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: Bayern eye Camp Nou quartet
With Barcelona currently battling through a financial crisis at the club, Bayern Munich are reportedly monitoring the situation with their eye on a few possible transfers.
According to Spanish outlet Sport, the Bundesliga club are yet to make a serious move for anyone, however they have shown interest in the likes of Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Frenkie de Jong, Sergino Dest and Pedri.
All four players have been on Bayern Munich’s radar in the past, with the Bavarian club battling with Barcelona for Dest and eventually losing out to the Spanish club.The United States international right-back opted for the Camp Nou in 2020, joining from Ajax Amsterdam for just under £20 million.
Goalkeeper Ter Stegen has been linked in the past as a possible successor to Manuel Neuer, even at the age of 35.
De Jong was also linked with a move to Germany, reportedly a target for the club in 2018. He then joined the Catalan club in 2019 as another who switched from Ajax.
Pedri was a potential loan target for Bayern in the summer, with the club very interested in the youngster. The 18-year-old has become an important player for both his club and country. He made 56 competitive appearances for Barcelona in a year, also making ten appearances for Spain having only made his debut in March this year.
– ESPN+ guide: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, FA Cup, more (U.S.)
– Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ (U.S. only)
– Don’t have ESPN? Get instant access
20.59 BST: Donny van de Beek and Aurelien Tchouameni have been linked with moves to Juventus, reports Calciomercato. The two midfielders would be welcome additions to the Serie A side, who are struggling with their options to play alongside summer signing Manuel Locatelli in the middle of the park.
Van de Beek would be a possibilty on an initial loan that could then become permanent, however Internazionale also have their eye on the Netherlands international. As for Tchouameni, the deal would have to be a permanent one, with AS Monaco seeking a transfer fee of no less than €35m. However, for both deals to go through, there would have to be outgoings at Juve first.
20.26 BST: Barcelona are interested in Granada goalkeeper Luis Maximiano, according to Mundo Deportivo.
The La Liga club is expecting to let Neto leave the club in the near future, while they are searching for a potential successor to No. 1 Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Maximiano, 22, joined Granada from Sporting Lisbon in the summer, however any offer will be reliant on outgoings from Barcelona’s side.
19.53 BST: Juventus are interested in a move for Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix to bolster their attacking options, according to Tuttomercatoweb.
The Old Lady is said to be interested in the Portugal international on loan in January as they struggle to deal with the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United. The 21-year-old has only made three league appearances this season, dealing with injuries and suspensions.
19.20 BST: Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum is not “completely happy” with his situation at the club, the player revealed in an interview with Netherlands newspaper Nos. The 30-year-old joined on a free transfer from Liverpool in the summer but has struggled to get in the side over Idrissa Gueye and Ander Herrera.
“I can’t say I’m completely happy because the situation is not what I wanted,” Wijnaldum said. “But that’s football and I’ll have to learn to deal with that. I’m a fighter. I have to stay positive and work hard to turn it around.”
18.47 BST: Fiorentina are interested in Real Madrid forward Borja Mayoral on loan in January, according to Calciomercato.
The 24-year-old has spent the past season at AS Roma on loan, but has struggled to break into the side during his second spell at the club. It’s reported that his arrangement with the Giallorossi will be terminated in January, allowing him to join Fiorentina, while some LaLiga clubs are said to be eyeing a move.
18.14 BST: Juventus winger Dejan Kulusevski could be set to leave the club as he struggles to find a way into the Serie A side. According to Tuttosport, the Sweden international could be free to exit in January with Premier League and Bundesliga clubs said to be interested in the 21-year-old.
17.41 BST: Real Madrid are confident of signing Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe when his contract expires this summer, according to AS.
The report states that the LaLiga club have faith that the move will go ahead, with a pre-contractual agreement available to sign in January ahead of a departure in the summer. It comes as various statements from those surrounding PSG discussed the 22-year-old’s future, who AS report is ready to move to Madrid to fulfill his childhood dream.
17.08 BST: Barcelona are preparing talks with midfielder Gavi over a new contract, according to Fabrizio Romano.
The Catalan club are prepared to offer the 17-year-old a five-year deal with a salary that grows each season. The youngster has recently impressed on international duty with Spain and is on a renewals list with Ansu Fati, Pedri, Ousmane Dembele and Ronald Araujo.
16.35 BST: Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek has to move in January to resurrect his career, according to former Old Trafford star Paul Ince.
The Netherlands international has made just three appearances this season, and has started only four Premier League matches since arriving from Ajax in a £35m transfer in 2020.
