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’s the latest gossip and speculation.
TOP STORY: Haaland to Man United?
Manchester United are set to utilise Ralf Rangnick’s relationship with Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland in a bid to tempt him to Old Trafford next summer, the Daily Mirror reports.
Rangnick, who is set to be appointed as United’s interim manager, previously signed Haaland at Salzburg back in 2019 and, with the 21-year-old’s €75 million release clause set to become active at the end of the season, the Premier League side will look to use Rangnick’s influence to move to the front of the queue for his signature.
Despite reports of the Bundesliga club looking to do all they can to convince him to stay at Westfalenstadion, interest from England’s top flight as well as Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain could prove too tempting to continue his stay in Germany.
Haaland scored on his return from injury on Saturday as Dortmund defeated Wolfsburg 3-1 (stream the replay on ESPN+ in the U.S.), taking his tally to 50 goals in 50 Bundesliga appearances since joining the club in January last year.
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16.58 GMT: Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette has revealed that his representatives are sounding out other clubs over potential moves when his contract expires in the summer.
Lacazette, 30, is out of contract at the end of the season, but the Gunners are reportedly unwilling to open talks with him about a new deal until then.
“Of course, my agents are starting to look to the right and to the left,” Lacazette told Telefoot. “But not until January, I really want to focus myself on something. And then we will see what is on offer, if the challenges are interesting, if there are beautiful projects, how they are counting on me.
“So there are still many questions, I prefer to wait until January to position myself.”
16.11 GMT: Barcelona have made a move to sign Spain forward Ferran Torres but talks with Manchester City have so far proven unsuccessful, sources have told ESPN’s Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens.
New coach Xavi Hernandez wants to add another attacking player to his squad in January, with ESPN reporting last week that Barca have also sounded out City’s Raheem Sterling and Chelsea duo Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech.
Barca have also made Torres one of their primary targets, having monitored him since he first broke through at Valencia. The club believe his experience in LaLiga would ease the adaption process.
Director of football Mateu Alemany and CEO Ferran Reverter were in Manchester on Friday for a meeting with City to discuss a transfer. Sources have told ESPN that City’s initial response was that they are reluctant to let go of Torres, who is expected to return from an injury at the end of the year.
Torres, 21, is understood to be open to a return to Spain, though, and sources added City could open the door to an exit should he express a desire to leave. However, they would demand over €40m for a player they initially signed for a fee of €23m from Valencia in 2020.
15.08 GMT: Chelsea are yet to open fresh contract talks with Mason Mount but all parties are relaxed about the situation contrary to reports in Spain that Real Madrid were interested in him, sources told ESPN’s James Olley.
It had been suggested that the midfielder was unhappy at Stamford Bridge, specifically over his role within the squad, but sources claim Mount enjoys a healthy relationship with head coach Thomas Tuchel and is focused on further success with the Blues.
Negotiations are yet to begin over a new deal but the 22-year-old has two-and-a-half years left to run on his existing agreement and the club believe there is no rush for the time being.
It is anticipated that conversations will begin later in the season as Chelsea first prioritise talks with several players whose deals expire next summer, chiefly Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Cesar Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva.
14.18 GMT: Crystal Palace are tracking Roma’s Borja Mayoral after the Spanish forward fell out of favour under coach Jose Mourinho, according to The Sun.
Mayoral, 24, joined Roma on a two-year loan from Real Madrid in 2020 and impressed in 2020/21, scoring 17 goals in all competitions.
Under Mourinho though, he’s yet to start a single game in Serie A and is yet to score this year.
Palace are also keen on Orlando City’s Daryl Dike, the newspaper reports, although there are concerns he might prove too expensive.
13.23 GMT: Manchester United ditched plans to give caretaker Michael Carrick as many as six more games in charge after Ralf Rangnick emerged as the outstanding candidate during interviews to find the club’s interim manager, sources told ESPN’s Mark Ogden.
Carrick was told to prepare for a longer period in charge than expected, with the club setting an original date of Brighton at home on Dec. 18 as the target for an interim to be appointed — only vowing to accelerate plans for an interim if a stellar option emerged. Rangnick has agreed to take over until the end of the season following a breakthrough in discussions with the 63-year-old, who is set to leave his position as sporting director at Lokomotiv Moscow.
The club wanted to wait longer before they made their appointment of an interim, despite facing criticism — even ridicule — for the way they had approached matters following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s dismissal. Sources said that “market forces” had left United with no option but to pursue the strategy, saying that the club were not in the fortunate position enjoyed by Liverpool and Chelsea when they appointed Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel respectively, with both coaches out of work and available when changes were made in the managerial department at Anfield and Stamford Bridge.
– Insider Notebook: Why United moved for Rangnick
12.31 GMT: North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal are both keen on Juventus midfielder Dejan Kulusevski, Calciomercato reports.
Kulusevski is reportedly unhappy in Turin having started just two Serie A matches so far this season and none in the Champions League.
Calciomercato reports that Tottenham manager Antonio Conte and sporting director Fabio Paratici, who brought the Kulusevski to Juventus in January last year, are considering a move for the Sweden international in the upcoming transfer window.
