Mbappe meeting, Chelsea sales and more

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The Manchester United manager situation has been making for some interesting headlines, with reports that INEOS are exploring replacements for Erik ten Hag and linking Roberto De Zerbi as a candidate.

However, my understanding remains that thee is nothing concrete to these kinds of stories – Man United are giving Ten Hag time and space to develop his football and his ideas, he also confirmed very good relationship with INEOS. He has to keep going at best level in the next three months, that’s obviously important. I’m sure in this time we’ll continue to have many stories about this, but for now nothing is happening.

Some fans have also been asking me for my thoughts on Rio Ferdinand’s claim that Mikel Arteta would leave Arsenal to take the United job if they offered it to him. It’s Rio’s opinion and I respect that. But I don’t really like to enter into these kinds of debates or discussions – it’s purely hypothetical, nothing concrete or realistic. There’s nothing at all between United and Arteta, and my job is about concrete news and not hypotheses. Arteta’s full focus is only on Arsenal.

Ruben Neves has admitted that he has the chance to stay in Europe this summer before moving to Saudi Pro League club Al Hilal, saying that things got very advanced with both Barcelona and Arsenal.

To clarify what this means here, Barcelona had an agreement with Neves on personal terms. Arsenal asked his agent about a potential move, but it was less advanced than Barca. In the end, it didn’t happen because Wolves only wanted to sell for a fee in excess of €40m and the best proposal was from Al Hilal.

The money was the issue – it was impossible for Barcelona to complete with this offer, and Arsenal decided to leave talks as it emerged that Thomas Partey would be staying.

It’s important to clarify once again that there is no chance for Kylian Mbappe to stay at Paris Saint-Germain and sign a new contract, despite some reports circulating due to the player’s meeting with the Emir of Qatar.

Mbappe’s meeting was to discuss other topics, with the player already communicating in a very strong way to PSG that he isn’t going to be staying at the club, it’s over for him at the Parc des Princes. He told this to Nasser Al-Khelaifi, to his teammates, and everyone at PSG, so everyone at the club knows that very well, and there is no expectation that this could change.

Mbappe remains in very advanced talks with Real Madrid – he wants this move, so the conversations are advancing very well. Everything is looking positive and it should be done soon, so there is no chance of him staying at PSG, and that is not the intention of the meeting with the Emir of Qatar.

Real Madrid remain keen on a transfer for Alphonso Davies. This has been the case for some time and there is currently no issue on the contract, or his salary, so everything on the player side should be quite easy – the player wants Real Madrid and they would be very happy with this signing.

However, one important thing to say is that the fee Bayern Munich ask for will be crucial. Bayern don’t want to lose the player, and they will keep trying until around May/June to extend his contract. Davies’ agent was in Munich last week for conversations with Bayern, and they will try until the end. If it doesn’t happen, they would be prepared to sell Davies this summer, and Real Madrid remain the favourites for this signing. It will just depend on the asking price, as Real Madrid don’t want to pay crazy money for him.

One of the priorities for Bayern is to keep Mathys Tel at the club. We’ve had rumours about Manchester United, but there is nothing going on there. First of all, before United decide if they want an experienced striker or a young striker, they want the new structure in place at the club. So for now United haven’t started any concrete conversations for Tel.

As for Bayern, they’ve had a very positive meeting with Tel’s agent. They want him to stay and be part of the project, they’ve communicated this to him, and the boy also wants to stay and be an important part of their future. It looks like Tel is staying at Bayern – this is the message from both the player and club side.

Chelsea fans have been asking me about some reports relating to Financial Fair Play and needing to make sales this summer to avoid being in breach of regulations, so I thought I’d clarify what I’ve been told here.

I don’t have precise information on Financial Fair Play and how much money they should make to avoid problems; this is more of a financial question, but my information is that Chelsea are not worried with current situation. Of course there will be sales, but it already happened last summer and it always happens in modern football.

I also posted on X yesterday about Omari Hutchinson attracting transfer interest after impressing on loan at Ipswich Town. His future is not decided yet, Chelsea will discuss that around May. There are clubs from different leagues keen on Omari, for example including Germany and of course England. But Chelsea will take their time, they’re very happy with how this loan has worked out.

Jack Grealish picked up an injury last night and we wish him all the best after some bad luck in that department. But before that, Pep Guardiola also raised some eyebrows when he spoke about Grealish’s situation of not starting a lot of games.

As usual, Pep has been honest, he was just speaking the truth about Grealish’s form needing to improve. However, my understanding for now is that Man City are not planning anything about him among their outgoings for the summer – it’s very quiet. We will see in the summer.

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