Ince, who won two Premier League titles during his six years at United, told “The Kelly and Wrighty Show”: “If I’m going to buy a player, a top player from Ajax, the first thing I’m going to say is, ‘Am I going to play? Where do you see me fitting in, within the system, within the team?’
“As a manager you have two choices — you can either tell the truth or not tell the truth. From what I’m seeing for the last year-and-a-half, he’s not told Donny the truth, he hasn’t had any game time. He’s got £35m sitting on the bench.
“I can hold my hands up if I’m on the bench and the team are winning and playing well. You can’t tell me that Fred and [Scott] McTominay are playing well week in and week out, and even [Paul] Pogba because they’re not. But he seems to play them all the time, and I’m sitting there watching them play, I would be livid.
“He’s been professional, he’s done everything by the book. Ole’s come out saying he’s in my plans, obviously he’s just blatantly lying, he has to move in January for the good of his career.”
14.33 BST: There are plenty of managers being linked with replacing Steve Bruce as Newcastle United manager across a range of newspapers in the UK, but one thing is clear: they all predict a change in the St James’ Park hotseat soon.
Last week a Saudi Arabia-led takeover of Newcastle was completed with the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, buying the Premier League club in a deal worth just over £300m.
The Daily Mail reports that Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers, Rangers boss Steven Gerrard and former Dortmund coach Lucien Favre all being considered to replace Bruce, who is reportedly set to be relieved of his duties this week and is in line for an £8m payoff.
Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph is linking ex-RB Leipzig coach Ralf Rangnick with the post, while The Times claims that Belgium national team boss Roberto Martinez is one of the frontrunners to replace Bruce.
– Ogden: Why are the best international managers ignored by the biggest clubs?
13.38 BST: Aaron Ramsey still believes he can make a success of his spell at Juventus despite being linked with an exit.
Calciomercato has reported that Juve are trying to move the Wales international out of the club (see Paper Gossip section), but the 30-year-old is adamant he can still show the club were right to sign him on a free transfer in 2019.
“Hopefully I can still show exactly what I can do there,” Ramsey said. “Things have been frustrating and haven’t quite gone to plan but I have never doubted my ability. I had a load of messages congratulating me. They are aware of me playing, but I just go out there and try to do the best I can.”
12.31 BST: Liverpool should give Mohamed Salah “whatever he wants” from his new contract, according to former Anfield striker Robbie Fowler.
Salah is one of the last of Liverpool’s top players to not be given a new deal, with his current contract due to expire in 2023.
Mo Salah is, without question, world class,” Fowler wrote in the Daily Mirror. “And, in my opinion, there won’t be one ¬dissenting voice in the Liverpool dressing room over the Egyptian being rewarded with a new ¬contract that will make him the club’s highest earner.
“In all honesty, we’re ¬running out of ¬superlatives about him, especially after that goal against Manchester City that had a bit of ¬everything. If it had been Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, it would be talked up even more. There were the brilliant touches in tight spaces, the body strength, the pace, the bit of guile and then the ¬glorious finish.
“I’ll be amazed if there are no conversations about a new contract going on now. He will almost certainly believe he is worth a bit more than he is earning and, of course, be ¬entitled to a pay rise. Judging by his ¬performances right now you have to give him what he wants.”
11.38 BST: Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti says he hopes to remain at the French club for the rest of his career.
The Italy international is in his 10th season in the French capital, where he has been since leaving Pescara as a 19-year-old. Verratti has gone on to win 27 trophies with PSG including seven Ligue 1 titles, and he told franceinfo that he does not want to play anywhere else before retiring.
Asked what his move to the French capital has given him, Verratti said: “Everything! I had the chance to play with and against great champions, in great matches, that’s what I wanted above all. I fell in love with this club and that’s why I always try to give the maximum, to restore the confidence that I have been given.”
When asked what he plans to do once he hangs up his boots, he added: “I have a little time left. What I do know is that I will always stay here.”
10.44 BST: Barcelona vice president Rafa Yuste says it will be difficult to compete for Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland due to the club’s financial problems.
Haaland, 21, is one of the most prolific strikers in Europe and is expected to draw bids from some of the continent’s biggest clubs next summer.
Barca have previously shown an interest in the Norway international and president Joan Laporta met with his agent, Mino Raiola, and his father, former Manchester City midfielder Alf-Inge, earlier this year.
“We will see what the situation is next year and what [money] we have for signings,” Yuste told Mundo Deportivo when asked if signing Haaland could be possible next season. “First of all, we have to re-build the walls of a house that we inherited in ruins. Once we’ve done that, we will see what we can do, without losing sight of the fact we want the best players — and Haaland’s one of them.
