As preseason friendlies and tours roll on so, too, do the various transfer windows across Europe's top leagues. Here's the latest on some of the biggest names whose futures remain in the balance.
As preseason friendlies and tours roll on so, too, do the various transfer windows across Europe's top leagues. A number of key players have already secured new clubs ahead of the new season, but a handful more remain in the shop window and in the tabloid crosshairs while their futures are up for grabs.
Here are the latest reports and scuttlebutt surrounding some of the top players on the planet and where they may be headed–if they're going anywhere at all:
- Gareth Bale is on the way out of Real Madrid, but are there serious suitors for the talented but injury-prone Welsh superstar? Bale's salary demands and requirements make any transfer difficult to complete, but it's clear his time at the Bernabeu is up one way or another. Zinedine Zidane has addressed his future at length in his two recent International Champions Cup press conferences, and he appears to be at his wits' end with discussing the player who has helped Real Madrid to multiple trophies after his then-world-record move from Tottenham to the Spanish capital.
Lucrative offers from China appear to be the top options on the table. Whether Bale would welcome a Chinese excursion is another story entirely. (Telegraph)
- Neymar accompanied PSG to China for its next leg of the preseason, which should quiet some of the speculation regarding his future. He has reportedly made it clear he wants out (and evidently a return to Barcelona), but PSG remains adamant that it has received no offers for his services and that he remains with the club until further notice. His inclusion on the trip as he returns to action following a late-season injury is an indication that perhaps there is a resolution to be had between the two parties ahead of another year together in Paris.
As it the case with Bale, his salary demands are astronomical. Perhaps Real Madrid and PSG could make for swap partners given their two unhappy assets, but nothing is in the offing to suggest that would be the case. (Marca | Goal)
- All is currently quiet on the Paul Pogba front, and, as with Bale and Neymar, his financial component makes a transfer anything but straightforward. Real Madrid has already committed hundreds of millions to its summer spending with the signing of Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Ferland Mendy, Rodrygo and Eder Militão. It does have assets for sale in Bale and James Rodriguez that could help facilitate a blockbuster Pogba move, but that means those other dominoes need to drop before Real can even consider it.
Juventus, meanwhile, has a logjam in its midfield after adding free transfers Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey to a group that already included Emre Can, Rodrigo Bentancur, Miralem Pjanic, Blaise Matuidi and Sami Khedira. Perhaps there's a swap to be made with an interested party, but nothing appears to be imminent with just over two weeks to go until the Premier League's deadline (that wouldn't prevent United from selling to a club whose window is still open, but it would take receiving players in return off the table).
Pogba, in the meantime, has been with Man United in Singapore and playing on as if it's business as usual, despite his expressed wishes to leave the club. (Mirror)
- Arsenal has been rather dormant this summer, but it appears to be on the verge of making noise. Reports suggest a loan move for Real Madrid and Spain rising star Dani Ceballos is done, while the club is also said to be eyeing Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha and recent Copa America winner and Gremio winger Everton. Its latest bid for Celtic left back Keiran Tierney, though, was reportedly rejected. (BBC | Independent)
- After multiple windows being linked to lucrative Premier League moves, Nabil Fekir has settled for a transfer from Lyon to Real Betis after a modestly priced €20 million deal. Concerns regarding his knee status likely contributed to the cut-rate price, but if healthy, the 26-year-old World Cup winner makes Betis even more formidable after a 10th-place finish in La Liga a season ago. (L'Equipe)
- Could Fekir's arrival make Real Betis more amenable to selling Giovani Lo Celso? Tottenham has long been linked with a move for the Argentine midfielder, who would be a second major addition in the heart of the lineup for Mauricio Pochettino after the arrival of Tanguy Ndombele, though he'll reportedly cost the club more than what it spent when breaking its own record to sign Ndombele from Lyon. Tottenham is also in the market for Fulham fullback Ryan Sessegnon, with Kieran Trippier sold to Atletico Madrid and Danny Rose reportedly on the way out as well. (Standard)
- The tug of war between Man City and Bayern Munich for winger Leroy Sane continues. Pep Guardiola and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge have engaged in a war of words over the German talent, while Man City reportedly has no interest to sell. (Sky Sports)
- Lille forward Nicolas Pepe is on the verge of leaving the club, but it's unclear to where. Lille's president claimed that a transfer for the in-demand Ivory Coast international is "almost done." His reported suitors have included Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal (La Voix du Nord)
- Newcastle has broken its club transfer record to sign Brazilian forward Joelinton from Hoffenheim. The fee is said to be in the ballpark of £40 million. (Sky Sports)