Transfer news LIVE: Lautaro Martinez to Man United, Arsenal and Tottenham eye Brazilian star, Dembele to Chelsea

Welcome to the Evening Standard’s live blog covering the latest transfer news and rumours from the Premier League and Europe.

While Premier League clubs remain in talks over Project Restart with the aim of resuming the 2019-20 season amid the coronavirus pandemic, speculation around potential transfer for the 2020-21 season remains in full swing.

We’ll keep you abreast of all the news from our correspondents, and the talking points and rumours from the rest of Europe.

Latest transfer news and rumours…

Live Updates


Chelsea receive boost in Dembele chase

Chelsea have received a boost in the race to sign long-term target Mousa Dembele.

As reported by Standard Sport, Chelsea have been interested in the former Celtic and Fulham striker for over a year, and most recently tried to sign the now Lyon forward in the recent January transfer window.

Photo: AFP

Now Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has admitted that the club faces a challenge to keep hold of its best players.

“I am going to do everything to keep the players,” he told French publication Le Progres.

“But players who are programmed to play in Europe could want to go elsewhere because we don’t have European football.”


Arsenal and Tottenham eye Gerson

Arsenal and Tottenham are interested in signing Flamengo star Gerson, according to the player’s father.

Photo: Getty Images
Speaking to ESPN Brazil, the father of the 22-year-old revealed the interest from the north London rivals, but said that his son wants to join Barcelona.


Manchester United back in for Lautaro Martinez

Manchester United have not given up hope of signing Lautaro Martinez from Inter Milan.

The Mail reports that United are back in for the Argentine striker despite being initially rebuffed, with the player seemingly set on a move to Barcelona.

Photo: Reuters

Standard Sport understands that Lautaro is Barca’s top target as they look to bolster their front line and acquire a long-term successor to Luis Saurez.

But Spanish publication Sport reports that Barcelona will face further competition from United.

Lautaro has a buyout clause of £94million.


Napoli name Lozano price

Manchester United have been linked with Napoli winger Hirving Lozano in recent weeks but the Italian outfit are apparently in “no rush” to sell the Mexican.

Lozano, 24, has impressed in his debut season at the San Paolo after a big-money switch from PSV Eindhoven.

Man United are one of the teams that have been credited with an interest, but according to Gazzetta dello Sport, the Partenopei will demand £43 million for the forward to ward off potential suitors.


Chelsea ‘want Rice as Kante replacement’

Chelsea will attempt to sign Declan Rice from West Ham if N’Golo Kante leaves the club this summer, according to the Daily Star.

Photo: Getty/West Ham United FC

The England international, who was released by the Blues as a teenager, has emerged as one of the best holding midfielders in the Premier League. And Frank Lampard is reportedly keen on bringing the 21-year-old to Stamford Bridge to add to his growing contingent of England youngsters.

It is understood the Hammers would demand £70 million for Rice, but Chelsea could be boosted by the fact that Rice is close friends with Mason Mount.

There is also speculation that Zinedine Zidane wants Kante, 29, as a long-term replacement for Luka Modric – and the Blues could turn to Rice if the World Cup winner decides to move on.


Spurs close in on Meunier

According to reports in France, Tottenham are poised to sign Thomas Meunier on a free transfer from PSG.

The Belgian full-back is out of contract this summer and looks set to depart the Parc des Princes, with Borussia Dortmund among the clubs interested.

But L’Equipe insist it is Spurs who are at the front of the queue to capture the Belgian as Jose Mourinho looks for cut-price signings due to the financial insecurities from the coronavirus.

Prem clubs on alert as ‘Lyon transfer list Aouar’

Liverpool and Manchester City may well be licking their lips after reports in France suggested Lyon have placed Houssem Aouar on the transfer list.

Photo: AFP

The France international is regarded as one of the best playmakers in Europe and has been linked with both Premier League giants, along with Real Madrid and Barcelona.

L’Equipe say that while Lyon are desperate to hold onto Aouar, they may be forced to sell their star names due to the financial impact of the coronavirus.

