LIVE Transfer Talk: Cristiano Ronaldo may make Real Madrid return this summer

play
Hutchison: Where would Manchester United be without Ronaldo (1:29)

Don Hutchison breaks down Cristiano Ronaldo's season and the lack of effort from players around him. (1:29)

The summer transfer window is approaching, and there's plenty of gossip swirling about who's moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings and goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Real weighing Ronaldo return

Real Madrid are plotting a move to sign Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer, reveals The Mirror.

The 37-year-old striker has recently been linked with an exit from Old Trafford with Erik ten Hag planning a squad rebuild, and with Manchester United looking unlikely to qualify for the Champions League, they could now be set to lose Ronaldo despite his contract running until 2023.

The former Los Blancos star has remained in impressive form this season with 23 goals from 35 appearances, and it is reported that it hasn't gone unnoticed by the Santiago Bernabeu hierarchy. Ronaldo has caught the attention of club officials who are now looking to set up a LaLiga return for the Portugal international, who made the same move back in June 2009 for a then world-record fee of £80 million.

Carlo Ancelotti's side were crowned champions on Saturday as Real Madrid secured the LaLiga title after a comfortable 4-0 victory over Espanyol, and it looks as though they are already making preparations to retain the crown next season.

- Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+
- Don't have ESPN? Get instant access

LIVE BLOG

22.30 BST: Will Ousmane Dembele stay at Barcelona or will PSG ultimately swoop in?

According to Sport, the Frenchman has offers on the table for both clubs, although the PSG one is more lucrative than the deal from his current side.

The French champions are offering €17 million euros a year (plus a sign-on bonus) but Dembele is keen to stay at Camp Nou as he is found fine form under Xavi Hernandez.

21.30 BST: Lille's Renato Sanches and AC Milan are staying in touch over a possible transfer, according to Calciomercato.

The Portugal man and ex-Bayern player helped Lille to the Ligue 1 title last season, although this term Les Dogues have struggled. But that hasn't deterred the San Siro club to prepare a bid for Sanches.

The report states that a €5 million-per-season salary has been discussed, should a transfer fee be agreed upon.

20.30 BST: Liverpool appear to have the inside track on Leeds United to sign Aberdeen defender Cal Ramsey, according to the Sun.

The 18-year-old right-back has a £3m transfer fee with both teams eyeing the Scottish League's young player of the season.

Liverpool see Ramsey in the mold of Trent Alexander-Arnold, but Leeds are also scouting the young prospect.

19.30 BST: Despite their precarious standing at Manchester United, both Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard will given their chance to prove their worth by incoming manager Erik ten Hag.

According to the Sun, the two players will be given a shot to boost their World Cup squad hopes with Ten Hag taking over at Old Trafford at the ending of the season.

Rashford, 24, has struggled this season under interim manager Ralf Rangnick, scoring just five goals in 32 appearances.

As for Lingard, he has barely featured under Rangnick after falling out of favour while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was in charge. Lingard, who can leave on a free this summer, shined while on loan at West Ham in 2021 (nine goals in 16 appearances) and has been linked with Newcastle.

18.30 BST: Southampton star James Ward-Prowse has been on the list on Premier League rivals such as Newcastle, Arsenal and Tottenham but the Daily Star reports that Manchester City and Manchester United are on trail for the 27-year-old playmaker.

City manager Pep Guardiola is a big admirer of Ward-Prowse's set-piece talents, with the England star behind David Beckham in all-time league free kicks scored.

As such, signing away from St. Mary's could cost up to £60 million.

17.04 BST: Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez says Frenkie de Jong remains a key part of his long-term plans despite reports linking the midfielder with a summer move away from Camp Nou.

Manchester United have been strongly credited with an interest in De Jong following the appointment of Erik ten Hag, his former boss at Ajax, while Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Manchester City have also been linked. However, Xavi insists the Dutch international's future lies at Barcelona, although he called on him to be more consistent moving forward.

