The summer transfer window was unlike any other; see all the major deals and check out how we graded the biggest signings. And just because the window is shut until January, that doesn’t mean the rumours won’t keep coming.- Here is the latest gossip and speculation.
TOP STORY: Sterling open to Barcelona switch
The LaLiga club reportedly attempted to sign the 26-year-old in the summer with a late loan offer. But while the attempt broke down in the final week, there is confidence they can secure a deal in the winter as the club have kept in dialogue with Sterling’s camp.
The winger earns high wages at City, but the Catalan club are willing to pay them as they navigates through financial turmoil.
Sterling reportedly wants to a move away from the Etihad in the search of more regular first team football. The England international has seen his influence and minutes wane at the club over the past year, with the £100 million signing of Jack Grealish emphasising the strength in depth the club have in wide areas.
Barcelona have struggled to score goals, not helped by the injury of new arrival Sergio Aguero, and have only managed 11 this season, compared to frontrunners Real Madrid who have scored double that. With Barca in ninth place in the LaLiga table, an addition or two in January could help them compete again.
Milan have been put off by the Argentine’s €25m release clause in the past and now are set to face competition from the likes of cross-city rivals Inter, as well as Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla, Ajax, Tottenham and Bayer Leverkusen.
18.44 BST: In news affecting the Turin clubs in Serie A, Juventus are set to finalise new deals for Paulo Dybala and Juan Cuadrado until 2025 and 2023 respectively, reports Fabrizio Romano.
Meanwhile, it looks as if Andrea Belotti‘s time at Torino could soon end; Calciomercato states the striker could join Fiorentina as a free-agent replacement for Vlahovic’s replacement, although Milan are also interested.
18.15 BST: You know that old expression, ‘mum knows best’? Well, Kylian Mbappe‘s mother has had her say on what the PSG star will do after this season.
Fayza Lamari told Le Parisien that her son is in talks to sign a new deal with the French club, although stopped short of saying Mbappe’s future is certain to be in the French capital: “Will we reach a solution? One thing is clear. He is going to give everything until the end to win the Champions League.”
17.54 BST: Aware that Kylian Mbappe will be the talk of next summer, Fiorentina are willing to let Dusan Vlahovic leave in January after the Serbian striker turned down large contract offers from La Viola, reports La Gazzetta dello Sport.
The 21-year-old’s deal comes to an end in 2023 and Fiorentina value him at €90m. Vlahovic has been targeted by some of Europe’s biggest clubs, including Juventus, Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham.
17.07 BST: Talented teenager Fabio Carvalho is leaving Fulham concerned that he may not sign a contract extension, with his current deal running out at the end of this season.
The Daily Mail reports Real Madrid are among the clubs who have shown interest in the attacking midfielder, 19, with it being understood that Carvalho won’t consider signing an extension until he has switched agency in January.
16.28 BST: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would be reluctant to let Donny van de Beek leave Manchester United in January even if the midfielder’s prospects at Old Trafford do not improve, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.
Van de Beek has started two of United’s 10 games so far this season and has played just five minutes in the Premier League. The lack of playing time has cost the 24-year-old his place in Louis van Gaal’s latest Netherlands squad prompting further speculation the former Ajax man could look to move in the January transfer window after a proposed move to Everton collapsed on deadline day.
Sources said that Solskjaer is prepared for Van de Beek to push to leave in January if he continues to be overlooked, but the Norwegian manager is keen to keep his squad together for the entire season before making decisions on fringe players next summer.
15.31 BST: Is it time for Barcelona to get a new manager?
Ale Moreno saw nothing from Barcelona to suggest the players ever believed they could beat Atletico Madrid.
14.45 BST: Arsenal midfielder Martin Odegaard has explained why he’s happier in London that he was at Real Madrid.
Odegaard, 22, signed for the Gunners for €40m after a successful loan spell, having been at Madrid since he moved as a 16-year-old in 2015.
“There were some tough periods [in Madrid], but also a lot of good that I have experienced,” he told TV2. “Being so close to the best in the world is special. I have learned a lot from it. When you are at the highest level, it is not as easy to make friends and that kind of thing.
“At least not when you are young and come from somewhere else. It can be tough at times. But it has made me stronger and I am very happy and satisfied to have experienced it.
“It’s [Arsenal’s dressing room] quite large, I would say. I think it’s a bit like that in the biggest clubs. It gets a little more scattered and all that. I’m very happy where I am now, a very nice squad and a good bunch. It’s nice and easy to thrive.”
