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: Milan eye €120m for Leao’s transfer
AC Milan will only consider offers in the region of €120 million for Rafael Leao‘s transfer as teams such as Chelsea and Real Madrid ponder a move for the Portugal star, according Calciomercato.
After Milan dismissed enquiries for the 23-year-old forward close to the transfer window deadline, it looks as though the Rossoneri have set a valuation for Leao’s transfer, who established himself as a key player for the Serie A champions last season.
The previous stance from the San Siro hierarchy has been that they have no intentions to move on the Portugal international for anything less than his release clause, which is believed to be in the region of €150m, but now club technical director Paolo Maldini is open to discussions should clubs return to the negotiating table.
Leao who registered an assist during Milan’s 1-1 draw with FC Salzburg in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, more (U.S.)
15.31 BST: With the transfer window closing, some moves that looked likely to happen all summer eventually failed to materialise. While Frenkie de Jong’s long and public courtship by Manchester United was the most high-profile, there were other well-known names who also somewhat surprisingly stayed put.
There are a variety of reasons why players might not move on: The protagonists themselves might choose to stay and try to kick-start a faltering career; there are also those who may have outgrown their current clubs, but whose profile and contribution are too integral to be allowed to leave; and on occasion a collapsed deal might compromise the career of a player in the short term. Here we look at a selection of players who, for one reason or another, may have prospered from switching clubs during the summer.
– Karlsen: Ronaldo, De Jong, Depay: Players stuck after transfers failed to happen
14.43 BST: Former Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno, who joined Fulham this summer, has said he was forced out at the Emirates due to club “politics” rather than performances.
Leno served as backup goalkeeper last season after being replaced by Aaron Ramsdale, who joined from Bournemouth, and the German goalkeeper ended his time at Arsenal last month by joining newly promoted Premier League side Fulham.
Arsenal also signed American goalkeeper Matt Turner from New England Revolution, who joined in June after agreeing a deal last February.
“When I realised that it wasn’t about performance or quality, I knew I had to go,” Leno told German newspaper Sport Bild. “During the preparation I saw that it’s not about performance, it’s just about politics. It was clear to me: I have to get out of here.”
Leno, 30, has been handed the starting role at Fulham, appearing in their last four opening Premier League games.
“The most important thing for me is to find my rhythm again,” he added. “Especially after I wasn’t actually able to train properly at Arsenal and had no preparation. It’s up to me to get the focus back on the national team.”
13.50 BST: Another situation that is developing quickly is Keira Walsh’s proposed world-record transfer from Manchester City to Barcelona (see 11.27 BST), with the Daily Telegraph now reporting the England midfielder has agreed personal terms on a three-year contract.
The paper also puts the potential fee for the 25-year-old at just over £400,000, close to double what Chelsea paid to sign Pernille Harder two years ago.
Not that Denmark international Harder is reluctant to lose her status as the world’s most expensive player: “I’m happy [the transfer record] keeps getting higher. That’s what I wanted. It’s a good development for women’s football. It’s good for women’s football to get the money rolling.”
13.41 BST: Things are moving quickly at Chelsea following this morning’s announcement that Thomas Tuchel had been fired as manager — sources have told ESPN’s James Olley that Brighton & Hove Albion have given Chelsea permission to speak to Graham Potter as the club seek a new boss and the 47-year-old is now expected to hold talks.
The exact figure is as yet unclear but sources suggest Chelsea would need to pay at least £10m to release Potter from his deal at Brighton, where is under contract until 2025.
Brighton finished in ninth place with 51 points last season — their highest tally in the Premier League — and Potter has won plaudits for Brighton’s attacking style of play. Their progress has continued unabated this season despite losing midfielder Yves Bissouma to Spurs and defender Marc Cucurella to Chelsea for a combined fee of more than £90m.
Potter heads a shortlist for the job which also includes Mauricio Pochettino and Zinedine Zidane.
Julien Laurens reacts to Chelsea’s sacking of Thomas Tuchel.
