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: Barca see Isak as Haaland alternative
Barcelona are interested in Real Sociedad striker Alexander Isak, according to Spanish outlet AS.
The Catalan club are eyeing a move for the 22-year-old as a cheaper alternative for Erling Haaland in an attempt to add more firepower in the striking department.
Haaland, 21, is available in the summer through a €75 million release clause that has put a lot of Europe’s top clubs on alert. While Barcelona were a club interested, it is reported that their current financial situation would prevent a move for the Norway international.
Just a year older at 22, Isak has shown his strength in LaLiga with Real Sociedad, who reached the top of the table at the weekend with victory over Mallorca. He has struggled to score this season, having suffered a hamstring injury, but has netted 34 goals for Sociedad since joining from Borussia Dortmund.
A potential deal could occur as Barcelona made room in their wage budget, moving on the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Lionel Messi and Miralem Pjanic. Reports claim that such movements would give the club some more room to work some arrivals in either the January window or next summer.
Another player who has been linked with the club is winger Raheem Sterling on a potential loan from Man City, as Ronald Koeman’s side look to increase their threat in front of goal.
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20.28 BST: Talks over a new Inter Milan contract for Lautaro Martinez look to be completed with Fabrizio Romano revealing that the club are ready to announce it.
Signing up the Argentina international to new terms was seen as a priority in the summer with Inter losing both Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi, and the 24-year-old will now extend his stay at the San Siro by five years with no release clause.
Lautaro was linked with a move to the Premier League after an impressive 2020-21 campaign, and he has remained in strong form with six goals in the last 10 games for club and country.
20.03 BST: Calciomercato writes that Sampdoria are keen on a move for Fortuna Dusseldorf defender Khaled Narey
The right-back who can also play in midfield has been a standout performer for the German Bundesliga.2 side this season, with two goals and five assists in eight starts.
It is reported that Sampdoria will look to recruit the 27-year-old in January, but they could face competition from clubs in the Netherlands and Turkey who also have Narey on their shortlists.
19.22 BST: Manchester United have contacted Zinedine Zidane regarding the manager’s job at Old Trafford, according to El Chiringuito TV.
It is reported that Cristiano Ronaldo recommended the former Real Madrid manager as a potential replacement for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after a number of disappointing results for United this season.
The former France international has been out of management since May after leaving a second stint at the Santiago Bernabeu.
18.55 BST: Mason Mount is set for a “massive pay rise” as talks over a contract extension with Chelsea begin, reveals Goal.
Mount, 22, is committed to the club and wants to stay, but may have to wait for an official offer from the Stamford Bridge hierarchy as they are looking at other areas first, including getting defender Antonio Rudiger to sign new terms before his deal expires in the summer.
Mount has featured six times in the Premier League so far this season, assisting a goal against Arsenal.
18.24 BST: River Plate forward Julian Alvarez is attracting interest from Europe, with Inter Milan and AC Milan both monitoring the 21-year-old, according to Ekrem Konur.
The Argentina international has a release clause of €22m and could be tracked by more clubs after featuring in recent World Cup qualifiers against Paraguay and Uruguay, but his best form has been in the Argentina Primera Division where the River star has registered nine goals and three assists in the last six games.
18.06 BST: Football Insider reveals that Aston Villa will allow winger Anwar El Ghazi to leave should the club’s valuation be met.
The Premier League side would let the Egypt international go for a £18m transfer fee and would be prepared to accept bids as early as the January transfer window.
AS Roma were most recently linked with the 26-year-old in the summer, and it is reported that Jose Mourinho will look to bring El Ghazi to the Estadio Olimpico at the next possible opportunity.
17.40 BST: Il Mattino writes that Napoli striker Victor Osimhen would only be allowed to leave the club for €100m amid interest from Ligue 1.
Osimhen’s impressive goal scoring run of 10 goals in 10 games has seen Paris Saint-Germain linked with a move as they line up a potential replacement for Kylian Mbappe.
But, with the Nigeria international contracted at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium until 2025, the Italian club hold the power and can name their price.
17.03 BST: Paris Saint-Germain are keen on the capture of Theo Hernandez, according to Le10 Sport.
The AC Milan left-back’s performances this season have seen a number of Europe’s top clubs linked with him, including Manchester City.
But after acquiring Achraf Hakimi for €60m from Internazionale in the summer, Leonardo now wants to make a move from the opposite side of Milan, with the Rossoneri defender contributing to five goals in the last six games.
16.30 BST: Arsenal spent £50m to sign Brighton’s Ben White, but they still have some issues.
Stewart Robson and Craig Burley examine Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace in the Premier League.