"He has to be a player that makes the difference and he does," Xavi said in a news conference ahead of Sunday's game against Mallorca (stream LIVE at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN+ in the U.S.).

"There aren't many players with his quality in the world. He's the present and the future [at Barca]. He is a very important player for me. He's capable, strong, he gets into the box... He has had some excellent games, but he has to be consistent."

De Jong, 24, has completed 90 minutes just twice in Barca's last 10 games and was visibly annoyed to be taken off after an hour of last weekend's defeat to Rayo Vallecano, further fuelling rumours of a summer departure.

"We had a face-to-face chat this week and it went well," Xavi said. "Obviously being taken off is frustrating for him, but I have to look out for the team."

Sources have told ESPN that while the player is disappointed to be taken off so regularly, with competition for places in Barca's midfield fierce before recent injuries to Pedri and Nico Gonzalez, his desire is to stay at Barca. Despite enjoying a run to the Champions League semifinal under Ten Hag at Ajax, the coach's move to United, the same sources add, is not something that would necessarily enhance the Premier League side's chances of landing De Jong.

16.18 GMT: Four Premier League clubs are among a host of top European sides to have made contact with Paulo Dybala's representatives over a potential free transfer this summer, sources told ESPN's James Olley. Arsenal, Manchester United and Newcastle have all asked to be kept informed of the situation while Tottenham made contact some time ago through the club's managing director of football, Fabio Paratici.

The 28-year-old striker is expected to leave Juventus when his existing contract expires at the end of the season after talks broke down over an extension. ESPN has also been informed that unnamed clubs in Italy and Spain have sounded out Dybala's camp with the player expected to assess his options in the coming weeks as the prospect of staying at Juventus looks increasingly unlikely.

Juventus were thought to have offered Dybala a new deal worth around £160,000-a-week after tax but then sought to change the terms following the January arrival of Dusan Vlahovic from Fiorentina. Sources insisted there are as yet no advanced talks between any club and Dybala. Arsenal are in the market for at least one striker this summer with Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus also under consideration.

United are expected to revamp their forward line under incoming manager Ten Hag, while Newcastle are seeking a marquee summer signing to help launch their new era under Saudi-led ownership after avoiding relegation this term.

Spurs head coach Antonio Conte is keen to overhaul his squad this summer with Dybala identified as a possible target. Tottenham held talks to sign Dybala in August 2019 when Mauricio Pochettino was in charge but failed to agree terms.

- Notebook: The inside stories from around the world

15.32 BST: Real Madrid may have become champions of LaLiga off the back of the hugely prolific partnership between Karim Benzema and Vinicius Jr., but they are likely to still try to sign Kylian Mbappe this summer.

play
1:37

Zabaleta: Real Madrid still need Mbappe despite LaLiga win

Pablo Zabaleta feels Kylian Mbappe's pace would still be a vital addition to Real Madrid's title-winning squad.

14.43 BST: United States defender Sergino Dest has managed to turn his situation around at Barcelona and is now likely to stay at the club beyond the summer, sources confirmed to ESPN's Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens.

Barca were open to offers for Dest during the January transfer window following the signing of Dani Alves, with coach Xavi Hernandez unconvinced by the former Ajax right-back at first. However, Dest, who always wanted to stay at Barca, has managed to change Xavi's mind through working hard in training and performing when being given a chance.

Dest, 21, has made 13 appearances since the January window closed and had begun to re-establish himself as the first choice right-back before sustaining a hamstring injury in March. He returned briefly earlier this month but another hamstring injury -- this time in the other leg -- has sidelined him for around six weeks, ruling him out of Barca's final five games of the season.

Due to their financial situation, Barca remain open to offers for most of their squad if the money is right, but sources told ESPN that Dest has been informed he remains part of their long-term plans as planning for the new campaign gets underway.

- LaLiga on ESPN+: Stream LIVE games and replays (U.S. only)

13.56 BST: Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola will sign a contract extension at the club this summer, according to the Daily Mirror.

