Big teams like Barcelona, Manchester United, Chelsea and Atletico Madrid have already made some important deals this transfer window. With Euro 2020 going on and the transfer market heating up, we are in for a really exciting month of football.
Here’s my weekly rundown of all the important stories dominating the transfer market right now, with Manchester United's pursuit of Jadon Sancho, Chelsea's plans for the summer, Atletico Madrid's plans, and Barcelona's transfer signings coming under the microscope.
Barcelona acting swiftly in the transfer market
Barcelona are preparing to announce the purchase of Memphis Depay as soon as possible. Ronald Koeman has personally confirmed that the deal is one step away from being signed. The verbal agreement for his contract has been reached. He expects Depay's signing to be completed with Barcelona. Memphis will be another free agent signing after the arrivals of Eric Garcia and Sergio Aguero.
PSG approached Depay weeks ago, but the player has always given Barcelona total priority because he knows Koeman and dreams of playing with Lionel Messi. Already a year ago, in the summer of 2020 he was one step away from signing for Barcelona. Now is the right time and all that is left is the signature on the contract and the medical examinations to complete the negotiation.
Meanwhile, defender Jean Clair Todibo will leave Barcelona soon on a permanent deal for €8.5 million plus add ons. This is the amount that OGC Nice will pay in France to secure the purchase of Todibo in the coming days.
Real Madrid part ways with Sergio Ramos
The most important news of the last few hours comes directly from Real Madrid. Real have received official confirmation: Sergio Ramos will not renew his contract and will leave as a free agent. The decision is final despite Carlo Ancelotti having tried to convince him until the end. A contract of 1 year was put on the table by Real Madrid, while Sergio Ramos asked for a 2-year deal under different conditions.
The captain, therefore, leaves Madrid and will not stay in Spain, because there is no confirmation of negotiations with Sevilla. Real Madrid, in his place, have already bought David Alaba as a free agent. They will consider buying another central defender only if Raphael Varane does not renew his contract, which expires in 2022. Real Madrid will try their best with the Frenchman, however, at the moment there is no agreement reached.
Meanwhile, Brahim Diaz will be the next to leave Real Madrid because the agreement with AC Milan is imminent for a €20 million buy option loan deal.
Gianluigi Buffon returns to Parma; Gianluigi Donnarumma set to sign with PSG
There are also many goalkeepers on the market. Gianluigi Buffon returns to Parma, the club where he grew up, 26 years later. The goalkeeper, born in '78, after having closed his twenty-year experience with Juve (with his experience at PSG in between), has signed a two-year deal with Parma and the official announcement has also arrived.
He therefore continues his career, right where it began: his debut at 17, the first trophies won and then the great leap to consecrate himself among the best performers ever in the role.
He will now try to help Parma win promotion immediately and is hoping to return to Serie A to play in what should then be the last season of his extraordinary career. Buffon's great dream is the 2022 World Cup, and he will try hard to make the most of his experience at Parma under President Kyle Krause.
All done also for Gianluigi Donnarumma, the protagonist with Italy and a luxury free agent in Serie A. The goalkeeper, now ex Milan, will become a new player for Paris Saint-Germain.
The deal has been concluded for a contract until 2026 which will be completed in the next few days. Donnarumma will have medical tests on Monday with PSG and will then be announced as a new player. There is no intention of selling Keylor Navas or sending Donnarumma on loan. PSG will retain both goalkeepers to make them compete for a starting spot in next season's team, to be managed by Mauricio Pochettino.
Chelsea looking to renew N'Golo Kante's contract
Continuing with AC Milan, another important and now concluded purchase is that of Fikayo Tomori. The Rossoneri had already communicated in recent weeks to Chelsea - the club that last January sold the defender on loan with a buy option - that they would exercise the purchase option for Tomori. Now, the signed documentation has also arrived. Once every contractual detail has been defined, there will also be an official announcement in the next few hours.
To buy Tomori outright, Milan paid €28.5 million to Chelsea, the amount agreed upon when the defender arrived in Italy. No discount has been offered by Chelsea, but Milan have decided to proceed anyway because they are convinced by the defender's qualities. Tomori immediately convinced Milan, so much so that in a short time he earned a place as a starter in the center of defense.
Chelsea, on the other hand, are planning contract renewals.Tomori will go away but they will absolutely not touch N'Golo Kanté. The French midfielder is now the protagonist at Euro 2020 with his national team. His contract is still valid for 2 seasons, but Chelsea are enthusiastic about Kanté and after winning the Champions League they also included in their planning the idea of offering a contract extension to Kanté. Chelsea want to make him feel important in the club's plans.
