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 may be closed across the top leagues in Europe, but here are the best rumours from around the globe.
TOP STORY: Juve, Barca in line for Ajax youngster
European giants Juventus and Barcelona are both pursuing a deal to sign Ajax Amsterdam wonderkid Ryan Gravenberch, Tuttosport reports.
The pair are both looking to make big changes in their respective squads sooner rather than later and the plan is for them to battle it out in 2021.
The Dutch midfielder has already made a handful of appearances for the club and looks set to become the latest Ajax star to catch the eye of Europe’s elite.
Although he only recorded one assist, Gravenberch played a key role in the midfied in Ajax’s historic 13-0 win over VVV-Venlo on Saturday.
For now, though, he’ll be given the chance to continue his development in the Eredivisie until the summer rolls around.
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11.36 BST: Real Madrid midfielder Isco has been caught complaining about his limited role in the team under coach Zinedine Zidane.
Isco — who was an unused substitute in Saturday’s 3-1 Clasico win over Barcelona at Camp Nou — was picked up by Movistar TV cameras talking to Luka Modric and Marcelo as they sat in the stands before the match.
“If [Zidane] has to take me off, he takes me off in the 50th or 60th minute, sometimes at half-time,” Isco said, which led to laughter from his teammates. “If he has to bring me on, he brings me on in the 80th minute.”
The Spain international has made just two starts in La Liga this season.
10.59 BST: Liverpool may resist the temptation to sign another centre-back in January despite facing the prospect of being without Virgil van Dijk for the remainder of the season, the Liverpool Echo reports.
Van Dijk is facing a battle to play again in 2020-21 after the Netherlands defender suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury during 2-2 draw against Everton on Oct. 17.
Premier League champions Liverpool have played midfielder Fabinho in defence to cover for Van Dijk’s absence with Joe Gomez and Joel Matip the only senior centre-backs in the squad, but they have been linked with midseason moves for players such as RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano and Schalke’s Ozan Kabak.
However, the Liverpool Echo claims that Liverpool may well stick with their decision not to sign another defender last summer, despite Dejan Lovren leaving for Zenit St Petersburg, and hope they can survive until Van Dijk returns without another big transfer spend.
Steve Nicol believes not having a crowd is impacting Liverpool’s play despite their 2-1 win vs. Sheffield United.
10.12 BST: Sergio Ramos may have scored again in Real Madrid’s 3-1 win over Barcelona in Saturday’s Clasico, but club and captain are no closer to agreeing a contract extension, according to Diario AS.
The newspaper claims Ramos — whose deal expires in 2021 — wants a two-year renewal, while Madrid want to stick to their standard policy of offering over-30s one season at a time.
AS quotes sources close to the defender as saying there’s “no hurry” to reach an agreement and that “with everything that’s happening (with the club’s financial situation) it’s not the time to talk about it.”
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09.27 BST: Former Netherlands forward Marco van Basten has said Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek should have joined a club where he can play more regularly.
United signed Van de Beek from Ajax on a five-year contract this summer for a fee around £40m. But he has made only four substitute appearances in the Premier League and was not used in the 0-0 draw against Chelsea on Saturday.
“Donny shouldn’t have gone to United,” Van Basten told Dutch TV channel Ziggo Sport. “When you’re a good player you want to play every week.
“It’s really bad for a player like Donny to play six or seven games this year. That’s shocking for your rhythm.
“I know he’s earning loads more than he used to. But as a top player you have to be critical and look at the chances of playing when you sign for a new club. Donny should have waited for better prospects and signed for another club.”
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08.42 BST: Manchester City “like the look” of Mauricio Pochettino and Julian Nagelsmann as successors to Pep Guardiola if they have to start looking for a new manager, the Daily Mail reports.
Guardiola’s contract at City expires at the end of this season, and the club has left the decision of whether or not the Spanish coach continues his tenure completely up to him.
By next summer, Guardiola will have been at the Etihad stadium for five years, making his time at City longer than at any other club he has coached.
If Guardiola does decide to call it a day, the Mail reports that City are looking at potential candidates who could fill the post.
Former Tottenham boss Pochettino has been out of work for almost a year, having been sacked just months after leading Spurs to their first ever Champions League final, while Nagelsmann is one of Europe’s most coveted coaches after he let RB Leipzig to the semifinals in Europe last term.
Steve Nicol explains why Pep Guardiola will stick around at Manchester City, despite the slow start to the season.
08.00 BST: Juventus forward Paulo Dybala is in talks over signing a new contract with the Serie A giants, the club’s chief football officer has confirmed.
Dybala, whose current deal expires in 22, has been a target for clubs such as Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain most recently Tottenham Hotspur over the past few seasons.
However, the 26-year-old Argentina international is close to extending his stay in Turin.
“He wants to stay and we want to keep him, he’s part of our future,” Fabio Paratici told Sky. “We’ll continue the negotiations to find an agreement.”
Dybala earned his first start for Juve this season in Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Hellas Verona (stream the replay on ESPN+ in the U.S.).
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PAPER TALK (by Harry Kettle) Garcia to reject Guardiola’s City push
Manchester City defender Eric Garcia is expected to reject Pep Guardiola’s attempts to keep him at the Etihad, the Sun reports.
The report indicates that he will indeed push forward with his plan to leave the club next year and join Barcelona despite the teenage sensation starting the last few games for City.
Garcia clearly wants to return home to his boyhood club and he’s willing to do that either in the January transfer window or next summer on a free — but whatever the case may be, the youngster’s mind appears to be made up.
Fresh Tottenham transfers in 2021?
Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho is expecting more investment from the club next summer, the Mirror states.
The club, for the first time in quite a few years, showed the courage to spend big over the last few months in the name of improving their chances both domestically and in Europe. Now, ahead of their Monday Night Football clash with Burnley tomorrow, Mourinho has made his ambitions crystal clear.
“I am very happy with the squad but, of course, next summer we will need to give a couple of touches, but this is what you always do to improve the squad,” Mourinho said ahead of the game.
“Look at Liverpool, for example, when Jurgen [Klopp] has been there. How many transfer windows? He went to the market and improved the team.”
– The talks between Torino and Andrea Belotti regarding a contract renewal continue to stall, Calciomercato reports. The club are believed to be viewing this as one of their main priorities but for whatever reason the discussions haven’t gotten into the full swing of things as of yet as the interest in him from across Europe continues to grow.
– West Bromwich Albion defender Ahmed Hegazi is set to leave the club in favour of a move to Saudi Arabia, according to the Mirror. The 29-year-old, who is still the highest-paid player at the club despite barely featuring for them as of late, is expected to sign on the dotted line with Al-Ittihad today with his wages of £70,000-per-week being tipped to increase further in the Middle East.