Transfer Talk: Mbappe not bothered by Zidane’s rocky Real Madrid future

The coronavirus pandemic made the summer transfer market unlike any before it, but there were still plenty of deals done and you can check out the major ones here. The window may be closed across the top leagues in Europe, but here are the best rumours from around the globe.

TOP STORY: Zidane’s future won’t impact Mbappe move

Zinedine Zidane’s future at Real Madrid is on the rocks, but it won’t affect whether the club are able to convince Kylian Mbappe to join from Paris Saint-Germain next summer.

Following losses to La Liga newcomers Cadiz and to Shakhtar Donetsk in Champions League play, Zidane has come under fire amid mounting speculation about his job. However, AS is reporting that the Frenchman’s future will have no impact on Real’s long pursuit of Mbappe.

Mbappe has previously expressed admiration for Zidane, but the report states that the player’s desire to join the Spanish giants does not rest on his idol being in charge.

The winner of the 2018 World Cup with France is under contract at PSG until 2022, and any move to Madrid will certainly come a hefty price. PSG paid AS Monaco €180m for Mbappe’s services in 2017.

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13.55 BST: Mundo Deportivo reports that Manchester United are interested in Wolves winger Adama Traore.

Traore, 24, began his career at Barcelona but only blossomed at Middlesbrough, Aston Villa and now Wolves. He had been linked with a £70m move to Liverpool this summer, but Manchester City, Juventus and Barcelona have also reportedly been scouting him.

United’s top target remains Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho, but at £108m he remains too expensive for the club so they are looking for alternatives.

Last month, Traore made his first appearance for Spain in a friendly match against Portugal.

13.02 BST: Lyon midfielder Lucas Paqueta has been speaking about his decision to leave AC Milan over the summer.

Paqueta, 23, only joined Milan in January 2019 in a €35m deal from Flamengo but didn’t settle in Italy and scored just one goal in 44 games. The Brazil international then made a €20m switch to Lyon in September.

“I have no desire for revenge, I am grateful for having taken this step even though it may have been painful,” Paqueta told l’Equipe. “Now I want my football back. My Brazilian football, the happy one. And here I feel the right energy to do it.”

12.00 BST: ICYMI – In an exclusive interview with ESPN’s James Olley, Mesut Ozil‘s agent, Dr. Erkut Sogut states, among other things, that Mikel Arteta is not telling the truth for claiming Ozil’s absence from the Arsenal first-team is a football decision; Ozil should be shown the same loyalty Arteta received in his final two years as an Arsenal player; and Ozil turned down an offer from another club that included a £30m signing-on fee to stay at the club in 2018.

“Arsenal fans deserve an honest explanation, not [Arteta] saying, ‘I failed Ozil.’ You didn’t fail Ozil. You failed to be fair, honest and transparent and treat someone with respect who has a contract and was loyal all the time.

“Every single person outside knows he hasn’t treated him fairly. He didn’t give him a chance to show himself this season. If he is still under contract, the player should have the option to stay and fight for his place. Mesut hasn’t been given that. Why would you put a player on the bench twice for 90 minutes [against Brighton and Crystal Palace in June] if he wasn’t fit or committed?

“Everyone says he’s training well. Per Mertesacker [Arsenal defender, 2011-18 and now a coach at the club’s academy] said this publicly. I spoke with at least five teammates who say he is training great. They say Mesut is one of their best players, and they cannot understand why he is left out. So it can’t be the training. If it is not the pitch, what are the footballing reasons? If you talk, you should tell the truth that the Arsenal fans deserve, otherwise don’t talk at all.”

11.32 BST: Barcelona and Real Madrid are in action in El Clasico this afternoon but do they both need major reinforcements?



Sid Lowe assesses the “worrying” state of Barcelona and Real Madrid ahead of Saturday’s El Clasico.

10.45 BST: PSG coach Thomas Tuchel wanted to sign Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger and striker Luis Suarez from Barcelona during the summer transfer window as he looked to strengthen the Champions League finalists’ squad ahead of another tilt at European glory this season.

However, sporting director Leonardo was not keen and vetoed moves for both, much to the disappointment of Tuchel.

Sources told ESPN’s Julien Laurens that the pair clashed over transfers during the summer window and tensions between the pair have increased.

10.10 BST: Former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is a free agent after being released by West Ham and the 28-year-old has revealed who he will go to for advice over his future.

“I spoke to Arsene [Wenger] when we were negotiating everything with West Ham and he was helpful,” Wilshere told the BBC. “When the time is right, as and when I have some options, where they are and what would be best for me, he would probably be the one I would call, yes.”

After a bright start to his career Wilshere struggled with injury issues and is now hoping to get things back on track.

“People forget I am 28,” he added. “Everyone thinks I am 30 or 31, probably because I started when I was 16. That is 12 years ago, which is a long time in football.

“In my head I have been fit for ages but at the same time, I haven’t played games. People probably have forgotten. But there is a difference between fully fit and playing games.

“I have been fully fit for a while but without games you don’t get up to speed or get the minutes you need. In a year’s time, I would like to have 20-25 games behind me at a new club and be looking forward to the future. I feel I have much more to give. I just want to be given the opportunity to show it.”

09.42 BST: Liverpool midfielder Fabinho is set for talks over a new deal after the Brazil international became a key player for Jurgen Klopp‘s side, sources told ESPN’s Julien Laurens.

Fabinho, 27, still has two years left on the contract he signed when he joined Liverpool from Monaco for €50m in 2018, but he has become such an important player that he is set to be rewarded with a new deal.

09.00 BST: ICYMI – Manchester United have warned Paul Pogba they are not willing to give him a bumper pay rise to keep him at Old Trafford, sources told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.

The club are keen to extend Pogba’s stay with a new long-term deal, but sources have said it will have to be a reasonable offer. After finally getting Alexis Sanchez off the books in the summer with his permanent move to Inter Milan, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are in agreement the wage structure will not be broken for any player, including Pogba.



Pep Guardiola is positive Fernandinho will only be sidelined for less than a month following his injury vs. Porto.

PAPER TALK (by Danny Lewis)

Man City agree deal for Stevanovic

Partizan Belgrade have accepted an offer from Manchester City for their prize wonderkid Filip Stevanovic, according to Mozzart Sport.

It is reported that the 18-year-old will sign a four-and-a-half-year deal with City in the January window, before going back on loan to the Serbian club for the remainder of the season.

The plan is that the winger will then be heading to England next summer to join up with his new teammates.

Other sides who have previously been linked with Stevanovic are Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea and Liverpool.

Napoli join race for Emerson

Emerson Palmieri may be looking for an exit as he struggles for game time at Chelsea, with Ben Chilwell and Marcos Alonso ahead of him in Frank Lampard’s left-back pecking order.

Italian outlet Sempre Inter have claimed that the Italy international will have various options in the summer, including Serie A giants Napoli and Internazionale

So while Emerson will need to sit patiently for now at Stamford Bridge, it appears the 26-year-old could be in demand when January comes around.


AS Roma have drawn up a shortlist of three Italian goalkeepers to replace the struggling Pau Lopez in the January transfer window, reports Calciomercato. It is suggested Roma have given up on Lopez despite him having been an expensive acquisition. In the meantime, Antonio Mirante will likely be going between the sticks for the Serie A outfit.

Sergio Romero has demanded showdown talks with the Manchester United hierarchy, reports the Daily Star. This comes after he found out on social media that he had not been included in the Premier League club’s 25-man squad for the campaign. The Argentina keeper has already been open about how irritated he has been by his treatment, so these talks should be pretty interesting.