Leeds United have placed a price-tag of at least £60million on star winger Raphinha, posing questions about whether interested party Barcelona will have the funds to complete a deal.

Raphinha was excellent for Leeds this past season, finishing second for the team in matches started (35), first in goals scored (11), second in assists (three) and converted all four penalties he was entrusted with.

Barcelona have been viewed as the primary suitor for the Brazilian winger, but with the price-tag continuing to rise, there is doubt about how the Spanish giants could pull it off.

 

TOP STORY – LEEDS TO HAND OUT NO DISCOUNTS FOR RAPHINHA

The Athletic is reporting that, as it stands, Barcelona will not have the funds to complete a move for Raphinha – or anyone close to his price-tag.

LaLiga president Javier Tebas controversially shared that Barca are in no position to sign Robert Lewandowski, but added that some big-name sales could "fill up their tank, which is empty".

The Blaugrana's continued interest in Raphinha, despite their financial position, adds fuel to the fire of a potential Frenkie de Jong sale to Manchester United, with his reported £72.5m price-tag potentially adding some much-needed spending power.

The Athletic also mentions Manchester City's Bernardo Silva, Valencia's Carlos Soler, Sevilla's Jules Kounde, as well as Chelsea duo Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso as potential Barcelona targets.

 

ROUND-UP

– GiveMeSport is reporting that Harry Kane "is likely" to sign a contract extension to remain at Tottenham.

– According to the Manchester Evening News, United have offered defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka to at least one club, and are also willing to part ways with England under-21 defender Brandon Williams.

– Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku is willing to take a pay cut to return to Inter, according to the Telegraph.

– ESPN is reporting United may challenge Ajax for the signature of Tottenham winger Steven Bergwijn, with the Dutch club's interest beginning when Erik ten Hag was in charge.

– According to the Daily Mail, Tottenham and Chelsea will compete for RB Leipzig's 20-year-old Croatian defender Josko Gvardiol.

Romelu Lukaku lasted less than half an hour of Belgium's Nations League opener against the Netherlands on Friday.

The Chelsea forward, who endured a difficult first season back at Stamford Bridge, started up front for Roberto Martinez's side in Brussels.

But Lukaku stayed down for an extended period after tangling with Manchester City defender Nathan Ake midway through the first half.

While his Belgium team-mates appealed for a red card – or at least a foul, with Ake, the last man, not penalised – Lukaku required lengthy treatment.

The striker eventually lifted himself and continued playing but pulled up soon after when attempting to close down Frenkie de Jong.

The former Manchester United and Inter man immediately signalled he would have to be replaced, with Martinez bringing on Leandro Trossard as a substitute.

Jose Mourinho declared a year in Rome has changed him as a man, saying: "I have become a much less egocentric person."

The Roma head coach delivered a trophy in his first season when the Giallorossi beat Feyenoord in the Europa Conference League final on May 25.

Mourinho will turn 60 next January and says his priorities are shifting. The self-declared 'Special One' retains a desire to be successful, but he claims he no longer worries about climbing the coaching ladder, which was once an obsession.

Having made his name as a Champions League winner with Porto, the Portuguese bossed Chelsea, Inter, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Tottenham before ending up at Roma.

Speaking on Friday at the Faculty of Human Kinetics, a part of Lisbon University, Mourinho told Portuguese reporters his debut season with Roma gave him a fresh perspective.

He made a point, when Roma triumphed 1-0 in the Tirana final, of holding up five fingers to signal his five European trophy successes: Porto's UEFA Cup and Champions League, Inter's Champions League, Manchester United's Europa League and Roma's cherished success.

Mourinho said he marked the occasion in such a way because he wanted to serve a reminder of his achievements down the years.

"The way I celebrated has only one reason: I'm not what I was, I'm not the young man worried about his ascent, growth and having to prove on a daily basis what he was," he said.

"I have become a much less egocentric person, who lives more for others than for himself and who is in a club that has no history of winning, with incredibly passionate fans."

He said the European victory for Roma "was our Champions League".

"Possibly my emotion at the end of the game was not only their joy, but also my taking a deep breath, because for two months I had been hearing every day, 'Please bring the cup, please bring the cup'," Mourinho said, quoted widely in the Portuguese media.

"I was happy as ever because the club is huge. But winning there is a sad story. Great players and coaches passed through Roma, but winning there became culturally difficult."

