LIVE Transfer Talk: Man United, Liverpool, Arsenal keep eye on Griezmann – ESPN

The coronavirus pandemic has made the transfer market uncertain — and you can find out when the windows open and close here — but here are the rumours floating around Europe’s big leagues and beyond.

TOP STORY: Griezmann future has major Premier League clubs ‘on red alert’

Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal are among the clubs monitoring the situation when it comes to the future of Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann, the Mail on Sunday reports.

Lionel Messi‘s dramatic U-turn over on Friday ended his bid to leave the club this summer, leaving Barca looking for alternative ways to fund the major overhaul of their squad that is required following their first season without a trophy in 12 years.

Griezmann was one of the handful of players that Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu said would not be available for a transfer this summer, but Messi’s decision to stay could change that situation for the 29-year-old.

In 2017, sources told ESPN’s Rob Dawson that Griezmann was United’s top transfer target, when the France international was still at Atletico Madrid but, despite the player himself appearing open to a move, he remained in the Spanish capital.

The Mail report adds that Barcelona will have to take a significant loss on the €120 million fee they invested when Griezmann signed with them a year ago if they want to get him off the wage bill.

LIVE BLOG

12.35 BST: Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara has played down talk of him leaving the European champions this summer to join Liverpool.

Thiago, 29, has one year left on his contract at the reigning Bundesliga and Champions League winners. The Spain international has had consistently linked with Premier League champions Liverpool in recent weeks, and Bayern coach Hansi Flick hinted the player had played his last game for the club following their Champions League final victory last month.

“I have not said at any time that I am leaving,” Thiago told reporters ahead of Sunday’s UEFA Nations League match against Ukraine (stream LIVE at 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN+ in the U.S.). “Every year you put me in a different team.

“I am only thinking about the game against Ukraine. Afterwards, we will see. Bayern is my home and I am happy to be there.”

– Ogden: Liverpool and Thiago seem like a perfect match. Why isn’t a deal happening?

11.54 BST: Newcastle United have had their £20m bid to sign England striker Callum Wilson accepted by Bournemouth, according to reports in the UK.

Both Sky Sports and the BBC report that Aston Villa withdrew their £21m offer after it became clear that Wilson, 28, would prefer to move to St James’ Park.

Wilson scored 41 goals in 126 league appearances during Bournemouth’s five-year spell in the Premier League, which came to an end last season, and now wants a return to the top flight to resurrect his England career.

Newcastle’s recruitment team have been very active over the past few days. The Daily Telegraph reported on Saturday that former Bournemouth midfielder Ryan Fraser is set to have a medical this weekend ahead of joining Steve Bruce’s side on a free transfer, while they are also close to signing defender Jamal Lewis from Norwich City, another relegated team, for a £13.5m fee.

11.07 BST: Liverpool have told Barcelona that Georginio Wijnaldum can sign for them for a £15m (€16.8m) fee, the Sunday Mirror reports.

Wijnaldum, 29, has been linked with interest from his former Netherlands national team coach, Ronaldo Koeman, who is now in charge at Barca.

The midfielder, who has one year remaining on his contract at Liverpool, is not the only player who has been linked with a move to Barcelona this summer — Lyon forward Memphis Depay is also reportedly a target.

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0:56

ESPN FC’s Gab Marcotti explains what Barcelona must do first in order to bring in summer signings.

10.20 BST: Wales coach Ryan Giggs believes that Chelsea defender Ethan Ampadu may need to move in order to get regular playing time.

The versatile defender, who turns 20 later this month, has impressed both at Stamford Bridge and during last season’s loan spell at RB Leipzig but has been unable to secure a regular first-team place at either club.

And, with veteran Thiago Silva arriving at Chelsea on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain, Giggs thinks Ampadu has a big decision to make this summer.

“Thiago is a quality centre-half and you can only learn from someone like that,” Giggs said ahead of Sunday’s UEFA Nations League game against Bulgaria in Cardiff (watch LIVE on ESPN3 at 9 a.m. in the U.S.).

“I want all the players to be playing regularly, but that sometimes isn’t the case. It’s that balance over whether they’re at a top club and surrounded by top players and improving every day, but ultimately you need minutes on the pitch. That’s a decision for Ethan. I’ve talked to him a lot about that.

“I think last year was maybe a little bit different as he had injuries. You could see from the game he played against Tottenham in the Champions League he was outstanding. Nothing fazes him, he’s a quality player, and he just needs to keep fit now.”

09.38 BST: Luis Suarez and Arturo Vidal trained separately from their Barcelona teammates on Saturday, sources have told ESPN’s Moises Llorens, as both players prepare to leave the club.

