The transfer window for all of Europe’s big five leagues is closed, but that doesn’t stop Transfer Talk from rummaging around about who will be moving where come January.
TOP STORY: Man United set for Saudi takeover?
Manchester United could be set for new owners, as The Sun claim that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — you may remember him from the World Cup as he watched his country’s opening game alongside Vladimir Putin and Gianni Infantino — is interested in buying the club.
The Crown Prince’s family is reportedly worth over £850 billion, so buying United for around £3bn seems a drop in the ocean. And it would certainly provide some competition for the Abu Dhabi-based owners of rivals Manchester City.
Whether or not they can persuade the current owners, the Glazer family, to part with United remains to be seen — indeed, Sky Sports claim that the club is not for sale — but if they did, surely Jose Mourinho would have nothing to complain about in the transfer market anymore.
22.39 BST: After two goals and eleven appearances at Chinese second-division side Beijing Enterprise, Victor Anichebe has been training with Major League Soccer’s Colorado Rapids, Pro Soccer USA reports.
21.48 BST: Manchester United and Tottenham are both interested in signing Bournemouth centre-back Nathan Ake, according to the Telegraph, but there’s a catch: Chelsea possess a £40m buyback agreement after shipping him to the South Coast in a £20m deal in 2017. So while the Blues have no plans to sign the 23-year-old at present, concrete interest in the Dutch international from United and Spurs could push Chelsea into bringing their academy graduate back to the club — amid uncertain futures surrounding centre-backs Gary Cahill, David Luiz and even Andreas Christensen — and simultaneously weaken two rivals.
20:55 BST: Fabio Capello has urged Real Madrid to sign Mauro Icardi for Inter Milan.
“I am a fan of Icardi,” he told Radio Rai in Italy. “If I were Real Madrid, I’d sign him immediately. He’s a penalty box expert like Cristiano Ronaldo.”
20:02 BST: Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey is refusing to rule out a move in January, according to Marca.
19:18 BST: Sport Bild are reporting that Bayern Munich are interested in signing Roma midfielder Cengiz Under. The Serie A side would demand between €50 and €60 million.
18:20 BST: Barcelona hope their good relationship with agent Mino Raiola will facilitate their move for Matthijs De Ligt, according to Sport. However, they will negotiate directly with Frenkie De Jong as the club consider his agent, Ali Dursun, a “problem.”
17:05 BST: Patrick Cutrone has signed a contract extension with AC Milan, which will keep him at the club until 2023.
16.10 BST: If anyone should know about the future of Eden Hazard, it should be his Belgium manager, Roberto Martinez. He’s told Cadena Ser that Chelsea should stand firm: “Chelsea want to win titles, not sell players. It’s going to be difficult to see them sell Hazard in the near future.”
15.41 BST: Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella has been making an impression with the Italy national team and, according to La Nuova Sardegna, he’s also attracting interest from Liverpool. The 21-year-old is reported to cost around £30m, which seems pretty cheap for someone of his obvious talent.
14.48 BST: Alberto Moreno has failed to agree a new deal with Liverpool and looks set to leave on a free transfer once his contract expires this summer, according to Goal. The left-back has played just once this term, in the Carabao Cup, since Andrew Robertson has been first-choice.
14.24 BST: Sergio Ramos has been talking up the talent of Harry Kane. Real Madrid could certainly use a goal scoring given they have been struggling to hit the back of the net of late, and Mark Ogden insists there are only two English players who would merit interest from either Real or Barcelona. One of them is Kane.
“A really physical striker, but also really skilful.”
Sergio Ramos has backed Harry Kane for success in La Liga. pic.twitter.com/nmCyOvIMwV
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) October 15, 2018
13.50 BST: Update on the Sun’s story from below… Ruben Loftus-Cheek could leave Chelsea on loan in January but he will not be sold, sources have told ESPN FC.
While all parties accept that another temporary move could be best for Loftus-Cheek’s development if his situation does not improve, the midfielder does not expect to leave on a permanent deal and Chelsea remain opposed to selling one of their brightest academy graduates.
13.13 BST: Tottenham are reportedly keen to step up their move for 22-year-old Sampdoria starlet Joachim Andersen, according to Tuttomercatoweb. The versatile Danish defender was asked a few weeks ago about the club’s interest and replied: “I know nothing, but if you talk to me about it, maybe it’s because my performance is up to it.”
12.29 BST: We promised you a Usain Bolt story, and here it is. Bolt has been offered a two-year contract at an unnamed club in Europe, sources have told ESPN.
Bolt, an eight-time Olympic sprint champion, captured worldwide attention when he scored two goals for Central Coast Mariners in their friendly against Macarthur South West United.
Agent Tony Rallis, who is representing Bolt while he is in Australia, told ESPN: “There is a club in Europe that has offered Bolt a two-year deal, they have been taken over by new owners who have aspirations of Champions League football.”
