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: United turn to Barnes as Sancho alternative
Manchester United are considering Leicester winger Harvey Barnes as an alternative to Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, says The Sun.
Sancho, 20, has been United’s top target for months but his £108m pricetag is proving tough to negotiate.
As a result, United are looking to explore some cheaper options with the 22-year-old Barnes now on the radar having impressed for Leicester this season. He also made his debut for England in October in a 3-0 win over Wales.
Leicester reportedly value Barnes around £60m and are not keen to let him leave, while United would need to raise extra funds from player sales if they were to follow up their interest in January.
10.01 GMT: Udinese goalkeeper Juan Musso is of interest to Chelsea, reports Mundo Udinese.
Musso, 26, is also being tracked by Paris Saint-Germain and the Argentine is reportedly valued at around €30m.
Chelsea signed Edouard Mendy from Rennes this summer and he has impressed, but they will allow Kepa Arrizabalaga to leave and therefore need a strong backup.
The report also says that Udinese want Pordenone goalkeeper Samuele Perisan as a replacement if Musso goes.
09.26 GMT: Paris Saint-Germain are exploring the possibility of signing Barcelona’s Lionel Messi in the summer, sources have told ESPN’s Julien Laurens.
Messi wanted to leave Barca in August after the 8-2 Champions League elimination to Bayern Munich, and sources said at the time that Manchester City led the chase to sign him.
However, Neymar and PSG sporting director Leonardo also discussed bringing the Argentina international to France at that time and have not lost interest in him since.
Messi cannot leave Barca until next summer, but he can start to negotiate a possible move with interested clubs on Jan. 1.
09.00 GMT: Manchester United are willing to spend in the January transfer window despite the ongoing uncertainty of the financial impact of the coronavirus, sources told ESPN, with Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho and RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano among the names on United’s wish list.
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has repeatedly urged caution, insisting he will have to manage the club’s resources “carefully” until the pandemic is over.
However, sources told ESPN that he will back manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with funds in the January transfer market if an opportunity to sign a long-term target presents itself.
Don Hutchison examines the depth at Jose Mourinho’s disposal after Spurs’ progression to the UEL round of 32.
PAPER TALK (by Harry Kettle)
Winks ready to quit Spurs?
Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Harry Winks could quit the club during the January transfer window, according to the Mirror.
Jose Mourinho hasn’t been able to find a consistent place in the starting XI for Winks in recent weeks and, as a result, he may decide to look elsewhere in order to try and preserve his place in the England setup heading into this summer’s European Championships.
With England manager Gareth Southgate making it clear that players need to stay in the mix with their club to warrant a spot in the Three Lions’ squad, Winks could well bring his tenure with Spurs to an end.
Zidane confident of Madrid stay
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has stated that he believes he has the backing of the board.
There has been mounting speculation over the future of the Frenchman at the Santiago Bernabeu, but during a news conference on Friday, Zidane had the following to say when questioned about what the next few weeks and months could hold for him.
“Yes, I have the club’s complete backing,” he said, in defiance of the negativity surrounding his status.
Longstaff prepares for Newcastle exit
Newcastle United’s Sean Longstaff will use his new super-agent to try to orchestrate a move away from the Magpies, the Daily Mail writes.
Longstaff has signed a deal with Pini Zahavi, in hopes that he will be the man to give Longstaff the move that he desires. His contract at St. James’ Park runs through 2022 and he reportedly isn’t interested in staying on Tyneside, with a handful of clubs interested in acquiring his services.
– Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has urged striker Danny Ings to sign a new long-term contract, according Sky Sports. During a recent interview, the boss said that Ings — who is set to enter the final 18 months of his contract — should avoid “throwing away something special” and commit to remaining with the Saints.
– MLSsoccer.com reports that the Portland Timbers will send defender Julio Cascante over to Austin FC in exchange for $250,000 in allocation money. After making 48 appearances for Portland since joining in 2018, the 27-year-old is now ready to take on a new challenge with one of Major League Soccer’s most intriguing new clubs.