The summer transfer window was unlike any other; see all the major deals and check out how we graded the biggest signings. And just because the window is shut until January, that doesn’t mean the rumours won’t keep coming. Here’s the latest gossip and speculation.
TOP STORY: Tottenham turn to Bale instead of Hazard
Bale, 32, spent a successful six-year spell at Tottenham from 2007 before moving to Madrid for a then-world record fee of €100m. He returned to Tottenham on loan last season where he scored 16 goals in 34 games and is available on a free transfer in the summer. The Wales international has no future at the Bernabeu and so could be approached in January.
Meanwhile, Hazard is another player likely to leave Madrid in the coming months though his contract doesn’t expire until 2024 and he would still command a fee upwards of €60m.
The Belgium star won the Premier League under Conte at Chelsea in 2016-17 but has struggled with form and fitness since his €100m move to Madrid in 2019.
16.35 GMT: Manchester United would want £10m from any club looking to sign Jesse Lingard in January, says the Northern Echo.
Lingard, 28, impressed on loan at West Ham last season but was kept at Old Trafford over the summer, though he has played just eight times so far this season.
West Ham are one of the clubs interested in signing the England midfielder permanently, and now they have an idea how much that may cost.
15.27 GMT: Barcelona are monitoring defender Cesar Azpilicueta‘s contract situation as he moves into the final six months of his deal with Chelsea, sources have told ESPN’s Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens.
Barca signed Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia on free transfers last summer, and sources have said the club will continue to target out-of-contract players due to financial situation.
Azpilicueta, 32, has made 12 appearances for Chelsea this season and remains a regular under coach Thomas Tuchel after captaining the side to Champions League success last season.
However, with his deal up next summer, the Spain international is yet to commit to new terms at Stamford Bridge, which has alerted Barca, who have shown an interest in the defender in the past, too.
Sources have told ESPN that Chelsea remain in negotiations with Azpilicueta and are hopeful he will extend but there is not yet an agreement for him to prolong his stay in London.
14.39 GMT: TuttoJuve says that Arsenal are looking to swap Nicolas Pepe for Juventus winger Dejan Kulusevski.
Kulusevski, 21, has impressed Mikel Arteta and Edu with his potential but is not a regular for Juve after slipping down the pecking order.
The Gunners want to sign the Sweden international and are willing to let Pepe, who signed from Lille for €80m in 2019 but has also fallen out of favour, go in the other direction.
However, the report does claim that Juve aren’t keen on this idea and would need a straight cash deal for at least €35m.
13.48 GMT: Arsenal’s Cedric tells ESPN’s James Olley that he is ready to fight for his place at the club he always wanted to join.
Arsenal defender Cedric tells ESPN FC’s James Olley where his love for the Gunners started.
13.03 GMT: Frustration within the Manchester United squad has grown because of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reluctance to rotate, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson, with some squad players feeling they have been misled about their prospects of playing this season.
Under-fire United boss Solskjaer accepted during meetings over the summer that he had “overplayed” key players during the previous campaign, sources said, and promised members of the squad, including Donny van de Beek, Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Dean Henderson, Eric Bailly, Diogo Dalot, Juan Mata and Alex Telles they would be more involved going forward.
In some cases, Solskjaer’s assurances were enough to put their plans to leave Old Trafford on ice, only to be left on the sidelines once the season started.
12.40 GMT: Real Madrid and Chelsea are set to go head-to-head to sign Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni, says Marca.
Tchouameni, 21, has impressed in Ligue 1 and has been linked with a €40m move to a major European team in the coming months. Manchester United are also reported to be following the France international to replace Paul Pogba next summer.
11.26 GMT: Hebei FC’s employees have offered to work for free in a bid to help the Chinese Super League club cope with their financial crisis, Xinhua news agency reported, citing a letter circulating on social media on Monday.
Hebei are on the brink of becoming the second team from the country’s top division to shut their doors this year after the club issued a statement last month saying operations would not continue until a new investor was secured.
Hebei are owned by property developers China Fortune Land Development and have previously been among the biggest spenders during the boom years of Chinese football.
The letter, signed by 60 Hebei employees, said the employees are willing to work for Hebei without being paid until the club’s “structural reform is completed.”
11.05 GMT: Villarreal winger Yeremy Pino has signed a new contract until 2027.
Pino, 19, has become a key first-team player for the club and has nine goals in 53 games after coming through the club’s academy.
This season he was handed his senior Spain debut against Italy in October and he was also nominated for the Golden Boy Award.
10.43 GMT: Should Man City make a £150m move to sign Tottenham’s Harry Kane?
Julien Laurens explains why Man City should wait until the summer to move for a new forward.
