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LIVE Transfer Talk: Barcelona and Man United to battle for Ajax’s De Ligt

The transfer window for Europe’s biggest clubs is closed, but you can click here to review all the deals. Transfer Talk will continue to scour the world’s media and set correspondents loose to see what’s on the agenda for the summer.

Jump to: Insigne in demand | Rangers eye strikers | Bakayoko back to Chelsea

TOP STORY: Matthijs De Ligt to lead mass Ajax exodus?

It was another successful evening at the office for Ajax after they kept a clean sheet on Tuesday in a 1-0 victory against Tottenham in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals, and the Mirror is reporting all that success will lead to a huge exodus of players in the summer.

The outlet is linking centre-back Matthijs de Ligt with a move to Manchester United, despite interest from Liverpool, Juventus and Barcelona.

De Ligt’s agent, Mino Raiola, has reportedly said he would prefer his star move to United, and rumoured United sporting director Rio Ferdinand has suggested he would make the defender his first target should he get the job. However, De Ligt could be tempted with being reunited with Frenkie de Jong at Camp Nou.

Forward David Neres is being linked with Arsenal and Spurs, while Tuesday’s goal scorer Donny van de Beek is also in demand. Van de Beek, like teammate Hakim Ziyech, has been a target for many of Europe’s top clubs. Defender Nicolas Tagliafico is also reported to be a Gunners target.

LIVE BLOG

09.41 BST: Borussia Monchengladbach won’t allow Thorgan Hazard to leave the club on the cheap and have reportedly set the midfielder’s price at €40m.

The Belgium international, and brother of Chelsea star Eden, confirmed at the weekend that he has already reached an agreement with Borussia Dortmund and does not plan to enter into the final year of his contract.

However, the Gladbach’s sporting executive Max Eberl has told Sky that Dortmund  must “offer a transfer fee which honours Hazard’s worth as one of the outstanding attackers in Bundesliga and as a starter for one of the best national teams in the world.” Dortmund hope to get Hazard for €25m, but Gladbach will be holding out for almost double that.

09.16 BST: Superdeporte report that Atletico Madrid want to sign Valencia left-back Jose Luis Gaya this summer.

Diego Simeone’s side have been monitoring Gaya since November and he is reportedly one of the players they are looking to sign as a possible replacement for Brazilian left-back Filipe Luis, who is set to leave the club this summer. Gaya, 23, has a €40m release clause and has been tipped as one of the best young prospects in Spain.

08.34 BST: Borussia Dortmund right-back Achraf Hakimi says he is keen to return to Real Madrid as soon as possible.

The Morocco international has made 21 Bundesliga appearances since joining Borussia last summer on loan from Real Madrid until June 2020, though a right foot fracture has ended his season early.

“It would be a dream to return to Madrid as soon as possible,” the 20-year-old told Movistar. “I would lie if I said otherwise. We will see what happens. I’m a Madrid fan and even if I’m not there, I will always watch Madrid. It has been a very complicated season for them but Madrid has the capacity to bounce back. That is why it is the best club in the world. It’s just a rough patch that they will come out of.

“Now I’m more upbeat after digesting the blow of the injury. I feared that I might not be the player that I was before but little by little, that fear is disappearing and I’m looking to come back stronger. I think it was the right decision to come to Borussia. I think I’ve made the right choice to leave on loan in order to play because I’m young.”

08.00 BST: Arsenal’s recent defensive woes have inspired manager Unai Emery to spend big on a top defender in the summer, according to The Sun. The report claims that Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld, Leicester’s Harry Maguire and Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma are the biggest names linked with interest from the Emirates.

The Gunners have conceded three goals in each of their last three games — defeats to Crystal Palace, Wolves and Leicester that have seriously hampered their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.

Getafe’s Djene Dakonam is another player linked with the London club, with The Sun claiming that Emery will only have a budget of around £40m to spend this summer unless stars such as Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan can be offloaded.

PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd)

Insigne a wanted man

Striker Lorenzo Insigne is hot property, according to multiple reports on Calciomercato, which is reporting interest from AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool. These rumours are all a result of reports that the striker has fallen out with Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti.

The fallout with Ancelotti is believed to be the result of Insigne’s substitution in the defeat against Arsenal in the Europa League last week.

And AC Milan are considered favourites as a result of rumours linking the Rossoneri with current Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri, who is keen on taking Insigne with him to the San Siro.

Rangers target strike reinforcements

Watford striker Andre Gray is being linked with a loan move to Rangers in the summer, while Steven Gerrard is also looking to the Croatian league to add further firepower to his squad.

The Rangers boss is looking for attacking reinforcements ahead of his second season in Scotland and he sees Gray as the ideal man to fire Rangers above Celtic, reports the Herald.

Gray joined Watford two years ago for a club-record fee of around £18 million and has scored twice in his past two appearances, against Southampton and Wolves. He has scored nine goals in total in his second season at Vicarage Road and could yet feature in the FA Cup final against Manchester City.

The move comes as Gerrard looks to make a decision on the future of striker Alfredo Morelos, whose disciplinary problems have concerned the Rangers boss. Colombian Morelos signed a contract extension in March that ties him to the club until 2021, but Gerrard is looking to cash in on the striker.

Meanwhile, the Scotsman is reporting that Gerrard is also targeting Croatian striker Mirko Maric, who has scored 15 goals with NK Osijek in the Croatian 1. HNL.

Tap-ins

Tiemoue Bakayoko is reportedly set for a transfer U-turn and a return to Chelsea after suffering racist abuse in Italy, according to the Sun. The midfielder has spent the season on loan at San Siro and had previously been linked with a permanent move to Italy, but after being targeted by Lazio fans in the Coppa Italia semifinal, the 24-year-old is said to now want away. With a transfer ban hanging over them, Chelsea could be relieved to see their player return. 

– The Evening News says Man City are cooling on Leicester defender Ben Chilwell because they feel in-house options Benjamin Mendy and Oleksandr Zinchenko are suitable to stabilise Pep Guardiola’s back line next season.

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