Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Barcelona pursuing Boubacar Kamara


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’s the latest gossip and speculation.

TOP STORY: Top European clubs in for Marseille’s Kamara

Manchester United, Newcastle United, Bayern Munich and Barcelona are all interested in Marseille midfielder Boubacar Kamara, according to The Athletic.

The 22-year-old, who can also operate at centre-back, has a contract with Marseille that culminates in the summer of 2022.

With this meaning that clubs abroad can begin to negotiate with him regarding a summer move as a free transfer, there is plenty of interest in the Frenchman.

Marseille have not given up hope of him staying as they could make another push to reach an agreement, but Kamara has already decided that he will leave as a free agent at the season’s end, adds the report.

Wolverhampton Wanderers and Newcastle were keen in the summer, with the latter maintaining that interest after their Saudi Arabia-backed takeover in October.

Meanwhile, Man United are monitoring the situation as they weigh up possible options to bolster their midfield.

Kamara’s profile is also thought to be appealing to Bayern . In addition, Barcelona are known to be strong admirers — especially as they would not need to spend a transfer fee amid their financial troubles.

It is unknown whether the decision regarding his next destination will be made in January or further down the line.

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22.28 GMT: AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie is nearing an exit from the Serie A club, reports Calciomercato.

The Ivory Coast international is set to be out of contract in the summer and, despite talks over a new deal, discussions have stalled, putting the 24-year-old closer to leaving the club in the future.

21.46 GMT: Benfica are hoping to reignite interest in Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti, says Mundo Deportivo.

While Barcelona are reportedly looking to move on from the 28-year-old in the summer, Benfica made an attempt to sign him. A deal didn’t materialise, however the Portuguese club are now hoping to land him in the winter transfer market.

21.15 GMT: AS Roma are interested in Juventus midfielder Arthur, who is struggling to break into the side following his move from Barcelona.

Reports from Calciomercato say that Massimiliano Allegri is hoping to move on the Brazil international in January, while he looks to shake-up the midfield at the Old Lady. Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho is hoping to bolster his squad in the winter, with his side sitting in sixth.

20.42 GMT: Bayern Munich are interested in Borussia Dortmund and England midfielder Jude Bellingham, according to Bild.

Dortmund, however, are said to be eager to keep the 18-year-old, who has been at the club since 2020 from Championship side Birmingham City.

20.03 GMT: Real Madrid have emerged as the favourites to land Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger, with the club reportedly holding positive talks with the player.

According to the Guardian, the 28-year-old’s current contract with Chelsea is set to end in the summer but renewal talks are not going well. The report says that the Germany international turned down a first contract proposal of £140k-a-week at the club and is aiming for closer to £200k-a-week for his next deal, whoever he signs it with.

19.28 GMT: According to ESPN Deportes, and other outlets, recent Liga MX champion Jesus Angulo could soon leave Atlas to join Tigres. An agreement between both clubs has reportedly been met regarding the transfer of the 23-year-old defender.

Last Sunday, Angulo lifted the 2021 Apertura title after defeating Leon in the Liga MX final. Earlier this year, he also won a bronze medal with Mexico’s national team at the Olympic Games.

19.04 GMT: For the next couple months, Barcelona will be forced to sit winger Yusuf Demir to avoid triggering a clause in his loan deal, reports Sky Sports Germany.

The youngster would reportedly trigger a clause in his loan deal that would see him move permanently to Barcelona for €10 million if he plays another game. However, if they wait until February to give the 18-year-old some game time, then the clause would still trigger but it would delay the budget hit until the summer of 2022, giving Barca a bigger winter budget.

18.31 GMT: Discussions between Internazionale and Croatia international Ivan Perisic have reportedly stalled, so now the club are eyeing a move for Eintracht Frankfurt winger Filip Kostic.

According to Calciomercato, the Nerazzurri are likely to lose Perisic in the summer with his current deal expiring. As a result, they have a verbal agreement to sign Kostic to add depth to their wide ranks.

17.27 GMT: Barcelona president Joan Laporta had a meeting with agent Mino Raiola over potential signings, including Paul Pogba, reports journalist Fabrizio Romano.

The reporter says several names were bandied about, including Erling Haaland and Noussair Mazraoui, along with Pogba. The club is reportedly looking to bolster its squad amid a financial crisis and underwhelming performances.

16.34 GMT: Pep Guardiola believes New York City FC striker Valentin Castellanos is ready to leave MLS and take the next step in his career in Europe.

Castellanos, 23, finished the regular season with 19 goals before adding three in the play-offs as New York City claimed the first MLS Cup triumph in their history after defeating the Portland Timbers in a penalty shootout.

The Argentine has been linked with a move to the Premier League and Guardiola revealed he has had conversations with the City Football Group’s scouting department about his future.

“I think he is a guy who will do the next step in Europe,” Guardiola told a news conference on Monday. “What I saw when the scouting department talked to me, I know he’s a quality player and ready to make the next step to Europe and we will see where.”

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15.42 GMT: Frenkie de Jong‘s dad says “the top five European clubs” have all enquired about the Dutch midfielder, but he doesn’t see his son leaving Barcelona any time soon.

