The summer transfer window is into its final month for the major European leagues, which means the biggest clubs are looking to make a splash in the market before the new season begins. Check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.
TOP STORY: Auba’s Arsenal days numbered?
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could yet leave Arsenal this summer, with reports claiming that the Gunners would consider offers for their star striker.
The Times writes that the club could offload their highest-earning player, with Mikel Arteta unsatisfied with the striker’s scoring form.
The Gabon international has already missed a number of chances during pre-season, and after scoring just ten goals in 29 Premier League appearances during the last campaign, Arsenal are becoming concerned with the forward’s return.
The 32-year-old currently earns a £250,000 base salary per week on a deal worth £13 million per year, making it difficult to find a potential suitor for the former Borussia Dortmund player.
Aubameyang didn’t travel with the squad for the Gunners opening-day 2-0 defeat against Brentford due to illness.
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12.26 BST: Manchester United have completed a deal with Real Madrid for Raphael Varane, with the France international presented to fans on the Old Trafford pitch before Saturday’s Premier League opener against Leeds.
United announced on July 27 that a deal for Varane had been agreed but a medical and personal terms had yet be finalised. Sources told ESPN a deal worth approximately €41m had been agreed.
The 28-year-old is United’s third signing of the summer after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also brought in Jadon Sancho and Tom Heaton.
Varane was in the final year of his contract at Madrid and the club opted to sell him this summer rather than lose him on a free transfer later down the line.
Introducing our newest Red 😍#MUFC @RaphaelVarane pic.twitter.com/yUjIsqgZ1H
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 14, 2021
12.03 BST: A most unexpected bit of transfer news here — former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who retired from Mixed Martial Arts in last October, has signed for third-tier Russian side FC Legion Dynamo.
Nurmagomedov announced his retirement following his submission victory over American Justin Gaethje on Oct. 24, his first fight following the death of his father, Abdulmanap, from complications caused by COVID-19.
Fulfilling a promise made to his mother, the 32-year-old left the cage after a stunning run of 13 wins in eight years and a professional record featuring eight knockouts and 11 submission wins in his 29 victories.
In January, Nurmagomedov revealed his intentions to transition to football, tweeting that he was preparing for his debut in the sport and “ready to accept offers”.
Legion Dynamo, who play in the third-tier Russian Professional Football League and are third in the competition this season, announced the signing on Instagram with a photo of Nurmagomedov shaking the hand of a club official.
11.34 BST: Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has denied that Martin Odegaard‘s omission from his squad ahead of the new LaLiga season is confirmation that the midfielder will be leaving the club.
However, Ancelotti, who did not register Odegaard, Dani Ceballos or defender Jesus Vallejo for Madrid’s first match of the campaign at Alaves, did admit that the 22-year-old playmaker has competition for his spot.
Odegaard has been linked with a return to Arsenal, where he spent the second half of last season on loan, and sources have told ESPN’s James Olley that Madrid would be willing to accept a €45m transfer fee for the Norway international.
“The issue with Odegaard not being registered — like Vallejo — isn’t a technical decision,” Ancelotti said in a prematch news conference on Friday. “It’s a circumstance of the moment. We can’t register everyone in this period. Tomorrow it could change. The deadline is Sept. 2.”
He added: “Odegaard has done well, I’ve spoken to him. I’ve told him that in central midfield there’s a lot of competition, we have eight very important players there. That’s all.
“It isn’t discarding Ceballos, Vallejo and Odegaard definitively. We had to register two players for the game and I chose [Gareth] Bale and [Luka] Jovic. It’s temporary.”
10.40 BST: Tottenham Hotspur have made a €50m offer for Villarreal’s Pau Torres, Cadena SER reports — but the centre-back has turned down the move because he wants to play in the Champions League for his hometown club.
Torres, 24, has a €65m release clause, but Villarreal were willing to consider Spurs’ bid, according to the radio station. The Times also reported on Friday that the Premier League club were hopeful a deal could be done.
However, Cadena SER claimed later that day that Villarreal academy product Torres — who helped Unai Emery’s team win the Europa League last season — would prefer to take the next step with them in the Champions League.
