LIVE Transfer Talk – Man City to beat Man Utd, Chelsea for defender Ake

The coronavirus pandemic has made the summer transfer window uncertain, but here are the rumours floating around Europe’s big leagues and beyond.

TOP STORY: Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea eye Ake

Manchester City are close to agreeing a £35 million deal with AFC Bournemouth that would see 25-year-old centre-back Nathan Ake move to the Etihad, according to the Guardian.

The Chelsea academy graduate has also been linked with a return to his former club, as well as Manchester United.

Bournemouth are on the verge of relegation with one match left in the Premier League season, but Netherlands international Ake has been one of the bright spots for the Cherries.

Ake joined Bournemouth in 2018 for a reported £20m fee.

Pep Guardiola has been keen on upgrading City’s backline, with John Stones pegged as an odd man out.

LIVE BLOG

08.28 BST: Qatar’s Al Sadd bolstered their bid for an AFC Champions League title by signing former Arsenal and Villarreal star Santi Cazorla.

Cazorla, who played 81 times for Spain and won two European championships, had previously confirmed he would be leaving Villarreal at the end of the La Liga season.

There was speculation that the 35-year-old midfielder could rejoin Arsenal, where he played from 2012 to 2018, as a member of manager Mikel Arteta’s coaching staff. But Cazorla will prolong his playing career and will be reunited with former international colleague Xavi at Al Sadd.

08.00 BST: Mikel Arteta has urged Arsenal to resolve Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang‘s future as soon as possible to allow the club to finalise plans for next season and to avoid the player from becoming distracted.

Aubameyang, 31, has entered the final 12 months of his existing deal and ESPN revealed earlier this month that he has requested a three-year deal worth up to £250,000-a-week.

Talks are ongoing with the outcome pivotal to Arteta’s rebuilding job. Aubameyang has contributed 20 Premier League goals this season and scored twice as the Gunners beat Manchester City 2-0 at Wembley on Saturday to set up an FA Cup final meeting with Chelsea.

“When I was talking about the uncertain things that we have on the table, obviously he is one of them and there is another one of where we are going to finish and whether we are going to be playing in Europe or not which is going to have an impact,” Arteta said.

“And then all this situation, the market and how it’s going to develop. With Auba, I think I’ve been very clear with what I want. The quicker we do it for me personally the better because the player will be more focused, more determined and more calm. But we have to respect the timings as well and the needs that the football club has.”

PAPER TALK (by Harry Kettle): Ozil turns down Turkish club offer

Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil has turned down an offer to join Fenerbahce in the summer, Bild reports.

The 31-year-old German has barely featured in the Gunners’ starting XI since the start of Mikel Arteta’s reign, leading to great speculation as to whether or not he’d stay at the Emirates.

It was reported on Sunday that Ozil would strongly consider a move to the Turkish giants if they continued to strengthen over the next few months, but now, it appears as if he’s decided against it as the season comes to a close, with his wages proving to be too much of an obstacle to overcome in negotiations.

Milan continue to push for Emerson

AC Milan are still pursuing a deal for Barcelona youngster Emerson, Calciomercato reports.

The full-back is out on loan with Real Betis, and in recent days, Milan made contact with Barcelona in order to enquire over a potential transfer. However, the €30m pricetag that Barca quoted Milan have given the Italian side second thoughts. In addition, early termination of Emerson’s loan with Betis will force Barca to pay the Andalusians €9m.

The likes of Bayer Leverkusen, Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United, and Benfica are also in the mix as the race for Emeron’s signature continues.

Tap-ins

– Burnley are interested in making a push to try and sign Southampton midfielder Harrison Reed, the Daily Mail reports. Reed has caught the eye of several clubs during his successful loan spell with Fulham in the Championship this season, playing a vital role in their push for promotion — and now, the Clarets are hoping to put forward an offer during the upcoming summer window.

– Sky Germany is reporting that midfielder Julian Draxler will no longer be making the jump over to Hertha Berlin. The Paris Saint-Germain star, who joined the French champions back in 2017, is said to be looking for a way out of the club during the summer. Unfortunately, the high fee that would be involved in making the transfer happen has thrown Hertha off the scent.

– Bristol City still view Rangers boss Steven Gerrard as their number one target to succeed Lee Johnson, Bristol Live reports. It had initially been reported that the former Liverpool midfielder categorically turned down the chance to become the Robins’ new manager, but as it turns out, CEO Mark Ashton is holding out hope that they can get a deal done.

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