Sources told ESPN’s Andrew Cesare Richardson on Friday that Suarez, 33, had agreed to join Juventus while Vidal, also 33, is in talks with Inter Milan.

New Barca manager Ronald Koeman decided that the pair should train individually, accompanied by a fitness coach, rather than join the rest of the squad.

Suarez, who has risen to third in Barca’s all-time goal-scoring charts since joining in 2014, is expected to move to Turin for a nominal fee.

Sources told ESPN that Vidal had originally been expected to stay at Camp Nou but there was a change of heart after the 8-2 Champions League quarterfinal defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich. He is now likely to link up with his former coach at Juventus, Antonio Conte, in a return to Serie A.

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2:09

The FC boys assess Luis Suarez possibly joining Juve and how he’ll mend his relationship with Giorgio Chiellini.

09.00 BST: Wolves smashed their club-record transfer fee to sign Portuguese teenager Fabio Silva from Porto, the Premier League club said on Saturday.

Wolves did not disclose the fee paid for the 18-year-old striker, who has signed a five-year contract, but said it was a club record. Media reports had indicated the fee was around £35 million.

Silva was part of the youth system at both Porto and Benfica and made his first team debut for Porto, his hometown club, in August 2019 as a 17-year-old.

The forward has scored one goal in 12 Portuguese league appearances for Porto and spent time last season with their B-team in the second division.

Wolves’ previous record signing was Mexico forward Raul Jimenez who joined the West Midlands club from Benfica for £30m in 2019.

PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd): Juve consider Morata if no Suarez

Italian champions Juventus are planning other options in case their quest to sign Luis Suarez from Barcelona falls through, and AS are suggesting they’re considering Atletico Madrid striker Alvaro Morata.

Juve are desperate to add another attacking option to the squad and they’ve been heavily linked with Suarez and AS Roma star Edin Dzeko. The club has an agreement in place with Suarez but the player is yet to reach a deal with Barcelona over his severance package, or sort out the issue of his passport, which can take up to a month to finalise.

Similarly, Juve are believed to have an agreement in place with Dzeko but Roma are unwilling to let him leave until they’ve completed the signing of Arkadiusz Milik from Napoli.

This is why AS have linked the Turin-based club with Morata, and suggest the club has even put together a technical dossier on the Atletico forward.

Morata spent two seasons at Juve between 2014 and 2016, and the club is willing to throw in one from Federico Bernardeschi, Aaron Ramsey or Douglas Costa to sweeten the deal.

Mourinho contemplates shock move for Hughes

The Daily Mirror is linking Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho with a surprise move for Watford midfielder Will Hughes.

Mourinho is looking to reshape his squad but he has to balance the books while doing so. The Spurs manager has already signed Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg from Southampton, Matthew Doherty from Wolverhampton Wanderers and Joe Hart from Burnley, which is why Hughes — at £13m — appeals.

Mourinho believes Hughes provides a number of options in various roles across the midfield while also boosting the side’s homegrown quota.

Hughes impressed at Watford in the Premier League after joining the club from Derby County in 2017.

Mourinho is prepared to let players leave such as Juan Foyth, Serge Aurier, Danny Rose and Paulo Gazzaniga in an effort to sign squad players such as Hughes.

United hand trial to youngster Khadra

Manchester United have handed a trial to former Borussia Dortmund youngster Reda Khadra, according to the Daily Mail.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has given the 19-year-old a chance to prove himself by allowing him to play for the club’s U23s, and if successful he could push for a place in the Reds’ first team next season.

Khadra was due to play in a friendly against Doncaster earlier in the week but was forced to watch from the sidelines after his international clearance failed to go through.

Khadra plays on the right-hand side but can also play on the left or as an attacking midfielder.

Khadra won the U17 Bundesliga West and U19 Bundesliga West before being released by Dortmund earlier this summer.

Tap-ins

Hot on the heels of signing Portuguese wonderkid Fabio Silva, Wolves are looking to capture Barcelona defender Jean-Clair Todibo. Todibo impressed while on loan at Schalke 04 last season but Sport believe Wolves are in pole position to sign the centre-back on a permanent basis. Wolves still have money to spend after the Doherty deal to Tottenham, but they value the player below the €17-20m Barcelona are asking for him.

Leicester City are hoping to hijack West Ham United‘s move for James Tarkowski, according to the Daily Star. Tarkowski has two years left on his Burnley contract and the Clarets have rejected a £25m bid from the Hammers. And now Leicester are hoping an offer of £30m will be enough to ensure the Foxes take the central defender to Walkers Stadium. Burnley are hoping to get £50m for the defender, or hope that the price tag is enough to put off both would-be suitors.