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: PSG to raid Real for Ramos?
Paris Saint-Germain will make a move for Sergio Ramos in January as the Real Madrid captain’s contract talks drag on, Diario AS reports.
Ramos’ deal at the Bernabeu expires at the end of the season and he’ll be free to negotiate with other clubs from Jan. 1.
Sources told ESPN’s Alex Kirkland and Rodrigo Faez earlier this month that initial conversations have begun over an extension, with both parties feeling positive about reaching an agreement.
According to AS, Real Madrid are only willing to offer the centre-back a one-year contract, in line with their policy for players over 30, with the option of a second year if certain criteria are met.
The newspaper claims that PSG want to tempt Ramos with a guaranteed three-year deal worth €20 million a season plus a hefty signing-on bonus — but he would reject that if Madrid give him a two-year contract, without reducing his current salary.
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12.58 GMT: Did Barcelona’s bad experience with Zlatan Ibrahimovic a decade ago really put them off making a move for Erling Haaland?
Gab Marcotti says Barcelona failed to adjust their analysis on Erling Haaland due to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
11.50 GMT: Wolves has reached an impasse in their contract talks with winger Adama Traore, The Athletic reports.
However, the 24-year-old has not started a match for Wolves since Sept. 27, with Daniel Podence on the teamsheet ahead of him in the five games since that 4-0 loss at West Ham.
As recently as last month Traore had looked close to following Raul Jimenez, Conor Coady, Pedro Neto and Max Kilman in signing a new long-term deal, but The Athletic reports that the Spain international believes he is being left out of the team due to the talks stalling.
Sources told ESPN’s Mark Ogden in the summer that Manchester City, Juventus and Traore’s former club Barcelona were all interested in signing Traore, whose contract at Molineux runs until 2023.
11.11 GMT: Paul Pogba has said that his time away from Manchester United when he is playing with France is a “breath of fresh air.”
In an interview on Sunday the midfielder admitted he was going through the toughest period of his career at the moment at United and that joining the French national team is a welcome respite.
After being dropped in five of United’s last seven games in all competitions and after being heavily criticised in England, Pogba gave a stellar response on Saturday evening with a very good performance in France’s 1-0 win against Portugal.
Talking about his difficult time in Manchester, the midfielder told French radio RTL: “It is a period that I had never experienced in my career before, where I usually always play and always have the rhythm. And suddenly that changes. Little by little, I get my sensations back. I am finding myself again. This is what I have to do all the time and be consistent.”
Frank Leboeuf sheds some light on Paul Pogba’s comments that playing with France is a ‘breath of fresh air.’
10.27 GMT: Former England teammates Wayne Rooney and John Terry could be rivals for the manager vacancy at Championship club Derby County, according to the Daily Mail.
Derby captain Rooney said he will help “stabilise the club” after the Rams sacked Phillip Cocu as manager on Saturday, having just won just once in 11 games this season and sit bottom of the table with six points.
Former England striker Rooney, 35, has been player-coach at Derby since arriving in January. He will be supported by Shay Given, Liam Rosenior and Justin Walker until a permanent manager is appointed at the Midlands outfit.
However, the Mail reports that Terry, who is currently assistant head coach at Aston Villa, is also a potential candidate, and that Villa would not stand in the 39-year-old’s way if he was to step up to the top job at another club.
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09.44 GMT: Levante’s Aitor Fernandez, who made the most saves of any goalkeeper in La Liga last season, has admitted Arsenal were keen to sign him this summer.
“It’s true that there was contact,” the 29-year-old told Diario AS. “Quite a few clubs asked about me, and it’s true that (Arsenal and Athletic Bilbao) did. But I’ve been happy here… I feel comfortable at Levante.”
Arsenal sold FA-Cup winning goalkeeper Emi Martinez to Aston Villa in September, replacing him with Iceland’s Runar Alex Runarsson.
“A lot of things happened, but in the end the club wanted me to carry on and I wanted to stay here,” Fernandez said. “My sporting development is here. I think it’s time to keep growing at Levante.”
