The Premier League season may be over, but with the summer transfer window just around the corner, who better than Fabrizio Romano to give you the latest transfer gossip? Read on for his latest exclusive CaughtOffside column, featuring updates on Jurrien Timber, Aurelien Tchouameni, Kalvin Phillips, and more…
Manchester United discussing two centre-back transfer targets
Manchester United have discussed Jurrien Timber internally earlier this week with Erik ten Hag. His name is on the list alongside Pau Torres, who has a release clause around €60m, but it is understood to be potentially negotiable with Villarreal.
Despite widespread reports about deals edging closer, my understanding is that neither negotiation is in an advanced state yet – Manchester United are still making their own assessments with Ten Hag.
So far there are no signs of a departure for under-performing club captain Harry Maguire: the player will have a direct conversation with Ten Hag in the coming days to understand the club’s plans and his future.
He has been rumoured as a surprise option for Barcelona, but so far it is not a realistic option. Unless something changes, we can probably expect Maguire to remain a key part of the United squad under Ten Hag, playing alongside a new signing at the back.
No Victor Osimhen transfer talks with Arsenal; the Napoli star would cost €100million
As of today, I am not aware of an advanced negotiation for Victor Osimhen to Arsenal. Napoli have no intention to negotiate for less than €100million for the Nigerian striker and so far there is no proposal on the table, sources close to the club guarantee.
Napoli are always tough negotiators in the transfer market, and their mission will be to try to keep Osimhen for another season. Personally, I’m not even convinced he is as much of a target for Arsenal as other reports would have you believe.
For now, the Gunners are waiting for answers from Gabriel Jesus after positive talks with his agent. The Brazilian is the priority target for Mikel Arteta, but also interests other clubs. We can expect a final decision to come soon, and Manchester City are asking for a €50-60m fee for Gabriel.
Liverpool aware of Aurelien Tchouameni transfer decision
Aurelien Tchouameni told his teammates that his priority this summer is Real Madrid. Even sources inside Liverpool are sure that Tchouameni wants to give priority to negotiations with Real Madrid. There have been ongoing talks between Real Madrid and his agents for a contract until June 2027, but not yet a full deal with AS Monaco asking €80m for the midfielder: new talks are expected right after the Champions League final this weekend.
Paris Saint-Germain remain interested until the end, but Real Madrid are leading the race. Liverpool remain alert to the situation before focusing on other targets. As I wrote in my recent column, the Reds have held direct talks with Tchouameni’s agent as well, but it seems he has now made it clear that his preference is to move to the Spanish capital.
After signing Eduardo Camavinga last year, the addition of Tchouameni could give Madrid two great French midfielders that can form the spine of their side for the next decade or more. There’s no need for fans to worry about the future of the club’s midfield after Luka Modric and Toni Kroos.
Jude Bellingham to Liverpool in 2023?
There is no chance for Jude Bellingham to leave Borussia Dortmund before summer 2023. The player made this decision together with the club in a meeting in February, he will stay at Borussia for another year.
Liverpool are certainly interested for next summer – his talent and personality make him look like the perfect fit for a Jurgen Klopp team – but there is absolutely no definite deal because so many clubs want Jude and it will be an open race.
Bellingham doesn’t want to anticipate any agreement now. From sources close to the family, a potential transfer for his younger brother Jobe Bellingham, currently at Jude’s old club Birmingham City, will not affect Jude’s next destination.
Kalvin Phillips yet to decide on his future, with both Manchester clubs interested
Kalvin Phillips hasn’t made any decisions about his future yet. Manchester United have his name on the list but he is not a priority for them, even because the player would not want to “betray” Leeds.
In fact, the England international does not rule out staying at Leeds for another year after they secured survival in the Premier League, but this will depend on the proposals that come in for him.
Manchester City are interested because after taking on Erling Haaland they will not invest insane amounts on a new midfielder to replace the departing Fernandinho. But Philipps wants to wait before the talks enter the decisive stages.
West Ham have been linked with Phillips in the recent past, but I don’t expect them to be serious contenders for him now. Instead, the Hammers are now focused on Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse as an appreciated player for the midfield, but he is not an easy target. His value will have risen after one of his best seasons in the Premier League, and he could be one to keep an eye on in the weeks and months ahead.