LIVE Transfer Talk: Lukaku set to leave Chelsea, return to Inter on loan

The summer transfer window is here, and there’s plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings and goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Lukaku close to Inter loan return

Internazionale and Chelsea are preparing the paperwork to complete the negotiations for Romelu Lukaku to return to Italy on loan, according to Fabrizio Romano.

New Chelsea owner Todd Boehly is prepared to accept an initial loan fee of €8 million plus add-ons for the Belgium international, who only arrived at the club last summer for a club-record €115m.

Blues boss Thomas Tuchel has wanted Lukaku to leave Stamford Bridge ever since the 28-year-old publicaly pushed to make a move, with one interview leading the striker to make an apology to Chelsea supporters.

It has only been one season since he re-joined the Blues from Inter, but he hasn’t had the best time back in London with 15 goals and two assists in 44 matches across all competitions last term. In contrast, Lukaku scored 64 goals and provided 16 assists in 95 appearances during his time with Inter.

After they had lost out to city rivals AC Milan in the race for the title last season, Inter will be especially keen to complete the deal and secure the return of a player who was so effective in the Nerazzurri shirt.

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21.50 BST: Lazio have made an offer to sign Sampdoria forward Francesco Caputo, writes Gazzetta dello Sport. The Biancocelesti are reported to have proposed a €2.5m transfer fee for the 34-year-old, with Maurizio Sarri hoping that he can land him as a backup option to Ciro Immobile. Caputo made 31 starts in Serie A last season, contributing to 15 goals.

21.33 BST: United States defender Bryan Reynolds has been loaned from AS Roma to Belgian club Westerlo for the 2022-23 season. The newly promoted first-division club announced the arrival of Reynolds on Tuesday. Read the full story.

21.17 BST Manchester United are keen to acquire Watford goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann as cover for David De Gea, writes Fabrizio Romano. With Dean Henderson close to joining Nottingham Forest, it looks as though the Red Devils have wasted no time in looking to find a replacement. Bachmann, 27, made 12 Premier League appearances last season for the Hornets, and starts regularly for Austria.

20.44 BST: Brighton & Hove Albion have identified Reims midfielder Marshall Munetsi as a potential replacement for Yves Bissouma, reports the Mail, after the latter left the Amex Stadium for Tottenham Hotspur. The 26-year-old Zimbabwe international made 24 appearances in Ligue 1 last season, and the French club are reported to be willing to part ways with him for a £7m fee.

20.11 BST: Thomas Tuchel has contacted Adrien Rabiot with hopes of bringing the Juventus midfielder to Chelsea this summer, reports Tuttosport. The Bianconeri reportedly would be willing to let him leave the club for a transfer fee in the region of €20m, with the 27-year-old France international midfielder now in the final year of his contract at the Allianz Stadium.

19.38 BST: Manchester United will allow Brandon Williams to leave Old Trafford this summer for a transfer fee of £10m, reports the Sun. The 21-year-old full-back spent last season on loan at Norwich City, and amid hopes of earning regular first-team football, a difficult competition for places in his position (just 23 starts in 2021-22) has seen him begin to look elsewhere for opportunities.

19.03 BST: Celtic are close to completing a move for Lanus winger Alexander Bernabei, reports Cesar Luis Merlo. The 21-year-old Argentina youth international is reportedly set to sign a five-year deal with the Glasgow giants, with his medical set to take place when he arrives in Scotland this week.

18.25 BST: Leeds are tracking PSV Eindhoven winger Cody Gakpo, reports Foot Mercato, and the Dutch outfit could be prepared to move on from the 23-year-old for a transfer fee of €30m. The Netherlands international contributed to 25 goals in 27 league appearances in the Eredivisie last season, and that has seen him linked with Arsenal in recent months, though it looks as though the Gunners will now have competition from Jesse Marsch’s side.

17.44 BST: Atletico Madrid have begun negotiations with Paris Saint-Germain as they look to strike a deal for Pablo Sarabia, according to RMC Sport. The 30-year-old Spain winger is reported to be one of the first players to leave the Parc des Princes this summer, and talks are ongoing regarding a loan move that will include a permanent option clause.

