Pau Torres is a reported transfer target of the Premier League’s Manchester City. Alex Caparros/Getty Images
The summer transfer window is closed for the top leagues in Europe! After a summer full of international football, countless clubs waited until the last minute to pull off their transfers. See all the major deals here and check out how we graded the biggest signings. But just because the window is shut until January, that doesn’t mean the rumours won’t keep coming.
TOP STORY: Man City monitoring Villarreal’s Torres
Manchester City are keen on a move for Villarreal star Pau Torres, with reports in Spain revealing that Pep Guardiola has tracked the centre-back for a long time.
Marca writes that the club spoke to the Spain international’s representatives in the summer over a potential move to the Etihad Stadium, with the City’s director of football, Txiki Begiristain, involved in the potential deal.
But with the 24-year-old committing his immediate future to the club that he has been at since 2002, any move could be delayed until the end of the season.
The Premier League side are the latest club to be involved in the chase for Torres, who rejected a move to Tottenham Hotspurs in the summer, while also being placed on the radar of both Real Madrid and Barcelona.
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12.44 BST: Karim Benzema has insisted that “it’s just a question of time” before Kylian Mbappe joins him at Real Madrid, despite the club’s failed attempt to land the Paris Saint-Germain star this summer.
“He said it himself,” Benzema told L’Equipe in an interview published on Saturday, when asked if he expected Mbappe to eventually make the move. “He wants to see something else. One day he’ll play for Real Madrid. I don’t know when. But he’ll come.”
Mbappe’s contract in Paris expires in June 2022 but he has so far ignored PSG’s attempts to negotiate a new deal and would be free to talk to other clubs in January.
That led Madrid to launch a series of bids to land the France forward last month — sources telling ESPN they were willing to pay €200m on transfer deadline day — which PSG refused to entertain.
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11.48 BST: Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are both monitoring Timo Werner‘s situation at Chelsea, the London Evening Standard reports.
Werner was Chelsea’s joint-top scorer in all competitions last season, but this term has started just two Premier League games following the summer signing of Romelu Lukaku.
The Germany international was an unused substitute during Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to Juventus in the Champions League, prompting further speculation about his future at Stamford Bridge.
Werern, 25, is reportedly being watched by the two biggest clubs in his homeland, where he played for Stuttgart and RB Leipzig before moving to Chelsea in 2020.
10.51 BST: Former Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta says he would like to return to the club in some capacity in the future.
Iniesta won 30 trophies with Barca as one of the club’s key players before leaving to join Japanese club Vissel Kobe in 2018.
The 37-year-old told the BBC that he plans to come back to Catalonia once he has finished his playing career, although he is not yet sure if he would prefer to be a coach or take an upstairs role.
“Yes, it is something I wish,” he said. “I would like it to happen because more than anything it is the club I spent so many years in.
“You don’t know what will happen in the future, you don’t know in what way I could return or who will be the people in charge at a certain moment.
“So there are many factors which make it hard to see what will really happen, but if you ask me if I would like to, the answer is yes.”
Iniesta, whose former midfield partner Xavi is seen as one of the candidates to replace Ronald Koeman as manager at Barca, added: “Sometimes I would like to coach, sometimes I think my interests go into other directions.
“I know I want to stay in football and when I finish as a professional I would like to get a coaching licence, but I don’t know if I will use it in the future.
“There’s nothing where I wake up in the morning and think ‘I want to do this’, so for now I will enjoy playing, training and will see what happens in the future.”
09.56 BST: Influential football agent Pini Zahavi has been charged in Belgium as part of an investigation into alleged wrongdoing at second-division club Royal Excelsior Mouscron, the federal prosecutor’s office said Friday.
Zahavi is one of the most influential agents in world football. He was involved in the transfers of many star players, including Neymar’s world-record move to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.
The office confirmed Zahavi’s indictment following reports in the Belgian press that the 78-year-old former journalist had been charged by an investigating judge with “forgery, use of forgeries, swindling and money laundering” in the Mouscron case.
The club was placed under provisional administration two years ago because of suspicions of money laundering and was later charged.
According to local media, Belgian prosecutors suspect Zahavi, who took over the club in 2015, of illegally financing Mouscron through offshore companies.
09.00 BST: Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has rejected Bernd Leno‘s claim he is in the dark over losing the No. 1 spot to Aaron Ramsdale and urged the goalkeeper to concentrate on regaining his place in the side.
Leno, who has not made a Premier League appearance since Aug. 28, gave an interview to German newspaper Sport Bild on Wednesday in which he claimed “there was no clear reason why I was out, but it had nothing to do with my performance.”
Ramsdale arrived at the Emirates in the final week of the summer transfer window in a £30m deal from Sheffield United and has quickly established himself as the side’s first choice, starting in all three subsequent league wins over Norwich City, Burnley and Tottenham Hotspur to earn a recall to Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad.
However, when asked about Leno’s comments ahead of Saturday’s trip to Brighton and Hove Albion, Arteta said: “I had a very clear conversation with him 48 hours before I was going to make the decision. Obviously any conversation I have with him is completely private and I’m not going to speak with any media about it.
“[I expect from him] the same that he’s done every single day. Train the way he does, be the way he is, the person he is, the way he handles himself, and try to help the other keepers and the other keepers try to help him.”
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PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)
– Talk surrounding Donny van de Beek has seen the Manchester United star linked with a move to Juventus or AC Milan. That’s according to Calciomercato, which writes that both Serie A clubs are tracking the midfielder, who is also receiving interest from Spain. The 24-year-old joined Old Trafford in 2020, but he has since been unable to nail down a regular place in the first team, leading to notable frustration when substituted against Villarreal.
– Villarreal’s Arnaut Danjuma is continued to attract interest with Leeds United monitoring the former Bournemouth winger, writes Football Insider. The 24-year-old was a standout performer against Manchester United in the Champions League on Wednesday when scouts from Liverpool were also rumoured to be in attendance. The LaLiga forward has contributed to four goals in his past six games.
– Former Southampton star Gaston Ramirez is set to continue his career with Al-Nassr, according to Nicolo Schira. The 30-year-old, who spent the past four seasons in the Serie A with Sampdoria, is reported to have agreed to a three-year deal with the Saudi Pro League club. The former Uruguay international scored 14 goals and assisted 18 during his time with the Blucerchiati.
– Everton are considering a January move for Newcastle United’s Sean Longstaff, writes the Independent. The Merseyside club was reported to have an interest in Allan Saint-Maximin, but with the Magpies unlikely to sell for anything less than a substantial fee, Longstaff is seen as a more realistic acquisition in the winter. The 23-year-old scored in the Magpies’ recent 1-1 draw against Watford.
– Arsenal technical director Edu will scout Yves Bissouma when the Gunners take on Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday evening, says the Express. The North London club is reported to have genuine interest in the Seagulls midfielder, who has helped his side to sixth place in the Premier League campaign so far this season, but the Mali international is facing a race to be fit for the game after a recent injury kept him out of Brighton’s 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace.