Newcastle aim to sign Raphinha from Barcelona
The transfer window may be closed around Europe, but teams are looking ahead to the summer and there’s plenty of gossip swirling around. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!
TOP STORY: Newcastle United think they can woo Raphinha from Barcelona
Newcastle United are keen to make a move for Barcelona winger Raphinha in the summer, according to a report by Mundo Deportivo.
The Magpies were interested in a transfer for the Brazil international before the current campaign, but he eventually moved from Leeds United to Camp Nou, with his desire to represent the Blaugrana playing a key part in the deal.
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With Newcastle poised for Champions League football next season, the club are expected to make another play for the 26-year-old given Barcelona’s financial struggles, which could mean they would be willing to part ways with Raphinha. The report goes as far as to suggest Barcelona must reduce their salary budget by €200m and bring in €100m in transfer fees to reach financial security.
Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has called upon Raphinha throughout this season, with the winger recording nine goals and nine assists in 41 appearances across all competitions this term — but the player’s visible frustrations when being substituted are going against him. In addition, Raphinha is said to want to play on the right wing, where Xavi prefers to deploy Ousmane Dembele.
Due to those factors, while Raphinha isn’t a priority departure for the Blaugrana, the LaLiga giants are expected to be open to it, especially as there is plenty of interest from the Premier League, especially due to Raphinha’s experience in England and status as a Brazil international.
Newcastle also want 18-year-old Athletico Paranaense striker Vitor Roque, who Barcelona are keeping an eye on for the future.
11.31 BST: Barcelona plan to make not one but two signings from Chelsea this summer in N’Golo Kante and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the Daily Mirror reports.
France midfielder Kante is out of contract in the summer, and Barca are hopeful that the 32-year-old will agree to a two-year deal at Camp Nou on a lower wage then he gets at Stamford Bridge.
Aubameyang only left Barca to join Chelsea last summer as the club desperately sought to reduce their wage bill. The striker scored 13 goals in 24 appearances over the second half of last term after his midseason move from arsenal, but at Chelsea he has scored just once in 13 Premier League appearances.
Chelsea will be looking to shed plenty of players from their over-stocked squad this summer, and could jump at the chance to offload two players in one go.
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10.43 BST: Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins has agreed a new contract at the club, according to Teamtalk.
Watkins, 27, is one of the most in-form strikers across Europe’s top leagues. His 11 Premier League goals in 2023 so far have helped propel Villa up the table to sixth and given them hope of a late-season surge into the European places.
The England international signed a five-year deal when he joined Villa from Brentford in 2020, but the club want him to commit his future to them as other clubs, including Arsenal, are linked with interest.
09.49 BST: Burnley manager Vincent Kompany will not comment on links with him taking the Chelsea job this summer.
Sources have told ESPN’s James Olley that former Manchester City captain Kompany is on Chelsea’s four-man shortlist after leading Burnley to automatic promotion back to the Premier League in his first year at Turf Moor.
However, the 37-year-old refused to address the situation following Saturday’s 2-1 win over Queens Park Rangers.
“I said I’m not engaging on any of these conversations,” he said. “I have too much at this moment in time in my head in terms of wanting to win football matches. That’s the only thing I care about.”
09.00 BST: How special is Gabriel Veiga? Just ask anyone who’s spent any time watching LaLiga this season. The Celta Vigo midfielder, 20, has been Spanish football’s breakout young star, his performances leading to the avalanche of hype and headlines that only the emergence of a top new talent can trigger.
From his first goal against Atletico Madrid in September, to his first brace against Real Betis in February, the milestones have kept coming. It’s now nine goals and four assists in 29 LaLiga games. Not bad for a central midfielder.
Word soon spread, with Celta president Carlos Mourino saying in March that “four of the Premier League’s top 10” had called to ask about Veiga’s release clause. ESPN reported that Manchester United, Liverpool and more recently Manchester City were all keen, with Real Madrid paying close attention.
Celta’s youth academy, A Madroa, is just outside Vigo — a port city in Galicia, Spain’s wild northwest — and people have been excited about “Gabri” for a little longer. But the speed and extent of his breakthrough has caught everyone by surprise.
ESPN takes a look at the story of LaLiga’s most in-demand young player, and what his future might hold.
– Kirkland, Faez: How Veiga went from kicking pumpkins to verge of Premier League move
PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)
– Barcelona‘s priorities for the summer are Athletic Club centre-back Inigo Martinez, Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan and Paris Saint-Germain forward Lionel Messi, according to Fabrizio Romano, with all three players set to be a free agent in the summer. However, it is added that a deal for Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino is not in the advanced stages, with his name only being discussed internally.
– Liverpool are plotting a move to sign Chelsea centre-back Levi Colwill, according to Football Insider, with the 20-year-old having impressed on loan at Brighton & Hove Albion this season. Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City are also monitoring Colwill’s availability, while Liverpool have shown interest in Eintracht Frankfurt‘s Evan N’dicka.
– Internazionale, Juventus and Napoli are all looking at Benfica left-back Alex Grimaldo, reports Calciomercato, with the 27-year-old set to be a free agent when his contract expires in the summer. There will be competition from further afield in Europe, as it is suggested that Nice and Bayer Leverkusen have already come forward to make concrete offers to the Spaniard, although Grimaldo is waiting for a big name to make an approach.
– AC Milan and Internazionale are both monitoring the situation of Porto striker Evanilson, according to Ekrem Konur. The 23-year-old Brazilian has recorded eight goals and nine assists in 32 matches across all competitions this season.
– Aston Villa have held internal discussions about potentially signing Manchester City right-back Kyle Walker and midfielder Kalvin Phillips, according to Football Insider, who add that City could be tempted by a £55m offer for the pair. Walker, 32, could leave Man City in the summer after losing his starting spot, while Phillips, 27, has only managed 102 Premier League minutes since joining City from Leeds United in the summer.