Transfer Talk: Manchester United reignite Jack Grealish interest
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: Manchester United still want Grealish?
When United signed Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek for £40m and Grealish penned a new five-year deal with Villa this summer, the belief was that all parties involved had moved on from the potential deal.
However, United are reported to still be keeping an eye on the impressive England international, and that they view him as a bona fide member of the starting XI by the time summer 2021 rolls around, as opposed to just a squad player.
17.43 BST: Bristol City have made a bright start to the season in the Championship, the Robins currently tied for fourth on 20 points after 11 matchdays.
Looking for some more experience as they push for promotion, the club announced on Wednesday it has signed veteran centre-back Adrian Mariappa. The Jamaica international, 34, was a free agent following Watford’s relegation and boasts over 150 appearances in the top flight with Watford, Crystal Palace and Reading.
17.00 GMT: Arsenal are back in the race for RB Leipzig midfielder Christopher Nkunku, says the print edition of Bild.
Nkunku, 22, came through the ranks at PSG and the Gunners were linked with a move for the winger in 2019 before he opted to head to Leipzig for around €14m.
The Frenchman has impressed with six goals and 19 assists in 55 games and, with a contract until 2024, is now reportedly valued at €40m.
Lyon are reportedly monitoring the situation as they seek a possible replacement for Memphis Depay, who could join Barcelona, but Arsenal are also watching him.
16.03 GMT: Barcelona want to sign Arnau Puigmal from Manchester United, says Sport.
Puigmal, 19, signed for United from Espanyol’s youth team in 2017 and has been used in the U23s, while the midfielder was also named in the travelling squad for the Europa League clash at Astana last season.
United reportedly beat Barcelona to his signature in 2017 but, with his contract expiring in 2021, are interested in returning for him in January.
Julien Laurens reacts to Eric Olhats’ comments about Lionel Messi’s initial icy welcome to Antoine Griezmann.
14.43 GMT: Son Heung-min is the Premier League’s joint-top scorer with eight goals this season and is set to be rewarded for his form, according to the Guardian.
Son, 28, signed a five-year deal until 2023 in 2018 but is now set to increase his reported £140,000-a-week wages to closer to £200,000-a-week.
The report says the South Korea international is “in line to become one of the club’s top earners in recognition of his consistent performances over the past few seasons.”
14.19 GMT: Ouch. Look away Arsenal fans.
Arsenal’s record signings 😬
1) Started 1 PL game this season
2) 1 PL goal in 60 days
3) No goals since September
5) Frozen out
6) Lost captaincy last season
7) Plays for Inter
8) No PL starts this season
9) Plays for Roma
10) Yet to play
11) On loan at Atletico pic.twitter.com/hnBVOM1G2x
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 11, 2020
13.52 GMT: Unclear if this is more Tottenham’s problem or Real Madrid‘s but Jose Mourinho has been told that Wales will “absolutely look after Gareth Bale” after the winger was declared fit to face the USMNT in a friendly on Thursday
Mourinho earlier warned against “destroying the work” Spurs have done to return the loanee from Madrid to full fitness.
Bale has yet to complete a full 90 minutes for Spurs since returning to the club in September, but he faces the prospect of three games in six days with Wales playing the U.S. in Swansea before UEFA Nations League clashes against Republic of Ireland (Nov. 15) and Finland (Nov. 18).
13.08 GMT: Borussia Dortmund are great at signing top young players but can they keep them?
Jan Aage Fjortoft explains why young players might force a move if Dortmund don’t start to win trophies.
12.19 GMT: Sao Paulo striker Brenner is attracting interest from five clubs, says Calciomercato.
Brenner, 20, is scoring for fun and already has 15 goals in all competitions this year. That’s been enough to see AC Milan, Lazio, PSG, Juventus and Ajax keep an eye on him, with Arsenal joining the scene recently.
The forward reportedly has a contract until 2022, but it contains a €50m release clause if any club is willing to put their money where their mouths are.
Brenner spent last year out on loan at Fluminense but it was unsuccessful and he’s only blossomed this season when back at his parent club.
Arsenal landed 19-year-old Brazilian forward Gabriel Martinelli from Ituano in 2019 and he impressed before suffering a knee injury in June.
11.45 GMT: United States men’s national team goalkeeper Zack Steffen feels he’s already grown on the field with club side Manchester City, even though he’s only been with the first team for a little over two months.
Steffen, 25, signed with Man City back in July of 2019, but spent the 2019-20 season on loan with German side Fortuna Dusseldorf. Steffen was brought in this season primarily to back up Ederson, but he has backstopped the club to two wins in the EFL Cup.