Barca’s financial problems have seen the departures of Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann this year, but they could be forced to let more players leave if they want to strengthen elsewhere.

De Jong, 24, has at times been touted as a quick-fix to the club’s situation, given the fee he would attract, but coach Xavi Hernandez recently declared him “not for sale” and the player’s father can’t see him leaving, either.

“The weather is horrible there,” John de Jong told AD when asked about possible interest from Bayern Munich and Manchester United. “Of course, at the end of the day, it’s about football, but that does matter.

“I know Barcelona need money and a big offer for Frenkie could help, but I don’t see it happening, although the five top European clubs have all called.

“[Frenkie and his girlfriend] are building a new house, close to the stadium. They are enjoying their time in Barcelona so much, life over there is fantastic. The Catalan people are crazy about him.”

De Jong joined Barca from Ajax in a deal worth around €70 million in 2019, turning down offers from Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City, clubs that, along with Bayern and United, have once again been linked with him in recent months.

14.46 GMT: Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has claimed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang “needs time to heal” after being stripped of the captaincy, but refused to rule out the prospect of selling the striker in January.

The Gunners confirmed in a statement on Tuesday that Aubameyang, 32, would no longer wear the armband after a “disciplinary issue” which source told ESPN’s James Olley involves the striker returning late from a sanctioned holiday.

Aubameyeng was dropped from the squad for Saturday’s 3-0 win over Southampton and will not be considered again when West Ham visit Emirates Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Asked whether he would consider selling Aubameyang in January, Arteta gave a more ambiguous answer than last Friday to the same question, when claiming the club had “never discussed” it.

“I can say right now that we have made this decision, unfortunately it’s a really tough one and obviously if I had to choose I would not like to be sitting here talking about it but we had to do it,” said Arteta, who claims he informed the Gabon international of his decision in face-to-face talks. “But for now, he is not involved in the squad.”

Pushed on when Aubameyang might return to action, Arteta added: “What I can tell you now is to make the decision that we made is because he was really hurting, and it is still like this and he needs a bit of time to heal. So for now, he is not involved in the squad.

“Since I have been here, [my relationship with Aubameyang has been] really, really good. That is why it is painful.”

Responding to how Aubameyang took the news, Arteta replied pointedly: “He had to accept the decision.”

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Julien Laurens feels Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang being stripped of the Arsenal captaincy was to be expected.

13.54 GMT: The outcome of the Champions League round-of-16 draw that has seen Real Madrid paired with Paris Saint-Germain will alter the Spanish giant’s plans regarding the timing of Kylian Mbappe‘s deal, AS reports.

Mbappe has not signed a new contract with Paris Saint-Germain and, with his current deal ending next summer, the France international is free to negotiate with his next club in January.

However, Los Blancos reportedly intend to keep negotiations with Mbappe quiet until after March 9, when the second leg of the tie between the sides will be played at Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium.

Madrid are determined to avoid putting further pressure on Mbappe. Moreover, L’Equipe reports that Mbappe will not make any move regarding his future until then out of respect for PSG.

Mbappe, 22, wanted to join Madrid this past summer but PSG rejected all offers. The forward, who has scored 13 goals and set up 12 more in 23 games in all competitions so far this season, will reportedly sign a contract with Madrid until June 2028.

‘He just burst out laughing!’: Mbappe was asked to join Spurs by ‘Spider-Man’ star Holland

13.01 GMT: Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard has said that the club may be hesitant is signing a new player next month if they are not vaccinated against COVID-19.

This week the Premier League revealed that 42 players and staff at clubs had tested positive over the past week, while Tuesday’s match between Brentford and Manchester United being postponed due to an outbreak of cases at United.

“We’re very thorough and detailed in terms of our recruitment process,” Gerrard said. “And we look at everything. So I’m sure it’ll come up. It would certainly come into conversations in the background.

“We’ll obviously make decisions as and when we decide a certain person is the one who could come in and make us better. We’ll go across it with a fine-toothed comb. But I don’t think it’s right for me to comment on if I would or wouldn’t [sign the player] in that situation [if they were unvaccinated].”

12.09 GMT: Tottenham Hotspur are prepared to listen to offers for Dele Alli in January, sources have told ESPN’s James Olley.

Spurs boss Antonio Conte has indicated that the 25-year-old is not a key part of his plans for the second half of the season, sources had told ESPN, with Conte willing to allow him to revive his career elsewhere.

Significantly, chairman Daniel Levy is also ready to soften his stance having blocked multiple attempts from Paris Saint-Germain to take the midfielder on loan last summer.

Sources have told ESPN that Alli was open to joining the Ligue 1 side, with the prospect of being reunited with former Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino at the Parc des Princes an appeal.

It is unclear at this stage whether PSG will revive their interest but Alli is desperate to change his fortunes after becoming a peripheral figure at Spurs, making just 14 appearances all season.

11.33 GMT: The January transfer window is getting ever closer and clubs are starting to think seriously about the players they want to strengthen their squads.

