European Paper Talk: Could Barcelona forward Lionel Messi be on his way to China?
The January transfer window may only just have closed but Europe’s biggest clubs are already plotting their summer moves with there being a World Cup to negotiate around.
Our friends at Football Whispers have scoured the European media to round-up the latest transfer news.
Real Madrid playmaker Isco was the man of the moment earlier on in the season but Zinedine Zidane is prepared to sell him during the summer window, and Premier League clubs are on high alert. He remains to be a Liverpool transfer target, while Arsenal and Manchester City have been long-term admirers. However, Juventus and Bayern Munich are believed to be rivals for his signature. (AS)
Robert Lewandowski wants to move to Real Madrid. The Bayern Munich striker has been tentatively linked with Real over recent years but he and his agent, Cezary Kucharski, believe now it’s now or never as he approaches his 30th birthday. Bayern Munich have said they will not keep anybody at the club against their wishes. Zidane may see him as the man to spearhead his new-look attack. (Marca)
Bayern Munich are in the market for wingers. Both Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben are in the twilight of their careers and, though they have Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman waiting in the wings, the bosses in Bavaria believe they need more. Christian Pulisic, a Manchester United transfer target, and Leon Bailey, subject to Chelsea transfer rumours during winter, are two players who interest the Bundesliga leaders. (Kicker)
New Watford coach Javi Gracia made an attempt to reunite with Ignacio Camacho during the January transfer window. The defensive midfielder is now with Wolfsburg but spent seven years at Malaga prior to the move to Germany. Gracia was his manager for two seasons at La Rosaleda and he wanted to bring him to Vicarage Road to bolster his midfielder options but Wolfsburg were not open to selling. (Kicker)
Juventus’ Paulo Dybala may be on the move this summer. The Argentine playmaker has not renewed the lease on his luxury house in Turin which comes to an end in July. He is believed to be a Barcelona transfer target but after the arrival of Philippe Coutinho and the fact they continue to court Antoine Griezmann, it now looks unlikely. There is a belief La Liga rivals Real Madrid could make a move to keep pace with Barcelona. (Calciomercato)
Roma are looking to bring Mateo Kovacic, a one-time Tottenham Hotspur transfer target, back to Serie A. The former Inter Milan midfielder is having a tough time breaking into the Real Madrid starting XI on a regular basis and may move in order to increase his chances of first-team football. Monchi is hopeful he will swap Madrid for Rome. (Corriere dello Sport)
Amin Younes could be in hot water if he reneges on the deal he signed with Napoli. The German-born midfielder caught the eye while playing for Ajax and agreed to join the Serie A leaders in the summer. The deal is official and the contract is signed. However, in a recent interview the player implied his future is undecided, forcing Napoli to release a statement: “If Amin Younes takes different paths he will assume all the responsibilities in the economic and disciplinary field.” (Gazzetta dello Sport)
Zidane could soon replace Didier Deschamps as the manager of the France national team. Florentino Perez has reportedly settled on Joachim Low to replace Zidane in Madrid, freeing him up to replace Deschamps who, despite having an impressive pool of players to choose from, has failed to capture the imagination of the country with his choice of football. (Le10Sport)
Paris Saint-Germain are battling it out with Real Madrid for the signature of Thibaut Courtois. The Chelsea goalkeeper is stalling on a new deal with the Premier League champions and is believed to want to return to Spain to be closer to his family. However, PSG believe they can put together a package that will convince him that Paris is the play for him to continue his careers.(Le10Sport)