Transfer news: Man Utd ‘not far off’ terms for Varane; Giroud to AC Milan


The conclusion of EURO 2020 can only mean one thing for the footballing world: attention returns to the club game, thus the wave of transfer rumors is (belatedly) set to wash over us in the coming weeks ahead of the 2021-22 Premier League season.

It’s transfer rumor roundup time…

[ MORE: Full list of latest Premier League transfers ]

Manchester United, Varane “not far off” personal terms

Manchester United appear set to partner Harry Maguire with Raphael Varane in central defense, with the Frenchman reportedly “not far off” agreeing personal terms at Old Trafford. The 28-year-old has one year left on his current contract at Real Madrid and it is now a foregone conclusion he will leave the club this summer despite making 41 appearances last season.

Manchester United are said to have offered a transfer fee in the neighborhood of $70 million, while Real Madrid were holding out for $110 million (at least initially). Given the lack of other suitors, expect the final figure to be closer to 70 than 110.

After agreeing a deal for Jadon Sancho, Manchester United spending a further eight (and almost nine) figures on Varane will likely signal the end of their dealings this window, as they put to be two of the hotter transfer rumors of the summer.

Giroud close to joining AC Milan

Olivier Giroud’s time in west London — and London as a whole — is reportedly coming to an end as he is expected to sign a two-year contract to join AC Milan this week. Giroud extended his contract with Chelsea through the 2021-22 season just last month, but the purpose of that new pact now appears solely intended to net the reigning European champions a transfer fee for the 34-year-old forward.

Giroud bagged 11 goals in 31 appearances for Chelsea last season, but playing time will be increasingly hard to come by this season with Timo Werner and Kai Havertz having had a full season to adapt to life at Stamford Bridge, not to mention rumors linking the Blues with superstar striker Erling Haaland.

Bellerin wants to leave Arsenal

With no European football at Arsenal this season, Hector Bellerin has reportedly informed the club he would like to leave north London amid interest from Serie A champions, and Champions League participants, Inter Milan. Any potential deal could be an initial loan with an option (or an obligation) to make the move permanent. Bellerin still has two years remaining on his contract, thus any fee paid will be fairly sizable.

Wolves to sell Patricio, sign Sa

Wolves are set to swap one Portuguese goalkeeper for another, as they are reportedly close to sending the incumbent, Rui Patricio, to Roma and signing Jose Sa to replace him. Patricio, who has just one year left on his contract at 33 years old, will cost Jose Mourinho’s new club close to $14 million. Sa is expected to cost Wolves roughly half that amount, as they turn a small profit and get younger (by five years) at the position.

UPDATE: Roma have since confirmed Patricio’s arrival.

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Transfer news: Cyprien to Newcastle; Chelsea, Rice agree terms

Cyprien to Newcastle
Photo by JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images

We’ve got a bargain price — Wyatt Cyprien to Newcastle — and one that could hardly be described as anything near a discount — Declan Rice to Chelsea — in our Premier League transfer rumors for Friday.

[ MORE: ProSoccerTalk unfiltered, Week 2 ]

Chelsea’s opening offer to West Ham was about what it paid Leicester City for Ben Chilwell. West Ham is reportedly asking a touch more than the English record Manchester United paid the Foxes for Harry Maguire.

In related news, Leicester knows how to maximize its profits on Three Lions players.

Rice to Chelsea

Declan Rice wants to go home again.

The West Ham midfielder and former Chelsea youth has agreed terms with the Blues on a five-year deal as Frank Lampard aims to buy Rice.

The Express reports that Chelsea has so far offered $57 million to West Ham, who wants about $102 million for the 21-year-old.

Chelsea has already spent more than $300 million this summer after last summer’s transfer ban cost them any new additions.

Rice would join Edouard Mendy, Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell, and Kai Havertz as big money buys by the Blues in 2020.

Only eight defensive midfielders are ranked higher in value by Transfermarkt: Rodri, Joshua Kimmich, Casemiro, Fabinho, Jorginho, Ruben Neves, and Marcelo Brozovic.

He could become the sixth most expensive English player in history if he costs any more than the $58 million price tag slapped on Chilwell.

That… is something.

