LIVE Transfer Talk: Man City's Sterling tops Zidane's £300m Real Madrid wishlist
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: Sterling tops £300m Zidane wishlist
Top of the wishlist is Manchester City's Raheem Sterling, who could leave the Premier League alongside Chelsea's Eden Hazard and Spurs' midfield maestro Christian Eriksen as part of Madrid's English top flight raid.
The Spanish giants have had a long-standing interest in Sterling, having sent scouts to watch him in 2014 and 2018, while Zidane stated in 2015 that he was "monitoring him as a player." However, Manchester City should hold the cards in this deal, as Sterling signed a hefty £300,000-a-week contract at the club until 2023 back in November.
Sterling is still on track to win the quadruple with Manchester City, which they will do should they win the Premier League, Champions League, and FA Cup, having already won the Carabao Cup this season.
Madrid are also hoping to throw Neymar into the mix to take the spending up to a massive £300 million deal this summer.
19.47 GMT: Look away Arsenal fans. Your team has only £40m to spend in the summer and now it looks like you'll be missing out on the person who should be spending it.
Local Sevilla paper Estadio Deportivo report that former Roma sporting director Monchi is on his way back to Sevilla. He was there for 17 years, so perhaps that holds more sway than getting to work with Unai Emery again.
18.42 GMT: Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers says that defender Wes Morgan is close to a new deal at the club. He told BBC Leicester Sport that "he deserves it" and presumably not just because of his late winning goal against Burnley.
18.10 GMT: Fulham teenager Ryan Sessegnon is one of the most sought-after young players around and Tottenham are ready to make a move for him, say the Daily Mirror.
The 18-year-old winger is reportedly keen to stay in London if he leaves Fulham, which means he won't be signing for PSG. The Mirror claim that Spurs "could buy Sessegnon this summer and then loan him back to Fulham for next season." But surely they wouldn't want him playing in the Championship all season...
17.38 GMT: This is transfer news if you consider that moving nations is transfer news.
Crystal Palace right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka wasn't called up by England recently and the Evening Standard claim that the England U21 international is ready to declare his international allegiance for the Democratic Republic of Congo.
16.49 GMT: Alexandre Pato is no longer a player of the Chinese Super League after leaving Tianjin Quanjian F.C. He posted on his Instagram: "Hi guys, I'd like to inform you that my adventure in China has come to an end. These 2 years in China were full of happy moments and new experiences. I am quite sure that China made me grow up as a man, I learnt different culture and habits of this great country."
16.02 GMT: Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele is reportedly being watched by Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City but it's Juventus who are frontrunners according to Calciomercato.
However, Ndombele would cost around €80m and Juventus usually prefer to snap up their world-class midfielders for nothing.
15.37 GMT: United States defender Jonathan Spector has signed with Hibernian after two seasons with Orlando in Major League Soccer.
Hibs said the 33-year-old from Arlington Heights, Illinois, had agreed to a contract through the rest of the season.
Spector has 36 appearances with the U.S. national team. He was Orlando's captain last year following the departure of Kaka and after making three appearances with Manchester United in 2004-05, he played for Charlton (2005-06), West Ham (2006-11) and Birmingham (2011-17) before moving to MLS.
14.25 GMT: Gianluigi Buffon, Dani Alves and Thiago Silva won't be getting new deals yet, according to L'Equipe. The French paper reckons that PSG have put all new contract talks on hold after their Champions League elimination at the hands of Man United.
13.46 GMT: Ex-Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has joined Azerbaijan side Sabail FK, according to the BBC.
Essien, 36, left Indonesian side Persib Bandung last March and has signed a one year deal which includes him helping to coach the club's Under-19 side.
13.14 GMT: Well this is incredible.
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. Which club spent more money ? Man city ? or Chelsea ? this is not just expenditure. this is about net spending . #londonisblue #coyb #comeonblues #comeongunners #lfcworld #lfcnews #rmcffans #rmcf1902 #forzainter #interisti #interna #vamosrealmadrid #vamosbarca #mesqueunclub #bebarça #copabarça #igersbarça #allezlesbleus #allezparis #parcdesprinces #comeonchelsea #cityzen #cityzens #ttid #finoallafineforzajuventus #bianconeri #bianconeripeople
12.42 GMT: Roma midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo is set to be added to the vast array of targets that Real Madrid are after.
