The coronavirus pandemic made the summer transfer market unlike any before it, but there were still plenty of deals done, and you can check out the major ones here. The window might be closed across the top leagues in Europe, but here are the best rumours from around the globe.
TOP STORY: Calhanoglu move to Man United draws nearer
Manchester United’s hopes of signing AC Milan’s Hakan Calhanoglu appear to have taken a positive turn.
– January transfer preview: Messi to City? Sancho to United?
It had already been suggested that United had a 90% chance of signing Calhanoglu on a free transfer in January, and now Sky Germany are reporting that there are no advanced negotiations about a contract extension between Calhanoglu and Milan.
They believe all the signs point to a move to Old Trafford and that several conversations have been held between the Red Devils and the player’s entourage.
However, they believe the financial aspects are still to be clarified. Moreover, United have to work out where Calhanoglu might fit into the team given the form of talisman Bruno Fernandes.
22.20 GMT: That will do it for the latest edition of our LIVE Transfer Talk blog. We hoped you enjoyed following along with us and remind you to check back shortly for the latest transfer rumours, reports and completed deals. Goodnight!
22.00 GMT: AS has tipped Liverpool to replace backup goalkeeper Adrian with Sevilla youngster Alfonso Pastor.
The 20-year-old made his UCL debut on Wednesday against Chelsea, and impressed — despite giving up four goals to the Blues. The highly-touted shot-stopper is reportedly already on the radars of Liverpool and Real Madrid, with both clubs in search of a reliable backup.
Liverpool may not be as desperate for a backup goalkeeper as they once were though, as Irishman Caoimhin Kelleher impressed between the sticks on Wednesday with a clean sheet vs. Ajax.
21.08 GMT: Cristiano Ronaldo to reunite with old friend Angel Di Maria at Juventus?
With reports claiming that Angel Di Maria’s relationship with PSG is breaking down, Calciomercato suggests that Juve could move for the Argentina playmaker. The 32-year-old. who is out of contract at the end of the season, has been the odd man out in PSG’s front three since the arrival of Moise Keane, and is reportedly growing increasingly frustrated.
Di Maria, who Ronaldo has expressed an interest in playing with again, played with CR7 at Madrid between 2010-14.
20.14 GMT: Man City have joined the race for Borussia Monchengladbach and Switzerland defensive midfielder Denis Zakaria, according to Fabrizio Romano.
On his podcast, Here we Go, the Italian transfer guru revealed that City are monitoring the in-demand star, who has also been linked with Man United, Chelsea and Bayern Munich.
“Manchester City are focusing on Zakaria.
“He is so appreciated by the board, they are following him, they are in contact with his agent.
“So he’s for sure on the list of Manchester City,” said Romano. “There is nothing advanced yet because they are not negotiating yet with Borussia Monchengladbach, they need time.”
City could use another defensive midfielder as Fernandinho, 35, is expected to leave the club, while Rodri has yet to fully convince in that role.
19.23 GMT: Celtic are the latest club being linked with Sampdoria centre-back Omar Colley, according to Sky Sports.
.@SkySport sources say the club are now willing to sell Colley for less than their previous valuation. He enters the final year of his contract in the summer.
I’ve been told that Colley will consider his options next month, but is currently focussing on fighting for his place.
— Anthony Joseph (@AnthonyRJoseph) December 2, 2020
The Gambian defender was linked with a move to England in the summer, and looks set to leave Samp after two-and-a-half years at the club. Sampdoria reportedly rejected a £10 million bid from the Hoops in the summer.
18.36 GMT: Marseille to sign a striker in January?
Manager Andre-Villas Boas has hinted that the club might need to bring in another forward to push Dario Benedetto and Valere Germain.
“We didn’t sign a genuine number nine, and we made a mistake because Luis Henrique is not the player to play in that position. We might need to do something in January.”
Marseille currently sit only four points off the pace in Ligue 1 but rank 12th in the division in goals scored with just 15 through 12 matches.
