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: Traore wants Real Madrid move
Despite coming through Barcelona‘s youth academy, the 25-year-old winger has reportedly expressed his desire to play at the Santiago Bernabeu, and his agent has already contacted Real Madrid over a potential move.
A strong 2019-20 campaign saw Traore flourish in the Premier League with a string of performances that saw him linked to the likes of Liverpool. But after a dip in form over the past two seasons, Wolves are now prepared to accept as little as £18 million from another club to secure his services.
Barca boss Xavi Hernandez has limited finances at his disposal due to the club’s €1.4 billion debt, which means he will need to take a more selective approach to signings, though the emergence of Traore’s wish to play at Real Madrid might see any interest from Camp Nou dispelled.
19.48 GMT: Juventus are eyeing two midfield targets in January to bolster their central ranks under new boss Massimiliano Allegri. According to Calciomercato, the two names the Old Lady are interested in are Denis Zakaria and Axel Witsel, who are both out of contract in the summer and unlikely to renew at Borussia Monchengladbach and Borussia Dortmund, respectively.
19.15 GMT: Newcastle United and West Ham United are interested in a loan move for Tottenham Hotspur defender Joe Rodon, according to journalist Ekrem Konur. The Wales international has struggled for minutes under new Spurs boss Antonio Conte, with the 24-year-old eyeing an exit to play more football.
18.42 GMT: Paris Saint-Germain are eyeing a move for Wolverhampton Wanderers left-back Rayan Ait-Nouri, reports the Sun. The 20-year-old former France youth international made the permanent move to Molineux in the summer following a loan spell from Angers, making a move to PSG complicated given his contract at Wolves runs until 2026 with the option of another year.
18.09 GMT: Newcastle United have made Jesse Lingard their top priority in the January transfer window, with the club prepared to make him their top earner. According to the Times, manager Eddie Howe is keen on the playmaker as his side look to battle their way out of the relegation zone.
Speaking to Calciomercato, the Hungary coach said: “Right now I see Attila Szalai very well, who plays for Fenerbahçe, but I think he will play for Chelsea. He has been followed by important clubs in Spain, but his move to Chelsea is done. He would also be a great player for Italian football.”
17.03 GMT: Everton are open to moving on goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, according to the Sun. The England international has been part of a Toffees squad that has struggled, with new boss Rafa Benitez having to wheel and deal in January to make signings due to the club’s financial situation.
16.30 GMT: Leeds want to sign Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey, says Calciomercato.
Ramsey, 30, is no longer needed in Turin after an injury-hit spell and the club are trying to find a club to move him on to.
The former Arsenal midfielder’s contract expires in 2023 and Newcastle have also been linked with a transfer in January.
15.23 GMT: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said he is not worried about Mohamed Salah‘s future at the club amid reports linking the forward with a move to Barcelona.
Salah’s existing deal at Anfield runs out in June 2023 and he previously said he wants to extend his stay at Liverpool but claimed his future “is not in my hands.”
Speaking to an Egyptian broadcaster, Salah reiterated his desire to remain but claimed it was down to the management to resolve his contractual situation. The 29-year-old also said he was happy that Barca boss Xavi was interested in him.
Klopp addressed the situation in a news conference on Monday and said: “You know what he is about. We’re talking. Extending a contract with a player like Mo is not a thing you do where you meet for a cup of tea in the afternoon and find an agreement, that’s completely normal.
“There’s really nothing else to say. Mo speaks about it when he is asked about it, I can only say a few things because all of the rest is not for the public obviously but I’m not sure if he gave the interview in English or it was translated [wrongly] and arrived in English and that is an issue we saw in the last few days again. Mo is fine, I am fine, I think what we all want is clear and things like this need time.”
14.57 GMT: What will Man United’s interim manager bring to the table?
Janusz Michallik spots the differences Manchester United showed in Ralf Rangnick’s first game in charge.
14.16 GMT: Manchester United are exploring the possibility of hiring former United States international Chris Armas as part of Ralf Rangnick‘s staff, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.
Armas, whose last job was head coach of Toronto FC, would need a work permit before sealing a move to Old Trafford.
Sources have told ESPN that Rangnick is being allowed to appoint a “small number” of his own coaching staff to work alongside Mike Phelan and Kieran McKenna, both of whom were part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s backroom team.