14.18 BST: Barcelona CEO Ferran Reverter says the club would have been dissolved in April if it was a Public Limited Company (PLC) after being taken to the brink of bankruptcy by the previous board.
Reverter branded former president Josep Maria Bartomeu’s running of the club as “disastrous,” accusing him and his directors of signing players they couldn’t afford, offering inflated wages and paying money to journalists.
Bartomeu resigned amid growing discontent among supporters last October and was eventually replaced by Joan Laporta in March following a delayed election process due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Laporta’s board has since carried out due diligence on the club’s accounts and Reverter revealed the full extent of the club’s financial woes in a news conference at Camp Nou on Wednesday.
“When we came in this March, we found a club that was technically bankrupt; if it was a PLC, [the club] would have been dissolved,” Reverter explained. “There was no cash flow and we had difficulties paying salaries. Debt and future liabilities amounted to €1.35bn and there was an urgent need for refinancing.”
Reverter hopes by next summer the club will be in a significantly stronger position in the transfer market.
“We’re not over the hill yet and we still need to reduce outgoings, but we can sign and renew [players],” he said optimistically. “The contract renewals of Pedri and Ansu Fati are on the right track and player exits [at the end of August] generated more than €20m per LaLiga’s Fair Play rules, so we can sign if we consider it necessary.”
13.25 BST: Fabrizio Romano reports that Bayern Munich and many of the top English Premier League clubs are following Florian Wirtz.
Wirtz, 18, has has a wonderful season so far with six goals in eight games, but Bayer Leverkusen considered the forward “untouchable” for next summer’s transfer market as they want to keep him.
The Germany international signed a long-term contract in May which will keep him at Leverkusen until 2026 and, importantly, it doesn’t include a release clause.
13.07 BST: RB Leipzig want around €60m to let star forward Christopher Nkunku go, says Bild.
That would represent a club-record transfer fee even with names like Timo Werner, Dayot Upamecano, Naby Keita, Ibrahima Konate and Marcel Sabizter departing recently.
Nkunku, 23, has netted nine goals in 10 games this season and has caught the eye of Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City. He has three years left on his contract, so Leipzig are under no pressure.
12.42 BST: Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Arsenal are keen to land Club Brugge winger Noa Lang.
Lang, 22, only left Ajax recently to try his luck in Belgium and has 24 goals in 66 games for the club since his arrival.
AC Milan and Leeds United were reported to be tracking the Netherlands U21 international, but Arsenal can now be added to the list. It remains to be seen if they take themselves off it again once they realise the quoted price to sign Lang is €40m.
12.00 BST: The CIES Football Observatory in Switzerland have produced a study of all 98 squads playing in Europe’s top five leagues: the Premier League (England), LaLiga (Spain), Bundesliga (Germany), Serie A (Italy) and Ligue 1 (France).
The CIES used its bespoke algorithm to calculate the transfer values of every individual player in each squad, to estimate how much each club would potentially recoup in transfer fees if all of their players were to leave.
It may not come as a surprise that Premier League champions Manchester City and their local rivals Manchester United have the two most valuable squads in Europe, but the size of the gap between them and the rest is quite staggering.
For example, should City suddenly decide to make every single player on their first-team roster available for transfer and successfully move them all on for the fees determined by CIES, they would recoup more than €1.2 billion ($1.47bn/£1.08bn). Find out the rest here.
11.27 BST: Why does Kylian Mbappe want to leave PSG?
Julien Laurens explains all about Kylian Mbappe’s future after the forward confirmed he asked to leave PSG in July.
10.50 BST: Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo said he believes Real Madrid members have again showed “a lack of respect” by discussing Kylian Mbappe‘s future and talk “as if he were their own player.”
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez said on Tuesday he is optimistic the PSG striker will agree to join the LaLiga giants in January.
A long-term target of Madrid, Mbappe will be a free agent next summer and will be able to sign with his future club on Jan. 1. Perez did clarify his comments soon after and stated Madrid “would have to wait until next year” and “always with respect to PSG.”
“In the same week, we’ve had a Real Madrid player [Karim Benzema], the coach [Carlo Ancelotti] and now the president of Real Madrid speak of Kylian as if he were their own player,” Leonardo told L’Equipe. “It’s a lack of respect that we can’t tolerate.
