Euro Paper Talk: Real Madrid ready to pay £227m for Neymar
By James Piercy, Football Whispers
Last Updated: 09/05/18 12:46pm
With the European season almost at a close, attention is already turning to the World Cup. But before that, the transfer window opens and that is already providing plenty of intrigue.
All the top sides across the continent will be looking to strengthen their squads and that means newspapers and websites are full of stories. It's why we asked our friends at Football Whispers to round up all the latest news.
Real Madrid are ready to pay a world record £227m to bring Neymar back to Spain after having a secret meeting with the PSG forward on March 22. Madrid held talks with Neymar after he flew to the capital to meet new Los Blancos arrival Vinicius Jr. The Brazilian is under contract in Paris until 2022 but is said to be "desperate to leave". (AS)
Cristiano Ronaldo wants to play in Real Madrid's final La Liga game of the season against Villarreal despite concerns over his fitness ahead of the Champions League final. Ronaldo suffered an ankle injury during El Clasico but the Portuguese is confident he will be in the squad for the trip to the Yellow Submarine on May 19, seven days before their meeting with Liverpool in Kiev. (Marca)
Barcelona have promised Ajax midfielder Frenkie De Jong that they will sign him in the summer of 2019. Barca officials have targeted the 20-year-old as a key element of their rebuilding of an ageing squad and believe he will fit the club's style "like a glove". Barcelona scouts have been impressed by the Dutchman's vision and technique but want him to play another season in the Eredivisie. (Mundo Deportivo)
AC Milan are working on a swap deal with Monaco that will see Portuguese striker Andre Silva traded for Radamel Falcao, with both players represented by Jorge Mendes. Silva has struggled in Milan since his €38m move from Porto and is a Wolves transfer target. However, he hopes to move to a more 'prestigious club'. (Tuttosport)
Monchi wants to bring Justin Kluivert to Roma this summer with the Giallorossi also close to signing Croatian talent Ante Coric. Winger Kluivert, 19, is out of contract with Ajax next year and Roma hope their reputation for giving young players first-team football helps ensure he chooses them over Serie A rivals Juventus and Milan. A deal for attacking midfielder Coric, 21, is expected to be confirmed soon with a fee of €7m plus bonuses all-but agreed with Dinamo Zagreb. (Gazzetta dello Sport)
Juventus are working hard to beat Inter Milan, Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund to the signature of Atalanta striker Musa Barrow. Juve will offer a significant fee for the 19-year-old Gambian and allow Atalanta to loan him back as part of the package. The Bianconeri secured a similar deal for Atalanta defender Mattia Caldara in January and reportedly have an excellent relationship with president Antonio Percassi. (Corriere dello Sport)
Inter have contacted Real Madrid over the possibility of bringing Mateo Kovacic back to the Guiseppe Meazza. Inter coach Luciano Spalletti is keen to bolster his midfield this summer and has placed the Croatia international at the top of his shortlist. Kovacic, who would cost in excess of €30m, left Inter in 2015 to move to the Bernabeu but has struggled to establish himself under Zinedine Zidane. (Corriere dello Sport)
Manuel Neuer will not play again for Bayern Munich this season. Jupp Henyckes has confirmed Sven Ulreich will keep his place in goal for their last Bundesliga match against Stuttgart this Saturday and the DFB Pokal final against Eintrackt Frankfurt on May 19. Neuer hasn't played since September 16 due to a broken foot and with Germany coach Joachim Low naming his World Cup squad on May 15 it casts further doubt over his participation at Russia 2018. (Kicker)
Arsenal transfer target Bernd Leno has turned down a move to Napoli after the Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper's agent claimed he was not "100 per cent committed to Naples". Germany international Leno, 26, has a £22m release clause and looks to be leaving Bayer this summer with Atletico Madrid also interested should they sell Jan Oblak. (Bild)
Borussia Dortmund have already agreed deals to sign Augsberg goalkeeper Marwin Hitz and Juventus wing-back Stephan Lichtsteiner, and want to add Basel winger Mohamed Elyounoussi. Dortmund scouts watched the Norway international, 23, as he scored one goal and assisted three others in Basel's 4-2 win over St Gallen. (Bild)
Nice have identified former Sevilla coach Eduardo Berizzo and ex-Dortmund boss Peter Bosz as potential replacements for manager Lucien Favre who looks set to move to the Westfalenstadion. With Favre poised to leave the Cote d'Azur at the end of the campaign, Berizzo is the Nice board's first choice with Bosz considered plan B should the Argentine choose another job. Both coaches were sacked in December and are available. (RMC Sport)
Villarreal have offered Angers €16m for striker Karl Toko Ekambi but face competition from Marseille and Hoffenheim to sign the Cameroon international striker. Angers want a fee in excess of €20m for the 25-year-old who has scored 16 goals in 31 games this season. (L'Equipe)
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