they saw the former Paris Saint-Germain frontman as part of their plans to finish in a Champions League place.
Augustin worked with Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl at Leipzig last season, when Augustin netted 12 goals in 37 appearances.
- Arsenal loan signing Denis Suarez admits he would like to make his loan move from Barcelona more permanent, despite being yet to start a game for the Gunners. The Mirror reports that Arsenal would have to pay a reported £17m to keep the midfielder, who told his YouTube channel he wants to become "an important player for the club."
- Cristiano Ronaldo has told Tuttosport (via the Manchester Evening News) that he is happy in Turin, pouring cold water on any rumours linking him with a return to Manchester. Ronaldo has scored 21 goals in 34 appearances for Juventus, and he reportedly has told friends he is content in Italy.
- Juventus have no intention of bringing back Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain to Italy, reports the Sun. Chelsea have the option to extend his loan or sign him on a permanent deal, but if Chelsea decide against keeping the 31-year-old, Juve reportedly will look to offload him in the summer.