Transfer Talk: Real Madrid want Mbappe, Camavinga in ‘galactico’ summer
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 target Camavinga and Mbappe double
Madrid have been linked with both players in 2020 already, but the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic prevented them from making tangible moves in the summer market.
However, AS believes Zidane remains interested in both players and that the Frenchman plans to bring both to the Bernabeu ahead of the 2021-22 season.
Mbappe has been in excellent form this season and has scored seven goals and contributed seven assists in his first eight appearances of the season for Paris Saint-Germain. The World Cup winner is said to be interested in joining Zidane in the Spanish capital, though he is also wanted by Liverpool.
Camavinga is a regular starter at Rennes and has scored once in nine Ligue 1 games, with one assist, despite being just 17 years old.
14.13 GMT: Brighton & Hove Albion full-back Tariq Lamptey has been linked with interest from Atletico Madrid, and ESPN FC’s Colin Udoh is not surprised the youngster is attracting the attentions of Europe’s big clubs.
Colin Udoh believes Tariq Lamptey’s stats speak for themselves amid Atletico Madrid’s reported interest.
13.20 GMT: Zinedine Zidane has backed Isco to turn his situation at Real Madrid around amid reports of interest from Everton in the playmaker.
The 28-year-old hasn’t started in Madrid’s last five matches and was an unused substitute in their 3-2 Champions League win over Inter on Tuesday. In his most recent appearance in the starting XI, Zidane hauled him off at half time in a 1-0 La Liga defeat to Cadiz on October 17.
“Isco has to keep working. It’s not Isco’s problem, it’s the coach’s problem,” Zidane said in a news conference on Saturday. “I won’t hide that he hasn’t played much, it’s true that lately I haven’t chosen him. It’s a difficult moment for him, but he’s had good ones. There are a lot of matches.”
The midfielder has been linked with a reunion with former coach Carlo Ancelotti — and former teammate James Rodriguez — at Goodison Park, with Ancelotti describing him as a” fantastic player” earlier this week.
“Coaches have to choose,” Zidane said. “It doesn’t change what I think of him. I hope he keeps working as he has until now because he’ll get his chance.”
12.39 GMT: Liverpool are considering a January move for Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar, who is also a target for Tottenham, sources have told ESPN’s James Olley.
Virgil van Dijk is expected to be ruled out for the vast majority of the 2020-21 campaign after undergoing knee surgery, and the reigning champions is expected to strengthen in January given the length of Van Dijk’s probable absence and relative lack of cover.
Among their list of centre-back targets is Skriniar, who almost moved to Spurs in October. Tottenham held lengthy negotiations — as ESPN reported on Sept. 24 — but failed to find an agreement, with Inter refusing to budge from their €60m asking price and instead opting to sign Joe Rodon from Swansea.
Sources have told ESPN that Jose Mourinho retains an interest in Skriniar and would be open to moving for the 25-year-old either in January or, more likely, next summer. But Liverpool’s presence in the market could complicate the picture given the urgency with which they need to find reinforcements.
Spurs had a net spend of more than £60m in the summer, and it is unlikely they would have the funds to launch a fresh move without first trimming their existing squad.
11.34 GMT: Erling Haaland‘s agent, Mino Raiola, and Borussia Dortmund have a “secret pact” that will allow the striker to move in 2022, according to AS.
Haaland was a target for Real Madrid and Manchester United before he joined Dortmund in January from Salzburg for an initial fee of €20m.
Since then, the 20-year-old has remained one of Europe’s most coveted young talents, and he has scored 26 goals in 28 appearances in all competitions for Dortmund going into Saturday’s huge Bundesliga clash with Bayern Munich (stream LIVE on ESPN+ in the U.S. — coverage starts at 12 p.m. ET, kick-off at 12:30 p.m. ET).
AS reports that Real Madrid are interested in bringing Haaland to the Bernabeu in 2022 as that is when Karim Benzema’s contract is due to expire.
However, the Spanish outlet adds that Dortmund have not made any agreement with any club over a future transfer.
Taylor Twellman expects Erling Haaland to shine in this weekend’s Der Klassiker, live on ESPN+.
10.47 GMT: Chelsea manager Frank Lampard insists that defender Fikayo Tomori has a future at the club despite not starting a Premier League match since February.
