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 seek Haaland, Lewandowski, Vlahovic if Mbappe leaves
With little progress made regarding a new contract between PSG and Mbappe, Le10 Sport reports that sporting director Leonardo has put together a three-man priority list of candidates who the Ligue 1 club will target should Mbappe leave.
The first on the list is Haaland, with PSG set to go all out for the services of the Borussia Dortmund star when his release clause of €75m comes into effect next summer. But if that fails, Leonardo has identified Bayern Munich talisman Lewandowski as the second-best option to replace Mbappe.
The 33-year-old is rumoured to favour a move to Real Madrid — who also lead the race for Mbappe’s signature — should he leave the Bundesliga, which would leave €70m-rated Vlahovic of Fiorentina as the final option on the shortlist.
And with Mbappe’s contract set to expire next summer, there could be movement in January if PSG hope to land a significant transfer fee for one of the most sought-after stars in football.
19.45 BST: Calciomercato reports that Juventus could make a play to sign Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic this summer, having meticulously monitored the 26-year-old Serbia international for years now. Internazionale are also keen on the player, but their financial situation rules them out of contention, with the Italian capital club reportedly unwilling to begin negotiations at any transfer fee below €80m. And with Lazio preferring to keep Milinkovic-Savic rather than losing him to a rival club, it may well take a stronger offer than that figure to sign the midfielder with three goals and two assists in eight Serie A contests this season.
17.30 BST: Barcelona are the latest club to have been offered Manchester United’s Paul Pogba on a free transfer next summer, sources have told ESPN. But AS reports that the club’s financial situation may not allow them to land the midfielder.
The 28-year-old earns around €17m-a-year at Old Trafford and Barca can’t afford to match that in the midst of their €1.4 billion debt.
As a result, Juventus and Real Madrid might have a chance to sign Pogba instead.
16.25 BST: The Sunday Telegraph says that Newcastle’s new Saudi owners will hand the club a budget of £50m to spend in January.
The Magpies are battling against relegation and have been linked with a host of top names including Erling Haaland and Dusan Vlahovic since the takeover, but will need to be a bit more realistic to start with.
Burnley defender James Tarkowski and Manchester United forward Jesse Lingard are targets that could instead arrive in January.
15.45 BST: Calciomercato says that Manchester City and Chelsea have spoken to agent Mino Raiola about Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt.
De Ligt, 22, moved to Juve in 2019 for €75m from Ajax, but the club are reportedly keen to move him on to reduce their wage bill.
The Netherlands international has a €150m release clause in his contract, which the Premier League clubs will need to pay in order to sign him.
15.00 BST: Where could Raheem Sterling go if he leaves Man City?
The ESPN FC crew discuss Raheem Sterling’s future should he decide to leave Manchester City to play abroad.
13.50 BST: Chelsea’s Ross Barkley could leave the club in January, with Burnley interested, according to The Sun.
Barkley, 27, failed to get a move over the summer and now has been left with limited game time in Chelsea’s midfield.
The England international joined from Everton in January 2018 but has struggled to settle and Burnley could offer him a way out with a loan move.
13.07 BST: Sevilla defender Jules Kounde has been a target for Chelsea and Real Madrid, but the player wants to talk to Manchester United as well.
El Nacional claims the 22-year-old has asked his agent to enter negotiations with United about a move — which may require his €80m release clause to be paid.
The thinking there is that he doesn’t believe he’d get a first-team spot at Chelsea or Real Madrid, but despite signing Raphael Varane this summer, United’s defence has been poor. Though Kounde may have forgotten that Harry Maguire is club captain and unlikely to make way for his arrival…
Chelsea are set to revive their interest in Kounde during the January transfer window if Sevilla lower their asking price back to around €50m, where the two clubs almost found an agreement this summer, sources have told ESPN’s James Olley.
But if they do that, a host of other clubs will also be interested.
12.24 BST: It’s not like Transfer Talk to delve into celebrity gossip, but The Sun claims that PSG striker Mauro Icardi has split from his wife and agent Wanda Nara.
The former Sampdoria and Inter Milan forward has been linked with a move back to Italy in recent months after Lionel Messi arrived in Paris, but now he may have to find a new agent first.
12.02 BST: Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger wants a new contract of around £400,000-a-week to stay at the club, according to The Daily Mail.
