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    Arsenal, Tottenham in race for Feyenoord’s Kokcu

    The January transfer window may seem like a distant memory, but that doesn’t mean the rumour mill has shut down! Speculation over summer moves is heating up, so check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.

    TOP STORY: Spurs, Arsenal in race for Kokcu

    Tottenham Hotspur are looking to battle with North London Derby rivals Arsenal to sign Feyenoord midfielder Orkun Kokcu, reports the Daily Mail. The 20-year-old has been a long-term target for the Gunners, who attempted to bring him in during the summer of 2020.

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    There may be questions over Jose Mourinho’s future, but Spurs’ recruitment staff feel that the Turkey international is a player who can help them moving forward, regardless of who is in charge.

    It’s suggested that Spurs have already been in contact with Kokcu’s representatives to register their interest and will look to receive updates on his future. Work permit regulations shouldn’t hinder the deal, as the midfielder is a regular for Feyenoord and also represents his national team.

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    A return of three goals and two assists this season might not sound like much, but the youngster has stood out at times for Feyenoord. He featured in the Eredivisie Team of the Month for February and March, also being awarded Young Player of the Month last month.

    He has had a number of eye-catching performances, especially enjoying himself during a 6-0 victory over VVV Venlo. It now seems as though the he will have two options if he wants to continue his development in North London.

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    17.00 BST: Manchester City‘s escalating wage bill is a severe stumbling block in their attempt to sign Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund this summer with Kevin De Bruyne becoming the highest-paid player in the Premier League this week, less than 24 hours after the club outstripped Manchester United by reporting the league’s biggest-ever salary outlay.

    15.47 BST: Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Florian Thauvin‘s possible move to AC Milan could be back on after he lowered his wages demands. It says that the Marseille midfielder, who is out of contract at the end of the season, had wanted €4m-a-year but is prepared to negotiate to seal the transfer.

    14.56 BST: Dario AS insists that Real Madrid are very much in the hunt to sign Kylian Mbappe, and they are convinced he is reluctant to sign a new contract with Paris Saint-Germain. Mbappe’s deal at PSG has little over a year to run, and even though the two parties have been in negotiations over an extension there is as yet no sign of an agreement.

    Madrid have been tracking the 22-year-old striker for some time and president Florentino Perez wants to make the Frenchman the centre-piece of the team for years to come.

    A €36m-a-year contract is on the table at the Parc des Princes, and while Mbappe would have to accept less from Los Blancos the sporting challenge could be tempting.

    14.00 BST: Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has hinted he will dip into the transfer market if his forwards don’t find their scoring touch by the end of the season. Last summer Frank Lampard spent Chelsea £180m to improve his forward line, signing Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, but the big-money buys have misfired in front of goal.

    “For the next eight weeks, we just have to think how we can improve the scoring and the scoring situation, and nothing else, and then in the summer we will think further and think together with the club about what solutions are the best solutions for us,” Tuchel said.

    “Is it the best solution to stay with our squad? Is it the best solution to stay in the formation that we have? Can we improve on the training pitch individually and as a group… these are the questions for June.

    “For now, in April when we arrive, everybody knows that when you read the statistics it’s obvious and the guys lack this last percentage of confidence when they don’t score. Everybody wants higher numbers, us, you, but it’s difficult for us to produce, obviously, but we will not stop pushing.”

    13.17 BST: The Daily Mail reports that Raheem Sterling has set up his own football agency, 16ninetytwo Sports Management Limited, and he will also conduct his own contract negotiations.

    Sterling, 26, parted ways with agent Aidy Ward last year, and is ready to have talks about a new deal with two years remaining on his agreement.

    Kevin De Bruyne signed a new long-term contract at Manchester City earlier this week that will keep him at the Etihad Stadium until 2025. He also did the negotiations himself, proving that not all players need a super agent to do the work for them.

    Sterling will not be able to act as an agent for other players until his own playing career is over.

    12.33 BST: Sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson that it came as no surprise to see super agent Mino Raiola and Erling Haaland’s father Alf-Inge visit Barcelona and Real Madrid in the lead up to Dortmund’s 2-1 Champions League quarterfinal first-leg defeat at Manchester City on Tuesday.

    Sources have told ESPN Dortmund value Haaland at €180m. Privately, Manchester United and Manchester City have distanced themselves from agreeing to a fee that high amid the coronavirus pandemic, with club finances across the world suffering a significant hit.

    United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer visited Haaland in the run-up to his departure from Salzburg in 2020 but club bosses, including executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, were never comfortable with the terms put forward by agent Raiola and Haaland’s father.

    Insider Notebook: United cool on Haaland; City’s record wage bill

    11.49 BST: Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has played down rumours that Jannik Vestergaard will be a summer transfer target for Tottenham Hotspur.

    The 28-year-old central defender only has one season left on his contract, leading to speculation that Saints could sell rather than lose him on a free transfer. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg moved between the two clubs last summer when he also moved into the last year of his deal.

    “What can I say? It’s nothing new when players who did a good job for us this season are on the list for some bigger clubs,” Hasenhuttl said. “This is normal. This has always been in our history.

    “I don’t want to discuss rumours around there, it is not necessary to discuss it. You can be sure that this player has a contract for Southampton Football Club and as long as he has this, he’s our player and we will do everything to keep him here and to protect him for everything.”

    11.03 BST: Inter Miami coach Phil Neville tells ESPN the club will figure out its surplus of Designated Players ahead of the big MLS kick off next weekend.

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    Inter Miami coach Phil Neville tells ESPN the club will figure out its surplus of Designated Players.

    10.19 BST: ESPN revealed recently how Liverpool were closing in on the signing of RB Leipzig centre-back Ibrahima Konate, with the 2019-20 Premier League champions ready to pay his release clause.

    It was thought it would take €41.5m to secure the 21-year-old, but Bild journalist Christian Falk has revealed the France youth international can be signed for much less — €32.5-34m.

    09.30 BST: Pep Guardiola has given Sergio Aguero his blessing to join one of Manchester City’s Premier League rivals on a free transfer. Aguero has been linked with moves to Chelsea and Tottenham following news that his 10-year stay at the Etihad Stadium will end in the summer.

    Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain have also registered their interest in the striker but Guardiola said he is happy for the 32-year-old to stay in England, even if it means his arrival strengthens a title rival.

    PAPER ROUND

    – Tottenham Hotspur and Barcelona are both showing an interest in signing Bayern Munich centre-back Jerome Boateng, reports Bild’s Christian Falk. The German’s contract with Bayern comes to an end in the summer and it has been publicly stated that there will be no renewal, meaning clubs will be vying to sign the 32-year-old for free.

    Wolverhampton Wanderers are hoping to use Patrick Cutrone as part of a deal to sign Valencia winger Goncalo Guedes, reports Football Insider. Cutrone is on loan with the Spanish outfit, and while Wolves have been interested in his 24-year-old teammate for at least a month, it is only now being suggested that the Italian could move the other way permanently.

    Mauro Icardi‘s agents have taken steps to get the Argentine away from Paris Saint-Germain, while the club are willing to let him leave, reports L’Equipe. This news follows the suggestion from Calciomercato that the 28-year-old could be used as part of a swap deal to bring in Juventus man Paulo Dybala.

    Galatasaray have offered Crystal Palace left-back Patrick van Aanholt a three-year contract to join them in the summer, as reported by Sky Sports. The 30-year-old Dutchman’s current deal comes to an end in the summer, meaning he will be free to leave. The Turkish side are looking to take advantage of the situation by negotiating a deal with the player’s agents now.

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