With the European domestic season finished and the World Cup less than three weeks away, the continent’s clubs have a small window to try and get their early transfer business done.
The rumour mill never stops spinning and our friends at Football Whispers have rounded up the best stories from across Europe.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid president Florentino Perez have drifted apart following disagreements over a new contract, while the forward is also unhappy at the club’s pursuit of Neymar. Ronaldo said “See you next year” to fans at Madrid’s Champions League parade in the capital on Sunday as they chanted, “Cristiano please stay”, but the Portuguese feels undervalued at the Bernabeu. (Mundo Deportivo)
Ronaldo remains “on track” to sign a contract extension which will see him earn €30-€33m (£26-29m) a year – an increase of €10m (£8.75m). Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes met with Madrid chief executive Jose Angel Sanchez in April to begin talks after Perez first promised the new deal 12 months ago following the 2017 Champions League final win over Juventus. Madrid delayed extending the contract last season following Ronaldo’s slow start to the campaign which led to concerns over his age. (Marca)
Garth Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett will meet with Florentino Perez this week to establish the Wales international’s future at Real Madrid. The Manchester United transfer target wants “star status” and assurances he will be playing every week next season after his match-winning turn in the Champions League final. Relations between Bale and the Madrid board remain “positive” but he and Barnett are seeking a quick conclusion to the matter. (Marca)
Ronaldo’s departure from Madrid will spark a “chain reaction” of superstar transfers across Europe this summer. Madrid could sell Ronaldo to Paris Saint-Germain to fund moves for Neymar and Juventus’ Paulo Dybala. If Juve side lose the Argentine they will then attempt to sign Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial from Manchester United, which will then allow the Premier League club to buy Gareth Bale from Real Madrid. (Tuttosport)
Juventus want to sign Mateo Kovacic from Real Madrid but the European champions value the Croatia midfielder at around €55m (£48m). Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri is determined to freshen up his midfield this summer and has identified Kovacic as a priority with the 24-year-old making just 10 La Liga starts this season. However, a deal is only likely if Sami Khedira joins Liverpool or Miralem Pjanic is sold to PSG for a significant fee. (Gazzetta dello Sport)
Manchester City and Manchester United have failed with €60m (£53m) bids for Inter Milan centre-back Milan Skriniar. Both clubs made the approach for the Slovak knowing Inter need to raise around €40m (£35m) before June 30 to avoid falling foul of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules, but the Nerazzurri deem the 23-year-old unsellable after his outstanding debut season. Last week Skriniar insisted he would be staying with the club. (Corriere della Sport)
Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini is open to the idea of signing for AC Milan, even though the club may be unable to compete in Europe next season over failing to meet Financial Fair Play regulations. Fellaini is demanding €10m (£8.75m) a year which will make him Milan’s highest-paid player. Milan are also keen on Lyon forward Memphis Depay but the Netherlands international €40m (£35m) price tag may prove too high. (Gazzetta dello Sport)
Bale is interested in a move to Bayern Munich but the Bundesliga champions will have to break their transfer structure to fund a move for the Wales winger. Bayern and Manchester United are the leading candidates to sign the unsettled attacker from Madrid but he’s expected to cost around €100m (£87m). Bayern president Uli Hoeness ruled out making large investments on transfers this summer with CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge placing a €100m (£87m) limit on spending. (Sport Bild)
RB Leipzig want to sign Chelsea winger Kenedy if they are forced into selling Arsenal-target Emil Forsberg. Leipzig expect to pay up to €20m (£17.5m) to bring the Brazilian to the Bundesliga, although the 22-year-old is also a target of PSG and Bayern Munich. Forsberg is under contract until 2022 and Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick has made it clear they do not want to sell the Sweden international attacking midfielder but fear his head will be turned by Arsenal or Atletico Madrid. (Bild)
Arsenal remain in negotiation with Borussia Dortmund over centre-back Sokratis, with the clubs still to settle on the Greece international’s fee. The 29-year-old has just one year remaining on his contract at the Westfalenstadion and wants to move to the Emirates Stadium, but Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc values him at €18m (£16m). Arsenal, however, are yet to raise their initial €15m (£13m) offer to the Bundesliga club. (Kicker)
Eintracht Frankfurt winger Marius Wolf has agreed to join Dortmund this summer for around €5m (£4m). Wolf, 23, who scored five goals and made eight assists in the Bundesliga last season, has turned down offers from RB Leipzig and Hoffenheim to sign for BVB. Dortmund are also poised to appoint Slaven Bilic’s former assistant coach Edin Terzic as No2 to new boss Lucien Favre. (Kicker)
PSG are in a strong position to sign Ronaldo this summer for a new world record fee of €250m (£219m). PSG have tried and failed several times to sign the Portuguese but this summer could finally be the time when he decides to settle at the Parc des Princes. Jorge Mendes has also been a frequent visitor to Paris in recent months. (Le 10 Sport)
Liverpool will begin talks with Lyon this week over the signing of forward Nabil Fekir. The France international, who scored 23 goals in 39 games last season, expects to be sold this summer and is interested in a move to Anfield. Lyon want a minimum of €60m (£53m) for the 24-year-old who has revealed talks with “several clubs”. (L’Equipe/Telefoot)