The summer transfer window is into its final month for the major European leagues, which means the biggest clubs are looking to make a splash in the market before the new season begins. Check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.
TOP STORY: Lewandowski looking for way out of Bayern
Lewandowski has cemented his position as one of the world’s top centre-forwards over the course of his seven years at Bayern, winning 18 trophies including seven Bundesliga titles and the 2019-20 Champions League. Last season he scored 41 league goals to beat Gerd Muller’s long-standing scoring record for a single Bundesliga campaign.
Now Sky reports that the Poland international, who turns 33 this weekend, wants to play for another top European club while he is still performing at his peak. However, the report adds that Bayern would seek a transfer fee of £100m for their star striker, who has a contract at the Allianz Arena until 2023. Sky claims that Lewandowski is “frustrated” with Bayern’s reluctance to let him seek a move, but he will not try to force an exit from the club.
Last month the Daily Mail reported that Manchester City, managed by former Bayern boss Pep Guardiola, were monitoring Lewandowski’s situation as a potential alternative to Harry Kane, although sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson that the Premier League champions are still pushing ahead in their attempt to sign the Tottenham striker.
Lewandowski has already scored three goals in two games this season, most recently a brace in Tuesday’s 3-1 win over his former club Borussia Dortmund in the German Supercup (stream the replay on ESPN+ in the U.S.).
11.25 BST: Leicester City midfielder Harvey Barnes has signed a new four-year contract with the club.
Barnes, 23, enjoyed a breakout season with the Foxes last term, when he scored 13 goals in 35 appearances and made his England debut before his season was ended in February through injury.
“I’ve been here that many years now, it feels like home,” he said. “For me, it was a no-brainer.”
— Leicester City (@LCFC) August 19, 2021
10.58 BST: Tottenham Hotspur manager Nuno Espirito Santo has said that Manchester city target Harry Kane must be in the right frame of mind before he is selected to play again for Spurs.
City are pushing ahead with their bid to sign Kane despite continued denials from Tottenham that they are prepared to listen to offers for the striker. Tottenham value Kane, who has three years left on his contract, at more than £150m.
Kane did not feature in Sunday’s 1-0 win over City as he returned late for preseason training, and he has also been left out of the squad for Thursday’s Europa Conference League qualifier against Pacos de Ferreira.
“What we must be sure of is that when we decide to put a player on the pitch, we have to consider all of the aspects,” Nuno said. “The fitness, the mental aspects. We are here to support all of the players equally. “Harry, of course, has all of our support. His fitness is getting better each day. He worked today, he is going to work tomorrow and he is going to join the group on Friday. On Saturday we will make the decision on who is going to be involved in the next [league] game.”
Nuno takes his new club to face his former side Wolves on Sunday, and he is yet to confirm if Kane will be part of his matchday squad for the first time at Molineux.
“Maybe I am the only one who does not really care about what is being said or written on the outside,” Nuno said. “With all my respect, it does not really matter. What matters is what is happening behind the doors and what is happening behind the doors is Harry is our player. We don’t really pay much attention to what is being said on the outside regarding the situation of Harry. Harry is our player, one of the best players in the world and we are very lucky to have him.”
10.15 BST: Arsenal are closing in on a deal worth around €40m for Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard, sources have told ESPN’s James Olley.
Personal terms are yet to be finalised but no issues are expected and Arsenal are now confident of sealing an agreement once the finer details of the fee are determined.
Odegaard spent the second half of last season on loan at Arsenal, making 20 appearances and scoring twice in all competitions, but initially returned to Spain hoping to force hie way into Madrid’s first team.
However, Carlo Ancelotti replaced Zinedine Zidane as head coach and Odegaard was subsequently told he faced a fight for regular action this season.
The key breakthrough was Madrid’s decision earlier this month to drop their asking price from €60m to €45m.
09.41 BST: Rebekah Stott‘s remarkable comeback from Hodgkin’s lymphoma has reached another major milestone with the defender signing a one-year contract to join Melbourne City for the coming W-League season.