17.03 BST: Mallorca are interested in signing Rafa Marin, reports Marca. The 20-year-old defender has just one year left on his contract with Real Madrid, and he has been identified as a key target to reinforce the defence. It is said that Carlo Ancelotti’s side consider him as a player for the future, though talks are yet to commence over the possibility of him extending his stay at the Santiago Bernabeu.

16.17 BST: Multiple European clubs have checked in with the San Jose Earthquakes about the possibility of signing centre-back Francisco Calvo this summer, according to Fabrizio Romano. The 29-year-old has made 74 appearances for Costa Rica in his 11-year international career, and midtable Turkish Super Lig side Konyaspor are one club explicitly credited with interest in the former Chicago Fire and Minnesota United captain.

15.30 BST: What does the future hold for Christian Pulisic at Chelsea?

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With Raheem Stirling linked to Chelsea, Craig Burley says that USMNT fans need to deal with Christian Pulisic having competition at the club.

15.00 BST: This summer’s transfer window will have a slightly different flavor than previous years. With the 2022 World Cup looming in November, players on the fringes of their clubs will be in search of a new home with the promise of greater opportunity. The flip side to that motivation, however, is the uncertainty in the unknown: Will the player find the culture of a new club the right fit? If a player’s current situation is less than desirable, is that known quantity preferred to the risk of moving to a new team only to discover that things can get even worse?

It’s a strange dichotomy for the transfer market: Players will be more motivated than ever to secure a move if it means bettering their chances of making their country’s World Cup squad, while at the same time being extremely cautious as to avoid any chance of putting their place at Qatar 2022 at risk.

It’s a conundrum that’s being felt throughout the United States men’s national team player pool. Should Christian Pulisic leave Chelsea for a club that will guarantee him first-choice status? Should Tyler Adams depart RB Leipzig for the same reasons?

And as American players become more prevalent throughout the Old World, will clubs — especially in Europe’s Big Five leagues — continue importing promising talents from Major League Soccer? Or poaching USMNT prospects languishing in second divisions and some of the continent’s lesser leagues?

To get a sense of how this transfer window could unfold for U.S. men’s national team, and those with hopes of representing their country at senior level in the near future, ESPN asked Jeff Carlisle and Kyle Bonagura to detail the situations surrounding five of the most likely Americans to find a new club this summer.

Tyler Adams | 23 | Midfielder | RB Leipzig
Luca de la Torre | 24 | Midfielder | Heracles Almelo
Gabriel Slonina | 18 | Goalkeeper | Chicago Fire
Reggie Cannon | 24 | Defender | Boavista
Gianluca Busio | 20 | Midfielder | Venezia

14.13 BST: Stop us if you’ve heard this one before but Barcelona are planning for a big summer.

Mundo Deportivo reckons they want a hat trick of star signings, despite the massive financial they are taking in a bid to raise some much-needed transfer funds amid their €1.2bn debt.

Xavi wants to sign Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, Sevilla defender Jules Kounde and Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva.

Lewandowski, 33, is in talks over a €40m move, but Kounde would be at least €60m and has been linked with Chelsea. Meanwhile, Man City have no desire to let Silva leave for anything less than €90m, despite his desire to move to LaLiga.

13.32 BST: Mauricio Pochettino‘s tenure as Paris Saint-Germain head coach has come to an end, mere weeks after lifting the Ligue 1 title with the club. Well, that is not official yet, but when the president of the club has spoken publicly about being in talks with his replacement, it’s not a good sign for the former Tottenham Hotspur boss

The 50-year-old was the sixth head coach employed by Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) since they completed their takeover of the French club in the summer of 2011 and transformed their fortunes in a very literal sense.

All six coaches have managed to secure silverware of some description for PSG but the ongoing quest for continental supremacy in the Champions League will now roll over into a 12th season with a brand new boss at the helm.

Here’s a look at each manager to have played their part in QSI’s mission to transform PSG from European also-rans to a bona fide powerhouse with global reach and influence, and a ranking of how successful all six have been in doing so.