Most expensive English player transfers (Transfermarkt)

  • Harry Maguire, Leicester -> Man Utd, $101 million
  • Raheem Sterling, Liverpool -> Man City, $74 million
  • John Stones, Everton -> Man City, $65 million
  • Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Palace -> Man Utd, $64 million
  • Kyle Walker, Spurs -> Man City, $61 million
  • Ben Chilwell, Leicester -> Chelsea, $58 million

West Ham has to get a huge figure for Rice, especially if the player is sold to a crosstown rival. The Irons have already faced criticism for failures in the transfer market and the sale of Grady Diangana to West Brom had captain Mark Noble speaking publicly about his displeasure.

There are also rumors that David Moyes’ targets are too rich and the players being offered the selective Scot are not up to his standards. Maybe the Rice money allows Moyes to get “one of his own” but that’s a significant risk for a man who’s yet to prove he’s an upgrade on Manuel Pellegrini.

Cyprien to Newcastle

Newcastle United’s biggest hole is in the center of the park and the Magpies are again being linked with Nice’s Wylan Cyprien.

Bordeaux is said to be leading the race for the 25-year-old who is out-of-contract at the end of the season and said to be available for a $12 million price tag which would not put off the Magpies.

Cyprien has 23 goals and 12 assists in 127 league outings for Nice, who is coached by Arsenal legend and former NYCFC boss Patrick Vieira.

He is an excellent passer who doesn’t mind a shot and is strong on set pieces, scoring seven times last season. That’s one off his career-best in Ligue 1 goals set in 2016-17.

It’s a report Newcastle fans will probably hope to speak into existence.

Transfer news: Leicester to improve on Chilwell after big sale?

Tagliafico to Leicester City
Photo by Rico Brouwer/Soccrates/Getty Images

Sunday morning’s transfer rumblings are decidedly Dutch, with Leicester City apparently ready to make an eye-popping swap at the (deep) expense of Chelsea and Ronald Koeman prepared to offload several veterans at Barcelona to bring in two young talents.

[ MORE: UEFA Champions League Final preview ]

If Koeman does land his two preferred young stars, there could be a bargain or two for Premier League or Serie A clubs eyeing cut rate deals for the trio he’d send packing.

Van de Beek to Barcelona

Ronald Koeman loves the young talent he’s overseen at Netherlands national team camp, and wants to bring at least two players to join Frenkie de Jong in Blaugrana colors.

Koeman is said to be willing to sell Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic, and Luis Suarez in order to fund a move for Donny van de Beek. The central midfielder was once ticketed for Real Madrid but money issues reportedly opened a door for Manchester United.

Van de Beek is expected to fetch Ajax around $65 million for a player who turned 23 in April and posted has 10 goals and 11 assists in 37 matches this season after registering 17 and 13 in 57 appearances in 2018-19.

Van de Beek has 10 caps for the Dutch, and has been atop the triangle of midfielders in Koeman’s 4-3-3. Koeman would be able to get more out of De Jong with Miralem Pjanic already arriving to settle a midfield which sometimes had problems finding Lionel Messi and Barca’s attackers.

Stengs to Barcelona

Stengs to Barcelona
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS – NOVEMBER 19: Stengs and Koeman (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

The other name Koeman wants could be the first time many have heard it. Fantastic young Dutch right wing Calvin Stengs moving to Barcelona would be a big move for a 21-year-old recently handed his first Netherlands cap by Koeman.

The 21-year-old AZ Alkmaar man had 10 goals and 12 assists in the high-scoring Eredivisie and the Europa League, a breakthrough season after bagging five and four the previous season.

Stengs would join a crowded group of wingers and could signal sales or positional changes in the long-term, with Ousmane Dembele and Trincao among the right-sided talent and Pedri, Ansu Fati, and occasionally Antoine Griezmann flung out left (You may know Lionel Messi and Suarez as forwards, too.

One to watch?

Tagliafico to Leicester City

Simply incredible stuff from Brendan Rodgers and the King Power Stadium set if this one is true.

Leicester City is said to be capable of landing Nicolas Tagliafico from Ajax to replace Ben Chilwell, who is reportedly nearing a massive-money move to Chelsea.

Chilwell is about four years’ Tagliafico’s junior and has experience in the Premier League already, but finding another reason to favor the former of the latter is tough.

