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.
Brighton’s White in three-way tug-of-war
Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea are among the clubs considering a move for Brighton & Hove Albion defender Ben White, according to Sky Sports.
White, 23, has been an ever-present for Brighton in the Premier League this season, and his performances have seen him attract admiring glances across the division.
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White enjoyed a successful loan spell at Leeds United last season and he was linked with a permanent £25 million move to Elland Road, but he returned to the south coast in the summer and has excelled on the big stage.
White committed to the club on a four-year deal and has slotted seamlessly into Brighton’s back three alongside Lewis Dunk and Adam Webster, but it is believed the right offer could still see him depart.
Liverpool were also rumoured to be interested in signing him in the summer, but no offer materialised.
Ben White is wanted by Man United, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, according to reports. Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
16.05 GMT: There could be a real Premier League battle on for the signature of Borussia Monchengladbach’s Denis Zakaria. The Daily Star says Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United are all fighting to sign the Switzerland international. He is a 32-year-old defensive midfielder who could add strength in depth.
15.10 GMT: A Bola has revealed that Manchester United have paid another €3m to Sporting CP as part of the transfer deal for Bruno Fernandes. He moved to Old Trafford in January for a reported €55m, plus €25m in add-ons. And he has started to trigger those bonuses.
The payment was revealed in Sporting’s quarterly accounts for the season, which could be down to United qualifying for the Champions League this season.
14.28 GMT: Could Manchester City make a move for Valencia forward Lee Kang-In? La Razon in Spain reckons that City could make a move, and reunite Lee with Ferran Torres — who also made the switch from Valencia to the Etihad earlier this year.
13.40 GMT: Mundo Deportivo reckons that three prospective candidates for the Barcelona presidency have contacted agent Mino Raiola about Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland.
Ahead of the presidential election on Jan. 24, the candidates are trying to find a way to wow supporters with the promise of a marquee signing.
Haaland has scored 17 goals in 14 appearances this season, and recently won the prestigious Golden Boot award for the best young player in Europe.
Mundo Deportivo says that Dortmund want €70m up front, and a fee to his father Alf Inge, with a total outlay of €100m once all costs are taken into account. That seems far too cheap.
12.54 GMT: La Gazzetta dello Sport says that AC Milan will look to tie Franck Kessie down to a new contract. The midfielder has 18 months left on his deal and the Rossoneri are eager to extend that to ward off interest from other clubs looking to take advantage of the situation. He was linked with Arsenal, Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham United earlier this year.
12.15 GMT: In case you missed this on Tuesday, Premier League clubs will face new restrictions on the signing of players from outside the UK from the January 2021 transfer window as a consequence of Brexit — the vote of the UK to leave the European Union (EU).
The regulations will make it tougher for Premier League clubs to sign non-UK players, with clubs also unable to sign players from overseas until they are 18.
11.27 GMT: Everton could make a January move for Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti, according to various reports covered in Mundo Deportivo. The Premier League club are keen to strengthen at the back and coach Carlo Ancelotti is said to be a fan of the France international.
Umtiti, 27, has not played for Barcelona since June due to a knee problem, although is due to return in a friendly for Barca B on Wednesday.
If he comes through that game, he could make his first-team comeback in the coming weeks. Barca have been left short in the middle of defence following a long-term injury to Gerard Pique, which could open a window of opportunity for Umtiti. However, in the long-term, Barca are keen to cash in on Umtiti, who joined the club from Lyon for €25m in 2016.
He has been linked with a return to Lyon, while Italian clubs Napoli and Roma have also been credited with an interest, but his salary demands and doubts about his fitness have prevented him from leaving in the past.
10.39 GMT: It doesn’t seem that long since Mario Balotelli was being linked with a move to Championship side Barnsley, now it’s South America that is calling. Vasco de Gama’s sporting director says he is confident that the former Inter Milan, Liverpool and Manchester City striker will agree to sign for them in January.
Balotelli has been searching for a club since his contract terminated by relegated Brescia at the end of last season.
