Transfers

Transfer rumours: Barcelona lay off Salah, Dybala's preferred destination

Jamie Spencer
Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images | Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images
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Barcelona look likely to admit defeat in any potential pursuit of Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah as a result of La Liga financial rules still continuing to supress what they can afford to pay out in salaries compared to many of their rivals at home and abroad.

Barça president Joan Laporta has confirmed the club has already secured summer deals for two players – thought to be Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie on free transfers – but has conceded defeat over Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappe, whose wage demands are too high.

The Catalans are also keen on Leeds winger Raphinha but would only be willing to pay around half of a supposed £67m asking price. A release clause in the Brazilian’s contact at a much lower number will only become active in the increasingly unlikely event that Leeds are relegated.

Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta has been described as a priority for Barcelona. He could be watfordfulham arsenal a third free agent to join them after Kessie and current teammate Christensen.

Inter could sell Lautaro Martinez in the summer if they get an offer of £58m, with Arsenal and Atletico Madrid said to be the club most interested in the Argentine.

Inter could make an approach for Paulo Dybala, who looks set to leave Juventus as a free agent, but would only be able to do it from a financial perspective if Martinez isn’t at San Siro next season. Atletico are also on the scene there and could be Dybala’s preferred choice.

Manchester United are set to open contract talks with Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw but not Edinson Cavani, who will leave Old Trafford at the end of the season.

Porto midfielder Otavio has been linked with Premier League trio Manchester United, Liverpool and Newcastle.

Newcastle are also being linked with Watford winger Ismaila Sarr, who is set to be available in the summer regardless of whether his club are still in the Premier League. The Senegalese star has been on Liverpool’s radar for a couple of years.

Having missed out on Fulham youngster Fabio Carvalho in January after running out of time before the transfer deadline, Liverpool are expected to secure a deal in summer instead.

Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe doesn’t appear to be ruling out a summer exit, admitting while on international duty it is frustrating not to be playing regularly and that a language barrier also makes it hard to communicate with manager Mikel Arteta.

Barcelona have joined Real Madrid in showing interest in Arsenal full-back Kieran Tierney.

Talks are continuing for Leeds over a potential summer deal for Red Bull Salzburg talent Brenden Aaronson, with the Austrian club having prior links with Jesse Marsch.


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