16.09 BST: Manchester City would seek a transfer fee of €80m if Raheem Sterling were to leave the club, Marca reports.
Sterling 26, said last week that he would be willing to leave the Premier League champions and move abroad after falling out of favour with City coach Pep Guardiola this season, starting only three of eight Premier League games so far.
Marca reports that Barcelona have identified the England international as a player who could be available to strengthen their attacking options, given his contract at the Etihad Stadium is due to expire at the end of next season.
However, City are prepared to hold out for a good offer for Sterling, rather than let him join former teammates Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia at Camp Nou for a lower fee.
15.14 BST: Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is seeking a new contract worth around £400,000-a-week, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Salah is one of Liverpool’s only key players who has not signed a new deal over the past year, despite the Egypt international being in talks with the club for months.
The 29-year-old, who has scored seven goals and registered four assists in the Premier League so far this season, has a contract that expires in 2023.
The Telegraph reports that the club’s most recent accounts, published before the recent slew of new deals, revealed Liverpool’s wage bill has increased to £325m, moving them closer to the threshold of 70% of revenue required to comply with UEFA’s financial fair play regulations.
14.22 BST: Ronald Koeman said Barcelona forward Ansu Fati is close to agreeing a new contract with the club with his terms due to expire next summer.
Sources have told ESPN’s Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens that several top European clubs have reached out to Ansu’s agent, Jorge Mendes, but the Spain international has made it clear he wants to remain at Barca. Sources added that the player’s new deal will include a staggered salary which increases each season as Barca continue to fight the financial effects of the pandemic.
“I know they are close to agreeing a new contract with Ansu,” Barca coach Koeman said in a news conference on Tuesday. “It’s big news for Barca because we’re talking about someone that can mark the club’s long-term future.”
Ansu’s contract — which expires in 2022 and was negotiated by his previous agent, Rodrigo Messi — includes an option to extend by two years, but there is confusion over whether Barca would be able to execute it unilaterally. Various agents consulted by ESPN said they would not be able to as minors can only sign three-year deals. Sources at Barca, meanwhile, would not confirm if the clause has any value or not, but have always stressed the aim is to reach a fresh agreement with Mendes.
– Marcotti: Ansu boosts Barcelona, but challenges remain
13.28 BST: Real Madrid’s Reinier is in talks with Benfica to join them in January, bringing a premature end to a two-year loan spell at Borussia Dortmund, Diario AS reports.
Reinier, 19, has disappointed in Germany, making just one Bundesliga start for Dortmund last season and only three substitute appearances so far this campaign.
The playmaker has a relationship with Benfica manager Jorge Jesus, having starred for the coach with Flamengo before signing for Madrid in January 2020 for €30m.
12.35 BST: Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is unhappy at the club’s failure to sign a midfielder in the summer transfer window, according to the Manchester Evening News.
Despite signing centre-back Raphael Varane, winger Jadon Sancho and centre-forward Cristiano Ronaldo in the last transfer window, United did not recruit a central midfielder and their shortcomings in that area were again exposed in Saturday’s 4-2 defeat at Leicester City.
Sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson that Solskjaer faces a fight to lift his squad for Wednesday night’s Champions League clash with Atalanta with the mood in the dressing room described as “flat” following that loss at the King Power Stadium.
The Manchester Evening News reports that Solskjaer has used seven different midfield combinations in his teams this season.
– Ogden: Pogba, Fernandes comments pile pressure on Solskjaer
11.37 BST: Defender Samuel Umtiti has said his exile at Barcelona has brought him to tears but said he is adamant he does not want to leave the club despite not being part of boss Ronald Koeman’s plans.
Umtiti, 27, was jeered during a preseason friendly by Barca supporters who felt his decision to stay this summer was one of the reasons the club could not afford to keep Lionel Messi, who later joined Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.
The France international, who is yet to make an appearance for Barca this season, said it has been a difficult time but wants to honour his contract at Camp Nou, which runs until 2023.
“The whistles hurt,” Umtiti told Mundo Deportivo. “I never thought that would happen at this club because it’s the club that I love.
“[Mentally] it’s tough. There have been tough moments with injuries but I am better physically now. I am happy, but I would like to play and help the team. The coach makes the decisions and I must show I am good enough to play. I have to keep training hard.”
10.41 BST: Wayne Rooney would be interested in taking over as manager at Newcastle United if the position becomes available, according to The Chronicle.
Steve Bruce marked his 1,000th game as a manager in Sunday’s 3-2 loss to Tottenham, Newcastle’s first match since the takeover by the Saudi-backed PIF investment fund.
