The coronavirus pandemic made the summer transfer market unlike any before it, but there were still plenty of deals done, and you can check out the major ones here. The window might be closed across the top leagues in Europe, but here are the best rumours from around the globe.
TOP STORY: Man United seek either Varane or Upamecano
The Daily Star believes that, because he’s entering the last 18 months of his contract, the fee to sign Varane will now be far lower than when Jose Mourinho tried to lure him to Old Trafford in 2018 as Madrid wanted over €110m. Moreover, Varane is now represented by Base Soccer Agency, with whom United have a productive relationship.
Meanwhile, Bild journalist Christian Falk thinks that United are more likely to attempt to sign long-term target Upamecano, who reportedly has a release clause of €45m which comes into effect this summer.
That fee would appear to be too high for fellow admirers Bayern Munich, which leaves United first in line to attract the 22-year-old and sources told ESPN in August the Frenchman was a top priority, though no deal happened.
10.45 GMT: Lionel Messi and Barcelona are going to break up, aren’t they?
Gab Marcotti rubbishes the notion that Lionel Messi “runs a regime of terror” at Barcelona.
09.51 GMT: Isco could be set to leave Real Madrid as El Confidencial reports that the club are looking to offload the midfielder.
Isco, 28, has slipped down the pecking order in Madrid under Zinedine Zidane and Everton have been linked with a move after their success in taking James Rodriguez this summer.
With his contract expiring in 2022, Isco’s price will be dropping and Arsenal are also keen if talk of a €20m deal is to be believed.
09.18 GMT: Belgium international Kevin De Bruyne has told ESPN that Manchester City teammate Phil Foden can become “one of the best players in the world” if he continues his remarkable progression.
Foden, 20, shone for England on Wednesday evening as he grabbed his first international goals, scoring twice in their 4-0 win over Iceland in the UEFA Nations League at Wembley.
De Bruyne’s Belgium topped the group and beat England 2-0 at the weekend, but there was no head-to-head between the two City teammates with Foden kept on the bench. Foden has long been tipped to become an integral part of Pep Guardiola’s side and has already made 84 appearances for them, scoring 18 goals and contributing 14 assists.
De Bruyne has seen Foden’s progression at City first-hand since joining the club in 2015. Foden made his debut for City in November 2017, and De Bruyne is excited about the young midfielder’s future.
“He’s doing really well, Phil,” De Bruyne told ESPN. “He’s been with us for three-four years, he’s still a young man but he’s playing regularly.
“He’s playing really well, he’s evolving, so he needs to keep doing that. So, in a couple of years if he goes the right way, he’ll become one of the best players in the world if he wants to.”
08.30 GMT: Barcelona’s chances of seeing Eric Garcia join the club in the winter transfer window are remote, according to Marca.
Manchester City reportedly have no intention of lowering the €20m asking price for Garcia, who becomes a free agent next summer. The 19-year-old centre-back has turned down a contract extension with City as he is keen to return to Barcelona.
Garcia joined City in 2017 from Barcelona’s youth teams and is free to negotiate in January, with Barca are still hopeful of getting a deal done. The teenager played an important role under Pep Guardiola last season, with 13 Premier League appearances, but he has just one Premier League start so far this season.
Colin Udoh and Ed Dove explain which of Chelsea’s newest stars is making the brightest impact for the Blues thus far.
PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd)
Kepa to leave Chelsea on loan?
Kepa Arrizabalaga has not started a game for Chelsea since Oct. 17, after the summer signing of Edouard Mendy, and is now third-choice for Spain behind David de Gea and Unai Simon evidently.
As a result, The Sun claims that the goalkeeper “will accept a loan and a reduction to his £150,000-a-week wages to try to revive his fortunes.”
The 26-year-old was the world’s most expensive keeper when Chelsea signed him for £71.6m from Athletic Bilbao in 2018 but some high profile errors have seen him fall out of favour with manager Frank Lampard.
Eriksen out but Paredes, Milik to Inter?
Internazionale‘s plans in January appear to be changing by the day but one thing is clear: Christian Eriksen would appear to be on the way out, and now it seems Leandro Paredes and Arkadiusz Milik are on the way in.
That’s according to Gazette dello Sport who believe that it could be a case of two out and two in at the San Siro.
Joining Eriksen through the exit door could be Matias Vecino, but Eriksen’s proposed departure to Paris Saint-Germain could help in a possible swap deal that would see Parades head in the other direction.
Inter have been tracking the former AS Roma player for some time, and it seems a swap deal is their best chance of landing him.
Meanwhile, Milan are also eyeing Milik to bolster their attack. The Napoli striker’s contract expires in June and he can sign with any club as a free agent from Feb. 1. Milik also has offers from England to consider too, though.
– Miguel Almiron‘s agent has been busy in the last few days. First, he revealed that the Paraguayan was looking to move on and leave Newcastle United next summer, and now he claims in an interview with Europa Calcio that Inter Milan have joined Atletico Madrid among the clubs eager to facilitate his exit from St James’ Park. However, he also admits that no tangible progress has yet been made yet.
– Ahmed Musa is planning a return to the Premier League, with Newcastle United and West Ham United considering a move for the former Leicester City man. Teamtalk believe Musa has offers from other high-profile clubs around Europe after having scored 11 goals and provided 14 assists for previous club Al Nassr, but that he would prefer a second crack at the English top flight.