Gyokeres Arsenal, Osimhen Chelsea & more

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Viktor Gyokeres is a player Arsenal for monitoring, for sure he’s a player who is on their list. Arsenal have still not decided who will be their main target for the summer, they will first hold internal talks to make that decision, but I’m told that their scouts have been in attendance multiple times to follow Gyokeres.

The Swedish striker is having a fantastic season at Sporting, he’s made an incredible contribution, but his release clause is there and it’s €100m. We know how tough it is to negotiate with Portuguese clubs – just look at Tottenham with Pedro Porro last January. I don’t see Sporting being flexible in negotiations, so it will be a tough one, but for sure Arsenal and other clubs in Europe have an interest, so Gyokeres will be part of the strikers domino this summer.

Gyokeres’ Sporting teammate Ousmane Diomande has also been linked with the Gunners very strongly by some sections of the Portuguese press, so what’s really going on with this one?

I think this story is coming out because Arsenal sent their scouts regularly to follow players in Portugal, like Gyokeres who’s one of the players they have been following for a long time. On Diomande, however, I’m not aware of talks or negotiations yet; but there are really many clubs interested, so we’re absolutely far from a solution/negotiation or anything close or concrete yet.

Ivan Toney attracted a lot of headlines back in January before eventually staying at Brentford, but we’re now hearing about Manchester United possibly being suitors for him in the summer.

It’s just one of the options to be considered and discussed internally. As I said here multiple times, Man United are still in early stages of the process to decide which striker they want to sign; experienced or young. Talks are gonna take place internally, Toney will be one of the names available on the market so could be one to watch.

Another United story doing the rounds involves Donny van de Beek, currently on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt. Despite what others are reporting, though, I’m told no decision has been made at this stage. There has been no communication on player side or club side so far, so we’ll have to wait and see if he stays there or returns to Old Trafford.

At the moment Xabi Alonso’s only focus, despite links with Liverpool and Bayern Munich, is on winning three titles with Bayer Leverkusen. Earlier in the season, Alonso started to consider some possibilities, and there were enquiries to see his contract situation at Leverkusen, but for now his only focus is on finishing this season strongly.

In around December, the situation changed completely and Leverkusen understood that they had a real chance of winning the Bundesliga, and so Alonso is only focused on that. They are now the favourites, and they will also be looking at the Europa League as well, then after that we’ll see about his future.

I don’t think it’s going to be easy to hear anything concrete in March or April. Also Alonso is under contract with Leverkusen and there is no specific clause for this summer, so it means clubs have to go there and negotiate and no one wants to distract them in this moment.

I’m sure Liverpool and Bayern are obsessed with Alonso and want to present their projects to him, but it’s really too early to know what he’s going to decide. I think it will depend on when they win the Bundesliga and how things go for them in the Europa League as well.

Trent Alexander-Arnold transfer situation could be a worry for Liverpool

We know Trent Alexander-Arnold is a crucial player for Liverpool, but how likely is a new contract amid interest from Real Madrid? We’ll see – there is a fantastic relationship there between him and everyone at the club, so I’m sure Liverpool will try to do everything to keep him.

Still, there is now interest from Real Madrid, they are monitoring the situation, though at the moment there is no direct contact with the player or anything like that. They are keeping a close eye on things, but it’s still early.

It’s also worth saying that at the moment there is no direct conversation between Alexander-Arnold and Liverpool over a new contract. That’s why Real Madrid are monitoring the situation because they know there is no concrete negotiation there. It will then be important to see what happens under the new structure with Michael Edwards, and how these conversations will go.

The interest from Chelsea in Victor Osimhen is still there. It will be important to understand what happens with the Financial Fair Play situation because Chelsea don’t want to over-pay.

We know Osimhen has a release clause of around €130m, but we’ll see if Napoli can be flexible about that, though usually it’s really tough and complicated to go and discuss with Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis, especially for a fantastic player like Osimhen.

It will also be important to see how much Osimhen wants in terms of salary, so there’s a lot for Chelsea to consider whilst keeping in line with FFP, but for sure the interest is there and they are informed on the situation, so I expect them to be one of the clubs interested in Osimhen.

I would also include Paris Saint-Germain in that because Luis Campos signed him for Lille, but for PSG it will take some time to see their strategy, if they’ll go for a winger or a striker after spending big on Randal Kolo Muani and Goncalo Ramos.

Staying with Chelsea, Conor Gallagher wants to discuss a new contract at Stamford Bridge and my understanding remains that there is not an issue with the player asking for too high a salary. Chelsea want to take their time to understand the situation with Gallagher and the cost of his contract in the context of Financial Fair Play, so let’s see what happens because it could be an important deal due to the possibility of pure profit on a player who came up through their academy.

Let’s see what Chelsea will decide – I think it’s more on the club now, because Gallagher wants to stay and has never created any problem for the club, even when there was interest from Tottenham last summer. He has always been professional and respectful, so let’s see how Chelsea will act.

And one final Chelsea story as I’m aware there have been rumours about Bayern Munich eyeing Ian Maatsen as a possible replacement for Alphonso Davies at left-back.

As things stand, I’m not aware of contacts for Maatsen at this stage. Bayern are looking at full-backs for sure, but there are many names every day linked with Bayern… nothing is concrete in terms of contacts for Maatsen. Of course they are monitoring the market as they prepare for the possibility of life without Davies.

For sure there’s a chance for many clubs if they want to sign Maatsen as he’s on a straight loan to Dortmund and his deal includes a £35m release clause, rather than a purchase clause specific to Dortmund. Anyone can trigger that clause, so let’s see what happens, but there’s nothing concrete happening now.

I think Saudi dealmakers will try for Kevin De Bruyne this summer. I think also someone from MLS will try to bring in the Manchester City star, but the reality today is that the player has no intention to have any distraction now at this crucial stage of the season.

De Bruyne’s full focus is only on the pitch, that’s my understanding, and then at the end of the season he will have a direct conversation with Man City before any club from Saudi or the MLS.

So, it could be one to watch, but we have to be patient before understanding the future of De Bruyne.

Another player heading to the MLS looks to be Olivier Giroud. It’s not done yet, but LAFC are pushing and they are the favourites.

Giroud also had some approaches from UAE, some approaches from other MLS clubs and also some calls from Saudi. But LAFC sent a formal proposal, they are pushing and it’s up to Giroud now as this decision is also involving his family.

Hugo Lloris is also at LAFC and is pushing for his old friend and France international colleague to join him at the MLS club, so let’s see what happens.

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