Chelsea plan to reward N'Golo Kante with an even higher salary. There is no rush, but Chelsea want to reward Kanté in the coming months.
Tottenham determined to ward off Manchester City interest in Harry Kane
A new era will soon begin at Tottenham. The club has announced the arrival of Fabio Paratici, the former Juventus sports director who has become Spurs' new director of football.
Soon it will be time for Paulo Fonseca, a former Roma manager to take the lead at Tottenham. Paratici strongly wanted him after the breakdown of negotiations with Antonio Conte in recent weeks. The first objectives will be the purchase of a right-back and a central defender, while Moussa Sissoko could leave in case there is an important offer.
"In these two years we have experienced ups and downs, but I have always given my best for this club and for this city, which has welcomed me very well"
So Fonseca had greeted Roma at the end of the two-year period in the Giallorossi.
The highest point of his two years at the helm of the club remains Roma's arrival in the semi-finals of the Europa League in the 2020/21 season, where they were knocked out against Manchester United. In the league, the team finished in seventh place. In his first year in Rome, Fonseca secured fifth place in Serie A, with stops in the round of 16 of the Europa League and the quarter-finals of the Italian Cup. The Portuguese coach's journey is now destined to resume with Tottenham, with whom he will sign soon.
Another mission is, of course, about Harry Kane. Manchester City are pushing because they want Kane as their priority signing at all costs, but Tottenham have not been given an opening to negotiate so far. The negotiations will be really very difficult with president Daniel Levy, who will try to keep Kane for another season.
Harry Kane wants to play Champions League football as soon as possible, but the negotiations are not easy right now. Certainly, Manchester City will still insist that Guardiola puts Kane at the top of their preferred list for a major attacking signing.
Manchester United working on deal for Jadon Sancho
Jadon Sancho has been Manchester United's top priority for a year but patience will be needed to close the deal. An agreement on personal terms for a contract until 2026 has already been reached with the former Manchester City winger and negotiations for agent fees are also ok.
Now, Manchester United need to find an agreement with Borussia Dortmund who are asking €95 million for Sancho. Both parties are now working on the figure and the payment structure and the situation linked to the add ons to be included in the deal.
Sancho is waiting. Meanwhile, Manchester United have obtained the green light to sign Tom Heaton. The goalkeeper, who will come as a free agent from Aston Villa, makes a return to Manchester United after many years.
The first offer for Kieran Trippier, on the other hand, was rejected by Atlético Madrid. The Spanish club wants €40 million to sell the right-back. Simeone is very happy and does not intend to release Trippier under unsatisfactory conditions. In short, the Trippier interest is also concrete, but it's not easy for Manchester United to conclude in a short time.
Atletico Madrid set to announce the signing of Rodrigo De Paul
Atlético Madrid are concluding a very interesting purchase. Rodrigo De Paul is ready to bid farewell to Udinese. The Argentine midfielder, born in 1994, is in fact one step away from Atlético. Negotiations to bring the 27-year-old to La Liga began in the days after the Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester City.
The agreement is ready to be defined for €35 million, three less than those initially requested by Udinese, and the deal does not include the inclusion of technical counterparts.
De Paul completed the 2020/21 season, the fifth in a row with Udinese, with 9 goals and 10 assists, making a huge contribution to the peaceful salvation won by Luca Gotti's team.
Now Atlético Madrid await his return from Copa America, where he is playing with Argentina, to define the details of the contract until 2026 and conclude medical examinations so as to arrive at the official announcement.
Then the definitive go-ahead will come for the conclusion of the negotiations and De Paul will return to La Liga, a championship he already took part in between 2014 and 2016 wearing the Valencia shirt.
AC Milan still interested in Junior Firpo and Olivier Giroud
The player who could leave La Liga is Junior Firpo, the left back of Barcelona. Milan are also considering names that could strengthen Stefano Pioli's squad in view of next season and the Rossoneri club are looking at Junior Firpo, who was already on their list during last January's transfer market. At the time, Barçelona were not open for loans and the negotiations did not go through. AC Milan will insist this time and in the meantime also think of Olivier Giroud for their attack.
Juventus interested in signing Euro 2020 star Manuel Locatelli
Finally, pay attention to Manuel Locatelli. The star of Italy at Euro 2020 is liked by many, but Juventus want him at all costs. The price is around €40 million, but there are also many top Premier League clubs very interested in Locatelli.
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Also read: Jim Beglin's column - 5 players who could impress in unfamiliar positions at Euro 2020