LIVE Transfer Talk: Manchester duo to do battle for Skriniar and Koulibaly

Marcotti: Barcelona need to listen to Messi (1:58)

Gab Marcotti speculates about the future of Lionel Messi and believes the striker's voice needs to be heard. (1:58)

The coronavirus pandemic has made the summer transfer window uncertain, but here are the rumours floating around Europe's big leagues and beyond.

TOP STORY: Manchester clubs to battle for Koulibaly, Skriniar

The Independent reports that Manchester United and Manchester City could battle it out for both Kalidou Koulibaly and Milan Skriniar in the next few months.

City, who lost their Premier League crown to Liverpool this season, are desperate for a few more defensive reinforcements after a string of poor results throughout the campaign and with John Stones out of favour at the Etihad stadium. Napoli star Koulibaly is reportedly their main target, but Inter Milan could be swayed by a potential swap deal involving Skriniar and Sergio Aguero.

Although United have largely been focusing on attacking players, both Koulibaly and Skriniar are long-term targets for the Red Devils, which could prompt a bidding war between the neighbours.


23.00 BST: That will do it for the latest edition of our LIVE Transfer Talk blog. We hoped you enjoyed following along with us and remind you to check back shortly for the latest transfer rumours, reports and completed deals. Goodnight!

22.41 BST: Chelsea are in pole position to sign Bayer Leverkusen starlet Kai Havertz, according to Goal.com.

The outlet has learned that Bayer's asking price of €100 million has put off potential suitors like Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, who due to the impact of the coronavirus are unwilling to splash that amount of cash on Havertz until at least 2021. Chelsea, who are so far winning the transfer market after agreeing to deals with Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner, reportedly remain interested in the Germany international, despite the steep asking price.

Havertz, who just turned 21, racked up 17 goals and nine assists over all competitions this season while playing in a variety of different roles for Leverkusen.

21.55 BST: John Stones to leave Man City?

Pep Guardiola has hinted that the England man could indeed move on this summer, after a disappointing season both in terms of form and health. When asked if Stones could leave the Etihad amidst rumours he could return to Everton, Guardiola had the following to say.

"Sometimes my wish is not the wish of the players, or the wish of the situation for the club.

'At the moment I will feel it, if we have to change, we'll talk to them. He's a young player and we want him to be consistent, to train and recover.

'There are players who can play every three days for 11 months. Others struggle more to be fit and we try to find the key to playing every three days. This is what we want."

City signed Stones, now 26, in 2016 for an initial £47.5 million, making him then the second-most expensive defender on the planet.

21.04 BST: With Norwich City as good as regulated, one of their fellow promotion clubs Sheffield United could look to capitalise.

The Daily Star suggests that the Blades are preparing a £10 million offer for one for Canaries star Todd Cantwell. Chris Wilder has reportedly sent scouts to watch the 22-year-old six times this season, and believes the England Under-21 international would be a significant addition.

Cantwell, who has scored six goals and added two assists so far in his first season at the Premier League level, is likely to be moved with Norwich likely set to drop down to the Championship.

20.13 BST: Crystal Palace and Southampton are among the clubs interested in Championship star Ollie Watkins, reports The Athletic.

The Championship's joint-top scorer with 23 goals so far this season, the Brentford striker has attracted interest from a handful of Premier League clubs, including West Ham and Chelsea. According to The Athletic, the 24-year-old is now in play for both Crystal Palace and Saints, and with just an £18 million release clause, could prove a savvy low-risk, high-reward acquisition.

19.28 BST: West Ham are only four points clear of the relegation zone but if the Hammers avoid the drop, David Moyes could opt to swoop for a pair of his former Man United charges.

The Independent's Miguel Delaney claims that Moyes is interested in enquiring about Phil Jones and Jesse Lingard, two players he coached in 2013-14. Jones, 28, and Lingard, 27, have both fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and could each find the promise of more playing time elsewhere intriguing.

Jones is under contract with United through 2023, while Lingard, who has yet to score or assist a goal in 20 appearances this season, has one year remaining on his deal with the Red Devils.

18.42 BST: DONE DEAL: Leeds have activated their £16 million purchase clause on winger Helder Costa, who was previously on loan from Wolves.