09.00 GMT: Argentina’s most capped player Javier Mascherano has announced his retirement from football, aged 36.
Mascherano, a combative midfielder at River Plate, Corinthians, Liverpool, and Barcelona amongst other clubs, made his surprise announcement after his side Estudiantes lost 1-0 to Argentinos Juniors in a league match on Sunday.
“I lived my profession 100%, to the maximum that I possibly can, and for a while now that has been getting harder,” he told reporters. “Sometimes you don’t choose the end, it happens all by itself.”
Mascherano enjoyed his most successful spell at Barcelona, where he won 19 titles in eight years, including five La Ligas and two Champions Leagues.
He played 147 times for Argentina, appearing in four World Cup finals. He also won two gold medals with the Argentine Olympics team in 2004 and 2008.
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PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd): Guardiola targets Haaland or Martinez
Manchester City are prioritising a new striker at the end of the season, and 90min believe they’re prioritising Erling Haaland or Lautaro Martinez.
City are widely believed to be actively looking for a replacement for Sergio Aguero, and with Gabriel Jesus the only other out-and-out striker at the club, Pep Guardiola is in need of other attacking options.
Aguero is now 32 and increasingly suffering from injuries, which means City are unable to place as much reliance on their record striker. Haaland has emerged as one of the world’s hottest strikers and City see him as the perfect player to lead the line for the next few years.
However, Martinez is seen as the most-likely option to sign. Barcelona failed to sign him in the summer as they couldn’t agree on a fee with Inter, but City will feel they have the financial muscle to persuade the Italian club to part with the Argentine striker.
Rudiger among alternative defensive targets for Barca
Barcelona are increasingly unsure whether or not they’ll be able to re-sign Eric Garcia from Manchester City in January, so they’re turning their attentions to Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger, Liverpool’s Joel Matip or Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi.
That’s according to the Spanish outlet Diario Sport, which reports that while Garcia remains their priority, Barca are compiling a list of low-cost alternatives.
Ronald Koeman has been told he can sign one defender in the transfer window to add competition for places alongside Clement Lenglet, Gerard Pique and Ronald Araujo. However, Barcelona have limited funds to deal with as a result of the financial implications of the coronavirus, and while they can sign Garcia on a free next summer, they need cover sooner.
Rudiger appears to top their back-up list. The Blues defender was close to leaving last summer and would be interested in the move.
Matip is also on the list, but given Liverpool have their own injury worries it’s believed they would be against selling him this winter.
Mustafi is another option, alongside Roma’s Federico Fazio, Fiorentina’s German Pezzella and Milan’s Mateo Musacchio.
Juve look to Mendes to sort Neto deal
Juventus are in talks with Wolves to sign their Portuguese winger Pedro Neto, according to Italian outlet Tuttosport.
Neto arrived at Molyneux only last summer from Lazio and he recently committed to a five-year contract with the Premier League side, so would be likely to command a big fee.
However, agent Jorge Mendes is believed to be behind the deal, and the Portuguese has already been involved with several moves involving Portuguese players to Wolves, and so might be able to make the move happen.
Juventus are keen on Neto because of his ability to play either as a central attacking midfielder or on the either wing. Neto was involved in Portugal’s 7-0 win over Andorra last Wednesday.
– Kevin De Bruyne is in talks with Manchester City over a deal to extend his contract beyond 2023, say the Guardian. The Belgian midfielder, who was involved in Belgium’s 2-0 win over England on Sunday, is currently representing himself, and he told Belgian TV station VTM Nieuws that he’s happy to stay at the club, and that talks are going progressing though not advanced.
– Brazilian club Vasco de Gama are interested in signing Italian forward Mario Balotelli, according to Sky Sport in Italy. Balotelli, 30, has been a free agent since his contract with Brescia was not renewed in the summer. Vasco are looking to strengthen their attack and have set their eyes on the former Manchester City and Liverpool player. Vasco appointed Italian Fabio Cordella as sporting director and he has been in contact with Balotelli since last week trying to convince the former Italy international to join them. Balotelli has been training with Serie D side Franciacorta since leaving Brescia.