Guardiola's brother and agent, Pere, is already in talks with the reigning Premier League champions and current league leaders about extending his deal to 2025. As things stand, the 51-year-old is out of contract at the end of next season.

Since arriving at City in 2016 Guardiola has won 10 trophies, including three Premier League titles, and he reached the Champions League final last season only to lose to Chelsea in Porto. The Mirror reports that, even if City go one better in Europe this term by lifting the trophy, Guardiola will still wish to continue working at the club for the next three years.

13.03 BST: Mauricio Pochettino has not yet been told by PSG he is being sacked at the end of the season, sources told ESPN's Julien Laurens, but the expectation is he will leave this summer.

Sources added that Pochettino's days in Paris are numbered and discussions over his exit have taken place recently. Zinedine Zidane is the club's No. 1 choice to replace Pochettino while Tottenham manager Antonio Conte is also said to be keen on the job.

Pochettino has led PSG to be crowned Ligue 1 champions for the 10th time in their history, but the former Spurs boss is likely to pay the price for an underwhelming season in the French capital. PSG may have won the league at a canter but their humiliating exit at the hands of Real Madrid in the Champions League weakened Pochettino's position at the club.

Pochettino was defiant at his prematch news conference on Thursday, claiming it was "100%" that he would remain manager next season, but the reality is that PSG will pay around €15m in compensation to remove him and his technical staff.

- Notebook: The inside stories from around the world

12.18 BST: Chelsea fear that they could lose midfielder Mason Mount to one of their major Premier League rivals as they are unable to offer him a new contract, The Sun reports.

Mount, 23, has two more years left to run on the deal he signed in 2019, before he became one of the club's most important first-team players.

Chelsea are one of the assets of club owner Roman Abramovich that have been frozen by the UK Government as part of the sanctions against him for his alleged ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin. As such, they are unable to negotiate new or improved contracts with any of the players in their squad until the club has a new owner.

That, according to The Sun, has opened the door for Manchester City and Liverpool to swoop for Mount, who is reportedly one of the lowest-paid members of the Chelsea first-team squad on £70,000 a week.

- Sources: Dodgers' part-owner Boehly in lead to buy Chelsea

11.25 BST: Manchester United would have beaten Borussia Dortmund to the signing of Erling Haaland if the German club had not inserted a release clause into the transfer, Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has claimed.

Haaland has scored 61 goals in 65 Bundesliga appearances since joining Dortmund from Salzburg in January 2020, and has become one of the most sought-after players in world football.

The 21-year-old has been linked with a number of Europe's top clubs, but recent reports suggest that Manchester City, rather than United, is his most likely destination.

"We gave Erling Haaland a release clause... otherwise he would have gone to Manchester United," Watzke told 10:09 Talk.

Haaland is set to announce a decision over his future soon, with a move to City likely if they trigger the €75m release clause in his contract.

"He has a decision to make, it will come eventually," Watzke added. "But I'm sure we'll find the new Haaland. We need the new Haaland."

- Dortmund 3-4 Bochum: Stream the replay on ESPN+ (U.S.)

10.39 BST: West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice says he is not letting the constant transfer speculation surrounding his future affect him.

Rice is regularly linked with interest from Manchester City, Manchester United and his boyhood club Chelsea, but Hammers boss David Moyes has said on a regular basis that the England international is not available for transfer.

Rice told Sky ahead of Sunday's Premier League clash with London rivals Arsenal: "I feel like playing well comes with speculation. I've had two or three top seasons with West Ham and the top clubs around the country are always going to be watching. It's not just me, it's the same for every player.

"I think it's important not to get too carried away with that. We've had a good season with West Ham and there have been big games I've had to play in so I feel like my focus has always been on that. If I thought about other things, I'd get carried away and that wouldn't be fair on the team or the manager.