Sources have told ESPN that the defender has been tracked by Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United and Manchester City over the last year.
09.53 BST: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said he is puzzled by Manchester United’s transfer business this summer but not surprised by the spending power of Manchester City, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.
When asked about the spending of the club’s rivals in a news conference ahead of Liverpool’s Premier League opener against Norwich City on Saturday, Klopp replied: “We all know the situation of Chelsea and City and PSG.
“What United are doing, I don’t know how they did it. We have our own way to do it. We are allowed to spend the money we earn, that we always did. This year we spent before we earned money with [Ibrahima] Konate because after last season, just to be clear, we cannot take any risk in this position at all.
“I’m never surprised about the financial power of Chelsea, City or United, I’ve been here long enough to know they always find a solution to these things.”
Jurgen Klopp says he is “not surprised” by the financial power of Chelsea, Man City and Man United.
09.00 BST: Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backed Anthony Martial to still have a future at the club by saying he expects that forward to get back to his best this season.
Martial scored 17 goals in the Premier League during the 2019-20 campaign but managed just four last season. The Frenchman has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford this summer but fit again after five months out with a knee injury, Solskjaer believes he is ready to play a key role up front.
“As I’ve said before we really rate Anthony,” said Solskjaer. “Last season was disappointing, he had injuries, he lost some form, the season before he was our top scorer.
“I’m very confident and I like what I see from Anthony when I see him in training now and when I see him in the gym he has that little bit of grit between his teeth again.”
Only champions Manchester City scored more goals than United last season but ahead of the first game of the new campaign against Leeds United, Solskjaer has called on his strikers, including Martial, to challenge midfielder Bruno Fernandes as the club’s top scorer.
“Anthony will score more goals than he did last season and I think Mason [Greenwood] will only develop,” he said. “Edinson [Cavani] started late in the season, I think he’ll score more goals and Jadon [Sancho] will come in and chip in with goals so I feel confident that the burden is not just on Bruno to score goals.
“Of course he was fantastic, his return with goals and assists have been unbelievable since he came into the club. Marcus [Rashford] of course will lose out on the first couple of months of the season which is not great for him but when he comes back he’ll be fresh again so to be able to spread the goals with the forwards with more goals that will be important for us. An attacking midfielder shouldn’t be the only one scoring 15-20 goals.”
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PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)
– Tottenham Hotspur could move ahead of West Ham United for the signature of Nikola Milenkovic with the North London side entering talks for the Fiorentina defender. That’s according to Sky Sports, who claim that Spurs believe the 23-year-old would add versatility to their side with his ability to play both centrally or as a fullback. The Serbia star has just one year left on his deal which means Fiorentina may be forced to offload him to avoid losing their player on a free transfer.
– Michy Batshuayi could be set to swap the Premier League for Turkey with Besiktas keen to land the forward. Fabrizio Romano writes that the Turkish Super Lig side have already entered talks for the star who spent last season on loan at Crystal Palace, scoring just two goals in the league.
– Calciomercato reports that Internazionale see Joaquin Correa as a potential replacement for Romelu Lukaku. The Italian Serie A club are keen to further strengthen their side after losing two key players this summer, and talks are reported to have started with Lazio. A fee of around €40m is rumoured to be required to acquire the forward who contributed to 11 goals in 25 starts last season.
– Juventus are looking to make an approach to Manuel Locatelli, which would see the Italian midfielder join the Old Lady on an initial loan with an obligation to make the deal permanent. Le 10 Sport writes that the future fee would be €35m for the Sassuolo star who Juventus have prioritised this summer. The 23-year-old has been attracting interest from around Europe since his performances at Euro 2020 caught the eye of football’s elite clubs.
– Arsenal’s interest in Aaron Ramsdale looks to be cooling with the Mirror reporting that Newcastle United’s Freddie Woodman is now a prime target for the Gunners. The London side was unable to agree on a fee as Sheffield United demanded £30m for their starting goalkeeper, but it now looks as though sporting director Edu has identified the Newcastle goalkeeper as viable competition for Bernd Leno.