The summer transfer window is closed for the major leagues in Europe. However, with an eye on January, there’s plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!
TOP STORY: Dortmund could lose Bellingham for bargain fee
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham could leave for a transfer fee of just £83 million next summer if it’s paid upfront, reports the Sun.
The England international is wanted by many of the biggest clubs in world football, demand that’s been reflected in the £130m transfer fee that the Bundesliga club have reportedly demanded. Now, however, the Sun writes that any club looking to bring in the 19-year-old could do so for almost £50m less than that figure, so long as it’s all paid up front.
Manchester City are sure that they can be the team to sign the talented teenager, as they offer him the best chance of winning silverware and an opportunity to reunite with former Dortmund teammate Erling Haaland, who has an incredible 14 goals in 10 games for City. Kalvin Phillips‘ signing from Leeds United initially ruled City out of the running for the former Birmingham City prodigy, but Pep Guardiola still wants another top-level player in midfield, and the Spaniard believes in Bellingham so much that he believes he could eventually fill Kevin De Bruyne’s boots.
Liverpool have held a long-established interest in the player, and they also believed that they were the favourites to bring him in. Chelsea are also admirers of the midfielder, while Manchester United would be keen to sign him but are aware that they will need to secure Champions League football to have any chance of doing so.
Bellingham still has three years left on his contract with Dortmund, which does not contain a release clause.
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22.20 BST: Alright, that’s it for another edition of Transfer Talk. Tune in later for the next installment!
21.31 BST: Up next, Football.London has some updates regarding a possible Premier League tug of war for Milan midfielder Ismael Bennacer.
Bennacer, still just 24 years old, was a member of the Arsenal academy as a teenager but eventually ended up on the continent, where he’s since flourished with Empoli and the Rossoneri to the extent that the Gunners are one of several clubs paying attention to his progress. Arsenal do need help in midfield given injuries to Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny, and Bennacer should be relatively fresh heading into the January window given that Algeria failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup.
According to other outlets, Liverpool and Chelsea are also interested in Bennacer, which means Arsenal will have to be aggressive if they’re to find a deal.
20.22 BST: In more Newcastle United news, is there a chance that they make a play for Leicester City and England playmaker James Maddison? Reports suggest that given his contract status — Maddison’s Foxes deal has under 18 months left to run — there might be a chance to do business below Leicester’s 60m valuation for the 25-year-old attacking midfielder.
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe is reportedly a huge admirer of Maddison’s as the Magpies’ build continues apace approaching the one-year anniversary of the club’s sale.
19.11 BST: Up next, some updates over the future of Dutch international defender Stefan de Vrij, as Gazzetto dello Sport reports that Inter Milan are preparing to lose him as a free agent next summer after digging in and refusing to let him leave during the most recent transfer window.
De Vrij, 30, has been a mainstay in the Nerazzurri line-up since arriving on a free transfer from Lazio in the summer of 2018, making 131 appearances (all competitions) and playing an instrumental role in Inter’s Serie A title (2020-21), Coppa Italia win (2021-22) and their run to the Europa League final in 2019-20. Yet after rebuffing interest from Tottenham and other Premier League sides over the summer, and with little progress made in contract negotiations, it looks as though he will leave in January for a nominal sum.
The Sunday Express had reported earlier that Newcastle United are keen to pair De Vrij with his international teammate, Sven Botman, at St. James’s Park. Given that De Vrij’s been in poor form to open the Serie A season, the Premier League side may have an easier approach in negotiations.
18.18 BST: Adel Taarabt has joined UAE Pro League side Al Nasr after leaving Benfica, it was announced on Saturday.
Taarabt’s Benfica contract was terminated by mutual consent earlier this month. The attacking midfielder made 129 appearances for the Portuguese giants after joining them on a free transfer from Queens Park Rangers in 2015, scoring two goals in that time.
The Morocco international was part of the Benfica side who won the Primeira Liga title in 2019 and enjoyed a spell on loan at Genoa from 2017-2018. He previously spent time at AC Milan, Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur and has made 30 appearances for Morocco.