The 26-year-old has played in 40 of Leeds' 41 league games so far this campaign, chipping in three goals and four assists for the division leaders. A key contributor to Wolves' promotion campaign of 2017-18, the once-capped Portugal international will be hoping to help see Leeds over the line and get back into England's top division for the first time since 2004.

17.55 BST: It is no secret that Barcelona have already acquired Miralem Pjanic from Juventus and are pushing hard to sign Inter Milan star Lautaro Martinez.

The Evening Standard has added two more names to Barcelona wish list: Tottenham's Tanguy Ndombele and Ryan Sessegnon. The outlet reports that the Catalan side has enquired about the pair of Spurs players, both of whom hare currently on the outside looking in under Jose Mourinho. Barcelona are looking at both players as part of exchange plus cash deals, with Nelson Semedo, Ivan Rakitic, Philippe Coutinho and Samuel Umtiti among the Barcelona players that are free to leave the Camp Nou this season.

Ndombele, 23, who signed with Spurs for a club-record €60 million over Barca, has struggled in his first season in England and has been vocal about his displeasure in playing under Mourinho. Meanwhile, Sessegnon, 20, has missed time with a hamstring injury and has been left out of the team since the Premier League's restart.

17.03 BST: Chelsea kick off at Crystal Palace in just under an hour and, once again, Jorginho and Tammy Abraham are on the bench for Frank Lampard's side.

Tuttosport reports that Juventus are keen on Jorginho, who has not played a minute since the Premier League restarted. The 28-year-old played for Juve boss Maurizio Sarri at Napoli before joining him in London ahead of the Italian manager's only season in charge at Stamford Bridge.

Meanwhile, Lampard has insisted that contract negotiations are not the reason why Abraham has struggled for form recently. The Times reports that the striker is seeking a £130,000-a-week deal similar to that which Chelsea teammate Callum Hudson-Odoi got earlier this year.

16.39 BST: With regard to Jadon Sancho's future (see 14.45 BST update), ESPN's Mark Ogden weighs in on the idea that Man United have been set a deadline by Borussia Dortmund.

15.58 BST: ESPN's Gab Marcotti speculates on what the future might hold for Lionel Messi at Barcelona and warns the club needs to listen to him if they want to avoid him looking elsewhere.

15.07 BST: Mikel Arteta said on Sunday that the club had yet to start contract talks with Alexandre Lacazette but intended to once the Premier League wound down.

L'Equipe, however, are now reporting that Lacazette may be used to encourage Atletico Madrid to part with Thomas Partey.

Lacazette still has two years remaining on his contract but Arteta has favoured Eddie Nketiah since the restart and there is a suspicion the France international could leave this summer with several top clubs interested.

Juventus and Milan are said to be monitoring the situation at Arsenal but Atletico are thought to be the favourites with Partey a long-time Arsenal target.

14.45 BST: Borussia Dortmund have set an Aug. 10 deadline for Manchester United if they want to sign Jadon Sancho, according to Bild.

Manchester United have been the front runners for the England international but a sticking point has been the price Dortmund expect for him.

The Premier League side reportedly don't want to pay upwards of £50m for the winger but Dortmund are looking for a fee over double that.

Despite the differing price tags, both teams are said to be willing to find some common ground and Sancho would be happy with a move back to England.

14.02 BST: ESPN's Jan Aage Fjortoft has said Josh Sargent is in a good place for his development but also he would have stayed in the Bundesliga even if Werder Bremen had been relegated.

13.23 BST: Several clubs were following Wernder Bremen's Monday night relegation battle closely as the outcome directly affected their transfer budgets for the coming season.

Werder Bremen avoided their first relegation in 40 years with a 2-2 draw at Heidenheim.

Hoffenheim midfielder Leonardo Bittencourt, 26, and Borussia Dortmund defender Omer Toprak, 30, will now join Werder Bremen on a permanent transfer.

Both spent a season on loan at the Weserstadion and Werder must now exercise a mandatory buy option.

Hoffenheim will receive €7m for Bittencourt and Dortmund €4m for Toprak.

Hertha Berlin, meanwhile, must wait for another season to permanently move out-of-favour attacker Davie Selke, 25, to Werder Bremen.

His loan will be extended by another year and should Werder Bremen still be a Bundesliga club in the 2021-22 season, Selke will join for a set fee of €12m.

