The winter transfer window is now closed in Europe’s top leagues, but there are plenty of moves in the works and gossip swirling around as we look ahead to the summer. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!
TOP STORY: Gunners eye deal for Osimhen
Arsenal will join Chelsea in the battle for Napoli striker Victor Osimhen in the summer, according to The Mirror.
The Nigeria international — currently in action at the Africa Cup of Nations — has made it clear he will leave the Italian side at the end of the season, and though Chelsea were favourites to activate the 25-year-old’s £100 million release clause, Arsenal are now expected to go up against their London rivals.
The Gunners were unable to pursue a new striker in the January transfer window due to Financial Fair Play (FFP) fears, but that could change in the summer if, as expected, they manage to part with some of their fringe players.
Arsenal also remains keen on pursuing a move for Brentford forward Ivan Toney if Osimhen proves difficult, but Osimhen’s potency in front of goal — he’s scored 67 goals in 199 appearances for Napoli — is seen as the missing part of the jigsaw for Mikel Arteta’s side.
Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid are also said to be keen on landing Osimhen, though any interest from Los Blancos would appear unlikely given that sources have told ESPN that Kylian Mbappé will join the LaLiga giants in the summer.
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– Aston Villa are looking to strengthen their squad in the summer, but to do so they’ll need to part with midfielder Douglas Luiz, according to Football Insider. The Villans are increasingly wary of breaking FFP rules, which means they would have to sacrifice 25-year-old Brazilian Luiz before they’re able to make any further reinforcements across the squad. Luiz has been attracting interest from across Europe, but because he penned a contract extension in October 2022, he’ll likely command a big fee — up to £ 100m — if he were to leave. Liverpool and Barcelona are among the clubs interested.
– A number of the Premier League’s top clubs will battle Barcelona and PSG to sign Bayern Munich midfielder Joshua Kimmich in the summer according to Ekrem Konur. Barcelona have been long-term admirers of the 28-year-old and they tried to sign him last summer, though were denied by their own financial restraints. The Catalan club will try and revisit the situation this summer and though they’re desperate for a player in the pivot role Kimmich occupies, they could be gazumped by PSG, with Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United all also interested.
– Some may call it disruptive timing with Internazionale and Juventus due to face off in a top-of-the-table clash on Sunday, but the Nerazzurri are reportedly interested in signing Adrien Rabiot from their rivals in the summer, say Tuttosport. The 28-year-old Frenchman is in the last six months of his Juve contract and so is available on a free transfer in the summer, unless he agrees to an extension before the season ends.
– Arsenal remains keen on signing long-term target and Real Sociedad midfielder Martín Zubimendi, but they face stiff competition from Barcelona and Bayern Munich, according to The Mirror. Sociedad have made it clear that the 25-year-old will only be allowed to leave if his release clause is met, and though Arsenal are favourites, they’re not alone in their admiration. Arsenal are hoping Zubimendi will replace Thomas Partey in the summer, but Zubimendi’s recent meeting with Bayern chief Christoph Freund suggests there are several clubs laying similar groundwork for a potential move in the summer.
– Orlando City SC forward Duncan McGuire’s transfer to Blackburn Rovers continues to hang in the balance following a clerical error from the Championship side, according to The Athletic’s Tom Bogert. Maguire, 22, was set to join on loan until the end of the season with a view to a permanent move, but Blackburn had to pull out on Wednesday while Maguire was in the air on his way to England to complete the transfer. Rovers resurrected the deal, albeit on new terms, but again it would appear as though the Lancashire club have failed to register him properly. Blackburn are appealing a decision which currently states Maguire can only join in the next transfer window.