16yrs star player who is tipped to be better than Ronaldo and Messi has choosen Manchester United after rejecting Man City bumper deal 

16yrs star player who is tipped to be better than Ronaldo and Messi has choosen Manchester United after rejecting Man City bumper deal 


Transfer News


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The Transfer DealSheet: Latest on Man Utd, Arsenal, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona and more

The Transfer DealSheet: Latest on Man Utd, Arsenal, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona and more

The Athletic UK Staff

Jun 18, 2024

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Welcome to the third edition of the Transfer DealSheet, your weekly guide to what is happening in the summer transfer window.


Every week, our team of dedicated writers, including Adam Leventhal and David Ornstein, will take you inside the market to explain the deals being worked on, the players who could arrive and the ones who are on their way out across the Premier League and beyond. You can read last week’s edition here.



The information found within this article has been gathered according to The Athletic’s sourcing guidelines. Unless stated, our reporters have spoken to more than one person briefed on each deal before offering the clubs involved the opportunity to comment. Those responses, where they were given, have been included in the Transfer DealSheet.


This week, we look at Manchester United’s ongoing pursuit of Jarrad Branthwaite, Arsenal’s new contract for one of their goalkeepers and the latest on Leny Yoro.


Our aim is to bring you analysis you can trust about what is happening at Europe’s leading clubs and the latest information we’re hearing from across the market. Ornstein, our leading transfer reporter, will also deliver his one to watch here each week.


This article is very long but very detailed, so please enjoy it all — or search for the club or player you want to read about.


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David Ornstein’s One to Watch: Jarrad Branthwaite

There’s a big pinch point coming on June 30 for clubs who need to deal with issues around the profitability and sustainability regulations (PSR).


Things realistically need to start moving this week if sales are to be made by then, and a number of teams find themselves in that bracket.


Jarrad Branthwaite was subject to a bid worth £35million from Manchester United on Friday. Everton viewed that offer for their 21-year-old centre-back, which featured an additional £8m in bonuses, as unacceptable and rejected it.


Everton are among those with financial issues, although word from Goodison Park suggests their PSR hole is relatively small.


Everton rejected a Manchester United bid for Branthwaite last week (Paul Ellis / AFP via Getty Images)


Their preference would be to solve the problem not by selling (nor dropping the asking price for) key players such as Branthwaite but through other means, such as trading academy prospects.


But United’s proposal on the first official day of the window, far lower than Everton’s asking price, suggests they believe their Premier League counterparts might have to consider letting him go before the month ends — and that their bid was merely an opening salvo.


We need to watch whether United come back with an improved approach and how Everton respond if they do. Are they going to hold firm? Is Branthwaite such a special talent that Everton’s valuation of more than £70million will not be reduced?


That figure appears to be out of United’s reach, so do they keep pushing or back off and focus on alternative targets? Will Everton be able to shift someone else or could their stance change?




Is signing Branthwaite a good idea?

While left-footed centre-backs are among the most precious profiles in European football, Manchester United already have one on their books — Lisandro Martinez has been the most successful signing of the Erik ten Hag-era.


So why are they targeting the left-footed Branthwaite as a priority? While he has often played on the left of central defence, Branthwaite has comfortably and adeptly played on the right of that pairing, too.


Ten of Branthwaite’s 24 starts during his loan spell at Dutch club PSV Eindhoven during the 2022-23 campaign saw him deployed there. Ruud van Nistelrooy, PSV’s coach that season, highlighted “touches he has on the left and right in the build-up” in an interview with The Coaches’ Voice.


An analysis by The Athletic in February found Branthwaite was, in fact, one of the most two-footed players in the Premier League. He played 41 per cent of his passes with his right foot.




Branthwaite also compares well with the defender he would be replacing at United, departing free-agent Raphael Varane, both in terms of two-footedness and duel success rate. Winning duels and defending contested possession is critical to the type of transitional style Ten Hag showed a preference towards for much of last season.