There has been plenty of speculation over Bruce’s position, with Belgium coach Roberto Martinez, Rangers manager Steven Gerrard and Villarreal boss Unai Emery among the any names linked with the job.
However, local news outlet The Chronicle reports that former Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney would be keen on stepping into the breach “on a short-term basis.”
Rooney is currently at the helm at Derby County, with the club in administration and the team struggling at the bottom of the Championship
09.49 BST: Gerard Pique has revealed that he spoke to Vinicius Junior about joining Barcelona before a last-minute change of plans saw the Brazil winger join Real Madrid.
Barca’s former South American scout Andre Cury said earlier this year that a deal was in place for Vinicius to move to Camp Nou in 2017, saying the club were “stabbed in the back” by the player’s agents.
“Do you know he almost joined Barca?” Pique told Spanish streamer Ibai Llanos on Monday. “[Real Madrid] offered him double. I spoke to him personally before he went to Madrid, and the guy admitted it was done with Barca. It was done.”
“I don’t remember why [I spoke to him], it was to welcome him into the dressing room,” he added. “It was done. Madrid arrived at the last second and offered him everything.”
08.54 BST: Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said Mohamed Salah would “finally get recognition” if he wins this year’s Ballon d’Or, but that he has no idea whether the forward’s incredible form makes it more or less likely if he will sign a new contract at Anfield.
Salah, 29, has scored in nine of Liverpool’s 10 games in all competitions so far this season and he can score in a third successive Champions League game if he hits the target in Tuesday’s group clash against Atletico Madrid in Spain.
Klopp billed the former Chelsea forward as the best player in the world and right now following his impressive display in Saturday’s 5-0 win at Watford. But with Salah still to agree a new contract to replace his existing deal, which expires in June 2023, Klopp said he has no idea if his form boosts Liverpool’s chances of extending Salah’s stay at the club.
“I don’t know,” Klopp said. ‘”We will see.”
08.00 BST: Kevin De Bruyne said he has sympathy for Raheem Sterling as he battles for his place at Manchester City.
Sterling has been in and out of the team this season and has suggested he could look to move abroad if he cannot find regular games at the Etihad Stadium.
Manager Pep Guardiola said he cannot guarantee the place of any player but De Bruyne admits he can understand Sterling’s frustration.
“Rotation is important because playing four competitions and mostly going far in them, it’s a tough ask sometimes,” De Bruyne told a news conference ahead of the Champions League tie with Club Brugge.
“I understand the frustration because I’m a player and you have some players who need more rhythm to get into it and maybe Raz [Sterling] is someone who needs more, I’m a player that needs that also. Sometimes it’s tough to play one game yes, one game no.
“Obviously it’s the manager who has to make choices and it’s very hard. We have a group of 22, 23 internationals who are unbelievable. Whoever you pick, you will be right a lot of the time. Whenever the team plays good there’s not a lot you can’t say as a player.”
Craig Burley examines the impact of Ansu Fati on Barcelona following a successful return from injury.
– Manchester City are considering Ansu Fati as a possible replacement for Raheem Sterling, if the England international leaves. According to journalist Ekrem Konur, Pep Guardiola’s side view the 18-year-old as a potential successor to Sterling. The winger has one year left on his deal with the club holding an option for an extra two-years, however they have recently opened negotiations for an extension.
– Manchester City are set to reach a verbal agreement over a contract extension with midfielder Phil Foden, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.The prolific 21-year-old has seen a rise in his game time and influence at the club and will reportedly be rewarded with a new deal until 2027 with an increased salary.
– Borussia Dortmund have decided upon Sebastien Haller as the successor to Erling Haaland next season according to Calciomercato, in the likely event that the Norwegian leaves the club next summer. The ex-West Ham United striker has impressed since his switch to Ajax, scoring five goals in two Champions League appearances and is on the radar of the Bundesliga club.
– AC Milan are interested in a deal for Marseille’s Boubacar Kamara on a free transfer in the summer, writes Calciomercato. The midfielder would be a potential replacement for Franck Kessie, who could leave the San Siro on a free transfer himself this summer. It’s reported that there would be an agreement over the contract due to talks already held, but the Serie A club would have to fend off Premier League interest.
– Juventus, AC Milan and Tottenham Hotspur are all eyeing a potential move for Paris Saint-Germain’s Mauro Icardi, says a report in Gazzetta dello Sport. The 28-year-old has struggled to break into the frontline in the French capital since his move, made even harder by the introduction of Lionel Messi. His current deal lasts until 2024, but he could move on sooner with all three clubs interested in the striker.