“That [pursuit] from Florentino has been happening for two years. I only want to remind [everyone] the transfer window is over, that the season is going on. There are games and Real Madrid cannot continue to behave like this. Make it stop! Kylian is a PSG player and the club understands perfectly that this relationship will last.”
Mbappe confirmed on Monday he told PSG that he wanted to leave in July and that he would only depart to join Madrid.
10.28 BST: Manchester United are still looking for a full-back and Rangers’ Nathan Patterson and Norwich’s Max Aarons are both on the radar, according to 90min.
United are looking for competition for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, with the 23-year-old needing to improve his contributions down the flanks in attack.
Patterson, 19, has impressed in the SPL and was the subject of an offer from Everton over the summer, having made his Scotland senior debut in June. And Aarons has been on the radar of the Premier League’s top sides for some time after a couple of fine seasons at Norwich.
Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier continues to be linked but the LaLiga champions want around €40m to sign the England international.
09.45 BST: Getafe are set to announce the return of Quique Sanchez Flores as coach.
The LaLiga outfit sacked Michel earlier this week after taking one point from eight league games. Getafe are at the foot of the standings and visit winless Levante after the international break.
Sanchez Flores, who made his coaching debut at Getafe in 2004, is expected to be handed the reins for the remainder of the campaign.
09.33 BST: Borussia Dortmund are doing everything they can to persuade Erling Haaland to stay at the club, says Bild.
Haaland, 21, has a clause in his contract which allows him to leave for €75m next year and has every top team in Europe on his trail.
Dortmund will offer Haaland almost double his €8m-a-year salary — handing him a €15m contract, presumably with an increased release clause — but will it be enough for him to stay?
09.02 BST: Fabrizio Romano reports that Inter Milan have reached a verbal agreement with Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana over a free transfer in the summer.
Onana, 25, is able to play again in November after serving a nine-month ban for failing a doping test.
The Cameroon international is set to replace Samir Handanovic at the Giuseppe Meazza when his contract expires in June 2022, having turned down moves to Lyon and Marseille.
Inter have been linked with Arsenal’s Bernd Leno, but the German was “never an option.”
08.21 BST: Harry Winks wants to leave Tottenham on loan in January, says The Times.
Winks, 25, has slipped down the midfield pecking order at Tottenham and has seen his England national team ambitions take a hit as a result. Now he’s keen to move on for more regular first-team football and is willing to go abroad to make it happen.
08.00 BST: Manchester United coaches Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna are set to follow assistant boss Mike Phelan in signing contract extensions at Old Trafford, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson, in the latest show of support for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Solskjaer has come under fire after a run of two wins from six games including a disappointing 1-1 draw with Everton at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Some supporters are calling for the Norwegian to be replaced but after handing Solskjaer a new contract in July, United chiefs have further backed the 48-year-old by announcing on Monday that No. 2 Phelan has also penned a new deal until 2024.
Carrick and McKenna, two key parts of the coaching staff, are also set to be given new contracts to further cement Solskjaer’s place at Old Trafford.
Gab Marcotti feels Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to stay humble to keep Manchester United fans on his side.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Luke Thrower)
– According to Spanish outlet Marca, Barcelona have stalled in discussing new deals with three of their squad due to financial restrictions. The contracts of Ousmane Dembele, Ansu Fati and Sergi Roberto have all hit a standstill due to their finances but the club still expect new deals to go through. All three players are set to become free agents in the summer if no action is taken.
– After the renewal of Lorenzo Pellegrini‘s contract, AS Roma are turning their attention to signing up other important squad members. According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Jose Mourinho is set to offer new deals to Bryan Cristante, Gianluca Mancini and Nicolo Zaniolo.
– Tottenham Hotspur are eyeing a potential move for Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger amid talks over the player’s new deal. According to the Daily Express, Spurs are one of four sides who are monitoring the 28-year-old, who is out of contract in the summer and has publicly discussed the Blues and their offer..
– Roma are monitoring the potential signing of Denis Zakaria from Borussia Monchengladbach, according to Calciomercato. The midfielder is out of contract in the summer and whilst the Bundesliga club have offered him a renewal, the 24-year-old is yet to accept a proposal. With a reduced wage bill thanks to moving players on, Roma believe they could land the midfielder.
– AC Milan are set to offer forward Rafael Leao a new contract as his influence has grown at the Serie A club. According to Calciomercato, the Rossoneri received offers for the 22-year-old in the summer, but held off any suitors and have seen him turn in good performances this season. As a result, they are set to offer a new deal, with the current one running out in 2024.