Mark Critchley


What we’re hearing…

Arsenal have convinced out-of-contract Estonian international Karl Hein to stay at the Emirates beyond this summer. The 22-year-old goalkeeper is expected to sign a new contract imminently. Hein is relatively inexperienced at club level, with a loan move seen as the next step in his development (James McNicholas)

Wolverhampton Wanderers have reached an agreement with Brazil’s Sport Recife to sign Pedro Lima. The 17-year-old had been heavily linked with a host of top clubs, most prominently Chelsea, who had been pursuing a deal for the right-back. But Wolves have managed to strike a deal, in what would represent a major coup for the club. Personal terms are in place on a five-year contract that includes the option to extend by a further 12 months. If all goes to plan, Lima would arrive at Wolves on July 1 to undergo a medical and complete the proposed move (David Ornstein)

Ipswich are interested in re-signing Chelsea attacker Omari Hutchinson and have enquired about a fee. The 20-year-old is also attracting interest from other Premier League clubs and teams across Europe. Hutchinson scored 10 goals in 44 games for Ipswich on loan last season as they won promotion to the Premier League (Simon Johnson)

Fulham have restarted talks with Fluminense regarding a transfer for Brazil international Andre. The west London club are looking for a defensive midfielder after Bayern Munich renewed their pursuit of Joao Palhinha. Fulham have tracked Andre, 22, for more than a year and see him as an ideal replacement. Marco Silva’s side have not yet made an official bid (Peter Rutzler and Adam Leventhal)

Nottingham Forest are working on a deal with Red Star Belgrade to sign New Zealand international midfielder Marko Stamenic. Stamenic, who has 14 senior caps, would cost around £4.6million after impressing Forest while helping Red Star, or Crvena Zvezda, win the Serbian SuperLiga last season. If everything goes according to plan, he is expected to initially join Greece’s Olympiacos on a season-long loan, similar to other arrangements in the Evangelos Marinakis operation, with the Greek billionaire owning both clubs (Daniel Taylor)

Sevilla announced Sergio Ramos would depart as a free agent on Monday but he has not picked his next club yet. New MLS side San Diego FC, who join the league for its 2025 season, have held talks with the Spanish centre-back, but the two sides were far apart in contract negotiations. Talks went dead for weeks but, with the official announcement of Ramos departing Sevilla, there will be another discussion between the parties to see if there is common ground. There is nothing advanced at this moment or likely, unless Ramos’ salary asks have decreased significantly (Tom Bogert)

Lyon are preparing to listen to offers for central defender Jake O’Brien. Atalanta and one other club made an approach for O’Brien in January and that Italian club are known to have retained an interest. French side Lyon don’t want to sell and have not set an asking price, but they are aware that the Republic of Ireland international features highly on the lists of clubs in the Premier League and elsewhere in Europe (Adam Leventhal)

Hibernian are expecting to lose winger Elie Youan after just one season. Clubs from Serie A and Ligue 1 have registered interest in the 25-year-old — who joined from St Gallen in Switzerland last summer — with the Scottish club wanting in the region of £2.5million after he scored 10 goals and provided 10 assists for them in all competitions (Adam Leventhal)


What has happened this week?

Arsenal’s top target to strengthen their forward line, Benjamin Sesko, has signed an improved deal with RB Leipzig until 2029. It’s a blow to Arsenal, who had positioned themselves as the most attractive destination had Sesko decided to move.


One area where Arsenal may have assuaged their need for reinforcements is in goal. The club have persuaded Hein to stay and the 22-year-old is expected to sign a new contract imminently. Given Hein’s relative inexperience at club level, it is logical that a loan move will be the next step in his development.


How have Arsenal reacted to Sesko not being available?

Arsenal are not too disheartened by Sesko’s decision. They always knew there was a strong possibility he would stay with Leipzig this summer. They will continue to follow Sesko and maintain the relationship, as he remains of long-term interest.



Arsenal will continue to follow Sesko despite his new contract at Leipzig (Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

What positions/players are they looking at?

Losing out on Sesko has created a slight shift in priorities. With forwards Kai Havertz, Gabriel Jesus, Eddie Nketiah and Leandro Trossard all currently part of the squad, strengthening midfield is seemingly now the primary focus.


