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: PSG, Liverpool, Man Utd eye Gavi
Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool and Manchester United are keen on acquiring Barcelona’s 17-year-old phenom Gavi after his impressive performance for Spain, according to El Nacional.
The three clubs are said to be monitoring the Catalan club’s rising star, who has a release clause of €50 million in his current contract.
But to warn teams away from the prospect, the Camp Nou giants are working quickly to offer new terms that will see the clause increased to €500m.
The former Real Betis youth midfielder has enjoyed a rapid rise since making his debut for the Blaugrana this season, where he has already become a starter.
He earned first cap for La Roja in Wednesday’s 2-1 win against Italy to send the side to the UEFA Nations League final, where they will face France.
– A star is born! Gavi, 17, lights up Nations League on Spain debut
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12.08 BST: Former Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has promised to leave his ego at the door when he arrives at Perth Glory, declaring he isn’t coming to Australia for a holiday.
Sturridge’s one-season deal with Glory represents one of the biggest coups in the history of the A-League Men’s competition.
The 32-year-old former England international is a two-time Champions League and FA Cup winner who scored 67 goals during a six-year spell at Liverpool and also won a Premier League title with Chelsea.
Sturridge will be the star attraction in every game he plays for Glory, but rather than focus on individual glory while enjoying the Australian lifestyle, Sturridge is eager to immerse himself in the club’s history and help the team achieve success.
“I’m coming there as a humble man, leaving my ego at the door,” Sturridge said. “Of course players can make the difference, but in terms of one player carrying a team, I just don’t think in world football that’s possible, because everybody is needed.
“Everyone in the squad is important. I’m not there for a holiday. I’m there to play football. I’m there to perform to the best of my abilities.”
11.27 BST: Barcelona’s finances have been the subject of much criticism.
Gab and Juls discuss the comments made by Barcelona CEO Ferran Reverter about the previous running of the club.
11.00 BST: Barcelona president Joan Laporta said he had hoped Lionel Messi would offer to play for free when it became apparent the club could not afford to keep him.
Messi, 34, accepted a salary reduction of 50% but Barca were still unable to register him with LaLiga due to their spending limit for the season being cut to €97m, almost €300m less than last year.
Therefore, after over 20 years in Barcelona, Messi left for Paris Saint-Germain in August, signing an initial two-year deal with the French side.
“I didn’t get angry with Messi, but you reach a moment where both parties see that it cannot be and there is disappointment on both sides,” Laporta told RAC1. “I know he desperately wanted to stay but there was also a lot of pressure on him because of the offer he had.
“He already had the offer from PSG. Everyone knows he had a big offer. We knew from him that was the case.”
10.25 BST: Manchester United are fully behind manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and will not be swayed by the “Ole Out” campaign on social media, according to the club’s football director John Murtough.
Solskjaer has come under fire after a disappointing run of results that has seen United win just two of their last six games. The hashtag #OleOut has been used online by fans keen to see Solskjaer replaced but Murtough said the “hysteria” on social media will not affect the Norwegian’s position.
“We have a long-term strategy and confidence in the direction that we’re going,” Murtough told a fans’ forum meeting. “The Premier League is one of the most competitive leagues in the world but we are 100% up for that challenge. We can’t get carried away and deviate from our plan. Ole and the staff are very focused on that.
“We won’t get distracted by what’s said on social media, which can sometimes create fervour and hysteria. It’s part of the modern game, but we stay focused. We believe that we’ve got the talent and the character within the squad to succeed.”
10.04 BST: Calciomercato reports that AC Milan are keen on signing defender Samuel Umtiti from Barcelona in January.
Umtiti, 27, has fallen down the pecking order at Camp Nou but the club have failed to move him on as they seek to reduce their wage bill.
The France international wants to play in Europe and Milan could be an option when the transfer window opens again.
09.28 BST: Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has hinted he would be interested in a potential return to Juventus after saying he feels good in Turin.
Pogba featured in France’s stunning 3-2 comeback victory over Belgium in Juventus’ Allianz Stadium on Thursday (stream a replay on ESPN+) to set up a UEFA Nations League final against Spain.