12.51 BST: Barcelona coach Quique Setien suggested Arthur Melo will have to get used to a bit-part role between now and the end of the season after the midfielder signed for Juventus last week in a deal worth up to €82m.

Arthur, 23, has been an unused substitute in the games against Atletico Madrid and Villarreal since the transfer announced.

"His situation is not exactly the same as it was before," Setien told a news conference on Tuesday when asked about the Brazil international's disappearance from the side.

"He's motivated and working hard but you know he has signed a contract with another team, so the situation is different. I don't need to explain that. But he's working hard and is committed to giving his all until the final game of the season."

Arthur, who is in the squad for Wednesday's game against Espanyol, will remain with Barca until the end of the campaign. They have four games to play in the league, where they're four points adrift of leaders Real Madrid, and still have the Champions League to come in August.

11.59 BST: Austin FC sporting director and former United State's men's national team captain Claudio Reyna has dampened any hopes of son Giovanni Reyna moving away from Borussia Dortmund soon.

Reyna, who was often referred to as "Captain America" during his playing days, told ESPN's Tom Marshall that he is happy at Dortmund with players like Erling Haaland.

"It's funny. Erling and him are just probably joking around it and make fun of each other with it," Reyna said of the "American Dream" nickname given to his son by Haaland.

"I don't know, I don't think it's going to stick. He's probably enjoying it right now, it's come from his buddy and the youthful relationship that they have, but he's enjoying it and happy."

Reyna also said it was good for his son to see players like Christian Pulisic be successful in Europe.

"It's very motivational," he added. "It was good for my son Gio to see young players like Christian in Europe, but also here domestically there are some great stories of players coming through our league and it is inspirational. They can see players competing at the highest level. They can see players impacting teams. That's the really exciting thing."

11.04 BST: San Lorenzo have turned down an €8m offer from CSKA Moscow for their centre-forward Adolfo Gaich, according to TYC Sports.

CSKA offered to acquire 90% of Gaich's playing rights for €8m but the offer is considered too low for San Lorenzo. Gaich, 21, has a $15m release clause.

He came close to joining Brugge before the coronavirus pandemic but the deal did not materialise.

The Argentina international has not agreed a contract extension with San Lorenzo, with his current deal ending on June 2021.

Gaich scored five goals in 12 league appearances for San Lorenzo this season.

10.19 BST: Manuel Pellegrini is to be appointed as the Real Betis coach in the coming days, according to La Tercera.

Pellegrini has been out of a job since being sacked by West Ham on Dec. 29.

According to reports, the ex-Manchester City tactician will sign a two-year contract with Betis, with the club having an option to extend the 66-year-old's deal for a further year.

Betis sacked coach Rubi last month after a poor run of results and promoted Alexis Trujillo as their interim coach.

It will be Pellegrini's fourth stint at La Liga having previously coached Villarreal, Real Madrid and Malaga.

The Seville-based club has invested heavily in their playing squad in recent seasons with the aim to eventually challenge the elite in the Spanish top flight.

Betis are 14th in the standings with four games remaining and will be mathematically safe if they win Wednesday's home game against Osasuna.

09.46 BST: Since finally claiming the Premier League title, the main transfer rumour surrounding Liverpool has been their reported interest in Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara. However, ESPN FC's Julien Laurens is not so sure the Spain international will be coming to Anfield.


Ogden: Sancho deadline is a transfer game being played

Mark Ogden believes Sancho will move to Man United eventually, it's just a matter of when.

09.19 BST: Ander Herrera has said he doesn't see Paris Saint-Germain teammates Neymar and Kylian Mbappe leaving for Barcelona or Real Madrid any time soon.

"Neither, right now," the midfielder told Onda Cero when asked which departure was more likely. "First of all, because they both look committed, they're happy. If you see them every day it's nothing like what the press say. Secondly, financially with the pandemic, I don't think either Real Madrid or Barcelona can undertake operations like that. But I'm not an economist and I'm not inside those clubs."

Both superstars have been persistently linked with moves to La Liga, with PSG beating Madrid to Mbappe's signature in 2017 and Barca eyeing a return for Neymar ever since his departure that same year.

The French champions are currently in training ahead of their return to action in the Champions League quarter-finals next month after the 2019-20 French domestic season was cancelled.

