Arsenal, Manchester City, and Chelsea are on high alert after Cristiano Ronaldo’s buyout clause at Real Madrid was reduced from €1bn to €120m.
Spain’s OK Diario has reported that the reduction, initially down to €400m and then €120m, was agreed between Real and Ronaldo earlier this year to facilitate a possible summer sale.
According to OK Diario, the massively reduced buyout clause does not apply to Barcelona or any other clubs in Spain, or Paris St Germain.
The report also says that since the reduction, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, and AC Milan have informed the superstar forward’s agent they would be ready to negotiate a deal in relation to the €120m figure.
Not for the first time, Ronaldo’s future in Spain is the subject of speculation following comments the 33-year-old made in the wake of the Champions League final last month.
The Portugal captain, preparing for tomorrow’s World Cup last-16 clash with Uruguay, admitted immediately after the 3-1 victory over Liverpool in Kiev that he could not guarantee he would still be at Real next season, adding that he would “have the opportunity to talk later on”.
While there has been no update from him since then on his future, there has been a change of management at Real, with Zinedine Zidane resigning and being replaced by Julen Lopetegui.
Meanwhile, Arsenal will complete the transfer of centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund next week.
The 30-year-old Greece international is expected to put the finishing touches to a deal reported to be worth around €20m.
New Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has already signed Swiss defender Stephan Lichtsteiner from Juventus on a free transfer, while goalkeeper Bernd Leno has joined from Bayer Leverkusen.
Uruguay midfielder Lucas Torreira, away on World Cup duty, is another likely recruit, with a potential £27m (€30.5m) deal reportedly being negotiated with Sampdoria.
Arsenal, who finished sixth in the Premier League last season, have also looked to secure some of the current squad on new deals, with midfielder Granit Xhaka and 20-year-old winger Ainsley Maitland-Niles having signed contract extensions.
There have also been recent changes behind the scenes as Emery finalised plans for his backroom staff, with Steve Bould set to continue as one of two assistant coaches but former number one Jens Lehmann leaving his goalkeeper coaching role.
Arsenal have yet to announce the shirt number of German goalkeeper Leno, but his arrival creates uncertainty over the future of veteran Petr Cech and David Ospina. Ospina said he will talk to the club about the situation when he returns from World Cup duty with Colombia.
Arsenal received positive news this week regarding defender Laurent Koscielny, who is recovering following surgery on a ruptured Achilles tendon which ruled him out of contention for France’s World Cup squad.
In a post on his Instagram page, a smiling Koscielny, carrying his crutches, said: “It’s good to walk again.”
Arsenal will play Emery’s former club Paris St Germain in Singapore as part of their pre-season schedule next month. The Gunners face Chelsea in Dublin on August 1 ahead of opening the new Premier League campaign at home against champions Manchester City.