September 25, 2021

Transfer news LIVE: Liverpool make contact for £41m Ozak Kabak, Man United doubts over Jadon Sancho fee, Chelsea near Kai Havertz agreement


Follow the latest updates live from the first day of the summer transfer window after the Premier League season drew to a close on Sunday after, resulting in the relegation of Bournemouth, Watford and Norwich City and confirmation that Manchester United and Chelsea will play in next season’s Champions League.

Two months later than usual, the summer transfer window opens for business with clubs still expected to be busy even though they are facing the financial pressures of the coronavirus pandemic. Champions Liverpool are being linked with Watford striker Ismaila Sarr and Leicester winger Harvey Barnes, while United’s proposed move for Jadon Sancho hangs in the balance over doubts surrounding his £90m price tag.

Arsenal are likely to move for another centre-back due to the number of injuries their defenders have suffered, while Chelsea remain in the hunt for sought-after Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz, having already signed Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech earlier in the year. Premier League new boys Leeds United meanwhile are ready to ramp up their recruitment drive with interest in Candaian forward Jonathan David strongly linked after impressing at Gent, though they look set to miss out on free agent Edinson Cavani after he left Paris Saint-Germain. Follow the live news below.

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Something of note that has come out of the Jadon Sancho transfer saga is that Dortmund are reportedly on the move for his replacement, which could be a sign that he will soon be on his way out of the Bundesliga club.


The Times have reported that Dortmund have opened negotiations with Lille for Jonathan Ikone. With the French midfielder valued at £41m, that would represent a large profit for the German club, should they get something close to their valuation of Sancho.


Ikone has already broken into the France national team at the age of 22 and has impressed at Little since arriving from PSG for the nominal fee of £4.6m in July 2018.


Like Jan Vertonghen, Vorm’s time at the north London club is up.

Spurs striker Harry Kane wrote: “Wish nothing but the best for @jvertonghen and @mvorm with whatever is next for them. Been a pleasure sharing a dressing room and playing with them both.”

Midfielder Harry Winks said: “Gonna miss these two. Been a huge part of my career since I came through the academy both on and off the pitch. All the best in your next chapters boys.”

Defender Toby Alderweireld wrote: “Sad to see these two amazing guys leaving the club, both great players but even better persons. We shared countless moments that I’ll never forget. Wishing you all the best for your next steps. Keep in touch.”



Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano has provided an update around the future of midfielder Kai Havertz, tweeting: “Official talks started between Chelsea and Bayer Leverkusen for Havertz. Chelsea want to complete the deal soon but would pay €80m fee only including add ons. Talks on to find an agreement. Personal terms agreed weeks ago. Kai is waiting.”


Interesting news coming out of Germany this afternoon. Sky’s Kaveh Solhekol tweets: “Sky Germany reporting Bayern Munich are prepared to pay 20 million Euros to sign Norwich City right back Max Aarons. They want to sign a young back up for Benjamin Pavard. Bayer Leverkusen also interested.”


Manchester United’s qualification for the Champions League has triggered their transfer business plans, and although Jadon Sancho remains the priority target at Old Trafford, there are a number of other names on the radar.

One of those is Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, and after leading the Midlands club to Premier League survival, the midfielder’s stock has never been higher.

Chief football correspondent Miguel Delaney can reveal that United are ready to move for Grealish even if they go through with the purchase of Sancho, but have already moved to assure him that he would not be a guaranteed starter at Old Trafford because of the wealth of options at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s disposal in the middle of the park.

Here’s the full story:


Japhet Tanganga may look like he’s just won the latest series of the The Apprentice, but he’s actually signing a new five-year contract with Tottenham. 

Spurs said: “The young defender has impressed playing across the back line this year in what has been his breakthrough season, having made his senior competitive debut in our EFL Cup tie against Colchester United in September, 2019, before coming into the team for his first Premier League appearance at home to Liverpool in January. Three days after his league debut, he was named Man of the Match in our FA Cup win against Middlesbrough.

“Born in Hackney, the Academy product has gone on to make 11 appearances in our colours this season has also been capped by England at every level from Under-16 to Under-20, including being part of the Under-20 squad that won the Toulon Tournament in 2017.”


Aston Villa manager Dean Smith says he is unsure whether captain Jack Grealish will be at the club next season but has warned potential suitors they will have to spend big if they want to sign him.

Grealish scored the opener in the 1-1 draw against West Ham United on Sunday, a result that, combined with Watford’s defeat at Arsenal, kept Villa in the Premier League. He has been linked to a host of English clubs and Smith said he had no idea what the future holds for the 24-year-old.

“I’m certainly hopeful he will play for Villa again. He is contracted for another three years, I think,” Smith said. “I have said many times before we have billionaire owners. If people want to come and get our best players they will cost an awful lot of money.”


Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu says he has “no doubt” that captain Lionel Messi will sign a new contract with the La Liga club.

Messi, whose deal expires in 2021, called his side “weak” and “inconsistent” after they lost the league title to Real Madrid this month.

“Messi has said many times that he wants to retire here and I have no doubt that he will re-sign,” Bartomeu told Mundo Deportivo.


Jan Vertonghen has confirmed his exit from Tottenham after eight years at the north London club.

Full story here: 


Full story on Lovren’s move:


DONE DEAL! Zenit St Petersburg have announced the signing of Liverpool centre-back Dejan Lovren for a fee of around £11m. 