Herrera, 30, joined PSG last summer after successful spells at Real Zaragoza, Athletic Bilbao and Manchester United -- and says he has no plans to return to his native Spain just yet.

"I spoke to [Athletic sporting director Rafa] Alkorta," he said. "If I go back to Spain, my idea is to return to my club, Zaragoza, although I have a lot of affection for Athletic and I had a great time there. But first I want to enjoy playing for one of the best teams in the world.

"I have four years left on my contract and I play with some of the best players in the world. I want to enjoy it, I'm happy here."

08.54 BST: Former RB Leipzig manager Ralf Rangnick will become AC Milan's new coach for the 2020-21 season, Sky Italia reports.

The German is also expected to combine the role with that of sporting director, a position that is currently carried out by Milan great Paolo Maldini.

Rangnick will replace Stefano Pioli and sign a three-year contract. Pioli took over the club in October and his contract would be automatically renovated this summer if the team qualified for the Champions League. However, Milan are seventh in the standings, 17 points adrift of fourth-place Atalanta with eight games remaining.

08.25 BST: Nemanja Matic has signed a new contract at Manchester United until 2023, the club announced on Monday.

Matic has been rewarded for his fine form during the second half of the season. He had his contract extended for a year until 2021 in March but has now agreed fresh terms.

The 31-year-old, signed from Chelsea for £40m in 2017, started just three times in the Premier League between August and January but has since become a key part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team, failing to start just two league games since the turn of the year.

He has made 27 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring in the 1-0 win over Manchester City in the Carabao Cup in January.

Matic, who won two Premier League titles at Chelsea, has played 114 games for United in three years, scoring four times.

08.00 BST: Harvey Elliott has signed his first professional contract with Premier League champions Liverpool.

Elliott, who has made eight first-team appearances and became the youngest debutant in Liverpool's history when he lined up against MK Dons in the EFL Cup last September, was eligible to agree professional terms after turning 17 in April.

"I think since the first day I've walked in, it's been an indescribable journey so far," he said. "I think now to top it off with my first professional contract is a dream come true for me and my family. I'm excited to see what the future holds and I'm just excited to give everything to the club and the fans."

Elliott joined Liverpool from Fulham in July 2019. He became the youngest player in Premier League history at 16 years and 30 days old when he came on for Fulham in their 1-0 defeat at Wolves in May 2019.

PAPER TALK (by Harry Kettle): Arteta confirms Arsenal want to keep Ceballos

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has confirmed that the club want to try to keep hold of midfielder Dani Ceballos, the Evening Standard reports.

The popular Spaniard's loan spell from Real Madrid is set to expire at the end of the season, but after a strong run of form since the restart, Arteta isn't all that eager to see him leave the Emirates.

When he was formally asked whether he wants to keep him on the books, the boss had the following to say: "Yeah, we are talking to the club. Obviously, we don't own the player. He's not in our hands, so the clubs will need to have a communication and see what we can do."

Man United keen on Ake?

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer might have revealed his plan to sign Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake this past weekend, according to the Telegraph.

United ran out 5-2 winners over the Cherries on Saturday, giving their Champions League qualification hopes yet another boost, but it appears that Solskjaer already has his eye on the summer transfer window.

When the BT Sport cameras were rolling after the game, Solskjaer allegedly told Ake, "We need a left-footed centre-back, so keep going."

Some will pass it off as nonsense, but the aforementioned Telegraph report confirms that the club are indeed in the market for a left-footed defender. If that weren't enough, the Mail writes that Ake could be part of cost-cutting measures for the relegation-threatened South Coast club this summer.


- Crystal Palace are pushing forward with plans to try to sign Celtic sensation Odsonne Edouard, the Sun reports. The Eagles have been admiring the Frenchman for quite some time, and they're reportedly weighing an ambitious £25 million bid to secure his signature. Celtic have previously made it clear that Edouard, 22, who has two years left on his contract, is not for sale.

- Bristol City and Queens Park Rangers are two of the many clubs interested in signing Rapid Vienna midfielder Stefan Schwab this summer, the Mail reports. The 29-year-old will be available on a free transfer at the end of the campaign, and despite interest from around Germany and Italy, he's believed to be more interested in a switch to England.