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.
Messi, Haaland, Grealish headline City’s shopping list
Manchester City’s name was chucked around the spinning rumor mill last week like a gerbil at happy hour. Tom Gott of 90min alleges they’re shopping for a new striker to replace Sergio Aguero, with Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland and Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez topping the list. But wait, it gets better.
The Daily Star says Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish and Douglas Luiz – who was at City and has a €28M buyback – are part of Pep Guardiola’s plans. The Spanish manager is also focusing on Lionel Messi, who Mundo Deportivo claims is being “seduced” by the idea of a stop at City before finishing up with New York City FC – who play on a baseball diamond.
Suitors queue for Turkish delight Calhanoglu
Hakan Calhanoglu and AC Milan are miles apart on contract talks and the sweepstakes for the Turkish international are heating up, or as they say in the U.K., hotting up. Regardless, Mundo Deportivo says Atletico Madrid and Manchester United are in pole position to sign the soon-to-be free agent.
That’s unless Juventus sweeten the pot with a January advance, potentially allowing Milan to profit from Calhanoglu’s exit with a swap deal involving Federico Bernardeschi. Inter also remain interested, but that option would just be hilarious. Calhanoglu could probably keep his parking spot at the San Siro.
Liverpool won’t sign a defender – or will they?
Despite injuries to Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez, The Athletic’s David Ornstein says Liverpool will not pursue big-money January moves for Dayot Upamecano (RB Leipzig), Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli), or David Alaba (Bayern Munich). Reports have also linked the club to Schalke duo Ozan Kabak and Malick Thiaw.
Apparently, Joel Matip, Fabinho, and some guys nobody heard about a month ago will suffice. Hold your horses, because the Liverpool Echo reckons the Reds and rival Everton are set to battle for Torino defender Bremer, who fits the “Jurgen Klopp player” profile – whatever that means.
Giroud eyes 2 handsome options for Chelsea escape
Olivier Giroud is fed up with sitting on Chelsea’s socially distanced bench, looking obscenely handsome while less handsome players get Frank Lampard’s call. Modern football has truly gone to s—. As a result, Giroud fancies leaving to ensure his place on France’s Euro 2020 squad.
Things are looking good for Mr. Good Looking because Lyon reached out to Giroud’s representatives on Monday, according to MediaFoot. Inter boss Antonio Conte is also reportedly fond of Giroud, especially since the 34-year-old meets the Nerazzurri gaffer’s only requirement: Premier League experience.
European darlings hunt Wolves attackers
Faster than a speeding train, thicker than a bowl of oatmeal, and apparently unsettled with an impact substitute role with Wolverhampton. That’s Adama Traore’s current situation at the Molineux in a nutshell and stalled contract talks have alerted Liverpool, City, and Barcelona, according to Goal.com.
Juventus have launched talks with Portuguese stud Pedro Neto, according to Tuttosport. Juve sees Neto, who just signed a five-year deal with Wolves, as a versatile attacking complement to countryman Cristiano Ronaldo, whose agent Jorge Mendes also represents Neto – and basically runs Wolves, too.
PSG enter Ramos chase
Sergio Ramos’ contract negotiation with Real Madrid continues to arouse interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs. The Spaniard, who was associated with Serie A giants Milan and Juventus last week, is holding out for a multi-year deal. Real prefer to stick with only extending one-year pacts to players over 30.
Paris Saint-Germain are preparing an offer Ramos might not be able to turn down. The Ligue 1 behemoths are ready to present the 34-year-old with a three-year contract including €20 million annual wages, a bump from Ramos’ current €12-million-per-year salary, according to AS’s Tomas Roncero.
Bits and bobs
Benfica have set their sights on LAFC attacker Brian Rodriguez with hopes Rodriguez’s rapport with Benfica star, former Penarol mate, and fellow Uruguayan international Darwin Nunez will help. LAFC signed Rodriguez in 2019 for $11.5 million (€10M), the third-highest fee in league history.
Miguel Almiron – who is on his way to smashing Alan Shearer’s Newcastle records with four goals and three assists in 53 league outings – is eyeing greener pastures. “Miguel will take a leap in quality,” says his agent, who blames the pandemic for a failed summer move to Atletico. Okay, buddy.
West Ham and West Bromwich Albion have both expressed interest in a loan move for Real forward Mariano Diaz, who understandably prefers the former over the latter. In more West Ham news, the Irons, Fulham, and others are enquiring about Philadelphia Union left-back Kai Wagner.
Let’s finish with some laughs. Championship side Barnsley apparently approached free agent Mario Balotelli’s agent, Mino Raiola. Elsewhere, the chief of third-tier Spaniards Real Murcia has said there’s a “50-50” chance the club will sign Samuel Eto’o, who retired in 2019. You couldn’t make this up if you tried.