After signing from Southampton in 2014, Lovren departs with a Premier League and Champions League winners’ medal.


Lionel Messi seems to have a role not just as footballer and captain but as an omnipotent presence in of Barcelona’s workings, and his latest desire is for Barca to appoint Marcelo Bielsa

Leeds United’s manager has impressed in lifting the Yorkshire club to the Premier League, reports The Sun, and his reputation as one of the great coaching innovators still burns bright in Spain and beyond.

Whether Bielsa would want to depart his project at Elland Road at such a moment is another matter.


Zlatan Ibrahimovic is set to sign a new contract with AC Milan after another impressive campaign. Zlatan scored a total of 39 goals across MLS and Serie A, proving that aged 38 he is still a threat.

Vito Angele reports he will sign a one-year extension.


Southampton’s recovery this season has gone under the radar over the final weeks of the season, but their rise from Premier League relegation favourites to an 11th-place finish should be remembered as one of the feats of the season. 

The club are ready to reward the key players in that revival, none more so than midfielder James Ward-Prowse, who looks set to become the club’s highest earner through a new five-year contract.

The Telegraph reports that Ward-prowse will be tied down until 2025, while the Premier League club are also closing in on the signing of Mohammed Salisu, the Ghanaian defender who is valued at just under £11m.


If there’s one thing that will be guaranteed about Leeds‘ promotion to the Premier League, it will be that they will not lack any ambition for starters.

The club are monitoring former Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani, who despite heading towards the twilight of his career remains one of the hottest properties on the market after he became a free agent this month.

Marcelo Bielsa has been linked with a move for the Uruguayan international to spearhead Leeds’ first Premier League campaign in 16 year, but Portuguese outlet Todo Fichajes reports that Benfica have verbally agreed to sign Cavani on a free transfer, having offered him a two-year deal on a generous salary.


Taking a closer look at those links between Liverpool and Ozan Kabak, why would the Premier League champions move for the Turkish youngster?

For starters, Liverpool already have Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez to depend on, with Joel Matip amble cover should either require a break. However, with Dejan Lovren poised for a move to Zenit St Petersburg, Liverpool will be left short on cover at centre-back.

At £41m – as is the reported asking fee – Kabak would be an expensive back-up player. However, he would potentially command much more than that pre-Covid-19 as Schalke now need the funds to ease their financial crisis. 

Kabak has quite the reputation, having also attracted interest from Man City, Juventus and Borussia Dortmund, according to the Daily Mail. Schalke’s head coach is of course David Wagner, the former Huddersfield Town boss who worked as Jurgen Klopp’s No 2 back in their early days at Dortmund.

However, that positive relationship is unlikely to see Liverpool meet the asking price, meaning a fair bit of negotiation will be needed to reach a breakthrough.


Mikel Arteta confirmed after Sunday’s game against Watford that Shkodran Mustafi’s hamstring injury will not only see him miss the FA Cup final but also the start of next season.

Mustafi joins fellow defenders Calum Chambers and Pablo Mari in the treatment room, with Arteta admitting the club need to “address” that in the transfer market.

One option already available to Arteta is Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who has played just one minute of football since the season resumed.

The 32-year-old was a regular under former boss Unai Emery but has slipped down the pecking order since Arteta arrived in December.

Despite his lack of football, the PA news agency reports that Sokratis will not ask to leave the club this summer and is willing to stay and fight for his place in the team, with his contract having another year to run.


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What about the red half of Manchester? Apart from the interest in Sancho, United appear to be taking stock of their options before making a move. Their desire for a new defender may be put on hold to see if Axel Tuanzebe is really cut out for life at Old Trafford, which will also help them to invest in other positions in need of reinforcing.

Miguel Delaney writes:

United are prioritising a wing-forward, a striker and a central midfielder. They have been considering a centre-half, but thought has been given to allowing Axel Tuanzebe a chance to develop. Wolves’ Raul Jimenez has been a striker mentioned, and both they and City have looked at Internazionale’s Milan Skriniar and Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake.


After losing their grip on the Premier League trophy, Manchester City have plenty of work to do over the summer break to strengthen their squad for next season’s title assault.

Chief football writer Miguel Delaney reports that the club are ready to spend this summer after successfully appealing their Champions League ban as the Court of Arbitration for Sport this month, and though that recent ruling will keep their purchases more modest than normal, they still need to resolve the void left by not replacing Vincent Kompany.

Repeated sources say City were immediately ready to spend a bit once the CAS ruling came through in their favour – although not quite to full levels. Sources say they are conscious of containing it a bit because ‘everyone will be watching’. The club are looking at a left-sided winger, and a centre-back, possibly two.


The opening day of the summer transfer window is one of those rare events where every fan will be filled with optimism that star signings are just around the corner – that same type of feeling that only Football Manager can re-create.

There are so many potential storylines ready to play out over the next 10 weeks that we needed someone to break them down – and Miguel Delaney is just the man. Our chief football writer explains why the 2020 summer transfer window will be like no other before it.

Liverpool are also keen on Schalke centre-back Ozan Kabak. The 20-year-old Turkey international is rated around the £40m mark, but Schalke could sell him for less due to financial difficulties. The Reds will likely have rivals for his signature, with Manchester City, Juventus and Borussia Dortmund having been linked to Kabak in the past.

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