Following the match, the 28-year-old was asked about a reunion with his former club and refused to rule out a move.
“I still speak to my ex-teammates, like Paulo Dybala,” Pogba told Sportmediaset. “I’m at Manchester [United] and have a year left on my contract, and then we’ll see. I want to finish well there and then see what happens.”
When asked whether he feels good when he visits Turin, he replied: “Yes.”
08.51 BST: Chelsea left-back Marco Alonso says he would like to return to play in LaLiga one day before he retires.
Alonso, 30, made one LaLiga appearance in his career, with Real Madrid in April 2010 before joining Bolton Wanderers that summer. The former Fiorentina and Sunderland player is under contract at Chelsea until June 2023.
“I’m very happy there [in London] but before retiring, I would like to have the opportunity to play in La Liga,” he told Cadena SER. “It’s not something that I feel is urgent. I’m very well playing in a big club and fighting for great titles. I have two years left on my contract and we will see what happens in the future.”
08.00 BST: Jesse Lingard has said he is “not doing any harm at the moment” to his England career by staying at Manchester United.
The 28-year-old midfielder turned down interest from several clubs last summer, including West Ham United, where he spent the second half of last season on loan, to stay and fight for his place at Old Trafford despite the arrivals of forward Cristiano Ronaldo and winger Jadon Sancho.
Yet Lingard has started just once for United this season — in last month’s Carabao Cup third round defeat to West Ham — and turned down a contract extension, according to ESPN sources, amid concerns of a lack of playing time as he enters the final year of his existing agreement.
“Obviously, the World Cup is a long way away but obviously from last year, you need regular football,” he said. “I was so close to going to the Euros so, and I think obviously it plays a huge part and it’s a big factor. You know if you’re playing over 20, 25 games, of course you know you’re knocking on the door so I think it does play a big part in that.”
Asked if he was satisfied he would get that opportunity at United, Lingard replied: “I think I’m not doing any harm at the moment. If I keep performing well and doing well you never know what might happen so I keep confident in myself and when I get time on the pitch I’ve got to carry on doing what I’m doing.”
Julien Laurens explains why he believes Robert Lewandowski will outscore Erling Haaland in the Bundesliga.
– Borussia Dortmund’s last-ditch attempt to keep Erling Haaland for one more season looks to be unsuccessful, with AS reporting that the player is set to reject terms that would double his salary. The 21-year-old’s agent Mino Raiola is already receiving proposals from around Europe for next summer, when the Norway forward is available for €75m, and the player is eager to begin the next chapter of his career elsewhere.
– Juventus are continuing their search for a No. 9 and could offer ex-Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi a return to Serie A, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. It is reported that the Turin club see the PSG star as an alternative to Fiorentina frontman Dusan Vlahovic, who is attracting interest from around Europe as contract talks continue to stall. The 28-year-old Icardi has three goals for PSG this season, most often featuring from the bench.
– Lazio are keen on acquiring Kepa Arrizabalaga, according to Corriere Dello Sport. The Italian club are searching the goalkeeper market with Thomas Strakosha‘s contract set to expire next summer, and the Chelsea star is seen as the ideal replacement. Lazio boss Maurizio Sarri previously worked with Kepa during his managerial stint at Stamford Bridge in 2019.
– Inter Milan will move forward with a deal for Gianluca Scamacca once Alexis Sanchez is offloaded, according to Calciomercato. The club have long remained interested in the Sassuolo star, but have been unable to make space for him with a plethora of options available in attack. The 22-year-old is also reported to be on the radar of Fiorentina, who could face a fight to keep hold of the aforementioned Vlahovic in the January transfer market.
– Aston Villa will look to send Keinan Davis on loan in January, writes the Birmingham Mail. The prospect was linked with a move in the summer, but that didn’t materialise after the forward sustained an injury despite notable interest from sides in the EFL Championship. The 23-year-old striker has scored one goal in the Premier League after graduating from the club’s academy in 2016.