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
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.
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
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.