12.45 BST: Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips has been the subject of great interest this summer, with Man United and Man City linked.

However, according to Football Insider, Aston Villa and West Ham have both made bids to sign the England international.

Phillips, 26, doesn’t want to move to United because of the club’s rivalry with Leeds, but he is keen to join Man City for a fee of around £50m.

As a result, he has reportedly told Villa and West Ham that he’s not interested in moving to them.

LIVE Transfer Talk Real Madrid lead pack for Monacos Tchouameni12.20 BST: Sadio Mane has completed his move to Bayern Munich, ending a six-year spell with Liverpool in which he helped end their 30-year wait for a league title, as well as winning the Champions League.

Sources told ESPN on Friday that Mane reached an agreement with Bayern, who won their 10th consecutive Bundesliga title in May, in a total package worth €41m.

In a statement, Liverpool said: “We thank Sadio for everything he has done and wish him the very best of luck in the rest of his career.”

In a separate statement, Mane said: “Obviously it is strange — really, really strange — to no longer be a Liverpool player after six years spent at Anfield. But of course I had a great time, an unbelievable time, and since my first day I really, really enjoyed training, playing, at Anfield especially and in front of these amazing supporters. Now it’s come to the end, so what can you say?

“From the first day I came to the club, I spoke to the boss when I was in Southampton and I think at that time we were not even in the Champions League. He called me and I said, ‘For sure.’ I just decided in my heart that I am coming to Liverpool because that is where I see myself and for me it was the right time and the right club to achieve everything.

“So, I can say of course we won a lot and I spent a great, great time there. An unbelievable time at Liverpool, we won a lot. Like I always say, my life is always [about a] challenge and when it came I said to the club that I want to leave, I want to go somewhere else to see a new challenge. It is not anything else, it is just a challenge because for me I want to always be challenging myself to get better and better.”

11.50 BST: How will Liverpool get on without Sadio Mane?

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Gab and Juls discuss Sadio Mane’s proposed move from Liverpool to Bayern Munich.

LIVE Transfer Talk Real Madrid lead pack for Monacos Tchouameni11.19 BST: Argentine club Velez Sarsfield have announced the signing of Uruguay captain Diego Godin.

Godin, 36, left Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro by mutual consent earlier this week and has joined Velez as a free agent. The former Atletico Madrid centre-back has put pen to paper on a contract until December 2023.

He arrived in Buenos Aires on Tuesday afternoon and said: “I’ve come here because I love football, I’m eager to do well. I know I can give a lot to Velez just as Velez can give me a lot. I have a short and mid-term aim which is the World Cup and I want to arrive to that point in the best possible way, that is competing with Velez and helping the team.”

LIVE Transfer Talk Real Madrid lead pack for Monacos Tchouameni10.44 BST: Mexican club Pachuca have completed the signing of 2021 FIFA’s The Best runner-up Jennifer Hermoso on a free transfer as she announced her departure from Barcelona.

Hermoso, who is Barca Femeni’s all-time leading scorer with 174 goals, announced she is making the switch to Pachuca after turning down a contract extension at the Camp Nou.

“To have won everything with this jersey is something that I will take with me forever,” Hermoso said in a message posted to Instagram on Tuesday. “To play in a sold-out stadium, to celebrate a goal at the Camp Nou and to lift high up our first Champions [League]… Now is time for a new adventure that fills me and that make me feel truly valued.”

10.22 BST: Real Betis captain Joaquin joked with Norway forward Erling Haaland that there’s no room for him at his club this season so he has to go to Man City.

Haaland, who will officially join Manchester City from Borussia Dortmund for €60m on July 1, is seen laughing and sitting with Joaquin having a coffee in a beach in Marbella, Spain, in an Instagram video shared by the Spaniard.

Joaquin, who will continue at Betis for a further season, said on the video: “Haaland says he wants to come to Betis and I’ve told him there’s no room for him now, next year. So to [Manchester] City!”

Haaland laughs and replies in Spanish: “Muy bien! [Very good!]”

09.48 BST: Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser al-Khelaifi said on Tuesday he was in talks with Nice to hire coach Christophe Galtier to replace Mauricio Pochettino at the French champions.