Rudiger, 28, has a deal which expires next summer and has been linked with Real Madrid and Bayern Munich now he is back in the Chelsea starting XI.
However, the Germany international has reportedly already rejected a contract offer of £125,000-a-week and wants to eclipse Chelsea’s highest earner Romelu Lukaku, whose makes around £350,000-a-week.
11.38 BST: Do Manchester United need a new manager?
Janusz Michallik discusses the future of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after Man United’s 4-2 defeat vs. Leicester.
11.04 BST: Goal reports that Bayern Munich are keen to land FC Salzburg wonderkid Karim Adeyemi.
Adeyemi, 19, has 11 goals in 15 games so far this season and has also made his senior Germany debut.
The report claims that agent Thomas Solomon was in Munich [on Saturday] with Adeyemi’s father Abbey Adeyemi for talks with Bayern.”
10.32 BST: Gareth Bale enjoyed his time in north London with Tottenham, but Defensa Central reports that he could be on his way back.
Not to Tottenham, though… to their bitter rivals Arsenal.
The report claims that the Gunners have offered Alexandre Lacazette in exchange for Bale, though the Wales international would have to lower his wage demands if he wants the move to come off before his contract at Real Madrid expires next summer.
Yet, as one of Tottenham’s legends, it is hard to see Bale accepting a move to the Emirates however much they pay him.
09.46 BST: Barcelona may also look to Man United for another midfielder, says The Sun.
Nemanja Matic, 33, is on the club’s radar as he has 18 months left on his contract and would be available for a cheap fee given his age.
09.00 BST: Barcelona are the latest club to have been offered Manchester United’s Paul Pogba on a free transfer next summer, sources told ESPN.
Pogba, 28, is out of contract at Old Trafford at the end of the season and his agent, Mino Raiola, is sounding out some of Europe’s heavyweights with a view to finding a new club for the midfielder. Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and several Premier League clubs have also been approached regarding Pogba, who can begin negotiations from Jan. 1.
Pogba has made no decision on his future and has not ruled out extending his stay at United, although he is also going to explore what other options he has available to him. Barca would consider signing the France international on a free transfer as they look to rebuild their squad under new president Joan Laporta.
However, while there would technically be no fee involved, the Catalan club are unsure whether, in their financial position, they would be able to afford the commission Raiola would demand. Barcelona’s gross debt stands at €1.4 billion. There are also doubts about whether Pogba would fit into the club’s new wage structure at a time when some of the team’s biggest earners are being asked to take pay cuts.
Sid Lowe joins the ESPN FC show to analyse why Barcelona’s players often play better for their international sides.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)
– Contract talks between Barcelona and Ansu Fati are stalling with the player’s agent demanding that the new deal be only for two years. That’s according to El Nacional, whhich reports that the Catalan club are keen to secure 18-year-old down to a long-term extension. The talented prospect is represented by Jorge Mendes, who was rumoured to be offering his client out to clubs across Europe last month, and it now look as though the parties are at a stalemate in the negotiations.
– Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be handed a £70m transfer injection if Manchester United are in title contention by the start of the new year, writes the Star. Despite poor recent results, the board are keen to back the manager as they look to challenge for the league, and aim to add to their summer signings to further bolster the squad. The Red Devils sit five points from the top of the table after losing 4-2 to Leicester City on Saturday.
– AS Roma are close to renewing the contract of three midfield players with Lorenzo Pellegrini, Ebrima Darboe and Jordan Veretout set for new deals at the Estadio Olimpico. Calciomercato reveals that 20-year-old Darboe is closest to being announced, with manager Jose Mourinho impressed with the defensive midfielder.
– Nicolo Schira reveals that Internazionale will meet with the representatives of midfielder Marcelo Brozovic soon to finalise a new deal. It is reported that the parties have already agreed on an extension until 2025, leaving just salary expectations and bonuses to be confirmed before the Serie A club can officially announce new terms for the Croatia international.
– Chelsea had the opportunity to sign Gianluigi Donnarumma as a free agent in the summer, according to Fabrizio Romano, who writes that the club decided to remain committed to Edouard Mendy. The 29-year-old Mendy was a standout performer in Chelsea’s 1-0 win against Brentford on Saturday, and has become one of the Premier League’s best shot-stoppers since arriving from Stade Rennais last year. Donnarumma instead joined PSG after years at AC Milan.