10.00 GMT: Paul Pogba‘s return to Manchester United was supposed to herald the start of a new era at Old Trafford, but just over five years on it’s in danger of ending the same way it did when he first left in 2012. The France midfielder is still the most expensive signing in the club’s history at £89.3 million, and he is seven months from leaving as a free agent for a second time.
It wasn’t meant to be like this.
09.26 GMT: Singapore Premier League champions Lion City Sailors have bolstered their attack ahead of their AFC Champions League debut in 2022 with the signing of South Korea international Kim Shin-wook.
In an official announcement by the club, the Sailors revealed that Kim has joined on a free transfer from Chinese Super League giants Shanghai Shenhua and has put pen to paper to a three-year deal.
“Shin-wook brings with him characteristics that will help take our game to the next level, and I’m delighted that he found as much excitement in the Sailors project as I did when I joined,” said Sailors coach Kim Do-hoon, who only joined the club midway through the recently-concluded campaign but led them to their first title ever.
“We are still a work in progress, but with the commitment from everyone at the club and the added boost that Shin-wook gives us, I’m confident that we will continue to get better.”
08.53 GMT: Brazil’s national team will benefit from Dani Alves‘ return to Barcelona, according to Juventus defender Danilo.
Danilo, who has taken over the right-back position in the national team while Alves was without a club, said: “As a football lover, I think it’s really cool to see Daniel Alves back in Barcelona. There are players who seem to be made for certain shirts, Daniel despite everything he’s done wherever he went, perfectly matches the shirt, the history and the DNA of Barcelona. As a football lover, it’s great to see this.
“In terms of competition, I’ve already said that Daniel is a guy who reappears, he’s always there, this competition at this level over the years was important for me to stay focused and always be at my best, seeking to improve every detail to respond accordingly.
“For Brazilian football it is beneficial to have Alves back in Barcelona. He’s a friend, he’s a guy I love being together, we talk a lot about football. I only see positive things in Daniel Alves’ return to Barcelona. I wish him all the luck because he is a companion, I hope he can continue to be happy.”
08.30 GMT: Dean Smith has been announced as the new Norwich City manager.
Smith replaces the departed Daniel Farke within a week of his own dismissal at Aston Villa and his maiden game in charge comes against Southampton.#
“It has been a whirlwind seven days, but I’m really pleased to be back and working for Norwich City in the Premier League,” Smith said. “Clearly, there has been some wonderful work that has gone into this football club over last four and a half years. It is now the job of myself and Craig to continue and improve on that work with the ultimate aim of surviving in the Premier League.
“Norwich City is a big club, with a massive hardcore of supporters who are fully understanding in what it means to be part of the club and its community.
“I was brought up in an era when Norwich were competing in Europe — I remember those times well and whenever I’ve visited Carrow Road and Norwich you can really sense the connection between the fans, staff and players. Together, we all have to make Carrow Road a really tough place for visiting teams.”
Julien Laurens explains the talks between Paul Pogba’s agent and Barcelona.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)
– Paul Pogba‘s future is always a hot topic of conversation, and Calciomercato have delved into just that by looking at the Manchester United midfielder’s options. The France international is set to be out injured for up to 10 weeks and would be available as a free agent when his contract ends in the summer of 2022, but there are also suggestions that he could leave in January.
The first name mentioned is the giant of his homeland, Paris Saint-Germain, who are said to be keen to add yet another big name to their squad. That is followed up by a reference to Real Madrid, who have long been in the conversation surrounding Pogba, with it stated that both Florentino Perez and Carlo Ancelotti want to sign the midfielder. Finally, there is mention of his former club, Juventus, whom agent Mino Raiola is set to have a meeting with in the coming days.
- AC Milan are interested in signing 17-year-old Angers striker Mohamed-Ali Cho, as has been reported by L’Equipe. This comes with Atletico Madrid and Chelsea among the sides who have already registered their interest in the France under-21 international, who has two Ligue 1 goals. With Angers’ financial situation and Cho’s contract ending in 2023, it is felt that the teenager could leave in the summer.
Alexander Nubel is in the first year of an expected two-year loan from Bayern Munich to AS Monaco. While there is the possibility for the goalkeeper to return to Bavaria earlier, the expectation is that this won’t happen and he is seemingly not keen on doing so to sit on the bench. Speaking to Kicker, he said: “What I can no longer imagine is to come back and not get more games.”
– Internazionale are working to extend the contract of Federico Dimarco, whose current deal expires in 2023, reports Calciomercato. The 24-year-old is set to be offered a deal that will run until 2026 and include a major salary increase.