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: Real court Chelsea goalkeeper
Real Madrid, as they have been in the recent past, are reportedly very keen indeed to sign a Premier League goalkeeper. And after those David De Gea sagas in the summer, we know who that will be, don’t we? Right?
This time, the target is Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois rather than Manchester United’s De Gea, says the Sun, which reports that the Blues’ Belgium international is “top of the shopping list” at the Bernabeu because they have “given up” on the United man.
Courtois, whose recent quotes about his Stamford Bridge future were a little noncommittal, played for Atletico Madrid on loan from Chelsea, and the Sun cites an AS report as claiming the keeper “enjoyed life in Spain more than the bustle of London.”
It adds — as if we didn’t know this — that money would be “no obstacle for the Spanish giants, with £79 million being mooted as the asking price for the 23-year-old.”
That fee would mean Courtois becoming the most expensive goalkeeper ever as Real gear themselves up for what is likely to be another summer spectacular in the transfer market. They rarely have a dull one, do they?
And the Sun reckons he will be a priority, because club president Florentino Perez “is desperate to bring in a long-term replacement for Iker Casillas after the Spain legend left for Porto last summer.”
De Gea, of course, came very, very close to moving to the Bernabeu last summer, only for the deal to fall through late on. Same saga, different target this time?
Zlatan preparing for red-carpet Premier?
Is showtime drawing tantalisingly nearer? We’ve all been mulling over the magnificent possibility that Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be a Premier League player next season — and now the man himself has told his adoring world that it could happen.
Agent Mino Raiola has already said the PSG superstar, whose contract expires in the summer, has decided what his next move will be — but isn’t going to let us know until the end of the season.
French newspaper L’Equipe said he could be on his way to Manchester United, one of a clutch of European clubs reported to have expressed an interest.
And now Ibra has let on that he is considering offers to move to the Premier League, with the 34-year-old saying: “Yes, there is interest. I can confirm that. The Premier League is the league in the world that all the people and fans speak about.”
But here’s the caveat: “A lot of things have to feel fine when I’m going to take a decision this summer,” he said.
Arsenal and Chelsea have also been linked with the Sweden superstar, with some reports claiming that he would prefer to move to a London club.
But honestly, anywhere in the Premier League would do, wouldn’t it?
United schedule triple Port of call
Manchester United-type people will be running the rule over no fewer than three Portuguese midfielders in Tuesday’s friendly against Belgium, the Mirror reports.
Bernardo Silva, Andre Gomes and Renato Sanches will all be under the microscope, the paper says. Silva plays for Monaco, Gomes for Valencia and Sanches for Benfica.
Perhaps handily, all three are represented by the same man, Jorge Mendes, who revealed in February that a winter window bid from United for Sanches had been rejected.
But the Old Trafford club could face competition for at least one of the three, with Juventus also said to be keen on Silva.
Luis Alberto: Depor man’s signing?
Deportivo La Coruna could make their loan signing of Liverpool attacking midfielder Luis Alberto a permanent switch soon, the Liverpool Echo reveals.
Alberto, who moved to Anfield from Sevilla in the summer of 2013 and spent last season on loan at Malaga, has hit six goals in a fine run of form for Deportivo.
He is under contract until 2018, but the Echo quotes Spanish outlet AS as saying that Depor could make his transfer full time for close to the £6.8m Liverpool paid for him.
But why buy one Liverpool player when you could buy two? The Echo reckons defender Tiago Ilori could also be on his way to the Riazor.
– At least three Premier League clubs are keeping a close eye on Toulouse forward Martin Braithwaite, says the Mail.
The paper reckons leaders Leicester, along with West Ham and Sunderland, are interested in the Denmark man, with all expected to send scouts to watch him in his country’s friendly in Scotland next week. He would cost around £4 million.
– It’s safe to say there will be some pretty big changes afoot at Aston Villa in the months to come, and defender Leandro Bacuna has revealed he is already thinking about a future away from the troubled Midlanders.
Netherlands-born Bacuna told Dutch broadcaster NOS he could return to the Eredivisie, where he made his name with Groningen, in the near (or nearish) future. “That would just be Ajax or PSV, I think,” he said. “They play Champions League football almost every year — and if I have a chance to go there, why not?”
– Born from the ashes of Wimbledon FC in 2002, AFC Wimbledon are now to the stage of producing players Premier League clubs want to sign.
The Mirror reports that both Tottenham and West Ham are keeping tabs on Dons defender Ryan Sweeney. League Two Wimbledon may soon find themselves fending off offers for the 18-year-old Ireland youth international — but they’ll be focusing on trying to secure that playoff place first.