Transfer Rumors: Chelsea, Real Madrid swoop for young teenagers
The summer transfer window doesn't open until July, but that's not stopping the rumor mill from churning out the latest involving some of the biggest and most sought-after names on the planet.
From Antoine Griezmann to 18-year-old Kylian Mbappe and well beyond, the chatter is starting to heat up as the domestic seasons wind down across Europe. With Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City all expected to be buyers and the Chinese Super League looming as well, it could be quite the notable summer for transfers as players position themselves for the build-up to the 2018 World Cup.
Here are the latest transfer rumors involving the major clubs and names around the world:
CHELSEA SIGNS 15-YEAR-OLD FROM RANGERS
Chelsea will sign 15-year-old Billy Gilmour from Rangers for developmental fee of £500,000 when he turns 16–when rules permit him to make the move–the Scottish club announced. He has already played for Rangers' U-20s and trained with the first team.
REAL MADRID TO LAND BRAZILIAN RISING STAR
Real Madrid has reportedly come to a €45 million agreement for Flamengo 16-year-old forward Vinicius Junior, beating rival Barcelona to his signature. The player cannot move to Spain until he turns 18, which won't happen until July 2018. Vinicius Junior was the golden ball and golden boot winner at the 2017 CONMEBOL U-17 championship.
REAL MADRID OFFERS UP JAMES
According to ESPNFC, Real Madrid has offered Manchester United, Chelsea and PSG the chance to sign James Rodriguez, who hasn't been able to carve out a permanent place in the starting lineup under Zinedine Zidane but has been valuable in spots for the club during the season, with seven goals in his last nine games.
LAS PALMAS OFFERS BALOTELLI DEAL
Mario Balotelli could be on his way from OGC Nice to Las Palmas in La Liga, with the presence of good friend Kevin-Prince Boateng a helpful recruiting tool, according to multiple reports.
MONACO DENIES MAN UNITED FOR KYLIAN MBAPPE
Monaco's wonder-teen is in high demand, with Manchester United and Arsenal reportedly ready to spend big for his services. The Guardian reports that United have already bid £72 million and were denied, told by Monaco that it'll take £100 million and that the club might not be compelled to sell at all. In a World Cup year, his value could skyrocket even more, to world-record proportions.
MAN UNITED LEADS PACK FOR ANTOINE GRIEZMANN
The Atletico Madrid star's link to Manchester United cooled some but is starting to heat back up, with his agent saying on French TV that the Red Devils are at the front of the pack for Griezmann's suitors. According to reports, Griezmann has already agreed to a £280,000 per week deal, with United required to meet his £85 million buyout clause.
DIEGO COSTA TO CHINA?
Tianjin Quanjian has denied rumors of a £75 million transfer for the Chelsea striker, with the club reportedly willing to pay him £650,000 a week and make him the world's highest-paid player.
ATLETICO IN FOR ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE
Reports suggest that Lyon's star forward will head to Atletico Madrid as a potential Griezmann, French-star-forward for French-star-forward replacement. Atletico Madrid has offered £34 million, according to reports, and has been trying to land Lacazette for two years. Lacazette has been a frequent Arsenal target, but never made his way to the Emirates.
BAYERN EYES ALEXIS SANCHEZ
Will the Arsenal star stay put? Reports say he has spoken to Bayern Munich about a transfer that would reunited him with international teammate Arturo Vidal.
PSG MAKES MOVE FOR PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG
PSG is reportedly going to make a stunning offer to try and pry Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund. He has long been linked to Real Madrid, but PSG is said to have made contact with Aubameyang's father. Dortmund reportedly wants €70 million.
ANDREA BELOTTI STAYING PUT?
The Torino striker and Golden Boot contender in Serie A will apparently not be sold, according to comments made by the club's president. Chelsea and Manchester United are said to have expressed interest in signing the 23-year-old, who has 25 goals in 31 league games this season.
KELECHI IHEANACHO TO FIND TIME ELSEWHERE
Manchester City has reportedly given Hoffenheim permission to talk to its young Nigerian striker about a loan move to the Bundesliga side, which is headed to the Champions League next season.