Juventus have also registered their interest in the 21-year-old, but the Daily Mirror claim the Reds are put aside the deal for now amid uncertainty in the transfer market.

Herrera: Neymar and Mbappe will stay at PSG

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Ander Herrera believes team-mates Neymar and Kylian Mbappe will not leave the club despite ongoing transfer speculation.

Photo: AFP

Neymar, 28, has been strongly tipped to return to Barcelona while Mbappe is a target for Real Madrid amid reports he is stalling over a new contract.

But Herrera claims the star duo are happy in Paris and feel “fulfilled” by the club’s ambitions.

“Mbappe and Neymar are still at PSG and even more so with the situation that we are currently in,” Herrera told COPE’s ‘Tiempo de Juego’.

“I had dinner with Neymar before the quarantine and he is very involved with the project. He told me that he has never been so happy in Paris.

“PSG’s project is such that both feel fulfilled in Paris.”

Gerson chased by Arsenal, Spurs, says player’s father

Flamengo star Gerson is wanted by both Arsenal and Tottenham, according to the player’s father.

Photo: Getty

The 22-year-old, who previously played for Roma in Italy, has flourished since returning to Brazil and helped them to the Copa Libertadores and Brasilierao titles.

His performances have apparently not gone unnoticed, as his father Marcos Santos told Yahoo Sports that Arsenal and Tottenham – along with Borussia Dortmund – have tracked the midfielder.

“Nobody knew about Arsenal, but now that I’m telling you, everyone will know,” said Santos. 

“Everyone you hear there is true. But they only probed,” he added when asked about Dortmund and Spurs.


‘Real set Aubameyang deadline’

Real Madrid have told Arsenal they must decide over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s future by June 15, according to The Mirror.

The 30-year-old has just over 12 months to run on his current contract and has been linked with Real as well as Barcelona and Manchester United as the Gabonese striker stalls over signing a new deal.

The LaLiga giants have now issued an ultimatum to the north London outfit, telling them to make a decision in the next six weeks or they will focus on other targets.

Arsenal may be forced to cash in on the striker, who has scored 49 goals in 74 league games since arriving from Borussia Dortmund and could be willing to sell for £35 million according to reports.

Sancho tempted by exciting Blues?

Frank Lampard’s willingness to promote young players in his Chelsea team could be key in convincing Jadon Sancho to head to Stamford Bridge.

According to The Express, the 20-year-old could be tempted by the Blues’ tendency to play young players following their transfer ban.

The west London club raised £150 million in sales last summer with the departures of Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata, but may struggle to meet Borussia Dortmund’s asking price.

They also face a battle with Manchester United for the winger’s signature, and Standard Sport understands the Red Devils would hold the advantage in convincing Sancho to join them.


Lazio eye Blues star

Chelsea may have to brace themselves for a surprise move from Serie A outfit Lazio for Ruben Loftus-Cheek this summer.

The 24-year-old has not played a single minute of football in the 2019/20 campaign after sustaining a ruptured Achilles injury back in May.

But the midfielder is considered an important part of Frank Lampard’s plans and will slot into the squad once he is back to full fitness.

Still, according to Il Messagero, Lazio are keen on signing Loftus-Cheek and could pay around £17m for Loftus-Cheek.


Rabiot ‘open’ to Man Utd switch

Pjanic out, and Adrien Rabiot to follow?

Photo: Getty

It seems Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri is eager to make changes to his midfield options ahead of the summer transfer window and Rabiot could be one of the players heading towards the exit.

According to the Daily Mail, the 24-year-old would be interested in a move to Manchester United should the opportunity arrive after struggling to impress in his first season in Italy.

Standard Sport understands United have targeted Jack Grealish this summer as part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s policy to sign young British talent, so Rabiot may need to search for a different club if United don’t come calling.

Barca close in on Pjanic

Barcelona are edging closer to completing the signing of Miralem Pjanic from Juventus, according to Sport.

