The summer window is closed, but that’s done little to slow a frenzied rumor mill fueled by missed opportunities and future targets. With the January period fast approaching, here’s a look at what’s hot in transfer talk.
Guardiola eyes England duo for City rebuild
Now that he’s penned an extension with the club, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is looking to upgrade an attack that has gone shockingly stale this season. The Independent’s Miguel Delaney claims Guardiola’s desire to pursue Tottenham’s Harry Kane was part of negotiations on a new deal.
Delaney adds in a separate story that Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish also features on Guardiola’s wish list alongside Kane and Lionel Messi. Additionally, City star Kevin De Bruyne has reportedly cosigned Grealish after the England midfielder apparently impressed the Belgian in Nations League play a few weeks back.
Kepa spotted on sale in Spanish bargain bin
Edouard Mendy’s addition has made Chelsea exponentially better, which has resulted in the most expensive ‘keeper in football, Kepa Arrizabalaga, wanting to vamoose. It seems the Basque Mr. Butterfingers fancies a return to La Liga so he doesn’t lose his spot as Spain’s third-choice shot-stopper.
Chelsea will not see a pittance of the €80-million fee, but according to The Sun, Kepa will take a pay cut to join Sevilla on loan. Bookmakers also list Athletic Bilbao, Villarreal, and Valencia as potential destinations, while Real Madrid and Barcelona are also mentioned, because who cares at this point?
Liverpool face competition for Leipzig’s Upamecano
It’s not so much if RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano will leave, but when. It looks like it will be this summer, with The Mirror saying Liverpool – who currently have one-and-a-half fit center-backs – will face stiff competition. Ajax’s €30-million man Perr Schuurs is also an option, per Corriere dello Sport.
Manchester United and rivals City are both reportedly keen on Upamecano, while Bayern Munich are also infatuated with the 22-year-old Frenchman’s skill set. However, Bayern will apparently wait to see if pending free agent David Alaba signs a new deal in the Bavarian capital instead of securing a free move to Paris Saint-Germain.
Eriksen, Szoboszlai, or Yazici for misfiring Gunners?
Mikel Arteta is quickly becoming the Basque Sean Dyche, but with good hair. Arsenal can’t create chances, but Inter Milan are apparently feeling charitable, so they’ve offered a cut-rate deal for Christian Eriksen. If Arteta didn’t fancy Mesut Ozil’s languid ways, we’re not sure Eriksen will impress either.
More realistic is Arsenal’s interest in Red Bull Salzburg’s Dominik Szoboszlai and Lille’s Yusuf Yazici. Bild claims AC Milan target Szoboszlai will instead join RB Leipzig, while The Sun says 23-year-old Yazici will follow former Lille standouts Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel to north London.
Real join congested Chukwueze pursuit
Real Madrid are going to have to freshen up their attack at some point. It makes sense then that the capital city side is forever linked with PSG’s Kylian Mbappe and Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland, despite BVB director Michael Zorc’s best attempts to dismiss speculation about Haaland.
Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze has also landed on Real’s radar, but according to La Razon, Los Blancos are one of many teams eyeballing the 21-year-old Nigerian international, with United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Leicester City, Everton, and Wolves all in the mix.
Bits and bobs
“Performances will always be the deciding factor on if you play or not,” Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said about Dean Henderson. The problem is, Henderson can barely get into a match. With Euro 2020 on the horizon, the shot-stopper is reportedly eyeing a January loan, with both Leeds United and Brighton interested.
As Lyon consider sales for Memphis Depay and Moussa Dembele, Les Gones are monitoring low-cost replacements. Reports in France claim that Leicester wantaway Islam Slimani and Reims’ Boulaye Dia lead the list of Lyon targets. Saint-Etienne fancy Slimani as well, for whatever reason.
Real Betis are hoping to cover for injured Sergio Canales with loans for Barcelona fringe first-teamers Riqui Puig and Carles Alena. Leeds, Leipzig, and Monaco are keen on Puig as well, while Barca continue to pursue Hoffenheim stud Melayro Bogarde, who’s also being watched by Milan.
It looks like Aston Villa will make another play for Werder Bremen’s Milot Rashica after missing out on the Kosovan international in the summer. The Villans have some company, though, with Leipzig, Bayer Leverkusen, and Wolfsburg all surveying the skilled attacking midfielder.
Finally, Juventus are looking to give Weston McKennie some American company in the form of 19-year-old FC Dallas right-back Bryan Reynolds, who’s expected to cost the Old Lady around €5 million. A record eight Americans featured in midweek Champions League. Happy Thanksgiving!