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Transfer Watch: What is FC Barcelona even doing?; PSG buy Hugo Ekitike (Updated)

Bayern find themselves in a holding pattern.

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César Azplicueta steps on the ball to control for Spain in UEFA Nations League action against Switzerland on June 9, 2022
Oh, look, another player Barça maybe can’t register.
Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

We’re heading into the final day of what had promised to be a decisive week for Bayern Munich’s transfer window activity, and the German Rekordmeister still finds itself waiting to see where other chips land. So let’s take a look around the block — today featuring La Liga’s FC Barcelona and Ligue 1’s Paris Saint-German, with a guest appearance by the English Premier League’s Newcastle United.

Barcelona are busy these days. They’ve signed some players they once again can’t register without pulling some unsavory maneuvers, which apparently includes forcing out a 25-year-old midfield superstar who doesn’t want to leave. They’ve also got deferred veteran wages, like those of center-back Gerard Piqué, looming over their heads like the Sword of Damocles. Plus, they’re still scrounging up Monopoly money to fork over for Robert Lewandowski.

Surely that means a pause? Of course not: they’re finally closing in on Chelsea FC RB/CB César Azplicueta.

Flying by the seat of their pants, it sure seems. This can’t be increasing Bayern’s confidence in the Catalan club’s ability to pay up for Lewy.

(Let’s hope a De Ligt purchase wouldn’t really depend on a Lewandowski sale.)

Meanwhile, another potential Lewandowski suitor might be moving on. Per Fabrizio Romano, Paris Saint-German are now scoping out Benfica’s Gonçalo Ramos:

That would be some summer for Benfica’s attack, after the Portuguese side also lost Darwin Núñez to Liverpool.

PSG’s prior strike target, Gianluca Scamacca, was a feature last month in the BFW striker shopping list. At 24, €50m certainly looks over the odds, and with a contract to 2026, he could also just stay in Serie A. In either case, probably out of Bayern’s range — and it looks like he might end up at West Ham (per Transfermarkt).

So if not PSG or Barça, would that leave Lewy for Chelsea? Head coach Thomas Tuchel has ruled out Cristiano Ronaldo (per The Athletic), after all. I’d be intrigued to see this, as he could be the cure to their blues. But the player would have some coming around to do.

Low-key intriguing in all this? Hugo Ekitike. Previously rumored for Bayern, the Stade de Reims starlet is also on PSG’s list, but his future is open despite agreed terms. Newcastle are out on him as well due to reported club and agent demands. Personally, I can’t help wondering if the youngster is eyeing certain other vacancies as he waits to settle his future. An under-the-radar name to monitor in case Bayern’s other options start to fall through.

Though let’s hope they don’t.

UPDATE (7/15, 1pm EST): Well, that was fast. Looks like PSG have snapped up Ekitike after all, so down one Ligue 1 youngster on the market it is.

ICYMI: Finally, a quick round-up of some of our other transfer-related items today:

  • Serge Gnabry is nearing contract agreement with Bayern, with possible implications for investment in the forward line.
  • Talented youth prospect and new USMNT call-up Malik Tillman might get a loan move — terrific news, as earlier links were for a permanent transfer.
  • Risky business: Ryan Gravenberch’s Bayern move nearly fell apart due to a squabble over just €1m.

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