Mourinho spoke of how mentor figure Manuel Sergio, a former visiting professor in Lisbon, helped to shape his understanding of coaching.

"In 20 years of my career, Professor Manuel Sergio was always by my side and on the other end of the phone," Mourinho said. "He once told me that I did not coach football players and that doesn't exist, but that I used to train young people and men who play football.

"It may seem trivial, but it's great. This made me become a better person and a better coach. They'll have to put up with me for a few more years."

Following their Champions League exit at the hands of Villarreal, Bayern Munich's squad is set to transform.

With Robert Lewandowski and others looking to follow Niklas Sule out of Sabenerstrasse this off-season, replacements have reportedly long been in mind.

While Sadio Mane's rumoured transfer is viewed with the short-term in mind, options deeper on the pitch evidently represents a longer-term vision.

TOP STORY – GRAVENBERCH SET FOR BAYERN MOVE

Bayern Munich appear set to bolster their midfield stocks with Ryan Gravenberch's upcoming signing, according to Fabrizio Romano.

With Corentin Tolisso effectively confirming his departure in an interview with L'Equipe and Marc Roca also reportedly on the way, Die Roten's midfield is in need of reinforcement.

It is understood the highly rated 20-year-old has already completed a medical, and paperwork between Ajax and Bayern is being prepared to formalise.

Bayern have also reportedly added a seven per cent on-sell clause to sweeten the deal for the Netherlands international. 

ROUND-UP

– Five years after selling him to ArsenalLyon want to re-sign France forward Alexandre Lacazette on a free transfer, per L'Equipe.

– The Gunners are also intent on signing Youri Tielemans, who appears set to leave Leicester City this off-season, according to Fabrizio Romano.

– Barcelona have identified Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku as an alternative if they are unable to sign Robert Lewandowski, Mundo Deportivo is reporting.

– Manchester City could see both Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko leave this off-season, while Raheem Sterling would only join another elite club, the Athletic reports.

Real Madrid have announced the signing of Antonio Rudiger on a free transfer from Chelsea.

Thomas Tuchel confirmed after Chelsea's win over West Ham in April that Rudiger would be on the move when his contract expired at the end of the season after rejecting a new deal.

Chelsea were unable at the time to increase an offer they made to Rudiger due to the sanctions imposed on the club's owner Roman Abramovich by the United Kingdom government in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Madrid emerged as favourites to sign the in-demand Germany centre-back, who was also linked with the likes of Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.

Los Blancos on Thursday confirmed the 29-year-old defender has agreed terms on a four-year contract.

"On Monday, June 20, at 12:00 at Real Madrid City, the presentation ceremony for Antonio Rudiger as a new Real Madrid player will take place," Madrid added on their official website.

Rudiger joined Chelsea from Roma in July 2017 and established himself as a key man at the heart of the London club's defence.

He played a big part in their Champions League triumph in the 2020-21 season before lifting the FIFA Club World Cup and the UEFA Super Cup last year.

Rudiger was also an FA Cup winner in 2018 and Chelsea were crowned Europa League winners during his time at the club three years ago.

He joins a Madrid team who won LaLiga and Champions League titles in the season just ended.

Antonio Rudiger said it was a "proud" moment to be announced as Real Madrid's latest signing.

The defender has left Chelsea after five years, agreeing a four-year contract with the LaLiga and Champions League winners.

He moves on a free transfer as his Chelsea contract expires and is set to fortify Carlo Ancelotti's Madrid defence ahead of a fresh push for silverware next season.

Rudiger wrote on Instagram: "I'm proud to announce that I'll be joining @RealMadrid.

"I'm super excited for all the challenges ahead and can't wait to play my first games for this huge club."

His announcement came as Chelsea and Madrid both confirmed the deal was complete.

Rudiger will be officially presented by Madrid on June 20, the Spanish club said.

Rudiger enjoyed considerable success at Chelsea, winning the Champions League title with the Blues in the 2020-21 season when Thomas Tuchel's side denied Manchester City in the final.

He was an FA Cup winner in 2018 and helped the west London club land the Europa League title a year later.

Chelsea's Champions League defence in the 2021-22 campaign came to an end at the hands of Madrid in the quarter-finals, with Rudiger scoring as Thomas Tuchel's side won the second leg 3-2 in Spain but lost 5-4 on aggregate.

