The winter window might have shut, but the rumour mill rolls on. As always, Transfer Talk has its finger on the pulse when it comes to the latest rumours and gossip. See the latest deals here.
TOP STORY: Romelu Lukaku? That’ll be £50 million
How Everton must wish they had enjoyed a more consistent season. If they had — and if they had been as far up the Premier League table as many feel they ought to be — then perhaps not so many people would be talking quite so much about the future of star striker Romelu Lukaku.
Previously it was reported that widely-assumed-to-be incoming Chelsea boss Antonio Conte had “moved Lukaku to the top of the club’s summer transfer plans.”
But now it has emerged that interested parties will have to start — yes, start — the bidding for the Belgium international at £50 million.
Lukaku, the most consistent man in this up-and-down Everton campaign, has scored 25 times this season — and the Sun has said Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich “is convinced that axed boss Jose Mourinho made a mistake in shipping Lukaku out to the Toffees.”
Now the Mirror says both Chelsea and Manchester United, who are also rumoured to be interested in signing Lukaku, will have to pay vast money if they are to have any chance of securing a deal.
Everton paid £28m for him last summer, and the paper reports that they are determined to do everything they can to keep their biggest attacking threat.
Lukaku has said he wants to play Champions League football, but the Mirror points out that the Toffees “have significant money to spend in the summer after massive recent investment from new major shareholder Farhad Moshiri.”
It adds that some of that cash will go on keeping star names like Lukaku and John Stones, and stresses that Everton will not entertain the idea of letting their main goalscorer move on without a battle.
Another case of watch this space, then?
– Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) 28 March 2016
Martial presents United front
It hasn’t been the most joyous of seasons for Manchester United, but striker Anthony Martial has said he is thoroughly enjoying life at Old Trafford and isn’t that bothered about rumoured interest from Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.
The Sun reports that PSG, looking around for potential replacements for Zlatan Ibrahimovic if and when he moves to the Premier League, are keen on Martial, who moved to Manchester from Monaco only last summer.
But it adds that the striker has told French radio station RTL that manager Louis van Gaal, the target of heavy criticism this season, has enabled him “to progress enormously.”
Blues keep tabs on teenage keeper
What might Chelsea do if they end up losing goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to Real Madrid, reported on Sunday as a possibility?
Well, they might sign AC Milan youngster Gianluigi Donnarumma with the Mail saying the 17-year-old is “a top target” should a mega-money sale of Courtois go through.
Courtois has reportedly emerged as a key target for Real after they “gave up” on hopes of bringing in Manchester United’s David De Gea, who came so close to joining them last summer.
Klopp closes in on German double deal
Meanwhile, back in Liverpool and over at Anfield, Jurgen Klopp is plotting a few moves as he looks to put his mark on his Liverpool squad in the summer.
The Mirror believes he will press ahead with signing both his former Borussia Dortmund star Mario Gotze, now at Bayern Munich, and Cologne and Germany left-back Jonas Hector, who has already said he would be tempted to leave were his phone to ring with Klopp on the other end.
Klopp, the paper says, “sent two representatives to watch defender Hector playing for his country against England at the weekend.”
And the Anfield manager has been heavily linked with a move for Gotze, who has indicated both an interest in moving to the Premier League and in working with his ex-Dortmund boss again.
The midfielder, who scored the winner for Germany against Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final, has started only five times in the German top flight this season after suffering another series of injury problems, and might be in the mood for a fresh start.
As for Hector, the Mirror says he “can also comfortably perform the holding midfield role, and Klopp — who has monitored him throughout the season — has been told Cologne will do business at £12m.”
Meanwhile, rumours linking Ilkay Gundogan with a reunion with his former BVB boss refuse to go away, and the ESPN FC crew have given their take on the chances of the German international ending up at Anfield next season.
– Ajax midfielder Riechedly Bazoer, who is interesting Chelsea and Manchester City, is the right sort of player to make a move to “a top club,” his international teammate Jordy Clasie has said.
The Mirror quotes Southampton’s Clasie as saying that the 18-year-old Bazoer, who is likely to face England at Wembley on Tuesday, “has everything that a good midfielder needs.”
– Who is Domingos Quina? Well, the Sun says breathlessly, he is “a Chelsea rebel” who has walked out of Stamford Bridge and allowed Arsenal to swoop despite interest from both Tottenham and Manchester United.
The paper reports that Arsenal “are expected to tie up a deal with the 16-year-old starlet in the next two days,” with the Portugal under-18 international having failed to return to Chelsea after a spell of international duty. The midfielder is going to be snapped up by the Gunners “before he turns professional on his 17th birthday in November,” it says.