Stott, 28, received a diagnosis of Stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in early 2021, forcing her to cut short her stint with FA Women’s Super League side Brighton & Hove Albion and return to Melbourne to undergo six cycles of aggressive chemotherapy. Documenting her cancer journey across social media, the 71-time New Zealand international announced on Instagram that was in complete remission in July, days after she returned to the field for the first time, with National Premier League side FC Bulleen Lions, since her diagnosis.
Stott’s focus will now turn to City’s pre-season, hoping to regain full fitness and set herself up to play a key role in the club’s attempt to bounce back from their 7th-placed finish in the 2020-21 W-League campaign. From there, she has the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in her sights, as well as the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
“I’m so aware that it’s going to be a hard journey back to try and get back to fitness and back to where I need to be,” Stott told ESPN’s Beyond The Lead podcast. “But I’m sure I’ll get there and I reckon I’ll be better.
“For W-League, I want to play the whole season. That’s my goal. I think I’ll be ready for that, so it’s a crucial two months at the moment to work hard and get my body back there. I have no doubt that I’ll be playing fully for Melbourne City.
“What bigger goal [than the 2023 Women’s World Cup] can you have to give you motivation to get back? I don’t think there’s anything else bigger than that.”
09.00 BST: Manchester United are still hoping to add a midfielder to their squad before the summer transfer deadline, with the Manchester Evening News reporting that Brighton & Hove Albion’s Yves Bissouma is an “obvious target” for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
Sources told ESPN last December that United were monitoring Bissouma, while Liverpool were also keen to bring in the Mali international as a replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum. The 24-year-old joined Brighton from Lille in 2018 for around £15m, and has impressed for the Seagulls in his defensive midfield role.
The Manchester Evening News reports that United would have to offload players before they can afford to make any new signings, with a transfer fee of around £30m likely to be needed to sign Bissouma.
Brighton manager said last week when asked about Bissouma’s future at the AMEX stadium: “I’ve been speaking about Yves Bissouma for quite some time and he’s still here. That’s all I can say on it. I can’t control the future, I don’t know what’s going to happen essentially – that’s the beauty of life and football.”
PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)
– Internazionale may have signed Denzel Dumfries and Edin Dzeko following Romelu Lukaku‘s departure to Chelsea. However, Calciomercato are suggesting they’re not stopping there, with Atalanta‘s Duvan Zapata their priority as they look for another striker. The other options offered in the report are Lazio‘s Joaquin Correa, Torino‘s Andrea Belotti, Wolfsburg‘s Wout Weghorst and Borussia Monchengladbach‘s Marcus Thuram.
– L’Equipe have reported that Bayern Munich are looking to add another defender to add to their ranks, as they are keen to bring in Paris Saint-Germain‘s Thilo Kehrer. So far, the German champions have brought in Dayot Upamecano and Omar Richards this transfer window — with both deals being completed early. They are hoping to bring in somebody with versatility on their side as they aim to strengthen their backline, with Benjamin Pavard offering a benchmark, after he moved from centre-back to largely being used at right-back.
– Arsenal‘s interest in Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale has been reported for some time now. The Athletic have stated that the Gunners and Blades are on the verge of finalising an agreement that will see the North Londoners spend an initial £24 million with £6m in potential add-ons — after Sheffield had initially asked for £40m.
– Atletico Madrid and Atalanta are both showing an interest in Lorient forward Terem Moffi, as has been reported by Foot Mercato. The Nigerian, who has previously caught the eye of Borussia Dortmund, stood out during a victory over AS Monaco with scouts in attendance. The 22-year-old is currently happy where he is, so it would take a special offer to take him away from the Ligue 1 side.
– It had looked as though Chelsea’s Ike Ugbo would be joining Genk. However, Fabrizio Romano has suggested that Marseille are trying to hijack the deal. There had been an agreement with the Belgian outfit for weeks, but Ugbo and Chelsea will decide upon the striker’s destination soon.
– Newcastle United want £10m for Sean Longstaff with Everton and Southampton interested in the midfielder, reports The Daily Mail. The 24-year-old has entered the final year of his contract, so they risk losing him for free next summer if a deal is not reached. However, he will stay until Steve Bruce has another midfielder, with Leicester City‘s Hamza Choudhury open to a loan move.