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 to move for Ronaldo?
Manchester United could be set to shock the transfer world with a move for Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer, according to FOX America journalist Christian Martin.
Ronaldo, 35, left United for Real Madrid in 2009 for a then-world record fee of €94m, before heading to Juventus for €100m in 2018.
The Portugal forward has 71 goals in 94 games for Juve, as well as two Serie A titles and was on target as Portugal routed Andorra 7-0 on Wednesday, but with his contract expiring in 2022, he has been linked with a move away. Juve have been hit financially by the COVID-19 pandemic and are reportedly open to letting him go and saving around €600,000-a-week in wages.
United have shifted their transfer strategy toward younger players in recent years, so a return for Ronaldo seems unlikely, though they did snap up 33-year-old Edinson Cavani on a free transfer this summer so it’s not completely out of the question.
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11.48 GMT: Neymar has been linked with an exit from PSG. Will it happen?
Steve Nicol believes Neymar wants to remain at PSG after reportedly asking for a new deal with the club.
11.07 GMT: Manchester City spent £40m to sign defender Nathan Ake from Bournemouth but his Netherlands coach Frank de Boer questioned the need for international friendlies in an already congested calendar after he was injured in 1-1 draw at home to Spain on Wednesday.
Ake had to be taken off early in the game with a muscle injury and will return to City immediately, missing the Netherlands’ Nations League games with Bosnia & Herzegovina and Poland.
“I don’t think this game needed to be played,” De Boer told a news conference. “Money is very important but we also need to look after our players.
“All interested parties need to sit down and talk because the health of our players is important. We all agree about that, and decisions need to be made.”
10.37 GMT: Chelsea women’s captain Magdalena Eriksson has signed a contract extension which will keep her at the club until 2023.
Eriksson joined the side in 2017 after a four-year spell at Linkopings in Sweden and was made captain prior to the 2019-20 season.
In her first season as captain she led the side to the domestic double — winning the Women’s Super League and the Continental Tyres League Cup — and securing Champions League football.
“The last three years have been the absolute biggest of my career,” she said. “In everything I’ve achieved, and also how I have developed and especially for me, how I’ve developed as a person. “It means everything to me to be at this club, there is nowhere else in the world I would rather be.”
10.22 GMT: Arsenal have been linked with RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano for a year but Bild reports they are keen on another of the club’s players.
Instead of Upamecano, who could cost upwards of €40m, the Gunners are reportedly looking at fellow French centre-back Ibrahima Konate.
The 21-year-old is tipped for a bright future but hasn’t had the type of news coverage that his teammate has and could be a cheaper option.
09.46 GMT: Liverpool are surely going to be entering the transfer market in January for a new defender now Joe Gomez is injured.
Steve Nicol reacts to the news that Liverpool’s centre-back Joe Gomez is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
09.00 GMT: ICYMI – Paris Saint-Germain have opened talks with Neymar over extending his contract, sources have told ESPN’s Julien Laurens.
The Brazil international is happy to remain on his existing terms — he earns €32m gross per year — and sign for another five years, but has asked PSG sporting director Leonardo for assurances about the club’s plans on the field.
Sources said that both PSG and Neymar are optimistic a deal can be agreed.
08.34 GMT: The relationship between Bayern Munich and defender David Alaba remains strained after contract talks between the two sides collapsed.
Alaba, 28, could leave the Allianz Arena on a free transfer next summer — with Bild reporting that the Austrian will not be sold in the January transfer window — now that the Champions League winners have withdrawn their offer.
In an interview with Austrian wire APA, Alaba’s father and part-time agent, George, claimed his son was “so disappointed and hurt because so many wrong things are communicated in public.”
George, who let agent Pini Zahavi negotiate with Bayern Munich, added the future was still wide open: “I don’t know how things are going to go. He is mentally strong and can handle that matter in a relaxed way.”
Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge at the weekend said that the door remained “a crack open” for Alaba to remain at the club, but the defender has been linked with several European top clubs including the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City and Liverpool.
Meanwhile, having learned from the Alaba situation, Bayern will waste no time in negotiating a new contract with midfielder Leon Goretzka, Sport Bild reports. Goretzka’s deal expires in 2022 and the Bundesliga champions have until next summer to bring the talks over the line to avoid another Alaba scenario.
Bayern are also seeking to enter talks with Joshua Kimmich this season, with the injured defender under contract until 2023.
08.00 GMT: Memphis Depay says his focus is on playing and not on what the next transfer market will bring. The Lyon winger was close to joining Barcelona this summer and Ronald Koeman recently said he will again try to sign the Dutchman in the next transfer window.
Speaking after the Netherlands’ 1-1 draw with Spain in Wednesday’s friendly, Depay told reporters: “Regarding Barca I don’t know. The transfer market is not open. My mind is not on that. Who wouldn’t love to play there? It’s one of the best teams in the world but I’m not thinking about that.”
Depay, 26, who will be a free agent in June, had said his transfer to Barca failed because “certain rules stopped it.” Barca had to sell players before they could add Depay and that did not happen on transfer deadline day.
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Thuram, Kabak, Szoboszlai among Milan targets
AC Milan are looking to further improve their squad and Borussia Monchengladbach striker Marcus Thuram is among the men they are targeting, Gazzetta dello Sport reports.
Milan have their sights set on bringing in a centre-back, with Schalke’s Ozan Kabak the first-choice and Matteo Lovato of Hellas Verona the backup option.
While the Rossoneri are also looking to bring in Dominik Szoboszlai from FC Salzburg to strengthen their midfield, but they might face competition from both Arsenal and RB Leipzig.
Sport Bild reports that any transfer would require a fee in excess of €20m, a supplement and a resale share. Considering the links between the two clubs, it might be the German outfit leading the race for the Hungary international.
Man United looking at Zagadou
Manchester United are considering a move for Borussia Dortmund defender Dan-Axel Zagadou, Calciomercato reports.
There have been questions asked of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s defence, and it seems that he might not be able to find the answers within his ranks.
With £80m-man Harry Maguire performing far from his best and Victor Lindelof not being entirely convincing either, attention has reported turned to Zagadou, whose contract with Dortmund is set to come to an end in 2022.
— In an interview with Sport, Ronald Koeman admitted that Carles Alena, Junior Firpo and Riqui Puig could all be set to leave Barcelona. The manager has not said that it is a certainty, but he said a lack of playing opportunities was the reason they could move on to pastures new in January.
— David Abraham has announced when he will play his final game for Eintracht Frankfurt before moving back to Argentina. In an interview with Kicker, the 34-year-old said that their game against Schalke will be his swansong.
— Lille, Napoli and Atalanta are all showing an interest in Anderlecht youngster Marco Kana, according to Calciomercato. The 18-year-old has earned the trust of Vincent Kompany, playing five Jupiler Pro League matches this term. He is said to be in no rush to leave Anderlecht, but this has not stopped the aforementioned clubs from monitoring how he does.