Corriere dello Sport report that Zinedine Zidane is prepared to pay €60m for the 19-year-old, which would represent a considerable gamble. But one that could pay off in the long term.
12.00 GMT: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists that he will not have to spend big money in the summer as he already has the player needed to compete at the top for the coming seasons.
"I don't think this is a team at the moment where we have to spend the big money," Klopp said. "The best way to do it is to bring together a group of players, try to develop them together and then stay together for a while.
"And that was maybe the main problem at Liverpool for the last decade. When they had a good team, after a season they went all over the world. That will not happen this year, for sure."
11.15 GMT: Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud says he will have to reconsider his future at the club if he continues to be a peripheral player at Stamford Bridge.
Giroud has not started a Premier League game since Gonzalo Higuain's arrival on loan in January, and the France international is out of contract at the end of the season.
He has scored five goals in four Europa League starts in 2019, including a hat trick in Thursday's win over Dynamo Kiev.
Speaking after that game, Giroud told The Sun when asked if he will settle for a secondary role: "No. No chance. I'm a competitor.
"I'm 32 but I'm still young. I feel very well physically. When I do the tests on the treadmill I have to say that I have one of the best tests [at the club].
"I have the motivation to carry on. Some of the boys asked me why I didn't retire with the national team after the World Cup. But I'm still hungry and I know how much I will miss football after my career. I want more and more. I think I have a few nice years in front of me." I have been through a lot of tough moments in my career. I just want to enjoy playing football after winning the World Cup last summer.
"I want to play every single game and to be happy on the pitch. But I am not picking the team, the manager makes some choices. I play in the Europa League and I am happy to help the team to go through the stages, step by step. The target is clearly to win it. The [Premier League] is another thing, you know?
"Now we don't know about the future - who can say? We'll see."
The French left-back was one of the leading candidates to join the club in the summer to provide backup for Jordi Alba. But his two displays over the last month against Barca did not impress the La Liga side. Competition for Alba may be sought elsewhere.
09.30 GMT: Barcelona's search for a new striker took them to Milan on Thursday, where they saw Luka Jovic score Frankfurt's winning goal against Inter.
The Uruguayan, though, has a problem. Marca reports that Barca could be put off a move for Gomez because he doesn't have an EU passport.
The club's three non-EU spots are currently taken by Arthur, Arturo Vidal and Malcom.
PAPER TALK (by Richard Edwards)
Arsenal keen for Tierney
Arsenal will join the race with Leicester City for the signature of Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney, according to The Sun.
No official price tag has been put on Tierney yet, but The Guardian claimed on Wednesday that Borussia Dortmund would be willing to part with £25m for his services. Tierney has spent his entire career to date with the Scottish champions after coming through the Celtic Park youth ranks.
Former Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers wants to be re-united with Tierney at Leicester, and the 21-year-old would be an important signing for the Foxes should the rumoured move for Ben Chilwell to Manchester City go ahead this summer.
Liverpool and United told to fork out big for Rodriguez
Reports coming in from Spain indicate that Real Madrid's James Rodriguez will set interested parties back £70m should they wish to sign him, with Liverpool and Manchester United both keeping an eye on the deal, according to El Confidencial (via Talksport).
Rodriguez is currently plying his trade in the second half of a two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich after the Colombian underwhelmed at his parent club in La Liga. His performances across two recent Champions League legs against Liverpool didn't seem to impress Niko Kovac much either, but Bayern can still make the transfer permanent at the end of the season if they are willing to part with £50m.
Reports suggest that Madrid would rather sell Rodriguez to Liverpool or United for more money, setting Zidane up with a bigger budget ahead of next season.
- CalcioMercato has reported that AC Milan youngster Patrick Cutrone could be on his way to Lazio. The forward has found playing time hard to come by in recent weeks, and AC Milan's loss could be Lazio's gain as The Eagles seek an alternative for Ciro Immobile up front.
- Napoli fans rejoice, as CalcioMercato is also reporting that star man Piotr Zielinski wants to stay at the club, amid speculation that Liverpool were lining up a move for the Pole. However, it's understood that teammate Marek Hamsik has convinced Zielinski to stay and sign a new long-term contract until 2024.