Real Madrid have announced the signing of Antonio Rudiger on a free transfer from Chelsea.

Thomas Tuchel confirmed after Chelsea's win over West Ham in April that Rudiger would be on the move when his contract expired at the end of the season after rejecting a new deal.

Chelsea were unable at the time to increase an offer they made to Rudiger due to the sanctions imposed on the club's owner Roman Abramovich by the United Kingdom government in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Madrid emerged as favourites to sign the in-demand Germany centre-back, who was also linked with the likes of Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.

Los Blancos on Thursday confirmed the 29-year-old defender has agreed terms on a four-year contract.

"On Monday, June 20, at 12:00 at Real Madrid City, the presentation ceremony for Antonio Rudiger as a new Real Madrid player will take place," Madrid added on their official website.

Rudiger joined Chelsea from Roma in July 2017 and established himself as a key man at the heart of the London club's defence.

He played a big part in their Champions League triumph in the 2020-21 season before lifting the FIFA Club World Cup and the UEFA Super Cup last year.

Rudiger was also an FA Cup winner in 2018 and Chelsea were crowned Europa League winners during his time at the club three years ago.

He joins a Madrid team who won LaLiga and Champions League titles in the season just ended.

The dominoes are starting to fall as Manchester United begin to carry out their transfer window plans.

Erik ten Hag's hire has inevitably led to another squad overhaul, and the rest of the market is in some way connected to who leaves and arrives at Old Trafford this off-season.

Reports suggest one of those arrivals could make for a reunion between the new manager and a former player of his.

TOP STORY – MANCHESTER UNITED MOVE ON FRENKIE DE JONG

New Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is looking to reunite with Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong,   according to Fabrizio Romano.

After announcing the departures of Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba, United are moving quickly for replacements and have reportedly commenced discussions with the Blaugrana.

While it is understood De Jong would like to remain with Barcelona amid their own rebuild under Xavi, it could ultimately be dependent on the club.

Although De Jong reportedly desires Champions League football, it could be a moot point if Manchester United meet a £72.5million (€85m) asking price. 

ROUND-UP

– Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah would prefer to join a Premier League rival at the end of next season if a new deal cannot be agreed upon, per the Athletic.

– Chelsea have opened talks with Sevilla over the potential transfer of highly rated France defender Jules Kounde, according to Sport.

– Manchester City remain keen on signing England midfielder Kalvin Phillips but Leeds United want to retain the player after securing Premier League safety, the Sun reports.

Real Madrid are looking to sign Jude Bellingham, but Borussia Dortmund are not willing to sell the player until the end of next season, Bild is reporting.

Manchester United and Chelsea are experiencing significant transformation this off-season, albeit for varying reasons.

While the Red Devils undertake yet another rebuild under a new manager, Chelsea are in the midst of ownership takeover.

It is reportedly creating the perfect storm for a shock transfer.

TOP STORY – MANCHESTER UNITED MAKE SHOCK MOVE FOR MOUNT

New Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is considering a move for Chelsea midfielder  Mason Mount according to the Sun.

The England international has seen talks for a renewed contract at Stamford Bridge stall, amid the prolonged takeover of the club by Todd Boehly.

In dire need to rebuild his midfield, and following Mount since his loan spell with Vitesse Arnhem, Ten Hag has reportedly already relayed United's interest with Mount's camp.

Liverpool and Manchester City have also made enquiries for Mount meanwhile, who according to reports, remains one of Chelsea's lowest-paid players. 

ROUND-UP

– Liverpool are tracking Rennes forward Martin Terrier as a replacement for Sadio Mane should he depart, according to the Mirror.

Barcelona boss Xavi has held talks with Portugal midfielder Ruben Neves over a potential transfer, per Sport.

Oleksandr Zinchenko is attracting interest from Everton and Newcastle United, the Athletic reports.

– The Guardian are reporting that Inter are exploring the possibility of a return for Romelu Lukaku.

Karim Benzema has been named the 2021-22 Champions League Player of the Season after helping Real Madrid to a 14th European crown.

Benzema also won the competition's Goal of the Season honour for a supreme header against Chelsea in the quarter-finals, while team-mate Vinicius Junior has been named Young Player of the Season.

The duo were instrumental in Madrid's defying run to Saturday's final in Paris, where Vinicius' finish was enough to earn a 1-0 victory over Liverpool.

