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 is the latest gossip and speculation.
TOP STORY: Barca still see way forward with Haaland
The 21-year-old is available through a €75 million release clause in his contract in the summer. It’s a fee the report claims is feasible for the Spanish club, however the bigger issue is the player’s wage demands.
Barca believe they are in with a chance of landing the striker, as agent Mino Raiola travelled to Camp Nou last year for discussions alongside several trips to other European clubs.
It has been reported that Barcelona also have €20m to use to recruit new players in January, but they may have to hold onto that to put towards signing Haaland in the summer.
Raiola is expected to ask for €20m-a-year for Haaland’s wages, a demand that they may struggle to meet without moving some more of their big names on.
The Norway international joined Borussia Dortmund in 2020 from FC Salzburg for around €20m and has developed incredibly in the Bundesliga. This season alone, he has scored seven goals with four assists in five appearances, while he has 68 goals in 67 appearances for the club in total.
09.17 BST: Karim Benzema has repeated his desire to link up with France teammate Kylian Mbappe at club level, saying “of course, one day” he’d like the Paris Saint-Germain star to join him at Real Madrid.
The two forwards have shown they’re compatible since Benzema’s return to the national team earlier this year, and both were on the scoresheet in Sunday’s UEFA Nations League final win over Spain (stream the replay on ESPN+ in the U.S.).
“Why not? I’ve always said it,” Benzema told Spain’s national broadcaster TVE on Thursday when asked about the prospect of Mbappe moving to the Bernabeu. “I’ve said it before, I can say it again. Of course, one day.”
Meanwhile the Madrid press aren’t concerned about reports in France that PSG are preparing an increase in capital which would help the club improve their contract renewal offer for Mbappe.
“Mbappe has taken a decision and money isn’t the most important thing,” AS columnist — and Real Madrid superfan — Tomas Roncero quoted a source as saying on Friday. “He won’t renew at PSG for all the money in the world.”
08.48 BST: Barcelona’s teenage midfielder Pedri has agreed a new contract through 2026 with a release clause rising to €1 billion ($1.16bn), the Catalan club confirmed on Thursday.
Pedri’s previous deal was due to expire at the end of the season, and once the transfer window closed in the summer, Barca made tying him down to new terms a priority. The Spain international’s release clause has more than doubled in the process (it was previously €400mn) to set a new club record.
Antoine Griezmann’s contract, signed in 2019, included an €800m buyout option, which was the previous record. Lionel Messi’s clause reached €700m during his time at Camp Nou.
In his first season at Barcelona, he made 52 appearances for the senior team, becoming a regular in midfield alongside Sergio Busquets and Frenkie de Jong.
His performances also earned him international recognition. Spain coach Luis Enrique called him up for his first cap in March and he went on to be a key player for La Roja at the Euro 2020.
08.00 BST: Some big transfer news regarding Manchester City to start with — Raheem Sterling would be willing to leave the Premier League club and move abroad.
The England international, 26, has fallen out of favour with City coach Pep Guardiola this season, starting only two of seven Premier League games.
“If there was an opportunity to go somewhere else, I’d be open to it at this moment in time,” Sterling said during the FT Business of Sport US Summit.
“As an English player, all I know is the Premier League. I’ve always known that maybe one day, I would love to play abroad and see how I would come up against that challenge.”
Asked what languages he would like to speak, Sterling said: “I should be learning a few different languages. I quite like the French accent – and Spanish.”
Raheem Sterling admits he would be open to the idea of leaving the Premier League and playing abroad.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Luke Thrower)
– Barcelona will have to start from scratch in renewal talks with Sergi Roberto as discussions halted between the parties. According to Mundo Deportivo, talks had stopped between the player’s agent and the club. The 29-year-old’s current deal expires next summer and he can discuss deals with clubs abroad in January.
– Newcastle United are eyeing Wales international duo Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale, according to journalist Ekrem Konur. Real Madrid are said to be unlikely to renew Bale’s contract which expires at the end of the season, meaning a move back to the Premier League is an enticing option. As for Ramsey, Juventus are looking at a potential midfield reshuffle, with the 30-year-old seen as an option to move on.
– Juventus are hoping to beat their rivals by offering Weston McKennie in a potential deal for Aurelien Tchouameni, writes Calciomercato. The AS Monaco midfielder has been linked with a host of top European clubs, however the Old Lady need to move players on in order to sign anyone in the midfield, with U.S. star McKennie viewed as one of the players who is free to leave.
– Juventus winger Federico Chiesa is now valued at over €100m by the club amid links to other teams in the past few weeks. According to Gazzetta dello Sport, the Italy international is rated highly by the club just under a year after his debut for the Serie A side. The 23-year-old has been heavily linked with Liverpool, Chelsea and Real Madrid in the past with Juve still hoping to build a future around the winger who they have an obligation to sign for €40m in the summer.
– Real Betis are set to extend the contract of youngster Rodri Sanchez, according to AS. The 21-year-old attacking midfielder has impressed since breaking into the first team and is set to sign a new deal until 2026 with a €40m release clause.