The winter transfer window is closed — but now it’s time to look ahead to the summer! Here are the new rumours floating around following the Jan. 31 deadline day:
TOP STORY: Pogba still wants to leave Man United in summer
Pogba — whose playing time has been heavily hampered by injuries this season — was relentlessly linked with moves to European clubs including ex-club Juventus and Real Madrid throughout the festive period, while United brought in Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon just before the transfer window slammed shut.
And although Red Devils’ boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has insisted United’s new signing is not Pogba’s replacement, the France international’s future in Manchester looks increasingly bleak with the midfielder reiterating his desire to quit the club to teammates.
The report goes on to state that United refrained from signing Fernandes in the summer to prioritise holding onto Pogba, but the club may now feel forced to cut their losses and cash in with the player technically inside the last 18 months of his contract, although United have the option of an additional year.
16.42: Joao Cancelo has been with Manchester City for all of six months, and already the reigning Premier League champions are ready to cut ties with the Portuguese right-back, according to the Sun. Inter Milan are reportedly interested, but don’t have the cash on hand to get a deal done for the 25-year-old. One potential avenue they could get their man: sending goal-scoring phenom Lautaro Martinez to the Etihad in exchange for Cancelo and cash.
15.25 GMT: Ajax defender Edson Alvarez says he would like to play in MLS in the future.
The Mexican centre-back told Televisa: “My plan is to remain here for many years. But my next destination will be the MLS because of the quality of life, because of the country. I’m really thinking about it.”
Though Álvarez featured a lot in the Champions League, he has not featured as regularly in Eredivisie competition, making just five starts this season.
14.47 GMT: Atletico Madrid are reportedly considering Mauricio Pochettino as their next manager but the Argentinian is said to favour staying in the Premier League.
The club’s manager Diego Simeone has been in charge for eight years and has won La Liga, two Europa Leagues and reached two Champions League finals.
However, the club sits sixth in the table this season and according to the Telegraph Atletico’s hierarchy are said to be considering a move for a new manager.
Pochettino previously told La Liga TV that he would be interested in a job in either Spain or England.
14.06 GMT: Fotospor are reporting that Leicester City are keeping an eye on Trabzonspor’s Ugurcan Cakir.
The Turkish outlet reported that Leicester City’s head of senior recruitment Lee Congerton watched Cakir in Trabzonspor’s win over Fenerbahce at the weekend and met with the club’s assistant manager Eddie Newton.
Cakir has made 23 appearances in all competitions for the club this season and earned his first international start in May of last year.
In January, Trabzonspor club president Ahmet Agaoglu claimed Liverpool had made a bid for the keeper.
13.22 GMT: Zinedine Zidane has dampened speculation that Martin Odegaard will return to Real Madrid from his loan spell at Real Sociedad this summer.
The Real Madrid manager was fielding questions in advance of the two Spanish teams meeting tomorrow in the quarterfinal of the Copa del Rey.
“No, I’m not planning anything. He’s our player, and we’re happy with how he’s playing for Real Sociedad, except tomorrow. He’s an opponent tomorrow and he’ll try to do well for Real Sociedad,” Zidane said.
The 21-year-old midfielder has been on loan at Real Sociedad for two years and has also featured for Norway’s international team.
12.39 GMT: Arsenal have long been known for their penchant for young players and it would seem that this is due to continue under their latest manager Mikel Arteta.
The Daily Mail is reporting that Arsenal are interested in Feyenoord midfielder Orkun Kokcu.
An emerging talent, Kokcu, 19, has already played for the Turkey under-21 team and is expected to be called up for Euro 2020 duty.
A regular at Feyenoord, the Daily Mail reports that the club could demand over £15m for the player.
12.07 GMT: Marcus Rashford‘s injury had already sent Ole Gunnar Solskjaer into a tailspin but now the Sun are reporting that Manchester United’s squad could be in further trouble with two goalkeepers possibly on the move.
Sergio Romero reportedly wants more first team football and is said to have had interest from Villarreal and Real Sociedad. However, the 32-year-old does still have over a year left on his contract and United have the option to extend for 12 months.