However, Calciomercato reports that Juve sporting director Federico Cherubini met with representatives from Arsenal while he was in London this week for the Champions League match against Chelsea, and that Kulusesvki was one of the players discussed.
Juventus would want a transfer fee of around €30-35m for the 21-year-old.
11.39 GMT: Sevilla “lead the race” for Ben Brereton Diaz, The Sun reports, with the LaLiga club monitoring the forward’s performances for Blackburn Rovers and Chile.
Brereton, 22, shot to fame this year after making his international debut in June, scoring three times for his country, and has since grabbed 16 goals in 20 Championship games for his club this season.
According to The Sun, Blackburn would expect to receive around €20m for the forward, who is also attracting Premier League interest from Southampton.
10.46 GMT: West Ham United will make one final bid to sign Burnley defender James Tarkowski in January, according to The Sun.
Tarkowski, 29, is out of contract at Turf Moor next summer, and West Ham are hoping they can persuade the Clarets to accept a £7m transfer fee for the England international in the next window rather than lose him as a free agent in the summer.
However, if Burnley hold firm on Tarkowski, who has also been linked with interest from Newcastle United, then The Sun reports that West Ham could try to make a defensive signing from Liverpool instead.
Centre-backs Nat Phillips and Ben Davies, who is on loan at Sheffield United, could be options to strengthen David Moyes’ squad in January.
09.52 GMT: Carlo Ancelotti has said that Gareth Bale “respects Real Madrid fans” and doesn’t share the views of agent Jonathan Barnett, who called their treatment of the player “disgusting” this week.
Barnett — speaking to reporters after landing in Madrid on Wednesday — was asked about abuse aimed at Bale after his injury-hit start to the season and described fans’ opinions as “irrelevant.”
“I’ve read about it. I don’t know [Barnett] personally. They aren’t Bale’s thoughts,” Ancelotti said in a news conference on Saturday ahead of their clash against Sevilla (LIVE on ESPN+ at 3 p.m. ET in the U.S.).
“Bale doesn’t think that. Bale respects Real Madrid fans, and Real Madrid fans have always respected Bale.
“Maybe they’ve whistled him sometimes, but he isn’t the only Real Madrid player that fans have whistled,” he added. “I don’t have anything to say. It has come from a person that I don’t know.”
09.00 GMT: Juventus are hoping Jurgen Klopp’s admiration for Aaron Ramsey will lead to a bid from Liverpool for the midfielder in January, sources told ESPN’s James Olley.
The 30-year-old is under contract until 2023 but Ramsey could be made available for transfer after struggling to break into the first-team since his arrival.
Sources told ESPN that Klopp has long held Ramsey in high regard and considered formalising that interest when the Wales international left Arsenal for Juventus in 2019. Liverpool have been short of numbers in midfield after injuries compounded the departure of Georginio Wijnaldum to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.
Several Premier League clubs have been linked with Ramsey including West Ham, Crystal Palace, Newcastle and Leicester City and Juventus hope Liverpool will add themselves to that list in the coming weeks, as the Serie A club look for competing clubs to drive the fee up to secure the player.
Ramsey has always been determined to make a success of his time in Serie A but he has made five appearances totalling 112 minutes since Massimiliano Allegri took charge in the summer.
– ESPN’s Notebook: The inside stories in football
PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)
– Dusan Vlahovic looks destined to leave Fiorentina after telling the board that he has no plans to renew his contract with the club, according to Fabrizio Romano. The 21-year-old forward’s goal-scoring form has seen his name linked around Europe’s top clubs, but despite new terms being offered to him by the Viola, it now looks as though the Serbia international has set his sights on a move before his contract expires in 2023.
– Nicolo Schira writes that Alexandre Lacazette is preparing to leave Arsenal in the summer. While the 30-year-old forward’s contract is set to expire, there has been no progress on a potential extension that would see him remain at the Emirates Stadium. The former Lyon star has started just four games in the Premier League this season, scoring once in the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.
– Nimes are prepared to let Zinedine Ferhat go, reports Foot Mercato. The 28-year-old attacking midfielder has been on the radar of a number of clubs from France’s top flight of late, with Montpellier one of the sides who could potentially make a move in the January transfer window. It is reported that a fee of around €3.5m will be required to secure his services, with Nimes keen not to lose him on a free transfer in the summer.
– Ekrem Konur reveals that Fenerbahce have identified Isco as a replacement for Mesut Ozil. The 29-year-old midfielder has found himself cast out of Carlo Ancelotti’s plans at Real Madrid, starting just two games this season. Meanwhile, Barcelona’s rumoured interest in Fenerbahce’s talisman has seen the Super Lig side waste no time in looking for a replacement incase Ozil decides to make the switch to Camp Nou.
– Jason Denayer wants to stay at Lyon despite his contract being set to expire next summer. The 26-year-old centre-back has remained a key part of the Ligue 1 club’s side since he signed from Manchester City in 2018, and speaking at a press conference on Saturday, as quoted by Le10Sport, he said: “I am still waiting and remain in my position to want to extend. So far, we haven’t made much progress, we try to come to common agreements. If we get there, my wish is to stay at the club.”