With the transfer market heating up, here's my weekly column capturing all the important stories in the transfer market. Arsenal's transfer activities, Jadon Sancho's Manchester United deal, and Lionel Messi's and Cristiano Ronaldo's futures come under the scanner this week:
Barcelona relaxed about Lionel Messi's contract situation
Barcelona have been working on Lionel Messi's new contract for weeks. The club is still convinced and relaxed because it knows that Lionel Messi wants to stay and the agreement for the new contract until June 2023 is imminent.
It is only a matter of days, this is the belief of Barcelona, when all the clauses will be resolved. The documents will be signed by Lionel Messi and the agreement with his lawyers will then be completed. A new contract announcement could arrive, respecting the rules of La Liga and Financial Fair Play, by Barcelona President Joan Laporta.
Cristiano Ronaldo could end up staying at Juventus
There is still no movement for Cristiano Ronaldo despite so many rumors. Juventus are waiting for an official decision on his future. Cristiano Ronaldo will talk about it with Jorge Mendes but there are no negotiations underway at the moment with other clubs. The summer is still very long, but Juventus have taken a stand:
"We've currently received no signal from Cristiano Ronaldo to leave the club this summer. Same from our side. We're happy to have Cristiano back with us once the new season will start " - Juventus' new sporting director Federico Cherubini.
Cristiano Ronaldo's future will not have definitive answers for a few days or weeks.
Manchester United finally agree terms with Borussia Dortmund for Jadon Sancho
Finally, the deal is done, completed, and concluded. Jadon Sancho has become a new Manchester United player. Borussia Dortmund also confirmed that the agreement was reached for about €85 million (agent fees not included). The agreement is signed and the medicals will be completed soon by Jadon Sancho.
He will then be ready to join Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who has strongly wanted him at Manchester United since last year. In the summer of 2020, the deal was one step away from being completed before the add ons and the payment structure stopped everything: Borussia Dortmund at the time wanted €120 million.
Today the price has changed and that is why Borussia Dortmund accepted the final proposal of Manchester United. Jadon Sancho himself was the one who insisted so much on this transfer. His priority was to return to England and be able to play at Old Trafford. It is a dream that will come true very soon for the talented winger.
The agreement between Sancho and Manchester United will be valid for 5-years until 2026 to which there will be an option of adding another year, making it potentially valid until 2027. Manchester United strongly wanted Jadon Sancho, while other clubs linked with him, such as Liverpool and Chelsea, never made any official proposals to the player or Borussia Dortmund.
Liverpool had been following him for months only in case a star like Sadio Mané or Mohamed Salah had left, but there is no negotiation currently for these players and there has never been any negotiation for Sancho for this reason as well.
The player also gave Manchester United a total priority as his favorite destination, because it is the club that wanted him most of all during the last year of negotiations. The discussions began in February 2020 and concluded just a few hours ago between the two clubs.
In fact, the personal terms had already been agreed for over three weeks. There has never been any problem with the player's salary and the add-ons he will receive in the event of a Premier League victory or international trophies.
Manchester United have satisfied Sancho in every detail by finding an agreement that makes all parties happy. Borussia Dortmund are already working to replace Jadon, while Manchester City will have a share of the gain as they were entitled to a future resale percentage as per old agreements with the German club at the time of the divestiture.
While Watford, as the player's "coaching club," will receive around €3 million, Manchester City will collect around €13 million from this deal. The timing of the payment will be defined shortly but the figures have been confirmed and will be part of the agreement between the two clubs - Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund. Manchester City will also realize an excellent profit from the Jadon Sancho deal.
This is the official communication with which Borussia Dortmund confirmed everything:
"Jadon Sancho is ready to leave Borussia Dortmund for Manchester United. Both clubs and the player have reached an agreement today. If the transfer is completed Manchester United will pay a fixed amount of 85 million euros. The contractual details will now be drawn up, but the agreement will be made formal only after the player has passed the medical examinations that the player will have to carry out with his new club ".
Arsenal are acting decisively in the transfer market
Arsenal have also been very active in the last few days in the transfer market with Edu Gaspar and Mikel Arteta at work. The next transfer is the imminent arrival of Nuno Tavares from Benfica. The player will complete his medicals in the next few hours and will sign his contract with Arsenal.
The agreement is for €8 million with Benfica plus add ons. It is curious as to how this deal stems from a possible exchange between Arsenal and Benfica for Mattéo Guendozi, when the French midfielder has given his priority to Olympique Marseille as the first choice for his next transfer. Guendouzi already has personal terms agreed with OM and expects the two clubs to find an agreement.
Nuno Tavares will definitely make his contribution for Arsenal, but he will not be the only signing because the club also wants another fullback, in this case on the right. In fact, Hector Bellerin can leave the club immediately because he has many offers, but Arsenal will not consider a loan despite rumors of a possible loan deal with Inter. Arsenal's priority is a definitive sale. Bellerin has several opportunities and then a new right back will arrive for the Gunners in the coming weeks.
Arsenal's priority is also to complete other sales in the coming weeks. Granit Xhaka will leave the club when the agreement with AS Roma is formalized. Xhaka wants to play in Italy. It is his priority and the personal terms have already been agreed. He expects to understand what will happen in the coming days when Euro 2020 will end. Roma remain very confident about the deal.
Meanwhile, Arsenal do not have any interest in Philippe Coutinho and are looking to sign a midfielder just as a possible replacement for Granit Xhaka. The agreement for Albert Sambi Lokonga from Anderlecht is getting closer and closer: Arsenal have offered €17.5 million plus €4.5 million add ons.
There is still something to be resolved because Anderlecht wants 15% future sale percentage while Arsenal are offering 5%. The two clubs are in contact. Lokonga has also been approached by Naples and Atalanta in Italy but his priority is to play for the Gunners. The agreement is close as the personal terms have already been agreed until 2026 and Lokonga hopes to join Arsenal soon.
In more Arsenal news, the Sassuolo CEO yesterday announced an official Arsenal proposal for Italy star Manuel Locatelli. The midfielder is a real priority for Arsenal but Juventus have been leading the race for Locatelli for weeks. Juve and Arsenal are very cautious and attentive to the situation but there is nothing imminent on this front, not even an agreement between Juventus and Sassuolo for the Italian National Team midfielder.
Meanwhile, young Arsenal midfielder Reis Nelson has received a contract renewal proposal from the club, but he has not yet accepted the offer and wants to consider some possibilities. English clubs and Olympiacos are looking at him and Nelson is currently evaluating his options with his family.