Vaso’s Fabio Cordella told Corriere dello Sport: “For our fans, he would be like Maradona. Vasco needs a player like Balotelli and he needs a club like Vasco.
“He wants to come here. We must not forget that Vasco da Gama is the second club with the most titles in the world after Real Madrid. Officially we have not signed anyone, but there have been messages and offers. We have closed everything, but we have to formalize it and we hope to be able to do it on Jan. 15.”
10.00 GMT: Spanish TV show El Chiringuito reckons Real Madrid are so desperate to sign Kylian Mbappe from Paris Saint-Germain that they are prepared to offer Eden Hazard in exchange. Hazard has had a poor time at the Bernabeu since joining from Chelsea in the summer of 2019, with form and fitness a real problem. He is now out of action until next year with a hamstring injury.
The report says Hazard could be used as a makeweight in a deal to finally bring Mbappe to La Liga.
🚨EXCLUSINDA #Inda: “El Real MADRID estaría dispuesto a meter a HAZARD en la ‘Operación MBAPPÉ'”. #ChiringuitoInda pic.twitter.com/V2bFadlFj3
— El Chiringuito TV (@elchiringuitotv) December 1, 2020
09.22 GMT: Chelsea midfielder Jorginho has fallen out of favour at Stamford Bridge, but he’s not ready to give up on fighting his way back into the team.
“I’m prepared to fight for my place,” Jorginho said. “Having such a strong squad is good for the team. We are more competitive and the level of training is higher. We have to work harder to get a chance to play. I don’t feel under pressure. It’s good for the team.
“I’m not a definite starter, everyone wants to play, but the most important thing is that we win. I’m OK with that. When the call comes I know I have to be ready. In a way it is good not to play all the time with this schedule.”
The 28-year-old has not started in the Premier League since the 0-0 draw at Manchester United on Oct. 24.
08.30 GMT: Tottenham Hotspur could still make a move for Internazionale defender Milan Skriniar, according to Football Insider. The 25-year-old was strongly linked with a move to London in the summer window, but the deal never came off and Jose Mourinho signed Joe Rodon from Swansea City. But Spurs could be back in for the Slovakia international when the window reopens but they still won’t match the original £40m asking price.
Barca target Felipe to ease defensive woes
Barcelona are experiencing a defensive injury crisis following injuries to Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet, and AS believes they’ve identified Atletico Madrid’s Felipe as a possible solution.
Barca’s technical department wants to being in two central defenders in January and while Manchester City’s Eric Garcia remains a top priority, Felipe could fill the other hole.
Felipe joined Diego Simeone’s men from Porto last season but, after working his way into the side before the pandemic, has hardly figured this season.
Barcelona would be looking to sign him either on a permanent deal or a six-month loan, but his departure could leave Atletico short in defence if they were to let him go.
Atletico are still in contention in three competitions and injury to any of their three first-choice defenders could see Felipe required to step in.
Mundo Deportivo reports that Barca are interested in Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi.
Giroud can add Juve to his list of admirers
Olivier Giroud’s future at Chelsea remains unclear but his list of would-be suitors continues to grow, with Juventus now heavily linked with a move for the Frenchman, according to Calciomercato.
Juventus are looking for cover and competition for Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata, and Giroud not only provides that he also offers them something different to what they already have.
Giroud has been on the radar for a number of Italian clubs including Inter Milan, with Antonio Conte keen to reunite with a player he worked with while manager of Chelsea.
Juve’s main problem will be convincing the 34-year-old that he’ll get enough game time. On the bench at Chelsea, Giroud is targeting first-team starts as he looks to secure his place in the French squad for Euro 2021.
– Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira is looking to take Gunners defender William Saliba on loan at Nice in January, reports BUT!. Saliba had been hoping to secure a loan move back to former club Saint-Etienne, but Nice are in need of defensive cover and Saliba, a French under-20 international, could be the perfect candidate.
– Ajax left-back Nicolas Tagliafico has been linked with a move to both Man City and Leicester City in recent weeks and, though he has recently signed a new deal at Ajax, the Daily Mail reports that he has an agreement in place that means he can leave if a suitable offer comes in.