“Their goalie coach is really detailed, and is very eager to make me a better goalkeeper,” Steffen told reporters ahead of Thursday’s friendly against Wales. “And then just working with those guys day in and day out, the training, the level of intensity and skill and talent and everything that goes into it, I feel myself growing.”
10.29 GMT: Tottenham made a big call in appointing Jose Mourinho, but was it right?
The ESPN FC pundits gauge Jose Mourinho’s success so far at Tottenham.
09.58 GMT: Dani Carvajal has confirmed that he’s in talks with Real Madrid over extending his contract, but admitted the club’s financial situation has made negotiations difficult.
The Spain international full-back, who has been out for the last five weeks with a knee injury, has a current deal that expires in 2022.
“We’re talking to the club,” Carvajal told Marca. “With everything that’s going on, it’s complicated. It isn’t the most important thing, I think we have to help the club out. It’s not a good time financially, they can’t open the stadium and it’s difficult for a club that receives so much of its income that way. The renewal has to be put to one side for now and we’ll focus on playing and trying to keep the club healthy.”
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has also seen delays in talks with club captain Sergio Ramos, whose contract runs out at the end of this season.
Lingard has been working with Raiola, who also represents United teammate Paul Pogba, since the start of the year but will now be managed entirely by family members and other close associates. The decision was mutual and Raiola remains on good terms with Lingard and his team.
Lingard hasn’t featured for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team since the 3-0 win over Brighton in the Carabao Cup in September. He has missed the last seven games because of a hip injury but there is hope he could return to full fitness soon.
The 27-year-old, who was the subject of interest from both Tottenham and Porto during the summer transfer window, has entered the final year of the four-year contract he signed in April 2017. United hold an option to extend the deal by an additional 12 months until the summer of 2022 but sources have told ESPN it has yet to be triggered.
08.36 GMT: The eyes of Europe’s biggest clubs are fixed on RB Leipzig and their abundance of talented players, Sport Bild reports.
Dani Olmo, Dayot Upamecano, Christopher Nkunku, Angelino, Konrad Laimer, Ibrahima Konate, Lukas Klostermann, Marcel Sabitzer, Amadou Haidara, Nordi Mukiele and coach Julian Nagelsmann have all been listed by the German outlet as possible departures next summer.
After finishing third in the Bundesliga and reaching the Champions League semifinals last season, Leipzig are second in the German top flight this term following Saturday’s 3-0 win over Freiburg (stream the replay on ESPN+ in the U.S.), two points behind defending champions Bayern Munich..
– Hamilton: How Nagelsmann became Germany‘s best young manager
– Bundesliga on ESPN+: Stream LIVE games and replays (U.S. only)
The Brazil international is happy to remain on his existing terms — he earns €32m gross per year — and sign for another five years, but has asked PSG sporting director Leonardo for assurances about the club’s plans on the field. Sources told ESPN that both PSG and Neymar are optimistic a deal can be agreed.
Leonardo confirmed on Tuesday that talks have just started with Neymar, but also with Kylian Mbappe, Angel Di Maria, Juan Bernat and Julian Draxler. However, sources told ESPN that the negotiations with Neymar are more advanced than Leonardo let on.
The 28-year-old, who is out of contract in June 2022, made it clear to Leonardo that he wants to pledge his future at the club. However, the future of Mbappe remains uncertain. Real Madrid and Liverpool are long-term admirers of the France international forward and could try to buy him this summer if he doesn’t sign a new deal in Paris.
Steve Nicol lays into Arsenal after their humbling 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa at the Emirates.
PAPER TALK (by Harry Kettle)
Arsenal in pole position to sign Szoboszlai
The FC Salzburg youngster has an affordable release clause of €25m, and the report in question indicates that the Gunners are in talks with his agent as the 20-year-old edges closer towards a move away from the Austrian giants.
Leicester open talks with Evans
The veteran defender has been at the King Power Stadium since 2018 and, at the age of 32, it’s clear to see he’s still got something to offer the Foxes, with both parties being on the same page about what they want from negotiations.
Evans’ contract is set to come to an end next summer, but he’s still viewed as one of their most important players.
– Former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has admitted he doesn’t think he’d ever be able to join Tottenham Hotspur, Sky Sports reports. The former England international spoke with the Super 6 podcast and acknowledged that, despite being a free agent, he doesn’t think he could bring himself to join Spurs due to his strong connection with the Gunners.
– Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher has confirmed that he would be open to a loan move during the January transfer window, the Liverpool Echo reports. Kelleher was expected to depart over the summer but Alisson‘s injury changed those plans, and now Kelleher has made it known that he is open to any and all possibilities in the new year.