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 might be closed across the top leagues in Europe, but here are the best rumours from around the globe.

TOP STORY: Man City to offer Messi a contract in January

Barcelona are going to have to make some adjustments in the coming months, with Sport reporting that interim president Carles Tusquets has to save around €300 million to avoid a financial crisis.

Of course Lionel Messi‘s massive salary could play a big part in this as the 33-year-old has made it clear that he’s keen to leave Camp Nou once his contract expires in 2021. The Argentine opted not to take the club to court in order to get his move this summer, but the Daily Telegraph reports that Manchester City are ready to offer him a pre-contract agreement in January to move to the Etihad on a free at the end of the season.

Meanwhile, amid their mounting debts, Barcelona still want to sign players and Sport has suggested they will be back in January for Manchester City centre-back Eric Garcia.

The 19-year-old has made it clear he won’t renew his contract with Man City and is free to leave in the summer when his own contract expires. Barca are reportedly ready to offer €8m to land him early, but City have been holding out for around €20m.

Barcelona have also intensified their interest in Benfica striker Darwin Nunez as they search for a replacement for Luis Suarez, sources have told ESPN’s Moises Llorens and Sam Marsden.

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16.29 GMT: Chelsea can thank technical and performance advisor Petr Cech for goalkeeper Edouard Mendy’s arrival and his former club Rennes may pay the price, writes James Olley.

On Wednesday evening, Rennes will renew their acquaintance with Cech, this time in the Champions League. He can’t play, as he wasn’t registered for Europe, but he’ll be watching on with interest as Rennes come up against another of their former goalkeepers, Edouard Mendy, who was prised away this summer to help head coach Frank Lampard rectify Chelsea’s goalkeeping issues.

Far from disappearing into the shadows, Cech’s influence remains firmly pronounced and there is no clearer sign than the arrival of Mendy…

Mendy has replaced the error-prone Kepa Arrizabalaga and brought about a calm that has contributed to a promising set of results at home and abroad, with two of his clean sheets helping Chelsea amass four points from their opening two Champions League games in Group E.

15.45 GMT: According to an algorithm modelled by the CIES Football Observatory, 19-year-old Bayern wing-back Alphonso Davies has the highest estimated transfer value of any player born in the 2000s who is currently playing in one of Europe’s “big five” leagues.

1. Alphonso Davies, Bayern Munich, €180.4m

2. Jadon Sancho, Borussia Dortmund, €125.6m

3. Ansu Fati, Barcelona, €122.7m

14.31 GMT: Bayern Munich defender David Alaba looks set to leave the club for free in the summer. But where could he go?



Steve Cherundolo joins ESPN FC to talk Bayern Munich’s shock move of withdrawing David Alaba’s contract offer.

13.28 GMT: Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has said he has a good relationship with Lionel Messi and he doesn’t agree with Quique Setien‘s assessment that the forward is “difficult to manage.”

Former Barca boss Setien, who was sacked in August, said in an interview with El Pais on Sunday that it was hard to coach Messi because of how accustomed he is to success.

“I respect everyone’s option but, for me, Leo is the best player in the world,” Koeman said in a news conference ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League game against Dynamo Kiev.

“I see the ambition he has and his winning character every day. He’s not a player I have difficulties with. He’s the captain and I speak with him every week about things on the pitch and things in the dressing room to [maintain] a good relationship with him.

“I see things differently and I am not in agreement with Setien, although I respect his opinion. If that’s what he says, that’s how it is for him.”

13.00 GMT: Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic has caught the eye of Manchester United and Tottenham, says Calciomercato.

Milenkovic, 23, had been linked with a move to Napoli to replace Kalidou Koulibaly, while Inter Milan have also been keeping an eye on him in case Milan Skriniar opts to depart.

Either way, Fiorentina look set to lose one of their star defenders and interest from the Premier League is strong, while Atletico Madrid are also reported to be monitoring.

12.12 GMT: Liverpool have been linked with Schalke defender Ozan Kabak, but the German club has revealed that AC Milan tried to sign him this summer.

Kabak, 20, has emerged as one of the best young defenders in Europe and the Turkey international reportedly has a €45m release clause in his contract which becomes active in the summer of 2021.

