De Ligt Man Utd, Calafiori Arsenal, Chelsea & more

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There is a pact between Xavi Simons and Paris Saint-Germain, as the club are aware of his intention to leave, and this is for the player to decide where he will play on loan next season. Simons will have a big say over where he will play next season.

When PSG re-signed Simons from PSV last summer, they had to concede something to the player for him to give the green light. This means Simons will have a big say together with PSG over which club he will play for next season, and two clubs are really pushing for him – Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig.

Bayern director Max Eberl is calling every single day to try to convince Simons. He was the man who brought Simons to Leipzig last summer, and now he’s at Bayern and wants to do the same. He is pushing a lot on player and club side to have Simons at Bayern, but Leipzig are doing the same, even though Eberl left the club. The idea of Leipzig remains the same – to do something important this summer.

So it’s a work in progress, with Bayern and Leipzig pushing, with the race still open as Simons has been very clear – he doesn’t want any distraction during the Euros, and he will decide his future after the tournament.

Staying with Bayern, they are also pushing to sign Jonathan Tah from Bayer Leverkusen, and they are very optimistic. The German centre-back could replace Matthijs de Ligt, as he has given the green light to Manchester United. At the moment, De Ligt is only negotiating with Man United, there are no other clubs involved at the moment because his full focus is on a potential move to Old Trafford.

Matthijs de Ligt to Manchester United?

De Ligt’s agent Rafaela Pimenta is working on this deal, she is negotiating with Manchester United, and I can guarantee that the contract is not going to be a problem. Man United know De Ligt is on a big salary at Bayern, but also that he’s keen on the move and won’t create an issue there, so personal terms are being negotiated and are advancing.

United will try to be creative in negotiations with Bayern, who want around €50m for De Ligt. United could try offering something more like €35-40m with add-ons to try a different structure of the deal, let’s see if it’s going to be successful. Personally, I think it would be a very good signing. De Ligt is experienced but still young, and he needs a new project where he has 100% trust of everyone at the club. Hasan Salihamidzic signed him for Bayern but then things changed and De Ligt was no longer trusted as a key player; so being reunited with Erik ten Hag could be the best solution for him.

Remember – another name on United’s list, and the only player they have bid for so far, is Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite. They’ve had a £35m plus add-ons bid rejected, but for sure their appreciation remains, and it depends on Everton because they still want £65-70m for the player. That’s too expensive for United, but if the price changes, they are ready to attack the situation.

Even with De Ligt potentially joining, it’s also a possibility for United to go for one more centre-back. It depends on the budget and opportunities but it’s a possibility. In terms of the future of players like Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and many others, it depends on proposals, if they receive good bids. But in general, one more centre-back is a possibility – Branthwaite remains on the list but Man United have no plans to pay £70m, so the only way is if Everton’s price drops.

Arsenal’s interest in Riccardo Calafiori is there, and negotiations could be something to mention in the next days. Arsenal and Chelsea are the two clubs interested in Calafiori, though we’re waiting for a bid and for formal steps. Still, the interest is there, because both clubs are looking for a similar player – left-footed, and someone who can play either left-back or centre-back.

Arsenal already had Jakub Kiwior playing this kind of role last season, but Calafiori is a different kind of player, both in terms of his overall quality and how he plays in that position. So, Calafiori is on Arsenal’s list, though they also have other names, and it’s the same for Chelsea – both clubs are very interested, so we’ll provide an update if or when they make proposals.

For now, they’re still waiting to understand the player’s preference and also how much is needed for Bologna; the price tag is not clear yet, some sources suggest around €45-50m because his former club Basel will receive almost 50% on the future sale.

Meanwhile, more good news for Arsenal is that the contract extension for Mikel Arteta is getting closer. He has one year left on his contract, but it’s a work in progress and there is confidence to get it done as Arteta wants to stay at Arsenal, and they want to keep him. When Arteta was linked with the Barcelona job, the truth is he was never tempted – his mission is to continue at Arsenal with a new contract.

We’ve had many rumours about Chelsea’s talented young midfielder Carney Chukwuemeka and clubs being interested in the player. What I can say is that my information is there is a release clause in his contract worth £40m. This would be his asking price, and at the moment Chelsea are showing no intention to negotiate for any other price or a deal of any other formula.

We know the market is always changing, but for now Chelsea’s intention is clear – they won’t accept proposals, and they’ve already said ‘no’ to loan offers from some clubs in recent months. Chelsea want to continue with Chukwuemeka unless a club comes in with enough money to trigger the release clause.

Chukwuemeka is also happy at Chelsea, so even if a club triggered the release clause, they would have to convince the player, so let’s see what happens.

Adrien Rabiot is technically a free agent now after his contract with Juventus expired at the end of June. Juventus want to keep the player and their proposal remains on the table: around €7m net salary per season, but Juve won’t offer more.

It’s up to Rabiot now. It’s still early and he will decide after the Euros, but he has also had some contacts with other clubs. I can’t mention names at the moment because nothing is imminent, it’s just general contacts with several clubs around Europe to discuss possibilities. Let’s see how this will develop after the Euros.

In general, it’s looking like a busy summer for Juventus, who have already signed Douglas Luiz from Aston Villa, and now it’s also ‘here we go’ for Khephren Thuram to join from Nice. They will also keep going as they sign Di Gregorio from Monza as their new goalkeeper, and will continue with one more midfielder, one winger, one defender and more.

Juventus have been smart with Thuram, closing the deal one year before expiring of his contract for €20m plus €5m add-ons. Despite rumours, there was nothing really close with Premier League clubs. No one really advanced in talks with Nice, there was just some scouting and that’s it.

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