Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United are both interested in the same two players from a relegated club, while Mauricio Pochettino has decided how to start his Chelsea clearout and Liverpool are still keen on a goalkeeping change – according to Wednesday’s transfer gossip.
LEICESTER PAIR LINKED WITH SPURS OR NEWCASTLE
After suffering relegation from the Premier League, Leicester City stars Harvey Barnes and James Maddison have attracted the same two suitors as each other.
That’s according to The Sun, which claims Tottenham and Newcastle are both in the hunt for each player. Leicester will be looking for around £40m for both of them, making a double deal worth around £80m – or more if they can ignite a bidding war.
The chance of lifting them back up to the Premier League has tempted Newcastle, who have Champions League football on offer next season, and Tottenham, who have not qualified for any European competition in 2023-24.
Maddison’s future could be the most urgent topic to resolve, since he will be out of contract with Leicester next season. Rather than keep him for their promotion push, the Foxes are ready to cash in on their top talents in order to regenerate their squad.
Tottenham and Newcastle have established themselves at the front of the queue for Maddison, as well as his winger colleague, Barnes.
There is slightly less pressure contractually with Barnes, whose terms last until 2025. But as another player who has been on the fringes of the England setup before, it could be important for him to be in the Premier League ahead of Euro 2024.
As things stand, the report does not clarify whether Tottenham or Newcastle have the edge for the double deal yet – or if Barnes and Maddison could end up at one of those clubs each. For now, there seems to be an equal chance for both clubs in both cases.
Newcastle actually bid for Maddison last summer, the report reminds, but are now mindful of Financial Fair Play concerns. That said, preparation for their long-awaited return to Champions League football could see them spying transfer opportunities like these.
POCHETTINO TO SEND AUBAMEYANG PACKING
It is no secret that Chelsea need to reduce their squad size and a report has named who Mauricio Pochettino’s first casualty could be.
Pochettino has been confirmed as the new Chelsea manager ahead of an important transfer window in terms of balancing their squad.
According to an update from the Evening Standard, one of the first players to leave Chelsea under Pochettino’s orders will be Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The striker struggled to make an impact after returning to the Premier League from Barcelona. The fact that Thomas Tuchel – his former boss at Borussia Dortmund – was sacked days after his arrival probably didn’t help.
Now, Chelsea have decided to offload the 33-year-old this summer, even if it means making a loss on the £12m they spent to sign him.
A return to Barcelona is an option for Aubameyang, whose other suitors include Atletico Madrid, clubs in Saudi Arabia and another of his former sides in the shape of AC Milan.
There is pressure on Chelsea to sell players before the end of June due to Financial Fair Play. Although Pochettino technically doesn’t start work until July, he has been advising already on who would be surplus to requirements within his regime.
Other players who might be made available include Edouard Mendy, Marc Cucurella, Cesar Azpilicueta, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mateo Kovacic, Mason Mount, Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic.
It has also been confirmed that Pochettino does not want Chelsea to keep Joao Felix after his loan spell from Atletico Madrid.
SCHMADTKE STILL WANTS ZIELER AT LIVERPOOL
There could be a shake-up in Liverpool’s goalkeeping department this summer after the appointment of Jorg Schmadtke as their new sporting director to work in conjunction with Jurgen Klopp.
Alisson is undisputedly Klopp’s number one, but Caoimhin Kelleher might be ready to play more regularly elsewhere. If he leaves, Liverpool will need to find a new backup option.
According to Bild, not much has changed in terms of who they could target despite the appointment of Schmadtke.
Indeed, the new director remains keen on a deal for Ron-Robert Zieler from Hannover, where he originally signed the former Man Utd youth product more than a decade ago.
Now, Hannover will gladly sell Zieler to Liverpool a year before his contract is due to expire. The transfer fee should be a seven-figure one, i.e. less than €10m.
And promisingly, the German second-tier side have already lined up a replacement for the 34-year-old, paving the way for his potential move to Liverpool.