Football transfer rumours: Chelsea to rival Barcelona in move for Neymar? | Transfer window

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Rejoice! The summer of transfers is about to truly begin. We’ve got one more sleep until July, when a whole host of player contracts expire and moves announced before Easter become official. Plenty of Premier League teams are also getting back on the grass with those money-spinning pre-season tours looming. We’re about halfway through the off-season, but some clubs have plenty of rebuilding still to do.

Let’s start at Tottenham, where Antonio Conte has donned his hard hat to go over some ambitious blueprints while Daniel Levy looks on fretfully. Tottenham are closing in on a £50m deal for Everton forward Richarlison, and reportedly want to keep the South American theme going with bids for Torino defender Gleison Bremer and Villarreal full-back Pervis Estupiñán. Conte wants to keep hold of Emerson Royal despite interest from Atlético Madrid, and might also throw in a loan move for Barça’s Clement Lenglet.

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The French centre-back is one of about a dozen players that Barcelona are trying to get off their books in order to pull off their own rebuild despite financial turmoil. Frenkie de Jong could be about to accept his fate and join Manchester United. Memphis Depay and Miralem Pjanic could also leave, while US flying full-back Sergino Dest is on the radars of Chelsea and Bayern. And despite it making no sense in their current predicament, rumours of a return for Neymar just won’t go away.

The Brazilian is reportedly surplus to requirements at Paris Saint-Germain, but Barça aren’t the only rebuilding club linked with him this morning. Chelsea could make a surprise move, with new owner Todd Boehly keen to sprinkle some stardust and Thiago Silva, one of the few defenders left at Stamford Bridge, reportedly in his compatriot’s ear about joining him. Quite what that would mean for the Blues’ pursuit of fellow jinksters Raheem Sterling and Raphinha, we don’t yet know.

London is the spiritual home of the clumsy, drawn-out rebuild so it’s no surprise that Arsenal are also undergoing renovations this summer. Mikel Arteta has had a good look at the foundations and doesn’t like what he sees, and he’s prepared to fork out £40m to bring Ajax centre-back Lisandro Martínez to the club. But what’s this? Erik ten Hag, who worked with the Argentinian in Amsterdam, wants to bring him to Manchester United.

The Old Trafford project is still half-finished, several years late and the best part of a billion pounds over budget. Perhaps Youri Tielemans, whose Leicester contract runs out next summer, is the final piece of the jigsaw that turns everything around. Or maybe it’s Jude Bellingham, wanted by United, Liverpool and Real Madrid but valued at over £100m by Dortmund, according to reports in Germany.

In other news, Nottingham Forest have reportedly offered £15m to Liverpool for Wales full-back Neco Williams, and hope to secure Dean Henderson on loan by the end of the week. Meanwhile, Brentford are prepared to pay £20m for Hull winger Keane Lewis-Potter – risking their reputation as perhaps the only club in London with a coherent transfer plan.



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