The summer transfer window might not be open yet in Europe, but teams are getting ready for it, and there's plenty of gossip swirling around. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!
TOP STORY: Italian giants eyeing USMNT's Balogun
New USMNT striker Folarin Balogun is a man in demand in Italy, with two Serie A giants -- champions Napoli and rivals AC Milan -- battling it out for the Arsenal youngster's signature, according to the Mirror.
Napoli are looking to plan for life without star striker Victor Osimhen, who could leave this summer for €150 million after an astonishing season. The Italian champions see Balogun -- who scored 20 goals for Stade Reims in Ligue 1 matches on loan from Arsenal this season -- as a potential replacement for the Nigeria international.
AC Milan are also keen to sign more young players with big potential, and the 21-year-old Balogun certainly fits that bill.
With both Italian clubs having made their interest known, Arsenal could be tempted to let Balogun leave if they receive the right offer. The Gunners are reported to be looking for at least €35m, which they'll immediately offer to boss Mikel Arteta as he looks to strengthen his own squad for another title push.
21.27 BST: Newcastle United are in pole position to sign Leicester City midfielder James Maddison, writes Football Insider. The Magpies are reported to be close to reaching a breakthrough to land the 26-year-old, leading the race ahead of Tottenham Hotspur.
20.54 BST: Chelsea striker Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang is focused on a return to Barcelona, reports Sport. AC Milan, Galatasaray and clubs in Saudi Arabia have registered their interest in the 33-year-old, but it is said that he is prepared to accept a lower salary as well as fewer first-team minutes in order to seal a move back to the Camp Nou.
20.21 BST: Atletico Madrid remain intent on finding a new club for left-back Renan Lodi this summer, according to Relevo. The 25-year-old will return to the club after his season-long loan at Nottingham Forest, who decided against activating the permanent option clause for €30m.
19.48 BST: Paris Saint-Germain are set to hold a meeting with manager Christophe Galtier over his future, reports Le10 Sport. The 56-year-old is reportedly keen to continue his stay at the Parc des Princes, and with no talks held with potential replacements, PSG could be prepared to hand him a second chance to improve the club's performance in the Champions League.
19.15 BST: Chelsea remain keen on Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Moises Caicedo despite their interest in Sporting's Manuel Ugarte, reports Fabrizio Romano. The Blues are reported to still be planning to make a move for the 21-year-old Ecuador international regardless of other deals, with the latest indicating that manager Mauricio Pochettino is keen to incorporate him into his project.
18.42 BST: Bayer Leverkusen remain favourites to land Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka, writes Sky Sport Deutschland's Florian Plettenberg. Despite recently being linked with Bayern Munich, the Bundesliga champions are currently prioritising a move for West Ham's Declan Rice, while negotiations are already ongoing between the Gunners and Leverkusen over a move for Xhaka.
18.09 BST: AC Milan are moving forward with an approach for Lens centre-back Kevin Danso, writes Foot Mercato. Multiple Serie A clubs are reported to have shown interest in the 24-year-old Austria international, with Napoli and Fiorentina also linked, but the Rossoneri are leading the race for a €30m deal.
17.36 BST: Atletico Madrid are in the market for a new midfielder, according to Marca. The LaLiga side are looking for a depth signing who can play in the pivot with a similar profile to Koke, who has made 42 appearances across all competitions this season.
17.00 BST: Barcelona are closing in on signing Manchester CIty midfielder Ilkay Gundogan on a free transfer, reports Sport. The Blaugrana are said to have agreed a three-year deal with the 32-year-old Germany international, with the announcement regarding his future expected after the Champions League final against Inter Milan. Pep Guardiola's side were keen to keep Gundogan at the Etihad Stadium, while there was also interest from Arsenal, but his preference is to experience playing in a new league.
16.20 BST: Should Barcelona bring back Lionel Messi at this point?
15.34 BST: Arsenal are interested in PSV Eindhoven forward Xavi Simons, says VI.
Simons, 20, only joined the Dutch club on a free transfer last summer from PSG, who have a €12m option to re-sign him if they want. But he had a standout season.
- Karlsen: Simons, Yamal on May's U23 hotlist
Arsenal are keen to land the forward, who netted 22 goals in all competitions, and are aware he is now represented by agent Darren Dein -- the son of former Gunners co-owner and vice-chairman David.
14.55 BST: Barcelona are interested in signing Bayern Munich midfielder Joshua Kimmich, says Sky Germany.
Kimmich, 28, is under contract until 2025 but is keen to experience a new challenge after Bayern picked up their 10th-straight title.
Barcelona are looking to replace Sergio Busquets and Kimmich is one of the options under discussion.
13.53 BST: Chelsea defender Trevoh Chalobah is on the radar of Inter Milan, according to the Evening Standard.
Chalobah, 23, faces an uncertain future under new boss Mauricio Pochettino next season, despite playing 33 times this season.
Inter are ready to offer €30m to sign the England U21 international as the Blues are looking to recoup some money to balance their books.
13.11 BST: Leeds United announced the departure of manager Sam Allardyce by mutual agreement on Friday after the club's relegation from the Premier League.
