Transfer Gossip: Mbappe demands release clause, Arsenal eye Icardi

Football may be on hiatus, but that’s not dampening the never-ending nature of transfer talk. Here’s a look at the wild rumors making the rounds this week.

Mbappe demands release clause

Kylian Mbappe is locked into negotiations over a contract renewal with Paris Saint-Germain, but the Frenchman is already looking ahead to his next destination.

The 21-year-old superstar wants to insert a release clause into his new deal to facilitate an eventual move to Real Madrid, according to Marca. Whether that helps or hurts the Spanish club remains to be seen, as PSG would surely insist on a mammoth figure to ensure that if Mbappe does leave down the line, they’ll receive a world-record fee.

Coutinho and Koulibaly to … Newcastle?


With Newcastle on the verge of being sold to a consortium that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund leads, stories linking the Magpies with big-money transfers were inevitable.

In the standout rumors, Newcastle are splashing a combined £140 million on Philippe Coutinho and Kalidou Koulibaly, according to Mundo Deportivo and Sky Sports, respectively. Swing for the fences, kids.

Battle royal for Chiesa

Everybody wants a piece of Fiorentina forward Federico Chiesa. Juventus and Inter Milan have long been admirers of the 22-year-old, but they’re now getting competition from abroad, with Manchester United and Chelsea sniffing around, according to the Daily Star.

The Italian won’t come cheap, as Fiorentina have slapped a £60-million price tag on their prized young asset.

Pjanic agrees to join Barcelona

Daniele Badolato – Juventus FC / Juventus FC / Getty

Miralem Pjanic is apparently ready to swap the Bianconeri for the Blaugrana. The 30-year-old Juventus midfielder has agreed to personal terms with Barcelona, Gazzetta dello Sport reports.

However, the current economic climate is complicating matters. Instead of a traditional transfer, the two clubs are trying to work out a suitable swap deal. The Italian club wants Arthur in return, but Barca are trying to offload others instead.

Arsenal in a financial pickle

Arsenal spent a club-record £72 million to sign Nicolas Pepe from Lille in a deal both teams agreed would be paid in installments. The Gunners now need to jettison up to six players to fund the next portion of that payment, according to The Sun.

That’s not stopping their hunt for reinforcements, though, as Arsenal are apparently looking at ways to bring Mauro Icardi aboard should he leave PSG after his loan spell. Everyone needs to get their stories straight.

The Pogba saga continues

Michael Regan / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Another day, another Paul Pogba transfer rumor. Italian outlet Tuttosport reports that Real Madrid have ended their pursuit of the French midfielder due to the high fee involved, adding that the door is now open for Juventus to pounce.

Juve are only likely to sanction a swap deal for similar monetary reasons, and the Express suggests that Manchester United are keen to bring Aaron Ramsey back to the Premier League as part of any potential trade.

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