17.58 GMT: Southampton have signed defender Jan Bednarek to a long-term contract extension through 2025.
The 24-year-old has established himself as a key cog in the Saints defence since arriving from Lech Poznan in 2017, having racked up 85 appearances to date.
“I feel like this is the right place for me at the moment, and I can really enjoy my time here.”
17.03 GMT: January race heating up for frozen-out Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik?
Spanish outlet AS claims that the Pole is a priority for Atletico Madrid, but that Tottenham and Everton are still keen. The 26-year-old, who nearly joined Roma in the summer, was left off of all of Napoli’s squads and is not eligible to play again until January 1.
Atletico, who loaned out Alvaro Morata in the summer, could use help at striker with Diego Costa injured and 33-year-old Luis Suarez not getting any younger.
16.19 GMT: Gab Marcotti and Julien Laurens discuss the English FA’s new points-based system to sign overseas players post-Brexit. It’s coming on Jan. 1.
Gab and Juls discuss the English FA’s new points-based system to sign overseas players post-Brexit.
15.31 GMT: Chelsea are expected to listen to offers for Antonio Rudiger and Fikayo Tomori in January as head coach Frank Lampard seeks to reduce the number of centre-backs at the club, sources have told ESPN.
Both players almost left the club in the summer. Tottenham and West Ham United enquired about Rudiger while sources told ESPN on Sept. 8 that Everton were in advanced talks to sign Tomori on loan.
14.59 GMT: Gab Marcotti and Julien Lauren discuss Zinedine Zidane‘s future at Real Madrid after their poor run of form. Could he really be just days away from leaving the Bernabeu again?
Gab and Juls discuss Zinedine Zidane’s future at Real Madrid after their poor run of form.
14.20 GMT: Sky Sports says that West Ham United will sign Frederik Alves Ibsen from Silkeborg IF for £1.2m in January. The 21-year-old defender has reportedly already jetted into London for talks and the deal is all but agreed.
13.38 GMT: Barcelona should have sold Lionel Messi this summer to alleviate their financial problems, the club’s acting president Carles Tusquets has said. The Argentina star announced in August his wish to leave Barca, his team since 2001, but he was forced to take a U-turn when the Catalan giants demanded his €700m buyout clause instead of negotiating his departure.
Tusquets told Catalan radio RAC1: “Speaking from a financial standpoint, yes. But that is something that would have had to have been absolutely agreed with the coaching staff. From an economic standpoint, it would have been desirable to sell Messi.”
12.54 GMT: Sport in Spain is reporting that Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has lost confidence in some of his players after a poor start to the season. Defeat at Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Tuesday means they might not make it out of the group stage for the first-ever time.
The report says Eden Hazard and Martin Odegaard have angered Zidane the most, while he also has doubts about Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo. The attitude of Marcelo and Toni Kroos is also said to be a concern, while Isco has already been told he can leave in January.
12.10 GMT: Liverpool transfer target Perr Schuurs appears to have put a dampener on stories linking him with a move to Anfield. The Ajax centre-back told the media following Tuesday night’s 1-0 defeat at Anfield in the Champions League that he has no plans to leave the Amsterdam Arena just yet.
“I hear and read it too,” Schuurs told SBS6 about the Liverpool rumours. “It’s my first season as a regular at Ajax. I want to play here for a few more seasons and win prizes. I’m not really working on [leaving] yet.”
11.26 GMT: Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano reckons the way is clear for Tottenham Hotspur to sign Milan Skriniar from Internazionale. Jose Mourinho wants to strengthen his defensive options, and Romano said on his “Here We Go” podcast that a fee of £45m would get the deal over the line.
Mourinho signed Joe Rodon from Swansea City in the summer after failing to land Skriniar, but Spurs could now go back in.
10.43 GMT: Barcelona have started talks with Ousmane Dembele over a new contract, sources have told ESPN, with the forward’s existing deal set to expire in 2022.