Allardyce, 68, was parachuted in to rescue the club in May with only four games remaining but Leeds finished second from bottom, five points adrift of the safety zone and six above Southampton. He lost three and drew one of his matches in charge after replacing Javi Gracia.
Leeds said an announcement on the former England manager's replacement would be made in the coming weeks.
"It has been an honour to manage Leeds United, a great club with an incredible fan base, who deserve to be in the Premier League," Allardyce said in a statement on the club website. "At this stage in my career I am not sure taking on this challenge, which is potentially a long-term project, is something I could commit to. But I wish the club every success for the future and hope the club returns to the Premier League, where they belong."
13.00 BST: Why is Mason Mount NOT good fit for Man United?
Gab Marcotti and Stewart Robson don't think Mason Mount should be a priority signing for Manchester United.
12.09 BST: Sevilla president Pepe Castro has confirmed the club have offered Europa League-winning coach Jose Luis Mendilibar a new contract.
Mendilibar, 62, replaced Jorge Sampaoli in March and signed a contract until the end of the season. Sevilla beat Roma on penalties on Wednesday to lift the Europa League for a record-extending seventh time.
"We have offered him [Mendilibar] a new contract," Castro told Sevilla supporters during the team's celebrations.
Mendilibar had spoken of his desire to continue at Sevilla beyond this summer.
11.43 BST: Rafael Leao is expected to sign a contract extension until June 2028 with AC Milan on Friday, Sky Italia reports.
Leao, 23, has one year left on his current deal but the new terms will see the Portugal winger earn €5m per season plus add-ons and will see his release clause rise to €175m.
The former Sporting CP player has just completed his fourth season with the Rossoneri.
11.18 BST: Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez has said Lionel Messi will decide next week where he will continue his career, adding that the Catalan club are still interested in signing the forward should he choose to return.
Messi, 35, will play his last game for Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday before leaving the French champions as a free agent after two years in Paris.
ESPN reported in April that Messi is considering a sizeable offer from Saudi Arabian side Al Hilal, although his father, Jorge, denied later reports he had agreed to a deal.
Major League Soccer side Inter Miami and Barca are also interested in his signature.
"Next week he will make a decision and you [media] have to leave him alone," Xavi, who played alongside Messi at Barca and speaks to him regularly, told El Mundo Deportivo. "He will decide next week and now there are 200 hypotheses. He will decide his future and here the doors are open, there is no debate.
"He will end the season there [at PSG]. He has a lot of respect for Paris Saint-Germain. He wants to finish in the best way. His contract ends and then, he has all the right in the world to say where he goes, where to end his career."
10.55 BST: The Times reports that defender Josko Gvardiol wants to leave RB Leipzig this summer.
Gvardiol, 21, was one of the standout performers at the World Cup for Croatia and has a €114m release clause in his contract.
With every top club in Europe interested in the centre-back, Man City are reportedly top of the queue and are ready to offer €100m if Aymeric Laporte departs.
10.22 BST: Kai Havertz is the latest forward to be linked with a move to Real Madrid, with both Marca and Diario AS reporting on Friday that the Chelsea player is a target for Los Blancos as they look to strengthen this summer, regardless of what happens with Karim Benzema.
Madrid were already set to add one forward to their squad this summer -- with ESPN reporting that they're close to bringing in Espanyol and Spain striker Joselu on loan -- but doubts over Benzema's future now mean the LaLiga giants could be keen on adding a second.
According to AS -- in their frontpage story -- Madrid rate Havertz's "youth and versatility" while Marca report that his name came up in a meeting between president Florentino Perez, managing director Jose Angel Sanchez and coach Carlo Ancelotti on Thursday.
Madrid were previously linked with the 23-year-old Havertz before he joined Chelsea from Bayer Leverkusen in 2020.
09.48 BST: Diego Simeone has said he'd be happy to work with Joao Felix if he returns to Atletico Madrid this summer, while hinting that the player's attitude needs to improve, telling Cadena COPE radio that "if he wants to, he has the qualities to be a great player."
Felix, 23, is reportedly not in new Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino's plans for next season after an underwhelming loan spell.
The Portugal forward has looked out of place in Simeone's Atletico team since joining in a €126m deal in 2019.
"He's an Atletico player, if he doesn't have a place at Chelsea, he'll have to come to Atletico to work with us," Simeone said on Thursday. "I'm compatible with everyone, as long as we are able to win. He's a young boy with a big future. If he wants to, he has the qualities to be a great player, he has the tools."
Simeone also confirmed that Atletico's first pieces of transfer business this summer are already done, with the arrival of Leicester defender Caglar Soyuncu on a free transfer, while Uruguayan defender Santiago Mourino will join Atletico for preseason training before a decision is made on his short-term future.
09.11 BST: If they do end up moving to Saudi Arabia, both Benzema and Messi would be following the path taken by Cristiano Ronaldo. The striker has confirmed he will stay with Al Nassr next season, but said that the Saudi Pro League (SPL) needs to improve to become one of the world's top leagues.