17.22 BST: AC Milan are monitoring Spezia youngster Jacub Kiwior, according to Calciomercato.
Kiwior reportedly attracted interest from West Ham United and Roma in the summer and has been a mainstay for Spezia this season, playing the full 90 minutes in each of their opening seven Serie A games. The centre-back joined them from Slovakian side MSK Zilina last year and has made two international appearances for Poland.
Milan are said to have kept tabs on Kiwior since his name was discussed during the negotiations which led to Daniel Maldini joining Spezia on loan in the summer. But Calciomercato reports that Milan are focused on the development of summer signing Malick Thiaw for now and have yet to make an offer for Kiwior.
16.26 BST: Romelu Lukaku is happy at Inter Milan and has no plans to return to Chelsea after leaving Stamford Bridge on loan, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.
Lukaku re-joined Inter on a season-long loan this summer after a difficult campaign at Chelsea in which he scored eight goals in 26 Premier League appearances. The Belgium striker has made just three appearances and scored once in his second spell at the San Siro due to injury issues, but he reportedly wants to stay at Inter beyond the end of the season.
Inter vice-president Javier Zanetti has confirmed the Serie A team were in negotiations for Paulo Dybala this summer but decided against signing the Argentina international after the arrival of Lukaku. Dybala left Juventus when his contract expired at the end of last season and joined Jose Mourinho’s Roma side.
“There was a negotiation with Paulo Dybala, but, with the return of Lukaku, we had an important attacking pool,” Zanetti said at the Festival dello Sport in Trento, as reported by Sky Sports. “I see [Dybala doing] well at Roma, I know Mourinho and I know he can make the most of him.”
15.30 BST: Manchester United will extend Marcus Rashford‘s contract at the club if they can’t get the forward to agree a new deal, the Daily Star reports.
Rashford is set to become a free agent at the end of the season if he does not sign fresh terms, meaning he could walk away from his boyhood club next summer as a free agent.
United want to commit the 24-year-old to a new five-year contract, but if they can’t then they will trigger a clause in his current deal which allows them to extend his stay at the club by a further year.
The Daily Telegraph, meanwhile, reports that United are considering not extending goalkeeper David de Gea‘s contract as a way of lowering their wage bill (see 09.56 BST).
14.35 BST: Chelsea defender Thiago Silva has hinted that he could remain at Stamford Bridge for another two years as he revealed that he wants to until he is 40.
The Brazil defender, who turned 38 years old on Thursday, is out of contract at the end of the season. But, having played seven games for the Blues already this season, he made it clear that he wants a new deal.
“I talk often with [former Milan and PSG teammate] Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] and recently more often because Chelsea will play against AC Milan in the Champions league,” Silva told Chelsea’s official website. “My aim is to play until I’m 40 years old but I don’t know if it will be this level or this competition.
“It depends on this season and we’ll see what will happen in the World Cup. It also depends on a contract extension but yeah, my aim is to play until I’m 40.”
13.39 BST: Atletico Madrid would consider a move for Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez if Jan Oblak does not sign a new contract, the Daily Mirror reports.
Oblak, 29, is out of contract at the end of the season and is yet to hold talks with the club over a new deal. The Mirror reports that Atletico would consider a transfer in January rather than risk losing the Slovakia international for nothing in the summer, with Manchester United a potential destination.
Should Oblak decide to leave as a free agent, then Atletico would turn their attention to Argentina international Martinez. The 30-year-old has proved himself in the Premier League since moving to Villa Park from Arsenal two years ago in a £20m transfer, and is now established as Argentina’s No. 1.
12.44 BST: Cristiano Ronaldo says he’s not going anywhere — not yet anyway. The 37-year-old Manchester United forward will be with Portugal in Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in November but beyond that, he’s also got his sights set on the next European Championship, set to be held in Germany in the summer of 2024.
“It has been a long road, but I would like to say that my road is not over yet,” he said last week. “I still feel motivated and my ambition is high. I want to be part of this World Cup and the European [Championship] too. I’m going to assume that right away.”
