Transfer news: Estevao to Chelsea, Conor Gallagher latest, Man United CB targets, & more

Transfer news: Estevao to Chelsea, Conor Gallagher latest, Man United CB targets, & more

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A deal has been verbally agreed between Palmeiras and Chelsea for Estevao Willian. You may remember two weeks ago I reported that Chelsea had agreed personal terms with Estevao, and despite rumours about Bayern and other clubs, no other club entered the race because Chelsea were in control – they had the green light from the player on the contract, the salary, the project.

Born in 2007, the left-footed winger is considered one of the best young talents in the world – he is expected to bring some spark and joy to European football. He’s really considered a huge, huge talent, and has also played alongside Endrick at Palmeiras, who will be joining Real Madrid this summer, but who was also a target for Chelsea, you may remember.

The deal between Chelsea and Palmeiras has been agreed after Chelsea sent a new proposal – it’s now €40m guaranteed plus €25m in add-ons. Chelsea will also take care of the taxes on the deal, while the bonuses are performance-related, so Palmeiras believe these will be quite easy to achieve if Estevao performs at a good level at Chelsea. It’s not just about trophies like the Premier League and Champions League, but about how many games he will play, plus goals, assists and this kind of thing. The bonuses are agreed and Palmeiras believe they will get that money in the future, so the agreement is verbally done.

We’re just waiting for it to be signed now, so it’s not quite a ‘here we go’ yet – the president of Palmeiras is expected to sign it all off soon, as at the moment it’s just an agreement with the board of Palmeiras. Still, it’s almost done after Chelsea’s mission in Brazil to watch this boy, and now they’re ready to close the deal. The plan now is for the player to move to Chelsea in 2025, and, from what I’m hearing, he’s not going to be going on loan to any other club – he will be considered immediately for the first-team. Chelsea believe he is super special and ready to make an impact.

Staying with Chelsea, there have been fresh rumours about Conor Gallagher’s future, with some talk that he could be used in a swap deal with Aston Villa for Jhon Duran.

My latest understanding is that there’s still no conversation between Chelsea and Gallagher over a new deal, so it’s up to the club to decide what they want to do. There’s interest from several clubs but I’m not hearing about anything being close or concrete now, the usual interest from many clubs, including Tottenham, is there, but there’s nothing new in terms of negotiations.

Lucas Paqueta to Manchester City could remain a story to watch, as some fans have been asking me again about links with the West Ham United midfielder.

I have no idea of the betting stuff and of the legal situation surrounding the player, but in terms of transfer market, Paqueta remains high on Man City’s list for the summer. The player would also be keen on the move and City keep considering him one of the perfect players for Pep Guardiola’s project.

But again, we have to see what happens with that issue before understanding Paqueta’s future.

Xavi has addressed speculation about his future, with so much back and forth over whether or not he’s going to be staying on as Barcelona manager.

This situation will be clear as soon as Xavi will speak to Joan Laporta. The president didn’t tell him or his agent anything, but after the next game there will be a direct talk and we will understand what happens.

For now, Xavi hasn’t been informed of anything, that’s why he keeps repeating that for him it’s all good – and he still hopes to be Barcelona manager for next season of course.

Many of you have been asking me about Roberto de Zerbi – it’s over between De Zerbi and Brighton, with the club releasing a statement to say goodbye to the Italian manager, whose final game will be today against Manchester United.

So, what next for De Zerbi? At the moment he has not agreed anything with any other club. We’ve heard rumours about De Zerbi and Bayern again, but my understanding is that this was a topic in April, when Max Eberl was really pushing to have De Zerbi, he was one of the candidates on their list, but then Bayern and De Zerbi, for different reasons, decided to leave the conversations. It was never close, and now De Zerbi is not going to Bayern.

Let’s see what happens with other jobs. De Zerbi will be waiting for an opportunity and he’s now available, but Bayern will have internal talks about who can be the best candidate for them now to replace Thomas Tuchel, whether they want to go for a young coach, or for a more credible option with a more experienced coach. A lot of people at the club appreciate Hansi Flick, but the internal talks are still ongoing.

De Zerbi, at the time of writing, is not in advanced talks with any club yet. He’s waiting for a new project, but he didn’t leave Brighton because he has another club lined up yet – this is not the case, despite what may have been reported elsewhere.

Nothing is decided yet on the future of Erik ten Hag – Manchester United want to wait until after the FA Cup final, and then United want to advance in internal talks to make a decision on Ten Hag as soon as possible. They want to plan for the new season, with their new board and people from INEOS, but of course the manager will also be crucial and essential to discuss for the future.

Man United want to involve their coach with their plans, but let’s see if it will be Ten Hag or not. It’s still very open, but we’ll see in the next weeks, after the FA Cup final, nothing is decided one side or the other just yet, with everything possible.

Obviously this is going to have an impact on the market – United will be super busy this summer as many players will be leaving and the club also plan for many new players to join. We know United are looking for a new centre-back, maybe two, and also for a new left-back – they are busy with several positions, perhaps also with a striker too as they have to decide if they want to go for a young striker or an experienced striker.

For sure, United will be busy and they will look to bring in as many new players as possible. Financial Fair Play will be an important factor, but also the manager will be involved in these conversations – it doesn’t mean the manager will decide the players, but he will be in regular contact with the board, so the club want the manager, whether it’s Ten Hag or a replacement, to be decided as soon as possible because they really want to start planning for the summer transfer window and advancing in some conversations

Nothing is close now for United, despite rumours. There are things to clarify internally before moving forward with new signings. I keep mentioning Gleison Bremer, Jean-Clair Todibo, Jarrad Branthwaite, and Antonio Silva among the centre-backs they like but it’s really open still, no decision has been made.

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