European Paper Talk: Arsenal lead race for Naby Keita
By Philip Costa, Football Whispers
Last Updated: 18/03/17 11:24am
There may be a third of the season still to play - but according to the international media, teams across Europe are already planning their summer spending sprees.
Our friends at Football Whispers have trawled the European press to pick out the biggest news and the most interesting transfer rumours doing the rounds on the continent.
Here's what they found in Saturday's morning's press...
Arsenal are reportedly leading the race for RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita. The 22-year-old has been one of the pivotal figures behind the club's surprise start to life in the Bundesliga, scoring four goals and assisting eight in 22 appearances.
Barcelona are interested in bringing Thiago Alcantara back to the Camp Nou from Bayern Munich, in case a move for Paris Saint-Germain's Marco Verratti fails to materialise. Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernandez watched Thiago in action against Arsenal recently and was said to have been impressed at how the player has developed.
Juventus, Inter and Milan are all on alert after the news that Romelu Lukaku will not renew his contract at Everton. The 23-year-old is the Premier League's joint leading scorer this season and could be on the move this summer in search of Champions League football.
Manchester City are hoping to complete a £30million deal to sign Roma defender Antonio Rudiger. Pep Guardiola has identified the German international as one of his top summer defensive targets as he looks to rebuild City's ageing backline.
Real Madrid's transfer chief Juni Calafat was present at the FA Cup quarter-final match between Chelsea and Manchester United on Monday in order to scout goalkeepers David de Gea and Thibaut Courtois.
Barcelona are determined to land Ousmane Dembele after losing out to Dortmund last summer. The Catalans saw efforts to sign the talented teenager fall short in 2016, but are preparing a fresh approach to convince BVB to let go of their star.
Arsenal want to sign a new left-back this summer and have set their sights on Monaco's Benjamin Mendy. The 22-year-old has been in superb form for the Ligue 1 leaders this season, showing himself to be the perfect attack-minded full-back for the Gunners' system.
Both Juventus and Manchester United are interested in signing Tiemoue Bakayoko this summer. The side from Old Trafford believe they have the edge though and consider him the perfect 'midfield foil' for Paul Pogba.
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Manchester United are believed to have an 'agreement in place' to Benfica defender Nelson Semedo in the summer. The 23-year-old has enjoyed a rapid rise through the ranks with the Portuguese giants, making 34 appearances in all competitions this season.
Liverpool are said to have sent scouts to watch Besiktas' on-loan Benfica forward Anderson Talisca, in their recent Europa League clash with Olympiakos. He is said to have a release clause of around £22 million in his current contract with Benfica.