Arsenal need another midfield player to complement Declan Rice. The indications are that Arsenal are leaning towards adding a No 6 rather than a No 8, as they feel there are more attractive options in the market.


Which players could be leaving?

Winger Reiss Nelson has informed the club he wants to assess his options for a potential transfer this summer. Arsenal are aiming to secure a fee of around £20million including add-ons if they are to allow Nelson to leave.


Arsenal are likely to consider offers for a number of homegrown players this summer, with Nketiah and Emile Smith Rowe also contemplating their futures. For Arsenal, their departures would have an added benefit: sales of these academy players would be recorded as “pure profit” in PSR terms.


James McNicholas



What has happened this week?

There have been no new arrivals but Chelsea continue to be active. The biggest stir was caused by Chelsea asking permission from Crystal Palace to agree terms with Michael Olise and more links with Aston Villa’s Jhon Duran. More on that later.


Things can change quickly in the transfer window and there have been a few examples of this. Last week, The Athletic reported that the club were planning for Andrey Santos to be part of the first-team squad next season. That is still the case, but they are now also open to the possibility of him going back to Strasbourg on loan, where he spent the second half of last season. This was not the case before. The 20-year-old may take some convincing though.


Wolves agreed a deal with Sport Recife to sign target Pedro Lima on Monday. Lima was earmarked as a BlueCo signing (the company which owns Chelsea and Strasbourg) rather than a specific Chelsea purchase. The plan was for him to play for Strasbourg next season. Chelsea have not given up hope on the 17-year-old, but it appears he will be plying his trade at Molineux. They had agreed terms with Recife and Lima, with Monday’s development taking them by surprise.


Would Gallagher’s exit help Chelsea’s plans?

Should a club meet their £50million valuation, the funds would certainly help with other purchases.


Chelsea are adamant they do not need to sell players before June 30 to comply with PSR for 2023-24. That is not a view shared by all outside of Stamford Bridge, though, and there is optimism among some clubs that Chelsea will be looking to cash in on a few players before the end of the month, meaning a bargain could be had.


Aston Villa are one of the clubs interested in Gallagher, although they will struggle to meet the asking price without selling players first themselves. A swap involving Duran is unlikely.


Gallagher, who is away with England at Euro 2024, has just one year left on his contract. Chelsea have not ruled out offering an extension because they do not want to run the risk of him leaving as a free agent in 2025.



Chelsea could still offer Gallagher a contract extension (Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

What positions/players are they looking at?

The priority right now is trying to win the race for Olise. Even though they have the go-ahead to speak to the 22-year-old, Chelsea know it is far from a done deal.


Chelsea believe another three to five teams are also in the frame. The Athletic reported Newcastle and Bayern Munich have also contacted Crystal Palace, while Manchester United and Manchester City have a strong interest in the player.


He is their main focus, so the search for a striker has taken a bit of a back seat. They have an interest in Aston Villa forward Duran, but it has gone no further than that.


Chelsea have been put off making a move for their former academy striker Dominic Solanke, at least for the time being, because of a £65million release clause in his contract.


Which players could be leaving?

There has been no progress on the list of possible departures, like Armando Broja and Trevoh Chalobah, provided in previous weeks.


The pursuit of Olise has sparked questions among sections of the fanbase over Noni Madueke‘s future because both like to play on the right flank.


But Chelsea do not see it like that at the moment. Should Olise make the switch, they will regard it as the duo fulfilling the ‘two players for every position’ mantra most leading clubs aim for. Cole Palmer is expected to play more regularly inside in a No 10 role.


With Raheem Sterling earning in excess of £300,000 a week, there is an acceptance it will be very difficult to find a club looking to sign him. Sterling is preparing for pre-season under new head coach Enzo Maresca.


Simon Johnson



What has happened this week?

My colleague David Ornstein reported the situation around centre-back Leny Yoro, who is a target for Liverpool, Manchester United, and Real Madrid.


The Spanish side are seen as favourites to sign the 18-year-old, who has one year remaining on his contract at Lille, but Liverpool are actively pursuing a deal for the defender.