Sports paper L’Equipe on Monday reported Galtier was being lined up to take over at PSG, but that the announcement of his appointment would have to wait until Argentine Pochettino’s departure was finalised.

“We have a shortlist of coaches, we are in talks with Nice, this is not a secret,” Qatari Al-Khelaifi told Le Parisien in a detailed interview published on Tuesday.

The club’s current manager Pochettino, who was appointed 18 months ago, came under pressure having failed to help PSG break new ground in the Champions League last season, after they were eliminated in the round of 16 by Real Madrid.

Galtier joined Nice ahead of last season having led former club Lille to their first Ligue 1 title since 2011 in the previous campaign.

Al-Khelaifi also appeared to put an end to the constant speculation surrounding France great Zinedine Zidane, dismissing reports that the club had been in talks with the 1998 World Cup winner about becoming their new head coach.

“Many clubs are interested in hiring him, including national teams, but no, we have never been in discussions with him,” Al-Khelaifi said.

09.32 BST: Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia has left the club, it was announced on Wednesday.

Granovskaia follows chairman Bruce Buck in leaving the Premier League club following the takeover in May by a consortium led by LA Dodgers owner Todd Boehly. The American will now serve as “interim sporting director,” the club said.

“Boehly will operate as interim sporting director until the club names a full-time replacement, continuing the club’s work towards its targets during the current transfer window,” Chelsea said. “Chelsea FC and Ms. Granovskaia have agreed that she will remain available to Boehly and the club for the departure of the current transfer window, to the extent required to support the transition.”

Granovskaia was named the best club director in European football at the Golden Boy awards in 2021. She began working at Chelsea when former owner Roman Abramovich bought the west London club in 2003, taking charge of player transfers and contracts in 2013.

09.00 BST: The transfer window for the English Premier League and French Ligue 1 is already open, but the rest of Europe is springing into life on July 1 when some of the big deals already agreed will go through officially.

Here’s our club-by-club guide of all the major deals to keep an eye on this summer. Including:

LIVE Transfer Talk Lukaku set to leave Chelsea return to.png&w=126&site=espnfcArsenal have sealed a £34m deal for Porto midfielder Fabio Vieira on a five-year contract. They are also pursuing Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus. Arteta has a long-standing interest in Leicester midfielder Youri Tielemans, but it is unclear at this stage whether Vieira’s arrival is the end of their desire to strengthen in that area, while Leeds winger Raphinha is on their radar. They are also keen on Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez, who would theoretically strengthen both the centre-back position and provide cover at left-back given his versatility.

1655982531 40 LIVE Transfer Talk Lukaku set to leave Chelsea return to.png&w=126&site=espnfcAC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie and Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen will both arrive on free transfers. Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski is the striker Barca want, but they are negotiating over a potential €40m fee, while options on the wing will depend on Ousmane Dembele’s decision to stay or leave at the end of his contract. There have also been talks to sign Christensen’s Chelsea teammates Azpilicueta and Alonso. In a world where money becomes available, Barca could also move for Sevilla defender Jules Kounde and Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva — even though midfield is not currently a priority position.

1655982531 261 LIVE Transfer Talk Lukaku set to leave Chelsea return to.png&w=126&site=espnfcOne man’s name is on the lips of everyone: Lewandowski. After doing some smart early business with midfielder Ryan Gravenberch (€18m) and defender Noussair Mazraoui (free) both signing from Ajax, Liverpool winger Sadio Mane was the headline-grabbing move and his €41m arrival could see him replace Lewandowski, though don’t rule out another striker coming in. RB Leipzig midfielder Konrad Laimer is a player Bayern continue to monitor.

1655982531 879 LIVE Transfer Talk Lukaku set to leave Chelsea return to.png&w=126&site=espnfcKounde is the top target to fill the gaps left by Antonio Rudiger and Christensen at the back, but Barcelona have emerged as competition for the France international. RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol, Torino defender Gleison Bremer and Paris Saint-Germain’s Presnel Kimpembe have also been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge. Man City winger Raheem Sterling is a major target up front, but he could cost £60m.

