Champion League

Leao or Isak to Arsenal, Giroud, and more

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Ruben Amorim is the favoured candidate for Liverpool for sure, but we still have to wait and see because Liverpool are discussing this possibility internally, while they have also made contacts with people close to Amorim. This is significant because it’s not something they did with Roberto de Zerbi or some of the other names we’ve seen in the media in recent weeks.

So, Amorim remains a strong candidate – they are well informed on his contract situation and there will be more discussions over him becoming the new Liverpool manager. As previously reported, there is an agreement with Sporting for Amorim to leave for around €10m if a top club comes in for him, even if his formal release clause for clubs outside Portugal is €20m. This could be a boost for Liverpool.

There’s been speculation about what the manager change might mean for Liverpool players like Mohamed Salah, but I don’t expect him to decide anything before the new manager comes in. I expect him to take some time – it’s normal for players to take their time to look at what a club wants to do in terms of their project, their ideas, so for Salah and others like Virgil van Dijk it’s a normal process, they’re waiting to understand what’s next.

There are a lot of changes going on at Liverpool and they’ve done well to bring in some excellent people like Michael Edwards and Richard Hughes, so now the manager will be crucial and then we’ll see what players like Salah decide, I don’t expect it to happen before then. I know there’s talk again about Saudi clubs coming in for the Egypt international, but despite some speculation to the contrary, I’m not aware of imminent proposals and I’m told nothing is happening now/April in general.

Interest in Salah from Saudi remains strong but it’s not time for proposals, not even for talks from what I’m told. He’s also really happy at Liverpool and being super professional, so there was never any issue, even in the final days of the summer transfer window when they received a big offer from Saudi.

Erik Ten Hag at Man United

Manchester United’s struggles on the pitch continue, but with Erik ten Hag I still think there’s the sense that they want to see how the season will pan out in the final weeks and then discuss internally, but I’ve always been hearing that the talks between Ten Hag and INEOS have been positive.

Still, obviously this is a results industry, so we’ll have to see how the team reacts to recent setbacks in the coming weeks, and in general I think this is an absolutely normal process. United want to keep monitoring the situation around Ten Hag, but so far the conversations have been positive and I’m not aware of anything close in terms of discussions with other managers. We’ll still have to be patient before getting a clearer understanding of what the manager situation will look like next season at Manchester United.

Chelsea’s position has always been really clear, even since the start of August, that they will wait until the end of the season to assess the situation with the manager and to discuss the present and future. This remains their position, even if they can’t be happy with some of their recent results, except of course that thrilling 4-3 win over Manchester United.

In general, Chelsea’s season has been quite disappointing, but they have an opportunity now in the FA Cup, so that will be something to focus on before waiting until the end of the season for further discussions.

I think a summer exit for Bruno Guimaraes from Newcastle is a possibility, because when you are a special player like he is, and we know how busy the market can get, I think it’s normal that a player like this will have interest from top clubs.

Still, I don’t think this is something that will be clarified in May or even early June, it’s probably something more like July or August. The release clause is there, and it’s worth £100m, so this will be valid this summer and it will be a big opportunity for many clubs, but it’s also something that’s not easy to complete in the first days of the summer transfer window.

We know Financial Fair Play could be important, so let’s see if Newcastle are able to make some money and then invest in other players, but I think the timing will be the really crucial point – at the moment I’m not aware of any advanced negotiation, but the interest is there, this is the reality.

Alexander Isak is another Newcastle player attracting interest, and Arsenal have always appreciated him, even when he was at Real Sociedad. They’ve been scouting him for a while and he’s considered a really talented striker, and with the style they have I think he’s appreciated as a good fit for that style.

However, I’m not aware of any direct contacts or negotiations for Arsenal to sign Isak, so it’s not something concrete at this point. I also don’t see Newcastle selling two or three important players – I think they will have to make a decision on who is the one to leave the club.

And with Arsenal, they have multiple candidates who could come in up front, with Viktor Gyokeres one of the names on their list, as well as others, while a deal for Isak won’t be easy.

Finally on Newcastle, Joelinton is close to signing a new contract, as reported yesterday. It’s a four year deal, it’s close, though not signed yet, but it’s all going in the right direction and is considered matter of time. He wasn’t close to signing for any another club, but credits to Newcastle staff as Joelinton was open to all options but Newcastle made him feel special.

Olivier Giroud to LAFC is around 98-99% complete, I would say, because we’re just waiting on the final details of the contract now, and of formalities like exchanging all the documents and sorting out the legal side of the story.

So, it’s the final steps now, but the verbal agreement is there for Giroud to leave AC Milan for the MLS club. There are no issues, it’s just a matter of time, but I think he also wants to be respectful of Milan and announce things at the right moment so as not to create any distractions because Milan are still competing in Serie A and the Europa League.

Giroud wants to respect the timing, but it doesn’t change my expectation, which is that the experienced French striker will become an LAFC player in the next weeks.

Another Milan story that’s raised some eyebrows is a report linking Rafael Leao as a top target for Arsenal, but I honestly have zero updates on this one. I’m not aware of talks or anything – Leao is happy at Milan, he has a €175m release clause and is fully focused on Milan now, so nothing is happening as of today.

Joselu – Real Madrid have not decided anything on making Joselu’s loan permanent just yet, but with Endrick coming and the Kylian Mbappe deal close, for sure they need to discuss many things internally about offensive players. Despite some links with Manchester United, I have zero confirmation of their interest for the moment.

Crysencio Summerville – I’ve been asked by some fans about links with Liverpool and others, and for sure many, really many clubs are monitoring Crysencio Summerville ahead of this summer. At the moment I’m told there’s nothing advanced with anyone, but interest will be there. Clubs will push, then it will be up to Leeds United to make a decision in the summer.

Gavi – Despite links with PSG, I’m not aware of anything happening there. Gavi is key player for Barca, he loves Barca, he has long term contract there and also his injury still takes time before we see him back. It’s all quiet there.



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