13.06 BST: You may have seen the headline figure: Premier League clubs spent around £1.9 billion ($2.23bn, €2.24bn) in the 2022 summer transfer window, pulverising the previous mark of £1.4bn, set in 2017. Put another way, the 20 English top-flight clubs spent more than all clubs in Spain’s LaLiga, Italy’s Serie A and Germany’s Bundesliga combined.
Well, put those numbers aside because they really don’t mean very much, no matter how often they’re bandied about in the media.
A far more relevant figure here is net spend: how much money you fork out in transfer fees to acquire players, minus how much you get back for transferring players to other clubs. If anything, it goes even further to underscore the economic muscle of Premier League clubs relative to the rest of the continent.
The figures are staggering.
– Marcotti: Premier League dominance shown yet again in summer transfer spending
12.13 BST: Former Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino, Brighton’s Graham Potter and ex-Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane are top of Chelsea’s shortlist to replace head coach Thomas Tuchel, sources have told ESPN’s James Olley.
Chelsea sacked Tuchel on Wednesday, hours after his 100th game in charge ended with a 1-0 Champions League defeat away at Dinamo Zagreb.
Sources have told ESPN that the club are keen to approach Brighton to speak to Potter, who has excelled on the south coast since taking charge in 2019. Brighton finished in ninth place with 51 points last season — their highest-ever tally in the Premier League — and the 47-year-old is under contract until 2025.
Potter has won plaudits for Brighton’s attacking style of play, and their progress has continued unabated this season despite losing midfielder Yves Bissouma to Spurs and defender Marc Cucurella to Chelsea for a combined fee of more than £90m.
Pochettino is out of work after being sacked by Paris Saint-Germain, but ESPN has previously reported that the Argentine coach would be open to a return to English football. He was considered for the Manchester United job this summer before Erik ten Hag’s appointment at Old Trafford.
Zidane is also a free agent after resigning from Madrid in May last year, saying the LaLiga club lacked faith in him despite delivering three Champions League titles in a row during his first stint in charge at the Bernabeu.
– Chelsea fire Tuchel: Social media reaction to shock sacking after UCL loss
11.27 BST: Barcelona have agreed to pay a world-record fee to sign midfielder Keira Walsh from Manchester City, Sky Sports reports.
City had rejected multiple offers for the 25-year-old, who was named Player of the Match for England’s win over Germany in the final of the Women’s European Championship this summer. She has been at City since 2014, where she has won five League Cups and three FA Cups.
But with Walsh in the final year of her contract, a fee that eclipses the £250,000 Chelsea paid for Pernille Harder in 2020 has been accepted.
Walsh is now set to discuss personal terms with the Spanish champions and undergo a medical ahead of Thursday’s transfer deadline.
Keira Walsh is different 🔥
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) September 6, 2022
10.36 BST: And another! RB Leipzig have parted ways with coach Domenico Tedesco on Wednesday following a bad start to the Bundesliga and a 4-1 loss at home to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League.
Shakhtar came to Leipzig with a weakened squad after losing most of its overseas players following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but the team scored from four of its five shots on goal.
Tedesco had taken over in December last year and helped them climb from 11th place to fourth spot and a place in the Champions League. He also led them to the German Cup, their first major trophy.
But the team has managed just one win from their five league games in the Bundesliga, including a 4-0 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt last week.
Leipzig play Borussia Dortmund, joint top in the league with Freiburg, on Saturday, before a trip to Real Madrid next Wednesday.
10.21 BST: Thomas Tuchel has been sacked as Chelsea manager following a poor start to the season, the club announced on Wednesday.
Chelsea kicked off their Champions League campaign with a shock 1-0 defeat at Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday — having also lost two out of their six matches in the Premier League — and Tuchel was critical of his team.
A club statement read: “On behalf of everyone at Chelsea FC, the club would like to place on record its gratitude to Thomas and his staff for all their efforts during their time with the Club. Thomas will rightly have a place in Chelsea’s history after winning the Champions League, the Super Cup and Club World Cup in his time here.
“As the new ownership group reaches 100 days since taking over the Club, and as it continues its hard work to take the club forward, the new owners believe it is the right time to make this transition.
