In a fast moving global situation the Premier League is still a few weeks away from resumption, but players and coaches are still working hard to stay at the top of their game.
Once the spread of coronavirus is under firm control there are plenty of matters to be settled on the pitch, and some to progress off it, as clubs start to formulate their squad plans for next season.
Rumours are coming thick and fast and we are already in April, but while Europe’s clubs are working furiously behind the scenes they will need more time than usual.
FIFA to flex the summer window
There’s a growing acceptance in the world of football that to complete the big league commitments by the 30th June is now a huge ask. So FIFA, the world governing body, has committed to allowing the summer transfer window to be moved. In terms of Premier League 2020 news this is a big deal because it means that player contracts will likely be extended until the season ends.
FIFA has looked at football employment agreements during the pandemic and ‘strongly encourages clubs and players to work together to find agreements and solutions’. Moving Euro 2020 to 2021 was the first step in the strategy to enable the European leagues to complete their commitments and this latest announcement gives more flexibility and player peace of mind.
London Calling for Donnarumma
This move could well have increased Chelsea’s hopes of signing exciting young AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma as FIFA’s announcement could lead to a buyers market. And Blues head coach Frank Lampard would love to land the Rossoneri’s stopper having struggled to find any real consistency in current number one Kepa Arrizabalaga, after his world-record transfer from Athletic Bilbao.
Another Serie A goal-keeper is on the radar of several Premier League clubs. 29-year-old Marco Silvestri has been in brilliant form for Hellas Verona to help his club to eighth place in the Italian league, and both Everton and Southampton are said to be interested.
While AC Milan may be losing a keeper the Rossoneri have their eyes on an attacking midfielder and are reported to be lining up a new £35m offer for Arsenal star Lucas Torreira. The Uruguayan struggled to impress under former boss Unai Emery but has looked much better since the arrival of Mikel Arteta, and he is one of Milan’s main summer targets.
Bundesliga comings and goings
German champions FC Bayern have been pursuing Manchester City’s winger Leroy Sane for a year now, and they are due to rekindle their interest at the end of this season, despite the Sky Blue man’s injury which has kept him out for the whole of the campaign. Bayern legend Lothar Matthaus has weighed in, saying he would prefer his former club to go for Leipzig’s red hot striker Timo Werner.
In any case, the Sky Blues might be keener to offload wing-back Kyle Walker, who has been caught out having a party when the rest of the sane world was observing the life saving social distancing policy. The Premier League 2020 betting odds have written off any chance of the Sky Blues retaining their league title, but they still need to maintain that aura of super-professionalism in readiness for the 2020/21 season. Walker has some explaining to do.
Back to transfer whispers, Borussia Dortmund are preparing for the departure of England winger Jadon Sancho who is admired by both Liverpool and Manchester City and, should the 20-year old leave, BVB are running the rule over Valencia’s Ferran Torres as a possible replacement.
Sanchez to remain a Red Devil?
According to recent reports, out of favour Manchester United striker Alexis Sanchez will be happy to see out his two-year contract at Old Trafford and at £400k a week you can see why! The Chilean striker has been out on loan at Inter Milan this season but, without a truly top-class striker in his ranks, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer might be willing to invest time in Sanchez to see if he can rekindle the form of the ex-Arsenal man.
Meanwhile, the Red Devils have opened talks with Lazio over a potential deal for midfield ace Sergej Milinkovic-Savic as they see the 25-year old as a like-for-like replacement for Paul Pogba who looks likely to leave Old Trafford in the summer.
But we’ve been here before with Pogba.
So that’s it for now folks. But there will be plenty more rumours surfacing over the coming weeks, and here at SBOTOP, we’ll keep the news flowing as it happens.
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