"I can't help speculation, even with the numbers that get talked about. I get battered for it all the time on social media, but I can't help that. I can help by going on the pitch and performing as best as I can.

"They [West Ham teammates] wind me up all the time. It's crazy to speak about to be honest, so I just kind of block it out and do what I do best and that's play football."

09.52 BST: Gareth Bale was absent from Real Madrid's LaLiga title celebrations on Saturday, blaming a "bad back spasm" for his failure to attend their decisive 4-0 win over Espanyol at the Santiago Bernabeu (stream the replay on ESPN+ in the U.S.).

Bale, whose Real Madrid contract expires in June, was left out of the matchday squad. Unlike other first-team players who were not involved -- such as the injured David Alaba, Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic and the suspended Eder Militao and Nacho Fernandez -- the Wales forward did not attend the game.

He was not present as club captains Marcelo and Benzema were handed the LaLiga trophy, before celebrating with the squad and coaching staff on the Bernabeu pitch. The team then took an open-top bus to the Cibeles fountain in the centre of the city where Madrid traditionally celebrate trophy wins.

"So disappointed that I'm not able to be part of the celebrations this evening due to a bad back spasm but really proud of the team for winning the title! Enjoy tonight boys!" Bale, 32, tweeted later on Saturday evening, when the festivities were drawing to a close.

- Ancelotti becomes first coach to win all of Europe's top five leagues

09.00 BST: Wolves are preparing for life after Ruben Neves as they have sounded out agents and contacts over replacements for the midfielder, sources told ESPN's Tom Hamilton and Rob Dawson.

Clubs have sent out wanted lists to top agents, and Wolves' list includes a replacement for their 25-year-old midfielder. Manchester United have been offered the option to bid for Neves, according to ESPN sources, but there is firm interest from clubs in LaLiga and others in the Premier League as well.

Wolves are also in the running for a forward this summer, but finding someone to step into the sizeable shoes of Neves is top of their list. ESPN sources say there is desire on both Neves and agent Jorge Mendes' part to move the player this summer.

Neves had been linked with moves to Barcelona and Arsenal, but has stayed put this season under Bruno Lage. He has made 28 appearances in the Premier League, contributing four goals and two assists.

He has been sidelined since mid-March with a knee injury, and is contracted to Wolves through to 2024.

PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)

- Napoli will demand a fee of £85m this summer if they are to agree to part ways with sought-after striker Victor Osimhen, according to Ekrem Konur. The 23-year-old has caught the attention of clubs across Europe this season with his form that has produced 17 goals in 29 games, and there looks to be a competition for his signature with many weighing up moves for new forward options.

- Ten Hag wants to make Tyrell Malacia his first signing in the summer, reports The Mirror. The Ajax Amsterdam coach is making switch to Manchester United at the end of the season, and having already scouted the 22-year-old Feyenoord left-back, it looks as though he will look to tempt him to the Premier League. It is reported that a fee of £20m will be required to secure his services.

- Benfica are looking to sign 25-year-old winger David Neres, reveals Nicolo Schira. Neres is reported to be keen to join the Liga NOS side having moved to Shakhtar Donetsk in January before the season was disrupted by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. He had previously made just five starts for Ajax before the turn of the new year, scoring four times from another 16 appearances off the bench.

- Barcelona are looking to take advantage of Kenan Yildiz's contract situation, reports Mundo Deportivo. The 16-year-old midfielder will be out of contract with Bayern Munich in the summer, and despite the Bundesliga club wanting to sign him to a new deal, it now looks as though the Blaugrana will look to secure him on a free transfer when his deal expires.

- AC Milan are closing in on a move for Renato Sanches, writes Calciomercato. The Serie A team have been in negotiations with Lille over a deal for the 24-year-old midfielder since January, having made a late attempt to sign him during the winter transfer window. After initial progress slowed with regards to personal terms, it is now reported that the Portugal international wants to make the switch to the San Siro and will accept a lower salary than his representatives requested in January.