Wednesday's Paper Talk: Football transfer news, rumours and gossip including Havertz, Messi, Plea and Neymar

Football gossip and transfer rumours from the back pages

Three Premier League clubs are preparing to battle it out for a German star, while Neymar looks set to stay in France. It's a bumper Paper Talk.


  • Kai Havertz is the target for Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool - with Bayer Leverkusen preparing to cash in on Germany's best young player this summer.
  • Barcelona are putting all of their squad except Lionel Messi, Frenkie De Jong and Marc-Andre ter Stegen up for sale to prevent financial meltdown.
  • PSV Eindhoven youngster Wouter Verstraaten has snubbed a move to Sunderland for non-league South Shields.
  • Arsenal are favourites to land Feyenoord starlet Orkun Kokcu as replacement for Mesut Ozil this summer, beating Chelsea to the punch.
  • Manchester United are reportedly lining up a swoop for Borussia Monchengladbach star Alassane Plea.
  • Willy Caballero has been given another year at Chelsea after the club triggered an extension clause in his contract.
  • Barcelona target Neymar will not be leaving Paris Saint-Germain this summer.
  • Barcelona reportedly turned their attention to signing Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez after being knocked back by Tottenham in their approach for Harry Kane.
Kai Havertz scores for Bayer Leverkusen against SV Werder Bremen


  • Formula One have upped the battle to save the British Grand Prix by telling Boris Johnson that if it is cancelled the race will go to Germany.
  • The company overseeing testing of Premier League players for coronavirus have sought to assuage concerns after it was revealed their results are not 100 per cent reliable.
  • UEFA is considering cutting the number of teams at next year's Under 21 European Championship so it can shoehorn the tournament into a congested summer.
  • Danny Rose believes Premier League players are being treated as lab rats as they gear up for a return during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Paul Lambert says it is a 'disgrace' that the EFL has not yet made a decision on the fate of the current season.
  • Gloucester and Wasps are among a host of Premiership clubs who have informed players that their pay cuts will continue for the 'foreseeable future', prompting fears of an exodus from the league.


  • Manchester United and Chelsea have been offered some hope in the transfer race for Jadon Sancho, after a Borussia Dortmund chief admitted the expectation of high transfer fees is likely to diminish over the course of the summer.
  • Manchester City are tracking Fulham teenager Cody Drameh with the Premier League champions eyeing the 18-year-old right-back as one for the future.
  • Manchester United have reportedly joined Liverpool and Manchester City in the race to sign Wolves winger Adama Traore - and Bayern Munich are also interested.
  • Arsenal could sign Justin Kluivert from Roma in a swap deal that would see Henrikh Mkhitaryan go the other way, according to a report from Italy.
  • Arsenal have reportedly made contact with the agent of Moussa Diaby over a potential transfer.

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  • Crystal Palace are ready to rival Tottenham in the chase for Ryan Fraser with boss Roy Hodgson desperate to bring the Bournemouth winger to Selhurst Park on a free transfer.
  • Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has made AC Milan star Ismael Bennacer a summer transfer target as the Spaniard looks to find an immediate replacement for the outgoing David Silva.
  • Manchester United are prepared to allow Alexis Sanchez, Dean Henderson and Chris Smalling extend their loan spells for the remainder of the 2019/20 season if leagues can resume.
  • Antonio Conte wants to make a double swoop on former club Chelsea in the summer for Victor Moses and Emerson Palmieri.


  • Squad salary caps of £2.5m for League One and £1.25m for League Two are being proposed by the English Football League - with automatic points deductions for clubs who fail to pay their players on time.
  • Supporters could be forced to wear face masks to watch England play at Twickenham this autumn if crowds are permitted to attend by the Government.
  • The Women's Super League season is moving closer towards cancellation but there is still no decision on how the final placings will be resolved.
  • England Cricket's return to training has been put on hold due to complications over obtaining PPE and clearance to take county staff off furlough.
  • Umpires around the world will stop taking players' jumpers and caps when cricket resumes.
  • British No 1 Johanna Konta has called for full equality in any united body that attempted to combine the Association of Tennis Professionals and Women's Tennis Association tours.

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  • Cash strapped Premiership clubs have been scrambling to unlock more than £7m worth of emergency prize money from the SPFL over the past 48 hours - after Hearts made no attempt to put a legal freeze on the payments.


  • Neil Lennon says Celtic will not be encouraging any bids for their top stars including Odsonne Edouard.

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