With 15 goals across the season, Benzema topped the scoring charts in Europe, with a joint-record ten of those goals in the knockout stage.

The attacker, a heavy favourite for the Ballon d'Or this season, was at the centre of dramatic comeback wins against Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City.

Vinicius meanwhile delivered four goals and six assists throughout, with the latter tally only bettered by Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes.

Both Madrid players were named to the Champions League Team of the Season, alongside club-mates Thibaut Courtois and Luka Modric.

Courtois made nine saves in the final to keep Liverpool at bay. He finished the Champions League campaign having faced 72 shots on target, conceding 14 goals. According to expected goals data, the Belgium international prevented 4.7 goals.

 

Beaten finalists Liverpool also contributed four players, with Fabinho, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson featuring.

Kylian Mbappe, who scored six goals in eight Champions League matches, was named alongside Benzema and Vinicius in attack – an attacking trio that might have been lining up for Los Blancos next season had the France forward not decided to stay at PSG.

City playmaker De Bruyne also made the XI, as did Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger, who is set to join Madrid on a free transfer.

2021-22 UEFA Champions League Team of the Season: Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid); Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Andy Robertson (Liverpool); Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Fabinho (Liverpool), Luka Modric (Real Madrid); Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid).

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has confirmed Chelsea are no longer subject to UK government sanctions following the club's sale to a consortium led by Todd Boehly.

The government has also announced it has received assurances the takeover will not financially benefit Roman Abramovich or any other individual targeted by sanctions in the aftermath of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

On Monday, the Blues announced the conclusion of the long-running takeover saga surrounding the club, with a group led by Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Boehly and involving Clearlake Capital acquiring the Stamford Bridge outfit.

Chelsea were originally granted a special licence to allow them to finish the 2021-22 season after measures against Abramovich were announced in March.

But with the Russian having officially concluded his time at Stamford Bridge, the club is now free to conduct business without restrictions once more.

"Today's change of ownership marks a new chapter for Chelsea Football Club in the best interests of its fans, the club and the wider football community," a government spokesperson said.

"The club is now no longer subject to the sanctions imposed on Roman Abramovich, an individual who has enabled Putin's brutal and barbaric invasion of Ukraine.  

"Since sanctions were imposed on Abramovich on 10 March, we have worked tirelessly to ensure the club can continue to play football, while maintaining the integrity of our sanctions regime. 

"Chelsea's long-term future is now secured, and binding commitments have been received which ensure sanctioned individuals cannot financially benefit from the sale. The government retains control to ensure that this is the case.

"We have begun the process of ensuring the proceeds are used for humanitarian purposes in Ukraine that result from Russian aggression. Further details will be set out in due course.

"I personally want to thank ministers and officials in the British government, and the Premier League, for all their work in making this happen."

 

A consortium led by Todd Boehy and Clearlake Capital completed their takeover of Chelsea on Monday.

The Premier League club announced on Saturday that the deal was officially set to go through at the start of this week.

Chelsea have now confirmed that they are under new ownership almost three months after Roman Abramovich decided to sell up.

An ownership group led by Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Boehly, Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter and Hansjorg Wyss brokered a deal to buy the Blues for £4.25billion this month.

The Portuguese government last week approved the sale of the London club, a green light that was required as Abramovich has Portuguese citizenship.

A statement released by Chelsea on Monday said: "Under the terms of the agreement, Boehly and Clearlake will share joint control and equal governance of the club. Boehly will serve as chairman of the holding company.

"Boehly and Clearlake are committed to investing in key areas that will extend and enhance Chelsea's competitiveness, including the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge, further investment in the academy, the women's team, and Kingsmeadow Stadium. The owners will also continue the important work of the Chelsea Foundation."

Upon confirmation of the takeover, Boehly told the club's website: "We are honoured to become the new custodians of Chelsea Football Club. We're all in, 100 per cent. Every minute of every match.

"Our vision as owners is clear: we want to make the fans proud. Along with our commitment to developing the youth squad and acquiring the best talent, our plan of action is to invest in the club for the long-term and build on Chelsea's remarkable history of success. I personally want to thank ministers and officials in the British government, and the Premier League, for all their work in making this happen."

The UK government declared it was satisfied the deal would not benefit Abramovich, who was sanctioned due to his links to Russia's president Vladimir Putin following the invasion of Ukraine.