The Bosnian, 30, is poised to sign a four-year deal with the Catalan giants and all that remains is the agreement between the two clubs.

Pjanic’s chances of sealing a move to Camp Nou could be boosted by Juventus’ interest in Ivan Rakitic and with big transfers likely to be limited due to the coronavirus, a swap deal appears to be a possibility.


Gunners face fight for David

Arsenal will face a battle with Inter Milan to sign Canadian starlet Jonathan David this summer, according to Calciomercato.

Photo: AFP

The 20-year-old has shone in the Belgian Jupiler Pro league for Gent before the coronavirus pandemic suspended football around Europe.

Arsenal have reportedly made the forward one of their top targets after scoring 21 goals in all competitions, but Inter are also interested in the versatile attacker, who could cost £25 million.

Upamecano transfer unlikely – agent

Dayot Upamecano is unlikely to leave RB Leipzig in the summer transfer window, the player’s agent has said.

The 21-year-old defender has been watched by Europe’s top clubs including Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Arsenal.

His contract is set to expire in 2021 but agent Volker Struth believes there will be no big-money departures this summer, suggesting Upamecano will opt to stay put.

“I don’t believe in large transfers this summer and I think Upamecano is a player who will demand a large fee. So the statement has already been made,” he told ‘Doppelpass’ on Sport 1.


Reds hatch loan plan for Williams

Liverpool are hoping Neco Williams will gain some first-team experience by heading out on loan next season.

Photo: AFP

The 19-year-old has made a handful of first-team appearances under Jurgen Klopp and has a bright future at Anfield.

However, Trent Alexander-Arnold occupies the right-back position and is unlikely to relinquish his place anytime soon.

The Merseyside outfit are hoping Williams will develop in the same way as Harry Wilson, who has impressed while on loan at Derby and Bournemouth, and could drop down to the Championship for the 2020/21 campaign.


Man City ‘snap up PSG wonderkid’

Manchester City have heavily invested in youth talent over the past decade and if reports are accurate, they are set to add another talented youngster to their ranks.

According to Sky Sports, the Premier League champions have lined up a move for Paris Saint-Germain teenager Edouard Michut and are prepared to buy out the last year of his youth deal.

The 17-year-old has featured prominently for the club’s Under-19 team and has been likened to Marco Verratti for his tenacious style of play.

But he is set to leave Parc des Princes with only a year left on his current deal, allowing City to swoop for Michut at a lower price.


Nantes target Liverpool midfielder

Pedro Chirivella looks set to finally give up on his hopes of making it at Liverpool with Nantes leading the chase for the midfielder.

The Spaniard has made just 10 appearances for the Reds – nine of those have come in cup games – since making his debut in 2015 after arriving from Valencia as a youth player.

The Daily Mail say the 22-year-old is wanted by the Ligue 1 club, who are prepared to offer Chirivella a three-year contract, and it’s difficult to imagine Liverpool blocking his exit with his contract expiring this summer.


Ighalo ‘expected’ to make China return

Manchester United’s hopes of extending Odion Ighalo’s loan could be dead in the water as reports say Shanghai Shenhua are expecting the striker to return to China.

Photo: Getty

The Nigerian originally arrived on loan in January until the end of the season and Standard Sport understands Man United are interested in extending his loan spell beyond that period after the coronavirus pandemic temporarily halted the season.

But Sky Sports report the Chinese Super League outfit are only interested in a permanent deal worth £20 million as their new domestic season is scheduled to begin in July.

If that happens, United could turn their attentions elsewhere with Erling Haaland, Moussa Dembele and Timo Werner on their striker shortlist.

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When does the 2020 summer transfer window open?

The summer window opens in England at the end of the season – currently May 18, but that will almost certainly not be when it finishes due to Covid-19 delays.

Players can be officially registered with their new clubs when the Fifa international window opens on July 1.

From January 1 onwards, Premier League players with six months left on their contract have been able to negotiate and agree pre-contract deals with foreign clubs.

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