The latest edition of Fabrizio Romano’s exclusive CaughtOffside column, with the latest transfer news involving big names like Darwin Nunez, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Ousmane Dembele, and more.
Darwin Nunez 100% leaving Benfica – here’s where Man Utd and Arsenal stand…
Darwin Nunez will leave Benfica at 100% this summer. He has already communicated this to the club for months, there is no doubt. He’s had an outstanding season, scoring, scoring 34 goals in 41 appearances in all competitions, and a big move is now on his agenda.
Where could he end up? Manchester United have certainly discussed his name internally as early as March with Ralf Rangnick, but there is no official offer – it is certainly not yet the case to say that the club is “closing in” on Darwin, as others have said. We’ll see what happens with him in the next few weeks.
Arsenal wanted him in January for sure, West Ham had offered €45million on Deadline Day but Benfica refused as they wanted €55m… and now it could be closer to a €70/80m fee.
Now for both clubs the race has become very complicated – his agent has changed and the new one is close to Jorge Mendes; In addition, Darwin would like to play the Champions League, while Arsenal are oriented on Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus as a priority for the striker position.
No offers for Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, but United have been keeping an eye on him…
Lazio have not received any offers for Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. In Italy, there have been rumours for years about Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain but no offers have ever arrived from these two clubs.
PSG chief Leonardo has been an admirer of Sergej for many years, while Manchester United have sent their scouts to follow him several times again this year but so far there are no negotiations underway. Lazio would like at least €70/75m for Milinkovic-Savic.
It could be a really interesting deal as Milinkovic is one of the most underrated players in the world, in my opinion. He has double figures for goals and assists in Serie A this season, and you can see how he could be ideal to replace Paul Pogba at United, for example.
The latest on Bukayo Saka and that new Arsenal contract…
Arsenal have suffered a huge setback in their bid to land in the top four, but I have more reassuring news for you here, Gunners fans.
Arsenal have a scheduled meeting with Bukayo Saka’s agent at the end of the current season. There will be a direct discussion because the club is preparing the proposal for the extension of the contract, and from the player there has always been a positive feeling.
At the moment there are no changes related to the situation for the Champions League spot race: Saka is in love with Arsenal, but obviously the negotiations are still at early stages. As of today, Saka is not yet negotiating with other clubs, even if you may have heard murmurings about interest from Manchester City and Liverpool.
Andreas Christensen is heading for Barcelona – here are the other clubs he turned down…
Chelsea fans can be forgiven for wanting answers about one surprising saga, but the reasons for Andreas Christensen’s exclusion from the FA Cup final are described as “private and confidential”, no one intends to discuss them in the club or player’s camp.
As for the player’s future, his agreement with Barcelona can now be considered complete: there are signatures on a pre-agreement that will become official only when Barca have made room in their salary budget, but Christensen has given his word to the club of president Joan Laporta and will play for Barca from next year.
Chelsea have tried in every way to extend his contract but there was no chance after an agreement really close to the end of August 2021. I can reveal that Bayern Munich had tried to reach an agreement but also in secret Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund were in talks with his agent… but at the end of the day, Christensen’s choice was to try a new experience at Barcelona.
Chelsea target Ousmane Dembele is perfect for the Premier League, but could he still stay at Barcelona?
There will already be a new direct contact between Ousmane Dembele’s agents and Barcelona in the coming days to understand if he will renew his contract or if he will leave as a free agent. Barca have made their proposal for weeks but the problem is of a financial nature: Dembele is happy at Barcelona, he has an excellent relationship with Xavi but the offer is not good enough yet to receive the green light.
Chelsea and PSG have been informed about Ousmane since January, there have always been contacts with his agents but Chelsea cannot proceed in the final stages of negotiations for the owners issues at least for a few more days.
My opinion is that Ousmane would be perfect for the Premier League: English football could be the place where his quality, his skills and his speed can be even more decisive than in other leagues. But I think Xavi is the right manager for his ultimate growth.
Chelsea have problems in attack, and you can see why Thomas Tuchel might be interested in Dembele, but for now there is nothing advanced. If you ask me, I hope an agreement can be reached at Barcelona as I feel Xavi has been good for him. Let’s see.