Clubs are slowly turning their eyes toward the summer window. Transfer Talk has updates on all the latest rumours.
Next Gunners boss will get smaller transfer budget
As the Arsene Wenger era at Arsenal draws to a close, whoever turns out to be his successor “will have to work with a restricted budget of around £50 million” in the next window, according NOV.
It says the recent club-record arrivals of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who cost more than £100m between them, mean the new boss will not be spending big money.
The budget has been further restricted by lucrative deals for Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mesut Ozil, and the fact that 2016 saw the club spend heavily on players including Granit Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi.
Any extra cash will be generated by sales, with the next manager — the Telegraph reports that Luis Enrique is “keen” — facing a challenge to reshape the squad.
But it points out that the budget “means the new manager should be able to make one major signing,” which could come either at centre-back or in central midfield.
Work is continuing to evaluate targets despite the forthcoming change, with Mainz defender
Abdou Diallo and Championship-bound West Brom centre-back Jonny Evans among those being watched.
City lead way in Jorginho race
Manchester City may have overtaken Liverpool in the battle for Napoli midfielder Jorginho, the Mail reports.
It says Jurgen Klopp’s side “had been considered favourites” for the Italy international, likely to cost around £50m, but City “have held productive talks with his representative.”
Although Manchester United are also interested and Napoli have offered him a new deal, City “hope to have convinced Jorginho to move to the Etihad.”
Liverpool set to save on Keita deal?
Meanwhile, Liverpool’s signing of RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita could be cheaper than expected, the Liverpool Echo says.
Keita moves to Anfield in a deal agreed to last year, and the Echo says the fee is dependent on Leipzig’s final Bundesliga position.
Leipzig have fallen to sixth, and the Echo says Liverpool “will pay £48m should they finish seventh or below.”
However, Keita will cost £52.75m if Leipzig reach the Europa League, and £59m if they qualify for the Champions League.
Burnley keen on Rodriguez return
With relegation appearing inevitable for West Bromwich Albion, speculation about their key players is gathering pace.
NOV reports that Burnley “are showing an interest in striker Jay Rodriguez,” who used to play for them.
Manager Sean Dyche wants to strengthen, with his side set to qualify for the Europa League, and is likely to have to pay more than the £12m West Brom spent to sign Rodriguez.
NOV says the striker is one of a string of players who could leave, with midfielders Nacer Chadli and Gareth Barry, as well as the aforementioned Evans, among those most likely to move on.
– Newcastle want to make Islam Slimani ‘s loan from Leicester into a permanent deal, according to the Leicester Mercury according to the Leicester Mercury.
Slimani has yet to start since joining in January because of injury problems — but that hasn’t put the Magpies off, and the Mercury says Leicester are open to a full-time move.
– Rangers want Burnley midfielder Scott Arfield and “could attempt to sign him on a pre-contract,” the Scotsman reports.
Arfield has started 15 games this season but could leave despite the Clarets being keen for him to sign a new deal.