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: Real Madrid lead six-club chase for Alaba
David Alaba won’t sign a new contract with Bayern Munich and the defender is available on a free transfer when his deal expires in the summer of 2021. As a result, Manchester City, Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus are keen to sign him, but could be disappointed.
AS has revealed that the player’s agent, Pini Zahavi, is plotting a way for the Austria international to land at Real Madrid. Zahavi is desperate to build up a relationship with the Spanish giants — having previously failed to get fellow Bayern client Robert Lewandowski to join Los Blancos — and reportedly feels that guiding Alaba to the Bernabeu could help to make that a reality.
Alaba, for his part, only has eyes for La Liga, says Bild. Barcelona could battle Real for the 28-year-old next summer, but with their current financial situation they may not be able to offer him the same wages as their rivals.
09.03 GMT: Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has been linked with a return to Juventus, though the Italian club’s director Fabio Paratici wasn’t giving much away when asked about a move for the 27-year-old.
“Paul Pogba as our target? In this moment he’s a Man Utd player, it’s difficult to think about transfers,” he told Sky Italia. “We love Pogba, he’s a fantastic player but it’s too early to talk about our targets for the future.”
08.36 GMT: Darwin Nunez‘s agent says that no official offer has arrived from Barcelona, or any other club.
Nunez, 21, was a target of Barca before the player became Benfica‘s most expensive signing when he arrived from Almeria in a €24m deal in September. Barca need to strengthen their attack in the next transfer window having lost Luis Suarez to Atletico Madrid in the summer and sources told ESPN that their chase for Nunez had intensified.
“Darwin is happy at Benfica and there’s officially nothing with any other club,” Nunez’s agent Edgardo Lasalvia said. “Asked if there’s any interest or offer from Barcelona for the player, Lasalvia added: “That’s something to ask Barcelona.”
However, Lasalvia did warn Nunez’s potential suitors that the player’s price tag has increased. Nunez’s release clause at Benfica is set at €150m. “Now, whoever wants Darwin Nunez will have to pay more,” he said.
08.00 GMT: Sergio Ramos and Real Madrid have begun conversations over a new contract for the defender, multiple sources have told ESPN’s Alex Kirkland and Rodrigo Faez.
Both parties are keen for the club captain to extend his deal at the Santiago Bernabeu with Ramos’ contract expiring in June 2021. The defender would be free to negotiate with other clubs from January.
In June this year, ESPN reported that both sides had agreed to delay negotiations until the end of the summer as the club assessed the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
When the extent of the impact became clear, Real opted not to spend in the summer transfer market and put talks with Ramos on hold too. However, sources have told ESPN that in recent weeks the club and Ramos’ representatives have started to sound each other out over discussions on a contract renewal which is viewed as a priority.
Shaka Hislop praises Erling Haaland’s goalscoring instincts after his brace for Dortmund against Brugge.
PAPER TALK (by Danny Lewis)
Bayern to swoop past Real Madrid, Man United for Haaland
Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has, once again, denied that the Norway international has a €75m release clause in his contract that would allow him to leave in 2021. However, the report speculates that Dortmund may have cause for concern the following year as rumours suggest the clause activates in 2022 instead.
Haaland is reported to have been a player of interest to Bayern since 2017, but they had felt he was too expensive to bring into their youth ranks. In 2022, when star striker Robert Lewandowski is 34, they will certainly be looking for a replacement.
With both Bundesliga giants set for another edition of Der Klassiker on Saturday (watch all Bundesliga matches on ESPN+ in the U.S.), it’ll no doubt add further intrigue to the rivalry.
BVB hard pressed to turn down Sancho offer again
Yet Watzke admitted that, due to coronavirus and its financial impact, there are limits on what they will be able to turn down moving forward.
Manchester United have been long-term admirers of Sancho, but the Bundesliga outfit refused to budge from their €120m valuation of the England international.
– It seems likely that striker Luka Jovic will be leaving Real Madrid in the near future, but he’ll have no shortage of options despite his failure to score goals since his €60m arrival last summer. According to Calciomercato, AC Milan and Napoli may look to bring him in during the January transfer window, having already showed interest during the summer.
– Edson Alvarez joined Ajax Amsterdam in the summer of 2019 from Liga MX powerhouse Club America, but it seems as though he has his eyes on bigger destinations. Speaking to Voetbalzone, the 23-year-old admitted that he would love a move to the Premier League, citing Manchester City as his favourite side. But before any such transfer can happen, the Mexico defender needs to improve his form at Ajax and find consistent playing time.