De Ligt Man United, Calafiori Arsenal

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Matthijs de Ligt to Manchester United could be one to watch this summer as we know they’ve been exploring the market for centre-backs. There’s now been contact between Man United and De Ligt’s representatives, but we may have to wait a bit longer for something more concrete to happen.

At the moment De Ligt doesn’t want any distraction during the Euros, but for sure Man United made contact with his agent to understand the situation. United are considering a move – nothing is decided yet but he’s one of the names on their list. There’s still no proposal from United or any other club.

Jarrad Branthwaite remains on the list at United too, but the £70m fee required by Everton is still considered too expensive. Let’s see if De Ligt can be signed on more favourable terms, or if they consider other alternatives in that position as well.

Staying with Bayern, the deal for Joao Palhinha seems to be dragging on, and though there is no official deadline for this, it’s clear that Bayern won’t go on negotiating for three months. Still, talks continue for Palhinha, Bayern remain confident and 100% focused on the Fulham midfielder, while Palhinha himself also wants the move.

Newcastle started having some conversations regarding Anthony Gordon, but the only way for him to leave for Liverpool is for the asking price to drop in a considerable way. Liverpool really like the player, but they are not going to pay what Newcastle are currently demanding for Gordon, so the feeling is that this story is unlikely for the next 24 hours, for the Financial Fair Play deadline for English clubs.

The only way is for a crazy proposal from Liverpool and at the moment they are not considering paying that money, so it’s really complicated. It was an opportunity discussed due to Newcastle’s financial situation, but that’s it – it was never close or advanced as there was big gap on valuation. It’s also important to say that Newcastle have now sold Yankuba Minteh and Elliott Anderson so the story is over for now, Liverpool keep appreciating Gordon but not moving forward as of now.

Another big name at Newcastle who’s made the headlines is Alexander Isak, but nothing is happening with Chelsea. We know that Chelsea appreciate this talented striker, but it’s almost impossible because Newcastle want to keep him, and I’ve been told that Eddie Howe, over the weekend, was very clear with the Newcastle board and owners about not wanting Isak to leave the club.

For Newcastle to sell, it would have taken a Premier League record fee, so more than £120m, and Chelsea were never going to pay that money. The only way it could have happened was with a swap deal, but now nothing is happening and it’s really quiet as of today.

Some fans have asked me about the possibility of Nicolas Jackson being included in a swap deal for Isak, but what I’m hearing is that Jackson is considered a really important player for Chelsea. They trust him and believe he’s going to perform very well under Enzo Maresca next season, and that his value is going to go up. Chelsea absolutely trust Jackson and think he’s going to be a key player next season, and also on the player side, Jackson is very happy at Chelsea, so everything is quiet on this one.

Chelsea’s negotiations with Leicester City for Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall are still ongoing. We know Chelsea were able to make a call and make the deal collapse between Brighton and Leicester City – the deal fell through because Dewsbury-Hall decided not to join Brighton and to wait for Chelsea.

So now the player has given the green light to Chelsea and he’s delaying his holidays to see what will happen. Still, he’s being respectful to Leicester as well and he’s not desperate to leave the club, but if Leicester decide to sell to Chelsea, then the player will be open to making the move. Personal terms would not be a problem, and the relationship between Chelsea and Dewsbury-Hall’s agent is very good, so now we’re just waiting on the club-to-club negotiations.

Chelsea want to include players in the deal, so let’s see if they can find the right structure for the deal, but one important detail to clarify is that this is not a player Maresca has requested to the directors or the owners. This deal starts with the Chelsea recruitment team. They saw Dewsbury-Hall as a very good opportunity on the market, and then they got the green light from Maresca in the second phase of the story. Maresca obviously knows the player well as they were together at Leicester, and so he gave his approval, but it was not starting with the manager, it’s always starting with the recruitment team – this is the policy, this is the strategy at Chelsea.

Riccardo Calafiori’s future could now be one to watch as the Euros are over for the Italian national team after a surprise defeat to Switzerland yesterday. In May and the beginning of June, Bologna were hoping for Calafiori to stay at the club, while back in February/March, Calafiori was giving his preference to Juventus, and my understanding is that his preference remains Juventus. He would love to play for Juve and also for Thiago Motta, who was his manager at Bologna last season.

However, as always mentioned, the relationship between Bologna and Juve is complicated – this is because of the Thiago Motta situation. Still, Juventus are still there for Calafiori, there is an agreement with the player, and it’s just Bologna are making life difficult for Juve. Now that Italy are out of the Euros, Bologna expect Premier League clubs to jump into the race for the defender’s signature.

Arsenal are keeping a close eye on the situation – it’s not a negotiation as of now, but let’s see how they will move. Meanwhile, Chelsea also want to add a talented left-footed centre-back, and Calafiori is one of the best around. He’s been scouted by Chelsea this year so that could also be one to watch, while let’s also wait and see if other clubs will join the race. We had rumours about Real Madrid, for example, but my understanding is that they are focused on Leny Yoro – he remains the player they want and he wants to go to Real Madrid. Liverpool could also be one to watch as they want a defender and Richard Hughes knows Calafiori well, though at the moment there is still nothing concrete happening there.

Archie Gray – Brentford are now the clear favourites to sign Archie Gray from Leeds. There were also links with Arsenal, Liverpool and many others but it was never anything concrete. I’m told Borussia Dortmund were really keen on Gray, and Tottenham too. There’s no hijack so far but the situation remains open until he officially signs, even if Brentford are now the favourites.

Reiss Nelson – The Arsenal winger could be one to watch this summer as outgoings will be important as well as signings this summer. For now Arsenal are not in a rush to bring in new players as it will depend on the right opportunities, but they could be open to some sales, with Nelson someone to keep an eye on.

Tammy Abraham – Nothing is advanced yet on Tammy Abraham’s future, despite links with AC Milan. Still, I expect the former Chelsea striker to leave Roma and it could be for another club in Italy, or for a return to England. At the moment it is quiet, but for sure there will be movement.

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