Chilwell turns 24 in December and is said to carry a price tag around $65 million, almost $26 million more than the bandied-about price for Tagliafico, who turns 28 at the end of this month.

The Argentine has 16 matches of UCL experience compared to Chilwell’s zero, with goals against Bayern and Lille. Yes he played in a less competitive domestic league but, according to WhoScored’s player comparison tool, he’s also coming off a better season in terms of passing, interceptions, clearances, assists, shots per game, assists, tackles, and fouls drawn.

It’s a no-brainer. Leicester would upgrade or — at the very least — be just as solid by adding Tagliafico for a Europa League season over Chilwell, who has just two European appearances coming back in 2016-17 (though 11 England caps are quite high profile, too).

Frank Lampard has shown a preference for both youth, specifically English youth, but as he enters a second full season without silverware and more youth — specifically English youth — Tagliafico’s age and the fact that Chelsea could buy a very good young left back prospect with the difference in fee seem to cancel each other out.

But you do you, Frank.

Man City sign Nathan Ake from Bournemouth

Man City sign Nathan Ake
Photo credit: Man City

Man City sign Nathan Ake from Bournemouth: Another day, another potentially transformative signing for Pep Guardiola and Co., as they reload for their quest to reclaim the Premier League title.

[ MORE: Report: Arsenal offer Willian three-year deal ]

Ake joins Man City after four hugely successful seasons at Bournemouth, which initially took him on loan from Chelsea in 2016 before making the deal permanent for $26 million a year later. With the Cherries relegated from the PL this season, Ake was always going to leave the Vitality Stadium for top-tier pastures.

The transfer fee is said to be in the neighborhood of $52 million, which makes the 25-year-old a relative steal in comparison to fees now being paid for center backs around Europe. Given he has ample experience in the PL, and earned much of it playing in a side that favored a hugely expansive possession style of soccer, Ake should gain Guardiola’s trust and favor rather quickly as we begin to look toward the 2020-21 season.

[ MORE: Transfer rumor roundup: Gabriel to Arsenal; Lewis to Liverpool ]

John Stones has mostly struggled to impress and raise his level to that of City since moving to the Etihad Stadium in 2016, leaving Guardiola with a serious need at center back alongside Aymeric Laporte. Midfielder Fernandinho was regularly deputized in recent seasons, but that will no longer be necessary with one of the 10-12 best central defenders in the world arriving this summer.

Report: Arsenal offer Willian three-year deal

Arsenal offer Willian
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Arsenal offer Willian three-year deal to join on free transfer: According to multiple reports out of the UK, the Gunners have made the soon-to-be former Chelsea winger a very high priority in the opening hours and days of the summer/fall transfer window of 2020.

[ MORE: Transfer rumor roundup: Gabriel to Arsenal; Lewis to Liverpool ]

With other interest reportedly coming from Barcelona and MLS side Inter Miami, Willian undoubtedly has options as a free agent following the expiration of his Chelsea contract. According to Sky Sports, the weekly wages offered by Arsenal are “still some way short” of those coming from Barca and Miami.

The 31-year-old is said to have been open to remaining at Stamford Bridge, but he was only offered a two-year contract to do so, prompting him to explore possibilities elsewhere.

Despite starting the season at 30 and turning 31 in September, Willian put together his best season for the Blues, at least statistically speaking, in 2019-20. The Brazilian tallied nine goals and seven assists (in 36 appearances) in Premier League action, plus another pair of goals and an assist between the Champions League and FA Cup.

[ MORE: Premier League transfers: Every deal from all 20 clubs ]

Factoring in their willingness to give him the third year he clearly desires, in order to secure his earning power until he’s 35, Arsenal could very well be favorites to land Willian.

Let’s say they’re offering $150,000 per week, which comes out to a little over $7.8 million per year, bringing the grand total to more than $23 million over three years. Even if Barca have offered $200,000 per week for just the two seasons, the total package falls roughly $4 million short over the life of the respective offers. Sure, Willian could take the gamble of the shorter, more lucrative offer and then be available for another move in the summer of 2022, but such a decision would come without the added security given he’ll be 34 years old at the time and could see his abilities and production fall off dramatically.