The coronavirus pandemic made the transfer market unlike any before it, but there was still plenty of action on Deadline Day. With the window closed across the major leagues in Europe, you can check out the latest major completed transfers across the globe.
TOP STORY: Barca to turn to free agents Pogba and Alaba?
Mundo Deportivo reports that Barcelona could be forced to change tactics in the transfer window as they try to sign Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba and Bayern Munich defender David Alaba at the end of their contracts.
The Catalan club have suffered a turbulent 12 months and they’ll almost certainly need to bring in a few big names if they are to reclaim their place at the top of Spanish and European football.
Pogba’s contract is set to expire next summer, though sources have told ESPN that United have an option to extend it by another 12 months and will do so if the Frenchman doesn’t pen new terms soon. Still, while Real Madrid and Juventus have emerged as the leading contenders for Pogba’s signature, he would reportedly entertain a switch to the Camp Nou and Barca are prepared to wait.
Meanwhile, left-back Alaba has been on Barcelona’s radar for some time and negotiations over a new deal with Bayern have turned sour. The Austrian is evidently holding out as he wants to know if a chance to join Barca or Real Madrid arrives.
For what it’s worth, Mundo also reports (as we did at ESPN) that a host of free agents will become available in 2021 and Barca could be looking at them too, including: Sergio Aguero, Arkadiusz Milik, Angel Di Maria, Oriol Romeu, Juan Bernat and Gianluigi Donnarumma.
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11.33 BST: More USMNT players at Champions League clubs can only improve the country’s 2022 World Cup prospects.
The recently concluded European transfer window has the potential to be a watershed moment for U.S. players. It wasn’t so much how many players moved, but where they went. Weston McKennie left Schalke 04 to join Italian giants Juventus, and Sergino Dest completed a transfer from Ajax to Barcelona, amid significant interest from Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain.
The moves marked the first time that American players had been transferred to such historic clubs, but to be fair, Americans have been burrowing their way into bigger European teams for a couple of years.
10.50 BST: Manchester United want to sign Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho, we know this.
But Bild reports that even if United stump up the €120m required to land the 20-year-old in January, Dortmund still won’t accept it.
Evidently the German club don’t want to lose a player of Sancho’s importance midway through the season, so United will have to wait until summer 2021 before they can try again.
10.25 BST: Luis Suarez was in tears when he left Barcelona and joined Atletico Madrid.
Don Hutchison says he can relate to Luis Suarez saying his departure from Barcelona brought him to tears.
09.53 BST: Julien Laurens says that Paul Pogba and France will both benefit from his return, and so will Manchester United.
When Pogba heads back to Manchester on Thursday, United will get a refreshed and reenergised player — which is exactly the impact the club had hoped to see from his return to France.
The club, meanwhile, can’t be annoyed with Pogba for mentioning (again) that his dream is to play one day for Real Madrid. First, he is waiting for a sign from Ed Woodward and the club; he loves United, Old Trafford, and his life in Manchester. But his line on Zinedine Zidane and Madrid is a good sign as well, for it is when he is happy that he gives it the best answers. And the best performances.
09.07 BST: Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is set to extend his contract at Camp Nou until 2025, sources have confirmed to ESPN’s Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens.
Negotiations over a new deal were put on hold at the start of the coronavirus pandemic but talks resumed with Ter Stegen’s agent last month and a loose agreement was brokered last week.
Sources close to the discussions have told ESPN the Germany international’s new contract could be drawn up and signed before the end of the month — and maybe even before next weekend’s Clasico against Real Madrid.
Under the terms of the new agreement, Ter Stegen will receive a substantial wage rise in accordance with his increased importance to the side, placing him among the club’s top earners.
However, the increase to his salary will be staggered across the five-year deal to help the club manage the financial fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Cost-cutting measures this summer have already seen Luis Suarez, Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic leave the club.
Ter Stegen, 28, had always made it clear to Barca that he wanted to commit his future to the club despite interest from elsewhere.
Sources say Chelsea made the most “serious” move for the goalkeeper, while Inter Milan were keen to do a deal in 2021. There was interest a while ago from Juventus, too, but the Italian champions have not followed up on their initial approach.
Marc-André ter Stegen explains how he nearly ended up swapping Barcelona for Manchester in 2016, and why the move collapsed.
08.31 BST: Liverpool midfielder Harry Wilson is wanted on loan this season by a host of Championship clubs, the
Wilson, 23, enjoyed a successful spell on a personal level at Bournemouth last season, scoring seven Premier League goals for the Cherries before they were relegated.
The Mail reports that Liverpool are in talks with Swansea City over a season-long loan for the Wales international. Cardiff City, Nottingham Forest and Derby County — where Wilson scored 18 goals during the 2018-19 season — are also all interested in signing him ahead of the Oct. 16 deadline for domestic transfers.
08.00 BST: Manchester United have added Sevilla’s Jules Kounde to their list of targets with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer not ruling out a move for a centre-back in January if his problems in defence do not improve, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.
Only newly promoted West Brom have shipped more goals in the Premier League so far this season as Solskjaer has struggled to find a reliable partner for captain Harry Maguire.
Kounde, 21, is considered an option to strengthen the defence in January or next summer but any move is likely to rely on United moving on at least two of the centre-backs already at Old Trafford.
Manchester City registered their interest in Kounde in the summer but after scouts described the Frenchman as “an unknown quantity” after just one full season in La Liga, director of football Txiki Begiristain opted instead for Benfica centre-back Ruben Dias.
As well as Kounde, who is valued at between €65m and €70m by Sevilla, United are also monitoring 23-year-old Villarreal defender Pau Torres.
Steve Nicol doesn’t question Anthony Martial’s ability, but is quite critical of his lack of consistency.
PAPER TALK (by Harry Kettle)
Romero begs for Man United exit
Third-choice Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero has begged the club to allow him to leave Old Trafford, according to the Sun.
Romero appeared close to joining Everton near the end of the summer transfer window, and when that didn’t come to fruition he was left feeling notably disappointed, with David de Gea and Dean Henderson Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first- and second-choice options.
The Argentine isn’t interested in any kind of payoff from United, and instead he’s got his eyes set on a switch over to Major League Soccer. If they don’t allow him to leave, he’ll be forced to wait out the final few months of his contract.
Real Madrid add Gio Reyna to wishlist
Borussia Dortmund know how to make a young player into a star. They’ve done it with so many before and now 17-year-old Gio Reyna is next as the American has risen to global attention with his performances this season.
Of course that means other clubs will start to take an interest and Marca reports that Real Madrid are monitoring him closely.
Real spent nothing on players this summer as they prepare a massive move for PSG striker Kylian Mbappe in 2021, and have also been linked with Dortmund’s Erling Haaland. But Reyna is also on the list and if he continues his rise, will be hard to ignore.
– West Ham United are still confident they can complete the signing of Said Benrahma despite their latest setback, according to talkSPORT. The Hammers had agreed to an initial fee with Brentford for his services, but due to a disagreement between Benrahma and the Championship club, some had worried the deal was off. As it turns out, West Ham still believe they can make it happen.
– Fulham are in talks to sign defender Terence Kongolo for a fee of £3m before the EFL transfer deadline on Friday, the Mail writes. The 26-year-old Huddersfield Town centre-back saw a proposed move to Sheffield United break down over the summer after reportedly failing his medical. The Netherlands international spent the second half of the 2019-20 season on loan with the Cottagers, but a broken foot saw to it that he only made one league appearance for the club.