Transfer news, rumors: Liverpool ends Van Dijk quest, apologizes to Southampton
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 has ended its quest to sign Southampton and Netherlands defender Virgil Van Dijk after appearing to be the front-runner for his services. The club went one further, apologizing to Southampton in a public statement after the Reds were accused of an improper and illegal attempt to reach out to the player. Chelsea and Manchester City appear to be the leading suitors for the center back after the fresh development. (BBC)
• Liverpool's pursuit of Mohamed Salah from Roma has also appeared to hit a snag, with the club turning attention to Sporting Lisbon winger Gelson Martins, who has a release clause of £46.5 million. (Sky Sports)
• Another summer, another David De Gea/Real Madrid soap opera. This one appears to be ending early, however, with reports that Real Madrid is content with Keylor Navas, Kiko Casilla and Luca Zidane–Zinedine's son–as its three goalkeepers and it will not be pursuing De Gea, a Madrid native and Spanish national team No. 1, or AC Milan's Gigi Donnarumma. (Marca)
• Manchester City could have a pair of new fullbacks soon as it continues to undergo a defensive makeover. Ryan Bertrand and Kyle Walker could both be headed to the Etihad within a couple of weeks. (Sky Sports)
• Monaco ownership says Kylian Mbappe will be allowed to make his own decision regarding his future. The 18-year-old wonderkid has been linked to massive offers from Real Madrid and Arsenal. (ESPN FC)
• Real Madrid appears willing to make a massive bid of 135 million euros to sign Mbappe from Monaco. (AS)
• John Terry appears headed to Bournemouth on a free transfer to sign a deal that'll pay him £100,000 a week. (The Sun)
• Romelu Lukaku says he’s not returning to Everton and that he has an agreement in place with another Premier League club.
• Fernando Torres is in “very advanced talks” to sign for Liga MX club Queretaro. The 33-year-old is out of contract at Atletico Madrid. (ESPN FC)
• Mario Balotelli’s agent says his client would play at Borussia Dortmund next season as he aims to leave Nice. (Mirror)
• AC Milan has dropped the biggest hint yet that Ricardo Rodriguez will be joining the club from Wolfsburg. (AC Milan)
• Nolito never settled at Manchester City, and Sevilla appears ready to pounce to bring the Spanish forward back to his native land after leaving Celta Vigo for the Etihad last summer. (Sky Sports)
• 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 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 a £50 million. (Telegraph)