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: Phillips to snub Man Utd for Reds
The Red Devils are desperate to strengthen their midfield at the end of the season and, while they may conduct some business in January, their main focus is on Phillips when the current campaign concludes.
Phillips has played a pivotal role in Marcelo Bielsa’s ascent to the Premier League, but will reportedly miss the next two months of the season with a hamstring injury.
Phillips’ loyalty to Leeds has reportedly made him “wary” of joining rivals United, with Jurgen Klopp being a strong admirer of his work — especially at Euro 2020 when he played a featured role in England‘s run to the final.
11.45 GMT: Real Madrid are leading the race to sign highly coveted centre-back Antonio Rudiger, according to AS.
The Chelsea defender has not signed a contract extension with Chelsea and his contract expires at the end of the season.
Talks between Chelsea and Rudiger have been stalled for some time and Real Madrid are hopeful that the 28-year-old can sign a pre-contract with them in January and join the club as a free agent in the summer.
10.51 GMT: Liverpool defender Nat Phillips is a target for West Ham United to solve their defensive injury problems, the London Evening Standard reports.
Phillips, 24, made his third appearances of the season in Liverpool’s 2-1 Champions League at AC Milan on Tuesday.
West Ham’s hopes of securing a top-four finish in the Premier League this season have been hit by injuries to centre-backs Kurt Zouma and Angelo Ogbonna, and the Evening Standard reports that Phillips is one of the player being considered for a January transfer.
Phillips told Liverpool’s website after the Milan match: “Obviously I want to be playing as much as possible, but the competition is really difficult, so I’ve got to be ready when I’m called upon. I felt like I stood myself in good stead [against Milan].”
09.48 GMT: Diego Costa says he is “calm” about his future at Brazilian champions Atletico Mineiro.
Costa, 33, joined the Belo Horizonte club in August after ending his second spell at Atletico Madrid. The Brazil-born Spain international scored four goals for his new club to help them end their 50-year wait for a league title.
While taking part in an Instagram Live Q&A with teammates Nathan and Dylan Borrero, a fan asked Costa about his future at the club. Costa, who has a contract at Atletico until Dec. 31, 2022, responded: “I am calm. I don’t understand this thing there. I’m fine.”
08.53 GMT: Lucas Digne could leave Everton in the January transfer window after falling out with manager Rafa Benitez, The Athletic reports.
Digne was left out of Monday’s 2-1 win over Arsenal, and after the match Benitez said that the France international was “unavailable” but did not specify that he was injured.
However, The Athletic reports that Digne and Benitez have has several disagreements since the Spanish coach took over at Goodison Park in the summer.
“As a manager, you have to make decisions and you have to do your team selection,” Benitez added after the Arsenal game. “I decided that Ben Godfrey could be a good option for us for this game. He did really well, so I am really pleased with that. That’s it. The main thing is to be sure the team is performing and we have the right mentality.”
08.00 GMT: Atletico Madrid and Barcelona are keen to sign Spanish defender Cesar Azpilicueta should he not agree a new deal with Chelsea, according to AS.
Azpilicueta, 32, becomes a free agent next summer. He is in talks with Chelsea to renew his contract.
However, the Chelsea captain wants to keep his options open and is reportedly considering other options.
Atletico and Barca are on the lookout for an experienced right back in the winter transfer window and Azpilicueta would be the ideal candidate.
Azpilicueta, who joined Chelsea in the summer of 2012 from Olympique Marseille, has made 16 appearances in all competitions for the Blues this season.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Harry Kettle)
– Franck Kessie could leave AC Milan on a free transfer in the wake of Gianluigi Donnarumma doing the same thing, Tuttomercatoweb reports. The renewal of Kessie’s contract in Italy is believed to be at a “standstill” with there being a gap between the demands of him and his team, and what Milan are willing to offer.
– Calciomercato is reporting that AC Milan will ramp up their pursuit of Club Brugge star Charles De Ketelaere. The fact that Brugge are officially out of Europe is seen as a huge bonus for Milan, mainly due to the fact that his proposed value of €20 million is set to drop because of it.
– West Ham United are considering a loan move for Daniele Rugani in the January transfer window, Calciomercato reports. Rugani has fallen out of favour with Juventus and, when you combine that with David Moyes’ desire to bring in defensive reinforcements, it could turn out to be the perfect fit.
– Jens Stryger Larsen won’t be extending his contract with Udinese, as per Nicolo Schira, but he also won’t be heading to Roma. The 30-year-old has been in Italy since 2017 and in that time, he’s enjoyed a strong run with the club. Now, though, as his Udinese tenure prepares to come to an end, speculation has begun regarding where he’ll end up next. Stryger Larsen has hired Hasan Cetinkaya as his new agent as the countdown to his contract expiring in June continues.
– River Plate are set to offer Juan Fernando Quintero a route back to the club, TyC Sports reports. The Colombian had two solid spells with River, one on loan and one permanent, before moving to Shenzhen earlier this year. Now, Quintero is pushing for a return with Shenzhen reportedly owing him a “fortune” in pay.
– Gianluca Di Marzio is reporting that Fiorentina are getting closer to completing the signing of Jonathan Ikone. The €15m agreement between the Italian side and Lille has already been agreed with the two clubs meeting soon to finalise the deal, with negotiations now described as being “safe” heading into the weekend and next month’s January window.