“Chelsea’s coaching staff will take charge of the team for training and the preparaton of our upcoming matches as the Club moves swiftly to appoint a new head coach.”
– Chelsea ratings: Aubameyang 4/10 for disastrous debut
09.46 BST: Bayern Munich have dismissed speculation linking them with a move for Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane.
The Bundesliga champions have recently been linked with the 29-year-old England captain as a potential replacement for Robert Lewandowski, but speaking to reporters about the situation on Tuesday, club sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic told reporters: “I don’t think [Bayern CEO] Oliver Kahn is forcing a move for Kane, you can all go down a gear, there’s nothing to it.”
08.51 BST: Wolves have identified Andy Carroll as an alternative option to Diego Costa, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Wolves have been left short of strikers in their squad after summer signing Sasa Kalajdzic sustained a knee ligament injury during his debut on Saturday, while Raul Jimenez missed the opening two games of the season with a knee injury.
Former Chelsea and Atletico Madrid striker Costa, 33, had been without a club since leaving Atletico Mineiro in January after five months at the club, during which he scored four goals in 15 games and lifted the Brazilian league title.
However, he was denied a UK work permit on Tuesday because he has not played any professional matches since his last appearance for Atletico Mineiro on Dec. 12 last year, shortly after which his contract was terminated. Wolves have appealed the decision, with the result of that expected within 48 hours.
If that appeal fails, Wolves could turn to Carroll, 33, who is a free agent after his contract with West Bromwich Albion expired in the summer.
08.00 BST: Marseille’s Eric Bailly has claimed he did not get a fair chance at Manchester United because the club favour English players.
Bailly joined Marseille on loan this summer after falling out of favour at Old Trafford following his move from Villarreal in 2016.
The Ivory Coast centre-back has made 113 appearances for United but suggested he could have more were it not for players ahead of him in the pecking order.
“The club should avoid favouring English players and give everyone a chance,” Bailly said in comments carried by The Times before Marseille’s opening Champions League game against Tottenham Hotspur.
“[The club should] encourage competition in the dressing room, not just look out for some. I’ve always had the feeling that the national player was prioritised.
“That doesn’t happen at Chelsea or other big Premier League clubs. Some people take it for granted that they are going to start, and that weakens the team. Luckily [Erik] Ten Hag has a lot of character and I hope he can change that dynamic.”
PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)
– Edouard Mendy has rejected Chelsea’s opening proposal after discussions over a new contract, reports the Standard. After the Blues signed a new long-term deal with Reece James, the 30-year-old goalkeeper is understood to be one of the club’s next priorities, along with midfielder Mason Mount. Mendy is believed to be looking for a higher salary, after being offered lower than the £190,000-per-week deal that Kepa Arrizabalaga signed in 2018.
– Nathan Redmond is set to join Besiktas from Southampton, reveals Fabrizio Romano. The Turkish club fought off interest from domestic rivals Galatasaray and Fenerbahce, and they have agreed to a one-year deal with the 28-year-old winger until the summer of 2023. The deal is expected to go through swiftly after the Saints approved the transfer on Tuesday.
– Galatasaray are considering moves for Emil Forsberg and Thorgan Hazard, according to Turkey-based newspaper Fotomac. The club is keen to add an attacking midfielder who can play from wide areas before the deadline in Turkey closes, with both Bundesliga stars fitting that profile. Forsberg, 30, has been named as a substitute for three of five league clashes for RB Leipzig, while 29-year-old Hazard has made five appearances for Borussia Dortmund.
– Galatasaray are also on the verge of signing Leicester City defender Caglar Soyuncu, understands Calciomercato. The 26-year-old centre-back was on the radar of Internazionale in the summer, but with the transfer window closed in Serie A, the Istanbul side have taken advantage to move forward for his transfer.
– Miralem Pjanic‘s journey at Barcelona is set to come to an end on Wednesday, reports Mundo Deportivo. The Blaugrana midfielder has agreed a deal with United Arab Emirates side Sharjah FC, and he will sign a three-year contract with the club. It is understood that Xavi Hernandez was keen to keep the 32-year-old at the Camp Nou, but he has decided to leave to go in search of more playing time.
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