It’s Monday morning and Fabrizio Romano is back with his latest exclusive take on all the latest transfer gossip. Read on to find out the truth behind those Cristiano Ronaldo links with Chelsea, plus the latest on Manchester United’s pursuit of Frenkie de Jong, the situation with Neymar at Paris Saint-Germain, and a possible return to the Premier League for Bayern Munich star Serge Gnabry…
Cristiano Ronaldo lays out his demands amid contact with Chelsea
Cristiano Ronaldo wants to see more ambition from Man United. He didn’t mention specific signing names, but he believes that, having reinforced Man City, Liverpool but also Arsenal and Tottenham with top-level players, Man United need at least 3-4 important players as soon as possible.
Ronaldo admires and appreciates new manager Erik ten Hag, but he believes the problem is the level of the playing squad at Old Trafford.
So far, Chelsea have learned of this opportunity through a direct contact between Jorge Mendes and Todd Boehly but are focused on other priorities such as Raheem Sterling. For any signing of Chelsea, however, the approval of Blues boss Thomas Tuchel will be required.
In my opinion, Cristiano’s disappointment is understandable but I think he could still wait at least until the end of July before the final decisions to understand Man United’s real plan. Pre-season hasn’t properly got started, and we’re yet to really see Ten Hag’s plans for the team unfold.
Manchester United’s risky Frenkie de Jong transfer approach
There’s been a lot of conflicting information written and said about Frenkie de Jong, but actually the situation is very clear: Barcelona have been negotiating with Manchester United for weeks and have an agreement on the €65m fixed fee, but not yet on the details of the €20m add-ons structure to reach the €85m total package. The negotiation goes on.
Man United have known for months that De Jong would like to stay in Barcelona and that he loves Barca, but his salary is an issue for the Spanish club that would require a salary cut. To date, a reduction of the salary appears to be “unlikely” on Frenkie’s side.
That’s why the negotiations with Man United go on but De Jong is still to be convinced about this move, so far the personal terms have not been discussed.
I believe that Man Utd are simply trying step by step in every way to sign Frenkie by the will of Ten Hag, even knowing that on player side the negotiation will not be easy.
It’s a risky approach if it doesn’t work out, but at the same time we have seen Man United make the wrong signing so many times, seemingly just because a big name became available. With the De Jong saga, it is at least clear that Ten Hag has a plan, and the focus is on delivering the players to make that plan work.
Why Chelsea have changed their transfer plans in defence
Matthijs de Ligt is the priority for Chelsea and contacts will continue this week with Juventus. A new proposal from Chelsea is expected to try to get closer to the request of the Italian club.
There are real possibilities because De Ligt wants a move to the Premier League, but an agreement will have to be found with Juventus.
Manchester City defender and former Chelsea ace Nathan Ake is also high on the Blues’ list, while Jules Kounde remains an option but was a priority for Marina Granovskaia, while new owner Todd Boehly now prioritizes other targets, and therefore Kounde is lower on the list – Barcelona are also interested in the Frenchman, so that could complicate that deal further.
We’ll see who Chelsea end up with, but in my view these are both top defenders and fans should be perfectly happy if either of them joins. Replacing Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen is not an easy job, but De Ligt or Kounde would put the Chelsea back line in very good shape.
Despite the recent rumours, Serge Gnabry is not on the Arsenal list and the player has other priorities. FC Bayern have made him a proposal for a new contract to which they have not yet received a definitive answer, that’s why at the moment there’s still no imminent deal for Gnabry.
As for Premier League clubs, Manchester City have sent their scouts to monitor him several times to understand if he could really fit Pep Guardiola’s ideas but there are still no official offers to Bayern.
As mentioned above, City’s Raheem Sterling is a top target for Chelsea, so let’s see if the England forward’s potential departure goes through, and if that persuades City to move for someone like Gnabry. Still, they’ve already signed Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez for the new season, so I’m not too surprised there’s nothing more concrete on Gnabry at the moment.
Neymar rumours are just speculation – he wants to win the Champions League with PSG
At the moment Neymar’s situation is full of rumours but there is no offer. Those close to Neymar ensure that his will is to stay at Paris Saint-Germain to win the Champions League in France.
So far there have been no advanced negotiations and I think it should be remembered that Neymar signed a new contract with PSG just a year ago with a huge salary.
It will be a difficult negotiation for everyone, this scenario could change only in case of salary coverage beyond 50% by Paris.
For now, I’d take any other stories about Neymar with a pinch of salt. The Brazilian is one of the biggest names in world football and there has been speculation like this about him almost every summer since he made that big move from Barcelona to Paris. But in truth, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him lining up alongside Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe again next season as PSG finally try to make progress in the Champions League.