"The league is very good," Ronaldo said in an interview with the SPL. "But I think we have many, many opportunities to still grow. The league is competitive. We have very good teams, very good Arab players, but they need to improve a little bit more the infrastructure. Even the referees, the VAR system, should be a little quicker. I think other small things they need to improve.
"But I am happy here, I want to continue here, I will continue here. And in my opinion if they continue to do the work that they want to do here, for the next five years, I think the Saudi league can be a top five league in the world."
With Benzema, Messi and other high-profile players linked with moves to Saudi Arabia, Ronaldo said such big-name arrivals will accelerate the process of improving the league
"If they are coming, big players and big names, young players, 'old players,' they are very welcome because if that happens, the league will improve a little bit," he said.
08.36 BST: Another elite player who has been linked with a move to the Saudi Pro League is Lionel Messi, and on Thursday Paris Saint-Germain coach Christophe Galtier confirmed that the Argentina captain will be leaving the club at the end of the season.
ESPN reported last month that Messi would leave PSG when his contract expires this summer, with the forward considering a move to Saudi Arabian side Al Hilal, the city rivals of Cristiano Ronaldo's Al Nassr. A return to Barcelona has also been mooted as well as a potential move to MLS club Inter Miami, who fired coach Phil Neville on Thursday.
Galter told a news conference ahead of PSG's final Ligue 1 match of the season against Clermont Foot: "I had the privilege of coaching the best player in the history of football. This will be his last match at the Parc des Princes, and I hope that he will receive the warmest of welcomes.
"This year, he has been an important part of the team, always available. I don't think any of the comments or criticisms are justified. He's always been there for the team. It's been a great privilege to accompany him throughout the season."
Alex Kirkland reveals that Real Madrid were not expecting to lose Karim Benzema this summer.
08.00 BST: There has been plenty of news over the last 24 hours involving some of the game's biggest stars potentially moving to Saudi Arabia, not least sources telling ESPN's Julien Laurens that Karim Benzema will leave Real Madrid when his contract expires this month to join Al Ittihad.
ESPN reported earlier this week that Benzema was offered a two-year contract worth €400m to move to Saudi Arabia in January, the same deal as Cristiano Ronaldo, who joined Al Nassr after leaving Manchester United.
Benzema, 35, has spent 14 seasons at the Bernabeu, becoming the club's second-highest goal scorer and winning five Champions Leagues, four LaLiga titles and the 2022 Ballon d'Or.
The centre-forward had been expected to stay at Madrid for one more season until June 2024 but is opting instead to accept a new challenge. Madrid are in advanced talks to sign Joselu on loan to replace Mariano Diaz, but they will look for someone else to bolster the attack.
Benzema refused to be drawn on the reports on Thursday as he received the Marca Legends award at a ceremony.
"Why do I need to talk about my future? I am at Real Madrid. Not everything that you read on the internet is reality," he said. "For the time being I'm here. I'm enjoying my time. There is a game on Saturday, and I train tomorrow."
PAPER GOSSIP (by Nick Judd)
- Defender Joao Cancelo has ruled out a return to Manchester City and a permanent move to loan club Bayern Munich, according to Sport. The report states that the 29-year-old is instead keen on moving somewhere new, with Barcelona in the mix to sign the left-back on a permanent deal. Cancelo believes his time at the Etihad Stadium is over following his temporary switch to the Bundesliga, but he's said to favour a move to Camp Nou than a return to the Allianz Arena. Barcelona, however, would struggle to sign Cancelo on a permanent basis as a result of their precarious finances, which means -- if interested -- he might have to join the Catalan club on loan, and after having agreed a reduction in his salary.
- Manchester United are looking to reinforce their attacking options for 2023-24 and Erik ten Hag is in talks with Atalanta's Rasmus Hojlund and Eintracht Frankfurt's Randal Kolo Muani, according to the Athletic. Ten Hag believes he needs to upgrade his strikeforce for United's return to the Champions League, and he is making various plans alongside -- or beyond -- the desire to sign top target Harry Kane. Hojlund, 20, has scored eight goals and added four assists in Serie A this season, and has also scored five times for Denmark in the last international break. Muani, 24, scored a remarkable 23 goals and added 17 assists in 43 appearances, but could require a transfer fee of up to €80m.
- Chelsea have rejected an offer of £30m from Brighton & Hove Albion for defender Levi Colwill, according to the Daily Mail. Colwill, 20, had an impressive season as he made 22 appearances at the heart of the Seagulls' back line while on loan. Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi was understandably keen to make the defender's move a permanent one this summer. However, Chelsea have responded by saying that Colwill, a product of their academy, isn't available at for transfer with Blues boss Mauricio Pochettino said to be a big fan of Colwill.
- Girona are looking to steal a march on their rivals by making early moves in the transfer market, and the Spanish side are eyeing a potential double swoop for Barcelona duo Pablo Torre and Estanis Pedrola, according to Mundo Deportivo. Attacking midfielder Torre, 20, featured in just over 300 minutes for Xavi Hernandez's side this season, while 19-year-old forward Pedrola scored seven goals in 14 appearances for Barcelona B. Barca could let both players leave, particularly as they're looking to boost their transfer funds, but a loan spell for one or both seems more likely.