Traditionally, mid-season isn’t a time for major moves, but the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on football finances is unpredictable and the summer window saw plenty of spending in spite of the situation.

Here, we break down some of the players on the radar for some of Europe’s biggest clubs.

– Karlsen: Vlahovic, Mbappe among top January transfer targets

10.41 GMT: Barcelona have announced that Sergio Aguero will hold a news conference on Wednesday to “explain his future” as he battles a heart condition.

Various reports suggest that Aguero, who joined Barca from Manchester City on a free transfer in the summer, will confirm his retirement from the game. Barca president Joan Laporta will appear alongside the Argentina striker at the event, which will be held at Camp Nou.

Aguero, 33, made just five appearances for Barca this season before being forced off in October’s draw against Alaves after experiencing chest pain. Following tests, it was announced that the discomfort had been caused by an arrhythmia — a broad term to describe any heart rhythm that is not completely normal — which would require treatment over a three-month period.

That three-month period runs until the end of January, but there has been increased speculation in recent weeks that Aguero would have to hang up his boots. Sources previously told ESPN in November that the forward would follow the guidance from doctors and was in no rush to make a decision on his future.

Aguero broke on to the scene with Independiente in his homeland before joining Atletico Madrid. He later spent a decade with City, becoming the English club’s record goal scorer, before signing for Barca when his contract expired last June.

09.47 GMT: Sporting CP are already working on a plan to keep Spanish defender Pedro Porro at the Portuguese club for the long term, according to A Bola.

Porro, 22, has been outstanding since joining Sporting in August 2020 on a two-year loan deal from Manchester City. Sporting hope to make Porro’s move permanent by paying the agreed €8.5m to City this summer.

Porro already convinced Sporting executives of his worth when he scored four goals and set up four more in 37 games to help Sporting win the league title last season.

The Spain international, who is contracted to City until 2024, has scored three goals in 18 games this campaign.

Once securing his signature, Sporting are prepared to offer Porro, who is a reported target of Real Madrid and Atletico, an improved three-year contract and place a €45m release clause.

Porro joined City from sister club Girona in the summer of 2019 for a reported £10.8m, but was immediately loaned out to Real Valladolid.

08.52 GMT: Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira is remaining open to the prospect of keeping midfielder Conor Gallagher beyond the end of his season-long loan from Chelsea.

Gallagher, 21, has scored six goals and set up another three in the Premier League so far this season, and even earned a late call-up into the most recent England squad.

Follo0wing on from his eye-catching loon spell at West Bromwich Albion last season, Gallagher is establishing himself as one of the most promising young players in England, leading to speculation that he could be welcomed back into the fold at Stamford Brridge next season or even be recalled in January.

“We don’t think about what will happen in the future,” Vieira said. “We have Conor for a year and we are pleased to work with him. I think he is really happy at our place, because being here has allowed him to perform at that level.

“It is a win-win. We will see what happens at the end of the season.”

08.00 GMT: Interim Manchester United coach Ralf Rangnick has said forward Anthony Martial should have the courage to submit a formal transfer request if he wants to leave the club January.

Martial’s agent, Philippe Lamboley, said on Friday that his client wants to leave Old Trafford in the next transfer window.

But the news came as a surprise to Rangnick, who insists Martial, 26, has not approached him or the club about his plans.

“I don’t communicate with agents via the media and press,” Rangnick said. “The player hasn’t spoken with me or us about it.

“To be honest, what his agent says via the media is not of that much interest to me. It should be the player. If he really has the wish to go to another club it should be the player who informs either the board or myself. I have never spoken about a player via the media and via agents.”

PAPER GOSSIP

Erling Haaland is set to have a perspective discussion with Borussia Dortmund regarding his future, writes Kicker.

The Norway international’s contract includes a release clause that is set to be triggered in the summer, while Dortmund are hoping he will stay beyond that. With many of the world’s biggest clubs hoping to sign the striker, there will be a discussion about what happens next in the coming weeks — though it could take longer for a final decision to be made.

Sergio Aguero will announce his retirement in a press conference on Wednesday Dec. 15, reveals Diario Sport and other outlets. The Argentine was forced off in a match against Alaves due to dizziness and will now need to retire as a player because of a heart condition.

– The Chicago Fire announced that forward Ignacio Aliseda is leaving to join Swiss Super League side FC Lugano and will do so when the European transfer window opens on Jan. 1. The Argentine joined the Fire in February 2020 and made 43 appearances across two seasons. His departure will free up a Designated Player spot.

– Contract talks between AC Milan and Alessio Romagnoli are progressing positively, with the club offering €3.5 million per season, reports Calciomercato. New meetings are planned with the defender’s agent, Mino Raiola, while the 26-year-old staying could alter the club’s plans when it comes to bringing in other centre-backs.

— Zenit St. Petersburg have offered Sardar Azmoun a contract extension in an attempt to avoid losing him as a free agent when his current deal ends in the summer, tweets Nicolo Schira, but the 26-year-old has gained attention elsewhere. Lyon have been in advanced talks since October and offered the Iran international a four-year contract, while Bayer Leverkusen are also showing interest.





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