Dembele, 23, continued his fine start to the season on Wednesday with a goal and an assist in Barca’s 3-0 Champions League win over Ferencvaros in Budapest.
A source at Barca told ESPN that the club are aware Manchester United are still monitoring the France international’s situation but that the Blaugrana are confident of getting him to commit to a new long-term deal. Negotiations have been ongoing now for several weeks.
— Samuel Marsden (@samuelmarsden) December 3, 2020
10.00 GMT: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has hinted the club may have to sell players before they can buy in the January transfer window after admitting they are “restricted” by the size of their squad.
The Gunners were unable to move on several fringe players in the summer with Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Ozil among those made available only to stay at the club.
“We are planning, talking with [technical director] Edu and with the club about the things we can do in January,” he said.
“But at the moment it’s pretty difficult, unpredictable as well. In terms of places, we are very restricted in the moment. We’ll see what happens, I think things will move in the market, we will be prepared, we will need to do something knowing the limitations of that market in January and the limitations we have as well to sign players.”
09.18 GMT: Jack Grealish has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester United over the last couple of years, and he will now have many suitors after a stellar start to the season that has seen him elevated to a regular starting for the senior England team.
The Daily Telegraph says that Villa are now trying to ward off any interest by slapping a £100m valuation on him.
08.30 GMT: Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar told ESPN he wants to play with former Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi again next season. Messi, 33, is out of contract at Camp Nou next summer and is free to talk to other clubs from January onwards.
“What I want most of all is to play with Messi again, to be able to enjoy him once again on the pitch,” Neymar said. “He can play in my place, I have no problem with that! But I want to play with him next year, for sure. We have to do it next season.”
Juve consider move for Umtiti
The defender is close to a return to action for the first time since the start of the season, but he might still miss out on an immediate place in Barca’s starting line-up.
Barcelona are missing several first-team central defenders including Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet and Ronald Araujo, and so they would seemingly relish the return of a player who has first-team experience.
However, Juve have defensive troubles of their own and Giorgio Chiellini in particular appears to be edging closer to retirement.
Juve have identified Umtiti as just one option of many, which also include Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Nikola Milenkovic and David Alaba.
Camavinga race down to Real, Man United
Juventus have ruled themselves out of the race to sign Stade Rennes’ in-demand midfielder Eduardo Camavinga, reports Calciomercato.
Juve don’t have the budget to sign Camavinga in January and so if he is to leave Rennes, it won’t be for Turin. Camavinga has been a regular for Rennes since first playing for the team aged 16, and now aged 18, he appears to be one of Europe’s hottest prospects.
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has long expressed his interest in the midfielder, whose price could be set to drop in January. Camavinga could cost €30m less than Rennes were asking for in the summer, yet a potential change of agent could further complicate things. Camavinga is believed to be looking to seek new guidance as he looks to secure a move in 2021.
Manchester United are also said to be interested in the youngster.
– Newcastle United are considering a loan move for Manchester United defender Brandon Williams in January, according to the Newcastle Chronicle. Williams can play in either full-back position, and such flexibility would be a huge advantage for Magpies boss Steve Bruce. Bruce has an excellent relationship with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Mike Phelan, and is best placed to land a player who recently signed a contract extension at Old Trafford until 2024.
– Leicester City could reignite their interest in Real Betis midfielder William Carvalho, according to Spanish outlet La Razon. They claim that Betis are looking to use money earned from any sale of the midfielder to strengthen their own squad in key areas. Carvalho, who plays in a defensive midfield role and who could challenge Wilfred Ndidi and Nampalys Mendy, could cost around £25m.
– FC Cologne are trying to prise 19-year-old forward Joshua Zirkzee away from Bayern Munich on loan, according to Calciomercato. Zirkzee is highly thought of at Bayern and so any departure would be a temporary one, while Zikrzee himself would likely relish the chance to play more games after featuring three times this season. Zirkzee was close to a loan move to Dutch side Feyenoord in the summer.