Football

Bayern ahead of Man Utd, PSG, Milan for Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku

Bayern ahead of Man Utd, PSG, Milan for Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku
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The summer transfer window is approaching, and there’s plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings and goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Bayern to bring Nkunku from Leipzig

Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann will try to sign RB Leipzig’s talismanic attacking midfielder Christopher Nkunku during the summer transfer window, according to Pedro Almeida.

The France international has captured the attention of the world this season, scoring 30 goals and assisting another 20 in 48 appearances across all competitions.

This includes the 24-year-old directly contributing to 12 goals across the Champions League and Europa League this term, helping Leipzig to the Europa League semifinal, where they hold a 1-0 advantage over Rangers with the second leg to play on Thursday.

Nkunku’s performances have resulted in various clubs showing interest in signing him, with Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and AC Milan among those who have been linked ahead of the summer.

Having once again confirmed their status as Bundesliga champions, Bayern are also now seemingly vying to bring in Nkunku.

This comes with the Bavarian club being notorious for attracting the biggest talent from within the Bundesliga, such as the transfers of Marcel Sabitzer from Leipzig in 2021 and Robert Lewandowski from Borussia Dortmund in 2014.

RB Leipzig have shown a determination to keep Nkunku past the current campaign, and the Frenchman’s current contract doesn’t run out until the summer of 2024.

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08.43 BST: Valencia have denied they have agreed to let midfielder Carlos Soler join Barcelona this summer for a fee of €20m.

Reports in Spain on Monday said that Barca had reached an agreement with Valencia and the player over a transfer, although added that any deal was dependent on Frenkie de Jong being moved on first.

« Don’t lie, » Valencia wrote on Twitter in response to the report, adding in a separate statement that they « deny the existence of any agreement — or any ongoing negotiation — with Barcelona for the transfer of Soler. »

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Soler, 25, is out of contract in 2023 and sources close to Barca have told ESPN that he is a player of interest to the Catalan club, who are targeting players in the final years of their contracts.

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08.00 BST: Jesse Lingard is likely to have played at Old Trafford for the final time as a Manchester United player with AC Milan and Juventus leading the chase to land the England midfielder on a free transfer in the summer, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.

Lingard is out of contract at the end of the season and said his goodbyes to United fans following Monday’s 3-0 win over Brentford at Old Trafford.

It will bring to an end a career at the club which has spanned 20 years and more than 200 senior appearances. He was part of the team which won the 2011 Youth Cup and went on to score in two finals for United — the 2016 FA Cup final and 2017 League Cup final. He also scored in the 2016 Community Shield and was part of the team which won the Europa League under Jose Mourinho in 2017.

Milan and Juventus have both registered their interest in signing the 29-year-old ahead of next season, but there is competition from clubs in the Premier League and abroad. Lingard is keen to move in a bid to find more regular first team football and force his way into the England squad ahead of the World Cup in Qatar, which begins in November.

Lingard is one of a number of players set to leave United on free transfers this summer including Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Edinson Cavani and Nemanja Matic.

PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)

– Lazio are looking to offload Sergej Milinkovic-Savic in the summer to fund a rebuild of their squad but are unwilling to let the Serbia international leave for anything under €80 million, reports Sky Sports Italia. Manchester United and PSG are the two clubs who have asked for information about the midfielder so far.

– Speaking of the aforementioned Robert Lewandowski, Fabrizio Romano has claimed that Barcelona still haven’t given up on signing the Bayern Munich striker, with this coming despite official statements from the two clubs. The Poland international is said to be Barca’s priority in the transfer window and they are willing to offer him a three-year contract or two years with the option for another. Bayern still want the prolific striker to stay with them.

– Juventus are hoping to sign PSG midfielder Leandro Paredes during the summer transfer window, reports Tuttosport, who add that it could take €20m to bring in the Argentina. The two clubs have been in contact to discuss a possible move, as Paredes is somebody PSG could be willing to move on.

– Borussia Monchengladbach defender Matthias Ginter will re-join SC Freiburg, having last played for them in 2014, according to Sky Sports Deutschland. The 28-year-old’s contract comes to an end in the summer and clubs across the continent have shown an interest in signing the Germany international. However, he is set to join his first club in professional football.

Dries Mertens will accept a reduction in wages to stay with Napoli past his current contract’s culmination in the summer, as reported by Calciomercato. The Belgian has shown his worth on the pitch this season with 11 Serie A goals so far, but he is willing to see his wage go down from its current rate of €4.5m-per-season to €1.2m.

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