14.03 GMT: Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun will leave the club on loan in January, according to The Athletic.
Balogun, 20, has featured only twice for the first team this season but has 16 goals in 12 games in all competitions for the youth team.
The striker wants first-team football and could move on a temporary basis, though the Gunners will need to keep him around as Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette are likely to leave on free transfers in the summer, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could be at the Africa Cup of Nations with Gabon in January,
13.22 GMT: Tuttomercatoweb reckons that Arsenal are keen on signing Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot.
Rabiot, 26, has slipped down the pecking order in Turin and the club are ready to listen to offers as his contract expires in 2023.
The former PSG star has been linked with a move to the Premier League as Newcastle have been following him, but Arsenal are also now in the running.
12.58 GMT: Norwich right-back Max Aarons won’t be at the club for long as some of Europe’s top clubs have been monitoring him.
Aarons, 21, has had Arsenal, Man City, Man United, Bayern and Barcelona on his trail, but now you can add AS Roma too.
Roma have reportedly made a loan move which includes an option to sign him permanently, according to Calciomercato. Norwich are struggling in the Premier League this season and could be tempted to let their young star depart for €22m if Jose Mourinho’s men offer it up.
12.25 GMT: Newcastle are tracking Lille centre-back Sven Botman, according to The Athletic.
Botman, 21, joined Lille from Ajax for €8m in 2020 and helped the French club to win Ligue 1 last season. The Netherlands U-21 international has been linked with Tottenham before, but Newcastle’s new Saudi-backed owners may be able to offer around €45m to land him ahead of rivals.
12.00 GMT: Tottenham could let striker Harry Kane leave in the coming months, but how would they cope without him?
Mark Donaldson and Janusz Michallik discuss how Tottenham is in good hands with Son Heung-min if Harry Kane was to leave Tottenham Hotspur.
11.17 GMT: Real Madrid could be willing to let Eden Hazard leave in January for a fee as low as €25m, according to the Sunday Mirror, with West Ham and Everton both interested in bringing him back to the Premier League.
Hazard, 30, has faced one injury setback after another since joining Madrid from Chelsea for €100m in 2019 and even when fit has had a peripheral role so far this season under coach Carlo Ancelotti, with no goals in 10 LaLiga appearances.
The Belgium international is one of Madrid’s highest earners and the Mirror reports the club would be willing to accept a cut-price fee to get him off their payroll.
Such a deal would see Hazard depart the Bernabeu on loan in January, with his new club having an obligation to complete a permanent move next summer.
10.46 GMT: AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic says he wants to stay at the Serie A club for the rest of his career, admitting he is “scared to stop” playing due to uncertainty as to what comes next after retirement.
Ibrahimovic, 40, has a contract which expires at the end of the season, but he has no plans to hang up his boots just yet.
“I want to play as long as possible. As long as I have that adrenaline, I will continue,” Ibrahimovic told Italian talk show Che Tempo Che Fa on Sunday. “Let’s put pressure on Milan here to give me an extension and I hope to stay at Milan for life. I still have objectives that I can achieve and I want to win another Scudetto.
“I don’t know what will happen after football, so I am a little scared to stop. We’ll see, but I want to continue playing so that I don’t have any regrets.”
Ibrahimovic was on the bench as Milan beat bottom side Salernitana 2-0 on Saturday to move one point clear at the top of the Serie A standings.
10.09 GMT: PSG forward Kylian Mbappe has hinted he could stay at the club, despite his contract expiring in 2022.
Mbappe, 22, revealed he wanted to make a move to Real Madrid over the summer — with PSG rejecting a €200m bid, according to ESPN sources — and could depart on a free transfer. But the France international isn’t giving much away.
“I don’t know,” Mbappe told Amazon Prime about his future. “Today I have to take the time. It is not easy. Either way, I’ll be playing for a big club.
“At first I was disappointed [not to leave]. But well, I am not in the third division, I am in a club that wants to win the Champions League. I am Parisian, I have my family, I feel good, I have always said it. I just wanted to discover something else.”
09.38 GMT: Everton announced Marcel Brands had left his position as director of football on Sunday but said under-fire manager Rafa Benitez has their “full support.”