1655982531 296 LIVE Transfer Talk Lukaku set to leave Chelsea return to.png&w=126&site=espnfcLeeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips and Brighton left-back Marc Cucurella are two players City would like to sign before the transfer deadline. Sources have told ESPN that both are keen to move to the Etihad, but they are key players for their current clubs and won’t be allowed to move cheaply.

1655982531 204 LIVE Transfer Talk Lukaku set to leave Chelsea return to.png&w=126&site=espnfcBarcelona’s Frenkie de Jong remains the top target to fill the void in midfield. There is also interest in Ajax winger Antony, with United looking for a more flexible forward who can play in a variety of positions rather than an out-and-out striker.

1655982532 265 LIVE Transfer Talk Lukaku set to leave Chelsea return to.png&w=126&site=espnfc08.29 BST: Borussia Dortmund are set to sign striker Sebastian Haller from Ajax in a deal worth around €36m, sources have told ESPN.

Haller, 27, joins the team following the departure of Erling Haaland to Manchester City in a €60m move earlier this month.

The Ivory Coast international had a prolific 18-month spell at Ajax since arriving in January 2021 following a disappointing period at West Ham United. He scored 13 goals in 23 matches during his first season in Amsterdam before hitting new heights, becoming the top scorer in the Eredivisie last term with 21 goals, as well as netting 11 times in eight Champions League matches.

LIVE Transfer Talk Real Madrid lead pack for Monacos Tchouameni08.00 BST: ICYMI — Arsenal have completed the signing of Fabio Vieira from Porto, the Premier League club announced on Tuesday.

Last week, ESPN reported that Vieira was set for his medical in London on Friday after Porto confirmed he would join Arsenal for an initial fee of €35m.

Arsenal announced that the attacking midfielder has signed a long-term deal and will wear the No. 21 shirt.

“I am very excited that we have identified and signed such a special talent,” Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said in a club statement. “Fabio is a very creative player that will bring high quality and versatility to our attacking play. We welcome Fabio and his family to our club and are looking forward to starting work with him ahead of the new season.”

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Julien Laurens profiles Arsenal’s first summer signing, midfielder Fabio Vieira from Porto.

PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)

– Arsenal have submitted their first formal offer to Leeds for Raphinha, according to The Athletic, but while a figure isn’t provided in the report, it is stated to be well below Leeds’ £75m valuation and is expected to be rejected. The Gunners face competition from Barcelona, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in trying to sign the Brazilian winger.

– Newcastle United, Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City are all looking into the possibility of signing Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz, as has been reported by Corriere dello Sport. He currently has a contract that runs until the summer of 2023 and has rejected an offer of a one-year extension, so Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis is asking for €30m for the 26-year-old, as the Serie A side can’t afford to lose him for free next season.

– Paris Saint-Germain are happy to let Neymar leave in the summer, reports Foot Mercato, which adds that new sporting director Luis Campos is in agreement with this stance. They have already set a figure that they will accept for the Brazilian player’s departure — although that number isn’t provided in the report — with it being added that the forward’s wages in excess of €30m per year could be problematic in trying to offload him.

– Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and PSG are all showing interest in Stade de Reims striker Hugo Ekitike, as reported by L’Equipe. This could come as a shock for Newcastle United, who have already made a large offer for the 20-year-old and had appeared to be in a strong position to sign him.

– PSG are considering a move for Vasco da Gama midfielder Andrey Santos, according to Le10 Sport, who add that Barcelona also are interested in the 18-year-old. This is another sign of their efforts to strengthen in midfield, an area they haven’t been completely satisfied with, having almost completed the signing of Vitinha from Porto and made strides to bring in Renato Sanches from Lille.

– AS Monaco have agreed to a deal with Liverpool to sign Takumi Minamino that is worth €18m, as reported by Sky Sports. The initial fee is set at €15m with a potential €3m coming in add-ons for the Japan international, who has represented Liverpool 55 times, scoring 14 goals.



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LIVE Transfer Talk: Lukaku set to leave Chelsea, return to Inter on loan

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