Schalke sporting director Jochen Schneider told WAZ: “Milan knocked at the very end of the transfer period in the summer, which was out of the question for us.”

11.20 GMT: Atletico Madrid have announced the signing of Valencia midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia.

The Spanish club were allowed to do the deal outside of the transfer window because of a special rule that meant they could replace Thomas Partey, who joined Arsenal when they paid his €50m release clause last month.

11.11 GMT: What’s up with Paul Pogba at Manchester United?



Julien Laurens says he likes how accountable Paul Pogba was for Man United’s struggles in their loss to Arsenal.

09.50 GMT: When transfers go bad, part 345.

Real Betis midfielder Joaquin says he will not salute his former Valencia coach Ronald Koeman in Saturday’s league game at Barcelona.

Koeman coached Joaquin at the Mestalla stadium in the 2007-08 campaign. The winger scored five goals in 49 games and won the Copa del Rey (though he was benched for the final), but Valencia finished 10th and Koeman was sacked in April.

“It wasn’t the most beautiful experience of my sporting career,” the former Spain international said on El Larguero. “It wasn’t nice to be honest. I don’t even want to talk about it because it pains me what happened there.

“I wouldn’t take Koeman not even as a kit man. Fortunately, he didn’t last long and we were able to rescue the season. I’m not going to salute him and neither will he. There’s no better time to face Barca than now.”

09.14 GMT: Corinthians are set to sign Brazilian defender Jemerson from Monaco for around R$4.5m (€700,000).

Jemerson, 28, has reportedly reached an agreement to terminate his contract for that small fee, says Globoesporte, and arrived in Brazil on Tuesday to sign his contract and undergo a medical.

08.30 GMT: Former Melbourne Victory midfielder Josh Hope has decided to step away from professional football at the age of 22 because anxiety caused in large part by online abuse from fans had stopped him enjoying the game.

Hope, who was released at the end of last season after four years at Victory, said in an Instagram post on Tuesday he had decided to “call it in, for now” rather than pursue a move to another A-League club.

“It’s a constant battle with people who are supposedly meant to be supporting you,” he wrote. “Some of the things I would see not only regarding myself but others was nothing less than abuse. And I’m not talking football related!

“When it gets personal, to the colour of their skin, to how they talk, to a haircut … I don’t want to be a part of it.”



ESPN FC’s Kasey Keller assesses Christian Pulisic’s latest injury for Chelsea that could keep him out for weeks.

PAPER TALK (by Danny Lewis)

Atletico Madrid register interest in Lamptey

Tariq Lamptey has caught the eye with his performances since joining Brighton & Hove Albion, and according to The Daily Mail, Atletico Madrid have joined his list of admirers.

This list had already included Bayern Munich and Sevilla, so the Seagulls might have a tough time keeping hold of the right-back.

Nevertheless, they are looking to keep him at the club and, despite the youngster having signed a three-year contract in January, they are set to offer him a new and improved deal.

It seems as though the youngster is going to have plenty of options ahead of the winter window.

Llorente is a wanted man

Fernando Llorente hasn’t made a single appearance for Napoli so far this season, but he is still a wanted man.

Calciomercato reports that the 35-year-old striker has his options, with links to both Genoa and Benevento included in the story.

However, they could have a tough time getting him if Internazionale or Atletico Madrid make a move, with the two clubs also said to be showing interest.

The Spaniard has been almost anonymous since leaving Tottenham Hotspur, but he might be set to bag himself a big move late in his career.


– There are often winners and losers when a football club is taken over, and Phil Jones feels he could miss out if Burnley get new owners, reports The Mirror. The Manchester United defender has not made it into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad for the campaign, and it is reported Sean Dyche had pencilled in a loan swoop for him.

Juventus have been trying to get Federico Bernardeschi off their books and it might finally happen, according to IlBiancoNero. The club wanted him to leave, either on loan or permanently, in January, but the 26-year-old refused to go, feeling he could turn things around at the Serie A champions. The report says that, after struggling once again, he is now willing to leave Allianz Stadium if a good offer comes in during the winter window.