The summer transfer window may not be open yet in Europe, but teams are getting ready for it, and there’s plenty of gossip swirling around. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!
TOP STORY: Newcastle ready to move on Foxes pair
Leicester City winger Harvey Barnes is keen on a move to Newcastle United if the Magpies push hard to sign him, according to Football Insider. Newcastle are also looking at his Foxes teammate James Maddison and Chelsea attacking midfielder Mason Mount.
Barnes, 25, scored the opener in Leicester’s 2-1 win over West Ham United on the final day of the campaign, although that didn’t prove enough to keep them in the Premier League as Everton beat AFC Bournemouth.
It is suggested that Barnes wanted to leave the Foxes regardless of the league they would be in next term.
Barnes has two years left on his current deal and is hoping to join a club that can regularly compete in the Champions League following an impressive individual campaign, in which he scored 13 Premier League goals despite Leicester’s struggles.
That makes him the club’s top goal-scorer this term, but Leicester are willing to let him leave if their demands of £40 million are met, as the club looks to raise funds for the summer transfer window.
Maddison is also likely to leave the King Power Stadium following the Foxes’ relegation, while Mount’s future has been widely discussed as the 24-year-old enters the final year of his Chelsea contract.
– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)
11.16 BST: Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has confirmed that Luciano Spalletti will step down at the end of the season and take a one-year sabbatical, instead of coaching in the final year of his contract,.
Spalletti, at the helm of Napoli since July 2021, guided the Partenopei to their first Serie A title in 33 years this season. His last game in charge will be at home against Sampdoria on June 4.
“He is a free man,” movie producer De Laurentiis said of Spalletti. “After 50 years in cinema, and so many exclusives with directors, actors, when someone comes to you and says ‘After all, I’ve done my best, a cycle of my life has ended, I still have a contract with you, but I’d rather have a sabbatical year,’ what are you going to do, are you going to oppose it? You have to be generous in life, I never expect anything in return. He gave us, I thank him, now it’s right that he continues to do what he loves to do.”
Under Spalletti, Napoli reached the Champions League quarterfinals this season before falling to AC Milan, 2-1 on aggregate. The 64-year-old said after Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Bologna: “I have so many things inside, because to build a Scudetto-winning campaign like we did you need the contribution of every component. Certainly, the warmth and love of the people of Naples is what made the difference.
10.33 BST: Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba bid farewell to Barcelona on Sunday on an emotional evening as the LaLiga champions ran out 3-0 winners against Mallorca.
Ansu Fati scored a brace and Gavi added the third in what was also the last game at Spotify Camp Nou for the foreseeable future, with Barca due to move to the Olympic Stadium next season to allow their iconic home to be redeveloped.
However, the night belonged to club captains Busquets and Alba as they played their final ever games for Barca, with coach Xavi Hernandez later confirming they will not be involved in the final fixture of the season at Celta Vigo next week.
Alba, 34, broke down in tears when he was taken off late in the second half to a standing ovation, hugging all his teammates individually as the supporters chanted his name.
Busquets, also 34, wore a smile as he followed the left-back off the pitch a few minutes later, handing the armband to Sergi Roberto. “I dreamed of one day playing in this stadium,” Busquets said after the game in a speech addressed to the 88,775 fans present at Camp Nou.
“When I was a kid, I came here to watch matches, I went to away games, I watched on television. Nobody will ever take away the feeling of pride of belonging to the best club in the world.
“I am leaving, but the dream I had has been fulfilled — in fact, it’s been better than I ever imagined. This is also not a goodbye, it is a ‘see you soon.'”
Alba added: “Thanks for the affection you have shown me in the street, at the stadium … everywhere. I have been proud to wear this shirt. This has been one of the happiest days of my life.
“I’ve played less than usual this season, but I’ve tried to help everyone. Now it’s time to see things from a different perspective, but you have a friend here for life.”
09.57 BST: AC Milan are on the verge of signing Eintracht Frankfurt playmaker Daichi Kamada as a free agent, according to Sky Sports.
The Japan international, 26, has not signed a contract extension with Eintracht, with his current deal expiring in June.
Kamada has attracted the attention of the Rossoneri after a strong season in the Bundesliga in which he scored nine goals and set up seven more in 32 league appearances, while he also impressed for them in Europe.
With Milan having yet to reach an agreement with Real Madrid to extend Spanish midfielder Brahim Diaz’s loan spell at the club, the Italians are looking to strengthen their attack with the arrival of Kamada.
09.00 BST: Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato has joined Sao Paulo for a third stint.
Pato, 33, has been a free agent since his contract with Orlando City was not renewed in January.
The former AC Milan star suffered a right ACL injury in September while playing for Orlando City and had been using his former club Sao Paulo’s facilities to recover.
“Sao Paulo has something different,” Pato said. “I really like the club and the people who work here. I am really happy. I owe something to Sao Paulo, the club that opened its doors on my first visit, in 2014, and again now. I hope to match all the affection.” The ex-Chelsea striker has scored 47 goals in 133 games for Sao Paulo during his two previous spells at the club.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)
– West Ham United striker Gianluca Scamacca wants to return to Italy with his preference being to join Juventus, according to Calciomercato. The Bianconeri have been monitoring the 24-year-old and it is felt that now could be the perfect time to make a move.
– Marseille forward Alexis Sanchez is a summer option for Lyon, claims Ekrem Konur, who adds, however, that the 34-year-old is not a priority. The Chile international has recorded 14 goals and three assists in 34 Ligue 1 matches this season.
– Toulouse midfielder Stijn Spierings is in advanced negotiations to join PSV Eindhoven as a free agent, according to Foot Mercato. His fellow Dutch midfielder Branco van den Boomen is very close to joining Ajax Amsterdam, while their teammate Rafael Ratao has received an offer from Al Wahda in the UAE.
– Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s future at Lazio is uncertain, according to Calciomercato. The 28-year-old was previously rated at around €100m but manager Maurizio Sarri could now be willing to let the midfielder leave for far less. Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United have all been earmarked as potential suitors