Transfer news: Liverpool leads Van Dijk race; Manchester United eyes Morata
With the 2016–17 season over, summer transfer rumors are swirling, with the biggest clubs tied to prominent players as usual and massive sums of cash being thrown around.
As news trickles out, players have begun to officially agree on moves, with Bernardo Silva officially headed from Monaco to Manchester City and Brazilian prospect Vinicius Junior bound for Real Madrid (when he turns 18). The transfer window doesn’t open until July, but there will be no shortage of talk and scuttle until then.
Here's a look around Europe at the latest news and rumors.
• Liverpool is the front-runner for Southampton center back Virgil Van Dijk, with the player reportedly preferring Anfield to the overtures from Chelsea and Manchester City. He won't come cheaply–reports suggest it'll take £50 million to pry him from St. Mary's. The Reds have money to spend after qualifying for the Champions League, and it appears they'll be dropping plenty of it on the Netherlands international. (BBC)
• Liverpool is a busy player early in the summer market, with the club reportedly agreeing to terms with Roma's Mohamed Salah. The clubs have not agreed to a transfer fee, though, which is holding up any move from happening. Roma has already reportedly rejected one £28 million offer from Liverpool for the Egyptian winger. (Sky Sports)
• Arsenal reportedly had an £87 million bid for Kylian Mbappe denied by Monaco, but the club is said to be mulling a world-record offer to try and lure the 18-year-old French star, who is one of the prized pieces of the transfer market. (Express)
• Alvaro Morata has reportedly emerged as Manchester United's top forward target, with Antoine Griezmann set to stay at Atletico Madrid. The club has also been linked with big-money moves for Everton's Romelu Lukaku and Torino's Andrea Belotti, though it appears interest has cooled in its pursuit for Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette. Morata is said to be valued at £50 million. (Telegraph)
• Gareth Bale claims that he is happy at Real Madrid and has no intentions of leaving despite reports of a massive bid to come from Manchester United. (The Guardian)
• Pepe is set to leave Real Madrid and sign a two-year deal with PSG. (Marca)
• Anthony Martial has no intentions of leaving Manchester United, according to his agent. (Sky Sports)
• Manchester United is hoping to capitalize on Douglas Costa and Renato Sanches being out of favor at Bayern Munich, with the club eyeing the two rising stars. (Daily Star)