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 is the latest gossip and speculation.
TOP STORY: Kroos a target for Man City
Toni Kroos could be set for a switch from Real Madrid to the Premier League, with reports that he has been asked to join Manchester City by Pep Guardiola.
El Nacional writes that the City manager will do everything possible to acquire Kroos, with the 31-year-old midfielder set to give his answer to the request on Jan. 1.
And with the World Cup set to take place in 2022, he is keen to move for first-team football to ensure a place in the Germany side, having made just one appearance in LaLiga ahead of El Clasico against Barcelona on Sunday (stream live on ESPN+ at 10:15 a.m. ET).
Kroos previously played with Guardiola during his time at Bayern Munich, where the pair won the Bundesliga league and cup double back in 2014 campaign.
– Stream Barcelona vs. Real Madrid on ESPN+: Oct. 24, 10.15 a.m. ET (U.S. only)
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16.07 BST: United States international forward Ricardo Pepi has attracted the attentions of Premier League clubs including Liverpool and Manchester United, the Daily Mirror reports.
Pepi, 18, has enjoyed a breakout year with FC Dallas, where he has scored 13 goals in 28 appearances in Major League Soccer this season. That form has earned him a place in Gregg Berhalter’s USMNT squad, scoring three goals in four senior internationals since making his debut in September.
The Mirror reports that Pepi is eager to move to Europe in the January transfer window in order play as much football as he can before the 2022 World Cup at the end of next year, and Dallas’ position has been weakened by the team failing to reach the MLS playoffs this season.
As well as Liverpool and United, Premier League sides Brentford and Brighton & Hove Albion are also potential destinations.
– Franco: The unstoppable dreams of USMNT prodigy Ricardo Pepi
15.15 BST: Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has discussed his plans for retirement, saying he will be ready to call it quits before he fades from the first-team picture.
Pique, 34, is one of Barca’s most decorated players, winning 30 trophies for his boyhood club including three Champions Leagues and eight LaLiga titles.
“I’ll retire at Barca, that’s for certain,” the veteran centre-back told El Pais. “What I won’t accept is retiring as a substitute.
“Look, if it’s the last three months of the season and that’s what my role becomes, then fine. But a whole year on the bench? No, I don’t want that.”
– Stream Barcelona vs. Real Madrid on ESPN+: Oct. 24, 10.15 a.m. ET (U.S. only)
14.22 BST: European giants Real Madrid are Bayern Munich are both monitoring Napoli striker Victor Osimhen, AS reports.
Osimhen, 22, has scored nine goals in 10 club appearances this season, helping Napoli to the top of Serie A as the only team left in Europe’s top five leagues with a 100% record this season.
AS reports that Madrid are still prioritising the signings of Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland, but Osimhen is being considered as an alternative.
Bayern, meanwhile, are reportedly considering making a €100m bid for the Nigeria international.
13.28 BST: West Ham United manager David Moyes has said that the chance for clubs to sign midfielder Declan Rice for a “bargain” £100m has now passed.
Rice, 22, has been linked with interest from Manchester United and boyhood club Chelsea, but Moyes insists that the Hammer’s Premier League rivals will now find it much harder to tempt the England international away.
“There was a bargain to be got with Declan at £100m,” Moyes told Sky ahead of Sunday’s match against Tottenham Hotspur. “That bargain’s now gone.
“We have a lot of really good players at this football club and I think, while you’re building and developing, people might always come and look at your players. But it’s good that they are, because that’s telling us that we’re doing well.”
🗣️ “There was a bargain to be had with Declan Rice at £100million. That bargain is now gone.”
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) October 24, 2021
12.33 BST: Real Madrid are “on the alert with Paul Pogba,” Diario AS reports, claiming the midfielder is “uncomfortable” at Manchester United with his contract due to expire next June.
Pogba, 28, was left out of the United team on Wednesday by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for their 3-2 comeback win against Atalanta in the Champions League.