By then, Ronaldo will be 39 and at the end of his 22nd season as a top-flight professional. His ability to keep fit and take care of his body is not in question — he’s averaged around 50 games a season for club and country since he was a teenager — but there remains a debate about where his club career will take him next.
He was keen to leave Manchester United in the summer because of a desire to carry on at the very top for as long as possible and find regular Champions League football elsewhere. A move didn’t materialise and, for now, he remains at Old Trafford, but there are question marks over his next move and what his future in football looks like.
– Dawson: What are Ronaldo’s options?
11.47 BST: Former Tottenham and England left-back Danny Rose is in talks with Championship club WiganAthletic over a free transfer, The Sun reports.
Rose was released by Spurs in the summer of 2021 after spending 14 years at the club.
The 32-year-old, who was part of the England squad that reached the semifinals of the 2018 World Cup and started the 2019 Champions League final, was released by Watford last month after making just nine appearances for them last season.
10.52 BST: Having already spent an exorbitant amount over the summer on teenagers, Chelsea are preparing to splash the cash Fulham attacker Luke Harris, reports the Daily Mirror. The 17-year-old has yet to make a first-team appearance for the Cottagers, yet their west London rivals are already prepared to table an offer including a £30m transfer fee.
The Blues have had their eyes on the Wales youth international since he scored a hat trick against Chelsea in an under-21s game between the clubs earlier this year. Harris is the latest youth starlet to potentially be snapped up by a big-money Premier League rival, following in the footsteps of Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho, but the Stamford Bridge hierarchy are targeting a player whose potential is said to eclipse that of the prodigies who’ve come before him at Craven Cottage.
09.56 BST: Manchester United are considering not extending goalkeeper David de Gea‘s contract as a way of lowering their wage bill, the Daily Telegraph reports.
De Gea, who turns 32 in November, is out of contract in the summer but has a clause in his deal which allows United to add a further year to his long tenure at the club.
United announced this week that their wage bill rose by 19.1% to £384m last year, while they also made a net loss of £115.5m.
De Gea signed a new contract worth £350,000 a week in 2019, making him the club;’s highest earner before Cristiano Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford last season.
09.00 BST: AS Monaco defender Axel Disasi has confirmed Paris Saint-Germain made contact with him this summer in an interview with RMC Sport. The 24-year-old has impressed for the Principality since joining from Stade de Reims in 2020, and his performance in a 1-1 with PSG in August led to the Parc des Princes club exploring a move for the centre-back.
“There was contact, it’s true,” Disasi said. “It’s true it also intensified after the match in Paris.
“It’s always nice to be linked to Paris Saint-Germain. I’m someone ambitious, PSG is a very ambitious club. Afterwards, I was good at AS Monaco, we got to the end of the window, my coach and the directors have faith in me.”
PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)
– The Mirror reports that Arsenal had scouts watching Stade Rennais’ Lovro Majer when he scored in Croatia’s 2-1 win against Denmark in the UEFA Nations League on Thursday. The midfielder has also impressed for Rennes since joining them little more than a year ago, which has resulted in the Ligue 1 outfit demanding a £44m transfer fee, having spent just £10m to sign him.
– Napoli are close to agreeing on a new contract for starting goalkeeper Alex Meret, reports Calciomercato, with the Italy international’s deal expiring in 2023. This decision ensures that they will not be making an attempt to sign Paris Saint-Germain stopper Keylor Navas in January.
– Torino were unable to sign Dnipro-1 striker Artem Dovbyk during the summer, but Tuttosport reports that the Serie A side will make another attempt to sign him in January. The hope is that his contract ending in 2024 will help to progress talks of a move.
– Lazio are taking action to renew the contract of Manuel Lazzari, according to Corriere dello Sport, with the wide man’s deal coming to an end in the summer of 2024. The Serie A club are entering negotiations with the Italy international by offering him a contract to stay with them until 2027.
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LIVE Transfer Talk: Bellingham available for lower fee — if it’s paid up front
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