The news came as reports were emerging of Saudi Arabian side Al Nassr making contact with Virgil van Dijk‘s representatives about a potential move. Senior Liverpool sources, who asked to be kept anonymous to protect relationships, say there has been no contact from Al Nassr about any deal.


The Dutch international has one year remaining on his contract but remains a key figure for incoming head coach Arne Slot. However, if a new deal is not agreed, he would be a free agent next summer and able to join any team.


Is bringing in Yoro a key part of Liverpool’s summer rebuild?

Liverpool are considering strengthening at centre-back this summer and Yoro is seen as one of the brightest emerging talents in that position.


A deal to secure the youngster is seen as a unique market opportunity and it is no surprise, with Michael Edwards returning, that it is something Liverpool are exploring.


They currently have four options at centre-back, but Van Dijk has one year remaining on his contract and is 33, Ibrahima Konate suffered a huge dip in form to finish the campaign and is not a natural ball player, Jarell Quansah is still young and learning at senior level, and Joe Gomez operated at full-back more than centre-back last season.


They are not in desperate need of a new first-choice centre-back, but adding depth and reinforcing the positions for years to come is at the forefront of thoughts. Not signing Yoro would not be the end of the world, but it would feel like a missed opportunity to secure a potential first-team player for the next 10 years.


What positions/players are they looking at?

As written above, Liverpool are considering strengthening at centre-back to replace the outgoing Joel Matip and securing the position in the longer term.


The club are also in the market for a wide player. Uncertainty surrounds the longer-term futures of wingers Mohamed Salah, who has one year remaining on his contract, and Luis Diaz, who has been linked to Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.


Determining positions of priority will also depend on Slot’s assessment of the squad during pre-season as he gets a closer look at what he is working with. The new head coach may decide that the No 6 position needs to be re-addressed.



Salah has one year left on his contract (Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images)

Which players could be leaving?

Liverpool are not in a position where they need to sell. They are aware of Caoimhin Kelleher‘s desire to be a No 1 but will only consider offers of £25million and above because there are few better backup goalkeepers in Europe.





Liverpool’s Caoimhin Kelleher interview: ‘The next step is for me to be a No 1’


Barcelona and Diaz reports and rumours continue to swirl, but Liverpool are planning for pre-season with him. They would expect a significant fee for the Colombian winger to even consider a sale. The 27-year-old has three years remaining on his current deal and the club would want to make a handsome profit on the £50million they spent on him in January 2022. Last week, Diaz stated he was “very happy” at Liverpool in an interview with Colombia’s Gol Caracol.


Sepp van den Berg remains set to join up with his team-mates for pre-season unless a team matches the £20million valuation placed on him. There was contact between Mainz and Liverpool over the German side signing the 22-year-old permanently following a successful loan spell, but the sides are far apart on their valuations.


Andy Jones


Manchester City

What has happened this week?

Michael Olise is attracting interest from a number of clubs, with City among them. The Crystal Palace winger would provide a fine option on the right wing but other clubs, not least Chelsea, are keen to sign him.


It has to be said that City’s general approach when there are several clubs interested is to either get the player to shun all rival bids or simply walk away from a deal, so it will be interesting to see exactly how keen they and Olise are to make a move happen.


The uncertainty around Ederson’s future continues; there were no major reports to advance his situation, but sources close to the player, kept anonymous to protect relationships, had been expecting him to make the switch to Saudi Arabia towards the end of last season. City do want to keep their No 1 goalkeeper, however.


What will they do if Alvarez goes to the Olympics?

City would not stand in Julian Alvarez’s way if he is selected to represent Argentina and, in that scenario, it is unlikely they would look for a short-term solution to replace him for the first games of the Premier League season.


The men’s gold medal match actually takes place on August 10, the day City take on United in the Community Shield. This means that even if Argentina were to go all the way, the Olympics does not overlap with the start of the Premier League.


Alvarez would be granted two to three weeks off after the competition if he is selected, especially as he is also in Argentina’s squad for the Copa America. That final will be played 10 days before the country kicks off their Olympic campaign.


There is also a scenario that Alvarez leaves the club permanently before any of this be

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