Everton’s 4-1 defeat by Liverpool on Wednesday stretched their winless run to eight games and left them 16th in the Premier League, five points above the relegation zone. Brands was confronted by fans as he left the director’s box after that defeat.
“The owner and directors would like to thank Marcel for the service he has given to the club over the past three and a half years and wish him well for his future,” the club said in a statement. “In the meantime, the owner and board of directors will continue to provide our manager, Rafa Benitez, with their full support.”
09.15 GMT: FC Zurich defender Becir Omeragic is on the radar of Inter Milan, says Calciomercato.
Omeragic, 19, has impressed this season and looks set to move on to a bigger league, while Inter are hoping to land the Switzerland international for a cheaper fee than some of his peers given their financial situation.
08.51 GMT: Gianluigi Donnarumma says there is no bad blood between himself and Costa Rica No. 1 Keylor Navas. Both players are competing for playing time at PSG and rumours of friction between the two have been quashed by Donnarumma, who was recently voted the goalkeeper of the year.
“It happens that people talk indiscriminately; they begin to imagine complicated situations. There is nothing that can be done about it. But that is by no means the reality,” the Italy international told France Football. “There is not the slightest conflict. We are both friends and everything is going very well between us. Keylor and I are close, like all the costumes. You know, we are both very calm and respectful.”
Donnarumma joined PSG from AC Milan in the summer as a free agent.
08.30 GMT: RB Leipzig have released American head coach Jesse Marsch from his contract with immediate effect after just four months.
The two parties announced on Sunday they have “mutually agreed to part ways” after a run of four defeats on the bounce and the decision follows RB Leipzig’s 2-1 defeat to Union Berlin on Friday, which left Leipzig 11th in the Bundesliga. Marsch missed Friday’s match after returning a positive test for COVID-19.
In April, the 48-year-old signed a two-year deal, and in the summer took over from Julian Nagelsmann who left to take the Bayern Munich job. Leipzig have suffered six defeats in their opening 14 Bundesliga matches, and three losses from their five Champions League encounters, thus club CEO Oliver Mintzlaff has decided to act on their poor form.
“It was not easy for us to part company with Jesse Marsch, because I hold Jesse in high regard as a person and as a coach,” Mintzlaff said in a statement. “It is a shame that things did not work out as we had hoped with this setup, and that this step has now become necessary.
“Unfortunately, the development we were hoping for and the results needed to achieve our goals for the season have not been achieved.”
In the wake of their defeat to Union Berlin, RB Leipzig’s head coach Jesse Marsch has been relieved of his duties after just three months in the role following a disastrous start to the season.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)
– El Nacional writes that Memphis Depay is already open to leaving Barcelona, despite having been at the club for less than a season. It is reported that the 27-year-old forward believes that former manager Ronald Koeman was better than Xavi, and would now listen to offers should they arrive from around Europe. He has scored eight goals in 15 LaLiga games this season.
– Nicolo Schira reveals that Verona will activate their €12m option to make Giovanni Simeone‘s transfer permanent after the 26-year-old’s impressive run of form. Simeone, son of Argentina legend Diego, has been excellent in Serie A this season, scoring 11 goals in as many starts, including a brace in Verona’s 4-3 win over Venezia on Sunday.
– Dries Mertens has said that he wants to remain at Napoli beyond this season. The 34-year-old striker is set to be out of contract at the end of the campaign, but there has been little sight of talks regarding a new deal that would extend his stay. Speaking to Sky Italy, he said: “There is a renewal clause in favor of Napoli, I hope it will be exercised, then let’s see.”
– Southampton are set to sign former Manchester City goalkeeper Willy Caballero, the Athletic has revealed. The 40-year-old has been a free agent since his contract with Chelsea expired, but it now looks as though he will return to the Premier League on a short-term deal at St. Mary’s Stadium.
– Calciomercato has revealed that three Premier League clubs are battling for the signature of Juventus‘ Aaron Ramsey in January. Everton, Leeds United, and Newcastle United are all interested, but while Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds side are looking to secure only a loan deal for the 30-year-old midfielder, the other clubs at the table would be willing to sign him on a permanent basis. The Wales international has been linked with a move away from Turin in recent months, with the Serie A club looking to move him on to make space for another signing in midfield.