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 is the latest gossip and speculation.
TOP STORY: Juventus eye late swoop for Ansu Fati
The 18-year-old has been locked in contract negotiations with the Blaugrana, and despite Barca coach Ronald Koeman saying there are positive talks, a late move from Turin could see the Serie A club give the winger something to think about before he pens new terms at Camp Nou.
Sources added that the player’s new deal will include a staggered salary which increases each season as Barca continue to fight the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ansu has recently returned from a lengthy injury layoff and has already scored two goals in just 116 minutes of football, making him a priority extension for Barca president Joan Laporta.
12.30 BST: PSG seem to be building a team of individuals and not a team.
Steve Nicol calls out PSG’s lack of cohesion after their come-from-behind victory against RB Leipzig.
11.27 BST: FC Dallas striker Ricardo Pepi has reportedly asked for a transfer as he seeks a move to Europe in January, says 90min.
Pepi, 18, has impressed this season and made his United States international senior debut, which has attracted the likes of Bayern Munich, Inter Milan and Liverpool.
CBS says that he has agreed personal terms with German Bundesliga club Wolfsburg, but that his representatives are awaiting other offers.
10.40 BST: Steve Bruce has left his job as Newcastle United manager by mutual consent, the club have announced.
Bruce, who managed his 1,000th game on Sunday as Newcastle lost 3-2 to Tottenham Hotspur had been under pressure following a winless start to the Premier League season.
Sources have told ESPN’s James Olley that former AS Roma boss Paulo Fonseca is among the candidates lined up to take over at the club.
10.25 BST: Another day, another Newcastle rumour.
The Daily Telegraph reports that the club are looking to sign Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin with their newfound riches after a Saudi-backed takeover.
Calvert-Lewin, 24, has been linked with a £50m move to Man United, Arsenal and Real Madrid but is under contract until 2025 having agreed an extension last year.
09.43 BST: Has Ole Gunnar Solskjaer turned Man United around since he was hired? And is he the right person to take the club forward? Our writers explain.
It’s been nearly three years since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over as Manchester United manager, picking up from Jose Mourinho in late December 2018 as a caretaker before being appointed permanently in March of 2019. There have been remarkable runs of form — like winning 14 of his first 19 matches in charge — and some even more stunning failures, namely three semifinal exits in 2019-20 (Carabao Cup, FA Cup, Europa League), as well as their Champions League group stage exit and a humbling defeat on penalties in the Europa League final last season.
As divisive as the Mourinho era was, it did bring trophies back to United, something Solskjaer’s yet to accomplish. Their Premier League drought has continued — last win: 2012-13 — and they’ve not claimed a title of any kind since the Europa League in 2016-17.
Solskjaer has since rebuilt this squad and been given the star players he’s demanded — this summer alone saw Cristiano Ronaldo return to the club he left in 2009, along with Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane — but the same frustrations remain. Can this squad of talented individuals be fused into a successful collective, and is Solskjaer the right man to do it?
With a run of critical games ahead for United — two dates with Atalanta in the Champions League, plus league fixtures against Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City in the next three weeks alone — we look at Solskjaer the coach, Solskjaer the motivator and Solskjaer the tactician. Can he return this club to its proud peak?
08.54 BST: Sport reports that Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt is unhappy at the club and wants to move to Barcelona.
De Ligt, 22, snubbed Barca to move to Turin in 2019 from Ajax for €75m but has now been relegated to the bench by manager Max Allegri and wants out.
His agent Mino Raiola has already been touting the defender around Europe but he has a release clause of €150m which may need to be paid.
08.30 BST: Veteran Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has spoken of how Brazilian starlet Vinicius Jr. came close to join the Catalan outfit in 2017 before accepting an offer to join Real Madrid instead.
Real Madrid beat Barcelona and Manchester United to sign the then-16-year-old forward from Flamengo with an offer of €46m.
“Vinicius had a lot of talent,” Pique said. “Did you know he was on the verge of arriving at Barca? Real Madrid offered him double. I personally spoke to him before he went to Madrid and in that call he recognised that it was all done with Barca. It was a done deal. I don’t how it happened. I think it [chat] was about welcoming him to the changing room. It was already done. Then Real Madrid arrived at the last second and offered him everything.”
Steve Nicol says Liverpool’s back line was a mess and believes they got lucky a VAR review went their way vs. Atletico Madrid.
PAPER GOSSIP (By Adam Brown)
– Paris Saint-Germain are keen to try their luck with a move for Liverpool‘s Mohamed Salah, reports Le10 Sport. The French outlet writes that PSG sporting director Leonardo wants to bring the 29-year-old forward to the Parc des Princes, and could make an approach if PSG miss out on Borussia Dortmund‘s Erling Haaland. Despite talks of a new contract, Salah is yet to pen a new deal, with his current terms expiring in the summer of 2023.
– AC Milan are keen to extend midfielder Ismael Bennacer‘s contract, writes Nicolo Schira. The 23-year-old’s deal isn’t due to expire until 2024, but the club wants to remove his release clause of €50m, as well as reward him with an increased salary. The new terms are set to see Bennacer extend his stay at the San Siro until 2026.
– The race for highly rated Hungary international defender Attila Szalai is heating up, with Calciomercato reporting that both Juventus and Atletico Madrid are set to battle it out in January for his signature. The 23-year-old has been a standout performer for Fenerbahce this season and is attracting interest from some of Europe’s top leagues.
– Mundo Deportivo writes that Barcelona may not be prepared to pay the asking price for Youri Tielemans. The Leicester City midfielder is reported to cost in the region of €55m, and with the current financial situation at Camp Nou restricting significant targets, the club could look to cool their interest in the 24-year-old who has begun the Premier League season in impressive form.
– Nicolo Schira has revealed that River Plate would be willing to allow Julian Alvarez to leave for a fee of €18m in January. Internazionale and AC Milan have been tracking the 21-year-old, who reportedly has a €25m release clause. More clubs could emerge as the Buenos Aires powerhouse seems set to cash in before the forward’s contract expires at the end of 2022.