LIVE Transfer Talk – Real Madrid eye AC Milan’s Rafael Leao after Kylian Mbappe snub

The summer transfer window is approaching, and there’s plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumors, comings and goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Real eye Leao after Mbappe snub

After seeing Kylian Mbappe pledge his future to Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid are now looking at AC Milan’s Rafael Leao as a new scoring option.

Gazzetta dello Sport have suggested that the Portugal international, fresh from winning the Scudettohas already received an offer from the LaLiga champions.

Real Madrid are ready to spend €120 million to sign the 22-year-old, who recorded 14 goals and 12 assists in 42 matches across all competitions this season for the Rossoneri.

That sum could still prove not to be enough, as the attacker’s release clause is reported to be €150m. And , not only do Milan want to keep Leao, they also want to offer him a new contract that will run until 2026 — his current deal culminates in 2024.

Having won their first league title since 2010-11, Milan will not want to see their team broken up, especially with midfielder Franck Kessie set to leave for Barcelona on a free transfer in the summer. Therefore, the San Siro side are ready to make a large financial effort to ensure they keep Sandro Tonali, Fikayo Tomori and Pierre Kaluluas well as Leo.

Madrid, who will face Liverpool in the Champions League final on Saturday, have also been linked with a move for AS Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni. Sources have told ESPN that Madrid will offer a five-year deal with a transfer fee of around €80m.

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09.56 BST: Weeks ahead of his move to Manchester City, forward Julian Alvarez scored six goals for River Plate in a 8-1 Copa Libertadores thrashing of Alianza Lima on Wednesday night.

Alvarez, 22, netted three before the half and three after in River’s final Group F match of South America’s continental club competition to tie Juan Carlos Sanchez’s record for goals in a Libertadores game set in in 1985 while playing for Bolivian side Blooming.

The Premier League champions signed Alvarez to a five-and-a-half year deal from River in January for a fee of €17m, but remained on loan with the Argentine club ahead of joining City this summer. He is expected to take part in the US preseason tour for Pep Guardiola’s side in July along with fellow new signing Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund.

09.11 BST: Jesse Lingard is in talks with West Ham over a free transfer to the London Stadium, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.

Lingard is set to leave Manchester United when his contract expires at the end of June. Sources have told ESPN that West Ham made contact with the 29-year-old’s representatives following the conclusion of the Premier League season on Sunday and negotiations are now under way.

There is confidence on all sides that a deal can be agreed although there remains interest from other Premier League clubs and Italian giants AC Milan and Juventus. Sources have told ESPN that Newcastle, who were keen to land Lingard on loan in January, have distanced themselves from a move this summer and are instead focusing on other targets.

Lingard is one of David Moyes’ top targets at West Ham this summer after an impressive loan spell at the London Stadium during the second half of the 2020-21 season, scoring nine goals in 16 games to help West Ham to a sixth-place finish in the Premier League. His form also earned a recall to the England squad and he was named in Gareth Southgate’s provisional group for Euro 2020.

Lingard has missed out on a place in the latest squad after a frustrating season at Man United but sources have told ESPN he is hopeful that a run of regular first-team football at the start of next season will be enough to force his way back in ahead of the 2022 World Cup, which starts in Qatar in November. Lingard played a key role for Southgate during England’s run to the World Cup semifinals in 2018.

08.34 BST: Central Coast Mariners prospect Garang Kuol earned lavish praise from Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez after coming off the bench for the A-Leagues All Stars in their spirited 3-2 loss against the Catalan giants.

After lighting up Accor Stadium in front of 70,000 fans in an All Stars side coached by Dwight Yorke, 17-year-old Kuol returns to the normality of school on Monday morning.

He has scored four goals across nine substitute appearances for the Mariners and while he didn’t get on the scoresheet, he looked at home against a Barcelona side that contained the likes of Sergio Busquets and Dani Alves.

“[A-League All-Stars coach] Dwight Yorke told me he was 16 or 17… it was a big surprise,” Xavi said. “He was very fast and we conceded two or three chances because of him. He’s a great player and he has a great future, he is a talent that is obvious.”

Kuol is following the trail blazed by older brother Alou, who left the Mariners last year to join Bundesliga side Stuttgart.

“That’s just an honor, isn’t it? To have a player like Xavi talking about me,” Kuol said. “I was watching him back then when he was dominating with [Andres] Iniesta. I swapped shirts with [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang and, yeah, life goes on.”

08.00 BST: Mohamed Salah has confirmed he will not leave Liverpool this summer, giving the club a major boost ahead of Saturday’s Champions League final against Real Madrid.

The 29-year-old is out of contract at Anfield at the end of next season and has yet to commit to a new deal with Jurgen Klopp’s team. Uncertainty over the Egypt international’s future had led to speculation that Salah could leave Liverpool in order to avoid his departure as a free agent a year later.

Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain have both been linked with the former Chelsea and AS Roma forward due to his failure to agree new terms at Liverpool. But although he stopped short of saying he would sign a new deal at Anfield, Salah has now said that he will see out the final year of his contract.

“I am just focused on the team and don’t want to talk about my contract,” Salah said at Liverpool’s pre-Champions League media conference. “But I am staying next season for sure, that’s for sure.

“In my mind, I don’t focus about the contract at the moment. I don’t want to be selfish. I said two months ago, it’s all about the team now. It’s a really important week for us, so I am just focused on the team. I want to win the Champions League again.”

PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)

– Newcastle United are hoping to sign Atletico Madrid pair Renan Lodi and Yannick Carrascoaccording to Marca. Having previously signed Kieran Trippier from the Spanish giants in January, the Magpies would need to spend around €40m to sign left-back Lodi and €60m for winger Carrasco. Juventus are also interested in Lodi, but Newcastle have greater financial strength.

– The ongoing saga between Barcelona and Ousmane Dembele continues, but Diario Sport have suggested there is a chance the Frenchman could stay at Camp Nou. With the winger’s contract ending this summer, it is suggested that small agreements have been made in negotiations but that there hasn’t been any movement from either side in the more major factors.

Brenden Aaronson has landed in England to complete a medical and sign a contract for his move from FC Salzburg to Leeds United, according to A source with knowledge of the negotiations had told ESPN the deal for the United States midfielder’s transfer would be worth $29.5m, with the former side Philadelphia Union receiving $5.3m.

Foot Mercato have suggested that Marseille and Lyon are among the clubs that have made attempts to sign Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah, who will be a free agent this summer if he does not renew. However, the Daily Mail reports that Nketiah will remain with the Gunners. Nketiah scored 10 goals across all competitions for Arsenal, who will be playing in the Europa League next season. have reported that Venezia and USMNT midfielder Gianluca Busio has a relegation clause in his contract that will allow him to leave. This has come into play after Venezia finished bottom of Serie A, with other clubs from the Italian top tier, the Bundesliga, LaLiga and elsewhere showing interest. It is expected that Busio will take up the option to temporarily leave but nothing is certain yet.


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