12.11 BST: Sources have told ESPN FC that Man United are confident Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera will sign new deals to stay at Old Trafford. The pair have contracts until the end of the season but the club, who are also in negotiations with David De Gea, Ashley Young and Juan Mata, are hopeful fresh terms will be agreed soon.
11.20 BST: Get the latest from Football Whispers in Transfer Rater. Today’s instalment says Kai Havertz and Ismaila Sarr to Arsenal, with Cesc Fabregas to Atletico Madrid thrown in.
10.58 BST: According to a report from Football.london, Patrice Evra has joined up with his former club West Ham as he looks to maintain fitness levels. Just don’t annoy him.
10.25 BST – BREAKING: Sources have told ESPN that Usain Bolt has a two-year deal on the table from a European club. More as we get it, but looks like the Mariners have some competition.
10.12 BST: The papers have reported that Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey is of interest to a number of clubs when his contract expires this summer… of course he is… but a source close to the player has told ESPN FC that he is open to joining one of Arsenal’s top six rivals. That said, the Welshman also isn’t ruling anything out — including staying at the Emirates. So watch this space.
09.31 BST: Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri may need to improve his scouting network… TalkSPORT claim that the Chelsea boss is keen on Napoli stars Piotr Zielinski and Kalidou Koulibaly, both of whom played under him last season. And the fee? £130m for the pair — which doesn’t actually sound like bad value.
09.05 BST: What on earth has happened to Tiemoue Bakayoko since he left Monaco? First he’s failed to impress Chelsea after making a £40m move in 2017 and now he’s failing to impress AC Milan too. Corriere dello Sport are claiming the Serie A side want to cut short his loan deal as he’s been that bad…
08.34 BST: The big question on everyone’s lips: Should Usain Bolt be given a contract at Central Coast Mariners?
08.00 BST: Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku says he is open to a move to Italy in the future. The Belgian is into his second season at Old Trafford following his £75 million move from Everton in 201 but the 25-year-old has admitted he would like to test himself in Serie A. “Why not? I hope so,” Lukaku told La Gazzetta dello Sport, when asked if he would like to play in Italy.
PAPER ROUND UP
PSG keep tabs on De Gea situation at United
Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea “is in no hurry” to sign a new contract and Paris Saint-Germain are “ready to swoop,” according to the Mail.
Reports at the weekend said United were ready to trigger a one-year option to extend the Spain international’s contract, and the Mail says that although PSG are monitoring the situation he “is of a mind to renew.”
However, it adds that “De Gea’s camp will see how things pan out amid uncertainty at Old Trafford,” with the future of manager Jose Mourinho the subject of speculation.
Valencia on his way out?
Meanwhile, United’s Antonio Valencia could leave on a free if the club do not trigger a 12-month contract extension option by March 1, the Sun reports.
It says the Ecuador defender has a clause in his deal that means he could sign a pre-contract deal with another club at the start of that month.
Valencia, who has been at United for nine years, is interesting clubs from Germany and Turkey.
The Sun says the 33-year-old “is happy to stay despite a couple of issues with Mourinho,” but there is doubt over his future.
Trio in race for Chelsea’s Loftus-Cheek
Crystal Palace, Everton and Arsenal are in the frame to sign Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who will “demand a move to save his England career,” according to the Sun.
Midfielder Loftus-Cheek, who excelled on loan at Palace, has been on the fringes of the Blues squad since returning to Stamford Bridge.
The 22-year-old had wanted to fight for a place in Maurizio Sarri’s team, but the Sun says he fears for his England chances after being left out of Gareth Southgate’s latest squad.
Palace “would love to take him back to Selhurst Park,” but Everton have been interested since manager Marco Silva took over and Arsenal “may also be keen.”
Gunners could yet cash in on Ramsey
With Aaron Ramsey set to leave Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United are said to lead the race — but their hopes of signing him on a free could be dashed, according to the London Evening Standard.
Ramsey is out of contract at the end of the season, when he would be available as a free agent.
But the Standard says Arsenal “are yet to decide whether to try to cash in on him in January,” with Italian champions Juventus strongly linked.
It adds that “although Ramsey has insisted he will not force through a transfer during January, a move appears likely.”
– Fulham’s defensive struggles since returning to the Premier League could lead to a move for AC Milan’s Mateo Musacchio in January, according to the Mirror.
Manager Slavisa Jokanovic wants a new centre-half and could target Musacchio, 28, who is on the club’s transfer list in their big-spending summer.
– Everton’s Ademola Lookman says he has regained his focus after being unsettled by transfer speculation, the Liverpool Echo reports.
Lookman spent a successful loan spell at RB Leipzig last season, but talk of a permanent move to the Bundesliga club came to nothing.