Third-choice keeper Lee Grant‘s contract ends this summer and neither party have held talks about extending his stay.
United do have the choice to bring Dean Henderson back from Sheffield United. The 22-year-old has been on loan at the club for two seasons to much success.
11.25 GMT: Borussia Dortmund have yet to receive offers for England international Jadon Sancho, Michael Zorc, the club’s sporting director, has said.
It’s no secret that Sancho, 19, will be one of the hottest properties on the summer transfer market. At the weekend, the Borussia Dortmund winger became the first under-20 player in Bundesliga history to reach the 25-goal mark and, following minor turbulences last autumn, he is in the middle of another outstanding season.
Under contract at the Westfalenstadion until 2022, Dortmund are reportedly bracing themselves for offers, but, so far, they have not received any.
“It’s a fact that no other club has contacted us regarding Jadon,” Zorc told Sport Bild, adding that he could not “reliably say” right now whether the “phenomenon” Sancho would still be a Dortmund player in the 2020-2021 season.
It is likely that Erling Haaland will still be around. The Norwegian only joined Borussia from RB Salzburg in the winter, when the Germans came out on top of a battle for the striker’s signature with Manchester United and Juventus.
Zorc said he was absolutely delighted with the signing: “If we get the confirmation from a player of his class then I am jumping for joy like a little boy. Erling is exactly the type of player our squad was missing.”
“It was certainly one of the toughest (deals of my career),” Zorc said.
“We shopped in a high shelf and it’s no secret that other prestigious clubs were after him as well. We offered him the best overall package for his development.
“I remember that even on Christmas Eve at 4pm I was on the phone with his agent Mino Raiola.”
10.35 GMT: Leroy Sane still wants to join FC Bayern Munich, German outlet Sport Bild reports.
However, following the Germany international’s switch of agents, negotiations will not continue until April.
Sane, 24, has returned to training after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury in late August, when he was all but cleared to move to Bayern Munich in the 2019 summer transfer period.
Although the injury blocked the transfer back in August, Sane remains one of Bayern’s main transfer targets for the summer of 2020.
But when Sane opted to leave David Beckham’s agency in late 2019 and made the move to Lian Sports, doubts over his desire to join the German champions were discussed in public.
Sport Bild reports that formal reasons — his new agents can only start working for him on April 1 following a three month notice period — have stopped negotiations. But, they added Sane still wants to move to the Allianz Arena, especially should interim coach Hansi Flick stay on beyond the summer.
This scenario in recent weeks has become more likely as the Bayern leadership dropped several hints Flick could be the man to lead Bayern into the future.
09.53 GMT: Aston Villa striker Jack Grealish has remained committed to helping childhood Aston Villa avoid relegation but the Mirror are reporting that Manchester United are preparing a huge bid for the Villa skipper this summer.
United have also had their eye on Leicester City’s James Maddison but he is reportedly close to signing a new deal with the former Premier League champions.
Grealish, 24, is expected to make his England debut in next month’s friendlies which will only increase attention on the forward even more.
While helping Villa stay up — the club are 17th in the Premier League — is a priority of Grealish’s, it is likely he will not follow them down should they be relegated.
09.07 GMT: After a slow January transfer window for Chelsea, the club’s hierarchy are preparing to hand £150m over to coach Frank Lampard this summer.
Standard Sport are reporting that this money will be used to attract player’s like Lyon forward Moussa Dembele.
Dembele has previously been linked to Chelsea but the Ligue 1 team were unwilling to enter negotiations with Chelsea for the player.
If Lyon agree to sell, it is unclear how much they would expect for the player with Standard Sport estimating it to be around £60m.
08.29 GMT: Valencia president Anil Murthy has explained the reason why Rodrigo was not sold in the winter transfer window despite being a target for Barcelona. The striker had also previously come close to leaving Valencia for Atletico Madrid last summer.
“In the case of Rodrigo, Valencia did not receive a suitable offer that reflected the high quality of the player,” he told Batzine. “Everyone in the market knows what Valencia were asking for. And if you can offer with real cash, then great. If you can’t guarantee an exact kind of payment, then we can’t go through with it.