“No, [I don’t think it’s possible now]. The president and the CEO [Ferran Reverter] have said, and I would reiterate their point, that the previous board was a disaster. They signed players without knowing if they could pay for them. The only thing they did was drive the debt up.”
Barca’s gross debt is currently close to €1.4bn but Laporta has managed to reduce €155m from the wage bill since being elected in March, with Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann among those to leave the club.
09.49 BST: Tottenham Hotspur sporting director Fabio Paratici insists there is “no need of any new talk” with striker Harry Kane over his future at the club.
Kane told Spurs that he wanted to leave in the summer amid interest from Manchester City, but the London club did not engage in negotiations with the Premier League champions.
Kane was the Premier League’s top scorer and assister last season, but is yet to register either in six appearances in the competition this term. Despite that, Paratici is adamant that Kane is committed to the club.
“Harry Kane loves Tottenham,” he said in The Sun. “We’ve decided to keep Harry last summer to start the re-building, and we’re happy with our choice.
“There’s no need of any new talk with Harry. He knows how to share the sense of belonging to Spurs.”
08.52 BST: Amanda Staveley, the financier charged with fronting the Saudi-backed consortium which completed a takeover of Newcastle United last week, pledged to “create a consistently successful team that’s regularly competing for major trophies” and also declared: “Newcastle United deserves to be top of the Premier League. We want to get there. It will take time, but we will get there.”
At present, Newcastle’s record transfer arrival is striker Joelinton, who was signed from Hoffenheim for £39.6 million in July 2019. This pales in comparison to the Magpies’ billionaire-backed Premier League rivals such as Chelsea, whose record signing is Romelu Lukaku, signed from Inter Milan last summer for £103.5m.
Here we look at three other prominent clubs — Chelsea, Mancheste rCity and Paris Saint-Germain — who have undergone lucrative takeovers in recent years and examine the changes that were ushered in during the first few seasons that followed under their respective new regimes
– Chelsea, Man City, PSG’s transfers post-takeover hold lessons for Newcastle
08.00 BST: Lionel Messi has revealed he had “other offers” from “various clubs” after leaving Barcelona last summer before opting to join Paris Saint-Germain.
Messi, 34, was available on a free transfer when his Barcelona contract expired on June 30, after the LaLiga club’s precarious financial situation meant they were unable to register a new deal. Weeks of uncertainty followed before PSG announced Messi’s signing on Aug. 11 on a two-year contract, with the option of a third year.
“Barcelona published a statement saying that I wasn’t going to carry on, and from then I was asking myself where I was going to end up,” Messi told L’Equipe. “I was lucky to be contacted by various clubs and one of them was Paris Saint-Germain. I’m grateful to the club. They treated me well from the beginning. They showed that they really wanted me.
“I had other offers, but I have to say that we came to an agreement quickly with PSG. It wasn’t straightforward because everything had to be sorted out in a short amount of time, practically from one day to the next. … I was convinced by the project, the club’s ambitions, the players they have, the squad. … All of these factors.”
PAPER GOSSIP (by Luke Thrower)
– Juventus are looking to move on midfielder Aaron Ramsey this January with Newcastle United eyeing a potential move. According to Calciomercato, the Wales international turned down a move back to the Premier League in the summer but has changed his mind and will leave the Italian side in January. Fresh off their sale to a Saudi Arabia-led group, the Magpies are looking to revamp their side.
– Barcelona have been linked with a move for Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling in recent weeks and Sport claim a move for the winger is dependent on the future of Ousmane Dembele. The report states that Ronald Koeman’s side will plan for the England international if Dembele refuses to sign a new contract, with his expiring next summer.
– Torino striker Andrea Belotti is out of contract in the summer and Calciomercato reports that the forward will turn down a new contract to pursue a move to AC Milan. The 27-year-old has scored 106 goals in 231 appearances for Torino, however a move to Milan is his current priority.
– Chelsea have struck an agreement with defender Andreas Christensen over a new deal, according to Fabrizio Romano. The 25-year-old is one of four defenders out of contract with the Blues in the summer, alongside Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva. Two clubs had shown interest in the Denmark international, but his stay at Stamford Bridge looks like it could continue.
– Arsenal are eyeing a shock return for midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, according to the Sun. The 28-year-old switched north London for Liverpool in 2017 for £35m but could be set to join the Gunners again as he slips down the pecking order at Anfield.