Russian oligarch Abramovich owned Chelsea for 19 years.

The 55-year-old stated when he put the Blues up for sale that the net proceeds would go to a charitable foundation, with the money distributed to victims of the war in Ukraine.

Abramovich declared the charitable foundation being established would be the legacy he and Chelsea had created together.

A Todd Boehly-led consortium completed their takeover of Chelsea on Monday.

The Premier League club announced on Saturday that the deal was officially set to go through at the start of this week.

Chelsea have now confirmed that they are under new ownership almost three months after Roman Abramovich decided to sell up.

An ownership group led by Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Boehly, Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter and Hansjorg Wyss brokered a deal to buy the Blues for £4.25billion this month.

The Portuguese government last week approved the sale of the London club, a green light that was required as Abramovich has Portuguese citizenship.

The UK government declared that it was satisfied the deal would not benefit Abramovich, who was sanctioned due to his links to Russia's President Vladimir Putin following the invasion of Ukraine.

Russian oligarch Abramovich owned Chelsea for 19 years.

The 55-year-old stated when he put the Blues up for sale that the full amount that is paid to buy the club would go to a charitable foundation, with the money distributed to victims of the war in Ukraine.

Abramovich declared that the charitable foundation that is being established would be the legacy he and Chelsea had created together.

After keeping Kylian Mbappe, Paris Saint-Germain's transfer activity can turn their attention to adding to their squad.

From the likes of Mauro Icardi to Edinson Cavani, playing as a complementary forward to Mbappe and Neymar is not a simple task.

While other clubs are reportedly interested, their target for a forward has reportedly been identified.

TOP STORY – PSG TURN TO RICHARLISON

Richarlison is facing an uncertain future with Everton as interest from Paris Saint-Germain grows, according to the Daily Mail.

The Brazil international was one of the survival heroes for the Toffees, scoring six in nine games to help them secure Premier League safety.

Reports suggest the 25-year-old is seeking a move away from Goodison Park and with the club's financial situation, he could be allowed to move on despite having two years left on his deal.

While Tottenham and Real Madrid are though to be eyeing Richarlison, PSG have emerged as the likeliest destination. 

ROUND-UP

Bayern Munich are close to agreeing a deal for 30-year-old attacker Sadio Mane , according to Matteo Moretto.

– Meanwhile, Liverpool have made contact with the representatives of Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele, per Sport.

– The Manchester Evening News is reporting Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus will resolve his future after returning from Brazil duty, amid interest from Arsenal .

– Pau Torres is nearing a move from Villarreal with talks between his representatives and Manchester United developing, per Cadena Ser.

Real Madrid have turned their attention to Milan forward Rafael Leao after being snubbed by Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe.

The 22-year-old Portuguese winger scored 14 goals and contributed 12 assists in 42 games in all club competitions this season, after 13 goals combined in his first two campaigns in Milan.

His rapid ascension has seen him fitted with an eye-opening price tag, with ESPN reporting his release clause is at €150million, and that Madrid will offer somewhere in the range of €120m.

 

TOP STORY – LOS BLANCOS CLOSE IN ON MILAN'S PORTUGUESE STAR

Leao provided an assist in Milan's Champions League loss to Liverpool, scored a goal in their defeat to Atletico Madrid, and tallied three goals and six assists in the last six games of the Serie A season to seal the Scudetto.

With his lofty price tag, it is fair to assume Leao is the Spanish giants' top target in the upcoming transfer window, although he is not the only big-money signing reportedly in the works for Madrid.

ESPN is also reporting Madrid's €80m move for Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni has been held up by a tax issue, and if it is to fall through, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool are all circling.

 

ROUND-UP

– The Daily Mail is reporting Everton striker Richarlison has strong interest from Tottenham, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

– With Burnley relegated from the Premier League, the Telegraph is reporting Everton and West Ham will compete for the services of Clarets striker Maxwel Cornet.

– According to the Evening Standard, Harry Kane no longer wishes to leave Tottenham and is now ready to open talks for a new contract.

Chelsea have been told they will need to pay £45m to pry Marc Cucurella away from Brighton and Hove Albion, according to the Sun.

– Todofichajes is reporting Liverpool would like RB Leipzig star Christopher Nkunku to be their long-term replacement for Mohamed Salah, should the Egyptian leave the club, with his contract expiring in 2023.

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