“We’ll not entertain offers which are not backed by money, because it also destabilises the player….In the end, if the offer is very good, then you have to accept because as a responsible club, before you buy you must sell. You’ve got to manage your finances. For Rodrigo, it’s normal — last time was Atletico, now was Barca.”
08.00 GMT: Lionel Messi has engaged in a war of words with Eric Abidal after the Barcelona sporting director suggested Ernesto Valverde was fired because the players were not happy with him.
Messi believes Abidal, who plays a huge role in appointing and sacking coaches at Barca, is passing the buck on January’s decision to dismiss Valverde and replace him with Quique Setien.
The Argentina forward says Abidal should take responsibility for his own actions and complained that he had spoken about players in general without naming anyone in specific.
Sources have told ESPN that Messi feels he’s been incorrectly blamed for Valverde’s sacking and that the sporting director’s comments will encourage more people to draw false conclusions.
“I honestly don’t like doing these things but everyone has to be responsible for their job and take responsibility for their decisions,” Messi wrote on Instagram alongside a screenshot of Abidal’s interview with Diario SPORT.
“When things don’t go well on the pitch, the players are the first ones to recognise as much. Those in the sporting department at the club should also take responsibility for their actions and decisions.
“Finally, I think that when you speak about players, you should have to give names. If you don’t, you’re dirtying everyone’s name and encouraging things which are said which are not true.”
PAPER TALK (by Liam Wheeler): PSG star Mbappe accepts Real Madrid move
Speculation surrounding the future of Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe is finally set to come to an end this year after it was revealed that the 21-year-old sensation has apparently agreed to terms over a move to La Liga leaders Real Madrid.
Speaking to Spanish radio station Catalunya Radio, journalist Oriol Domenech claimed Los Blancos have won the race to sign the the France international and could head to the Bernabeu as soon as this year, stating: “When Mbappe departs, in 2020 or 2021, he will go to Madrid.”
Mbappe has been strongly linked with a host of European clubs including Barcelona as well as a move to the Premier League with Liverpool or Manchester City. However, reports earlier this week said that Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is ready to splash £250 million to complete a deal.
That could be done even sooner if Mbappe continues to grow frustrated following a heated exchange with Les Parisiens boss Thomas Thomas after scoring in his side’s 5-0 thrashing of Montpellier over the weekend.
Barcelona eye La Liga trio to replace Dembele
La Liga giants Barcelona are said to be plotting a move to secure a replacement for injured forward Ousmane Dembele. Quique Setien’s side have been left desperately short on firepower — something not said very often — with Luis Suarez also ruled out until May.
While the club has Antoine Griezmann, Lionel Messi and Ansu Fati as their options, under La Liga regulations, the Blaugrana are permitted to sign another player from inside Spain should Dembele’s season be over.
According to Spanish publication Marca, that could tempt Barca — who are three points adrift of leaders Real Madrid — to move for Girona’s Cristhian Stuani, with the Uruguayan believed to have a €20 million release clause. Real Sociedad’s Willian Jose, currently at Real Sociedad, has been touted as another potential option.
Marca also reports that Real Betis striker Lorenzo Moron is a likely target with the player believed to be admired by Setien. The Catalans could land the 26-year-old Loren from the Analusian side for as little as €30m.
– Bournemouth face a battle to keep hold of Manchester United target Josh King this summer with the Telegraph reporting talks over a new deal are at a stand still following the collapse of the forward’s proposed move to Old Trafford on deadline day. The Norwegian joined the Cherries five years ago, but is free to speak to other clubs with his current contract set to expire at the end of the season.
– According to AS, Atletico Madrid could still seal a deal to sign Edinson Cavani at the end of the season, but only if club president Enrique Cerezo apologies for comments he made about the Paris Saint-Germain star’s demands. The report states that Cavani’s mother, Berta Gomez was unhappy with Cerezo’s claims that a deal fell through after Cavani’s brother Walter demanded a signing fee.