The Daily Mail reported on Sunday that the France international needs to persuade United to offer him a new bumper £350,000-a-week deal by impressing in their clash with Liverpool.
According to AS, however, agent Mino Raiola has made it clear that no decisions will be made on Pogba’s future until April.
The newspaper says that “Madrid are observing events from a distance” and the club now views Pogba as a “market opportunity” having previously been a priority for ex-coach Zinedine Zidane.
11.41 BST: Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has moved to deny reports that midfielder Youri Tielemans has turned down a new contract from the club.
Tielemans, 24, has a contract which runs until 2023 but reports have emerged claiming he has rejected the offer of a new deal amid interest from Manchester United, Liverpool, Barcelona and Real Madrid.
“There’s reports, but there’s [been] no turning down,” Rodgers said ahead of Sunday’s Premier League match at Brentford. “I think there’s just dialogue between the club and Youri’s people.
“I think the club are waiting to hear back. But that’s something that’s out of my control. What I can control is his mentality, his commitment to the team, and you cannot question that.”
10.45 BST: Juventus and Paulo Dybala have all but agreed a new contract, which only needs to be made official, according to Calciomercato.
Dybala, 27, is out of contract at the end of the season, but Juventus are planning their future around the Argentina international following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo late in the summer transfer window.
Although the forward endured an injury disrupted year last season, this term he has scored three goals in six games for the Turin club and is close to committing his future to them.
09.52 BST: Newcastle United are considering a January move for Wolves captain Conor Coady, The Sun reports.
Coady, 28, has been a mainstay in the Wolves defence ever since they gained promotion to the Premier League three years ago, and is also a regular in England squads.
Newcastle are looking to strengthen their defence in January in their bid to avoid relegation, and have also been linked with Burnley’s James Tarkowski.
However, The Sun reports that Coady is highly rated by Frank McParland, one of the leading advisors to Amanda Staveley, the executive who led the takeover bid of Newcastle by Saudi Arabia-backed group PIF.
09.00 BST: Liverpool’s Egypt forward Mohamed Salah said he would “love to stay” at the Premier League club until he hangs up his boots but that his future at Anfield was not in his hands.
Salah, the league’s joint-top scorer this season with seven goals, has a contract with Liverpool until June 2023.
“If you ask me, I would love to stay until the last day of my football career. But I can’t say much about that, it’s not in my hands,” Salah, 29, told Sky Sports.
“It depends on what the club want, not on me. At the moment I can’t see myself ever playing against Liverpool. That would make me sad.
“It’s hard, I don’t want to talk about it, but it would make me really sad… but let’s see what will happen in the future.”
PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)
– A new manager has been advanced up the shortlist at St. James’ Park with Ajax’s Erik ten Hag reported to be in Newcastle United’s sights. That’s according to The Express, whose front page reveals that there is the potential of a double swoop involving Marc Overmars, who would join as the director of football.
– Internazionale could look to acquire Luis Alberto with manager Simone Inzaghi losing patience with Hakan Calhanoglu, according to Calciomercato. Inzaghi managed the 29-year-old midfielder during his spell at Lazio, and with Alberto having struggled to impress new manager Maurizio Sarri, the Nerazzurri could make an approach in the January window.
– Real Betis are keen on a move for Jeremie Boga, reveals Rudy Galetti. The 24-year-old attacker is set to be out of contract next summer, and with the LaLiga club looking to move on Cristian Tello, they will make a move for Boga if he does not renew his current deal with Sassuolo.
– Nicolo Schira writes that a number of European clubs have already enquired to FC Porto regarding Luis Diaz. Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Chelsea, and Newcastle have all made contact for the 24-year-old winger who has enjoyed impressive form this season. He has contributed to seven goals in nine games in the league and was a standout in Porto’s 1-0 win over AC Milan in the Champions League last Tuesday.
– Talks of a move to Paris Saint-Germain for Nico Barella are set to cool with the 24-year-old midfielder close to extending his contract at Inter. That’s according to Fabrizio Romano, who says that he will sign a five-year extension that includes an increased salary.