Tomori broke into the first team under Lampard last season and made his senior England debut, but has fallen out of favour since the turn of the year. The 22-year-old turned down a loan move to West Ham on the final day of the last transfer window, and was also wanted by Everton, but the arrival of Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger also staying at the club have seen him bumped down the pecking order.
“I think there’s arguments on both sides,” said Lampard, who has brought Tomori off the bench just once in the league so far this season. “Fikayo is our contracted player. We know that West Ham were interested. Fikayo took the decision not to go and that’s well within his rights. That had no bearing on my thoughts at all. He’s still a developing player.
“When I say developing, he’s had a great two years. He got himself in the England team, was one of the best defenders in the Championship and then played 20-plus games for Chelsea. It’s normal for a young player sometimes, in a squad as competitive as ours, where there are periods where you maybe aren’t playing every week.”
Lampard, who took Tomori on loan while he was Derby manager in 2018-19, added: “I’ve got no problem with Fikayo. I rely on him. That’s clear from when I took him to Derby and how I handled him last year. He’s been a fantastic player for me. He trains very well and when he gets his opportunity, like he had when he came on against Liverpool and in the Carabao Cup, it’s important he takes them.”
09.54 GMT: Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he has the long-term backing of the club’s board.
There has been speculation that a third defeat in a week against Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday could cost Solskjaer his job.
But the Norwegian is confident the Glazers and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward will not be swayed by short-term setbacks.
“All my conversations with the club have been planning long term,” Solskjaer told a news conference on Friday.
“Of course, we want results short term, but I’ve had positive dialogue with the plans we have put in place. For me I have had a backing all the way since I’ve come in on the bigger picture.”
Shaka Hislop firmly believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could face the sack if Man United lose handily to Everton.
09.00 GMT: Luis Suarez has insisted he acted professionally throughout his drawn-out departure from Barcelona — and denied he’ll try to convince close friend Lionel Messi to join him at Atletico Madrid.
The Uruguay forward was told he was surplus to requirements at Camp Nou by coach Ronald Koeman in August in a phone call that lasted under a minute, and eventually joined Atletico a month later.
“The relationship I had with Koeman was professional,” Suarez told Diario AS. “He told me (I had to leave). I said I had the right to keep training until a solution was found. I trained with total professionalism for three weeks, with no buts. They sent me to train alone and I did.”
“He said if we didn’t find an outcome, I’d be part of the group,” he added. “We had mutual respect, me towards him for the decision he took as coach, and him towards me to be a professional and keep training without complaining.”
With Messi’s Barca contract expiring at the end of the season, he’s free to talk to other clubs from January, but Suarez says he won’t attempt to persuade his former teammate to follow him to the Wanda Metropolitano.
“Leo is mature enough to take the decisions he has to take,” he said. “I’ll never suggest anything… he has to decide and where he’s happy will be best.”
PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd): Conte plans raid on former club
Conte is keen to add some backup support for Romelu Lukaku and has identified Giroud as the ideal signing for the second half of the current campaign. Giroud has fallen further down the pecking order at Chelsea, having played just 30 minutes this season, and he could be persuaded to move to the Italian capital to get more minutes.
Alonso and Emerson were both linked with moves away from west London in the summer, but both remain at Stamford Bridge. A new left-back is a top priority for Inter, which means Conte might think he can lure one of his former charges to join him at the San Siro.
Barca to sell five players in January
Barcelona are facing increasing financial uncertainty, and the need to balance the books is being weighed alongside the desire for Ronald Koeman to shake up his underperforming squad.
Ousmane Dembele is one of the players who will be moved on, with Manchester United linked with a move for his services, which could cost them just £45 million, a lot less than the £124 million they were quoted the last time they made moves to sign him.
Umtiti in particular has been a target for several Premier League sides in recent months, and he could solve several club’s defensive issues.
– Arsenal have been linked with a January move for RB Salzburg’s 20-year-old star Dominik Szoboszlai by Hungarian outlet Index. The Gunners considered the midfielder in the summer, but the youngster decided to stay loyal to his employers. Today, his agent admitted that Arsenal’s interest “was real” and that Chelsea have also expressed a desire to land the sought-after midfielder.
– AC Milan are hoping to sign Matteo Lovato from Verona, according to Calciomercato. Lovato cost Verona just €1 million in January, when he joined from Padua, but his performances since have seen his value climb to €20 million. Lovato has impressed in the big games against the likes of Juventus and AS Roma, and Milan are said to have already made contact with the player’s entourage and Verona with a view to a move in January.